Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Final Christmas post…

I got the CD today of my final Christmas pictures so I thought I would share a few of them. Also, it looks like it might just be the last time I’ll have to wait on having film put on a CD by Wal-Mart. I get to pick up my digital tomorrow. I am wayyy PUMPED!! But wait – how will I take a picture of my new camera for you? OK, so one more CD I guess because there is NO WAY I am not showing off my new Nikon D80 :) My husband rOcKs.

Anyway, back to pictures…

Isabella was totally impressed with her new monkey :)

Ella loved her 'Big Girl' boots - they look a lot like mommy's :)

I think I could have given Isabella one toy that made noise and a floor full of paper and she would have been a very happy little girl! That or just let her have the dog food, lol :)
I think Ella started squealing with each present before she ever really realized what it was. What a fun, fun time for Nana!!!
My most favorite gift I gave this year was the cookbook I made for Kristin of my mom's old recipe's. I think she really liked it; I know it was very special for me to be able to pass it on to her!!

As usual, Isabella is all about her Grandpa Cookie!! Note the Houndstooth Hat...
A great shot of Ella and her daddy; but again with that Houndstooth hat...

Ahhh, now we have the rightful owner of that hat!! I think Bull is adorable in it, but I'm wondering if I shouldn't have bought 3 of them :)
I love my dogs and don't mean to slight them in this post, but since this is about "grandchildren", it is fitting that I share this picture of Beemer showing off her new collar that Santa brought her. Isn't she beautiful? And quite proud I might add!!

I wanted to end this post with one of my very favorite gifts I received this year! This candy cane was given to me by my great-niece Braelyn as a present on the day of our Latta Christmas. It has been hanging very prominently on my tree ever since. Thank you Braelyn, I love it!!

Welcome Beth, Alston and Patrick...

Yay! I'm so excited to see that my beautiful Beth has joined us in the world of Blogging! I can't wait to follow along in Alston's daily life, along with his mommy & daddy's :)

But I can't leave you a comment... so I'll tell you welcome on here and that I love your page - and YOU!! And especially lovin' this picture :)

Sunday, December 28, 2008


I did have Alabama football every weekend to keep me occupied, but since I haven’t had that (although we thankfully play next weekend, it is our last game this year); I’m really ready for some RACIN’!!

I miss NASCAR!! 1 month and 10 days until the start of the 2009 season :) Beginning with the Shootout in Daytona on Feb. 7th; followed by tons of racing activities all that week and ending – of course – with the Daytona 500 on the 15th!!

To ease my pain, I’ve posted some of my favorite shots of the Amp 500 at Talladega this year in Oct. That was big fun! I’m so thankful we have one of ~if not THE~ greatest speedway’s right here in our own back yard :-)!!:-)

And just in case you didn’t know… Dale Jr. RULES ALL!! Go 88!!

My man... Dale Earnhardt, Jr. being introduced to the crowd. Of course he is the favorite at every track :-)

JJ ~Jimmie Johnson~ is one of my favorite drivers (of course none compares to 88); he is Jr.'s teammate and not only the '08 Champ... but for the 3rd consecutive year - Way to go JJ!!

Wow, what a beautiful track! The picture even gives me chills :-)

This truck goes zooming by, and I was watching for it this time but Cookie distracted me to tell me the planes were coming and I almost missed my picture!! I wanted a full shot of the flag... it is HUGE and so pretty flying on the back this big truck!!

Speaking of planes... here are the stars of the flyover! And at Talladega, they don't just fly over one time and disappear, they come back and each do a little trick! It is very cool :-)

My name is on that beautiful car at this race! Yep, that's right... along with about 72,000 others. It was a special graphic paint job from a promotion that of course I made sure I was a part of! I was to the right and just above the red National Guard logo you see in this pix :-)

Lap 27 and look who's at the top of the Leaderboard... that's right - 88!! After having to start at the back no less due to going to a back up car because of a wreck during practice. He stayed right up there on or close to that spot the rest of the day too, until stupid CE took him, and several more, out of the race with only like 7 laps to go... GRRRR!!!

One of many pit stops during the day! Thankfully Jr. had no problems in the pit stall!!

Man, I love watching him come down that stretch off turn 4 leading the pack! I mean I freakin' LOVE IT!!!

And there is hardly anyone in their seats as he zooms past in the lead! Everyone is on their feet, waving caps or flags or t-shirts, you name it; a crowd going wild for a wonderful young man beloved by so many. 88 is THE MAN!!

And in the blink of an eye, the BIG ONE. Thanks a lot Carl :-( The field is stopped for about 45 minutes to clean it up. Jr. is out of it, and he definitely had the car to win it. So disappointing!!

But on the upside, here comes Tony Stewart, aka Smoke, down the stretch for the final lap. Something to note in this picture - all the empty seats in the stands... that wasn't the case until Jr. got put out of the race. I'm telling you - it is Jr. Nation :-)

And Smoke gets his first win of the 2008 season!! He is always my 2nd choice behind Jr., so I was happy with him winning! Not AS happy as I would have been if 88 had one, but...

And so it's back to the campsite to visit a little longer with the Florida gang! Uncle HJ (in the wheelchair) is in his 90's and doing remarkable! In the first picture is his daughter Vera and his son Clyde. Cookie is in both pictures, and in the last picture is Vera's husband Bob. I love having them stay with us the weekend before the race, and then I love going to the track to visit with them at the campsite during the week and weekend of the race! Is it April yet??

On my mind…

Is wayyyy to much right now! And I have no idea why. Well, I have a thought about it but then that’s the whole problem… when I get like this I seem to have “a thought” about EVERYTHING. My mind won’t shut off, and it goes in a thousand directions a mile a minute :)

But here is ‘my thought’ about why my mind is running right now. I’ve been off work for a week – it has been great! This was the first time I’ve taken the entire week of Christmas off in a very long time. And usually when I take off work, I don’t completely take off. I still check emails, do work from home, etc. And I did a little of that Monday and Tuesday but because of the Holiday no-one else was working the rest of the week either. So for the most part, this vacation has been a REAL vacation – NO work!!

Well, last night as I was drifting to sleep it dawned on me that today was my last day off already. OH MY! Are you kidding me, it has been a week already?? So after I wake up tomorrow I will be spending my last day at home on vacation? There is still so much to do! What all needs to be done at work when I get back? Have I checked emails lately? Did I bring any work home with me that I need to tend to before going back? Ohhhh, when I get back it starts the first week of “Hell Week” (year-end) that lasts through at least mid January; I may never sleep again!! Did I lock the door??...

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Yay me…

I’m very proud of myself! Today I got a lot accomplished in the chore of un-decorating :) Usually, due to work, I’m rushed to get it done all in one night. But today I was able to take it down a little at a time, clean that area, put it back to normal, and move on to another area. All without being rushed!!

I have everything un-done except my big tree, which I am contemplating leaving up until New Year’s; partly because I am still really enjoying it and partly due to superstition :) Most is packed up and the rest is on the pool table ready to be packed up tomorrow – if I don’t get another rush of energy and finish it tonight (not likely).

All of this is especially surprising since yesterday I started this task, just absolutely COULD NOT get motivated, gave up and did basically nothing but curl up with my dogs and watch movies! Fancy enjoyed them, Kelso got a little bored… it was Lifetime ;)

Friday, December 26, 2008

And so it begins…

The taking down, packing up, putting away of Christmas decorations. The clean up of the mess. But the hardest part of all, for me anyway…

Trying to figure out where the heck you had ALL that stuff you put up to make room for the decorations!! Does anyone else have that problem? Seriously, I have a floor full of knick-knacks and pictures and for the life of me I can’t figure out where in the world they all were before. There’s not enough room!!

I think it multiplies while stored away in the guest room. It’s a conspiracy I tell ‘ya!!

A good and sweet man…

That is what my husband is! The Holidays come right in the middle of hunting season. When you live with a real deer hunter, that’s what the Holidays mean for them… time off to hunt!

I realize a lot of people don’t understand that, especially women that are not married to hunters. I’ve always had to field questions about how I put up with it, or hear comments about how others wouldn’t stand for it, etc. But I’ve just got to tell you, my husband has never missed a minute of “important” time! He has always made it to family gatherings. He was always here to make sure Santa arrived on time when our kids were small. He doesn’t miss any of those moments, or times, or days, etc.

I guess if you just look at the surface and see him coming home from the hunting club late Tuesday before our family Christmas here on Wednesday, and then hear him say “I didn’t have time to shop” when I don’t have a gift from him under the tree, it doesn’t paint a very good picture. Especially when you see him leaving out again early Thursday afternoon. But here’s the thing you don’t see ‘on the surface’…

There is hardly ever a time I ask for anything that I don’t get it. My sweet husband spoils me, terribly, all year! And he works very long hours all year with almost no time off other than one week in the summer, which is spent on a trip dedicated totally to me and what I want! So this time during the winter is the only time he has all year to do what he really loves – hunt!

And as far as a Christmas gift – this year is not really his fault anyway. I asked for a digital camera and instead of an inexpensive one he is going to replace my 35mm with one like it in dig. YAY! But that means making sure we find the right deal, etc. I was told at Wolf Camera which one to get that my big lens would fit on, but I’m still going to take all my current equipment in to make sure first. So it is not as simple as going somewhere and buying a camera.

But that hasn’t stopped him from feeling bad (as always); so between the time we opened gifts on Wednesday and he left yesterday, I ended up with a pocket full of cash, lol. I’ve been told to go buy some jeans, asked if I wanted new boots, informed I needed work clothes. So you see… he is a very sweet man who deserves to take the time off during the winter and enjoy doing the thing he loves so much! Things are not always just as they seem ‘on the surface’ :)

Thursday, December 25, 2008

2008 Christmas Blessings…

A. baby born on Christmas Day, sent to save the world!!
F.amily & friends
H.olly’s cookies (I ate the whole bag already)
O.ver eating
Q.uestions from grandchildren ("hey, what you talkin' 'bout?)
R.oll Tide (I love my dish)
V.acation time
W.arm weather
X.anax (for the “after” glow), lol – seriously, what else starts with X??
Y.ummy food
Z.ealous grandchildren
("can we open presents now?")

I had a wonderful Christmas, I hope you did too :)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Lucy & Ethel…

That’s what I’m going to re-name my dogs (yes, even though one of them is a boy)! At least that is the first thing I thought of when I got home yesterday! I had just a few more last minute gifts to get and thought for sure during the day on Monday would be better to go out than this past weekend. Boy was I wrong, the first time I was gone it was from 11 am – 6 pm. And I only made the circle from my house up 280 to Valleydale, took it into Hoover since 280 was a parking lot, back down 31 to Alabaster and took Hwy 11 home.

See… just made a simple circle, literally only hitting a few stores and it took me 7 hours. I had one more place to go, but I knew I was going to be there a while finishing up the last gift I had to get, so I went home to get Fancy & Kelso (I mean Lucy & Ethel) to let them go with me. I soooo wish I had my digital camera already so I could have taken a picture of what I found waiting on me!

I have my mom’s pillow, it is as old as I am I’m sure – I remember sleeping on it when I was still at home. It is used by everybody as the “extra” pillow and has been in the living room for a while. It’s one of those real feather pillows, not the kind of ‘down’ you buy now… but REAL feathers. I took the pillow case off to wash it so it was exposed as the antique that it is. I’m sure you can guess where this is going…

Feathers – everywhere!! The pillow is in the floor, ripped down the fragile middle of the old material, and feathers are covering my carpet in the living room; not to mention being on the furniture and of course being strewn into the dining room and kitchen. Some are even floating around when the heat kicks on.

I couldn’t help it, I know it was my mom’s and I loved that old pillow so much; and the mess is going to be a real pain; but I laughed - hysterically. Maybe it was due to 7 hours of fighting traffic, but all I could think of was the episode of I Love Lucy when they painted the Mertz’s apartment and tried to reupholster the furniture. And the one that I’m sure must be the culprit (Kelso aka Lucy) took off to his kennel acting like he didn’t know what I was talking about when I said “what did you do”. The other one (Fancy aka Ethel) just stood there and looked at me as if to say ‘I tried to stop him’.

Oh well, if they weren’t such good dogs I probably would have got a lot more upset, but they usually don’t bother anything. And I honestly think the ‘feather fiasco’ was an accident – I wish I could have seen the reaction when it happened! Kelso hates so much to be in trouble, I can only imagine what he was thinking when those feathers started flying everywhere :) Considering they are huge animals (about 120 lbs and 80 lbs) and I still have 2 Christmas trees standing, not to mention all the other decorations and gifts untouched, I’m happy with the feathers :) Dogs… gotta love’em!!

Sunday, December 21, 2008


It could only happen to me!! So, today I was cleaning the mirror in my bathroom – simple job, right? Although I am quite possibly the clumsiest woman in this entire County, if not Alabama, what could possibly happen while doing such a menial task?? Well let me just tell you… I will find a way for something to happen! And not just anything. Of course with me, it is going to be something weird and crazy!

OK, so you know how you’ll stick a needle somewhere handy, maybe because it is convenient at the time or maybe because you need to always know where a needle is. Well, I have a 3 tier candle holder between the two sinks in my bathroom, and I keep a needle stuck in the top of the center candle (which is of course the tallest one), for both of the reasons I mentioned above.

As I was cleaning I knocked the candle off. Fine – I set it aside, finished cleaning the mirror, put the candle back. I was even about to move on to my next task when I wondered why my wrist felt funny and that’s when I discovered it.

My convenient needle was stuck in my wrist, just under my hand. And it wasn’t just stuck in there – half the freakin’ needle was in there… from the eye end!! The sharp end was sticking out; ouch. Bull had to take the tweezers and pull it out, thankfully I didn't even feel it!!

Good news is there was no blood at all, at any time. However, it started swelling below where the needle was even before we got it out. And it hurts almost as if it has been sprained. But I can live with it :) Especially when I think about how I almost didn’t even see it and it could have ended up all the way in my wrist/arm!

I’m telling you people… only I could get “needled” cleaning a mirror :)

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Holiday Eating Tips…

1. Avoid carrot sticks. In fact, if you see carrots, leave immediately. Go next door where they're serving rum balls.

*2. Drink as much eggnog as you can. And quickly. It's rare. You cannot find it any other time of year but now. So drink up! Who cares that it has 10,000 calories in every sip? It's not as if you're going to turn into an eggnog-alcoholic or something. It's a treat. Enjoy it. Have one for me. Have two. It's later than you think.
*personally I’d substitute eggnog (yuk) with sweet tea or Mtn. Dew… but that’s just me :)

3. If something comes with gravy, use it. That's the whole point of gravy. Gravy does not stand alone. Pour it on. Make a volcano out of your mashed potatoes. Fill it with gravy. Eat the volcano. Repeat.

4. As for mashed potatoes, always ask if they're made with skim milk or whole milk. If it's skim, pass. Why bother? It's like buying a sports car with an automatic transmission.

5. Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort to control your eating. The whole point of going to a holiday party is to eat other people's food for free. Lots of it. Hello?

6. Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and New Year's. You can do that in January when you have nothing else to do. This is the time for long naps, which you'll need after circling the buffet table while carrying a 10-pound plate of food and that vat of eggnog.

7. If you come across something really good at a buffet table, like frosted cookies in the shape and size of Santa, position yourself near them and don't budge. Have as many as you can before becoming the center of attention. They're like a beautiful pair of shoes. If you leave them behind, you're never going to see them again.

8. Same for pies. Apple, Pumpkin, Mincemeat. Have a slice of each. Or if you don't like mincemeat, have two apples and one pumpkin. Always have three. When else do you get to have more than one dessert? Labor Day?

9. Did someone mention fruitcake? Granted, it's loaded with the mandatory celebratory calories, but avoid it at all cost. I mean, have some standards.

10. One final tip: If you don't feel terrible when you leave the party or get up from the table, you haven't been paying attention. Re-read tips; start over, but hurry, January is just around the corner. Remember this motto to live by:

"Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO~HOO what a ride!"

A friend sent this to me and I thought it was cute and wanted to share!! Have a great holiday season! And let the eating begin :)

Friday, December 19, 2008


You know – those cars that stay beside you, right at your front or back bumper but don’t go anywhere. They just hover! And they make me crazy. Hovering. It makes no sense to me. Just either get on in front of me, or slow down so I can get in front of you, or just get off the road altogether – I really don’t care. Just get OUT OF MY WAY and stop hovering!!

In case you haven’t guessed by now – I drive 280 every day. All the way from Westover to downtown and it is a miserable drive any time. But throw Christmas shoppers in the mix and it’ll make you want to scream!

So take this as fair warning – if you are ever on 280 and you are beside a car with an Alabama flag and/or a Dale Earnhardt Jr. flag with a personalized tag that reads BEACHEY… hover at your own risk!! I am capable of snapping at even given time :)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Radio Red Flyers…

Fun, right? At least it was a blast for this group to put about 25 of these wagons together last Friday! Several of us from the 3 depts that share the 1st floor of the building we are now in got together and had a “tool” party :) And I have to say… Sara, Tesa, LaToya and I ROCKED! We had ours put together and was sitting back eating chips & dip laughing at everybody else struggle – especially the men, lol.

I wish I could say they all went to boys and girls that would be running and pulling and pushing each other in them. But sadly, these beautiful red wagons will be used to pull very sick babies and kids around inside Children’s Hospital. The maintenance guys will equip them with special holders for IV poles and even add seat belts before they are put to use.

But there is always a need to replenish the supply – those things take a beating at the hospital. So it was very rewarding to put them together, and really a lot of fun!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

This year, today is easier…

That is the first time on the 16th of December I’ve been able to say that in 11 years. I guess the only 3 words that I can really follow-up the title with is “…thank you Jesus”. I should probably warn you that I’m about to pour my heart out, and since I’m already sobbing pretty bad, I can guarantee it’s not going to be a ‘fun’ post to read, nor a short one. But hopefully it will at least be heartwarming. ~Actually it has taken me a couple days to complete this, so for me, as I’ve been thinking about what to say and typing it as I could, it has been therapeutic :)

Today is the anniversary of the death of my dad. And a little piece of me died with him. I am the baby of 3 girls, and was such a daddy’s girl – I loved that man so much. And since he died at this time, it sort of “killed” the joy of Christmas for me too. As a matter of fact, the first couple of years after he died I didn’t do any decorations, and if I could I’d have ignored that it even existed. I would even get a little angry at times when I’d see all the lights and festive things – how dare life go on happily at this time of year?? Shouldn’t everyone be as sad, mad even, as I was? I did only what I had to for my kids, nothing more.

But it wasn’t just at Christmas that I was like this. I think I began falling into a depression but had just enough things going on in my life to keep it from being too bad. I still had my mom who I also loved dearly, and her health began failing quickly after daddy died – so my attention had to turn to taking care of her. And of course I had my sweet, sweet husband and my wonderful children.

But here is the thing… I was angry at God. See, I lived my life devoted totally to the Lord at the time of my dad’s death and had for years. And He had promised me my daddy would accept Jesus as his savior before he died and I would know beyond any doubt that he would be with Him in Heaven. When my dad was in the hospital, my pastor was supposed to come that Sunday after church and we all knew he would ask daddy if he wanted to accept Jesus, etc. Well it snowed that day in Alabama (very rare). He couldn’t get to the hospital. Because daddy was in the CICU we could only see him for a few minutes every few hours. That day (Sunday) he was very distraught and restless. He had suffered a heart attack on Friday and was put on a ventilator. Because of him being so restless that day they had to restrain his hands so he wouldn’t pull the ventilator out. But he just wanted to tell me something. He clearly wanted me, and when I went to his side and took his hand, and asked him what it was, he looked at me with tears in his eyes and I knew. I just knew. So I asked him if he wanted to pray and the tears began to fall down his face, he squeezed my hand, shook his head yes, and sighed as if with relief. I told him not to try to talk, but to just nod and squeeze my hand in agreement; and I led my daddy in the sinner’s prayer. He cried and cried as he nodded in agreement accepting the Lord as his Savior. After that, he became very peaceful and finally slept until he died early the following Tuesday morning.

Now you may be asking yourself why in the world I would be mad at God after such a beautiful honor and gift was given to me. I’ve asked myself that same question. But in my warped state of mind at that time, I felt betrayed. I believed that if I prayed, and believed and had faith, that my prayers would be answered. But I ended up burying my daddy anyway – even with all the faith in the world that I’d be bringing him home alive instead. I’m not mad at God anymore! And thankfully, He never gets mad at us or leaves us; he just waits on us to come back to Him :)

So… just as I was finally coming to grips with my dad’s death and getting a little back to normal, my mom died. That really sent me close to the edge without anyone even knowing the extent of it. Thank God Ella came along right after that – she is what kept me from going over that edge. As well as Isabella and the rest of my family!

But to be perfectly honest, about a year ago I started having migraines again (I used to suffer from them terribly and they just stopped, for the most part). My doctor put me on a mild anti-depressant to ward off the headaches; but it has done so much more for me. It has helped me through this apparent depression I’ve been in that even I didn’t realize. It’s like a shield has been removed from my eyes and I can actually see how I’ve been. How I secluded myself from friends and even family at times. How I’ve been robbed of my joy and my peace. And how long it’s been since I had laughed with real happiness over just something silly.

So there you have it… the 16th thru the 18th of December will always be a sad time as I remember my dad; but it is also a time of rejoicing – he is after all in Heaven celebrating this special time with Christ in person!! And God chose me, of all He had to choose from, to make sure of that. How could I possibly be anything but honored and humbled :)
Our Lord never fails to keep a promise, and in case you can't tell - my joy in Christmas (and life) has been restored!! To God goes the Glory :)

Monday, December 15, 2008

Since everyone else has…

I thought I might as well show a few of my Christmas decorations too :) But seriously, I really wish I knew how some people can put more than 5 pictures in one post. That is really starting to frustrate me that I can’t figure it out, lol. Until I do, this year’s decorations are in the album below. Please click it when you finish reading to see some of the major things I’ve done – so far :)

Anyway… I’m actually still working on some decorating, but not much. I haven’t done a lot of decorating in the past few years until recently – grandchildren make a huge difference in how you feel about the Holidays!! Each year I seem to do a little more and this year has been no exception. I’m actually making homemade stocking’s this year, so the only ones I have up so far are my dogs. (Well at least we know Santa will come see them). I have them cut out and Kristin is going to help me sew them since I don’t have a sewing machine. I’ll share more about them when they are done!

I absolutely love poinsettias but haven’t got any yet. I won’t do that until probably just a few days or maybe a week before Christmas because of my dogs. I understand they are very poisonous to them and I don’t want to have to remove them (the plants, not the dogs) to a closed up room each morning any more days than I have to before I take off from work! This is one of my favorite looks of my fireplace; it has never looked the same any two years. This was in 2006 and it took me forever to get those lights to stay on the top inside of the fireplace. I had myself up in there in some awkward positions for hours and swore I’d never attempt it again, lol.

This was a little tree I put up, also in ’06. It was mostly sports themed in case you can’t tell – and I added a couple of Josh and Bull’s ornaments they made in elementary school to the edge of it. It also had some John Deere tractor ornaments on it, LOVE them!! And I added Ella’s “Baby’s First Christmas” stocking to it. As simple, and/or silly, as it was, it became one of my all-time favorite decorations :) I know I took pictures of decorations last year but I can’t find them on this laptop, which is making me crazy – just thought I’d share that.

So that was then and this is now… click to see some of what I’ve done this year:

Decked Out

Sunday, December 14, 2008

‘Twas the first day of Christmas…

Or at least the first celebration of Christmas for my family so far :) It was with my 2 sisters and their families - “The Latta Christmas” as we call it! For those who don’t know, both of my parents have gone on to be with the Lord. And even though it will be 11 years ago in just 2 days from now that my dad died, and 3 years ago this past August for my mom; the Holidays are still lonely without them. (Honestly… every day is lonely without them). But each year does get a little easier to handle – and this year we had a wonderful time celebrating the season with each other. Of course the 4 newest additions to our family helps :) And next year there will be (at least) 1 more!!

How amazing to watch our family grow!! First my oldest sister Gayle – her entire family was there: her husband Sammy; her oldest daughter Jamie, her husband Marcus and their 3 year old daughter Braelyn; and her youngest daughter Chrissy, her husband Corey and their 2 year old daughter Chloe. Second my middle sister Myra: her husband and son could not be there due to family obligations on his side; but her daughter was there who is expecting the “5th” addition to our family in June. And then of course me – my entire family was there also except for my husband who is still in Illinois hunting; my oldest son Josh, his wife Kristin and their 2 year old daughter Ella; and my youngest son Bull and his 1 year old daughter Isabella. Big, big fun!! Check out the pictures, as usual, each tells a story :)

Latta Christmas 2008

Who do you love…

Nana!! I have been singing that song for 2 years now :) I started singing it when Ella was a tiny baby as a fun way to get her to say “Nana”. Of course just as she was starting to talk (with clarity), Isabella was born – so the song continued. It is to the tune of the original song and when you get to Nana, you put your hands up and semi-shout it! Fun! For the longest time, all I had to do, even out of the blue, was sing ‘who do you love’ and Ella would finish it for me… hands in the air and all, without even thinking about it. I haven’t even thought recently to see if she remembers but I’m gonna surprise her with it and see if she does. Now don’t misunderstand – with all this effort, Nana was still one of the last ‘names’ she said; go figure! Do you think there could be just a tad of stubbornness involved, lol. She is my son’s child after all :)

So anyway, last night sweet Isabella was here with Bull and me after Christmas with my family. She was very sleepy and being such a sweet girl while trying very hard to stay awake. The three of us were lying on the bed together playing (well, actually she was rolling around in all directions, as well as standing up just to fall back down on her hynnie and roll around some more – all which she found to be very funny); and every few minutes I would take the opportunity to sing my song. She loved it! She thought it was extremely funny – I’m going to choose not to believe it was my singing she found so amusing :) And after maybe 3 or 4 times of singing it, she very clearly said “Nana”! Bull and I looked at each other in shock and of course I was going to tear up anyway, but when I saw Bull’s eyes get misty, well that just did me in!! She said it at least 2 more times before getting bored with the whole thing :)

Before I finish up about “Nana”, let me take you back by about 30 minutes - she had already said “thank you” several times before we laid down on the bed… Bull was holding her in the recliner and I had handed her a gift bag that she was pulling paper out of. She tore a piece of the paper and so before she could go to the mouth with it I took it from her hand and said ‘thank you’. She looked at me, looked at the paper, tore another piece and promptly handed it to me so I took it and again said ‘thank you’. In the sweetest little voice ever, she said ‘tank ou’. We tore paper and practiced ‘tank ou’ for several minutes… she also thought that was VERY funny!! I cried, Bull tried not to cry (he’s so not the macho guy he tries to pretend to be) :)

OK, so back to her saying Nana! I am not delusional – I know that she calls her other grandmother something very similar to Nana and is apparently already saying that. I’m not really sure I remember exactly how it is pronounced, or how to spell it, but my best shot is Nonie. That’s the same thing most of the young kids in the Fields family, as well as all the children in church call Cookie’s sister Brenda :) So I understand that she has had practice in saying something that sounds very much like what I was saying. But it was clearly “Nana” (I made sure with every repeat) and it was a wonderful early Christmas present!!