Friday, December 16, 2011

Poems to My Grandchildren

 I have been writing poems to my grandchildren since they were born:  Here is the one I just finished to my newest grandchild:
Durham at almost 4 months

Baby Boy Durham
Robert Durham Fowler
born August 1, 2011
By MIMI, Bea Skeens

Baby Boy Durham
A wonder,
A joy
Precious gift created
At his health we rejoice!

Getting to know him
Right after the birth
We all want to help
We’re there with presents

His frowns and his smiles
He cries
And we “love” him
In sharing the blessing
A sacrament partaking

Their worry, their efforts
Their struggle to please him
We walk him
We bounce him
We talk all about him

How he is growing
So happy and peaceful!
Oh, he still cries
But for a good reason

He brings us all joy
With his smiles and his “talking”
We share him and hold him
And never want to leave him!


Caroline was born and they lived with us for almost a year.  It was such a joy to have them with us, never a burden!  The end of the poem refers knowing that they would be leaving us to their own home,
This Christmas at my house.

By, Mimi Bea Skeens
June 2010

Seeing her world
Her eyes are so bright
Sleeping and waking
A constant delight

I read about brain cells
And help her to learn
I stick out my tongue
And talk with intent

But mostly I snuggle
And love and adore
As much as I can
‘cause soon she’ll be gone 


When Lauren was born we lived and both were working in St. Simons Island, and didn't plan to come and see her right away.  We figured her Mama's family would be all around her and helping out and we didn't want to be in the way.  A week after she was born my son called and asked us to come.  "When are you going to come and see her?"  We realized that he needed us there, so we went right away.
Isn't she beautiful??
Baby Girl Lauren
by Mimi - Bea Skeens April 2007

How do you feel with a baby
Not your own?
So far away
On the day she was born?

Rejoice at the news
She’s healthy and whole
The mother is fine
We can’t ask for more

When will we see her
And hold her and woo her?
Let’s wait, there’s no hurry
We don’t want to be a bother

But then there’s a phone call—
“Come now, you must see her!
She’s growing, she’s changing
The wonder, the glory
We just need to share her!”

So we went just this weekend
And we looked and we cherished
A small bundle of joy
A family in the making

So how do you feel
With a baby in your arms?
She’s mine, she’s mine!
All cozy and warm!


Andrew was my first so I have several poems to him.  Do all grandparents know that the first grandchild has a special place in our hearts?  He is almost 8 and we continue to share a unique bond.  I wrote the first poem when he was about 6 months and the second when he was 1 1/2. I wrote the second one in both Spanish and English when I was int writing Spanish poems too.  (It is harder for me.)
Walking on the marsh looking for fiddler crabs when 2 years old

Crabbing at the SSI pier last year

To BABY Andrew
October 2004
Bea Skeens (Mimi)

Playing with my grandson is where I want to be
As I look into his eyes that say, “I love you Mimi.”
Talking incessantly in a language just for me
I listen and I smile and pretend that I agree
Together we search and learn and explore
The meaning eternal of our wonderful world

Sticks for my Grandson         Bea Skeens, April 8, 2006
         (Andrew, 15 months)
Let’s go outside
I want to be...
Take little steps
Just you and me.

I follow him
What should we do?
He wants to feel
It’s all so new.

He gets a stick
One hand and the other
It feels so real
Let’s get another.

My grandson and I
Discover the world
One stick at a time
We love, share, and learn.

Mi nieto y Yo         Bea Skeens, April 8, 2006
         (Andrew, 15 meses)
Vamos afuera
Su manito me da
Por aquí y por allá
Conmigo está

Un palito y otro
Asombrado de todo
Para mí y para ti
Lo mío y lo tuyo

Mi nieto y yo
Descubriendo el mundo
Tocando, sintiendo,
Mirando, disfrutando.

Cada momento
Lo cuento
Cada mirada
Me acuerdo...

Merry Christmas - Christmas letter 2011

 I'm sharing with you a jpeg of my 2011 Christmas letter. (If you want to know who to make a picture from a WORD document, ask me!)  
When everyone was here last weekend, we put all the kids in front of the tree and took about 20 pictures with 3 cameras.  They were so good!  
The picture of Don and I was taken in Las Vegas
The picture of the whole family was taken shortly after Durham was born at Brian and Mary's house with Brian's camera timer.  It is the best we could do.  Here you can see everyone.

When I was working I usually finished my Christmas cards and letters by the first week in December.  Now that I am retired, I am too busy...
Also, it took me a long time to write the poem, but I wanted it to be perfect!  I still am not happy with the stanza about myself but I am pleased with the rest.  I hope you like it.  Write me a comment.  
Then I had to figure out how to print it.  I ended up going to Office Depot with my flash drive and they printed it.  (Faith, I told them of a 25% discount on their website and they honored me at the store!)  I got pretty envelopes to go with it.  I sent them all out yesterday!!
I feel so good about it!  Now to finish my Christmas shopping...

Have a blessed Christmas

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

How can I be: Like the Christmas Tree? - a poem




The Christmas Season has me all worn out

I pause to dream, what’s it all about?
I light the tree and look around…
The glistening of the silver tinsel
The sparkle of the lights so bright
The stories in each ornament
The fragrance the pine gives at night.
Then the angel on the top starts blinking,
And with a start, I get to thinking…
My lights and colors come alive
Every time I say a kind word
And give His Love away.
Jesus, grow strong and brave in me.
Become my words, my force, my will,
For in my life I want to shine
The one and only Jesus Christ.
Then the Spirit in others may
Abide and shine in the same way.
Friends, let Him grow in you to be
Your light and Lord for all to see.

               By Bea Skeens. 2003

Helps with Menu Planning Requested by Angie

My youngest daughter just started back to work after having her first baby and asked for some help with meal planning.  I have been working on some suggestions but it is hard because I never did much planning for meals myself in all my working years.  Meals were usually a last minute quick thing.  Here is what I have come up with so far.  Please write comments or suggestions ASAP and I will add them to the post.  I have Pinterest board with cooking ideas and a 3-ring binder with recipes collected from family and friends throughout the years and now from cooking shows and the Internet.  Planning ahead is the key so here is what I have so far.

Goals are to make meal times easier by being prepared:  

  • Look at recipes that you have or like; search cookbooks and Pinterest
  • Crock Pot meals from Pinterest are a great idea, especially if you can bag the ingredients and then freeze them all in a bag so that it’s easy to take out and prepare. 
  •  Make a monthly/ weekly list of probable meals; you can change it (don't feel bound by it) and you will have some left over for the next month.  But make sure that you use up your food in the freezer and have everything labeled plus a date.
  • Make a list of ingredients and set a day to buy everything and sort it for the week/month.
1.  Ground Meat Ideas: beef, deer, turkey…
  • Meatloaf – make 3 loaves for four servings; There are many recipes to make meatloaf.  For variety, use different ingredients.
  • Picadillo – use Cristi’s Cuban recipe
    • Or At the last minute brown ground round with salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder and any other spice, until just cooked and immediately serve on top of rice.
  • Cook the ground meat as above, cool and put in containers or freezer bags for servings for 2 for: Spaguetti sauce, mock lasagna, tacos, quick shepherd’s pie and more.
2. Meat for stew or soup – cut your meat (I like to buy eye of round roast)and separate for 4 servings and freeze in a bag with sliced onions, and green peppers  or buy bag of the pre-cut vegetables and put the amount that you want in the bag.  Take out the night before to put in the crock pot in the morning.

3.  Pork and mushrooms - Slice and put in bag with mushrooms (or use canned mushrooms) use packaged pork gravy, mushroom soup, sesame seeds, serve on top of large noodles. 

4.  Soups - hearty with lots of vegetables and meat

5.  Pork steaks: Shake ‘n Bake with baked potatoes (precooked in microwave)

6. Chicken/Turkey for the yummy easy recipes -  Buy the precooked chicken at BJ’s so good!  Or buy frozen, pre-cooked, sliced chicken and use as needed
  • Buy package of chicken/ turkey breasts and cook in the crock pot (put some herbs and spices as preferred) then divide and freeze
  • Make like the pork  with mushrooms
  • Chicken vegetable soup – crock pot soups or use cans of soup and add more meat and vegetables

7.  Chili

8.  Roasts:  can be done in the oven or in the croc pot – use different seasonings for different flavors and vary the meat and sides.

9.  Brown rice, quinoa, barley or bulgur: cook with chicken/beef bullion and onion and/or garlic powder or “Sazón Goya” or “sofrito” for yellow rice, (or other) then  freeze in 2 servings bags or containers

10.  Pasta: is an easy side with parmesan (or other cheese and olive oil

11.  Sweet potatoes cook it in the microwave until almost done and then in a 400 oven (no need to preheat) for 10 minutes tastes like baked!

12.  Cuban black beans

13.  Snacks: fruits and rabbit food; Granola (I have the best granola recipe -from my brother-in-law, John - that I am making this week.  I will put it on my next post - with a picture!); prepare baggies with snacks to take to work and for night snacking. 

14.  Of course you will plan special meals too!!
What do you think?  I know that it is not complete so, send me your ideas.

Adding Some Sparkle to my Christmas Wreaths

I love decorating for Christmas but it is so overwhelming!

I keep telling myself that I am retired so there is no hurry to get everything up and pretty.  Pinterest has me doing all sorts of new crafty things and taking pictures of them to share!  I have always done crafts but never took pictures of them to share.  I got this done because the family is coming this weekend so I have to clean up the craft room again!

Our sweet previous owners of our house left us the wreaths for our windows.  This would be our third year using them and I wanted something different without spending money.  I saw this in the Pottery  Barn magazine and wanted something like it. 

The wreaths are in plastic bags and hang on nails in the attic.  Every year I have put the same newspaper back inside the bow and it has kept them like new.
First I took the newspaper out of the bow, then straighten out the greenery and use the glue gun.

I had some Christmas balls left over from the hanging balls that I did for the inside.  (see previous post)
I used the glue gun and turned the bows to the side to give them personality.  I have seven windows and did not want to buy more balls so it's just a touch of sparkle that can be seen from the street.
They look happy hanging up outside!