Monday, December 31, 2007
In our usual Party Animal way of life, we're sitting here wondering if we'll still be awake at midnight to usher in the new year. And admitting that we're ok with our fuddy duddy selves.
I'm going to take this opportunity to regale everybody with my brief overview of 2007...as it would be seen riding by on a fast horse:
Without looking at my blog cheatsheet, I'd have to say that the single biggest thing that happened in our lives this year was the birth of our first grandchild. When we knew she was on the way I was of course very happy. But I never fully grasped just how happy and complete this child could make our family. Grandma love is a whole different feeling than mama love. Not saying one is better than the other, but I will say that Grandma love is a lot more relaxed. :)
Another very big event in 2007 was our daughter moving out. And how amazingly proud we are of her (the emergency room visit a couple of weeks ago notwithstanding!!!).
And how about me going into remission? That has made a huge impact on our family's life.
We truly are abundantly blessed and I give all the glory to God. He has seen me and my family through some rough times the last couple of years and shown us that from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen
That's about the end of my philosophizing for this year. And the people say Amen! :)
Be safe y'all.....
Saturday, December 29, 2007
Friday, December 28, 2007
Amidst all of our family celebrating we did enjoy two church services - at two different churches. Sunday morning we went to early service with my mother and were very blessed by a thought provoking sermon. The minister is a big movie fan and finds ways to bring movie references to his sermons. He preached on Joseph and about what a small part he actually has in the Bible and yet, what a huge responsibility he had in raising the son of God. He likened Joseph to some man in the movie Chicago and then sang a bit of the song Cellophane Man. Really good and any time a sermon stays on your mind almost a week later it is a good thing.
There were not a lot of people at the service because OKC was hit by more ice the night before. Luckily Keith is a very good driver and the only trouble we ran into was going up the little hill to mom's church. Ended up getting a run on it and made it just fine.
Christmas Eve we attended the Candlelight Service with Keith's family and of course I always love that since it is also the church we attended when we lived up there. I am bad though because I spend way too much time looking at the congregation and marvelling over how much the children have grown up since we lived there. The acolyte at this service was just a baby when we lived there! His mom and I were in sorority together and had the best time. Even though you know their children are growing it's just interesting to actually see them.
Probably the highlight of my upcoming weekend is to go shopping for a 2008 calendar. Yes, I am one of those people that loves a fresh, clean calendar! I haven't decided yet what kind I want to get and that will be part of the fun. The 2007 calendar on my desk at work is one of the page a day kind that is from Stuff On My Cat. Lynne' got this calendar for me for Christmas last year and I have thoroughly enjoyed the pictures each day. The 2007 calendar on my desk at home is one of the Autumn Leaves Design With Idea Calendars that friends got me for my birthday. That has been nice too and definitely a source of inspiration. Maybe a calendar with quotes this year???
And back to the serenity (serenity now???) - I have absolutely no plans for the entire weekend! A strange feeling as usually many of us get together on Friday night to go scrapbooking. But many are still celebrating the holidays and it's not happening tonight. Not sure what I'll do with myself, but maybe it will actually be a good thing.
Plenty of projects to get organized and plenty of projects that I've started and haven't finished. There's a certain knitting project that needs to be finished soon, so maybe some quality sit and knit and listen to podcast time.
Speaking of podcasts - I just discovered that Dave Ramsey of Financial Peace University fame has a podcast! I downloaded several of them and listened to one on the way home from work yesterday. If you've not heard of him I urge you to click the link and go read a bit. He's a Christian man with the best financial advice ever. So having the podcast to listen to and reinforce all that we've learned is a very good thing.
By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. - Genesis 2:2
Thursday, December 27, 2007
I love her smile. Smiling seems to be what she does best. And often. And sometimes loudly! Or with loud spit bubbles. :)
She jumps a LOT now and really enjoys her "jumping thingy", though with this silly face you really couldn't tell. I have no idea what this face was for....or maybe the camera just caught her funny. But I decided to share it because it makes me laugh.
This picture REALLY makes me laugh. She just laughs and laughs all the time and is always happy. The only time she isn't is when there is a need to take care of and she mostly just fusses rather than cry.
We saw this scene over and over while at Mom's house. Brooklyn loved to snuggle up with her Great-Grandma and be rocked. Most of the time she didn't fall asleep either; she just enjoyed the quiet time.
We were so happy that Brooklyn was able to participate in gift opening. She particularly enjoyed the gift bags because tissue paper is FUN! A perfect example of buying a gift for a child and they prefer the wrappings. :)
This stuffed dog was one of her favorite gifts. When you squeeze him he barks, so we were a little surprised that it didn't scare her.
And this picture also captures the back of her head, which I find particularly darling. I got teased quite a bit about my love of the back of her head. :)
"You rose into my life like a promised sunrise, brightening my days with the light in your eyes." - Maya Angelou
Friday, December 21, 2007
This little doll baby was all ready for the big extended family Christmas party that we had last weekend. My Grandmother started this tradition longer ago than I can remember that we all get together the Saturday before Christmas. This year was the first year the party was held in Dallas and a great time was had by all. There were 35 of us there (36 if you count the one that will be born in February!) and we did get a family picture.
Brooklyn is the only baby girl, at least for now, and she did her Grandma proud with how darling she was all day. Loni had her dressed in this adorable Santa outfit and there's one closeup picture of her face that we all refer to as our Santa Baby.
We are blessed right now with babies in the family. From left to right we have Clark, my cousin Michele's 2 month old grandbaby, Max, cousin Melinda's 11 month old grandbaby, and of course Brooklyn, my 5 month old grandbaby.
This party is a potluck sort of meal and I used the opportunity to make the Asparagus Casserole ala BooMama, which did indeed garner rave reviews. Definitely a keeper recipe. I also brought some Orange Cream Cheese Cookie Cups that I found on the Weight Watcher site. They were only 1 point each and were awesome! Michele made some Loaded Baked Potato Dip and some Pimento Cheese Dip, both of which were habit forming. And I actually forgot to take a single picture of any of these crowd pleasers! Oh well, y'all will just have to trust me that they were all delicious.
I did manage to take 130 pictures during the day and this probably will surprise nobody at all, but I think only about 10 or so did NOT have Brooklyn in them! She certainly is the apple of Grandma's eyes. :)
It really was a great weekend. Mom, Gary and Michele stayed the weekend at our house and Michele made a wonderful Taco Casserole for us for dinner. I so enjoy spending time with them. The last picture is my brother holding Brooklyn up so she could see the tree.
Oh how I love the holidays!!! :)
Thursday, December 20, 2007
We started off going to the mall to see Santa. She was so darling and the picture they took shows Brooklyn holding on to Santa's finger.
She's at such an inquisitive age right now and loves to sit up and look around at everything. We enjoyed so much our time at the mall. After seeing Santa she was hungry, so we headed to the food court to give her a bottle. One of my favorite mannerisms of hers right now is her left hand when she has a bottle. She kind of strokes her forehead back and forth with her chubby little hand and it is so cute to see.
We left that mall and headed to another. She was still in fine form, kicking her legs, waving her arms and blowing bubbles all through the mall. We had more people stop us and comment on our lovely baby today and I honestly think it was mostly due to her smiles and laughter. Many times we'd be walking along and Brooklyn would hold on to her Grandpa's finger while he walked along beside us. I love how the picture shows her blue eyes looking at her Grandpa with so much trust.
We stopped at one point to get coffee at the famous coffee place and Keith and Brooklyn played "pull up" games. She'd hold his fingers and pull herself up to a sitting position, then look surprised and just laugh. Truly one of those priceless moments.
And one of the most amazing things about babies is how fast they can go from full tilt laughing and playing to sound asleep. We were still walking in the mall and noticed how quiet she'd gotten. Sure enough, in those few seconds she'd fallen fast asleep.
Asleep enough even that she didn't wake up when we put her in the carseat and then she slept all the way home. Absolutely a "shop til you drop" moment in her little life!
I will forever be grateful for this perfect day. :)
Then I read her description and thought it would be a perfect recipe for me to try. I'm really wanting to be a better hostess and how easy to start with breakfast.
This looked like it would be a great coffee cake and really who doesn't like a slice of warm coffee cake with a hot cup of coffee?
Since we had a day filled with wonderful plans today I felt like it was a great day to try this out. I whipped it up in no time and got it in the oven while I finished getting myself ready. The wonderful smells filled our home.
I put slices of Cinnamon Flop on our plates and poured the coffee. However, the texture is nothing like I had thought it would be. In my uninformed opinion I think this was more like a sponge cake. Regardless, we both liked it very much and it will go in the keeper file.
And I really do have to say it - my flop was NOT a flop! :)
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
When the kids came to the house last Saturday this is what Brooklyn was wearing - a new sweater and hat that Loni had knit for her! I am so proud of Loni for figuring out all of the stitches. And even more proud that she got it finished!
It really is darling on Brooklyn and she's wearing a pair of jeans that has applique on one leg in all the same colors as the sweater.
Loni has taken to the knitting full blast! Today she bought the yarn to knit a dress for Brooklyn. I can't wait to see it. :)
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Friday, December 14, 2007
I don't do much of the gift wrapping at our house. The gifts that I have wrapped in the past were many times met with the raising of the eyebrows of both the husband and the daughter, both of which manage to create stunning gifts. So it really didn't upset me a lot to pass that particular item on to them and let their creations bless others with their beauty. Really...they are that nice.
I just got a tin of the most wonderful candy ever! They are called Caramel Candy (she thoughtfully gave us the recipe with the chocolates), but I think they taste just like turtles. A very gracious gift given by a workmate and the presentation was beautiful. She did tell me that I should take them home and give them to Keith since they were not WW friendly. And even though weigh in is today, I ate half of one.
You know, just to test them out. I had to do it for her.
Always doing my part to spread good cheer.....
1. Knit a sweater for Brooklyn - I have the pattern and yarn sitting in the closet marinating for two different sweaters, so need to get them done before she outgrows them.
2. Knit 4 pairs of socks - I'd really like to have enough handmade socks to wear for a week next year, which means 4 more pair. And that is so doable because I won't even say how many single socks I have that just need mates. And we sure won't mention how much beautiful sock yarn is in the closet.
3. Knit a calorimetry (or two) for ME! - I am so not a hat person. And really this is so close to being a hat that I wasn't interested before. But now I'm a runner (!) and my ears get very cold, so the calorimetry is the lesser of two evils. And the first one needs to be finished pretty quick because my first 5K is in January.
That's it! I know better than to over-resolution myself, so anything else I knit will be a bonus. And now that the gals at work and I sit and knit together I will have more motivation. Every morning they come in and play show-and-tell....and there is Elizabeth saying "oh I didn't get any knitting done last night" and their little faces are so disappointed. ;)
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Then I remembered the muffins I frequently made some years ago. It's the classic WW Pumpkin Spice recipe that was all the rage in the 70's. Now that we have internet everything old is new again.
Last night I decided to try out the recipe again and was delighted with how they turned out. Very simple recipe and quite economical, so I know we'll have these around a lot. A simple Google search will show several variations of this recipe (including using a devils food cake mix instead of spice - I am so going to try that one!). I'm sharing the one that is tried and true for me. :)
WW Pumpkin Spice Muffins
Obviously I'm not bothered by non-smooth top muffins.
Monday, December 10, 2007
The day started great, then Keith and I were at the store to look for some gifts and Lynne' called. Or rather, Lynne's phone called and it was her friend Andrea. "Um, we've had an incident." Thunk! There went my heart and stomach straight down to my toes. Seems they had been out shopping and went by Lynne's apartment to make spaghetti for dinner. Got out of the car and Lynne' locked her keys in the car. They went upstairs to the apartment in case the roommate had forgotten to lock the door, but no. So the two of them huddled outside the door because at least the wind was blocked on two sides and called a roommate, who said she'd be right over to unlock the door. Somehow or another Lynne' leaned against the window to their office and her hand went through the window! She bled all over the place, her friend was freaking out, called us, I told her to call 911 and Keith and I headed that way. We got there and the ambulance had already been and left and said she needed to go to the hospital. I noticed a LOT of blood outside and yeah, that was Lynne's. They said upstairs was tons worse and they all told me not to go up there. Lawsy - let me tell you that is a fearful site to see your baby daughter's blood all over the place like that! We headed to the hospital and when they unwrapped the gauze that the paramedics put on they made me leave because it looked so bad. Keith stayed with her the whole time and Andrea stayed with me. Apparently the fear was she nicked the artery because it was pumping black blood everywhere. Ended up that wasn't the case, she got a whole lot of stitches and a tetanus shot, Keith took pictures with his cell phone and it about did me in to see those pictures. Bad enough to see her arm all sewn up. WHEW!
I tell you what, these kids of ours are never too old to set our hearts into a tailspin! I'm just thankful that God has his angels around her.
And let me also mention that this geocache was a huge celebration for us. It was attempt number oh probably five or so. We arrived with the determination that TODAY WAS THE DAY! We were ready to stay as long as necessary and repeated several times "Never give up, never surrender" when suddenly a shout rang out! Could it be? Was it finally found?
YES! YES! YES! We did it!!! Keith had a grin a mile wide! The mighty beast by the name of Breakwater had been slain! We were the mighty victors and it was no match for us. :) !!!!!!
Friday, December 07, 2007
I don't think I realized just how much fun this would be. I'm almost more proud of this dishcloth than any project I've done. It's great to watch somebody working with it and you can almost see the moment the lightbulb goes off for them.
I've gotten emails this morning already with links to patterns and questions about whether or not I think they could do a pattern they've chosen. To a person I have said yes and it's fun to watch how excited they are. One lady went to the Hobby Lobby website and printed off a coupon for everybody and I think several have a field trip planned tomorrow. Perfect timing since Hobby Lobby has their knitting needles and such on sale this week.
Thank you Lord for blessing me with knitting abilities and being able to share it with others. :)
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Just think - a few rotten bananas can become scrumptous banana bread. I know there is a learning experience somewhere in those words.
And the recipe can be found here. While you're there you might want to check out her blog. I do so love it. :)
Saturday, December 01, 2007
The entire route, once we were off the highway, was lined with people smiling and waving, kids jumping up and down, and everybody enjoying the spirit of Christmas. Amazing I tell you.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Saturday several of the family met for breakfast (and really I think that breakfast is my favorite meal to eat out), then Keith, Lynne' and I went over to mom's house for the afternoon. While Keith did some boring boy stuff around the house mom helped Lynne' and I with our knitting. First she helped Lynne' remember how to cast on. Lynne' took needles and yarn and got to knitting on a scarf as a donation to breast cancer next October.
Next I pulled out the baby blanket I've been working on. Somehow I got the pattern all turned around and on one side the border ended up with about 6 rows of stockinette stitch instead of garter stitch. My way of fixing it would've been to take it all out one stitch at a time, which would've been about 700 stitches. Mom's way was to get out a crochet hook and turn the purls into knits! Then it turned out she didn't like the way she'd done one row, so she ripped out a couple of rows and magically got them back on the needles. There is no.way.at.all. that I would try that on my own!
We then got a little impromptu fashion show when mom went and got out a vest she had knit umpteen years ago and modeled it for us. I'm sure the picture doesn't show it very well, but the vest is covered in cables and so very timeless. Beautiful!
Mom got out the baby blanket she's currently knitting, which amazingly is the same yarn and same color I was using (what are the odds???) and the three of us sat on the couch to knit while we waited for a pizza to be delivered.
Again my heart was filled by the moment. It was such a satisfying feeling to share a hobby with my mother and daughter and to just relax and enjoy the moment together. Mom and I have shared moments like this before, but it was the first time the three of us have gotten to knit together. What a blessing it was!
Of course I realized this was a Kodak moment, so I asked Keith to get the camera and take a couple of pictures. One thing about Keith - he doesn't do anything halfway. I do realize this is definitely one of those you would've had to have been there moments, but he got us to laughing so hard we had tears running down our cheeks! He set the camera to just continue taking pictures and I'll bet I have 20 or so pictures of this special moment in time, with all three of us in various phases of laughing. Good times..... :)
The last project I had mom's help with was a hat that should've been quite simple. I made it once and ended up with the first point in the center of the head, so I frogged it and started over (mom's method of fixing knitting mistakes is quite a bit more efficient than mine!). This time around it went much better, but I still ended up with a hole in the center that required my mother's help.
We went over to James and Loni's house on Sunday and Brooklyn wasn't nearly as impressed with the hat that grandma made as grandma was impressed with her wearing it!
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Before we knew it we were in Ardmore and saw the drive thru lights. We see this every year as we zoom down I-35 and this year we actually had the time to stop and do it. It is a one and a half mile drive through a city park with very large Christmas light displays, each one sponsored by an area business. We tuned the radio to a Christmas music station and we sang as we drove through the park. Great fun and I highly recommend it if you are in the Ardmore area. It's free, though they do take a free will offering at the end.
Monday, November 26, 2007
(From the left - Mom, Grandma, Me, Brooklyn, James in front)
Everybody searched like troopers with frozen fingers and in the end Brad came up the winner! Another cache conquered.
We have the tradition of going around the table (and it was a big table indeed this year!) before eating to say what you are thankful for. Sooo many tears this year, especially with the passing of Vonna. My turn came and I was holding little miss Brooklyn, so naturally I started with my thankfulness of this happy, healthy baby. Then I teared up and couldn't say anything else! I was disappointed that it happened that way because there were so many things I wanted to say. I am abundantly blessed with my family and friends, my marriage, my health and really the only thing I could blubber out was how thankful I was for this grandbaby. :)
Speaking of Brooklyn, a fun time we had was watching her eat her first vegetable! It was so much fun to watch as she had a delightful time. She'd get a bite of carrots, then blow bubbles with it, grinning very big when we'd all laugh! So smart of her mama to think to just take her little dress off before starting because right after this picture her mama and her great aunt took her and gave her a bath.
Another fun moment - the turkey came out of the oven and a committee of five stood around giving advice on how best to carve it. From the left - mom, Michele (SIL), MIL, Keith, FIL. The turkey carving winner was Michele as she wowed us all with her knowledge from watching Food Network. And people say tv isn't educational... hehehehe!!!