Tag Archives: Grandparent

Where is Papa?

12 Oct

“Where is Papa?” my sleepy 5-year old granddaughter said the moment she opened her eyes in the morning.

“Papa already left for work,” I said, grinning at her love for her Papa.

“I want to be with him…I just want a hug from him. I love him so much,” she said.

After the sweetness of the moment faded, a not-too-sweet reminder came to mind. What about me? Do I ask for my Father’s presence the first thing in the morning? Rather than my soul longing to be with God, in His presence and to seek His company, my thoughts often turn elsewhere. How different it would be if I did wake up each morning with a yearning to be held by Him. To be reassured by Him. And to be guided by His grace.

God knows that weakness. He knows how we begin our day by letting worry nag. How we allow stress to creep up. And how we give in to restlessness. But because He also knows how deeply we want peace, security and victory at every stage, He gives His direct instruction: “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you” (Matthew 6:33).

Father, I confess that worries fill my head when I wake up. I have been a fool to seek you only when troubles com, when challenges show up or gloom threatens to step in. I ask that you give me wisdom to first choose my thoughts and fill them with you every morning. In Jesus’ name, amen.

  • What fills your mind when you open your eyes in the morning?
  • What longing fills your heart?
  • What is the order of your priorities lately?

Janet Perez Eckles

Grateful for the privilege of inspiring you…
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Investigating Family Ties~Part 2

23 Sep

My Take

DiVoran Lites

Even though I haven’t studied it in depth, I do know that genealogy can be exciting and interesting, especially if you have a passion for history. If it is your own history, you can enjoy it even more.

My Mother’s grandparents lived with Mother’s family in their old age. Mother was named for her grandmother, Dora Bell. One day when we were in that hometown, we went past a small house on the main road where Dora Bell once had her own shop. She sold gifts and items she had designed and crocheted herself. She was very creative and she taught my mother to crochet too. Neither of them ever used a pattern.

For fun, they made tiny dresses, teddies, shawls, coats and hats for Mother’s, “Little Dolls.” She had homemade furniture and other clothes as well. When I was a child, I got to play with the “Little Dolls.” I remember the non-crocheted hats best. They had deep crowns and wide brims and must have been the fashion in the 1900s. I like seeing that type of hat in pictures. I think it’s still my favorite style.

My playing with Mother’s dolls, and the fact that she and her grandmother made the clothes made a wonderful continuity in my life. So did Mother’s story telling. I feel as if I know my great-grandmother, Dora-Bell as well as any other member of the family, though I was only four years old when she died. It gives me a warm feeling of belonging, and I understand characterization mostly because of my mother’s stories.

Dora Bell loved her family deeply. When she grew old and frail she wanted them around her as much as possible. Mother said when she was a teen-ager Dora Bell would get ill whenever Mother went away for a short time. Once when Mother went shopping in the next town, Dora Bell had a heart attack and Mother was convinced it was because she left her. They both survived. Maybe it wasn’t even a heart attack, perhaps it was a panic attack.

In a way, I can understand that and relate to her, but in another way, I can’t. Her first husband left her with two daughters to rear, and that was enough to traumatize anyone. I’ve been to the cemetery where Dora Bell is buried next to her second husband whom everyone dearly loved. Her daughter, my grandmother is there along with my grandfather and my other two grandparents plus some other relatives. My parents are there too. I don’t know, it all just gives me a feeling of belonging that I wouldn’t trade for anything.

So there’s another plus for knowing where you came from and where your ancestors came from too. What do you know about your family history? Does it give you a feeling of belonging too?

Visiting Grandmother’s House Part 1

10 Jul

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

When I was about eight years old, our family went to Louisiana for a summer visit with my dad’s family.  Grandmother Lites lived in the same house where she and 1my grandfather had raised 13 children in the late 1800s.  The original acre homestead was located in the central part of the state, near the little town of Many, about 80 miles south of Shreveport.

Grandmother’s house was typical of farm houses during that period; single story, square white clapboard, with a breezeway down the middle, living room and kitchen on one side and two bedrooms on the other.  There was a small front porch with room for several slat rocking chairs, and a narrow screened 2back porch that ran the width of the house and was just wide enough for a couple double beds,

Running water in the kitchen for washing and cleaning was gravity fed from an overhead cistern behind the house.  Drinking water had to be hand drawn with a bucket from the well.  The only heat in the house came from the fire place in the living room or the old  wood burning stove in the kitchen.

3At some point electricity had been added to the house which was the source for the single bare 60-watt light bulb and pull chain in the center of each room.  The old wall mounted crank telephone was a novelty for us kids when the operator would come on the line and ask what number we wanted.

Slop jars were used at night and the two-hole outhouse during the 5day.  Baths for us kids were taken in a round galvanized tub in the middle of the kitchen floor.  The girls got to go first, since they usually didn’t dirty the water as bad as us boys did.

One of our main toys was an old tire that we rolled along 6most everywhere we went.  We had races with them, tied them to tree limbs for swings, and stacked them high to climb on to get at things out of reach over our heads.

The one most memorial visit for me was the year when the U.S. Army was holding one of their war maneuvers in the woods around my cousin’s and grandmother’s property.  My cousins and I would sneak off to the camp when nothing was going 7on, and wonder around checking out all the neat equipment and asking the soldiers questions.  The men were really nice to us, even letting us eat with them when the officers weren’t around.

Sometimes they would drive us out of the “restricted area” in one of their jeeps when they 8were getting ready to fire their howitzers (with blanks of course).  Even after they dropped us off, we were still close enough to get goose bumps every time one of those big guns was fired.   Wow! What a thrill that was.  We even got to play on them sometimes when the soldiers weren’t around, pretending we were helping win the war.  We didn’t know it at the time, but many of our country’s top generals attended those Louisiana maneuvers over the years.

I got a big kick out of helping my mother and grandmother make butter in the handcranked butter churn.  It always amazed me how the milk magically turned into butter and left that yummy buttermilk.  I loved buttermilk and drank it every time I got a chance.  Then there was the time the cows got into the bitter weed, and it made the milk so bitter I couldn’t drink it.




—–To Be Continued—–

A Mother’s Day Collage

12 May

I put out a request to the contributors to this blog to write anything they wanted to about Mother’s Day. I thought it would be interesting to read how each related to the day and it certainly was, especially since two of our bloggers are sister and brother.

So let’s start our Mother’s Day Collage with a “Match the Mother to Child” game. Enter your answers in comments to win a digital copy of one of DiVoran Lites  or Rebekah Lyn’s books. If we have multiple correct answers we will put your names in a drawing. You may also comment on  Facebook under comments.

Moms and Bloggers




No. 1

No. 5

No. 4

No. 3


No. 8 Blogger

Mother's Day

No.9 Blogger

No. 10 Blogger

No 11 Blogger

No 11 Blogger

No. 7 Blogger

No. 7 Blogger

As an example in comments you would write: 1/7,2/8 etc. Good luck!!


We hope you enjoy our Mother’s Day Collage. Choosing what to share brought back such memories and tears too. In her later years my mother told me “you will always miss your mother. I still miss mine” This surprised me since my grandmother had died many years earlier and she only saw her once a year on our family vacations. I understand that ache now. So I decided to share a poem from my mother. The date was 1964 and I was twelve years old

I said a prayer for you today

And Know God must have heard.

I felt the answer in my heart

Although he spoke no word!

I didn’t ask for wealth or fame

(I know you wouldn’t mind)

I asked that he be near you

At the start of each new day,

To grant you health and blessings

And friends to share your ways!

I asked for happiness for you

In all things great and small,

But it was for His loving care

I prayed for most of all.

Bill Lites

Thank You Mother

My mother was such a great influence and inspiration in my life.  She taught me that God loved me and wanted to guide me every step of my life, if I would only ask Him.  She taught me to be a gentleman in every area of my life.  She taught me to learn all the details and to never take anything for granted.  She taught me to always give the other person the benefit of the doubt, and to do to others as I would have them do to me.  She taught me to be observant, to work hard and to be patient with others, and to always be kind and loving.  She taught by example and there was never any question about her love, acceptance and forgiveness toward others and me.

Louise Gibson

                         What does a Mother say to her children
                         At the end of her days-
                         Those she has loved in so many ways?
                         “Oh, what joy I felt in my heart
                         When I was informed that new life had its start!
                                Each of you was a blessing from above-
                        A gift of God, the symbol of love.
                        Each is unique, not one is the same.
                        You are loved for who you are, what you became.
                        Your talents are many-
                        Thank God for each one.
                        They will nurture your being
                        When the day is done.
                        God will supply the strength
                        To face each new day-
                        I will be with you in spirit
                       Every step of the way.”
                        I love you.
                       A quote from Max Lucado:
“God knows that we are only pilgrims and that
eternity is so close that any “Good-bye” is,
in reality, “See you tomorrow”.


Judy Wills

How do I describe my Mother?  She was so unique in all her ways.

One of the most unique things is that she met, fell in love with, and married a man who was 20 years older than herself.  And yet, the marriage was one that I hoped to emulate with my marriage.  She created a loving and secure home for her husband and her children.  She was heart-broken when her husband died.

                                    Judy Wills Mother and father

She loved to sing and to play the piano.  She had a great alto voice.  She had a good ear and would just go and sit down at the piano and begin playing.  I’m still frustrated that I can’t remember the names of the songs/hymns she played.  My brother and I tried to remember them, and have them played at her funeral, but neither of us could remember.

She was a good cook.  She made a pot roast that would just melt in your mouth.  And that’s something I’ve never been able to duplicate.  I never learned her technique.  My Dad used to tease her by saying “this meat is no good – it just falls off the bone!”  She made the best cherry pie.  She made home-made peach jam from the peaches in our back yard.

One time, as she and I were sitting in the living room watching TV, we heard a terrible sound!  We both ran to the kitchen – only to find that the pressure cooker had “blown” out the pressure valve and pinto beans were all over the ceiling!  What a mess!

She had the most giving spirit I’ve ever seen.  One morning, early, we were told that the husband of a friend of ours had died.  He was a gun smith.  He was carrying a rifle along his side, tripped over a rock, and essentially blew his head off.  As soon as Mother heard that, she was in the car and over to that house.  Not only did she comfort the widow, but she grabbed rags and bucket and began cleaning off the blood, bone and brains from the side of the house.

Although I suspect she would have loved to be a stay-at-home mom, she worked as an accountant at Kirtland AFB, to make money for “extra” things in our life.  She bought a new piano for our house.  But one of the best things about her working there, was that she would find young military personnel – usually men – who were away from home and homesick, and bring them to church with us on a Sunday, then home to Sunday dinner.  She kept in contact with many of them throughout her time there.  One time she broke her ankle and couldn’t climb the steps to her office upstairs.  The officials were so insistent that she not “retire” that they placed a desk and lamp under the stairway just for her.  They really liked her work.

                                                         Judy Wills mother

When my Dad retired and money was tight, Mother bought a Merle Norman Cosmetic Studio, trained for the job, and set to work.  She had a really good, strong work ethic.

Judy Wills Mother


Oh my………so many more memories, but these fill my heart and mind.

I miss her still.

May 12, 2013, My Fifty-First Mother’s Day

DiVoran Lites

“Mom, how do you feel?”


“But really, How are you doing?”


My hair is gray, my socks fall down,

And I’m not going out of town,

And I must say, I forget some things,

But what matters is: my heart has wings.

I hope you enjoyed reading out Mother’s Day collage. We all view our mothers and Mother’s Day with  our own unique perspective and  I love that.

For those who read to the bottom, here is a clue. There is one more picture than there are bloggers! Don’t forget to write your matches in comments here or on the Facebook post.

Happy Mothers Day



7 Apr


 Judy Wills


 I have a really quirky family.  And most of them I have enjoyed through the years – or stories about them.

 My Mother’s family is originally from Ireland, with a good old name of McBratney.  I don’t know a lot about the family history, but only some from my Great-grandfather on.  He was one of 11 children, eight of them male.  I know that they called themselves “The Boys” and got together occasionally.



About the time I was “aware” of life, there were only four “boys” left, my great-grandfather not being one of them.  I made a trip to Kansas once with my Aunt Jessie and Granny, and got to see them then.  However, my fondest memories are in 1958 when those four “boys” came to Albuquerque for a visit.  They were my Granny’s uncles, my Mother’s great-uncles, and so my great-great-uncles.  But they were fun and funny to be around.




While I enjoyed them all, I guess Uncle Jess was the one I remember the most.




And this story about him always delights me – and makes others laugh when I tell it.Back in 1958, one of the favorite things to do was to grill steaks on the outside grill.  Big, thick, juicy steaks – lots of fat to flavor the meat – special seasoning to give it just the right tenderness and flavor.  You remember, right?



Well, one of those times, after the meat had been cooked and all were seated at the table, Uncle Jess began to meticulously cut all the fat from off his steak….and then proceeded to EAT THE FAT!  My Mother exclaimed – “Uncle Jess!  The doctor told you not to eat the fat on your steaks!”  And he calmly replied, “No he didn’t.  He only told me to be sure and cut it off.”





As I said, he was a sweetheart!



28 Oct



Judy Wills



I don’t remember much about my Mother’s father – just glimpses, since he died when I was only five-years-old.  But I’ve heard many stories about him.

I know that he was a little over 10 years older than his wife, my Granny.  They married in 1909, and their first child, my Aunt Jessie, arrived in July 1910, with my Mother making her appearance in 1913.

Jessie told me once that, if they (the girls) ran around the house with just their undies on, Grandpa would swat their bottom as they passed, with the words, “better get some clothes on, sister!”


They lived in many places within Kansas and Texas, and he had several occupations that I know of.  I know that he was a carpenter at one point in time.  He built many footstools, stools, corner tables and children’s chairs out of empty spools of thread in his spare time, for the family.








See, Granny, Jessie and Mother all worked at the Rochester Handkerchief Factory in San Antonio, Texas for many years.  That company used many, many spools of thread in the business, all wound on wooden spools.  I guess he just couldn’t stand for anything to go to waste, and so those three ladies brought home the empties.  While the children’s chairs have been given away, we in the family still have the footstools, end tables, and the corner table.  They may not be very valuable in monetary terms, but they each hold great sentimental value to us all.











One other job he held was that of mortician (funeral director/embalmer).  I only know one story about that time, and it was told to us by Mother.  Seems that a very young girl had burned to death.  When her body was brought to him to prepare for the funeral and burial, the family was extremely distraught.  He worked all night long, peeling that burned flesh from her body, until only pink skin was left.  They said she looked like her normal self!  The family was unbelievably grateful to my Grandpa for taking the time to make her beautiful for them.

He was an interesting man.  I wish I had known him longer.


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