Southern Cookin' Makes You Good Lookin'

Random Rantings about Food and Such

Recipe for Precious Children

on 12/23/2011

Twenty-two years ago, we experienced a really strange Christmas.  I’d have to say it probably ranks as the most unusual Christmas i’ve ever experienced.  No Christmas tree–real or artificial.  No family around, which for us is NOT unusual but at least we can talk with them on the phone and we’re both experiencing either daytime or nighttime.  No big Christmas dinner.  No stockings were hung by the chimney with care…yeah, no chimney either.  You see, less than a month prior, we had been sent to Michael’s one and only overseas duty station, Sasebo, Japan.  We were in temporary quarters that consisted of a living area, bedroom, and bathroom (kitchen was down the hall for all to share.)  We had arrived around the same time as some other families but they had gotten their homes already, so it was pretty doggone quiet around there.  But i’ll tell you what we did have–we had each other (fortunately the ship was back in port) and we had two very, very, very special Christmas gifts that year.  One was a seven-month-old little bundle of joy named Ashley and the other was a “bun in the oven” being referred to as “Peanut” but would come to be known as Stephanie.

For the next three years, these two precious Christmas gifts would pretty much be the entire focus of my world.  Daddy would be gone a lot with the ship making its way from port to port and we were thousands of miles away from the places we called home.  If you’ve ever been the poor victim of my hours and hours of video tapes made during that time, you’ll see that these two little sprites and i were very constant companions.  And, boy, did they light up my world!

i look at the two grown women before me now and wonder who they are.  :0)  Nah, all i have to do is look in the mirror and it’s obvious i’m old enough to have grown children.  It’s the beautiful women they’ve become that blows my mind.  Old crybaby here can’t even type properly from the tears running down my face and blurring my eyes.  The blessings they were twenty years ago was just a beginning of the blessings they have continued to be.  We have been so…well, blessed!  i can’t think of a better word.  Okay, maybe they aren’t perfect.  Maybe i mutter under my breath (or out loud) about little things here and there, but in the grand scheme of things, Holy Granoly!  These girls are awesome!  Recently, Stephanie’s district manager was gushing about how wonderful she is and what a fantastic job we had done with her.  i had to admit that i’m not so sure we deserve that much credit, that she is just an amazing person because that’s who she really is deep down inside.  The things she’s accomplished, especially this year, just astound me.  And Ashley, my little pied piper.  People flock to her like minivans to a yard sale.  Just dip her in honey and watch them swarm.

So, anyway, girls.  If you’re reading this blog (which for Stephanie may be some time, oh, next fall considering how busy you are and will be for some time), know how extremely proud i am of you.  Not proud as in, “Look what i’ve done” but proud as in “Look at the beautiful creatures God created and look how they’ve blossomed into magnificent human beings.”  You are the most precious gifts God could have given your Dad and me.  You are the epitome of everything good between us.  Your mama loves you oh! so very much.  Thank you for the privilege of calling you my daughters.  You have helped me understand even more deeply the love that God has for us and what a sacrifice He gave by sending Jesus to this earth two thousand years ago, knowing that He was coming here just to die for us.

Merry Christmas, Ashley and Stephanie!

Ashley and Stephanie

Recipe for Precious Children

Two fallible human beings who are willing to learn and love

One or more little creatures who need to learn and be loved

God

This recipe cannot be measured in precise terms because each child is different.  However, each child must have  a generous coating of praise, respect, sharing, teaching, and loving.  Hugs, kisses, and laps are an absolute necessity if the child is to fully blossom.  Although not the most enjoyable part of the process, discipline and correction are necessary in order to help in the maturation process, but only when done in love and in the right way and amount.

Room must be given in order for the child to grow to their greatest potential.  Too much room causes awkward growth and can actually warp the process.  Too little room can stunt natural maturity and cause damage in adulthood.  Therefore, do not overcook or undercook but constantly test for correct temperature.

Child must be encouraged to be the best they can be but a little rest and a little fun is always needed.

Continue to baste in smiles, laughter, and “attaboys”/”attagirls” for the rest of their lives.

As with all things, give thanks to God for such wonderful gifts.

Mama and her girls

Daddy and his girls

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