Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Food, Food, and Fun!

Why does everything we do center around food??? That may be fine for people of small size and high metabolisms, but it isn't good for those of us that are larger with slow metabolism!!! Anyway, we do love to eat! Trilby's family was over last night to do several things: help Bud put one of the machine shed doors back on it's tracks, help me put Payton's quilt on the quilting frame to be retied, and to eat leftovers!

It was a night of Cael activities--as soon as they got here he was complaining about his ear. So, a trip to the doctor was in order. After a trip to the pharmacy for medicine for ear infection they were back. In the meantime the door was hung and I heated up the leftovers, but the quilt didn't get done.:( During supper Cael lost his other front tooth. If you remember seeing him with the tissue hanging out of his mouth on Christmas Day, this was the tooth!

THEN, Cael wanted to bake! He wanted an Easy Bake Oven for Christmas and he got it, but it didn't come with a bulb to bake. His parents didn't realize that and just got one. So, we ate his first cake! YUM!

This morning we had an impromptu brunch. We had yummy rolls from the bakery.

Hot and cheesy casserole.

And a sweet Amaretto cheese ball with animal crackers. (I LOVE Amaretto and I got the leftovers!)

Don't the ladies look happy to be in the picture?

In the spirit of "Letting go" (which they tell me will help my back pain) I didn't clean my house for the brunch. Picked up, yes, but dusted and scrubbed, no. I don't know what is really more stressful---cleaning or not cleaning and trying hard not to worry about it! Is anyone else like this?

So, I'm off to a busy day--nail and hair appointments! I'm hoping to post a couple of photos of several things I made for Christmas, but I'm waiting for daughter #2 to send me a photo! Tomorrow I hope!

Have a great day!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Frolic and Fun at Christmas

I hope you all had a great Christmas! We certainly did!  Ours could only have been better if Travis and Kerry could have joined us, but he had to work.  We started out Christmas Eve with Trina and Tanner and Mass at our church in Wellman.  We then came home to eat (of course) and watched "It's a Wonderful Life".  Christmas morning we had a light breakfast and then off to Mass in Williamsburg at Trilby's church with Trilby, Mike and boys, Tasha and Kyle,  Trina and Tanner, and us.  Then we all went back to our home.  
Before anyone else added their gifts our tree looked like this: 
The kids played games and snacked on meat, cheese, crackers and wassail while waiting for dinner.
Our dinner menu was:    Beef Brisket
    Potatoes & Gravy
              Baked Beans
            Pretzel/Strawberry Salad
    Broccoli/Cauliflower/Cashew Salad
    Homemade Buns
    Pumpkin Dessert
    Pumpkin Carmel Cheesecake
    Christmas Cookies
After dinner we opened gifts.  Nate was battling a cold and wasn't feeling good, but enjoyed opening gifts anyway!

Cael lost a front tooth just this week and the other front tooth was loose and bleeding so this was his solution!

Payton has been wanting an IH quilt for his bed, so I made him one for Christmas.  I tied it instead of having it quilted.
After gift opening Tanner plugged in the wii and we played games.  It was a lot of fun!

And now Christmas is over for another year.  I have been trying to figure out how to do a slid show of my Christmas decorations, so watch for that to get posted soon!  Now, we're off to relax for a day or two!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

I am sitting here looking at the gorgeous lights on the tree and the stockings hung on the fireplace.  Out my window is a world of white!  We are definitely having a white Christmas this year.  I still have some gifts to wrap, cookies to make in addition to some other food for our Christmas Eve supper, a table to set, and a house to pick up, so I really shouldn't be sitting here.  Trina and Tanner will be here tonight to go to Mass with us and then eat.  Tomorrow all the girls and their families will meet us for Mass in Williamsburg and then back to our house for dinner, gift opening, and family fun!  I love Christmas--the decorations, Mass, and family fun.  I'm just disappointed that ALL of our family can't be here at the same time.  You know, a mother likes all her chicks gathered together! :)   Here's hoping everyone has a Very Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Best Christmas Movies

I have already watched and or listened to several Christmas movies as I have worked on some crafts.  I got to thinking about all of the movies I like to watch this time of year.  I tried to get my girls to enjoy some of the old ones with me and it least somewhat!   Trina and I are planning on watching "It's a Wonderful Life" on Christmas Eve, so I will save that one.  Today I listened to  and semi-watched "Christmas with the Kranks" and "Bells of St. Mary's".  I know that "The Bells of St. Mary's" isn't necessarily a Christmas movie, but I watch it this time each year and it does have a Christmas theme to it.  The other movies that we try to watch are listed below in no particular order.  

Miracle on 34th Street
      (the original)
White Christmas
The Grinch Who Stole Christmas
 (with Jim Carey)

The Christmas Carol
(with George C. Scott)

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
Polar Express

Holiday Inn
Home Alone

I know that "The Christmas Story" is a popular movie, but for some reason I just don't enjoy it every year.  I'd love to hear what movies you watch at Christmas time.  Just post your favorites in my comments section.

Friday, December 19, 2008


                                      Well, I just spent the past two weeks in rehab!  No, not for drugs or alcohol!  I went each day to the Spine Rehabilitation Clinic at the University.  I reported as an outpatient at 8:00 a.m. each day and I was done between 4-4:30.  I was one of a group of five.  Each person had a somewhat different back problem.  We did about four hours a day of physical work--aerobics, weight lifting, cardio, and functional restoration.  We also had lectures and lessons from a variety of people.  We had Dr. Chen available to see us whenever we felt the need for med changes or whatever.  We learned relaxation techniques and studied about our different personalities and things we might want to change to lower our stress.  The effects of stress on pain was discussed at length.  Overall it was time well spent.  One nice thing is that I had an honest to goodness lunch "hour"!  What a luxury to take time to taste my food and not have 20 minutes until my next duty. Now I have to learn how to work all of the aerobics, cardio, and weight training I need to do into my everyday life.  I will be going back for rechecks at 1, 3, and 6 months.  

This is our first year of being in the new addition for Christmas.  I couldn't wait to hang our stockings above the fireplace!  We are hoping for more grandchildren in the near future, but I'm not sure where we'll  hang their stockings!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Christmas Activities

I have had my house decorated since the weekend after Thanksgiving for the most part.  It just keeps taking me longer and longer to get the things done.  And I wanted to add and change some things so it isn't all done yet.  I thought I would show you our tree.  It is decorated with an eclectic group of ornaments, a lot of which are snowflakes. 

One ornament on my tree is very special to me.  It was made by my grandmother when she was hospitalized at Mayo for about four months one year.  They were trying to save her leg and then ended up amputating it, so she was in bed for quite some time.  To help pass
 the time she made some Christmas ornaments.  Christmas was a big deal to my grandma.  All 19 grandchildren had stacks of gifts.  I remember sitting with the Christmas catalog and circling the things I wanted for Christmas.  And sure enough, Grandma would come through with many of those gifts.  We always had a little program at Grandpa and Grandma's.  The older grandchildren had parts to memorize every Christmas.  As I got older I helped Grandma decorate and wrap gifts.  I certainly learned how to wrap correctly!  I love the ornament that she made and while it really isn't my style, it is a great reminder of her!

Christmas wouldn't be complete without a Christmas program to attend.  Payton had his program this week.  Trina and Tanner came down, Tasha was there, some of Mike's family attended and of course Trilby, Cael, and Nate were there.  Mike attended the afternoon concert.
Payton had given his mom strict instructions ahead of time that we were NOT to wave at him! :)  He was the first second grader into the gym and boy did he take his job seriously.  We didn't see him crack a smile for the longest time, but finally a little one slipped out.  The program was very cute and he did a nice job.  We visited his classroom after it was over and then went off to McDonald's for a late supper.

We have more activities coming up in the next several weeks in addition to the rest of my decorating, shopping, and wrapping.  Watch for updates!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Happy Birthday Dad!

I'm always a little sad on December 11th.  Dad isn't with us to celebrate his birthday, which makes me always get a little sad thinking about  him on this day.  Dad died in 1987 at the age of 52--WAY too young!  I miss him a lot and think about him often.  It's really hard when we have big family events like we just did in October(Trina's wedding).  I know how much he would have loved to be a part of those events.  Our kids and grandkids really missed out on knowing a neat guy.  And we missed out on knowing him as adults.  The last few years he has really been on my mind at different times, but especially his birthday and Christmas.  Seeing my brother and my uncle Roger always reminds me of Dad as they have some of his mannerisms.  Dad's twin brother is still living, so I'll wish him a happy birthday too.  So, Happy Birthday, Dad, I miss you!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Des Moines Here We Come!

Today was our annual trek to Des Moines for the craft show at the fair grounds, lunch at the Cheesecake Factory, and Christmas shopping.  We didn't get to go last year because of the weather, so we were really excited to go this year!  After changing the date to Sunday instead of Saturday, my sister, Kathy, DD Trilby and Trina, and I set off about 7:30 this morning.  We were disappointed that Tasha, Brittany, and Kerry couldn't join us.

Our first stop was Target where I picked up a few stocking stuffers.  Next, it was on to the craft show.  We saw a lot of cute things.  Trina and Trilby could mostly been seen at the food stands and the wine stands!  Then we were off to Jordan Creek Mall where we met SIL, Judy, and niece, Tracy.  We had a great lunch and cheesecake at the Cheesecake Factory.  
We were too anxious to eat to show the food!!

Our trip to Des Moines wouldn't be complete without a stop at Von Maur at Valley West Mall where I purchased two more gifts. 
The decorations at the mall certainly can put you in the Christmas mood.

We were tired out early and it being a Sunday we wanted to get home at a decent time. 
Trina missed this photo op as she was on a mission to find the bathroom!

We didn't come home with lots of packages, but we had a great time together today!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Happy Birthday, Bud!!

The Oak Ridge Boys were the first concert Bud and I attended at the state fair eons ago.  We have always enjoyed most of their music, even though we don't really listen to it much.  Anyway, they have been advertising their Christmas Concert in CR, so I bought Bud tickets for his birthday.  The concert was Thursday night.  We left home right after school and had a nice supper out, then went to the concert.  We were definitely among the younger set at the concert!  The Oak Ridge Boys have aged since we last saw them, as I'm sure we have, but boy can they sing!  They started the concert with about 45 minutes of their most famous songs and then took a break before coming out to sing their Christmas songs.  It was a very nice evening.                                           Happy Birthday, Bud!

I have been working on decorating my house for Christmas.  The trees are up, but I want to make some new ornaments for one of the trees.  It seems to take me longer each year.  I will be posting some photos soon.  Along those lines, I haven't done much shopping yet.  I hate to shop and just don't do it throughout the year like I should.  I did run into Kohl's today and get a little done.  I got a good deal on Carter jammies for Nate.  The place was packed and I couldn't even find an empty cart when I went in.  Bud finally stood by check out and got one from someone when they finished.  It just reminded me why I don't like to shop!  

I will be spending the next two weeks as outpatient at the hospital in IC every day.  I will be doing physical therapy, exercise, stress reduction, etc.  from 8-4:30 each day.  I had to write lesson plans for a week before I could come home last night. YUCK!  I've never been gone from school so long, but it was when the clinic is scheduled so I didn't have much choice.  I hope it helps as I'm tired of this aching back!  

Sunday, November 30, 2008

A First Snowfall

     We worked frantically yesterday with the help of the oldest two grandsons, to get up most of the outdoor decorations as the weather forecast was for snow!  We awoke this morning to this: 
And this one is for Bud:
Bud will get the outside done today as I work on the inside.  Have a great day!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Black Friday

     We had a great Thanksgiving Day, and I hope you did too!  All three girls and their families plus my sister were here for the day.  Our menu was:
Fried Turkey
Potatoes and Gravy
Sweet Potato Casserole
California Blend Vegetable Casserole
Rotini Salad
Cinnamon Bread
Pumpkin Dessert
Coconut Cream Pie
Peach Dessert
We ate until we were stuffed, then some of us played cards while others watched TV and/or went to get hay for the cattle.  Dessert came later.  The girls poured 
over the ads and planned their strategy for today.   Cael certainly enjoyed his turkey leg!
     As I set the table for dinner, I realized I was short on table cothes and fall decorations for this large of a gathering.  In the past few years we have either been in North Carolina for Thanksgiving, or we've not had such a large group.  Here is the table:

And the centerpiece:

I was very disappointed in the table as it looked pretty blah with the white and a small centerpiece.  I will work on this before next Thanksgiving.  It also gives me something to think about for Christmas too!

We all (except Kyle who had to work) got together today at Travis & Kerry's since they couldn't make it yesterday.  Once again we ate way too much.  We just got home late with two sleepy little boys who are going to help us decorate tomorrow.  So, another Thanksgiving for the memories!  

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Turkey Day!

Thanksgiving Day is upon us.  
We are most thankful for:

1.  the good health of all members of our family.
2.  jobs we  love that are secure.
3.  Bud is especially thankful that we don't have 10 inches of snow on the ground!
4.  the fact that all of our children and grandchildren are in Iowa.
5.  that we have everything we need.
6.  that our addition & remodeling project is ALMOST finished.
7.  that we have our faith to keep us going daily.
8.  that we have three wonderful grandsons to enjoy.
9.  that the fire that was across the road didn't hope over to our house.
10. for the things we take for granted--electricity, transportation, phones, etc.

     Here we are on Thanksgiving morning and I wanted to put some danishes in the oven for our breakfast and lo and behold---the oven won't turn on!!  It will broil, but not bake.  I just used it last night to bake bread, so I don't know what happened.  So, we will go to plan B--put the ham in the cooker and use the oven basement for everything else.  We're frying the turkey anyway, so one oven should be fine.

One thing that some of my kids (especially SIL, Kyle) enjoy at holiday meals is the cinnamon bread that I make.  It is something that my grandpa's wife used to make and we loved it.  She taught me how to do it, and it is very easy to do.  

Cinnamon Bread
thaw one loaf of frozen bread dough
when it is thawed not risen, roll it out
sprinkle cinnamon and sugar on it 
roll it up and put in greased loaf pan
let rise
bake at 350 for 15-20 min. or until golden brown
take out of pan and let cool
frost with a powdered sugar frosting

     Happy Thanksgiving!