Tag Archive | Samantha

It’s All I Ever Wanted!

Sparkly birthday card from GG and Papa

Sparkly birthday card from GG and Papa

Sammie has just turned 4 years old.  She really isn’t sure what this means at all, she is still figuring out how to hold up 4 fingers without having the pinky finger curled down.

What she does know is this, on minute she is excited about being a big girl, and the next she is talking in baby talk.

She thinks her magic is gone now.  This makes me sad, but I think I need to work with her to help her realize that her magic lives in her imagination…in other words it lives in her ability to imagine and create.  Rather than feeling sad about her “losing” her magic, I see this as a wonderful opportunity to help her find that her magic is something she can control and develop.  I think we’ll have fun together learning how to express this magic that we all have.

For awhile she had a companion named Shadow.  None of us grownups could see or hear Shadow, only Sammie.  If Shadow needed to go to the bathroom, Sammie went.  Then a few minutes later she would go again but this time for herself.  If something spilled, or disappeared, Shadow was responsible.

This is typical of most three and four year olds.  However for Sam, it has developed into a whole community of shadow people.  According to her, shadow people are those who can not be seen but you can hear them.  They talk to you.  They also live in the moon.  They are nice people, as opposed to the aliens who live in the moon.  The aliens there are not nice at all.

The other night I was visiting over at Sammie’s house.  She was on the floor playing and started in with some baby-talk.  I curiously asked her where all this baby-talk was coming from, because, I said, I thought she had told me she was a big girl now.

She replied “I am a big girl, but I am still YOUR little baby!”  I scooped her up and held her like she was a little baby and started to rock her and sing.  She became very still and snuggled into me.

Being four years old means that there are exciting things to learn, new games to create, new pictures to paint, big girl dolls with a wardrobe of clothes to be conquered.  It means learning your colors and numbers, singing the ABC song, bursting out with “Let It Go” spontaneously.  It means picking up your toys and eating your food by yourself.  It means putting on and taking off your own clothes and wanting privacy in the bathroom.

Being four also means that you still remember being three, and the love you feel when Grandma cuddles you.  It means you remember how you can give that special look to Papa and he will spoon-feed you your food.  You remember being the center of attention just because you came over to visit.  You also know that this will probably never change.  Because you remember these wonderful things and how it makes you feel, you don’t want to lose these things and these feelings just because you are growing up.

Grandma understands!  My promise to Sammie is that I am here to help her.  I will help her discover the magic she was born with that never goes away, it just takes on different forms.  I will help her discover new experiences that she could not enjoy at a younger age.  Grandma also understands that she needs to always be my baby girl, so anytime we can cuddle and rock and sing lullabies, we will do so!

The reason I was at her house the other night is because it was the night of her fourth birthday.  Her big party will be on the weekend, but on her actual birthday her great-grandparents and I wanted to give her the gifts we bought for her.  Everyone should have a birthday gift on their actual birthday!  We also wanted to enjoy watching her open the gifts and appreciate them without all the overwhelming excitement and energy that takes place at a child’s party.  Her momma had a chocolate cake with four purple candles, Sammie managed to blow them all out after several tries and a wee bit of help from Papa.

I had fun teasing her when we first arrived, asking her if she knew why I was there because I could not remember!  And this package in my hand?  I wasn’t sure who it was for, could it be for mommy?

“It’s for ME” she said, “it’s MY birthday!”  She said this with great excitement.

After we all sat down in the living room and she had showed us her pinata and the huge balloon daddy had brought her, she reached for the package I brought.  She pulled out the doll clothes and shoes one by one and admired each item.  For a little girl she really knows how to enjoy opening a gift!  It is a pleasure to watch her, I can’t describe the joy it gives me to watch her face and hear her words as she expresses her appreciation!

A bag full of new doll clothes!

A bag full of new doll clothes!

After that, she reached for the packages that GG (great grandma) had brought her.  The first one was a good-sized plush My Little Pony named Twilight Sparkle.  She loved it!  Then came the last package, also from GG.

Sammie reached in and pulled out….a plush Elsa doll!  Complete with soft plush yellow hair, sparkly blue gown made of satin and tulle and blue satin slippers.

It's all I ever wanted!

It’s all I ever wanted!

Sammie was overjoyed!  The first thing she said was “ohh, it’s all I ever wanted!”  She repeated that over and over while holding the doll and twirling around.  She held it up over her head to look at it, and showed it to all of us, all the while repeating “its all I ever wanted”.

It was such a joy to watch her in such ecstasy over a doll!  On top of that, I don’t know whose face I enjoyed more, Sammie or my mom.  Mom’s face was beaming, so happy that Sammie was so happy with this gift!

I never really knew my great grandparents.  Neither did my son know his.  So I am really happy about the fact that my own parents are getting to enjoy having a great-grandchild and that Sammie gets to know them and have such memories for later in her life.

Sammie is also learning a really good lesson with all this.  She has wanted an Elsa doll since the movie came out last year.  Her mom says that every time they would go to a store and Sammie would spot one, she would beg for it.  Mommy would say things like “let’s wait and see what Santa bring”,  “let’s wait and see what you get for your birthday”,  ” that doll is so small, the price is too high for a small doll like that”.

So Sammie waited.  She waited and waited and waited.  For months she has sung “Let it Go”.  When she spends the night with me, we watch the video on my computer and she knows all the words to the song.  I am not allowed to sing it, only her!

I hope that now at this young age she is learning that waiting can be worth it!  After all, she waited as patiently as a three-year old can, and by the time she turned four, she received “all she ever wanted”!

Your turn!  Tell me about a time when you wanted something, anything and had to wait for it, making the final outcome that much sweeter!


Fifty Five – Where Do I Go From Here…

birthday cake candles lit

Having just faced my 55th birthday I have been thinking and deciding what to do with the second half of my life. I spent the first half raising a child, working hard in corporate America and trying to save for retirement. When I think about those years I realize I was always looking forward, which is better than looking back, I suppose.

I also realize that I have missed out on many opportunities by not paying attention to the now. What do I want right NOW? How can I be happy NOW? Where can I find fulfillment NOW?

Now, not later.

Not Wasting Away

I am unable to work in the corporate world any longer due to disability. I don’t intend to just waste away either! I am a grandmother now and this gives me such joy. I serve in my church and this gives me much satisfaction. I believe I am going to be around for some time, but all the plans I made for my future dried up when I got sick.

Three QuestionsGirl who walks alone

It is those three questions stated earlier in this post that are driving me. What do I want? I want to be happy and fulfilled. I have decided that I have three avenues to achieve this. Being a grandmother, speaking at church, and writing. These things will carry me into the future and sustain me, while at the same time keeping me anchored in the now.

Realizing Valuedscf0652

When I am with my grand-daughter life changes at a moments notice and everything is a miracle. When I am speaking at church, I first must write, and I must focus on what my words are and how they will help someone right now. It is important to me that people realize their value, their purpose and that they are loved unconditionally.

Love is All

I have worked hard to realize and believe these truths for myself and I know that this knowledge of being loved beyond measure and having a purpose is what saves us.

And just as important to me, I find that writing has become my drive and my goal, the journey of my now and my future.

Pen to Paper What is YOUR dream?  How do you want to spend the rest of your life?  What makes you happy?  Please…comment below and share your thoughts with me.

November 2014 – Gains and Losses

November has not been an easy month this year.

I lost my first best friend to an unexpected death on November 1st.  We met when we were 11 years old, she would have been 54 in December.  It was such a shock because it was so unexpected, yet she was having medical problems that were never identified.  Now there is the mystery of what caused her passing.

Wendy and Dave

Wendy and Dave dancing, this is how I will remember her!

I am told that this particular November’s full moon provided an easier portal to the next plane of existence and that if one really desired to go, one would be able to will it to happen.

I know that Wendy missed her husband so much.

She lost him to cancer about 4 years ago and she never finished grieving.  I feel like Dave must have called to her through that portal and she willingly went to him.  I don’t know if this is a true representation of what happens to us spiritually when our body dies, but the thought gives me comfort and it feels right.




The next thing that happened is that I almost lost my dog, Holly. 

She is a border collie mix, about 11 years old.  She has been staying with my friend while I am living with my parents trying to get back on my feet.  Well, my friend lost her home and ended up in a motel with my dog along with her 3 little dogs.

Holly 11-7-14-2

Holly sitting in the driver’s seat!

I mounted a Facebook campaign to get help:

a rescue, a foster home or something.  Ended up with people contacting me willing to help in many ways.  One woman took food and treats to the hotel, along with leashes and collars.  Another woman provided for vet care for all 4 dogs and helped raise money for my friend’s motel bill so that she could stay with the dogs.

Eventually a friend from church offered to foster Holly and so Holly is now with her.

I am really happy about that because my friend who was keeping Holly is now on the move to Arkansas!   It’s hard enough losing 2 friends without losing my dog too!


Rexann and baby Nataly

Rexann and baby Nataly

I know this friend is not really lost to me, but living so far away and making a life will limit our communication.  I will miss her.  I’ll miss talking on the phone almost every day sharing stories about our grand children.







I turned 55 this month, and the week of my birthday was very peaceful.  I had come to turns pretty much with Wendy’s death and Rexann’s decisions, also with the idea that I may have to allow Holly to be adopted.

My family celebrated my birthday over the time of several days, which was wonderful!  Mom took me shopping, dad had already paid for my membership at 24 hour fitness, my son and his wife bought me a new camera.

My parents took me and Samantha to lunch on my birthday, we had fabulous Mexican food and I had Flan for the first time.  Sammie of course had a corn dog and fries!







But aside from all the gifts, I felt the love.

Feeling the love enabled me to remember all that I have to be grateful for.  It is just too much to list here, but I will say I am grateful for my family and my friends, and how being with them all enriches my life in spite of or maybe  because of my financial situation.

The last 2 years of my life have been a journey of healing for me, and it still continues.  I have come so far from where I was that I can now look toward the future with anticipation for what may come next!

I think that even though 55 has had such a shocking beginning, it looks to be a really good year.

Please share with me a time in your life when you felt great change, experienced loss, or received some kind of healing!

Samantha and the Deer


Samantha will be four years old in just a few months.  She has changed so much since she was a two-year old!  Watching her grow is so amazing.

She has so much energy! But then, all children her age do.  Hasn’t everyone said “If I could just bottle some of that kid’s energy and sell it I’d be rich!”

Sometimes her patience doesn’t keep up with her energy.  She wants what she wants and she wants it right now!  Or, she doesn’t want it at all!  What she really wants is to be in control.  Her Daddy tells her he is the boss, that Mommy is the boss.  I think Sammie would like to be the boss!

We had a rain storm recently and her parents let her play in the rain on the driveway, they made a video of it.  I watched, watched her run in and out, dance around with hands in the air.  Joyfully getting drenched and celebrating the rain!

Her Daddy used to do the very same thing!

On her last visit over here she played “soccer” with PaPa, and stayed awake until nearly eleven pm.  She was just so wound up.  Nope, I had not filled her up with candy or anything like that.  She was just excited to be here and full of excess energy.  By the time I got her settled and turned off the light I was so exhausted!


What amazes me about Samantha is how she can go from one extreme to another if her interest is engaged.   Over Labor Day weekend we went to her Nana’s house on the lake.  It’s about a two-hour drive from where we live.  She was excited about going and that I was going with them this time.  She talked and sang nearly the whole time!  We stopped at a rest stop and she worried about me keeping up with her, worried about leaving me in the ladies room!  Once we were back outside, someone was letting their dog walk around and of course she had to go and talk to it, pet it.

I can see why they love to go down to the lake house.  It’s so peaceful there.   The house backs up to the lake almost. There is a patio, steps that go down a sloped lawn then several yards of green lawn spread out to the lake.  There are no fences between neighbors, the kids just run and play the length of the grassy lawn.  Sammie and her cousin Ellie ran back and fourth all over the place.  Then went with the men and Ellie’s mom Heather on the boat.

In the evening, Sammie’s PaPa Dan brought out a bucket with a lid, and Nana brought out some carrots.  Dan shook the bucket to make a loud rattling sound.  In just a few minutes the deer came running over!

Four Does and about three Fawn.  Then more came!   Sammie and Ellie started throwing corn out to them and Nana tossed down some carrots.   I think we ended up having four or five Bucks, a dozen Does and about seven Fawn.   Those Does were very protective.  They would chase away the bucks and not let them have the food.  One pregnant doe had her eye on a half carrot.  A buck was after it too.   Every time he got close to it she would jump at him and knock him with her head.  He would back off and she would walk around that piece of carrot in a circle, but she never did eat it!  She just did not want him to have it!

After awhile Ellie got some of the deer to come over and eat from her hand.  Sammie would take a step toward them to see and the deer would back off.  I could see this was irritating to Ellie, but she stepped up to the problem really well.

She told Sammie to come and sit down.  Then she put some corn in Sammie’s hand and told her to hold it out to the deer, be very quiet and wait.   I watched Sammie holding her hand straight out, not a waver.  She was so still and waited so patiently on the deer to come to her, I could not believe it was my same energetic Sammie!

The deer came over to her and nibbled from her hand and her face lit up like a Christmas tree!  She was so thrilled!


My baby grand-daughter is becoming a complex little girl.   All in a few hours she will sit still and paint, run out side to kick the ball around, come back in and play with a dollhouse or her baby dolls, paint again.   Jump up and down on the bed, then lay back for a story.   And she always needs to have the last word, (like her grandma and her daddy) so she ends the evening by telling me a story that she makes up, just before we turn out the light to sleep.

I try to take pictures of everything she does when she is with me, but I could sit at the lake house and watch her feed the deer for hours.   She loves animals, and they love her too.


Amen Is Beautiful

angel child


Samantha came to visit me last weekend.  We had the usual fun, but we also did some new things.  I had bought her some watercolors, various paint brushes and some good watercolor paper.  My mother bought her a bouncy playground ball, she also bought her a pink and silver soccer ball.

We painted off and on all day, including her fingernails. She was very interested in the different lines she could paint with different brushes.

PaPa went outside with her and they kicked the soccer ball around.  She is pretty good at it, she had played “soccer” with the kids at the nanny’s house until they all went back to school this Fall.

She was so full of energy, even bath time seemed to energize her and not get her relaxed.  We didn’t get to sleep until almost eleven PM!  Morning came early, and she didn’t wake me up this time.  She slept while  I got in the shower and put on my makeup.  Then I came back in the bedroom and turned on the light, which roused her.  I gave her some time to fully wake up while I got dressed for church.  She helped me choose which blouse to wear.

Then we went to the kitchen for breakfast.

I prepared a special treat for her breakfast, a waffle sandwich!  It was just two rectangle waffles, toasted and spread with chocolate cream and put together to make a sandwich.  I had one too!

She took a couple of bites, chewing slowly.  By the time she had taken three bites I had finished mine off.  She just was not in any hurry at all.  I told her we had only five minutes for breakfast and then we had to get her dressed for church. Time does not mean anything to a three-year old! Finally, I pulled my chair over next to hers and told her that as long as she kept eating, I would sit next to her and read to her from the Sunday funny pages. This strategy worked pretty well.

She was no trouble getting dressed and didn’t even fuss when I brushed out her hair.  She wanted to put on some of my makeup, she loves the purple eyeshadow and pale pink blush! I told her we could not use the makeup on her today.  She, of course, wanted to know why. I said that little girls do not wear makeup to church because they are already so beautiful that they don’t need it.  I told her that she especially was very beautiful just the way she was right then.  She accepted this explanation without comment.

When we arrived at church, I grabbed an activity bag for her.  We keep about twenty of these bags for the children to use during the service.  Each bag has crayons, stickers and coloring books.   This time she wasn’t interested in coloring, but she was all over the stickers. So we worked on those while she settled in, getting ready to being still and quiet.  She does move around a lot, but she is always quiet and respectful of the worshipful energy of the congregation.

Ever since she was an infant, she has loved the hymns. While being held in her mother’s arms she would hum just loud enough for us to hear while we were singing.  All of us were amazed that she could do this while just a little baby!  Now that she is a toddler, she loves to hear the piano and seems fascinated by the hymnals.

So there we were, standing and singing “Great and Marvelous Are Thy Works” and she gently tugged on my shirt. I leaned down to hear what she wanted to tell me and this is what she said:

“Amen is beautiful”.

That was all, and we had not even sang an amen yet. I think she heard it from an angel, I don’t think anyone told her this. I agreed with her and when we got to the end of the hymn, I bent down to show her the word on the page as we sang it, “AAAA-mennnnn”. She said again, “its beautiful”.

After the service was over people came over to us to say hello to her since she had not been at church with me for a while.  Each person who came over to us was graced with her solemn wide-eyed pronouncement that “Amen is beautiful”. Each person would agree with her, some would thank her for telling them this.

I was so pleased, so proud,  so amazed!  I was so happy to be able to watch her offer her special ministry!  That is what it was, sharing this thought, it was a ministry to those she spoke to.

Some people asked me if she meant amen at the end of a prayer or was it a hymn.  I had to say I really didn’t know, she just came up with it while we were singing.  I thought perhaps it was because it was something that we all say together, when at church, and the combined voices create a mystical energy that resonated with her.

Before beginning this post I looked up the definition of amen in the online Merriam Webster Dictionary.   This is what it says:

“—used to express solemn ratification (as of an expression of faith) or hearty approval (as of an assertion)

Middle English, from Old English, from Late Latin, from Greek amēn,

from Hebrew āmēn

First Known Use: before 12th century.”

Expressions of faith and agreement are indeed beautiful! Perhaps this is what Samantha sensed in church that day. I believe that she knows and remembers God, and that like me she has been born with the gift of faith. Maybe she even lived in a time when the word first came into use and this memory has remained with her.

I am reminded of the time when she was less than a year old, and I told her that I was here to help her and she was here to help me.  Then just after she turned three, she came up to me in my room and laid her hand on my arm.  When I looked at her she said “You are the best grandma in the world, and I am going to help you, and you are going to help me.”

She remembered what I told her even though she was just a baby at the time! We are in agreement now, and that is a beautiful thing!

Amen, Amen Samantha!


Readers:  Your comments are requested and appreciated!

Princess Samantha

2013-06-21 b

Little girls need positive reinforcement about themselves.  It is important to bring them up with a solid sense of identity and worthiness.  In most cases, they get the best of this from their fathers.

My son is a wonderful father.  However he was an only child who grew up without much influence from his own father.   Fortunately he had good male role models from my dad, and from soccer coaches and a couple of high school teachers who saw his potential.   But I am concerned that he might lack a true understanding of what a little girl needs from her daddy as she is growing up.

I think it may be my job to guide him through this.  So far he is doing great and doesn’t need a lot of advice from me.

In spite of that, I have felt the need to be a strong influence to Samantha.  So, I began with she was an infant.  I would tell her how precious she was.  As mentioned in an earlier post, I told her that I was here to help her, and that she would also help me.

When she was two she started to comprehend conversation.  I told her she was my princess.  My parents , who are her great-grandparent, also called her their princess.   Her dad didn’t really want us to convince her that she is a princess, because he didn’t want her to think she was overly entitled to special treatment.   But that is not what we mean when we call her princess.  What we mean is that she is special to us, and we are honored to have her in our lives, and that we want her to realize that she is a unique and special part of our family.

The other thing we would tell her is that she is beautiful.  All girls need to believe that about themselves.   Samantha started to play with her dress up clothes, which are mostly fairy outfits and lots of beads and plastic clip on earrings.   She would get all gussied up and we would oooh and ahhhh and tell her how beautiful she looks.

On Sundays, I would get her dressed for church, have her nails painted, and her hair up in a big bow, then show her the big mirror in the bathroom and say “see how beautiful you are Sammie?” .  Then I would send her over to where Papa was waiting to show him how nice she looked, and he would giver her compliments.

It didn’t take too long for her to get the idea.  Once day the four of us, Sammie, myself, my mom and dad, were sitting at the kitchen table eating lunch.   Sammie, in her two year old language, informed us very firmly that she is a “pincess” and that she is “bootiful”.   It was cute beyond imagination!  She loved saying the words, and we always told her that she was right.

She doesn’t say these things anymore, now that she is getting close to four years old.   We had a discussion about whether or not she is special.   I had told her that she was my special girl, and she replied that she was not special.   I asked her why she would say that, and she didn’t answer me.  I told her that she was special to me, because she is my only Sammie.   Then she said she is not Sammie.  I asked her to tell me who she is if she is not Sammie?  She replied that she is Samantha Daniel.       ( her full name is Samantha Danielle Yates).   I realized then that she is learning her identity.   I later found out that she had been told that some disabled children were “special needs” children and that may be why she told me she wasn’t special.  We have talked about what the word special means to different people.

The really great thing about my “bootiful” “pincess” Samantha Danielle, is that she is not only a beautiful child to look at, she is beautiful inside as well.

She is always grateful when you give her a gift.   She always says thank you.   She wants to be a helper.  Sammie never throws trash on the ground but looks for the trash can and if she can’t find it she hands her trash to me or her mom or dad.   She loves animals.  She loves babies and is a tender mommie to her baby dolls.  When you visit her at home, she offers you things.   She doesn’t say ” I want to go outside”.  She will come over to you and ask “Do you want to go outside? Let’s go out and play!”.   Samantha is a leader among her friends.  When she goes to church with us, she will introduce herself to people just coming in, without being told.  She like to meet people, even though at times she has that toddler’s shyness.

I see in Samantha a great person.  I believe in her, I believe that she will be a loving woman who will bless those in her life as well as those who cross her path.  And after all, isn’t that what a real princess does?

Your comments are requested and appreciated!

Samantha’s Concern


Last week was my son’s 35th birthday.  It was during the week so we planned on celebrating on Sunday after church.

Then on Friday we found out that Sammie was sick, she had a pretty high fever so her mother left work to take her to the doctor.  They were thinking maybe strep throat.  But it was a virus, no strep.  She just needed to be home with mommy to control the fever, eat some popsicles and be cuddled.

By Saturday she was better but still not herself completely.  I talked to her and asked her how she was feeling.  “I am ok, I pooped in the potty and now I am playing with my zoo.” she told me.

We decided to go ahead with our plans for Sunday, since we would be at their house and if Sammie didn’t feel good she could lay down anytime and anywhere she wanted.

Mom roasted some corn on the cob, I made some potato salad and Courtney made a chocolate cake.

When we arrived there Sunday afternoon, Sammie was not feeling very sociable.  She didn’t want to say “Hi”, she didn’t want a hug or kiss.  All she would say is ” I just want my mommy”.

I told her that was ok, I wasn’t there to take her away from mommy.  “But, I told her, “I have a little present for you, do you want it?”   She said “Yes, but bring it over here by mommy.”   Courtney lifted her up onto the counter to sit, and I went over by them.

I pulled a small box from my purse and handed it to Samantha.  She struggled with the opening, and I asked her if I could help  her get it open.  “Yes, open it” she said.   I just loosened the top a bit and gave it back to her.  She really does like to open things herself.   She got it open then and pulled out the bottle of teal colored nail polish.  She really liked it, she was silent but very interested in the color.  I showed her how it matched the blouse I was wearing.   After that, she seemed to get into the swing of things.

She decided she was hungry, and could hardly wait for the food to be warmed up.   She ate a hot dog and a cob of corn which she just loves.  After we all finished, Courtney found a candle for the cake and lit it up.  We sang Happy Birthday to daddy, and she helped him blow out that candle.

She sat on my lap a couple of times, but she never did want a kiss or much of a hug.  What she wanted was for me, mommy and GiGi to go upstairs to her room.  So we did that, and admired her big girl bed and her toys and lights, her TV and dolls.  I think she was really pleased to have us all in HER place.

The next day, I went to the hospital for a surgical procedure on my back, to help reduce the chronic pain that I suffer.  Later that evening, my son called.  He had us on speaker and so we put him on speaker and we could all talk together.

I heard Courtney telling Sammie that Grandma had been to the doctor to get help for her back.   Then Sammie said into the phone, “Grandma how are you feeling? Are you ok?”    The sound of her sweet voice asking me that just melted my heart.

“Yes, I said to her, “I am feeling good right now, and I am ok.  The doctor put a big needle in my back but I was asleep so it didn’t hurt and now I feel better.  Sammie how are YOU feeling today?”

“I feel better too”, she said.   Then she told me that she loves me.  “Oh, Sammie I love you too!  And I am so glad you are better today!”  She kissed the phone, and I kissed her back.

I was impressed that all she needed was to be told what happened to me, and she knew what to say on her own.   She is a leader among her friends, but she is showing compassion now, My baby grand-daughter is starting to grow up a little bit.