Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Happy Tuesday

Oh my goodness, y'all...this month has just been CRAZINESS!  Each time I think I am about to take a deep breath and catch up on the blog, another hurricane breezes through my life.  I really want to catch you all up on our trip to Key West...but in the meantime, you can read Robin's account of the trip on her blog.  Just click on the blog "It Is What It Is' over in the sidebar and you can read about our comings and goings there.

We have a new baby on the property that you need to be introduced to.  And then there were the two other concerts we attended at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.  And Easter is at our house this Saturday.  So don't be surprised if you click over here and there are five or six posts in one day!  I apologize in advance for the overload.  LOL!

While your waiting for the updates, know that we are all doing well.  Everyone is healthy and we are seeing things pick up at work.  Life is good...and I am trying to learn how to deal with the grains of sand in my shoe that make me feel overwhelmed with this season of life.  I know one day I will look back and see these as some of the best times of my life.

Happy Tuesday from the Goode family!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Watch Out, Streets Of Waller County

William passed his driving test on Monday...and got his truck on Tuesday!
Look at that smiling face!
It was a long time coming, but he did it.  Jim and I are so proud of him...and so thankful that Matt decided this week that he wanted to buy a new Dodge truck.  Two birds with one stone!  Now we know why none of the other deals we looked at felt like the right one.  But, if you are driving in northeast Waller County and you see a silver bullet headed your way...you have been warned.  (Just kidding.  He is a great driver and scored a 91 on his actual driving test.)

Congratulations, Will!  Now keep it clean and be safe!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Grandmas Go Wild In Key West

On February 21, Robin, Stacy and I set out for our annual adventure that my husband lovingly calls 'Grandmas Gone Wild'. This year's destination: Key West, Florida.

After flying to Boston a few years back and barely making our plane due to an extra long security line at Bush Intercontinental Airport, we make sure that we arrive EARLY.  With a 7:14 departure time, that meant 5:30 AM early!  Of course, there was no one in line at 5:30...so we had a nice relaxing wait in the United lounge before taking off for beautiful Miami.

Every travel guide that we read advised that on your first visit to the Key West you MUST fly into Miami, rent a car and take a leisurely drive through the Florida Keys.  So that is what we did.  And since I was the driver du jour, I have very few pictures to share.  (But Robin will have more, I am sure!)

We stopped at nearly every little tourist trap along the way.  I took pictures at two:
This is Betsey...a very large lobster that now sits outside of The Rain Barrel: A Village of Artists.  Great little shops and lots of unique stuff if you walk through to the back.
This is the Tiki Bar at Postcard Inn Beach Resort.  They were hosting a powerboat club at the marina, which were cool to see.

Both of these pictures were taken in Islamorada.  Then it was back to driving.  We didn't reach Key West until around sunset.  We stopped at Publix to pick up some snacks and drinks for the hotel.  Little did I know that there are few street lights in the historic Old Town section where our hotel was located.  We made our way in the dark...running mostly on luck because our GPS went out before we got out of Miami good!

We stayed at Southernmost on the Beach.  It is a beautiful resort that offers everything you could want.  That night we decided to go down to the hotel's restaurant for dinner.
We enjoyed a wonderful meal of seafood in the open air cafe overlooking the water, then hit the sack.  It had been a very long day.
When we woke on Friday morning, we had plans to hit the ground running.  Knowing that our first stop would just get busier as the weekend progressed, we decided to head out to the Southernmost Point in order to get our pictures made with the big concrete buoy.
To our surprise, it was only a block from our hotel.  Still there was a twenty minute or so wait for the line to snake it's way around.  It would have moved quicker, but some people do not want to move out other folks pictures! 

Since Duval Street is only a little over a mile long, we decided to skip the trolley and walk until we found a place for brunch.  We eventually stopped at a wonderful little place called Caroline's Cafe.  It is also open air and the food was delicious.  Robin and I had the Dolphin Fingers (fried Mahi-Mahi) and Stacy had a Cuban sandwich which she talked about all the way home!

Just down from Caroline's, we decied to grab a drink at the Hog's Breath Saloon.  Hog's Breath often has famous artists drop by to play...and the week after we were there, Kenny Chesney did a show.  (Yes, we were bummed!)
While we were there, the Ohio State Buckeyes 'Crusie for the Cure' had a band playing who were wonderful.  We had a great time and ended up spending most of the day sitting outside and listening to the band.  Since Robin has a Buckeye in the family through her son-in-law -- she joined right in with the fun!
After a long day in the sun, we caught a bike rickshaw back to the hotel, caught a little nap and grabbed a quick bite to eat at the Sands Bar by the hotel pool.  Day two had plenty of excitement...but let's just say "What happens on Grandmas, stays with the Grandmas'!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Rodeo 2013 Girls Night: Take One

The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is entering its final week for the 2013 season...and I just made it to my first concert last Thursday!   I had planned to attend Brantley Gilbert's concert the Saturday before...but then my girls and I got great seats to see George Strait this coming Sunday.  So we gave those tickets to Josh and Derrick so that they could attend with Bri and Meagan and moved our Girls Night to see George instead! 

As it turned out, we wouldn't have been able to do our Girls Night then after all.   Matt lost his dad on Friday evening and he needed Kelli more than the rodeo did.

So, my first Girls Night was with Robin, Stacy and Kelley for the Bruno Mars concert.

I will admit that I had no idea who Bruno Mars was.  I had seen him on an awards show or two, but if you had asked me to name a song of his...I would have had no clue! 
I will also admit that I can't stand to go to a concert where I have no idea of who I am seeing.  So I did what anyone else would do...I bought his CD.  Let's just say that I was a little bit afraid to attend the concert after listening to the CD!

Bruno arrived to the stage in Big Texas Style.  It is hard to see in the photo, but those are longhorns mounted to the front of that limousine!

This picture was toward the end of the concert when the lights went low and nearly everyone in the place lit up their cell phones.  It was a record breaking Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo attendance of 75,175 people.  And it was quite a mixture of people too. 
This was at the end of the last song.  I really think that Bruno and the band were overwhelmed at the response they received in Reliant Stadium.  It was one of the loudest crowds I have ever witnessed.  Between the music and the crowd, you can really say 'they rocked the house'.  It was one of the best shows I've attended at HLSR.  The only two I can think of to rival it would be Neal McCoy (back in the day) and Jason Aldean's first time to appear at HLSR.  There is something special about seeing some one's first HLSR experience...which makes me a little bit sad to have missed Brantley's.

And speaking of Jason Aldean, Will and his friends will be heading out soon to watch his performance tonight.  (I am a little bit jealous!)  My next visit will be Friday night to see Blake Shelton with Robin, then Sunday evening the girls and I will head up to see George Strait's The Cowboy Rides Away tour.  We have discussed taking the kids to the carnival on Wednesday...but work is overwhelming me a little right now, so I am not sure yet if I can get away.

There will be more Rodeo pictures to come!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Our Little Starlet!

Okay, I am stealing another picture from Facebook. This time from Meagan's page. One of the comments said she looked like a 40's Movie Star...Jim said she looked like a Kardashian baby.  Whichever way you choose to view it, this picture is precious!
Delayne in her 'cat-eye' sunglasses 

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

I'm Blue (Da Ba Dee Da Ba Di)

I often steal pictures from the girl's Facebook pages of our precious grandchildren.  But today I am stealing Bri's picture of our grand-dog, Blue. He is hiding his hedgehog to keep it away from Belle (Bri's boxer puppy).  Isn't this the sweetest face?  I just had to share the adorableness with all of you today.

Monday, March 4, 2013

I Know Who Holds My Hand

Maddux and Kelli holding hands during last year's Easter Egg Hunt

A few years back, when Maddux was around two years old, he and Jim were walking down the steps of our back deck when Maddux stumbled and missed a step.  Jim, holding his hand at the time, kept him from face planting on the walkway...but his little elbow was pulled out of its socket by the force of the fall.  Maddux immediately started to cry and by the look on Jim's face, he was near tears himself.  A quick(ish) visit to an Urgent Care Center and his "nursemaid's elbow" was back in place, ready to get back to playtime.  Although Jim had 'saved' Maddux from possibly worse injuries, it was a traumatic experience for both of them.  (Jim still refuses to hold anyones hand as they walk down steps.)

I remember similar experiences when our children were learning to toddle about.  Sometimes their little feet would get going too fast or the ground would be too uneven for them to keep their balance.  If their little legs were exposed, they might even scrape a knee on the sidewalk even though my hand kept them from falling headlong.  A combination of fear, pain and the sight of blood would often bring showers of tears and a fair amount of wailing.

This morning during my quiet time reading of Psalm 37:23-24, I was reminded of these incidents.

"The LORD directs the steps of the godly.  He delights in every detail of their lives.  Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the LORD holds them by the hand."  (New Living Translation)

The New American Standard translates verse 24 like this: "When he falls, he will not be hurled headlong.  Because the LORD is the One who holds his hand."

Sometimes (okay -- Oftentimes) I stumble and fall.  Most of the time I scrape my knee cap and need a band aid to cover the blood.  Other times, though, the fall is so forceful that something comes out of socket.  It is painful.  It is traumatic, even.  But thank goodness, I am never 'hurled headlong' to my destruction BECAUSE MY GOD IS HOLDING MY HAND.  (Hallelujah!) 

As I thought over this verse, I could imagine God experiencing the pain with me just like Jim did with Maddux that warm Sunday afternoon.  Though He is never taken by surprise at my fall or found second guessing His response, He still grieves over my pain (Luke 19:41-44) and shows compassion towards me (Luke 7:11-15).  He is also quick to pull out the spiritual salve and band aids as He wipes away the tears from my face.

Are you experiencing some pain from a stumble today? 

Maybe it was something small but that knee smarts just a little bit.  Maybe it was something big that brought tremendous pain and you are left feeling sore and out of sorts. 

Remember, Scripture doesn't say "if" we fall but "when" we fall. 

So know that you are not alone...
neither are you going to be hurled headlong to your destruction...
but our God is still there...
holding your hand.