The Scoop on Granny


Dreaming of the mountains...

Who is Granny?

I'm the incredibly blessed mother of 9, "Granny" to 16, and wife of "The Papa," the knight-in-shining-armor whose loving support has made it possible for me to stay home and give my life to mothering, homemaking, and 26 years of homeschooling. Life at Granny's House is full of laughter, friendship, books, music, lively debate, writing, and good things to eat. My days are made even more meaningful by coming alongside other moms, giving them the support and encouragement that I lacked as a young mother and helping them to network with each other in ways that strengthen homes and families. A few times a year I board a plane to visit my "away" kids, to attend the birth of a grandchild, or to enjoy some lazy days with my best friend, but I always love coming back to...Granny's House.

My Complete Profile

On Granny's Calendar
  • August 15 - SAC Day begins
  • August 16 - Sam is 7!
  • August 20 - Kristen's birthday
  • August 30 - THE WELTYS ARRIVE!
  • Sept 3 - Chris' birthday
  • Sept 5 - Henry is 9!
  • Sept 7 - Isaac is 10!
  • Sept 17 - The Papa's birthday
  • Sept 23-30 - Granny and Papa go to Hawaii
  • Sept 26 - PawPop is 88!
  • Sept 29 - Tim is 15!
  • Oct 2 - Cheyenne's birthday
  • Oct 4 - Liam is 5!
  • Oct 7 - John Caleb is 17!
  • Oct 18 - Tony's birthday

  • Email Granny!

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  • Granny gets around...
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  • Al Mohler
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  • Granny says you may go to...
  • PowerLine Blog
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  • GetHuman
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  • Granny is watching!
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  • Granny smiles at...
  • Purgatorio
  • ScrappleFace
  • LarkNews
  • Sacred Sandwich

  • Tuesday, July 31, 2007
    Color update...
    I've mentioned before that I'm not a good visualizer of how color is going to look once it's on the walls. But so far, I think I've done a pretty good job of selecting things I'm going to love and rejecting the ones I instinctively know I can't live with.

    Well yesterday, my luck ran out.

    I didn't just BUY paint I hated, as with the green I mentioned a couple of weeks ago. I had Dirk actually put it on the walls and ceiling of my bathroom, and when I walked in last night I knew I was fried. The lighter shade of the same plum color I intended for our bedroom walls ended up looking sort of, well, lilac. Don't get me wrong, it's a nice color, but not up against the tan tile and not with the bathmats I'd just spent so much money on and not next to the bathroom cupboards. Certainly not up against what I had feebly envisioned.

    Oh my, I was devastated.

    I thought about posting the pictures here and I couldn't even bear to ask you what you thought. And I shuddered at the thought of having to tell Dirk we were starting over.

    So I spent several hours hemming and hawing, peeking in the bathroom door and then squeezing my eyes shut, emailing pictures to Aubrey and Lyric, pining to John, then trying to psych myself up to think I could get used to it. I went to sleep last night hoping I'd wake up this morning with a completely different outlook on my purple bathroom.

    Nothing doing. In fact, in the morning light I hated it even more. I was actually thrilled when CJ walked in and said, "I hate it!"

    So...with Aubrey here for moral support, at 8:30 this morning I broke the news to Dirk that I wanted the whole (large) bathroom repainted with the color we had bought for the bedroom. If he wanted to wring my neck he hid it very well, and by 4 this afternoon we had two coats of the most beautiful shade of plum I've ever seen. And now that my former indiscretion has two coats of loveliness slathered over it, I finally have the courage to show you what I mean. You may not agree with my strong feelings against paint #1, but trust me, I could not have lived with it.

    Oh, I get the willies even looking at the photos!

    Okay, well now for the "after" pictures. Trim is not done yet but will be glossy white-white like the rest of the house.

    Dirk starts over:
    The light fixture will be the next thing to go, btw...

    More pictures when I eventually get everything rehung and accessorized.

    Moral of the story: Admit your mistakes, cut your losses early, and most of all, get yourself a great son-in-law that will love you anyway :-)

    (Oh, and the next decision is whether I'll now use a yet darker shade for the bedroom or go with the same color that's in the bathroom!)


    has spoken at 8:45 PM
    11 Backtalks to Granny

    Can we please think of something worse than the death penalty?

    9 Adopted Kids


    has spoken at 7:49 PM
    1 Backtalks to Granny

    Having been married for 34 years to a "leftie" and also being the mother of a left-handed child, I've been interested for a long time in the differences between right- and left-handed people and the other characteristics that seem to accompany being left-handed. So this article caught my eye:

    Scientists have discovered the first gene which appears to increase the odds of being left-handed.

    The Oxford University-led team believe carrying the gene may also slightly raise the risk of developing psychotic mental illness such as schizophrenia.

    The gene, LRRTM1, appears to play a key role in controlling which parts of the brain take control of specific functions, such as speech and emotion.

    Of course the study raises more questions than it answers, but the questions themselves are fascinating.

    I forwarded the link to the southpaw Papa this morning, and commenting on the schizophrenic connection, he said, "At least I'll have each other."


    has spoken at 11:58 AM
    5 Backtalks to Granny

    Monday, July 30, 2007
    You say ta-may-toe, I say.... over and see what Susie Homemaker's been doing :-) Three cheers!

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    has spoken at 8:51 PM
    0 Backtalks to Granny

    Please pray for Chief Justice John Roberts, in the hospital at this hour after having a seizure. Pray for his personal health as well as for our nation should he not be able to return to his duties: there's no way Roberts would be replaced during this administration with a strict constructionist or a judge anywhere near as conservative as he is. And the current (barely) conservative court is one of the only ways our country would be kept out of collapse should we elect a, ahem, liberal president.

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    has spoken at 4:48 PM
    0 Backtalks to Granny

    Sunday, July 29, 2007
    Sunday snippets...

    It's been a quiet week in Lake Bexar. I say quiet because there's not much that can go on with the kind of weather we've been just goes on and on! And another week of rain ahead. The Papa was glad that he took half of Friday off and did yard work Friday and Saturday, because there'd be no mowing today or tomorrow!

    My week was varied...getting Tim to basketball camp in the tasks...reordering part of the house...answering emails...researching some options for a new range (yes, GAS)...all in all, a pretty productive week.

    AND...for those of you following the color saga, I made the color decisions for the master bedroom and bathroom. While I was presenting The Papa with some options, he said, "Don't you think you'd like to paint it a nice rose color?" Do I have a wonderful man, or what?? Well, I didn't choose rose, but we did settle on a deep plum color for the bedroom and a lighter shade in the same family for the bathroom, with the same bright white glossy trim we've used throughout the first floor. This is really the most daring choice for me so far, because it's one I'll be looking at quite a few hours a day! Dirk will start in the bathroom tomorrow morning and then move to the bedroom, so I'll be posting pictures soon...

    And after choosing the wall color and having a good excuse to buy new bedding, I chose a new quilt in coordinating colors. We've had our current bedding for twelve years and it's showing its age. I'm ready for a change. I think.

    Another improvement Dirk and I handled this week was putting a new light fixture in the front hall where my built-in bookcases are. The sad little hallway light fixture has never been adequate in that space since Dave built the shelves there. I have to look for books in the daytime, because once the sun goes down the books are all the same size, shape and color and there's no way I can locate anything. Well now we have a large flourescent light right in front of the shelves and it floods light right where I need it. Far from looking like a shop light, the one we picked is very similar in style to the molding on the shelves and so looks right at home.

    Having linked to this story yesterday, I cannot resist walking you over to hear Scrappleface's characteristically twisted but hilarious take on the mentally ill mice. This guy is too funny!

    School at Granny's House will be starting a little later than usual this year--Aug. 28. I like to start early in August but I'm not going to push it this year with all the house upheaval we've had. And early in the month Shelley and I (and anyone else who wants to come over and help!) are going to do a Mega-Cooking day and stock the freezer with meals for the first few weeks of the school year. I'm hoping that this will make our transition back into the fall schedule a little smoother, the evening meals being already planned and mostly prepared.

    Waving at you from my drippy windows this Sunday afternoon...

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    has spoken at 1:34 PM
    2 Backtalks to Granny

    Saturday, July 28, 2007
    Elementary, my dear...
    We began homeschooling in 1985 with an eager little first-grader (waving to Annie!). In every year since then I've had a student in the elementary grades.

    Until this year.

    This year our Baby Prince (waving to Tim!) enters 6th grade...and now that 6th is considered "middle school" I no longer have, nor will I ever have again, an elementary student. One of the evidences of that is the frequent calls to the "A team" girls, asking them if they need a 3rd grade spelling book or the teacher's manual to this or that arithmetic curriculum. And this time I'm not asking them if they want to borrow the books, but to take them permanently and put them on a shelf in a home with a lot of young students left to come.

    Anyone who's taught a child to read or watched her do her very first sums knows there's no feeling in the world like it. And so despite my joy at the way my kids are growing up and growing out, the shedding of the primers and flash cards brings a pang of sadness. Sure, I still have lots of homeschooled grandchildren, but I possess neither the primary responsibility for, nor the immediate satisfaction of, educating them. I'm a resource, a cheerleader, a facilitator and mentor, but gone are my days of being the first-grade teacher of a child who sits at my table and sleeps under my roof. Joy comes now from watching my daughters be the teachers...from watching them exult when their little ones walk through the "wardrobe" of phonics and enter that Narnian world of print, changing their lives forever.

    I am more blessed than I can say to have lived long enough to watch the next generation of children who get to have the world opened to them from inside the walls of their very own homes. But as I gratefully pass that mantle on to a new set of parents, I watch with just a little bit of sadness...

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    has spoken at 10:52 PM
    3 Backtalks to Granny

    Some stories, just defy comment, ya know?

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    has spoken at 7:03 PM
    0 Backtalks to Granny

    This is the kind of story...
    ...that both makes me feel young and keeps me from being afraid of getting old. This man has four decades on me!

    Cops: Man, 93, Shoots Violent Robber

    EL DORADO, Ark. (AP) - An elderly man beaten unconscious by an assailant wielding a soda can awoke and shot the man during an attempted robbery, police said.

    Willie Lee Hill, 93, told police he saw the robber while in his bedroom Wednesday night. Hill confronted the man and was struck at least 50 times, police said. He was knocked unconscious.

    Covered in blood, Hill regained consciousness a short time later and pulled a .38-caliber handgun on his attacker. The suspect, Douglas B. Williams Jr., saw the gun and charged the man, who fired a bullet that struck Williams in the throat, police said.

    Find out how the unlucky robber reacted here.

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    has spoken at 12:31 PM
    1 Backtalks to Granny

    I hate it when I have big plans to get stuff done and then I get sidelined. I don't mean an interruption that, although unexpected, is meaningful. I'm talking about the kind that seem to have no useful purpose, LIKE A MIGRAINE.

    I'm sure I need to have a way more spiritual outlook toward even this, but today I don't. Last night I had just settled down for a couple of hours of work when BAMMMM...ambushed by the visual aura and then about the worst pain I've ever had from a migraine. Thankfully I had just refilled my Zomig and got it in me fast, turned out the light, pulled the covers over my head, and tried not to move. Ugh.

    And the hangover, well, here it's noon and I'm just beginning to be able to think again. Half my Saturday is gone, Friday night's work is still on the desk, and Saturday's work awaits. I have school books in three piles, corresponding to my three remaining students, neatly stacked on my ironing board also waiting for my attention. And in case you were wondering, my house is only about half put back together from the carpet/paint adventure.

    Coffee. Coffee. I must find the coffee.

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    has spoken at 11:23 AM
    0 Backtalks to Granny

    Thursday, July 26, 2007

    Beneath the cross of Jesus, I fain would take my stand

    The shadow of a mighty rock within a weary land

    A home within the wilderness, a rest upon the way

    From the burning of the noontide heat, and the burden of the day...

    has spoken at 10:25 PM


    Annie had her ultrasound today, and the little guy wasn't trying to keep anything a secret...before long here, our grandsons will outnumber the granddaughters two to one!

    Congrats to Caleb and Anne, and we look forward to little Ethan's arrival in December!

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    has spoken at 8:02 PM
    7 Backtalks to Granny

    Tuesday, July 24, 2007
    In the past couple of years I've explored several new creative outlets...this blog, the accompanying body of knowledge I've accumulated in HTML and web design, a couple of different business pursuits, a new interest in decorating and color, more poetry writing. So it was with a smile that I ran across this page in a little book that sits by my bed:

    I once heard a woman say, "You know, older chickens make the best soup!" Because that sounded rather sacrificial to me, I amended it to, "Older chickens lay the best eggs." "Well," a farmer drawled in response to my asking if this was a true statement, "I don't know. Could be. But I do know that older chickens don't cackle as much."

    Hum...I think we do cackle less and less as we mature. In the quiet, perhaps we are better able to hear the sounds of our potential waiting to be hatched. Life requires that we create, and as we pass the age of possible baby-making, we march into an era where myriad possibilities become vibrantly alive within us. Ideally, this is a time when we have not only the yearning but also the freedom to peck open the shells surrounding our personal creative power and realize our dreams and schemes...

    I used to grin at middle-aged (or older) women who took up oil painting or ballroom dancing. While I can't do the latter and will probably never be interested in the former, I am understanding the impulses more and more. I want to go out in "create" mode, whether that's tomorrow or in forty years...


    has spoken at 3:37 PM
    6 Backtalks to Granny

    Monday, July 23, 2007
    Last glimpses...
    ...of the "funnest" summer vacation ever...

    Red River, summer 2007, we'll never forget you....


    has spoken at 9:35 PM
    6 Backtalks to Granny

    Sunday, July 22, 2007
    Sunday snippets...
    I can hardly believe it's been over a week since we got home. The week has been full, but you wouldn't know it to look at my house. There are still stacks of books and nic-nacs and STUFF in every corner waiting to be replaced, re-shelved, rehung, restrung, whatever. And I still have half a dozen projects I'd like to get done (read: get Dirk to do) before we all head back into the fall routine. So starting tomorrow I have to prioritize and get back to work!

    I've enjoyed having Lyric here this week. Her suitcase is parked at Johanna's but we've had lots of nice time together. We've done some running around, shopping, lunching, movie-watching, and worked some on our business. She heads home tomorrow and thus ends my last reason to avoid putting the house back together :-)

    Pastor Dirk's messages through Genesis continue to challenge us. Wonder of wonders, he actually covered seven verses today...which means that there is a glimmer of hope that he'll finish the book before I go to the rest home!

    I'll have a few more vacation pictures this week and then file them away. The memories will grow sweeter through the years and the week will go down as one of our best ever family vacations.

    Snip, snip, that's all folks.

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    has spoken at 6:58 PM
    0 Backtalks to Granny

    Saturday, July 21, 2007
    And can I just say....
    ...that I'm very glad I got to go on my own vacation? Because apparently, there are alternatives!

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    has spoken at 11:12 PM
    0 Backtalks to Granny

    For me, one of the highlights of the trip to the mountains was the ride up the ski lift. Skiing is not on my list of accomplisments, so I've never had occasion to ride a lift. I'm glad my family talked me into doing this...the thrill and the majesty of the view from the top, and even on the way up and down, is something I'll never forget. I'm not one to be afraid of heights so that didn't deter me; it was more the whole idea of jumping on and off and my fear of the impact on my bad leg. But after the family had gone the day before and given me an honest assessment of whether it would be safe for me, I gladly agreed to accompany my sweet husband (did I mention that we've been married for 34 years?!) up the mountain. And I'll never be sorry.

    Our shadow!
    The view from the summit.

    "I will lift up mine eyes to the hills...."

    Oh God, thank You for being a God who loves beauty and who has created our hearts and minds in Your image so that we can love what you love. Thank You for allowing me the opportunity to once again experience, in jaw-dropping wonder, the work of Your hands...

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    has spoken at 10:43 PM
    3 Backtalks to Granny

    Granny's Mission Statement
    "...Tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the LORD, and his might, and the wonders that he has done....that the generation to come might know, even the children yet to be born, that they may arise and tell them to their children."
    ~Psalm 78:4-6

    My Focal Passage for 2011...
    Philippians 2:5-11

    5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,

    6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,

    7 but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.

    8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

    9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name,

    10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,

    11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

    ~Philippians 2:5-11 (ESV)


    "The vanity of being known to be trusted with a secret is generally one of the chief motives to disclose it."

    ~Samuel Johnson

    [Oxymoronica, n., A compilation of self-contradictory terms, phrases, or quotations; examples of oxymoronica appear illogical or nonsensical at first, but upon reflection, make a good deal of sense and are often profoundly true.]

    Books on the iPhone, the Kindle, or on the nightstand...

  • The Good Husband of Zebra Drive, Alexander Mccall Smith
  • The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions, Arthur G. Bennett, editor

  • Books finished in 2011...

  • Oxymoronica, Mardy Grothe
  • Some Sing, Some Cry, Ntozake Shange, Ifa Bayeza
  • English Society in the Eighteenth Century, Roy Porter
  • One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are, Ann Voskamp
  • His Word in My Heart, Janet Pope
  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Rebecca Skloot
  • Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn
  • Reading Lolita in Tehran, Azar Nafisi
  • Think: The Life of the Mind and the Love of God, John Piper
  • Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything, Joshua Foer
  • Blue Shoes and Happiness, Alexander McCall Smith
  • The Red Queen, Philippa Gregory
  • Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy, Eric Metaxas
  • The Confessions of Saint Augustine, St. Augustine
  • Complete Poems and Selected Letters of John Keats, John Keats
  • Unfamiliar Fishes, Sarah Vowell
  • Words That Work, Frank Luntz
  • NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children, Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman
  • Poke the Box, Seth Godin
  • Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It, Gary Taubes
  • A Patriot's History of the United States, Larry Schweikart and Michael Allen
  • Song of Saigon: One Woman's Journey to Freedom, Anh Vu Sawyer
  • The Artistic Mother: A Practical Guide for Fitting Creativity into Your Life, Shona Cole
  • The Politically Incorrect Guide to English and American Literature, Elizabeth Kantor
  • The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris, David McCullough

  • Oh, the thinks you
    can think...
  • Tapestry of Grace
  • Anatomical Charts
  • America's Library
  • George Washington's Mount Vernon - Virtual Mansion Tour
  • Thomas Jefferson's Monticello - Virtual Mansion Tour
  • Hurricane Demo

  • Oh, the places we'll go...
  • The Alamo
  • Majestic Theater
  • The MAiZE
  • Magik Theatre
  • Sheldon Vexler Children's Theatre

  • Granny always says...
    Saying goodbye...
    Sunday snippets...
    Sunday snippets...
    Coming soon to a country near you...
    Making (a) room...
    Just in case this might make an impact on your spe...
    Midweek snippets...
    What's up?
    She said YES!

    Granny used to say...
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    Grace Notes

    "Were the whole realm of nature mine
    That were a present far too small...
    Love so amazing, so divine
    Demands my soul, my life,
    my all!"