Thursday, June 26, 2014

Final Thoughts Month of June: Blog 4- Letters from Mom & Mimi

Dear Ellie,

Final Thoughts: In all of my years of education, I have found that the smartest students were the most curious.  Always ask questions.  Never take, “Just because,” as an answer.

Some of your most recent questions:

1.     Why does it thunder?
2.     Why do we go to the bathroom?
3.     Why do I have a skeleton?
4.     How do we get cavities?
5.     How is paper made?
6.     How does it rain?
7.     Why can we see the moon in the daytime?
8.     How do worms die in our driveway?
9.     Do worms have mouths?
10. How do toilets work?
11. Why is the frog’s foot ripping (as you referred to its webbed foot)?

Now, I knew the answer to none of those awesome questions above so off to YouTube we went.

However there were other questions that YouTube couldn’t help me with and I had to stumble through and give my own responses:

1.     What is the difference between terrible and horrible?  “I think they mean the same thing and I use them in the same way.  That’s called a synonym.”
2.     What is a soul?  “It’s what gives your body life spiritually.  It’s invisible and I imagine that it is near your heart.  Your soul is kind, compassionate, and good.  This is what travels up to heaven when you die leaving your body here on earth.”
3.     What does heaven look like? “Everything you love so I would bet it is rainbow colored with books, fudge, relatives, and friends.”
4.     Why are people underneath those rocks (as we drove by a cemetery)?  “That’s the bodies of the people who died and whose souls are now in heaven.”
5.     Why did Kyle die? “He was too sick and too broken to fix.”
6.     How did he get to heaven?  “We told him it was ok to go.  The worst thing in the entire world is for a parent to see their child hurting.” 
7.     Who’s the boss on Who’s the Boss?  “Sometimes Tony, sometimes Angela, and sometimes the children… depends on the episode.”
8.     Why did they name a show called Full House?  “Have you seen how many people live in that house???”
9.     What are videos?  “Ugh… old-fashioned DVD’s.”
10. Where do babies come from?  “Lots and lot of love!”

Love you my inquisitive girl,


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Final Thoughts Month of June: Blog 3- Letters from Mom & Mimi

Good Morning Ellie!

With summer officially starting on June 21st, I thought penning a poem about the season would be a perfect blog entry for this week.  So here it is.

Final Thoughts:  Summer is an ageless season of energy and lazy days, smiles and daydreaming, treats and homegrown freshness, barbequing and parks.  Overall… it is a season of pure fun to be embraced year after year!

Popsicles and Ice cream
Are yummy summer treats.
Swimming pools and sprinklers
Are ways to beat the heat.
Soccer ball and baseball
Always on the run.
Flashlight tag and fireflies
Nighttime too is fun.
Thunderstorms and rainbows
Before the sky turns bright.
Blue skies and sunshine
A summer days delight!

By: Mickey Russell

Ellie, I am looking forward to sharing ‘all’ the above with you and your brother Will along with a few more surprises too!  

And if you are intrigued about those surprises, I am sure they will present themselves in some upcoming blogs for you to read about!  So get ready for lots of fun in the sun!

Love you Summertime Girl!


Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Final Thoughts Month of June: Blog 2- Letters from Mom & Mimi

Dear Ellie,

You just had your last day of school ceremony and it made me think.

Final Thoughts: Tis the season for graduation speeches… if I were to give a commencement address, here is my advice to seniors (your brother Kyle was my inspiration for this one, especially since the 6th recipient was awarded his scholarship just last week).

No one likes to think about death.  But for a moment, imagine your own obituary.  What do you want it to say?  Great humanitarian?  Master engineer?  Loyal friend?  Devoted parent?  Thoughtful neighbor?  Talented musician?  Brilliant doctor?  Spiritual advisor?  

Is the path that you are on right now going to make these words a reality?  What will your obituary say if you died tomorrow?  Be careful- laziness, selfishness, and jealousy often hold people back from their ultimate potential. 

At this moment, take five deep breaths and look into your heart.  What is it filled with?  Is it filled with passion, kindness, love, and faith?  And if it’s not, a good place to start is by asking yourself what gifts did God give you for you to share (know that everyone has at least one gift).

Then, shine that light on others.    

Don’t ask what people can do for you, but rather ask how you can help others.  How will you change the world?  Who will you impact?  What value will you bring to those around you?

Make a positive legacy for yourself.  When you are long gone, how (not if) will your name and reputation be remembered?  Start today.  There is no life that is too short to leave an impact.

For me, I don’t need a tombstone.  I want my ashes to be scattered in a breeze over a happy place that I cherished.  I don’t need an obituary.  But at the memorial celebration of my life, I want people to talk about how I loved family- both my own and those that I work with.  This is my goal- to continue to be a better wife, mother, and teacher.  

Love you Ellie and I can’t wait to see what you do with your life (my frog-loving, tomboy),

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Final Thoughts Month of June: Blog 1- Letters from Mom & Mimi

Hi Ellie…

This past Saturday evening was a blast!  So much so that this week’s blog had to be this:

Final Thoughts:  From now through your adult life, I hope I am always ‘cool’ in your eyes!

You see Ellie, you always give me the freedom to come up with a fun idea and I in turn give you the freedom to ‘run with it’ so to speak!  Saturday’s time spent with you is a perfect example of what I am talking about.  Your Mommy and Daddy went to a wedding, so Poppy and I got the pleasure of watching you and Will (and like most typical babysitting days, we always seem to pack in a lot of activities!).  But the one thing I had forgotten was the promise that I made to you to play with the squirt guns outside and get each other wet.  Since it was already after 9:00 pm and quite dark outside, you asked me if we could play with them the next day after church.  At first I said yes, but then I thought “hmmmm… why not play with them now?”  So I asked you if you were ‘game’ to go outside in the dark and play ‘Squirt The Imaginary Pirates.’  Ellie, your eyes little up as big as saucers and you answered with an excitable “SURE!”  So I filled up two squirt guns and out the door we went (in pajama attire of course!).  As we ran around the house squirting shadows and far away bunny rabbits (well let’s hope they were bunny rabbits) you would yell out every so often “Shhhhhh… duck down” and then “All right, the coast is clear Matey.  Let’s go!” and also “Wait… there’s a pirate!  Squirt em Mim’s!!!”  One time we even hid behind a tree and laid in the grass when the neighbor’s car drove up the street and into their driveway.  When the last family member went inside their home and closed the door behind them, we pretended to squirt and capture them too!  Then we would quickly run to the back of my house and sneak up onto the deck to torture Poppy who was sitting in the sunroom.  When he would come to the door, off we ran before he could detect us!  Now in the back of our house we also have a shed with a large square wooden platform in front of it.  You, my little pirate girl, came up with the idea that the platform was to be our boat and also our base.  I came up with the idea that we needed to keep moving and searching for more pirates because unbeknownst to you Ellie, I think a grumpy old groundhog set up house underneath the shed and he wasn’t the type to ask us for tea! 

So off we went again, only this time you came up with the sweetest idea ever.  El, you said “Mimi, just so you know, every time we squirt a pirate, the water that hits them is LOVE and the LOVE turns them back into people like us.  And then they are nice again.”  Ellie, how could I say NO to that?  It was a brilliant idea!  The only problem was that our little platform was soon taken over by THE LOVE!  I think we captured a few dozen new imaginary human beings!  So it was then that I convinced you to move our boat to the front of the house and use the driveway as the ocean (actually, the front of the house was much brighter because of the lamppost and it was also easier for me to duck down, when you told me to, on the steps that lead to our front door and squirt THE LOVE in every crazy direction!).  El, we squirted and captured the moon, the stars, nearby trees and of course all the plastic animals and flowers in my yard!  But the most fun was squirting each other every once in awhile, which produced many a giggle!  I think you and I could have stayed outside playing this wonderfully silly game for hours Ellie, but unfortunately our squirt guns dried up so we had no choice but to go back inside.  And besides, we still had much to do before bed, as there is no set curfew at Mimi and Poppy’s house!   All I can say is that playing with you is such a joy!  

Right now you do not see me as a crazy or corny grandma but rather a playful Mimi that will start you off with an idea you can explore, change or add to and one that I can be a part of also.  May that be for always Ellie.  After all…

You are my Bestest!

Love Mimi