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Tuesday, October 8, 2013

31 Days: Gifts Come In All Varieties



I am so excited about today's post!

You have met Rex (the hubs), and my niece, Kaley, so far.  I wish I could introduce you to each and every person in my family, but that would take way more than a month. And, I would be a little nervous that you would like them better than you like me.....seriously....;)

Today I am introducing you to my big sister. She will probably have some comment about me calling her my "big" sister, but she IS my big sister.  She is the oldest of the 3 of us girls. I don't know what we would do without her to keep us all in line. And, I really mean that.  She keeps us focused on what needs to be accomplished and we get it done, in all situations from organizing a garage sale, to deciding what to have for dinner when we all randomly gather, to planning the funeral for my Daddy.

She's pretty awesome.

Just don't get on her bad side. 

I know I don't want to be there.  

Ha! Really.

This is my Lolo. 

Her given name is Lori, but since I mispronounced it as a little girl, Lolo has stuck. Everyone in the town that we grew up in, and where she still lives, calls her Lolo. Even some people that have never met her.  They will say, "Ohhhh! You're Lolo!" 

True story.

Here we are quite a few years ago.



From left to right it's my sister, Lisa, me in the middle, and Lolo.

I had some serious hair happening.  It was the early 90's, after all. 

We were laughing our heads off about something and then had to get all serious and hold still for the photo. I have no idea why we struck this pose. 

Now that you have been introduced, I'll let you get to know her!

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Is THIS my gift?

I know that the Lord gives every individual person a special gift, but for the majority of my 55 years I couldn’t define exactly what my gift was. I’m a good mother and good at my job, I can sew and craft and can make a comfortable home.  But when others talked about their gifts I would wonder, is this what I’m supposed to do? Is this my talent? Is THIS my gift?

I’m a good cook, not fancy and not trained but I know what tastes good and what makes my family happy. Large quantities and lots of variety for large family gatherings are my favorites. As our extended family plans a get together I generally will make the menu and assign the dishes to the ones who do them the best.  Whether it’s a control issue or the fact that I’m bossy, ( I can’t imagine why they say I’m bossy) but  I tend to take the majority of the menu on myself. One exception to that is that Mom always makes the Thanksgiving dressing. It can’t be beat. I like foods made from “scratch”. How can you stir in the memories and love if it comes from a box? But still I wonder, “Is THIS my gift?”
Several years ago while grocery shopping with a sister-in-law she made the statement that I was “feeding the whole world”. Of course, she had never shopped with anyone who bought more than one onion at a time or potatoes in a 5lb. bag.  Dinner that night was BBQ chicken from the grill, potato salad, cole slaw, deviled eggs, baked beans, rolls and dessert, for fifteen to twenty family members.  Days later I was pondering her statement. Maybe, just maybe she had hit upon something. Is THIS my gift?

It’s hard to explain the joy I feel when our family comes together. The occasion never matters.  Whether it’s Soup Tuesday, a wiener roast, softball game or holiday some of my greatest blessings come when we gather at the table and I hear/feel/see the happiness that my food brings.  Just last week hubby told me that he’s most happy when he sees me cooking. While some would find this a rather chauvinistic way of thinking, I took it as a compliment. My heart was singing! Hmmm. Is THIS my gift?

Mom, brothers, sisters, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, three children, one son-in-law, one grandchild, thirteen nieces and nephews, some married with children of their own. More to come. Family. My family. And someone is always hungry. So just maybe, possibly and even probably this in more ways than I can count is MY gift.   

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She really is gifted in being hospitable and showing love to her family.

When I was a little girl, she was my world.  She is 13 years older than I am, so she was kind of a second Mommy to me. She played Barbies with me (and put them away), put me up on the kitchen counter so I could hang my head in the sink while she washed my hair. I hated to get soap and water in my face.

I remember when I was in college and I got a box full of Morning Glory Muffins in the mail. I love those things! She told me to freeze them and pull one out and pop it in the microwave before heading out to class. It was awesome. 

When she got married, I was five years old.  I was the flower girl and cried through the whole wedding.  She kept sticking her tongue out at me to make me smile.  

Yep, she's a pretty awesome big sister. 

Love you, Lolo.

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