Dear Grandpa,

I write this crying with a smile as I turn back time, exploring and revisiting archived memories of time spent with you. So many good ones… Like, when we’d sit together on the patio and you would read me the funnies in the newspaper, but only the ones with colored ink because I liked those best. I can still feel the warmth of crawling into that big ‘ol bed with you and grandma during sleepovers while the Late Night Show ran. Remember the time I convinced you to let me cut your hair? How proud I was of a job well done! Nicely trimmed and clean-cut. Grandma had another (probably more accurate) opinion of my job. This opinion sent grandpa to the barber shop the next day to “fix” my job well done. And how many hours did you push me on that old tire swing attached to that big strong leafy-green tree in the back yard?

photo 4

One of my (and the five other grandchildren’s) very favorite memories with you and grandma is our traditional Christmas shopping outing. You and grandma would drive the T-Bone conversion van, making its rounds to pick all of us grandkids up for the day’s grand adventure. We’d all pile in and make our way to the mall… We’d scour the aisles in search for the perfect GI Joe, tractor or outfit. Once our Christmas gift was chosen and purchased, we would giddily make our way to Patty’s Diner for lunch. We’d get the largest corner booth and order a mess of hamburgers, French fries, malts and shakes. You could guarantee there’d be at least one shake ALL over the table before our loud, busy lunch came to an end.

We grandkids have YOU to thank for making us into such skilled drivers. Before we were tall enough to reach the petals, you would sit us on your lap in the driver’s seat of that lil red truck. We’d cruise around Fairfield, Deweese, and winding country roads. You instructed us as we went… We were allowed 3 “mess-ups” before our driving lesson was over for the day. Miraculously, that little red pick-up survived years of driving lessons and is still parked in your garage.

So many memories are attached to food – the beefy jerky, tea cup omelettes, s’mores over the fireplace, ice cream with saltine crackers, root beer floats for bedtime snacks. And the pancakes, oh, the pancakes! My love for those warm, fluffy cakes began with you, grandpa. During sleepovers we would gather ‘round the griddle in our pajamas, morning breath, and mouthfuls of requests – A heart! A Barbie! A guitar! A John Deere tractor! There was nothing that you, our grandpa pancake artist, could not create out of that magical batter. And for what MAY have lacked in form, our little imaginations could make up for. How delicious those specialty-made pancakes were! Mmm.

photo 2

Our latest thing, Grandpa, was paddle-boating together outside your back door on Lake Hastings. We’d put the top up to offer shade from the summer sun, then we’d paddle and paddle and paddle. A fish would jump, a bird would dive, a duck would waddle, children would splash with laughter. And we’d paddle, enjoying the scene and the company of the other.

I could keep writing all morning telling stories and recounting precious memories. One of the reasons we grandkids have been able to do this in the past and today is because of your and grandma’s faithful presence in our lives—for investing in us, supporting us and teaching us. You taught us that it IS possible to love ONE person with a heart full of commitment and devotion for years upon years (63 years to be exact). You have shown us the Christ-like fruit that comes forth by putting the other first in your marriage. And now, we, in our young marriages, can stand on your shoulders and follow your example.

In a 6th grade classroom in Fairfield, little Dink and little Darlene and their classmates were asked to share what they wanted to be when they grew up. Grandma went first and said, “I want to be a farmer’s wife.” A few students later you, grandpa, said, “And I wanna be her farmer.” Now, 70+ years later, the sign that hangs in your bedroom reads: All Because Two People Fell in Love. Any two people can fall in love, but you kept choosing love over and over and over again. You leave behind a legacy of love to your children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren as we’ve learned to love well because you loved well, to love faithfully because you loved faithfully, to love enduringly because you loved enduringly.

Even though we feel the loss deeply, our hearts are filled with THANKS for the gift of such a special grandpa, for sacred life lessons gleaned from you both, and for wonderful memories we can never lose.

Grandpa, we will miss your fun & ornery personality; we will miss your smile & laugh; we will miss your squeezes. We’re already missing you very, very much.

Forever,

Your granddaughter

 photo 5

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Check out our new Keepsake Companion Journal that pairs with our So God Made a Mother book!

Order Now
So God Made a Mother's Story Keepsake Journal

Josi Seibert

Josi was born and raised a Nebraska girl. As many Cornhuskers did, she grew up on a farm in a small rural community. Upon graduating from Nebraska Wesleyan University, she exchanged cornfields for skyscrapers as she moved to Chicago to attend Moody Theological Seminary. It was there that she met her beloved husband, Ryan, and grew an interest in cross-cultural relationships as she worked with international students, refugee families, and lived in one of the most diverse communities in the country. She and her husband moved to Ghana, West Africa in September 2013 with a team of friends to start a business. In 2015 they resettled back in Chicago to welcome their first child and are currently working with World Relief, helping resettle refugees and find them employment. You're invited to keep in step with them as they live, work, learn and play: http://www.ryanandjosi.blogspot.com/

Lent For Kids: 40 Ways To Spend 40 Days

In: Featured, Kids
Cross with bird

Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the Lenten season leading to Easter. Our 3-year-old has been talking about the Easter bunny since January, when he finally understood that Christmas was over. While I’m happy he’s excited for the upcoming holiday, I really want to find some good, concrete ways to help him learn that this time of year is not only about bunnies and candy in eggs. So, I’ve decided to come up with 40 ways to spend the 40 days of Lent with kids. Some of these will work better with older children, while others are great for...

Keep Reading

Chocolate Pot de Crème

In: Featured, Kitchen

Chocolate and romance go hand in hand and with Valentine’s Day around the bend, why not have a beautifully simple and romantic dessert on the menu? With Valentine’s Day falling on a Saturday, it might be a little more difficult to get those reservations to go out to eat to celebrate. If you end up staying home, why not have an easy, romantic dessert to finish your meal? Made in a blender or food processor and refrigerated, this recipe is easy to make and the result can be a beautiful and elegant dessert that will put the perfect cap on...

Keep Reading

Creamy Chicken and Rice Soup

In: Featured, Kitchen

Written By:  Rachel Gnagy @ Inscribed Photography & Design (recipe originally from here) One of my favorite ‘girly’ meals to make is soup served in bread bowls. I love getting the Broccoli Cheese soup at Quizno’s (it’s healthy because it has broccoli, right?) and Panera’s Cream of Chicken & Wild Rice soup. YUM. So when I saw a recipe on Pinterest for creamy chicken and rice soup, I thought I would give it a try! You will need: 1 Tablespoon of olive oil 2-3 carrots, sliced 2 cloves of garlic, minced 5 cups of chicken stock 1 cup of cooked chicken,...

Keep Reading

Chicken Cordon Bleu for Two

In: Featured, Kitchen

Written By:  Rachel @ Inscribed Photography (Recipe originally from here) Valentine’s Day is coming up and with that in mind I wanted to bring you an easy, delicious meal for you and your special man. This recipe is by far the easiest Chicken Cordon Bleu recipe and it is super yummy too! Pair it with some steamed veggies on the side and something chocolatey for dessert and you’re all set for a romantic dinner for two. For the chicken, you will need: 2 chicken breasts, cut in half lengthwise 8 slices of deli ham 8 slices of Swiss cheese 1...

Keep Reading

Easy Weeknight Beef Stroganoff

In: Featured, Kitchen

We all have those heirloom recipes we grew up with, but when you get married you inherit a whole new set of recipes your spouse grew up with, too. This stroganoff recipe is one that my husband grew up eating and then cooked frequently for himself before I took over in the kitchen. (ha.) He made it for me once while we were dating, and I will admit – I was super skeptical. Generally, these sorts of humble dishes aren’t my cup of tea – the ones made with cream-of canned soups and noodles. However, I tried it and was...

Keep Reading

Hanging Onto Hope: The Dream That Saved My Baby Girl

In: Faith, Featured, Journal, Kids
Hanging Onto Hope: The Dream That Saved My Baby Girl www.herviewfromhome.com

Family and friends often assure pregnant women that their “maternal instincts” can be relied on to guide them into motherhood. This previously undiscovered gift will reveal itself the first time she holds her child. As a mother of four I believe in this instinct, but also recognize that experience and wisdom help. The birth of our fifth child, Kinsley, has introduced me to another source of guidance and strength that I never anticipated. Kinsley was born the day after Christmas. She was pink, beautiful and certified by the medical staff as being in perfect health. She was welcomed with unconditional...

Keep Reading

Bow Your Head and Vote, Yes the Outcome is Rigged

In: Featured
Bow Your Head and Vote, Yes the Outcome is Rigged www.herviewfromhome.com

“Keep in mind this is God’s plan! And who am I to dare question God’s plan!” I say it over and over as I watch this mess unfold before me. This mess, America is calling an election. I have never been impressed with the two-party system. It allows too much power to a select few and limits our freedoms. So, as I watch and listen and pray, as Trump and Clinton march to the White House, I only hope more Americans now see the disaster that is the two-party system. Two people that should be sitting in jail are now...

Keep Reading

This Kick-Ass Cancer Survivor Shares 20 Easy Ways To Make Your Life Healthier Today

In: Featured, Health, Healthy Living, Mental Health, Motherhood
This Kick-Ass Cancer Survivor Shares 20 Easy Ways To Make Your Life Healthier Today www.herviewfromhome.com

I recently went through quite an experience with my health. I was diagnosed with breast cancer in September of 2015. Following my diagnosis, I underwent a treatment regimen of chemotherapy, double mastectomy, and then, 28 rounds of radiation.  Before my diagnosis, I felt the healthiest I have probably, in my whole life. I was exercising regularly. Eating, conscious of my health. And after birthing three kids in 6 years, finding ways to focus on myself once again. And then — WHAM — cancer.  Excuuuuuuuuse me?!?! Cancer?!? I was, for all intents and purposes, a 33-year-old with great habits and a great...

Keep Reading

The Great Melt Down

In: Faith, Featured, Kids, Kitchen
The Great Melt Down www.herviewfromhome.com

When my brother Bobby and I were little kids, one of the great treats of summer was a journey to a neighboring town where my dad would buy each of us a hand-dipped ice cream cone. During the drive home, my mom would turn around from the front seat and point out drips that we back-seat-riders needed to lick up quick. I, the ever-eager pleaser, would anxiously eat my ice cream as quickly as possible, barely taking a breath between licks. Bobby, on the other hand, came up with the more reasonable response. He would grin at Mom and bite...

Keep Reading

The Best (and free) Drug Prevention Strategy

In: Featured, Health, Healthy Living, Kids, Relationships
The Best (and free) Drug Prevention Strategy www.herviewfromhome.com

A secret Facebook group has been uncovered by police that connects kids as young as 12 years-old to places where they can buy drugs. (see the link to the story at the end of this blog)  Shocking? Yes. Surprising? No. Kids find a way, don’t they? So what can we do? There are apps we can buy. There are rules we can make. There are punishments we can deliver.  Yet the best prevention of all is our relationship with our young people.  Time together, conversation, and honest sharing of our lives is the most effective way to influence our kids–even...

Keep Reading