Wednesday, December 12, 2012

YaYa's Little Helper

Grandchildren make you remember the absolute joy of "little ones". 

Unfortunately, when you are a "momma" and in the midst of raising babies, caring for them, protecting them, teaching them, feeding them, not sleeping because of their sometimes forget to just ENJOY! I raised 4 babies and I remember pure exhaustion much of the time! But God provided generations for us and the beauty of of grandparenthood is that you get to savor those special times, spoil as needed, relish those small details, and seldom say "NO".

I count my blessings daily....God, Jesus Christ, the Bible, my husband, my 4 wonderful children, my 2 son in laws, my precious granddaughter, my precious grandson to be, my home, my job, my friends, my parents, health.....and on and on and on. I'm sure you do the same and your list is similar. 

Age has made me slow down and enjoy more. I'm not succumbing to OLD yet but just finding more calm and peaceful moments.  At many times, my house does NOT seem calm and peaceful! Perhaps loud and chaotic would best describe it. I just turn the Christmas music up louder and keep on Keeping ON!

In this holiday season, I hope you can enjoy those precious simple moments!

Today I'm home with Lily-Jo.....she is on the mend from RSV and doing great....I'm loving this day!


Friday, December 7, 2012

Merry Christmas from the Maddens!

Wishing you and your loved ones peace, health, happiness and prosperity this holiday season and in the coming New Year.
Love and blessings,
Rodney, Tanya, Zach, Lacey, Blake, Lily-Jo, Haley, Cody, Baby Boy, and Darbey


Monday, October 29, 2012

Has it really been 2 months?

I cannot believe it has been 2 months + since I've blogged. How does that much time go by? I honestly can't keep up anymore! Age? Perhaps! I think I had a birthday in there somewhere too! So in a is a 2 month update!
July - Haley and Cody got married, Rodney and I took a trip to Las Vegas which we had never been to, celebrated our 28th anniversary (wait....did we even go out to eat?), spending time with my mom at the nursing home.

August - High school Football started for my husband, moved Darb as she left for college at KSU and joined a sorority ( about those KSU Wildcats! Yes....Rodney and I both went to KU and he even played football there but KSU is getting our money right now and we love those Wildcats and Bill Snyder!), school switched grade levels after 20 years....I'm now a 1st grade teacher.....I tie shoes, zip pants, hand out kleenexs, put coats on......and am teaching a whole new curriculum! YIKES! I have probably been working 50+ hours a week to keep my head above water! To all you teachers out there...does Common Core, MTSS, State Standards ring a bell????????? I am finally finally beginning to feel like I have a grasp on things!I feel like my head is peeking above the water level and I'm breathing!  It's a wonder I have not suffocated my husband in laminating plastic as I lay in bed every night cutting out 6-8 foot sheets of "stuff"! He said to me last night, "Where do you PUT all this stuff? You can't have enough room on your walls!"

September/October - Football games, college visits, traveling to Iowa a couple of times to watch my son's horse races, church activities, and most of all.......... PLAYED, CUDDLED, KISSED, SPOILED my granddaughter Lily-Jo. That has been the most fun! Life just kind of stops when she comes to YaYa's house! 

And my best news of all...................I'm going to be a YaYa again! My newlyweds surprised all of us with the wonderful news that they are expecting in late April! Coach and I can't wait! Grandparenthood is the best....nothing like it! 

I thought I was going to be so depressed and lonely and sad and miserable when my baby Darb left for college and God had this plan: 

 for me to teach 1st grade and be busy,
 to enjoy and spend time with Lily-Jo,
 to bless us with another grandbaby, 
to watch Darb grow and flourish in her new venture of college! 

Empty Nesters??????? Not hardly! We haven't felt that yet! And we are so grateful!

God's plan is always the best! He knows what we need, He provides what we need! I worry too much and wonder how will this work out? Will it be okay? When all I need to do is pray, turn it over to God, and let Him handle it. 

Take your burdens to the Lord and leave them there!

So anyway, that is 2 months in a nutshell! I'm going to try to do better! I will get around and visit and check up on all of you! 
I pray all is well with all of you! 

I'll work on pictures for next post! Trust me....they will be random!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Wedding - Part 2

  Part 2.....    

 Please notice my "blingy" shoes! I just loved them and was so excited about them....Story to come later about them!

 This was one silly fun group!

Lily-Jo was about pictured out...and the wedding had not started!

I'm so grateful for my girls! They are my rocks!

 My wonderful son who is still Mommy's little guy!

Lily-Jo got almost as many ooohhhh and aaahhhhs as the bride! The groomsman with Lace said they were all for him! :0) his little girl away!

Someone got a bribe....a candy necklace when you get down the aisle!

Mr. and Mrs. Shaver

Monday, July 30, 2012

She Said "I DO" and They Live Happily Ever After

I have been absent from blogging as far as my own...but I love keeping up with all of you! We made it through the wedding and it was just perfect! I really can't think of one thing that went wrong! Oops...maybe my necklace broke and my daughter's new mother in law had an extra one I got to borrow and I loved it even more! I'm just going to attach a random group of pictures. We had 3 photographers (one was little Ms. Darbey of Baby Rhea Photography) so these are just from one of the other gals. 
This was a beautiful day with lots of joyful tears and happy smiles!

Part 1 !!

 Haley chose Gerber daisies and roses for flowers.

 These were the sweetest and most helpful bridesmaids!

Auntie Haley and cutie pie Lily-Jo!

 These two are BFF's!  Lots of kissing! My niece is just crazy about Lily-Jo (BeBe!)

 My mom was able to come! The nursing home got her all ready and brought her and she did wonderful and loved it! She loves her granddaughters!

Part 2 to come!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Wedding week is here! We are hard at work! Everything is calm and peaceful so far! We are working off the "checklist" and ticking right along! And afternoons are spent relaxing in the little pool! We are also getting in late night (10 or 11 p.m.) "wedding walks" as we call them! Exercise clears the mind and relaxes the body! Miss Haley is such a calm little bride to be! I can't believe it's been only 2 short years since my little Lacey was my sweet little bride! My baby girls are growing up!
God is watching over us and lots of prayers for guidance!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

The Swing!

Grandma and Grandpa have a new toy on their porch! The Swing! Lily-Jo loves it and it puts her in a totally hypnotic state! Puts her to pacificer needed!

YaYa is pretty happy tonight! Someone is staying all night for the first time alone! 


Tuesday, June 12, 2012


I don't think it's officially "Summertime" according to the calendar...but in my little's here! 

We survived Graduation and it was a wonderful time.  Mom shed many tears but definitely got through it.  We are looking forward to the next phase for Darb! She is going to attend Kansas State University and major in Elementary 
Education ... although I can see her doing something in Photography as well. She has a great little business going right now! Check her out on!!

I was contractually (is that a word????) off duty come Friday, May 25th, after I got all checked out at school. I hauled 10 loads +++ on a pull flat cart from my old room to my new room. At many points along the way, I said to myself, "What was I thinking?" However I have purged and thrown and cleaned and organized. I will miss my old room that I spent 13 years in but I'm trying to embrace CHANGE.  I'm so excited to get to spend time with little 1st graders! I welcome this change. My room is a disaster. Truly it is! I have to move everything on the "tile" while they shampoo carpet and then I can begin "setting up shop".  So my hope is to spend a little time a little each week and ease into it.

My first week off I called my "healing week" and I decided to not try to conquer major projects ANYWHERE! The next week was "funeral" week. We had 3 funerals that were very hard for us.  We also were putting up and closing up Graduation stuff. Darb has her Senior Dance recital that weekend as well as a church bridal shower for Haley and Cody. The next week, we tackled wedding and home projects and a family shower for Haley. 

This week my brain and body need to take it slow and easy. I'm thinking it's another "healing week"!  My wonderful hubby is painting the house...ugh for him! I'm just the "gopher" and the "ice tea refiller". 
We are finishing up the last minute wedding plans. So far we are on schedule....tuxes ordered, menu finalized, flowers orders, working on programs, hair appointments made, cake ordered....YIKES! So much to do with a wedding, right????

Plus I want to get some kissing in on Lily-Jo. She is getting cuter every day. I think it's okay for YaYa's to say that! She just smiles at me and we smooch a lot! She has her flower girl shoes all ready but her Mommy is still contemplating her dress for the wedding.

We celebrated my oldest baby's 26th birthday last night with a family cookout.....steaks, baked potatoes, corn on the grill, stuffed jalapenos, pasta salad, homemade ice cream! Oh yummy it was! I can NOT believe he is 26..where does the time go? He is my special baby boy....the girls say he's a Momma's boy and I spoil him....Well isn't that what Mommas do??????? I remember so vividly the day he was born...I was so nervous to be a mommy. Could I do it right? We learned together and he is always there for his Mom. I love that boy! 

Today is my oldest daughter and son in law's 2nd anniversary! They are great friends and partners in love and marriage. We are so so grateful for Blake and for the joy he brings to our daughter. What a blessing! And we are so thankful they have given us a darling little granddaughter who has brought our family so much joy! Congratulations and may you have many many more years of happiness and love together.

So I will close for now and hopefully do better on blogging! I love reading all about all of you and keeping up with you! 

I'll leave you with RANDOM RANDOM RANDOM pictures! 


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Gearing Down!!

Mrs. Madden (who does not like change normally!) has made a huge change and I give all credit and thanks to God. My good friend who teaches 1st grade talked to me and said she was going to try to get a job in the town she lives in (about 30 minutes away) and not commute anymore....and would I like her position?  Move from 3rd grade to 1st grade! YIKES! Well, hummmmmm....I have taught 5th grade 2 years then moved to 3rd grade and have been there for 18 years....13 or so years in the same room! After much thought and PRAYER, I talked to my principal and he was excited and said sure if she got the job he would move me. She did NOT get the job so I felt like "no biggy...I'll stay where I am...God is in charge and will take care of it."  A couple of days later, my friend called and said that ANOTHER 1st grade teacher wanted to move to 5th which had an opening! Now is that God at work or what....He always has the details and works it out. So I'm moving to be a 1st grade teacher. I'm so excited and ready for a change! (Did I just say that?) Now I get to work with 3 of my great friends in a new position! I've begun to box up "stuff"! Yes....this change is due. I'm purging and cleaning. I truly feel so good and so joyous and so thankful. 

I write this to convey one of my favorite verses....Be still and know that I am God.  Pray about it and then let Him work it out how it should be. In His way....and what is best for me. My faith strengthens every time I see His hand at work. What a comfort to turn it over to Him and not fret and worry about it. 

Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

I may just have to take some pics of my room...the chaos, the mess! I have a wedding to get ready for ..... I've got to get busy!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Where Does the Time Go?

Mercy me! I can't seem to find a minute to type a few words! I've been checking your blogs but have not sat down to put anything on "paper". It's that time of year where the schedule around our house (probably like yours) is hectic and busy. We knew that starting in February when the new grandbaby arrived, it would be quite busy for a while. I'm glad my 3 girls spread out their events so we had time in between to recover! Last weekend was prom and this weekend begins Graduation celebrations for us to attend.  We are also in the midst of getting ready for Darbey's graduation party and 18th birthday celebration on the 12th and her graduation on the 13th. Rodney has State Track meet soon after. I honestly take one day at a time. I did not used to be that way. I overwhelmed and overstressed myself trying to mentally absorb everything at once. Age will slow a person down! Age will also teach a person to make notes and write things down. It is not a surprise for me to "WEAR" sticky notes and my class to say, "uhhhhhhh Mrs. Madden, you have some sticky notes on your shirt". 

After May, I will dive head first into July wedding plans. My feet are just wet right now! RSVP's are coming in and we are down to finalizing pictures, caterer, flowers. Haley and I feel in good shape! I also have my dress and my shoes! Hallelujah...I'm ready to get to my seat!

Yard work, gardening, planting flowers, painting, is consuming our evenings but that is my personal favorite thing to do. I have some new raised vegetable beds that I'm trying this year.  I quit when it's dark many nights. I like to tell myself I'm getting exercise as well.

Isn't Spring just the best....God just makes simple things here on Earth the most spectacular! Can you only imagine heaven? Those moments when you feel things can't get any better or you take in a really good experience.....there is still no comparison to what eternity must be. 

 Revelation 21
25 On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there.
26 The glory and honor of the nations will be brought into it.
27 Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

 I have not turned the AC on yet...I love the windows open. I love to hear the night birds...the crickets...the frogs I'm trying to get to come to my little fish pond.....the owl that lives in the timber behind us. Once the windows shut....UGH....! I only hear the roar of the AC unit!

So how is your Spring going? Are you lovin' it? Are you outside getting lots done? I love reading blogs that highlight all the projects they are doing!

Here are some prom pictures of a fun weekend. I think they are a lovely little couple!

My 4 girls!

 Darb and Austin (such a handsome gentleman)

 Mommas with their babies!

And whatsoever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father by him.  Colossians 3:17