Archive for the ‘Children/Family’ Category


By Vernalee
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Growing up, my children acted as if they couldn’t survive without a morning bacon sandwich to get their day started.
They would even place “to go” orders!
The nerve of them!
Nevertheless, I obeyed!
I was the “Queen chef of bacon sandwiches.”
Here’s my secret recipe.
I toasted the bread, applied grape jelly, scrambled the eggs with cheese, and added layers of crispy bacon.
“Mommy, these sandwiches are – Yummy to our tummy and finger licking good.” Children will say anything for a meal and servitude; won’t they!
When we look back, we parents realize how our children had us in the palm of their hands.
Most parents can tell a story or two as to how they were a sucker.
Interesting, last week, my darling son made me a BLT sandwich.
It had bacon, lettuce, tomatoes, banana peppers, and a few more of his secret ingredients.
It was extremely tasty; delectable! Maybe, my cooking wasn’t in vain; maybe my children learned a few things! His bacon sandwich was so good that it “would make you want to slap your Mother!”
Of course, that is a Southern expression for good cooking. In real life, if you knew my Mother she could “put the fear of God in you” so much so that you would be too afraid to even contemplate the thought; let alone utter the words ….even in silence!
Now, let me see what my wonderful daughter has cooking!
I may have another free meal.
Hers is a surprise!
I’ll report on it later.
As you think of a dish that was special to you back in the day, you may be surprised if and when a loved one prepares that meal for you.
It will be thoughtful, tasty, as well as marvelous!
Bon appetit!
Photo credit:


By Vernalee

As blog followers, most of you know that my Mother passed away and went home to be with the Lord last month.
Since that time, I find myself unnoticeably speaking of her, until I thought … I always did! I always talked incessantly about her; it was innate.
Yes, there are so many lessons that I learned from that woman; so many Southern sayings that still resonates; so much wisdom that she gave me.
We don’t have to wait until holidays, their birthdays, or Mother’s Day to think of and be appreciative of our Mothers.
I am so glad that that those actions of selected dates/time frames of reflections did not characterize me.
So as I think of my Mother today, I share with you a writing that I discovered some time ago. It meant a lot then, it means everything now. Take a look!

“When I was 4 years of age: My Mommy can do anything!
When I was 8 years of age: My Mom knows a lot! A whole lot!
When I was 12 years of age: My Mother doesn’t really know quite everything.
When I was 14 years of age: Naturally, Mother doesn’t know that either.
When I was 16 years of age: Mother? She’s hopelessly old-fashioned.
When I was 18 years of age: That old woman? She’s way out of date!
When I was 25 years of age: Well, she might know a little bit about it.
When I was 35 years of age: Before we decide, let’s get Mom’s opinion.
When I was 60 years of age: Wonder what Mom would have thought about it?
When I was 65 years of age: Wish I could talk it over with Mom once more.”

I know that in the Heavenly host, my Mother is smiling at me and saying, “My baby (i.e. since I never grew up) sho can talk (sometimes too much) and she can write too!”
Today, dear Mother, Ms. Phoebe, thanks to the World Wide Web, the whole world knows of you and your wisdom.
How’s that for a shout out!
Missing you!
Photo credit: Verna’s Family Album; source:


imageBy Vernalee
David – The youngest and incredibly handsome son of Jesse was a great warrior, an ancestor of Jesus Christ, a talented musician, a prolific writer, and the 2nd King of Israel and Judah.
There are so many description of him; more than meets the eye.
The ones that capture my attention are outlined in 1 Samuel 13:14 and in Acts 13:22. In those scriptures, he is described as a man after God’s own heart.
What a tribute and a testimony!
In Hebrew, the name David means beloved one.
I love the meaning and simplicity behind the name David. Very telling, my reasons are conspicuously obvious as you will see.
I have had the honor of loving and being surrounded by three. As you know, I am a fabulous copy cat, so I named my son, David. On loan from his late Father, the name has flowed down midstream to my grandson. I never knew which one of his parents (Harry or Bernice Lee) named David Sr., but I personally selected the name for my beloved son. Though nicknamed Scooter by George, my brother-in-law, my son David is an incredible young man.
In ancient times, much thought was given to the choice of a child’s name. The name coincided with character. King David’s certainly did!
Most of us have been intrigued and know the story of David’s battle with Goliath. We can visualize the courage that it took to confront a warrior of Goliath’s status with only a slingshot. But David had a secret weapon. He had the Lord.
No matter what happened in his many trials and tribulations alongside his sinful missteps, he loved God. The stories of his obedience and the traumas of his disobedience showed his imperfections. They also showed his repentant heart, his comebacks, faithfulness, love, devotion, and his admittance to wrongful conduct. David was a praying man. He prayed for forgiveness, love, and direction. Everything about King David keeps him real and relatable.
His devotion and love for God make you deeply love and admire him. King David’s story from beginning to end leaves you awe struck.
Fast forwarding to my son David, he does not play the harp or a musical instrument.
But allow me to tell you about him! Before I become long winded and run out of pages because I have that much to say, let me be brief.
With unconditional love, my son loves his family. A great Father, son, grandson, brother, nephew, cousin, and friend, Scooter is a loving and compassionate person. If you want somebody to stand by your side, he’s your guy. Wise for his age, he counsels all of us. Easy to talk to, the entire clan takes their issues to him as he is our in house Dr. Phil. Financial wisdom runs through his veins. He can definitely hold on to a dollar and watch it grow. Envied for his laid back style, he has a gentle mannerism with the words to match that puts your mind at ease when you are troubled.
A son that any Mother would be proud of, I count my blessings. I thank you Lord for my beloved ones, son David Jr. and grands. I ask that you watch over them and the other little big one, my daughter Phoebe. Order their steps Lord. Implant more wisdom and love in their hearts. Show them your ways. I pray that they walk in your path of righteousness obeying your words all the days of their lives. Children are indeed blessings from God. They eventually leave your house, but never your heart!
It seems like only yesterday that my son David was born; that I just held him in my arms.
Time flies as he entered the generation last week of being over 40.
Happy Birthday Scooter!
Happy Sunday!
God bless!
Photo credit: Family Album


By Vernalee
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As the reminiscing continues in honor of my Mother, read with me as I share this story.
Here goes.
“Absence makes the heart grow fonder.” William Shakespeare penned that phrase hundreds of years ago, but I witnessed its effects come to light this past year.
My oldest nephew from Tampa made a surprised visit to see his Grandmother. She had not been feeling well all day. One look at her oldest male grandchild immediately put more pep in her step.
As if she had been injected with a dose of penicillin, she immediately felt better. One could conclude that he was the “shot” that she needed! It was a mini miracle.
Speaking of shots, the two of them started talking about the NBA finals. A fan of the Miami Heat, my Mother, at the insistence of her grandson sent LeBron James a videotaped message with a tang of her Mississippi Christian dialect.
In part, she said, “LeBron, the ball is in your hands, but you are in God’s hands. The talent that ya got….can’t nobody take it away from ya.”
I don’t know if LeBron will ever get Mother’s message, but the message that I send to you is, “Show love to your family and friends, particularly when they are not feeling well.
Your visit, call, or card may be just what the doctor ordered!
Just ask the Grandma basketball coach!
Photo credit:


By Vernalee
Today, as we prepare for my Mother’s Home going Services, I once again take you to the Bible.
Can you walk with me?
In Exodus 20:12, the first commandment with a promise is given.
“Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.” Esphesians 6:1-3 follows suit.
That commandment is applicable to all of the parents’ children. As our Mothers and Fathers age, it is our Christian responsibility to take care of them.
After all, it was their hands that took care of us!
As one of my dearest friends and I recently discussed, we cherish our roles of being caregivers to our Mothers.
It is a privilege being there for them; to bring happiness to their aging years. Nothing beats the joy that we receive from giving and providing for them!
We are blessed to have our Mothers in their old age; cantankerous or not!
To whom much is given, much is required!” Doing beats excuses!
Doing is honoring; it is our Christian duty.
Photo credit:


By Vernalee
As we mature in years and have a family, we come to a greater appreciation for our parents, Mothers – in particular.
Continuing this week with the memories of my Mother who recently passed and went home to be with the Lord, I share an excerpt with you that validates how much work our Mothers do to keep everything and everybody afloat.
Take a look!
Conducting an experiment, a well-known advertising agency placed an online ad for a Director of Operations. Although it received over 2.7 million hits, only 24 applications were received.
The job description, though brief, read in part: Have to stand all day; work at least 135 hours a week; little or no sitting; requires considerable mobility; ability to lift at least 75 pounds; ability to proficiently multitask; receives no vacation or days off; receives no compensation or bonus pay.”
Several applicants unanimously said, “This is ludicrous!” They laughed and asked, “Who would do a job like that; Is this legal?”
These tasks and more are performed by us Mothers everyday – rain or shine! Notwithstanding these functions, add in a 40 hour work week to the existing responsibilities.
Being a chef, a chauffeur, a housekeeper, and so much more – come with the territory.
In fact, interestingly enough, the duties of motherhood never leave. They stay even when our adult children leave the nest. Our motherly love, concern, worry, joy, and all of our emotionality remain but shift as our children move from our laps to our hearts!
Thus, a Mother’s job is never done!
Thank you Momma for all that you did for me!
Photo reprint:


By Vernalee
Granddaughter teaching grandmother how to use a cell phone
Reflecting back a few years ago, I can vividly remember my daughter teaching my Mother how to use her cell phone. In watching them, truly patience is a virtue.
Let me share their story with you.
Here we go.

Once upon a time, there was the telephone land line.
Now, there are cellular phones everywhere.
Teaching the older population cell phone techniques has its challenges, but my children taught their Granny well.
“Grandma, all you have to do is just pick up your cell, push this button, and talk.
We have programmed it to do everything automatically.”
The teaching didn’t stop there!
To understand, I have to take you for a walk down memory lane.
In the late 1990’s, I had to install a second telephone line because I could never comfortably talk on my phone without my children’ callers interrupting me. Having two separate telephone lines in our home was advantageous, particularly to my children! They loved it! Then, before I realized it, my children started calling me on my telephone line from theirs. Calling me was easier than their getting up to walk into my room; less steps! Besides, it saved them time and energies! So their calls went like this: “Hey Mommy, if you go downstairs, would you be so kind as to please bring us up some snacks and juice? Thank you so much my dear Mommy.”
Translated, that statement meant, “Stop doing what you are doing. March downstairs Mommy and get us some food!” I was so taken by their politeness that I did it! Down the stairs, I went! Wow, I can’t believe my naivety and their shrewdness.
Now, guess what! My daughter has once again taught her Granny by repurposing an old system. Why reinvent the wheel? It worked then; it’ll work now!
“Hey Grandma; Let me teach you the ropes since Mommy has never installed an intercom system in this house. Geez! Use your cell phone and call her if you don’t feel like moving. We did it growing up and it worked marvelously every time!” Now, my Mother telephones me from her room on her cellular to performed tasks. The kids’ system of old was revitalized. Now, I am at my Mother’s beck and call. This time, it is a blessing to be of service. In fact, it is a great honor to provide service to my ninety year old Mother! In this case, the second time around is better! My kids’ shenanigans of old produced a great deed!
Photo Credit:


By Vernalee
As I continue with our family’s tributes to my Mother, I call your attention to the significance that my Mother has played in the up and coming generations of our family.
Take a look.
Our hands – the crinkle skin, the lines, the wrinkles, the visible protruding veins – show our age.
They display the “wear and tear” of living. As we age, our hands carry with it years of wisdom, love, heartbreak, pain, joy, and every physical and emotional feeling.
They celebrate life.
My 90 year old Mother’s hands “that clapped in church on Sunday morning; that played the tambourine so well; that picked me up each time I fell”; that pointed at me as she uttered “I know you really love that man; put yourself in Jesus’ hands” function as a grandmother, a great grandmother, and a great – great grandmother.
Four generations, she has lifted. She is our family’s Southern matriarch, and we rally around her in groves. Her sometimes arthritic hands prepare dishes that no one can duplicate. Cooking is her thing! Everyone wants her recipes.
There is so much that the lines in her helping hands tell us and so much that they don’t reveal!
We applauded her as much as we missed her, but understand that to her “there is no place like her home.”
Though her hands can’t pick 200 pounds of cotton anymore; though they noticeably tremble as she grips objects, those ten fingers and two hands have given my family and me so much love and strength. We dare not cross her because her strong hands can still discipline you with a back hand lick! Whether we call her Momma, Grandma, or Big Momma (depending on the generation), her hands carred and lifted us daily though our weight may have been heavy. Each generation has brought their varied problems to her for an opinion. Although her hands have seen hard times, what amazing strength and a wonderful touch her soft hands had! She encourages us and said, “Your weight ain’t that heavy. I can hold it. Now sit down, hold my hand, and tell Big Momma all about it!” And we did! And she listened! And we left better than we came! Yes, we were blessed to have her!
She had made her pilgrimage from Mississippi to Ohio and back many times.
As we bring her back this last time, we cannot hold her hand anymore, but we can hold on to her words and memories forever.
Photo credit:


By Vernalee
Years ago, on one of my daughter’s summer vacation trips to Mississippi, she and her girlfriends were in church.
So the adolescents decided to “get happy” pretending that they had been filled with the Holy Ghost.
As they were shouting and kicking on the floor, my daughter opened her eyes to see her Grandmother standing before her.
Her Grandma Phoebe sternly said to her namesake, “Little Phoebe, if you don’t get up off that floor, I am gonna tear your tail up! You don’t play with God!”
Telling the story invokes laughter now, but it wasn’t funny to the granddaughter then. It was quite embarrassing.
It did however teach her about the sacredness of God and provided a lifelong lesson to the meaning of Southern old time religion.
When she talks about family “stuff” and childhood memories, this is one of her favorite Grandma stories.
Can’t you visualize that scene?
Photo reprint:’


By Vernalee

Dear SWTA followers,
I need your help.
I need more space at home.
What do you mean?
Your home is spacious.
Yes it is, but it is full of my adult children stuff which limits my storage capacity.
My definition of a family home is one with an open door policy that belongs to the family.
Praise God for that provision and understanding.
However that is not my issue.
My issue is having an abundant amount of my children stuff. Mind you, my adult children left the nest years ago; more than a decade to be precise.
So why are their items still here and why do their overflow finds its way back to my home!
That’s a good question!
Sure, I have asked them to remove some things. I have heard their laughter that I, as many other empty nesters, have so much room.
I’m sure that you’ve heard similar comments and accompanying laughter.
So that you understand, let me clarify junk. I am not referring to my and their treasure chest of items that I maintain that carries sentimental significance.
I am referring to what I call the dumping ground whereby the family home is used as a storage bin.
What is a reasonable time to have your adult children remove their possessions from your home? Or a more accurate question may be – How do you stop additional items from finding their way to your door?
Needless to say, I can barely fit my car in my spacious 2 car garage because there is simply not enough room. The teddy bear collection, amongst other items are stored there.
Wait a minute!
I tend to use my head sometimes for more than a hat rack.
I just came up with the perfect solution.
In fact, I have several.
1. I will give a final warning to my big little ones to come and retrieve their stuff. If that doesn’t work since it hasn’t in the past, I will initiate “Operation Removal.”
2. I will have a garage sale. Those extra dollars from the proceeds are enticing.
3. I could always donate their items to a charitable organization.
4. Strategically, I could ask them to purchase s storage bin and place their items there.
5. Using a recommendation from a colleague, I could pull up a dumpster and discard the items.
Ok children, as a last call, I know that you read my blog from time to time.
A hint to the wise is sufficient.
Act before I do!
Photo credit:

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