Saturday, December 31, 2005

Salsa! turned out so good!!!

Lazy New Year's Eve

Since I didn't really have a picture to share today, I decided to show a picture of Joe enjoying his present from Santa. You really can't go wrong with a picture of Joe!

Pretty quiet evening last night. We were "scrapbooking" at a friend's house and it was interesting to see what everybody was doing. There were 7 ladies there and here's the breakdown: 3 were doing traditional scrapbooking, 1 was digital scrapbooking, 1 quilting, 1 doll making and I was knitting. Last night was the perfect example of how scrapbooking brought us together, but friendship keeps us that way.

I was really interested to watch the digital scrapbooking as it's something I would love to dabble in this coming year. So of course while Keith and I were out and about today I picked up the program! Haven't even taken it out of the shopping bag yet, but hope to do so soon.

Today was the kind of day I enjoy most with Keith. One of his friends owns a radio control hobby shop in Ft. Worth, so we headed over there today to check it out. Very nice man and I enjoyed talking with him. Pretty cool too was that his dad was in the shop with him and dad had just returned from Iraq! Lots of customer friends were coming in and slapping him on the back and welcoming him home.

We stopped for lunch at a new to me restaurant, then shopped in an area that we always enjoy. Basically just moseyed around a lot today and still got quite a bit done. Last stop was Sprout's Market - after taking Joe to the park - where we got the makings of salsa to use the new salsa maker that James and Loni got me for Christmas. Our big plans for New Year's Eve include eating salsa and watching a movie or two. Really what we most enjoy.

~ Elizabeth

Friday, December 30, 2005

Back to Normal

This is what happens to good natured dogs - they get humiliated by bows on their heads! Monday was mom's birthday, so she opened her birthday gifts before we headed out to lunch. Joe might look pretty silly here, but secretly he really enjoys it!

I'm just now starting to feel "normal" again after the holidays. This poor body just can't take the celebrating like it used to! For the most part this week I've come home from work, eaten dinner and gone to bed. Last night I finally stayed up til 9:00 - woohoo! There's really quite a bit I should be doing around here, but instead I sat and watched tv and did some sock knitting. So nice and peaceful. Tonight I'm going to a friend's house for scrapbooking, but will actually do more sock knitting! I don't have my scrapbooking stuff at a point that I know what I want to work on and the knitting is so portable - so easy to pick up the box and go. And really, it's mostly about being with friends anyway.

As we head into the New Year it's only natural to look back. 2005 was filled with many personal trials and I've said for some time that I can't wait for it to be over. But really, as I was standing at Daddy's grave on Christmas Day crying, I really was filled with a peace. Maybe I'm finally accepting the fact that he's gone. It's especially hard during the holidays as you realize that one of your group is missing from the table, and yet that table is still surrounded with people that I love deeply. I'm sure there's a lesson to be learned here somewhere.

~ Elizabeth

Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost. - Romans 15:13

Thursday, December 29, 2005

The Quilt

The quilt was presented to James this Christmas by his Grandma Herman and it was very touching to witness. She's been working on this for 3 years and it's been fun to see it each time we visit to see how it's coming along. However, this was the first time that James got to see it. And Ferne read some statistics to him and I'm afraid I'll get most of them wrong, but I do remember that she said there are over 1,300 pieces in the quilt and pillows! What's especially meaningful is that there are some pieces in it from his Great Grandfather and Mother!

All the different blues that are seen here are from different jeans. The shading is remarkable and the finished quilt is just stunning. The "main" pillow has tags from many of the different jeans that were used to make the quilt and Ferne embroidered the rest. This will certainly be an heirloom for him.

Christmas Stories - Part III

One of the highlights of Christmas at the Hermans was the game "Lunar Probe" from when Keith and his siblings were younger. Even without flashing lights and digital sounds it captured everybody's interest for much of the day. Keith relived the glory days of his youth by showing his mastery of the game and James was bound and determined to rival him. He did do very well, but needs to work a little on doing it with his eyes closed. ;) And we never did see the demonstration of Keith doing this with his toes!!!

Of course no Christmas would be complete without the dog gifts! Unfortunately Joe wasn't able to come to the Herman Christmas this year because there was not room in the truck. We did bring his gift home to him and he is quite pleased with his new ball and chew bone. It's always easy to pick gifts for "the girls" (Harmony and Brandy) - Harmony is obsessed with chasing balls and Brandy loves food!

This year was the second year of our new tradition - singing carols after gifts. Brad has become very good at playing the guitar and I really think this is becoming one of my favorite parts of Christmas. Brad and Rhonda printed handouts so that everybody had the words to all the songs and we have the best time singing. The family favorite seems to be "Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer", which is a little strange, but we do have fun singing it!

~ Elizabeth

"The happiest moments of my life have been the few which I have passed at home in the bosom of my family."
- Thomas Jefferson

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Christmas Stories - Part II

Sunday afternoon - after our rowsing Bingo game - we headed to the Gaylord Texan Resort for the ICE exhibit. This was much touted on local news and we've been looking forward to it for quite some time. It's a walk through exhibit where everything had been totally carved from ice! There were artisans from China (I think) that came over in October and spent 26 days carving this. The rooms are kept at 9 degrees and they supplied the styling parks you see in the picture. And pictured - from left - are Loni, James, Lynne' and I right before we went inside.

Next picture is the arch over the entrance - you can see Lynne' standing under the arch and Michele is about to enter. Note the green wreath over the archway - all made of ice. It was interesting to see the color variations in the "clear" ice as well.

This is Loni standing in front of one of the exhibits inside. They also used LED lights inside the ice on some of the exhibits and it glowed so nicely. Probably the highlight of the whole exhibit - and certainly the most popular - was the ice slide at the very end. We walked up ice steps and then slid down! Really funny and you couldn't help but smile when you did it. Everybody in our party went down the slide and we had some great laughs.

And note to self: always bring extra batteries. These are the only pictures I have of the inside and now am waiting on Lynne' and Michele to get their pictures developed and share with me!

Christmas Stories - Part I

Christmas was so wonderful this year and I have so many pictures and stories I want to post, but I also have to work, so I'll probably do a few each day.

Joe was pretty excited over Christmas this year when he saw that Santa had left a big bone in his stocking. It surprised me to see him stand up on the fireplace to get at it as he usually is so meek. It turned out to be a good thing that Santa brought the bone because Joe was enchanted by it and chewed on it while we did other things.

Our Christmas story begins on Friday at about 4:00 when Mom, Gary and Michele arrived at our house. Poor Keith had to work, so we didn't see him that evening. The rest of us went to James and Loni's apartment so that Cheeto and Emma could show off their acrobatic jumping abilities and they performed wonderfully! Then we all headed to Taco Bueno for dinner, which happens to be a favorite restaurant in our family. Mom went to bed early and Gary, Michele, Lynne' and I sat at the kitchen table until close to midnight talking. Loved it.

Saturday morning James and Loni came over and rode with Keith, Lynne' and I to OKC to spend time with Keith's family while my family stayed at our house! Had a wonderful time with the Hermans and more pictures and stories will be posted soon. Keith and I went with Ferne and Charlie to the 11:00 candlight service on Christmas Eve and it was so beautiful, as it always is. And when we left Pastor gave us a big hug. I really do miss him and that church and hope the new church we're joining will be just as good.

Sunday morning we headed back to Lewisville and when we got here Michele had gotten all of our lunch spread ready and it was waiting for us - how cool is that! We fixed plates, let Joe open his present from Santa and settled in for some Christmas Bingo fun. Gary was probably the most lucky at the game and it was fun watching him open his prizes. The funny part was that Gary was usually busy talking to all of us and Michele played his card for him! After a couple of rounds though he started getting into it and doing his own card. It really was a lot of fun and we had fun stealing presents and laughing. One of James' favorite prizes - of course - was a gift certificate to Taco Bueno!

~ Elizabeth

"When you look at your life, the greatest happinesses are family happinesses."
- Joyce Brothers

Friday, December 23, 2005

Count It All Joy!

Presents wrapped, laundry done, grocery list written - looks like we're good to go! Last night I was here by myself until about 10:00 or so and it was so relaxing, with a pinch of running around finishing things up. Very quiet, soft Christmas lights - it's all good. I can't help but look around and inside my heart and feel very blessed for the abundant good we have. As we face our first Christmas without Daddy there is a big hole in our family dynamics. But the healing process has started and we are all working very hard at making it a special time in spite of it all. It would be very easy to sit and weep, but as long as we keep our eyes on the good in our lives, it will be ok.

~ Elizabeth

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Countdown Is On!

The list is still quite long on things I need to get done, but Lynne' and I took time out last night to play! Loni brought me Magic Grow Towelettes yesterday and it was so much fun. You put the little disks in warm water and they magically unfold and turn into a towel! I love it that we can still take time out to do fun, silly things. Not sure if the price tag shows up or not, but these were less than a dollar at Walmart and it is well worth the money. :)

And in the midst of running around like a crazy woman, I had a friend drop by last night and it was so good. She had asked if I'd be busy and I told her I might be answering the door with a vacuum in one hand and toilet brush in the other, but come on over! Luckily I wasn't quite that rushed. I so enjoy talking to her and it was good for both of us to stop for a few minutes and catch our breath.

I also talked on the phone for a good portion of the evening, which is what I do best. Whoever invented the bluetooth was a genius! I carry the cell phone in my pocket and run around the house still doing what needs to be done, all the while enjoying every minute of converstion with my sister-in-law, mom and friends. What a wonderful device!

~ Elizabeth

"So, like a forgotten fire, a childhood can always flare up again within us."
- Gaston Bachelard

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Party All Night

Well last night was just wonderful! This group of girlfriends is so good to be around and I honestly enjoy each one. Last night I even got to meet a couple of new ladies and just loved them. The hostess' home was decorated so nice for Christmas and the food for the potluck was divine. Then we played "dirty santa" with the gifts and had a grand time laughing. To quote another friend - this group is bold enough to make it fun, but kind enough that nobody's feelings get hurt.

I got home way past my bedtime and then it took a while to wind down, so I'm feeling it today with the droopy, sleepy eyelids, but it was so worth it. When I went down the hall to get more coffee I remembered one of my favorite ways to drink coffee at work (invented last winter) and sure to be low fat, low calorie, etc. Use a package of hot chocolate mix and mix it with coffee rather than water and put some half and half in it. Oh my word is it ever good! And since I'm sleepy the double caffeine is a good thing today. :)

~ Elizabeth

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Tuesday Already???

No pictures today because I completely forgot to send them to my work email. Oh well, maybe that means double pictures tomorrow!

I am having such an enjoyable day at work today. James, Loni and I all work at the same place (and Lynne' works for the same company, though working from home) and today I've been flitting around spreading wedding warmth to all my workmates. Everybody is just thrilled with the idea of a wedding between these two and it's fun to talk and plan. I've even got a couple of websites sent to me by friends, so I think there will probably be about 25 people planning this wedding! ;)

Christmas is coming along nicely - all the plans are falling into place, the house is clean, the presents wrapped, decorations up and some baking done last night. I really love this part of the Christmas season where you can actually stop and enjoy it. We did better than we usually do and got things mostly done early. Of course it's much easier when the kids are grown to get things done because I'm no longer driving them around to places they need to be at night.

Tonight I'm going to a Christmas party with friends. It will be a potluck dinner (the party starts at 7:00 though and we usually eat WAY earlier than that!!!) and we're bringing a wrapped gift to play Dirty Santa. It should be lots of fun and I hear that the hostess has a beautifully decorated Christmas home every year.

I've also gotten lots of "WOW" responses today from my hair! Saturday I went to my first appointment with a new hair lady from a friend's recommendation. I am thrilled with how it looks and when I left the salon after three and a half hours (I got a cut, color and eyebrow wax) all the ladies there were oo'ing and goo'ing over me and saying it took 10-15 years off my face! Success!!! LOL!

Oh and when we got to work this morning there was a bag of chips and a chip clip on everybody's chair from the building management. Apparently we are "all that and a bag of chips" around here!!!!

~ Elizabeth

Sunday, December 18, 2005

I Hear Wedding Bells!

James asked Loni to marry him today! I am so thrilled that my son has found someone so good to love and that he is happy. :)

Friday, December 16, 2005

One for Mr. Manners

We've always said the little ditty "Leave one for Mr. Manners" in our house and the last few days it seems that Joe has bought into the idea. One crunchy left in the bowl and I'm assuming it's for Mr. Manners. When he saw me in taking a picture of his feeding trough he ran in so that he could be in the picture as well. And shortly after taking the shot he reached down and ate Mr. Manners' crunchy. ;)

I did finally get a chance to do some knitting yesterday - first time in over a week! I had a headache at work all morning, so at lunch I went out to my truck to sit and knit and hope that the breeze would help clear my head. Did about 4 rows of the heel flap of my sock, then stopped to admire my work and realized I'd gotten the rows backwards. :rolling my eyes at myself here: The next several minutes were spent "unknitting" and by then it was time to go back to work. My sock was at the same point after knitting as it was before I started! Luckily last night I was able to knit some before bed and the heel flap is almost complete. I had forgotten how relaxing knitting is for me, so I'm going to try and sneak in 15 minutes or so here and there more often.

~ Elizabeth

"Man is troubled by what might be called the dog wish, a strange and involved compulsion to be as happy and carefree as a dog."
- James Thurber

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Smoochie Knitted Dishcloth Pattern

Smoochie Cloth
Original Pattern
By Elizabeth Herman
(If anybody makes this I would be honored if you'd email a picture to me!)

Cast on 37
1-4 Knit
5 K3, P31, K3
6 Knit
7 K3, P31, K3
8 Knit
9 K3, P18, K5, P8, K3
10 Knit
11 K3, P17, K8, P6, K3
12 Knit
13 K3, P16, K10, P5, K3
14 Knit
15 K3, P10, K4, P1, K13, P3, K3
16 Knit
17 K3, P9, K19, P3, K3
18 Knit
19 K3, P8, K12, P2, K6, P3, K3
20 Knit
21 K3, P7, K11, P4, K5, P4, K3
22 Knit
23 K3, P7, K10, P5, K5, P4, K3
24 Knit
25 K3, P6, K10, P5, K6, P4, K3
26 Knit
27 K3, P5, K7, P8, K6, P5, K3
28 Knit
29 K3, P5, K5, P9, K7, P5, K3
30 Knit
31 K3, P4, K5, P9, K7, P6, K3
32 Knit
33 K3, P3, K6, P8, K7, P7, K3
34 Knit
35 K3, P4, K20, P7, K3
36 Knit
37 K3, P5, K18, P8, K3
38 Knit
39 K3, P6, K16, P9, K3
40 Knit
41 K3, P7, K14, P10, K3
42 Knit
43 K3, P9, K11, P11, K3
44 Knit
45 K3, P10, K8, P13, K3
46 Knit
47 K3, P31, K3
48 Knit
49 K3, P31, K3
50-54 Knit
Bind Off

Martina McBride

I had the most flattering thing happen to me - a lady on my knit list actually knit the Smoochie Cloth that I designed and sent me a picture! WOW! I am truly on Cloud 9! I need to post the pattern here, so will probably do that shortly.

Loni brought me the CD White Christmas by Martina McBride yesterday and it is awesome. The only real problem with it is that she has such a powerhouse voice and you can't help but sing along and no way can I hit notes like she can! It was probably a good thing that the weather yesterday necessitated driving with the windows closed because my screeching could surely have caused traffic accidents. :) We listened to it last night while Keith put the bikes together, too. He got them finished and now the living room smells like tire rubber. I need to find a donation place for Toys for Toys SOON so that they can be delivered in time for Christmas AND to get the smell gone from my home!!!

Now this morning I've been listening to the same CD at work. Our workplace is very, very quiet, so we listen to music with headphones. I'm having the hardest time keeping myself from singing along with Martina and shocking my workmates!

No pictures today either. I took quite a few of the bicycle assembly process and of Joe helping Keith out, but the batteries completely died at the end. They are now resting comfortably in the battery charger and hopefully I can extract the pictures tonight after work.

And I did get most of the Christmas cards ready and mailed last night - woohoo! I have to pick up some more Christmas "portraits" at Sam's on the way home tonight and the rest will go out tomorrow. It was very peaceful working on these last night. I had the lights glowing on the Christmas tree and on two very special decorations that a dear friend gave me last Christmas and listening to the Amy Grant Christmas CD. As I signed and addressed each card I prayed for the family it was going to and it just felt so right. Maybe my head is finally getting in the right place again.

~ Elizabeth

Have yourself a Merry little Christmas!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Grandma and Trucks

I realized from my last post that I need to get over it. For lunch I decided to enjoy the fall day we're having - breezy and 62 degrees - and went out to my truck to work on diving the heel of my sock so I can knit the heel flap tonight.

While out there I decided to call my grandmother. She's one of the most amazing women I've ever known. Right now she's got cancer pretty bad and going for weekly chemotherapy treatments, was just told she needs to have heart surgery but that they won't do it because of the cancer and today she told me that she cracked a tooth over the weekend! Bless her heart. The amazing part of it all is what an incredible positive attitude she has about everything. She does a lot for helping me put things back in their proper perspective.

And while I'm sitting in my truck in the parking lot talking to my grandma, a guy that works in our building pulled in behind and HIT MY TRUCK! Sheesh! Now really it was more of a tap than a hit, but the reason I know that he hit me is that my body felt the jolt. The insulting part of all of this is that he didn't even acknowledge that he did it! And since I was talking to grandma I couldn't really start shouting and give him a piece of my mind. ;) He went on inside, I finished my conversation and went and checked my truck. Turns out - luckily - that he hit the trailer hitch and did nothing to my truck. Now I'm kind of glad I'm driving around with armour on the back of my truck!

~ Elizabeth

Christmas Countdown

So the countdown to Christmas continues. Everything seems to be going along at a good clip and we're getting things done in time. Am I enjoying it this year? Unequivacably - no. I'm stuck in a weird place emotionally and mentally this year and can't seem to get past it. Tonight's gala plan is to finish up the Christmas cards and get presents wrapped and under the tree. Truly that should help as Keith and I enjoy this each year. We put a Christmas cd on and wrap and laugh together. Usually we listen to a cd with old songs by the classic artists, but we also love Amy Grant's cd. Perhaps that will all help.

And when we first get home "we" will be assembling two bicycles. We always get one for Toys for Tots and this year we bought a boy and girl bike, so twice the assembly. This ought to be fun as it has been years since we've had to assemble one since usually I find one at a store ready to go. But we got these at Toys R Us this year and they charge an additional ten bucks apiece for assembly. As if! So maybe this will help with Christmas spirit.

Tomorrow night is Advent service at church and since nothing else is planned I might go to that as well. Nothing says Christmas to me more than singing in church. Well and Little Debbie Christmas Trees!

And I'm planning to take Joe to Petsmart on Saturday so he can get his picture taken with Santa. I guess once your kids are too old for that annual event there's really nothing to do but take the dog! Until grandkids come along of course. He'll enjoy the outing, but he always enjoys outings so that's really not any big thing.

Just another day in the life I suppose.....

~ Elizabeth


Often you wonder why tears come into your eyes
And burdens seem to be much more that you can stand
But God is standing near. He sees your falling tears
And tears are a language God understands.

God sees the tears of a brokenhearted soul.
He sees your tears and hears them when they fall.
God weeps along with man and He takes him by the hand.
Tears are a language God understands.

When grief has left you low it causes tears to flow
When things have not turned out the way that you had planned,
But God won't forget you His promises are true.
And tears are a language that my God He understands.

God sees the tears of a brokenhearted soul.
He sees your tears and hears them when they fall
God weeps along with man and He takes him by the hand.
Tears are a language God understands

Tears are a language that my God He understands.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Weekend Report

Due to the recent freezing weather, we ran up to the lake yesterday to be sure the cabin was ok. It was, but there were some other minor things that needed attention, so it was good we went up. The picture is two neighbor dogs that are totally nuts! Joe was pretty intimidated by their sheer exuberance, so I put him in the backyard. These two dogs - shown here in our front yard - wrestled and played like cats and absolutely cracked me up. At one point I had to move the truck in order for us to load things and the minute I started the truck the bigger dog came running in and jumped in the back like he was ready to go for a ride. Too cute. :)

Friday we got a call from James that their apartment flooded again. I'm not sure of what caused it, but the cause was on the 3rd floor and they are on the bottom floor, so it was really a mess. They ended up staying with us and brought the grandkitties along! It did hit me this morning that as much time as I got to spend with the kitties I completely forgot to take any pictures of them at all. And even though the circumstances weren't great for all of them staying with us, I will admit that I enjoyed it just the same.

~ Elizabeth

Friday, December 09, 2005

Strange Sadness

It's funny how sometimes things will hit you out of the blue. I knew that I've been feeling emotionally shakey all week and I just cried over something silly. Right now I'm resting before heading over to help the kids out with their flooded apartment and am blog hopping to kill time. I was reading on one about her Christmas traditions and I kind of spaced out and started thinking about Christmas' past and our traditions. The tears I shed this time weren't even necessarily that we won't have Daddy this Christmas, though I'm sure that's a large part of it. But I sat here thinking about how our traditions will have to change out of necessity and it just feels like there's such a hole now. Not only is Daddy gone, but the kids are grown. I don't know - maybe it's the menopause thing as well which makes me weepy - but I'm sitting here feeling very, very alone right now. And the wonder of it all is that reading a happy blog entry is what brought it on! Sheesh....maybe I better quit reading and go eat a Snickers and grab some knitting or something. :)

~ Elizabeth

Snow Day

This is what a snow day in Dallas looks like! Now I will say that when we went out the front door Joe found a patch of ice on the sidewalk and slipped, so there are some tricky spots. But overall it's not bad at all.

The pound cake came out perfectly and made a great breakfast this morning with my coffee. I also made some pumpkin butter and have a few more batches of that to make as well, which might happen today.

So last night I knitted on the sock while watching CSI and Without a Trace. I've never been much of a tv watcher, but I've started thinking that must be because life gets so busy with young kids. My life is very relaxing now, so I get to watch tv and knit by the glow of the Christmas tree. If all goes well the sock should be finished by the time I go to bed tonight.

Today I took a vacation day and turns out I have no real plans as the plans we had made fell through. That's perfectly ok with me though as this day was a "use it by the end of the year or lose it" type of thing and no way will I lose a day off! There's a couple of errands to run and then I'm just going to play with my toys today.

~ Elizabeth

From home to home, and heart to heart, from one place to another. The warmth and joy of Christmas, brings us closer to each other.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

The Weather Outside Isn't Frightful!

I had to really look to find some ice today, but when we stopped to put gas in the Avalanche we finally found some! All the schools in the Dallas area are closed, including Dallas school district itself, which means that my company is closed as well. As you can see by the little bit of concrete under the truck it ended up warming up and melting quite nicely. I'm still glad they closed schools though as there were quite a few accidents this morning on the news. In my opinion it's always better to be safe than sorry when you're talking about the kids.

The three of us met James and Loni for lunch at Taco Bueno today and found some frozen grass, so I figured I better take a picture of it as proof. This is my very first adult "snow" day and really it's rather a bust.

On the bright side, I just put a cream cheese pound cake in the oven and have cast on for second sock. I'll be knitting away on it shortly and look at the glow of the Christmas tree. Really a nice way to spend the evening. And I have tomorrow off work as a vacation day, so once the Christmas cards are ready for mailing I'll probably do more sitting and knitting on socks. Just nice and relaxing. :)

~ Elizabeth

Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever!
Hebrews 13:8

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Winter Storm Warning!

Starting the day off with a picture of my grand kitties! Loni sent me this picture of them play fighting after rolling around in peanuts - too cute!

So we have our first winter storm warning of the season for tomorrow. Supposed to be very cold and a pretty good chance of an ice storm. I have a doctor appointment across town at 7:30 in the morning, so I'm really hoping it doesn't come in until after that! The silver lining on this whole thing is that my company is really good about letting us go home early if the weather starts turning bad. But considering we were in the mid-80's on Saturday, this just seems very strange to think about ice tomorrow.

Speaking of Saturday, I went to another album class in Whitesboro with some friends that day and had a fabulous time. This was a pet class and of course as much as I love that dog I couldn't miss this one. I actually finished 17 of the 20 pages IN CLASS this time - woohoo! I sat down last night and finished the last 3 pages, then looked through my digital pictures on the computer and sent a big order to Sam's. I'll pick those pictures up during my lunch hour today and then one night this week I'll get them all put on the pages and finish it up. Then of course I'll have to display it in the living room with spotlights or something so that everybody can enjoy looking at my precious puppy.

And I have a new ringtone on my cell phone for the first time. Up til now I've just used one of the standard rings, but I finally was inspired. I have the BC Clark Christmas jingle now! Anybody from the OKC area knows that once BC Clark starts showing the Christmas commercial that the season really is here. Makes me smile now every time my phone rings!

~ Elizabeth

For with God, nothing will be impossible.
- Luke 1:37

Sunday, December 04, 2005

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas!

OK, I know that verse is overused, but it's really true! You reach a certain point and see the signs of the Christmas season all around. As you can see by my new banner, Little Debbie Christmas Trees really do signal the season for me! I just love 'em and eat way too many. Too my joyful pleasure I discovered that Sam's Club has a big box of them, so of course I grabbed a box and clutched them to my chest as I ran to the checkout counter. ;)

We did get the tree mostly up today. Keith and I bought new tree trimmings at Hobby Lobby last night and didn't get enough garland, so we'll get more tomorrow and finish it up. Then while out shopping today we discovered dog antlers in the dollar spot at Target! I was so happy - and Keith was rolling his eyes over my glee - because we'd been to Petsmart last night and they were out. Joe is just so very handsome with his antlers on and he loves them.

Also got our Christmas "portrait" done for the Christmas cards and will pick up the test shot tomorrow. If it's good I'll order the rest and might actually have cards out in a timely manner this year.

~ Elizabeth

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Disco Scarf

I learned a valuable lesson about prescription meds yesterday - when they say take cough syrup with codeine WITH food....they mean it. I got to work, took the cough syrup and not too much later got very, very sick to my stomach. Few things are worse in life than being sick in a public restroom. :( So I went home early.

Since I didn't have the mental capacity at that point to knit on my sock, I whipped out the free skein of Mr. Brown "Disco" yarn and added a strand of Homespun and made this scarf. When it was almost finished I was asking myself why I made it since I'm not really a scarf person, but Lynne' came in and claimed it, so I'm happy. The copper color will look really good with her jean jacket's metal buttons and the scarf turned out oh so soft. Best part was that it only took an hour and twenty minutes to knit!

Didn't watch Lost last night after all because Keith and I were both busy doing other things, but I have it recorded - obviously. So either tonight or tomorrow night will be "Lost" night at our house.

~ Elizabeth

Cast all your cards on Him, for He cares for you.
1 Peter 5:7

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

A Layout!

Actually have the Thanksgiving layout complete from this year! While I applaud myself for getting it done so timely, I also realize how little scrapbooking I've done this year. But that's ok - the scrapbooking police won't be visiting any time soon - I hope!

I finally went to the doctor yesterday for my coughing and such and I have bronchitis, which really comes as no surprise. I left the doctor's office with a fist full of prescriptions and headed straight to the pharmacy. I *love* the cough syrup she gave me because it actually works! However, I woke up about 12:30 last night coughing and since my next dose wasn't due until 2:00 I got up and went into the living room to knit on my sock. I've started the toe shaping, so sock #1 should be completed while watching Lost tonight. Then the true test will come - trying it on to see if the fit is right before casting on the 2nd sock!

Other than that we're plugging along! Keith worked on setting up his building last night and it's looking so cool. Lynne' took the camera out and got pictures for me, then tried to entice Joe inside the building. It took some effort on her part to get the chicken dog in there, but then he strutted like he owned the place. :rolling my eyes at my guard dog:

~ Elizabeth
A friend is a gift whose worth cannot be measured except by the heart.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Crock Pot Teriyaki Chicken

Here's the recipe for our Saturday dinner, which received three thumbs up!

Crock Pot Teriyaki Chicken

1 1/2 lbs chicken pieces (boneless, skinless chicken breast cut up)
1 cup packed brown sugar
2/3 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup lemon-lime soda (7-Up or Sprite)
2 - 3 tablespoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon hot pepper (or to taste)
Cooked white rice

Place chicken pieces in crockpot. Combine other ingredients and pour over chicken. Cook on low six to eight hours. During the last few minutes of cooking shred chicken with a fork (I didn't do this, but I cut my chicken pieces pretty small). Serve chicken and sauce over rice.

Thanksgiving Pictures

Obligatory Thanksgiving pictures today - click on the pictures if you want to see them bigger.

Lynne', mom and Michelle putting the final touches on the table before we ate.

The entire day went so well and I'm so glad since I was kind of dreading it. There was definitely a huge hole for me where daddy should have been, but it was also so nice to be surrounded by the ones you love and that love you. I am so blessed to have family that I genuinely like to be around.

This was Loni's first Thanksgiving with our family and we just love having her with us as well.

I am also truly blessed to be able to have the four generations of women in our family together another Thanksgiving. Grandma,

mom, myself and Lynne'.

I just had to giggle at mom giving Gary "the look" and was glad we got a picture of it as well.

~ Elizabeth

"Perhaps they are not stars in the sky, but rather openings where our loved ones shine down to let us know they are happy."

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Good Sunday

This morning when I opened the door to go get the paper, this rose petal was sitting on the front porch right in front of the door. Since I didn't know of any rosebushes around here, it was rather puzzling, but I did discover a bush at the side of our house. Now, I feel that any day that starts with the gift of a rose petal can only be a good day!

And of course it was. Keith was in his motorcycle class again today, so Lynne' went to church with me. It was a wonderful service and we are so blessed to have found this church. The opening and closing song today had a "Jewish flavor" according to the pastor and they were awesome! We couldn't help but smile during the last song when amidst the singing and clapping we saw the little girl in front of us dancing while she sang.

After church we went to brunch and had such a nice time together. Food was good and the company was even better. When we got back home Lynne' went out shopping with friends and I went to take a nap. I still haven't gotten over this cough and congestion thing and it's about to drive me crazy!

I realized that I haven't posted a picture of Meeko in quite some time, so here he is. Also an example of me playing with the camera settings as I try to learn to be more creative with what I have!

~ Elizabeth

"Shout to the Lord all the all the Earth let us sing,
Power and majesty praise to the King.
Mountains bow down and the seas will roar, at the sound of Your name."

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Post Thanksgiving

Keith is in a motorcycle safety course all day today and tomorrow, so I'm on my own. I'm trying to get a whole lot done today so that tomorrow I can play with all my toys guilt free!

Joe and I started the day off by going to the park at 8:00 this morning. Not surprisingly, there was absolutely nobody else there, so I let him run free. He's been very lethargic lately and even walks around the neighborhood would find him just plodding along. The park always makes him turn into a puppy. He tosses his head, kicks his heels and runs zig zags all around me. We stayed for about 45 minutes until he was totally worn out, then headed home.

I have a new recipe cooking in the crockpot and it smells very good. It's Chicken Teriyaki and I got the recipe somewhere on the internet. Keith is being a good sport about having chinese food for dinner since it's not something he cares for at all.

And I just got back from Sam's where I picked up the pictures from Thanksgiving. Very pleased with them! Earlier I got my crop table cleaned up and organized, so my "reward" will be sitting with the pictures and actually doing some scrapbooking. We also had Michele take some pictures of the "4 Generations" for us - Grandma, Mom, Lynne' and I - and they turned out great. Sometime after Christmas I'm planning on painting the hallway and putting up lots of family pictures and this one will definitely make the cut.

~ Elizabeth

Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Thanksgiving Lunch

I woke up at 3:00 this morning coughing and couldn't get back to sleep, so let's see how long it takes before I crash and burn!

Today is our Thanksgiving meal at work and I was assigned to bring a side dish. The good thing about meals like this is that I get to try out new recipes. I pulled out the church cookbook and found a recipe for Triple Corn Bake. Of course when it came out of the oven I had to cut out a corner of it to make sure I wouldn't be embarrassed bringing it to work! We liked it, but the real test will be how it goes over today.

Triple Corn Bake

1 (16 oz) can cream-style corn
1 (16 oz) can whole kernel corn, undrained
1 (8 oz) pkg. cornbread mix
1 c low-fat sour cream
3/4 cup butter, cut in slices

Combine cream-style and whole kernel corn, cornbread mix, sour cream and butter, mixing lightly but thoroughly. Pour batter into greased 13 x 9 x2 baking dish. Bake, uncovered, at 350 for 30-35 minutes. Serves 12.

~ Elizabeth

"Enter his gates with thanksgiving, his courts with praise"
- Psalm 100:4

Monday, November 21, 2005

Monday Morning

Just another shot from our fun in the front yard last night. :)

And here it is Monday of Thanksgiving week. I finally have a little bit of my voice back today and think I might be getting over the worst part of the creeping crud that I had - yay!

Saturday I headed up to Remember When in Whitesboro with a friend for the monthly 8x8 album class. Tracy, the teacher, is so nice and so talented - I love these classes! This class was "the year in review" with a 2 page layout for each month. I am a sloooow scrapper, so I only finished through March. But I did take pictures of the other months so that I can finish up at home. We then stayed for a Chatterbox class that is a really cute little album. I wasn't sure about the class before taking it, but it really is a lot of bang for the buck and I'm glad I took it. Still not entirely sure what I'll do with this little album, but that's ok! I really, really enjoyed this day. My group of friends tends to travel in a pack mostly, so it was truly great to spend some one-on-one time for a change.

Yesterday I ran up to Scrapbook Warehouse for some ink pads that I needed and was surprised to run into 2 groups of 2 people I knew! Most of my group was at a retreat this weekend, so it was a pleasant surprise to run into more people.

Now I'll confess one of my "silly pleasures" - I have always loved disaster movies! All of them - doesn't matter how bad. Of course this meant I was going to watch tv last night since the remake of The Poseidon Adventure was on. I sat down to knit on my sock, finished the gusset and decided I couldn't take it anymore and had to try it on. The loud "SNAP!" I heard was my first clue to the disaster.....I broke one of my precious Lantern Moon needles! On the bright side, the sock seems to fit well. ~ sigh ~ At least these needles come in a set of 5 and I only use 4, so I went ahead and started knitting. Very shortly after that I dropped two stitches, so I stopped them from running by putting them on a needle, then decided perhaps I shouldn't be knitting anymore and set it all aside to worry about this evening.

And before I forget - YAY Tony!

~ Elizabeth

Sunday, November 20, 2005

God's Beauty

The irony of posting this photo after saying I wannabe a better photographer is perfect! But I looked outside this evening and saw the tops of the tree across the street glowing with sunlight and had to capture it. By the time I found the camera and hollered at Lynne' and Joe to come outside there wasn't a lot left, so I just went for the snapshot. The gold glowing leaves against the darker clouds as a backdrop really helps us remember the beauty of God's creation all around us. He loves us and will never leave us - AMEN!

~ Elizabeth

Photographer Wannabe

I have been reading so many blogs and tutorials lately on taking better pictures and I found myself lusting after a new camera. Finally shared that with Keith and he pointed out that my digital camera does indeed have a few fancy settings, so I guess I better get the book out and read it! If I play with it enough and really enjoy it then I know I can justify the money on a fancy camera.

Keith and I have always had a hobbyist type interest in photography. When we first married my dad gave us his darkroom equipment and we had so much fun developing pictures and playing with different settings and such. And through the years we've not hesitated to buy a new/better camera when we've felt the need for one. This will be the first time I've actually denied myself when I've started wanting one and I"m feeling rather virtuous over that! If I do start messing with the current camera enough I know I'll go ahead. Besides, I have to get really good at the photography thing again before the grandbabies start blessing my life!

~ Elizabeth

"No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him"
- I Corinthians 2:9

Friday, November 18, 2005

Missing Daddy

So next week we face our first Thanksgiving without Daddy. For the most part I just try not to think about it. But I've also decided that the thing to do is to focus on the good and joyful things in life. I know there will be tears - especially before dinner as the Thanksgiving picture I always get in my mind is being at the Rotel crockpot eating chips with Daddy before dinner. He'd grin real big and pop another chip in his mouth. Then our tradition before dinner, rather than a traditional prayer, is to go around the table and tell what we are thankful for. I can see his face now as he always was so thankful that we were all able to get together. It will be hard to do that this year and I'm sure there will be lots of tears, but I hope we do. There is still so much in our lives to be thankful for.

I talked about Daddy with a friend the other day. She was one of many friends that provided such comfort after he died and I shared with her that when she told me it really will get easier that at the time I thought she'd lost her mind. :) But she was right. It really does get easier and I was even able to look at some pictures of him the other night with love rather than with tears. When the grief hits it's still like a knife and hurts so very bad, but at least those times are becoming fewer and fewer.

I know in my heart without any doubt that he's better now and no longer tired and in pain. Keith and I passed a church on the way to our church last Sunday morning that had a sign out front advertising "Java, Jazz and Jesus" on Friday nights. Though he didn't drink coffee, I like to think of daddy sitting with Jesus, drinking a Dr. Pepper and waxing philosophical for hours like he so loved to do. I miss those long phone conversations. And I miss my Daddy.

~ Elizabeth

"Sometimes when one person is missing the whole world seems depopulated."
- Lamartine

Thursday, November 17, 2005

TV Night

Oh how I love this show! Now that Keith is working days again we get to watch Lost "real time". Last night's episode had us glued to our seats again with an actual story instead of lots of teasers and adding more questions. Great show!

Then we watched Invasion after that and actually got some answers to some of our questions and Keith and I have some theories formulated on that show. It is so nice to sit in the evening and do nothing more than enjoy an hour of tv together. We don't do that nearly enough because it seems as though most of the time we're running around trying to get things done.

While watching tv I did get most of the heel flap knitted on my sock. Probably will finish it at lunch today and tonight will start the actually turning of the heel. I am so loving working on this project and will almost hate to see it end. Luckily I have sock #2 to knit when this one is finished.

~ Elizabeth

Newlyweds become oldyweds, and oldyweds are the reasons that families work.

-Author Unknown

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Pumpkin Spice

I realized that I haven't shared my newest addiction yet - Pumpkin Spice CoffeeMate! This stuff is unbelievably delicious and if you like the pumpkin spice latte at Starbucks then you will probably love this!

And words cannot describe how silly I felt taking this picture....

Happy Wednesday!

No pictures today because nothing really to say or see! I've been so tired lately, so last night went to bed at about 7:30 again. Sleeping was perfect because it gets dark so early and the wonderfully cold air that blew in yesterday lends itself well to sleep.

I do have the sock ready to turn the heel tonight. I'm still loving working with this yarn and especially with the new needles. We are very big Lost addicts and tonight's show is a special two hour episode, so lots of knit time. Maybe even get the heel done?

I am reminded again of how blessed I am with my job. Since I am feeling so run down I asked yesterday and received permission to work from home this week. It really is so much better for me physically because I get to lay down during lunch and no drive time involved. Keith would be very happy if I'd do this all the time.

~ Elizabeth

"The supreme accomplishment is to blur the line between work and play.
- Arnold Toynbee

Monday, November 14, 2005

Yummy Fabric

Presenting the fabric and pattern for the as yet unstarted Christmas Tree Skirt! While running errands on Saturday Keith and I passed right in front of Quiltmakers, so we pulled in looking for tree skirt makings. Very, very pleased with what we found. The pattern is paper pieced, which is probably my favorite way to quilt.

Now, I have not touched my quilting toys in several months and have been wanting to jump in again. Wouldn't it make more sense to work on one of the many UFO's that I have rather than buy all new? But where is the fun in that?!?!

~ Elizabeth

Sock Happy

This is the newest sock on the needles! I started it Saturday night with the new yarn from One Fine Yarn. Note the snazzy Lantern Moon needles as well - I really feel decadent knitting with these. :)

The sock is probably twice as long as this now because we sat and watched Dallas Stars hockey last night and I got lots of knitting time in. I'm really loving the sock knitting. And to make it even better - I checked the gauge on this sock tonight and I am dead on. It really doesn't get much better than that!

Here's the Lorna's Lace Shepherd Sock yarn I splurged on. I haven't decided whether to do a plain stockinette stitch sock or a patterned sock with this. I'm afraid that very much pattern in the knitting would just fight with the gorgeous color of the yarn. In the meantime, I get the yarn out every so often just to love on it.

~ Elizabeth

She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.
- Proverbs 31:13

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Socks and Motorcycles

Yesterday Keith and I were going to head out to a motorcycle shop. I'm thinking this menopause thing affects men as well because he's suddenly decided he needs to be a weekend warrior! Ever to seize an opportunity though I had him take me to Woolie Ewe first for more needles. Wouldn't you know - they were out of size 2 Brittany needles! What's a woman to do in that instance but splurge and buy a set of Lantern Moon needles??? I think it's almost fate because I sure was drooling over these needles last week and talked myself out of spending the money. I will REALLY pout if I break these! I also splurged on some Lorna's Lace sock yarn just because. The gal there wound one ball so that she could give me some pointers on using my swift and ball winder, but the other one I brought home and will wind later today.

We stopped at a couple of motorcycle shops, then Sonic, then I spied a quilt shop that I hadn't visited in years. Went in and got a pattern and all the fabric to make a Christmas Tree skirt - again spending a lot on crafting! However, we hit two more motorcycle shops and he finally decided on one and purchased it, so his hobby WAY outspent mine yesterday! He's happy though, so that makes me happy. It's still at the dealer because he doesn't have a motorcycle license yet. A buddy of his is going to go with him to pick it up some time this week.

So we finally got home and my order from One Fine Yarn is here! Sock pattern and two more skeins of sock yarn. It's Clown yarn by Marks & Kattens in a gray and white color. We sat down to watch a movie and of course I had to start yet another sock! Using the Lantern Moon needles and the Clown yarn I'm about 2 inches into this sock. This yarn is patterning up so pretty. Once the sun comes up I'll be taking a picture of it.

For now, it's time to get ready for church as I see the sun peeking over the horizon. I truly love Sunday mornings and my church! :)

~ Elizabeth

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord - Hosanna!

Friday, November 11, 2005

Broken Needles

I had such a perfect evening planned for last night and it was just not meant to be. Keith and I love Dallas Stars hockey and the plan was to sit and watch the game last night and I was secretly excited because I could knit on my sock. But I pulled the sock out of the bag and discovered one of my dpn's had broken. No real problem because this pattern uses 4 and the set came with 5. I knit the first needle, then discovered that the next one was broken as well. So now I have to wait until I can run to Woolie Ewe to replace the set. I'm just very thankful that I did not buy the $22 Lantern Moon set and having to replace them!

So what's a girl to do? During each commercial break I went in and started pulling everything out of the pantry to sort and clean the shelves. I'll not tell how much I threw away, but I do feel pretty liberated! I cleaned all the shelves and today during lunch I plan on reloading the pantry and getting things organized the way I want them. This all started because we made a Sam's run tonight and nothing would fit.

Prior to the Sam's run Keith, Lynne' and I went to Taco Bueno for a celebratory dinner! I heard from my sister-in-law Michele yesterday that she did get the seasonal job at Coach AND it's almost a done deal on her huge promotion at work! I am so proud of her and happy for both her and Gary as this will really give them some flexibility now on their future.

This layout was actually done a week or so ago, but I'm finally here to post it! I'm very, very pleased with it in real life and am even more pleased that I actually finished something!

~ Elizabeth

"Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!"
- Psam 150:6

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Sisterchicks on the Loose

I can't believe I haven't said anything about this book yet (and thank you to amazon for the picture)! A sisterchick is "a friend who shares the deepest wonders of your heart, loves you like a sister, and provides a reality check when you're being a brat". This book is the first in a series of christian novels on friendship. I had seen the recommendation somewhere on my internet travels and had to try for myself. I read somewhere that it's laugh out loud funny and I'm not sure I agree with that. But it does have many, many pearls that make me reach for my journal to write them down for later. The Biblical and spiritual insights are EXACTLY what I need to be hearing right now and are more of a reflective nature rather than being preachy. I really would like to be more like the women in this book than what I am and reading it perhaps will make me more so.

Perfect segue for me to talk about last night. I didn't pull out any of my scrapbooking stuff to work on at all! I did pull out a layout to show, but that was it. However, it was a great evening. The group of friends that were there are wonderful and of course we laughed so very much. Each person there has a special gift and I love being around them. Maybe I need to do a small book on my friends and list their special gifts??? I will say though that Dawn seemed a little nervous when we started talking about pinky swears! It was an evening with friends that you don't want to end and when I got home and was laying in bed I found myself reflecting some more on adult friendships of women.

One quote from the Sisterchick book that applies so well to me and my friends last night: "If laughter is good medicine, then I believe Elina could have been cured of her hormone imbalances and her crazy-making mood swings by the time Penny finished releasing all those healing endorphins through her storytelling abilities."

~ Elizabeth

There's a miracle of Friendship
that dwells within the heart,
And you don't know how it happens
or where it gets its start.
But the happiness it brings you
always gives a special lift,
And you realize that Friendship
Is God's most perfect gift.
- Jean Kyler McManus

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Knit Bear

Isn't this the cutest? Mom got her for me for my birthday and she is happily sitting in the living room. In case you can't tell, she has a ball of yarn and two knitting needles in her right hand and in her left hand is a bag that says "Knitting is my bag" with a kitten in it! Too cute!

Did absolutely nothing at all last night. Got home and after cooking dinner and eating I fell asleep on the couch. Completely missed knit night in Denton last night as I slept right through it. I am just really dragging my tail right now and I suppose the shopping weekend took it out of me. Tonight I'm going cropping after work, but I'll bet I don't stay long and odds are I don't even get anything out of my bag. Oh well - this too shall pass.

~ Elizabeth

"I read recipes like I read science fiction. I get to the end and think 'well, that's not going to happen'."
- Rita Rudner