In my favorite poem by Robert Frost, Nothing Gold Can Stay, he reminds us that like the seasons of nature, life is one season melting into another, and quickly fading away. This is my attempt to document each season in my life and my family.

Lit Babies

Filed under: Abby Jo,Elijah,Hailey,Kids,Kyra,Logan,Owen,Reading — Rachel at 1:02 pm on Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Anyone that knows me knows I love to read. I love books–all sorts of books. Since having children, I’ve wanted to pass down my bookish nature, and, so far, it’s been an overwhelming success. My three older children enjoy reading, and do it for fun on their own. They are all good readers. Owen, in particular, has tested in the 99th percentile for reading at school, and that gives me great pleasure. The three youngest kids aren’t yet reading fluently enough to comfortably read a chapter book on their own, but they are getting there.

 

I’m a big believer in reading aloud to kids above their reading level, and, since Matt and I got married, that’s become our nightly tradition. I also don’t believe in censoring books (with few exceptions), and will allow the kids to read most anything they want after a certain age. My intent in reading to them is to give them a taste of good writing and good literature and a love of a well-told story, so when they are choosing their own books they will have a more discriminating literary palate.

Chronicles of Narnia

 

Before bedtime, we gather in the girls’ bedroom, and I read to Matt and the four littlest ones. We started out reading the Pippi Longstocking books, then Robinson Crusoe, and now The Chronicles of Narnia. We have read all of the Chronicles except for The Magician’s Nephew, which we are reading now. Since Owen and Abby are with their dad every other week, when we have just Hailey and Logan at home, we read something different to them. We are currently reading The Series of Unfortunate Events. We are on Book the 2nd, The Reptile Room, right now.

If you have any book recommendations, I’d love to hear them. Leave your suggestions in the comments section!

Our Honeymoon

Filed under: Family,Love,Marriage,Matthew,Me,Our Love Story,Photos,Trips — Rachel at 9:47 am on Sunday, August 2, 2015

Matthew and I got married on May 24 of last year, but didn’t go on a honeymoon then for several reasons. The biggest reason was Matt was gone for a month of our summer for the Army. The second biggest reason was financial. After paying for a wedding, we didn’t want to go into debt to take a honeymoon. So, we waited a year, saved some money, and, in July, we went on a belated honeymoon/one year anniversary trip. It was incredible!

We flew to San Juan, Puerto Rico where we boarded the Carnival Liberty and set sail for the islands of the Caribbean.

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Our first Port of Call was in St Thomas, US Virgin Islands! We had a really good time in St Thomas. We took an ocean kayaking and snorkeling tour. We kayaked through the mangroves, hiked around a protected island, and went snorkeling. On our hike, we got to see some really interesting things. I held a small sea urchin in my hand, and we raced hermit crabs. When we snorkeled, we saw several types of fish, including a barracuda.

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Our second day was an At Sea day. We spent most of our time lounging on the Serenity Deck, which is the 21 and over area. We had a hammock that we ended up on nearly ever day, and the best hot tubs were on that deck. We loved lying together on the hammock, reading our books and sipping our drinks.
It was also our first elegant night, and I enjoyed dressing up with my man!

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After our elegant dinner, we went to change before the comedy show and found this Towel Bat hanging in our room!

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Our second Port of Call on our third day was Barbados. We loved Barbados! We didn’t book an excursion, but had a beach day instead. Barbados has beautiful beaches with crystal clear water. It was so clear, in fact, I was standing neck deep in the water and noticed a huge starfish lying on the bottom about four feet away from me. We had a lot of fun snorkeling. We found two starfish, and took lots of pictures with Matt’s new GoPro camera he bought for the trip.

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Our fourth day brought us to our third Port of Call…St Lucia. I had been looking forward to St Lucia more than the other islands, because Matt told me he had a surprise planned for my birthday at St Lucia. I had no idea whatsoever about what we were doing. When we got off the boat, we took an hour and a half taxi ride to our destination. The ride itself was great, because it was like a tour of a large part of the island. We saw everything from banana plantations to fishing villages to the peaks of the Pitons on our ride.

Our destination was the Rainforest Spa, where Matt had booked a couples massage, lunch and a private plunge pool. It was incredible! The massage itself happened in a private hut in the rainforest. When our massages were finished, the masseuses opened up the back wall of our hut to reveal the private waterfall plunge pool. It was incredible. Our lunch was rice, vegetables and fish wrapped in banana leaves and steamed in a bamboo bowl. The whole experience was amazing. Matt really outdid himself in the gifts and romance departments!

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Our fifth day’s Port of Call was St Kitts. We were excited about our excursion that day. We went ziplining in the forest above an old sugar plantation. It was lots of fun! I enjoyed going down a couple of the ziplines upside down! When we finished, a boy put a monkey on me. Later that day, we went to a little beach bar to get wifi and I sent the kids a picture of me and the monkey. I told them we had adopted a baby brother for them because it looked so much like Owen. The little ones thought I was funny, at least.

 

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This was also our second elegant night on the boat. I was so proud to walk around with my handsome husband!

 

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Our sixth day took us to our final Port of Call…St Maarten. We went on a powerboat and snorkeling tour. The powerboat was fun, but not much different than riding a jet ski through the water. The real fun was snorkeling. We snorkeled off of a European style (aka nude) beach. That was an experience–seeing people standing on the decks of their boats as naked as the day they were born! The snorkeling was really great. We saw huge sea urchins, a starfish, clown fish, and a host of other fish. The most exciting thing we saw was a huge eagle ray!

Unfortunately, our St Maarten day proved to be a day of bad luck. Matt slipped getting into the powerboat, and, when he grabbed the steering wheel to catch himself, it went between his fingers and hurt his hand really bad. Once we got home and had it x-rayed, it proved to be a bad spiral fracture of the second metacarpal. So, he’s in a cast for the next four weeks. On the same day, his wedding band slipped off his finger without him noticing. We retraced our steps on the ship, but couldn’t find it. We have no idea if he lost it on the ship or while we were on the island. A third less devastating thing that occurred on our bad luck day was his GoPro battery died shortly after we left the ship, even though it had been fully charged. So we don’t have any photos from our time on the island.

After all our adventures, I decided I was too tired to dress up for a fancy dinner. Instead, we spent the evening lounging on the Serenity Deck, sipping fruity frozen drinks, reading, and napping. It was wonderful! We ate dinner on the Lido deck, and then saw a couple comedy shows.

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The next morning, we arrived back in San Juan, Puerto Rico. We were sad to see our adventure come to an end, but we had six little people at home we were missing a lot. Grammy Alice picked us up at the airport, and Hailey and Logan nearly knocked us over with hugs. We got the other four kids back the next morning. This mama was very glad to have all six of her babies under the same roof again!

We may have had to wait a year for our honeymoon, but it was definitely worth the wait!


Check Out My Stories!

Filed under: Writing — Rachel at 10:00 am on Friday, July 31, 2015

Hey, everyone! I just wanted to post real quick and point you to my writing blog, where I’ve posted one of my favorite short stories I’ve ever written. In case you’re not familiar with my writing blog, there are new posts every Tuesday and Friday.

On Tuesdays, I post a new installment of my web serial, “Little River.” On Fridays, I post older work I’ve written in my “Flashback Friday” series. “Little River” is set in a small town in East Tennessee, and follows different members of an extended family…Caleb, Titus, Abigail and Jonathan. Flashback Friday posts are much more varied. I’ve posted short stories and vignettes in several different genres. I’d love for you to check them out.

I’m really excited about the Flashback Friday story that posted today. It’s one of my very favorites, and it’s titled, “Meeting Mary Malone.” Go check it out, and make sure to leave a comment letting me know what you think about it!

This Year So Far – The Highlights

Filed under: Abby Jo,Army,Birthdays,Elijah,Family,Hailey,Home,Kids,Kyra,Logan,Matthew,Me,Owen,Photos,School,Trips — Rachel at 11:46 am on Tuesday, July 28, 2015

I don’t think I’ve ever let myself go so long without blogging here, and I’ve got a lot of ground to make up for. This post will be photo heavy, and just hit the highlights.

 

Celebrating the new year. January 1, 2015, 12:00 a.m.

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Our three little guys played basketball this year. It was the first time playing basketball for all three of them, and they really enjoyed it.

 

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Kyra played basketball on two different teams this year. This was after the game where she made her first ever 3 pointer!

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We had a tremendous snow in February, and we were iced in for several days. Our road was impassable. At one point, Matthew and I had to walk out to the highway with rucksacks to meet my dad so he could take us to the grocery store to restock. These children ate us out of house and home!

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They enjoyed the snow, though!

 

 

 

 

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Elijah turned 11 on March 25, and Logan and Abby turned 6 the next day, on March 26. We had a birthday party for them at our house.

 

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Owen, Abby, and Logan all played baseball this Spring, and they were on the same team. (It was a really wide age range.) It was Owen and Abby’s first time playing baseball. Owen played catcher, and he loved it. Abby wasn’t a huge fan. I’m not sure if she will play again next year.

 

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Enjoying the newly warm weather, I took the three boys out for ice cream one day after getting their hair cut.

 

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Because I’m mean, I sent the above picture to the girls who were at home, and they sent me the picture below in response.

 

 

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Because I’m not really a mean mama, when I took the girls for haircuts a few days later, they got ice cream, too. (We took a frappachino home to Kyra, who didn’t get her hair cut that day. No worries. I’m pretty fair.)

 

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I had a really lovely Mother’s Day, and was so glad that I got to spend it with all six of my kids. They made me feel very loved and special.

 

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Matt and I got to accompany the Wonder Twins on their Kindergarten field trip to the zoo. We had a blast! They loved the River Otters.

 

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I also got to go with Owen on his Farm Day field trip.

 

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Abby and Logan graduated from Kindergarten, both with special awards. We were so very proud of them. (The other kids all got special awards, too, but I’m sparing you pictures of all of them. This post is already getting so long!)

 

 

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Matt and I celebrated our 1st Anniversary on May 24th with several different (kid-free) activities, including my first ever game of golf…which I loved!

 

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Kyra had a piano recital in May, and she did a really great job playing “Hedwig’s Theme” from the Harry Potter movies.IMG_3632  IMG_3633

 

We went on a weekend camping trip in June that we really enjoyed. It was big on fun and short on pictures. We can’t wait to go again very soon!

 

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Matt spent nearly three weeks away from us in June. He had to go to a three day drill followed by two weeks at Fort McCoy, Wisconsin to finish ILE (a school for the Army…the equivalent of a Master’s degree). We really missed him while he was gone, but we are all very proud of him.

 

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Kyra turned 13 on June 20th, and Owen turned 9 on June 26th. We had a party for them after Matt got home from Wisconsin. I thought it was sweet that they wanted to postpone their party until their stepdad could be there.

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Kyra had a Dr Who cake, and Owen had a Jurassic World cake. Unfortunately, I somehow missed getting a photo of Owen with his cake.

 

 

 

 

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The picture below is from my birthday, which was July 4th. I turned 27 again!

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I hope you enjoyed this jam packed highlight post. We did so many, many more cool things over the last seven months, and I could have shared hundreds of more photos. This post would have been a mile long, though. We are a very blessed family!

 

 

 

I’m Back!

Filed under: Website News — Rachel at 2:31 pm on Friday, July 24, 2015

I’m sure my faithful few followers noticed that my blog had disappeared for about a month. I’m still not sure what happened, but Chris fixed it for me and got it back up.

It was unfortunate timing because it happened right as I finished the first draft of my novel and was wanting to blog about life again. All’s well that end’s well, though, and Nothing Gold is back online. I’m looking forward to recording some family history for posterity’s sake.

If you would indulge me, would you do me a favor? If you are one of my faithful readers that’s been following my blog forever or if you’re a new reader that has stumbled across my blog, would you just leave a comment on this post? Pretty please? I just want to know who’s still reading. Just a “this is Joe from Albuquerque” or whatever will suffice.

And if you’re in a super duper helpful mood, I’d love to know your thoughts on whether I should change the look of my blog. What do you think? Something new and fresh, or the classic Nothing Gold sunset theme?

Share your thoughts, and I’ll reward you with lots of news and updates and pictures of my adorable children!

Exciting Announcements

Filed under: Writing — Rachel at 6:30 am on Thursday, June 25, 2015

I am so excited to tell you about a few things.

First of all, I finished the first draft of my novel! I started my novel about three years ago, but, between working and going to school, I made very slow progress. For the longest time, I had written only  seven chapters. I’m proud to say, though, that once I got back into it, I worked really hard at it and I finally finished it! I have sent my manuscript to several friends who have writing, teaching, and editing backgrounds and skills who are going to help me with the editing process. When I get their feedback, I will start editing my novel. Once I get it as good as I can get it, it will be time to try to find a literary agent. Even if that never happens…even if no one likes my book and it never gets published…I’m super proud of the fact that I can say I wrote a novel!

Secondly, I’m also really excited to announce that today I am unveiling my new website and blog dedicated completely to my writing. I will be posting at least twice a week with installments of a serial I am writing and with some of my older work that I’m not trying to get published anywhere. My goal is to start building a platform for myself as a writer. I would be so honored if you would follow my new website, like my author page on Facebook, and leave me feedback as you read the writing that I post on my new site. You can find it at www.RachelHolbrook.net 

I will still be blogging here at Nothing Gold. Hopefully, I will blog a lot more frequently than I have been. I’ve been so focused on finishing my novel that I’ve not posted anything new here in a long time, and I’m sorry about that. For those of you who have been loyally following my blog here for years, I thank you for sticking around. This blog will continue to be dedicated to my personal life and my family, while my new website will be solely to publicize myself and my writing.

Thank you all for your support through the years, and thank you in advance for helping me get the word out about my new website.

In Memory of My Papaw

Filed under: Family — Rachel at 1:36 pm on Thursday, March 19, 2015

This is the eulogy that I gave at Papaw’s funeral. He was a wonderful grandfather, and we will never forget him. 

Papaw

 

J.C. Francis was many things over the course of his life. He was a son, a brother, a husband, a father, and a friend to many, but to me and my five brothers, he was simply our Papaw.

Since our father was Papaw’s only child, the six of us were his only grandchildren. He loved us, and showed us that by spending lots of time with us. When we were growing up, we spent a lot of time at Papaw and Mamaw’s house. We would call them on the phone Friday after school and ask if we could come spend the night. Papaw would always say, “You know you can.” We would stay with them till our parents would make us come home Saturday night to take a bath for church on Sunday. In the summer, we practically moved in. I don’t remember there ever being a time when Papaw told us he had other plans. We always felt like we were the most important to him. When they lived in their old house, we slept in Papaw’s big undershirts. I don’t remember if it was because we got scared by ourselves or just because they wanted to be close to us, but I would sleep with Mamaw in their bed and Papaw would sleep in one of the small beds with one of the boys. We always felt special.

We weren’t always just left to our own devices while we were there, either. Well, unless Nascar was on. Papaw did things with us. He took us fishing in his pond, watched cartoons with us, and played with us. When my brother tied me to Papaw’s worm tree and then forgot me there, it was Papaw that came looking for me and rescued me. He gave me some butter pecan ice cream to make me feel better.

It was the little things that I remember that are precious to me. Holding Papaw’s hand when he took us down to the pond to feed his catfish. We stood on the big rock, he would rattle the fish food around in an old coffee can, and then then he would throw it out onto the water. We watched till the fish were gone, and then we would hold his hand again and walk back up to the house. Papaw’s hands were so big, we often just held onto his finger. He was silly with us, and made us laugh. When one of us said grace over our meal, Papaw would end it with, “Amen. Bro. Ben. Shot at a rooster and killed a hen.” He was a little irreverent, but he had a fantastic sense of humor.

He always took us places, especially when I was really little and there weren’t so many of us. He took us to see interesting things, like a cattle auction, or to visit relatives, and every trip usually ended with a trip to Jim’s Burgers in Harriman. He would ask us if we wanted to go get one of “those little hamburgers”. Papaw took us to the only circus I’ve ever been to. He was kind and generous, but a little overprotective. He wouldn’t let us ride the elephants, because he was pretty sure we would get hurt.

As we got older, Papaw continued to be a big part of our lives. Mine and Aaron’s first cars were hand me downs given to us by Papaw. When my first car died, Papaw took me and bought me another one that I paid him back for twenty bucks at a time. Unfortunately, it was a granny car, because Papaw insisted a smaller, cooler car was entirely too dangerous. He gave us special things over the years…pocket knives and old jewelry. He always gave us himself.

When we were grown, and began having kids of our own, Papaw continued to be a wonderful grandfather. He couldn’t be counted on to remember our kids’ names, but, even though he was in his seventies, he would get down in the floor and play with our babies. He carried them out to look at the cows and throw pebbles in the pond. They don’t remember him the same way me and my brothers do. They were all so little when his health began to go. However, they know him through the stories we tell about him, and there are a great many stories to tell.

In his last years, as his health failed him, his grandchildren had the opportunity to return some of the time that he invested in us. My brothers have taken him to doctor’s appointments, dressed him, shaved him, and cared for him in every way possible. Watching my brothers, young men and teenagers, care for their elderly grandfather was a testament to everyone to the kind of Papaw he had been to us.

When the time came to say goodbye, each one of us had the chance to come and be with Papaw. We got to tell him we love him and thank him for everything he did for us. When he drew his final breath, two of my brothers were with him. Today, as we prepare to lay him to rest, I just want everyone to know that, among all the things J.C. Francis was in his life, he was the best Papaw that any kid could ask for.

Papaw and Mamaw

This is my Papaw J.C. and my Mamaw June.

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Baby Me and Papaw

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Mamaw June, me, Papaw, Lucas, Jason, Aaron, and Malachi (Seth wasn’t born yet.)

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Me and my kids with Papaw and Mamaw, after Papaw’s stroke.

 

Saying Goodbye

Filed under: Family — Rachel at 1:22 pm on Thursday, March 19, 2015

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Last Wednesday, my baby brother, Seth, called and asked me to go to the nursing home with him to see our grandfather. Papaw had been doing very poorly for about a week. Me, my older brother, Aaron, my younger brother, Malachi, and my dad had went to the nursing home about a week before to sign DNR forms and instruct them on how we wanted Papaw’s care to go. We were expecting that to be the end, but then the doctor said he thought Papaw was going to pull out of it. By Tuesday, they had told us that he was not going to get better. And yet he lingered.

So on Wednesday, Seth called and told me that Dad thought all of us grandchildren should go and tell Papaw that it was okay for him to go on home. I loaded up all the kids, and went to my parents’ house to pick up Seth and leave the kids there with Dad. While I was there, I discovered that my tire had a hole in it, and Dad and Seth changed it for me. We were later than we intended to get to the nursing home. When we finally got on our way, we made it about three minutes down the road before Seth got a phone call from our parents. The nursing home had called to say they thought Papaw only had a couple of hours.

Me, Seth, and our niece, Keinzie, got to the nursing home and went to our Papaw’s room. He looked terrible. Even worse than the last time I had seen him. He was skeletal and asleep. His bed was lowered all the way down for safety reasons, so I got down on my knees beside his bed, stroked his white hair back from his forehead, and told him that I loved him, thanked him for everything he had done for us, and told him it was okay to go on home. Seth repeated these sentiments, and we were both bawling our eyes out. Papaw’s eyes were open and he looked in our general direction, but I don’t think he could see us. He had lost most of his sight when he had a stroke a few years ago. In his weakened state, I don’t think he could see us at all. A nurse came and told us that they were going to move Papaw to a private room. Seth and I continued to talk to Papaw until the nurses came to get him. As we went out into the hallway to let them work on getting him moved, Mom, Dad, and my Aunt Gail (my Mamaw’s sister) arrived. There were many tearful hugs.

The nurses got Papaw settled into a private room, and we were joined by other family members. Over the next twenty-four hours, family gathered with Papaw. We thought he would go quickly, but he lingered. We talked to him, held his hand, played some of his favorite songs for him, and generally just kept a vigil. The only response we ever got was when we played music, he would look in our general direction, and, at one point, he seemed to be squeezing my hand. He never got any more alert, though.

We wondered if he was waiting on Mamaw to come. My Mamaw June has Alzheimer’s and hasn’t known any of us for quite some time. She’s like a small child. My mom and Aunt Gail went and got her and brought her to the nursing home. She wasn’t sure who any of us were, but she seemed happy to be with us. When they brought her in the room, we told him that June was there, and he leaned toward her and made the only sound he made throughout the entire time (with the exception of crying out in pain when the nurses moved him). It was almost a whimper. We told her that Papaw was her husband and that he was very sick. She asked some questions, but was mostly distracted by everyone else. She didn’t know him, but she was happy to tell him anything we told her to tell him. So we had her tell him that she was June, she loved him, and that it was okay for him to go home. We had her tell him that she would be okay.

I just about lost it as I was trying to help her understand. It’s very much like dealing with a young child. I told her that Papaw was very sick, and he wanted to go home and see his mom and dad. She said she thought he should go on home then and that she wanted to go home and see her Mommy, too. I told her that he wanted to know if it was okay with her for him to go. She leaned over him and said, “It’s okay with me. Go on home.” Then she looked at me and asked me who was going to come and get him. My heart broke in two then. I wasn’t sure what to say, so I told her that his Mommy and Daddy would meet him and take him home. She just smiled and said, “That’s good.”

After that, we waited. Mamaw stayed for a while. She sang “Amazing Grace” to Papaw. She can’t remember a single one of us, but she remembers every word to that song.

 

We wondered why Papaw lingered at death’s door for so long. My dad is his only child, and us grandchildren were his family. Jason and Malachi, my brothers, had been by a couple of days before to say goodbye before they left for California and New Jersey. Me, Aaron, and Seth were all at the nursing home with him, as was our dad and Mamaw. The only one of us who hadn’t been there was our brother, Lucas, who was working in New Orleans. During the night, Lucas got a layoff from his job, and headed home. He drove all through the night to come and be with Papaw. At about ten thirty on Thursday, Lucas made it. He got to say his goodbyes to Papaw.

At about two thirty, I decided to go home and take a shower. I had been at the nursing home for twenty-four hours with no sleep. I was tired, and we weren’t sure how much longer it would be. Shortly after I stepped out of the shower at home, my mom called me to tell me that Papaw had gone home. I was devastated to have not been with him, but comforted to know that Dad and Lucas and Seth were with him when he passed.

On Sunday, we laid my Papaw to rest. It was a very nice funeral, and I think Papaw would have liked it. I was honored to give the eulogy, and the honor guard was at the burial. It was a very moving tribute to a man I loved very much.

I’m really going to miss my Papaw, but I’m glad to know that he is in a better place where he doesn’t have to suffer anymore.

Abigail

Filed under: Abby Jo,Family,Kid Quote,Kids,Photos — Rachel at 2:47 pm on Wednesday, February 11, 2015

I love my little “girly-girl tomboy”, as she recently dubbed herself. These pictures and quotes definitely capture her tomboy side more than her girly-girl side, though. I propose that she’s really just a completely fabulous, well-rounded girl, with all the many facets that girlhood encompasses.

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“My game I made is called, ‘You can always find an adventure.'”

 

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“I caught ten slugs!”

Books, Books, Books

Filed under: 100 Books,Me,Reading — Rachel at 2:38 pm on Wednesday, February 11, 2015

I have been reading tons of books lately, and I thought I would share what I’ve read. I like keeping track of what I’ve read, and this blog is a great place to do that. I set the goal to read 100 books this year, and, right now, my goal is 14% complete.

I have read:

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

Mom & Me & Mom by Maya Angelou

Gold by Chris Cleave

A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan

A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers

Glimmer Train Stories #90

I’ll Take  You There by Joyce Carol Oates

Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith by Anne Lamott

Stitches: A Handbook on Meaning, Hope and Repair by Anne Lamott

Tin House: Tribes

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz

Grace (Eventually): Thoughts on Faith by Anne Lamott

Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver

The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver

Several people have said to me that they don’t know how I read so many books. First of all, I love to read. Love, love, love it. Secondly, I’m a very fast reader. Having a Kindle app on my phone, though, is probably the real reason I read so many books. I always have my phone on me, so I can tap up my book anytime I have a few minutes to read. Whether I’m sitting in the car line, waiting at a kid’s ball practice, or just have free time, it’s easy to spend the time reading instead of doing nothing. I don’t watch a lot of t.v., so I read instead. I also tend to read on my phone in bed at night after Matt goes to sleep.  When I’m doing chores or straightening my hair, I listen to an audio version of a book on my phone. This takes about five times as long to get through a book than if I was reading it myself, but it makes chores a lot more enjoyable. When people say they don’t have time to read, I just don’t believe them.

The book that I enjoyed most of the fourteen I’ve read so far this year is “Prodigal Summer” by Barbara Kingsolver. I loved everything about this book, and I was genuinely sad when it ended. It was a long book, but not nearly long enough. I wanted to know so much more. Since then, I read “The Bean Trees”, also by Kingsolver, and I am currently reading “Pigs in Heaven”, also written by her. I’m on a Barbara Kingsolver binge, and I will happily read everything she has ever written if they are all as enjoyable as what I’ve read so far. I have a copy of “The Poisonwood Bible”, but I’ve been waiting for it to be available in Kindle edition from my library because it’s so much easier for me to read a Kindle book lately, because of the aforementioned reasons.

I also really enjoyed “Gold” by Chris Cleave (author of “Little Bee”) and “The Ocean at the End of the Lane” by Neil Gaiman.

One of the things I love about reading fiction is the way I can absorb new information about subjects I never would have thought to be interested in before. The discussion of ecology and predators and insects in “Prodigal Summer” was captivating, and I learned so much about the history of the Dominican Republic in “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao” by Junot Diaz. I’m most likely not going to read a book dedicated to any of those topics (well, maybe I would read a book about ecology), but, if you wrap it up in fiction, I will swallow it whole.

What is the best book you have read recently?

 

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