Monday, December 31, 2007

Farewell 2007

We're sitting here watching the hockey game on tv and suddenly it hit me - I better go post on the blog because people - it's the LAST POST OF 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 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

Buttered Rolls, They Are Glistening

MMmmmm. You know, there really is no such thing as a bad homemade roll. I'll have to look up the link to the recipe in a bit. And now I'm so full I can't imagine ever eating again. Since I had the day to myself it was the perfect time to try a new recipe to go along with dinner.
And for whatever reason I love to follow gluttony posts with my Weight Watchers update. I weighed in yesterday and lost a whopping .4 pounds. However, that was .4 pounds over Christmas week so I am elated!!! That brings my grand total so far to 16.8 pounds. Yeah baby! :)
Such a restful day today. I sat down to knit some on the baby blanket and Under The Tuscan Sun was on tv. I would so love to visit there some day as it just seems like one of the most beautiful places on earth.
After the movie and while the rolls were rising in the kitchen Joe and I headed to the park. Poor dog is getting so old, but his spirit is definitely willing! We walked for about 45 minutes is all and no running as I just don't know that he can handle it. That's ok though as it was a nice, peaceful time. I can do the running later.
"Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure. - Oprah Winfrey

Friday, December 28, 2007

In Which I Ramble...

I love this photo because of the serenity it portrays. After all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season the serenity really speaks to me.

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

A Brooklyn Christmas

WARNING - lots of baby pictures ahead! :) Because really she was the star of our family Christmas celebrating.

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

Pies are in the oven, potatoes are cooling (destined to become potato salad), laundry is going, gifts are wrapped - must be time to do a blog update!

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

A Most Amazing Day

Today will easily rate as one of the best days I have ever had. Keith and I went and got Brooklyn and spent the day with her.

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. :)

Flop or Not?

I'll admit that when I first saw this recipe on Kristen's blog I was very drawn to the name - Cinnamon Flop. How wonderful to actually set out to make a dish that is called a flop!

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

Loni Knits for Brooklyn

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

Brooklyn and Her Stocking

Sometimes the strangest events can lead to the most unexpected pleasures.
After an absolutely fabulous weekend filled with family and festivities, Sunday afternoon Keith and I sat and blinked in the quiet of our house. Decided that we might as well get some shopping done and when we got back we heard from the kids that the heater had gone out in their house. Obviously it was too cold to stay there, so they gathered up the baby and the dog and came to our house to spend the night. Lynne' heard this and decided to spend another night at home. An unexpected blessing for this mama to have her whole family here, right after the other part of the family had just left. :)
We really did try to get Brooklyn in the house and right back to sleep, but she opened her eyes, saw Grandma and gave me a great big grin. That melted my heart and I couldn't help but grin right back at her...and that was the start of a bit of time where the little one wasn't really interested in going back to sleep. So I held her, rocked her, sang to her (Brooklyn thought Grandma's singing was funny!) and finally Loni got her to sleep.
That was one unexpected pleasure, getting to have all my family here. The second was the next morning and will sound strange. We got up and of course the guys were headed to their house to get the heater working. Loni had a dental appointment. And Brooklyn woke up sick. She had the typical cold symptoms and was wheezing while drinking a bottle. So I got to take her to the doctor! And that's what I meant by a strange sounding unexpected pleasure. I have to admit that I enjoyed this time with my granddaughter immensely.
I have a LOT of respect for young mothers - there's lots of juggling involved taking a baby to the doctor! We parked at the building and I slung the diaper bag and purse on my shoulder while looking at Brooklyn sitting in her car seat. I finally decided that carrying her in the car seat would probably be too heavy, so I reached in and plucked her out of the seat. This little princess surely does cuddle well. :)
We did make it in to the doctor's office and got checked in, which included them making a copy of the permission slip my son had written. My how the tables turn as you get older. No more am I writing permission slips for my children. Instead they are writing permission slips for me!
As we sat in the lobby waiting to be called back to the doctor's office, I loved on the baby, kissing her, telling her how much I love her and laughing with her. A mom across from me asked how old my baby was and I told her it was my granddaughter and that she is 5 months old. She smiled and said it makes sense that this was my grandchild - she just thought that this mom really loved this baby! Now, we've had many a conversation over this woman's statement. Most mamas I know love and kiss on their babies as well, so it seemed like such a strange thing to say. Oh well!
Turns out the poor baby has a sinus infection and got her first breathing treatment (lots more grandma singing involved during that as well!). It was great to meet the pediatrician and see how much she either genuinely cares for Brooklyn or puts on a good act. And of course Brooklyn grinned and played with the doctor the whole time.
The picture was taken at the discount store where Loni and I went to get Brooklyn's prescriptions filled. She's playing with her new stocking, the one that sings and has moving antlers and bells. Because nothing says Christmas quite like that! We all three had so much fun with the stocking and since she was so delighted with it that pretty well clinched the stocking choice.
And now my house is quiet again. And I am missing my family. :)

Friday, December 14, 2007

A Little Christmas Cheer

Keith started wrapping gifts last night and Joe was right there to supervise!

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.....

2008 Knitting Resolutions

Baaaa.....yeah, I'm a sheep and follow the lead. Dawn suggested we all list our 2008 Knitting Resolutions and who am I to argue???

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

5 Random Things....and Brooklyn!

I have been tagged by Jeanie to list 5 random things about me. It's been fun running around different friends' blogs reading their answers, so hopefully mine will be just as much fun!

1. I have not read any of the Harry Potter books or seen any of the movies. This makes me a member of a very small group of people!

2. Speaking of books, I used to love to read Stephen King books. But then, I kid you not, while reading one of his books one day I literally heard a voice telling me to stop reading those books. Not one to question the voices in my head, I did and haven't read any since. I'm not saying it's bad for anyone else to read them, but when I've been told to stop I'm not going to argue! It reminds me of the verses in the Bible (and I'll have to look it up and post later) that talks about how if a person isn't supposed to eat something and you make them eat it then it's wrong for you. That's how I feel about this - reading his books are wrong for me.

3. Speaking of Stephen King - my family read his book The Cell and they all tease me and tell me I'm doomed. The premise of the book is something along the lines of a pulse going through the cell phone system and everybody that's on the phone at that time turns in to zombies or something like that. And since talking on the phone is my absolute favorite hobby....yeah, I'm doomed.

4. Speaking of cell phones, I use the standard "off the rack" ringtone on my phone always. The only exception to that is at Christmas time when I change my ringtone to the BC Clark jingle. Those familiar with Oklahoma City are probably singing the song in their head right now, but for the rest - BC Clark is a jewelry store in OKC and you always know it's the Christmas season when you see their anniversary sale commercials come on tv. In fact, this year at Thanksgiving at the in-law's house we saw (and heard!) the commercial come on and there was much rejoicing. :)

5. Speaking of sounds, when I am by myself I prefer total silence. At home, in the car, whatever. I don't have the tv on, I don't listen to the radio, etc. I just love the Sounds of Silence.


And since no entry is complete without either a picture of or a story of Brooklyn, here she is! She's wearing the silly hat I made for her and she's only minutes away from being sound asleep.

Love those kissable cheeks!

WW Pumpkin Spice Muffins

My regular morning routine includes eating breakfast on the way to work. Since starting Weight Watchers that breakfast normally consists of a WW muffin and a large mug of coffee. I love the WW muffins and they are only 3 points each. However, when you figure the price they weigh in at a little more than a dollar each - not so thrifty.

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

1 box Spice cake Mix
1 can pumpkin (15 oz)

Mix the two ingredients together - that's it! It makes a very thick batter, but that's ok. Place batter in muffin tins sprayed with non-stick spray or lined with paper. Whatever it looks like going into the oven is what they will look like coming out, so if you must have smooth top muffins now is the time to work on that!

Obviously I'm not bothered by non-smooth top muffins.

Bake for 20 minutes in 400 degree oven. Makes 18 regular size muffins.

Using the cake mix I had and the can of pumpkin, my recipe came out to 2 points per muffin.

These are VERY moist and are oh so good with a cup of coffee.

Monday, December 10, 2007

What a Weekend!

With an apology to Julie Andrews, we will not be starting at the very beginning of the weekend. ;) Instead we'll begin with yesterday.

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.
Back to Saturday. :) All six of us got together and headed out to get a geocache. Grandma got the best end of the deal because I pushed the stroller and talked and sang to Brooklyn. She was wearing the silly hat that I knit for her and that made me smile. I love this picture because she fell asleep while talking to and holding her toy.

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. :) !!!!!!

After geocaching all six of us bundled in the car and off we went to the mall for some quality shopping, Santa visiting and eating. The Santa line was very long so we decided to eat first and then try again.

Brooklyn is at such a cute age. She no longer wants to lean back and cuddle - she'd much rather sit forward and look around. It's so fun to watch her big eyes try and take everything in.

After having a bottle, Loni was burping her and I took this picture. I just think the back of her little head is so adorable. :)

This picture was taken at the end of our evening, right before we went out to the car to come home. Poor baby girl - a classic "shop til you drop" photo! :)
Oh and while we were shopping all the girls stood and watched the demo for the knives - you know the ones "slices and dices". The young man that was doing the demonstration kept saying that Brooklyn was a little flirt. She was grinning and talking to him the whole time.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Knitting Class

This week I embarked on a new adventure - I taught my first knitting class! Some of the girls at work watch me knit during breaks and finally they were ready to learn. I chose the Grandmother's Favorite dishcloth pattern for our first project and sent out the supply list. Wednesday was our first class and I had 5 ladies sitting patiently, armed with yarn and needles. The dishcloth shown is one lady's progress as of this morning. By the end of the day she will have finished and done the bind off and two others are right behind her.

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

Pineapple Banana Bread

I kid you not, I have found THE BEST banana bread recipe in the world! OK, technically it's more like Pineapple Banana Bread, but that little bit of pineapple in the reciple turns it into banana bread nirvana.

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

More Fun Than A Person Should Be Allowed To Have

Today Keith and I participated in our first Motorcycle Toy Run and it was one of the most fun and amazing things I think I have ever done. All the riders met at a local Harley dealership, signed the registration form (the one that said the dealership was not responsible for any accidents that might happen - LOL!), handed over a new unwrapped toy for each rider, ate a catered breakfast, and waited for 12:00. As newbies Keith and I didn't realize that a lot of the people decorated their bikes for Christmas. Guess who already has some ideas in her head for next time??? :)

The milling around beforehand with so many riders was unreal. I can't wait to find out how many riders participated - I know it had to be hundreds.

One of the highlights was when Santa and his 9 reindeer (yes, Rudolph was there) arrived at the dealership. They were so much fun and had everybody laughing.

As departure time neared, the reindeer and Santa took position at the front of the line - right behind the motorcycle cops. All the riders prepared. When the signal came to start the bikes it was one of the coolest sounds ever (rates right up there with being at the Nascar race)!!! I tell you the ground was rumbling with the sound of all the engines.

It was phenomenal! Interstate 35 was BLOCKED OFF people! Traffic was stopped everywhere - for our group! We headed down the highway and saw stopped cars everywhere. People waved and since I had designated myself as The Waver for Team Herman (honey, keep your hands tightly on the handlebars!) I was waving right back.

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.

Once we got home we jumped on the computer to find out how many more Toy Runs there are in the area. Yes, we did find some! And yes, I have a trip to Walmart planned to get more toys to donate. It was that fun.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Spot On!

Your Christmas is Most Like: A Very Brady Christmas
For you, it's all about sharing times with family. Even if you all get a bit cheesy at times.

The Family That Knits Together....

My mother has been knitting for as long as I can remember. So it came as no surprise to me to read on Regina's blog that my mom is considered the knitting guru of their stitchers group at church. And also is the reason Lynne' and I brought a couple of knitting problem projects with us at Thanksgiving!

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 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!

Look Away...

...if you are still waiting on a Thank You card from me!
Finally I started getting these done and I'm very happy with them. They are kind of a hybrid card because the pattern paper and the sentiment are both printed from a digital kit from Nichole Heady. Nichole is my absolute favorite designer right now and when I saw this I knew it was the answer to those Thank You's that I'm behind on.
I also used one of my new Giga punches, a birthday gift from some of my friends, and the ribbon is Stampin Up.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Story of the Rose - and Christmas Lights!

Before we embarked on our trip home my MIL made a pot of her fabulous chicken noodle soup so we wouldn't have to hit a drive-thru for dinner. The five of us sat and ate dinner and talked for a bit and it was so serene. Eating and talking - really...can it get any better than that? Then MIL wanted us to come outside to see her garden and this rose is what we saw. The little bush was covered in buds and one blossom was just blooming its little heart out. There really was no explanation for a rose blooming in 35 degree weather. MIL said she thinks it's a sign from her sister and it brought her much comfort. We never really know on this sort of thing, but I did love to see her smile. And I also know that a flower bush that my parents had for a few years and never bloomed did bloom shortly after my father passed away - in fact it was covered in blooms. Maybe this really is something that God sends to comfort us. I for one am going to ask Him about it when I see Him. :)
Our trip home was actually quite a bit of fun. Lynne' and I had heard about a website called Free Rice and the three of us played it for hours. It's a vocabulary game and each word you get correct ten grains of rice are donated to the United Nations. I will warn you though that if you like word games it becomes addicting quite fast!

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

5 Generations and Cousins with Grandkids

Of course when we all get together I bring out the camera.....a lot. Everybody moans and groans, but they do like to see the pictures afterwards. ;) We also had the golden opportunity to take a picture with five generations.

(From the left - Mom, Grandma, Me, Brooklyn, James in front)
On Friday we all ran over to Grandma's house because my cousin Melinda was in town from Little Rock. This picture is Melinda holding her grandson Max (he's ten months old) and me holding my granddaughter Brooklyn (she's four months old). These are our first grandkids and we are just loving them up!
The few hours we got to be together was so much fun. When Melinda and I get together it's like we were never apart and we talk and talk and talk. When we were younger we lived in the same city and our families got together fairly often. I remember packing my Barbies in their little carrying case and spreading out all the Barbie stuff in Melinda's bedroom. We would play Barbies for HOURS! So while we were sitting there holding our grandkids I turned to Melinda and said this was kind of like playing Barbies (and Ken!) only these Barbies were MUCH better than the ones we had before!!!

Geocaching and Weight Loss

After eating and getting the kitchen back together we brought out the gps to show everybody what geocaching was all about. We had already loaded it with some caches and were happily surprised to see that there was one just down the street. It was a blustery cold day, but we are a hearty group and off we went.

Everybody searched like troopers with frozen fingers and in the end Brad came up the winner! Another cache conquered.

Since this is more or less an exercise post it seems to be a good time to post about weight loss. Friday morning I went to a Weight Watchers meeting near MIL's house to weigh in. I shared with Keith on the drive over to the meeting that I wasn't excited about doing this, but really it is what it is and at least when I know what it is I can buckle down. Lo and behold I lost 1.4 pounds last week - Thanksgiving week even! Very surprised, but very happy of course.

Mom's Rolls

In every family there are certain foods that just "have to be there" when it's a holiday gathering. Topping the list in my family is my mother's rolls. They are legendary....truly.
She had them sitting out to raise early in the morning and the yeasty smell was very taunting. And notice how I managed to find a picture of the raising rolls that just happened to include Brooklyn! Her Great-Aunt Rhonda is holding her while her Great-Grandma Herman looks on.
This was a silly one. Loni heard the rolls were done and came in to sneak one before dinner! BUSTED!!! :)
(See Brooklyn's picture on Great-Grandma's refrigerator???)

Michele brought them out to the table, treating them with the reverance they deserved. We were humming a song of happiness as they descended into their rightful place at the table. ;)

Thanksgiving Day

Today I try and capture so many pictures and thoughts from the Thanksgiving weekend. It truly was picture perfect and I enjoyed every moment of our time.

This year our celebration was at the in-law's home. I am so blessed that the two families started celebrating together years ago. I was a little unsure about MIL doing it this year after her sister passed away just days ago. But it turned out that she was so happy that this had been planned because after getting back to town from the funeral she had this to prepare for and look forward to and it helped to distract.

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!!!

A very special moment, which made a very precious photo. This is my grandmother holding Brooklyn, her great-great-granddaughter. So abundantly blessed.
There is so much to say when it is Thanksgiving and you really take the time to think of your blessings. Our gathering this year was my MIL, FIL, mom, grandmother, Gary (my brother), his wife Michele, Brad (Keith's brother), his wife Rhonda, Lynne', James, Loni, Brooklyn, Keith and I. We also had 4 dogs (MIL's granddogs) Joe and Xena and Brad and Rhonda's Shelties - Harmony and Brandywine. It was a busy, content, satisfying day.