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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Time Out!!

I seem to have opened a can of worms with my question regarding your opinion of wearing leggings and short skirts to church. PLEASE know that I was not referring to anyone in particular, because I have seen several females (of varying ages) in this attire. I know that I feel it's inappropriate for church and just wondered if I was being overly sensitive. I repeat I was not talking about any particular individual.

Drum Roll Please

Well, here it is...the moment you've been waiting for all month: the last day of the year and my 100th post! This goal wasn't as difficult to reach as I had thought it would be. Who knew that I would have so much to say? (Hush, now! No comments from the peanut gallery!)

In honor of this my 100th post, I am doing a random drawing for a giveaway. And you don't have to do anything because you've already done it. I wrote down the names of anyone who had ever made a comment on my blog and randomly drew one out of a bowl (no hat available). The winner gets a small token of my appreciation.



This is a wonderful little book by Robin McGraw (Dr. Phil's wife). She is very interesting and funny herself. The other thing is a small wooden plaque that has graced our home for years. But I no longer have a place for it since we re-did the kitchen. Time to let it bless someone else.

So, to end your suspense, the winner is.....ASHLEY! Congratulations!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Random Thoughts

First, thanks for your prayers for Darrell. He is doing better every day.

Anybody making resolutions for the new year? Seems like I make the same ones year after year. Exercise regularly, pray twice a day, read my scriptures every day, be kinder.... I don't usually make it past February. So this year the only resolution I'm making is not to make any resolutions. That one I think I can keep.

Do you ever wish you could tell someone exactly what you think? Of course, then you'd be fair game for the person to be blunt with you, but sometimes I think it'd be worth it. Ever see someone at the mall or Walmart and want to ask them if they have mirrors in their house? Like the woman I saw who was wearing bright pink underwear and white pants. Or the cashier with the tarantula eyelashes. I bet she uses up a tube of mascara in a week. Ever want to ask someone to take their screaming kid out of a movie or sacrament meeting?

Opinion time here. I see girls wearing leggings with short dresses all the time. Are these appropriate for church? Is it better for them to be at church wearing something like this than not to come at all? Would you let your daughter wear a skirt that short if she was bare-legged or wearing hose or tights?

Why do TV stations change their lineup just when I get used to it and know when my favorite shows are coming on? Does anyone but me like to watch the 'paid programming' that comes on late at night or early in the morning? The things for sale now are amazing. Just wish they worked as advertised. And how come the people in ads for wrinkle creams, etc are about 20 years old?

Why do leaves gather by my back door? The only trees in that vicinity are pine trees. Far as I know, they don't have leaves. So where are all these leaves coming from? You can't walk out the door without wading through a foot deep pile of leaves. So they invariably make their way into the house.

Okay, that's it for now. Just random things that run through my head. Leave a comment so I know I'm not the only oddball out there.


Monday, December 29, 2008

A Special Request

When you say your prayers this morning (or if you've already done so, maybe add a P.S.), put a word in for Darrell. He is in a lot of pain from his knee, but has to work anyway since he's the chief cook and bottle washer. It's just one of the perks of being self-employed. I can't drive that big truck or handle those heavy buckets and drums. So he's on his own, hobbling around, climbing in and out of the back of the truck.

Thanks from both of us.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

We Survived the Holidays!

For several years now, Darrell and I have hosted a post-Christmas open house. It's an adults only time to eat, visit, and recuperate from all the busyness of the past couple of months. We get a little flak for banning the kiddies, but we feel that children have so many activities and such all December and this is a chance for the grownups to have a little time to themselves. Being mom and dad is wonderful, but remember we're first and foremost husband and wife and need to keep that special relationship alive and well.

Anyway (not anyways), we had a smaller turnout than in years past, but still thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and hope all those who attended did, as well. How can you not with shrimp, cheese, crackers, chips and salsa, banana pudding, Red Velvet cake, cookies, Chex Mix, etc, etc. I'm stuffed to the gills!! I had set a weight loss goal for myself that I wanted to reach by Christmas Day. I succeeded, but have probably gained it all back in the past day or so. Oh, well. To quote my favorite heroine "tomorrow is another day".

I'm off to bed and thanks to FlyLady, my dishes are done and my kitchen is clean. I can sleep with a clear conscience tonight.

Off topic: Happy Birthday, Erin!!

Off topic x 2: Clayton has a secret, but won't share. Lauren has a secret, but it will come to light all too soon. If you'd like a hint, see her blog (which you can find a link to on the sidebar).

Friday, December 26, 2008

A Few Christmas Pictures


Think Cam liked his guitar?



Almost as much as Darrell liked his game of Pick Up Sticks!





But not nearly as much as Beverly liked her Roomba!!



Easiest Ever Baked Meatballs

2 lbs lean ground beef
1 large egg
1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
2 tbsp each instant minced onion and dried parsley
1 tbsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Heat oven to 400. Line 15x10 jelly roll pan with foil (for easy cleanup). Mix all ingredients in a large bowl until well blended. Form into 1 1/2" balls. Place 1/4 inch apart in the lined pan. Bake 12-15 minutes till browned and no longer pink in center. Makes approx 32.

I'm a Scrooge

I've been sitting here wondering why Christmas is always such a letdown. It was wonderful when I was a kid, but being on the grownup end is not nearly as much fun. There are so many things to do ahead of time: cooking, cleaning, planning, shopping, wrapping, going to visit Santa, etc, etc. There's such a build-up. Then it's all over in a matter of minutes. Wrapping paper, bows, bags, boxes strewn everywhere. Kids asking if that's all there is. Like they didn't just open a dozen gifts. Then there're the family members--the extended ones you don't see very often, but that's still too much. I think I'm gonna take an idea from some friends and go on a cruise next year.

Now for a bright spot. Darrell sells products to a guy in Murfreesboro, who also runs a small church. He collects toys all year long and distributes them to poor children at Christmas time. Darrell has donated money each year to help him out. This year over 500 children were made happier by the toys they received. That's what Christmas is all about. Helping others and making them happy. Not just wondering what's in it for me.

Off my soapbox now. Sorry. I just haven't felt the yuletide spirit this year and from what I've read, I'm not alone. Happier thoughts tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas from Our House to Yours

Hope all of you have a wonderful Christmas and get all your hearts desire. Enjoy this video from Darrell and me as we celebrate this most glorious time of year--the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ. May we share our testimony that He was born, He lived and taught on this earth, He atoned for our sins, and was lifted up on the cross. But most of all, we testify that He was resurrected and we, through repentance and belief on His name, can live with Him again.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=StdeSKFJjVk&feature=related

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Santa Claus is Coming to Town

For the past five years or so, Darrell has played Santa at his sister's church. He has a blast and the kids are great. One year a little boy tried to follow Darrell out so he could see Rudolph. So far no one has succeeded in discovering Darrell's true identity! He makes a terrific Santa, if I do say so myself. Enjoy these pictures from tonight's dinner and program.

Some got into it right away.....







Others not so much.....






Even the 'young at heart' got in on the act....



Now isn't that the cutest Santa you've ever seen??

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Grazie mille!

Thanks to everyone who voted on my poll and helped decide what to give Melody for Christmas. We are headed out to watch the BYU football game with some friends and I plan on stopping by Walmart on the way home to finish shopping!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Italian Herb Chicken

You know that section of the grocery where you can find taco mix, gravy mix, etc? Look around there for slow cooker mixes made by McCormick. One is exceptional! It's Italian Herb Chicken. Get it! Use it! It's delicious!

Besides the mix, you'll need the following:
2 1/2 lbs chicken
1 pkg (8-oz) fresh mushrooms, halved or sliced (I consider this optional--I don't eat fungi)
2 cans (14 1/2-oz each) stewed tomatoes, undrained
1 can (6-oz) tomato paste

Follow the instructions on the mix package. You'll have a delicious dinner that is really easy since it's been in the crock pot all day. What a wonderful smell to come home to--be it work, church, or Christmas shopping!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Aggravation

Do you know the serenity prayer? "God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference." I am really struggling with this right now. How do you motivate someone who refuses to be motivated? How do you let them fail and fall, when you can see where they are making mistakes and you know their life would be easier if they'd only listen to you! How do you serenely accept the things you can't change? What if you gather the courage to change the things you can and it blows up in your face? How do you accept that some things are out of your control, no matter how much you want to help? It's one thing if it's just affecting the one person, but what if there are children? Or others who are being adversely affected? When do you stop beating your head against that brick wall?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Beef Taco Bake

1 lb ground beef
1 (10-oz) can tomato soup
1 (16-oz) jar medium or mild salsa
1/2 cup milk
6-8 flour or corn tortillas, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup grated shredded cheese (I use the packaged stuff)

Heat oven to 400. In a large skillet, brown ground beef and drain grease. Add soup, salsa, milk, tortillas, and half the cheese. Put mixture into a 9-inch square or 7x11-inch baking dish. Bake, covered, 30 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Serves 4

Help!!

Your help is needed ASAP! Christmas is a week away and I'm still not finished shopping. One of my dilemmas is what to get Melody for her "big" present. I have a few small things, but am undecided as to the final gift. I've put a poll on the side where you can vote for the two I've narrowed it down to. The poll ends Saturday morning, so I can still find whatever ya'll choose, so don't delay! If you have other ideas, feel free to put them in the comments. (You probably need to know that she's asked for an Easy Bake oven since she was 6.)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Chicken Pot Pie


1 can mixed vegetables, drained
1 can cream of mushroom (or cream of chicken) soup
1 (6 1/2 oz) can boned chicken, drained
2 frozen pie shells

Defrost pie shells. Combine chicken, soup, and veggies in bowl and mix well. Pour into pie shell and cover with second pie shell. Crimp edges closed. Bake at 375 for 25-30 minutes or till brown.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Watch This!

Take a few minutes and watch this great YouTube video! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Fe11OlMiz8 It's awesome! Thanks, Alex, for sharing!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Quick and Easy Recipe

I know. I hope you were sitting down when you saw I was posting a recipe. I don't like to cook or spend much time in the kitchen, so I'm always on the lookout for fast, simple things to make. Quick and easy are words I look for in cookbooks. Since this is a busy time of year, I thought I'd share some of my favorites with you and therefore make your life easier. I'll try to make a link on the side so you can find these recipes, if you are so inclined.

EASY MEXICALI CHICKEN

1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast
2 tbsp oil
4 ounces shredded cheese blend
1/2 cup salsa (mild, medium, hot--your call)

Pound the chicken breasts to 1/2 inch thick and divide into portions, if needed. Place a large, heavy skillet over med-high heat, add the oil, and saute the chicken breasts for about 5 min, or till the bottom is golden. Turn, and saute for another 3-4 min. Top the chicken with the cheese, turn the heat down to med-low, cover the skillet, and let the whole thing cook for another 3-4 min, or till the cheese is melted.

While the cheese is melting, nuke the salsa in the microwave for a minute at half power.

Remove the chicken to serving plates, top with the salsa, and serve. Add sour cream if desired or maybe some fresh chopped cilantro.

Drawing a Blank

I have nothing to blog about today. But I have to post in order to reach my 100 by the end of the year. So here ya go. Enjoy!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Almost....

Got the tree up and decorated!! Got most of the outside decorations done. Anybody know what I did with the wreath that goes on the front door?? No? Me neither. Stick a fork in me cuz I'm done for the day.

Friday, December 12, 2008

No Joy in Mudville

We got our electric bill the other day and--are you sitting down?--it was $250. Now that's a lot considering it's just me and Darrell most of the time. And I don't cook much. I do like to stay warm, but we try to keep the thermostat set at about 68. All we can figure is the hot tub is using way more than its share of electricity. So we had to make the decision to pull the plug. Tomorrow we drain the hot tub. Sniff, sniff. Hang on while I get a tissue. I will certainly miss sitting out there in that blissful water, looking at stars, and watching planes. Guess I'll have to mollify myself by sitting in front of the gas logs.



Thursday, December 11, 2008

Snow???

Guess who got snow today?? Not us. Not our friends in NC. Lauren in Baton Rouge! What's up with that? Since when does it snow in Louisiana? And six inches to boot! Before you envy her, you should know she's just gotten electricity back after being without it since 8 or 9 this morning. Fun stuff with two little ones.

Still, it would be nice to have a white Christmas. I don't think we'd had one here in maybe 5 years--unless you count ice (and I don't). I like the stuff that comes down in big fluffy flakes, sticks, then goes away. I don't want it to hang around and make everyone crazy!

So, how do you react when the weatherman calls for "frozen precipitation"? Do you hightail it to the grocery for milk and bread in case you're snowed in for weeks? Has that ever actually happened in Tennessee? (Darrell says yes, in 1966.) Do you stay home cause you know YOU can't drive in it--and wish the other idiots would, too? (I'm not saying you're an idiot. But people who drive in bad weather the same way they drive on dry roads ARE idiots. Am I just digging my hole deeper?)

I didn't grow up with a fireplace, but when the electricity would go off, we would light candles and roast marshmallows over them. Miniature marshmallows over miniature fires. I loved that! Hot chocolate. Snow cream. One year, I didn't have snow boots, so I put on a couple of pairs of socks and my regular shoes. Then my mom put plastic bread bags over it all, duct taped it at the knee, and put a pair of my dad's wool army socks over that. Worked great to keep my feet warm and dry, but the snow stuck to that wool till my "boots" looked like a snowman's feet! Good times....

Same Song, Second Verse

What do you get the man who has everything?? Or wants stuff you can't afford?? Any ideas?

Are We Done Yet?

How many of you are finished Christmas shopping? Got your tree up? House decorated? Cards mailed? Wait, don't answer that! I don't want to know after all.

I do this every year. Make myself wait to decorate and put up the tree. Then I think "good grief, it's the middle of December! Why bother?" I almost put the tree up last Saturday, but I made myself wait till this coming Saturday. Now I'm not sure I even want to do it at all. Is that bad?

We are thinking of buying a small tabletop tree and just using that. But we're the grandparents! Our house is supposed to be wonderful to come to, right?? So I just need to put on my big girl panties and get out the tree. Okay, I vented. I feel better. Just needed to get that out of my system.

BTW, anybody busy Saturday.....??

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Santa Came Early!


Most of you know that my sweetie does the 12 days of Christmas for me. He doesn't usually start until December 13, but this year he surprised me. He has given me some clothes and a diamond and sapphire necklace and earrings. But today's gift was the best of all--and it better be the last one this year!! We had decided (I thought) not to buy gifts for each other, because we bought new gas logs and a fireplace screen.

Today Darrell calls me and wants me to drive the Cadillac to Crest Honda. Not to bring something he didn't have on the truck, but to pick up MY NEW CAR!! At least it's new to me. A 2005 Honda Accord. Beautiful blue color with gray interior. Fits me like a glove. I am so excited. Of course, it was pouring rain and dark by the time we drove home. So I can't wait for tomorrow when I can actually see it in the daylight. I'm sure I need to go somewhere--anywhere!

P.S. This isn't my actual car, but it looks just like it. I'll take pictures as soon as I can.


You People!

I am declaring today unofficial Update Your Blog Day! Some of you haven't posted since before Thanksgiving!! It's like you actually have a life outside the computer! Come on, people, help me out here. I've read the same stuff over and over and over. Get with the program. The house doesn't need cleaning. Laundry can wait. Homework isn't that important! Call in sick. Let the kids cry. I want you to sit down in that chair and stay on that computer till you have posted something new on your blog! I mean it! Don't make me come over there!

Monday, December 8, 2008

All Bundled Up

If you happen to call our home number, you may get a message that it's been disconnected. That's because it has been. You can call our cells or the business line. If you get the answering machine, it'll be a message for the business, but go ahead and leave a message. We have gotten tired of dealing with AT&T and have bundled with Charter. Not that they're much better, but their prices are.


Sunday, December 7, 2008

Just One More Reason

In case you didn't know, I have the best husband in the world. I could list the reasons, but there's not enough room for them all. Here's one just for the record.

He knows I don't like to cook. I think you have to like food in order to like to cook. I'm a picky eater and thus don't like the kitchen in any way, shape, or form. It's my least favorite room in the house. If I could eat out every meal--or have my own cook!--I would be a happy woman!

When Darrell comes home from work each night, I make sure I look presentable and the house is clean. But it's not unusual for nothing to be going on the stove. He never complains. Sometimes we go out. Sometimes we cook together. Sometimes he makes something. And on occasion I even fix a meal!

Right now, my sweetheart is making pancakes and bacon while I sit here on the computer. I'm sure he's starting to hate this computer, because of this blog and Facebook. But again he doesn't complain. How could you NOT love him??

Saturday, December 6, 2008

What the Heck!

For the first time ever, I got a flu shot. This was a good month ago. So why do I feel all cold and achy today? My head has hurt all day and my eyes are swollen from sinus pressure. Just what I get for patting myself on the back the other day about avoiding a cold so far this season!

Friday, December 5, 2008

I Surrender

con⋅form⋅ist


–noun
1. a person who conforms, esp. unquestioningly, to the usual practices or standards of a group, society, etc.
2. a person who conforms to the usages of an established church, esp. the Church of England.



I have recently been called a conformist by my son. And based on the first definition above, I guess I am. I gave in to blogging when Lauren set me up with one. I gave in to Facebook after much coercion. Yesterday I added texting capability to my cell phone. And now I am getting Bluetooth. I am still not as technologically astute as I'd like, but I guess I'll allow the tide to sweep me along. Kicking and screaming not quite as strenuously as before.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

I Made It!!!

Look at the sidebar on the right for A Few Faves...go ahead...I'll wait. Okay, one of the links there is for Overheard in the Ward. A couple of weeks ago, I submitted something and it's finally there. It's called "But That's MY Favorite Thing To Do".

Names have been changed to protect the mother!

If I Had a Million Dollars....

Someone asked me yesterday what I would do if one hundred million dollars was suddenly dumped into my lap. Didn't take me long to come up with a list. I don't take questions like this very seriously. I mean the chances of it actually happening are pretty slim. Therefore, the first item on my list is plastic surgery. I know, I know. But it wouldn't have been invented if the Lord didn't mean for us to use that knowledge! Under the heading of TMI, I won't go into the gory details of all the things I want fixed on my body. Item two would be permanent makeup. This could be considered tattooing, but it's not like I'd put a butterfly on my cheek. Eyeliner, lipliner, a little blush. And I've heard you can even perm and color (not dye!) your eyelashes.

After satisfying my narcissistic whims, I'd pay off our house and rent house. Then start plastic surgery on them in the form of new flooring, windows, etc. Which makes me pause for a moment. Would I fix up this house? Or move to another? Hmmm....
Might seem a no-brainer to you, but there is a lot of this house I'd like to take with me, if I were to move. Of course, since I'm now a gazillionaire, I guess that wouldn't necessarily be a problem.

New cars, a boat for Darrell, new clothes. Homes for the kiddies and their kiddies. Travel.

Darrell sat the whole time I was spouting my list with this little smile on his face. When the same question was posed to him, guess what he said! He would open and run a homeless shelter and name it after his father. All righty, then.

If there are errors in this post, it's because I'm having trouble typing since I've been cut down to 2 inches in height and it's hard to reach the keyboard. Talk about taking the wind out of my sails.

P.S. If the title of this post is now stuck in your head, don't blame me. Blame The Barenaked Ladies.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

No Excuses

And here is the post for yesterday!

My Post for Today

ACK!! I'm already falling behind. So here is my post for today.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

If You Can't Beat Em, Join Em

After much prompting and guilt inducing, I have been persuaded to join Facebook. And it has wound up being a GREAT thing!! I have searched reunion.com and classmates.com looking for a girl I was best friends with back in the day. No luck. I wasn't willing to shell out the money they wanted. She and I lost touch after high school graduation and I've always wondered about her and where she was. After making my page, I looked for friends from my graduating class and lo and behold there she was! First on the list! Guess it was meant to be. I immediately contacted her and she wrote back! Finding Audrey will be one of my Christmas gifts to myself this year.

Thanks, Clayton and Liz, for being so persistent!

Monday, December 1, 2008

My Latest Blonde Moment

So, today I stopped at Kroger to get gas. We have to put premium in the Cadillac and they had the lowest price. Not being used to the machine (which isn't that different from all others), I read the instructions carefully. Or so I thought. There's a bar code reader for your Kroger card to get the 3 cent discount. It read my card, but wouldn't read my credit card. I finally located where to insert the credit card. The card went in, but nothing happened. I looked and the card was stuck. I couldn't push it any further in and couldn't get it out. So I go get the attendant. Before he got to the pump, I realized what I had done. I inserted my credit card in the slot where the receipt comes out. The attendant had to use a special key to open the compartment and retrieve my card. Luckily, no Discover cards were injured in this procedure.


Challenge

Think I can reach 100 posts by the end of the year? Does anyone care? I have 64 as of the end of November. One of my "quirks" is even numbers and rounding things off. Ending the year at 100 posts seems like a good, round thing to do. So expect lots of inane, unimportant posts for the next few weeks! Luckily, it's Christmas time and that should make things easier. (Hope I didn't just jinx myself!)

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Goodbye, Aunt Lois


The world lost a wonderful woman yesterday and heaven gained a special angel. For the 32+ years, Darrell and I have been married, I have admired a woman in our ward named Lois Wheeler. Maybe 5 feet tall and 100 lbs if she's lucky. But one of the greatest examples of love, compassion, devotion, and generosity all rolled into one. I was fortunate to be one of those she "adopted" into her family and I often received of her love. She was beautiful inside and out.

Some called her Sister Wheeler, but we have several of those in our ward. Some who had known her long enough called her Lois. Her children called her Mama and the grandchildren called her Nin. I feel blessed that I could call her Aunt Lois. She truly made me feel part of the family. And then our youngest daughter married one of Aunt Lois' grandsons! Now we were official!

I can just imagine the reunion between Aunt Lois and her beloved husband. I'm sure there were many waiting to greet her and welcome her to heaven. And I can bet that Shana was waiting in that line, as well. What a marvelous blessing to know we will be reunited with loved ones again. I heard someone say not long ago that those we've lost are just around the corner. We can't see them, but we know they're there. Just around the corner. And before we know it, we'll go around that corner and what a wonderful reunion we'll have!

So maybe I won't say good bye to Aunt Lois. Maybe just "see you later".


Saturday, November 29, 2008

Go Big Orange!


Darrell's beloved UT Vols pulled out a big win tonight. They beat Kentucky 28-10. We usually have several people over to watch the games and celebrate (or commiserate) together. We've done more than our share of commiserating this year. My MIL had her after Thanksgiving dinner at the same time as the game, so unfortunately we couldn't share this victory. So I'm letting all you dear readers in on our joy! Celebrate with us!

All together now: "Good Ole Rocky Top! Rocky Top, Tennessee!!"

Wish that I was on ole rocky top,
Down in the tennessee hills.
Ain't no smoggy smoke on rocky top,
Ain't no telephone bills.

Once I had a girl on rocky top,
Half bear the other half cat.
Wild as a mink, but sweet as soda pop,
I still dream about that.

Rocky top, you'll always be
Home sweet home to me.
Good ole rocky top,
Rocky top tennessee, rocky top tennessee.

Once two strangers climbed ole rocky top,
Lookin for a moonshine still.
Strangers ain't come back from rocky top,
Reckon they never will.

Corn won't grow at all on rocky top,
Dirt's too rocky by far.
That's why all the folks on rocky top
Get their corn from a jar.

Rocky top, you'll always be
Home sweet home to me.
Good ole rocky top,
Rocky top tennessee, rocky top tennessee.

Now I've had years of cramped up city life,
Trapped like a duck in a pen
All I know is it's a pity
Life can't be simple again.

Rocky top, you'll always be
Home sweet home to me.
Good ole rocky top,
Rocky top tennessee, rocky top tennessee.

Rocky top tennessee, rocky top tennessee.
Yeah rocky top tennesee eee eee eee.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Tired

Tonight I am thankful for grandchildren. We are having a sleepover with all the grandkids (except Grant). We've had pizza, cookies, tantrums, treasure hunts, and horseback rides. Tomorrow morning, Pa will make waffles for everyone. But right now is my favorite part of the whole process--bedtime! I use the term loosely. All but one are at least laying down watching cartoons. They are talking, giggling, tickling, and playing with flashlights. But they are laying down.

Listen for a minute...Hear that? It's the hot tub calling to me, followed closely by my pillow. I love my pillow.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Short Today

I am thankful Lauren, Cam, and the kids arrived safely from Baton Rouge! And I'm especially thankful that their other grandparents didn't mind us coming over to visit at 9:30pm!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I Have a Little Sister

And today is her birthday. Happy Birthday, Sharon! Most of you may not find this significant, unless you know how I grew up. Sharon is my half-sister and we did not grow up together. We did see each other occasionally, but if I remember right, I saw her in 1972, then not again until 2006. Since that time, we've become great friends. We email and talk on the phone (though not enough and that's usually my fault). She lives in South Carolina and works full-time, so we don't visit as often as either of us would like.

But just knowing I have a little sister out there who loves me is enough for now. Being able to say that is a wonder to me. And probably always will be.

I love you, lil sis!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Now I HAVE to do this---

Tagged again! And if you look at #33, you'll see I have to do this! Or I guess I could NOT do it and prove Laura wrong! Nah...

Type only one word for each answer:
1. Where is your cell phone? purse
2. Your significant other? fishing
3. Your hair? better
4. Your mother? 90
5. Your father? retired
6. Your favorite thing? love
7. Your dream last night? none
8. Your favorite drink? Diet Mt Dew
9. Your dream/goal? peace
10. The room you're in? kitchen
11. Your fear? rejection
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? home
13. Where were you last night? home
14. What you're not? patient
15. Muffins/donuts? donuts
16. One of your wish list items? money
17. Where you grew up? Clarksville
18. The last thing you did? eat
19. What are you wearing? pajamas
20. Your TV? addiction
21. Your pet? none
22. Your computer? fun
23. Your life? stressful
24. Your mood? calm
25. Missing someone? yes
26. Favorite pastime? reading
27. Something you're not wearing? shoes
28. Favorite Store? walmart
29. Your summer? HOT
30. Your favorite color? red
31. When is the last time you laughed? today
32. Last time you cried? today
33. Who will re-post this? unknown

FOUR THINGS
34. Four places I go over and over? church, Walmart, Sams, home
35. Four people who e-mail me? Lauren, Susan, Sharon, Liz
36. Four of my favorite foods? pizza, chocolate, mexican, banana pudding
37. Four places I would like to be right now? massage, sleeping, hot tub, Baton Rouge
38. Four people I tag? Lauren, Nicole, Marlena, Liz

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Relief Society

I am grateful for Relief Society, the women's organization of our church. I have always loved Relief Society and am thankful to be a part of it. It's been my privilege to serve as a teacher and a member of the local presidency on occasion. But I especially love sitting in our classes on Sunday and being taught by women who share my beliefs, values, and love of the Savior. We have a different sister teach each Sunday, so we get a wide variety of viewpoints and teaching methods. It's a wonderful opportunity! Right now, the fourth Sunday of each month is taught by a young (early 30s) sister named Amy. Amy amazes me with her wit, her honesty, and her insights. Her lessons are my favorites. I appreciate her preparation, since she has four small children at home. I'm sure it's not easy for her and I want her to know how much her efforts are appreciated by at least one member of the class.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

I am thankful

I am thankful that it's Saturday night and my Sunday School lesson is already prepared. That's what I'm usually doing at this time. Not that I've waited till the last minute, but I've not gotten it all together yet. This week I made time each day to read and study, so now I can spend Saturday night doing other things.

I am thankful for a husband who gives his free time to help others. Darrell spent all yesterday afternoon helping a friend and last night feeding the boys at church. Today he and Clayton helped Erika's family move to their new house.

I am thankful for modern conveniences that make my life easier. Like a washer and dryer, microwave, dishwasher, etc. Not to mention indoor plumbing (especially when it's cold outside) and a car to get me where I want to go.

I am thankful for children who phone me, not once but several times a day to let me know what's going on in their lives. I am thankful they want to share the good and bad times with me. I am thankful they are interested in my opinion (even if they don't always take my advice).

I am thankful for this outlet. It's often easier to write my feelings rather than vocalize them.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Telling On Myself x 2

I should not be allowed near a stove--it's just a mishap waiting to happen. I can't tell you how many times I've had to make an emergency run to the grocery on Thanksgiving Day, because I ran out of or didn't have a necessary ingredient. Sometimes I've left a half-finished bowl of something while I went to the store--occasionally leaving the oven on the whole time I was gone!

Today was another example of my ineptness in the kitchen. Some of the boys from our church are going camping tonight (which I think is stupid in itself--the low tonight is 19!!) and Darrell was asked to fix dinner for the group before they head out. He decided on chili and cornbread. Darrell made the chili last night while I was at FlyLady class. And I was to make the cornbread this afternoon while he was busy doing other things. I made the first batch and everything was fine. Then I mixed up the second batch and decided to let it 'rest' a few minutes. I am addicted to a computer game and started playing it while the dough was resting. After a couple of minutes, I realized I hadn't set the timer on the oven. I set it for 15 minutes and went back to my game. Imagine my surprise when the timer went off and I opened the oven door only to find an empty oven! Where was my pan of cornbread? I looked over to the counter to see it still resting in the bowl waiting to go into the pan. Should be really good considering the time it rested!

I needed this to happen today. Thanksgiving is next week and it'll be the third without Shana. I woke up this morning feeling down and could feel myself starting that downward spiral. Thought if I did some Christmas shopping, that might help. But listening to the radio isn't a good idea when one is in a melancholy mood. Shana loved Rascal Flatts and of course one of the first songs was one of theirs. It seemed like every song I heard reminded me of her.

Shana's last Thanksgiving wasn't really a good one. She had to work till mid-afternoon and Clayton had to go in about that same time. Neither Holly nor Lauren and their families could be with us. I had decided I wasn't even going to bother with a Thanksgiving dinner. Then that morning, I changed my mind. Darrell, Clayton, and I ate about noon. Instead of enjoying the day, I was in a funk because all my family couldn't be here. When Shana came home from work, she fixed herself a plate and ate alone at the kitchen table. I was on the couch in the living room and felt prompted to at least go sit with her, but I didn't. I was too busy feeling sorry for myself. I have a hard time forgiving myself for not following that whispering of the spirit.

Don't tell me not to beat myself up over this. Regardless of what my head knows, my heart still hurts about it and it'll be something I always regret. I hope I learned from that experience though. I learned to listen to the spirit and follow its promptings. I also learned to appreciate what I have instead of what I think I should have. I'm not perfect in this yet, but I'm trying.


I missed my thankful post yesterday because I rode with Darrell on his route and didn't get home till late. So I'll be thankful for that time together yesterday. And today I'll be thankful for the spirit of the Lord and its guidance.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

My Son

It's a wonderful thing when your grown-up children want to spend time with you. Tonight Clayton invited me to go Christmas shopping with him. I truly appreciate him wanting my opinion and asking me along. He's not always a big talker, so I try to take advantage when the moment arises. Since Clayton is our only son, I like to think we have a special mother/son bond. (Don't burst my bubble if you know differently.) We actually think a lot alike. I know sometimes I drive him crazy. I can be vocal about what I think, especially when I believe one of my children is hurting. Sometimes I talk when I should be listening. I love my son dearly and appreciate his spirit and his strength and compassion. He has grown into a wonderful man.

P.S. I didn't mention the uncanny way he has of being able to tell EXACTLY when his music is driving me nuts! He's always been able to turn it to something more my style just before I ask him to. I think he prides himself on this ability.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Hawaii Anyone?

I know it's only mid-November, but I'm COLD! And I hate to be cold!! It's only gonna be in the 20s tonight. Earlier this afternoon, I got cold and it was bone deep. Luckily, I had the hot tub to finally warm me up.

Tonight I am thankful for the promise of warm weather in...what, six months or so?

Teething Biscuit Recipe

Found this on SavingDinner.com and wanted to share. Thought some of you new mommies might like to try it. I think the website is something you have to pay for, but if you look under Archives, you'll find a long list of free recipes that look yummy!

Teething Cookie recipe:Yield apx. 24 dozen
Ingredients:1 egg yolk, beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon molasses or maple syrup
1 1/2 tablespoon oil
1/4 cup milk or baby formula or water, etc (depending on baby's age)
1 tablespoon uncooked oatmeal (optional)
1 cup flour (buck wheat, whole wheat, white or combo mix)

Preheat your oven to 350.
In your mixer add the first 5 ingredients (wet ingredients) and mix to blend. Slowly add the dry ingredients and mix until you have a stiff dough. You can either spoon the dough onto an un-greased cookie sheet using a tablespoon or cookie scoop (I like a 1 tablespoon cookie scoop). Bake for approximately 15-20 minutes or until the cookies are firm to the touch. Allow to cool. Keep sealed in a plastic zip top bag until ready for baby to enjoy!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Friends

Today I am thankful for friends--especially those who read and COMMENT on this blog. I'm sure it's not the most interesting, but I appreciate your participation. I'm thankful for those family members who are also friends--not always an easy feat.

And I'm thankful for friends who are invited to dinner and bring most of the food!! Tonight we grilled steaks and Connell and Liz brought the bulk of the meal: green beans, peas, salad, real mashed potatoes, stuffing, and key lime pie (one of my favorites). Almost two hours later, I'm sitting here still stuffed to the gills!

We'll probably just skip the scale in the morning....

Sunday, November 16, 2008

If I Had Only Known...


If I had known last night what I know now, my thankful post for yesterday would have been different.

A few weeks ago, our church had stake conference and a person from another ward spoke. He mentioned how he had had a beard for a long time and how proud he was of his beard. Apparently, it was long and full and he would spend quite a bit of time grooming it. He took way too much pride in this beard. The vast majority of men in our church are clean-shaven, a look encouraged for all males. As a gesture of obedience, he had finally shaved off his beard.

For those of you who don't know, Darrell has had at least a mustache for almost all the time I've known him (if you start from 1975 when we actually met). I can count on one hand the number of times he's been completely bare-faced. Nothing against clean-shaven men, but once you've kissed someone with a mustache and/or beard, there's no going back. It's like kissing a boiled egg! That's my opinion, anyway.

Darrell has been thinking for a while that he should shave his beard off. We've talked about it off and on--he knows how much I like it and was deferring to me. When this brother spoke at stake conference, it really pricked Darrell's heart. He kept whispering to me that he felt like this brother was speaking directly to him. I would whisper back that he didn't take pride in his beard like this other guy was talking about, so it didn't apply. Last night, Darrell brought it up again and I realized that he was feeling pretty strongly about shaving and it must be weighing heavily on his mind. So I told him to do what he felt he needed to do.

This morning he came to me and told me to run my fingers through it one more time, because he was going to cut it off. I hope he didn't notice, but I got tears in my eyes. A bit later, Darrell came back into the bedroom looking dejected. He had shaved everything but the mustache and didn't like the result. Guess it'll take some getting used to for both of us. At church today, we sat in the back so that "no one would have to look at him" (as Darrell put it). Then he was asked to give the closing prayer--which meant of course that he had to get up in front of everyone!

As I reminded him later--I fell in love with him before he had a beard and it's not the beard that keeps me around. He's still the wonderful, sweet man I love! In case you haven't figured it out, I'm thankful that my sweetie listens to the promptings of the Spirit and is obedient. (But if I'd known his intentions yesterday, I would have written an ode to the beard.)
He won't let me post a picture---yet.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Ok, this may be lame

Today I am thankful for my body. Sure, most of the time it drives me crazy--I don't weigh what I want to and I wish I could rework some parts (make some smaller and others a little larger). And I am starting to feel my age. Oh, who am I kidding? I've been feeling my age and then some for a good while now!

But you know what? I am thankful that I can hear, see fairly well, walk if not run, move, get out of bed, and do a lot of other things that I take for granted every day. Once, when one of my daughters complained about their brother, I reminded them of a classmate they had. I then told her to think about having that classmate for a brother. Put things in a whole new light for her! Same thing applies to my body. Whenever I get to feeling sorry for myself because I don't look like the models in the magazines, I can remember the man I saw today at Walmart who had no legs or my neighbors who are deaf and can't hear the laughter of their children. I can think about the dear friend from high school who died in a car wreck at age 16.

In the grand scheme of things, I really have nothing to complain about. And at least I'm on the right side of the grass!!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Let's See....

Today I think I have to be thankful for the internet. It helps me keep in touch with grandchildren who are too far away. We have webcams on both ends, so they can see us as well as hear us. We get pictures and updates almost daily. And we get to view great videos. All these things are SO much better than photographs and regular phone calls. When Cassidy and Grant come to visit, they are already familiar with us and thus don't have to get used to us all over again each time.

So, thanks, Al Gore (cough, cough).

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Here's Another One

Read this.....http://www.ldslivingonline.com/article.php?articleId=82645

Want a Good Laugh?

If you're in need of a good laugh, head over to craigslist and peruse the things for sale, especially the furniture. I seriously worry about some of these poor people.

At this particular moment, you will find:

a cowch
a 4 jored dresser
a 5 jored dresser
a chest of draws
rod iron patio furniture
a set tea
a kids armoria
an ahmwah

I don't laugh at the "fat-fingered" mistakes, but the obvious phonetic spellings and mispronunciations which lead to these resulting ads drives me crazy and makes me laugh out loud. I'm sorry, what can I say? I'm warped. Ya gotta find humor where you can!

I love...

Books! I have always loved books and loved to read. As a child, there weren't always other kids around for me to play with, so I found friends in the books I read. Nan and Bert from The Bobbsey Twins were some of my favorites. Of course, I loved Nancy Drew. She was so clever and brave, doing things I could never do. Then I went to elementary school and guess what was waiting there?? The Library!! I can just imagine my first venture into that vast array of books. Wonder who picked my chin up off the floor.

At the school library, I found biographies of Clara Barton, Dorothea Dix, Betsy Ross, Florence Nightingale, Dolly Madison, and others. I still remember those wonderful stories and wish I could find those particular books today. I also found great books that I have in my personal library now and still read occasionally. Like "Island of the Blue Dolphins", "A Wrinkle in Time", and "Black Beauty".

As a teenager, I would visit the library weekly with an elderly neighbor. It was fun for both of us. We'd stop for lunch on the way home at a little burger joint that's still there. When Darrell and I went to Italy, the first thing I did was find the library. The kids and I went to get library cards as soon as we moved back to Tennessee.

My mother used to complain that I always had my nose in a book. And when I had young children at home she couldn't understand how I could let things go (housework) in order to read. She doesn't like to read and didn't get the outlet reading provided for me. I tried to teach my kids to love books and love to read. I think that's something I succeeded at. When Holly was in 4th grade, she won an award for reading the second most books (over 400) in the school--not just her grade, the school. And I think Lauren and Clayton both have extensive libraries of their own. Lauren would rather spend money on books than anything else. I believe we're passing our love of books on to the next generation as well. Melody is almost as bad as the rest of us.

If you're a reader, check out Goodreads. It's a great place to find good books to read and share your own reviews.

To paraphrase Oliver Twist and his gang: "Books, wonderful books...."

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Today...

I am thankful for being able to work from home. That may not last much longer, but I'm enjoying it for the time being. I worked before I had children and went back to work after they were all in school. Then in 1999, Darrell and I talked and decided we could make it on his salary alone. I was ready to leave what I was doing--I had gone about as far as I could with that company. So for the past 9 1/2 years, I've been doing Darrell's books and billing. My time is my own for the most part. I can work out, read, garden, etc. at my leisure--as long as I keep up with the invoicing and other bookkeeping. With the economy the way it is, I'm considering returning to the work force. I've applied with the local school system and am hoping to get on as an administrative assistant. The biggest bonus will be the health insurance. Wish me luck (I think).

Finally--someone on OUR side!

Found this on LDSLiving.com. After all the flak the church has been getting, it's nice to see something positive from another church.

Catholic Bishop Decries Religious Bigotry Against Mormons 11/08/2008 05:15 PM MST
SACRAMENTO - 7 November 2008 - (This news release was issued by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Sacramento) The following statement was released today by Bishop William Weigand, head of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Sacramento and former Bishop of Salt Lake City, in response to attacks on (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) for supporting California’s Proposition 8, defending the traditional definition of marriage:
“Catholics stand in solidarity with our Mormon brothers and sisters in support of traditional marriage — the union of one man and one woman — that has been the major building block of Western Civilization for millennia.
“The ProtectMarriage coalition, which led the successful campaign to pass Proposition 8, was an historic alliance of people from every faith and ethnicity. LDS were included — but so were Catholics and Jews, Evangelicals and Orthodox, African-Americans and Latinos, Asians and Anglos.
“Bigoted attacks on Mormons for the part they played in our coalition are shameful and ignore the reality that Mormon voters were only a small part of the groundswell that supported Proposition 8.
“As the former bishop of the Diocese of Salt Lake City, I can attest to the fact that followers of the Mormon faith are a good and generous people with a long history of commitment to family and giving to community causes.
“I personally decry the bigotry recently exhibited towards the members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — coming from the opponents of Proposition 8, who ironically, have called those of us supporting traditional marriage intolerant.
“I call upon the supporters of same-sex marriage to live by their own words — and to refrain from discrimination against religion and to exercise tolerance for those who differ from them. I call upon them to accept the will of the people of California in the passage of Proposition 8.”

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

hmmm....

This gratitude thing has been good for me. I've had to pay attention to my blessings and look for the good in everything. Not one of my strong suits.

Today I can be thankful for a lot of things. The rain--light though it was. Now the 72 pansies I planted will grow. Lower gas prices--a wonderful thing when our car takes premium gas! Chick-Fil-A fundraiser night for Melody's school--a little grandma time. Clean flannel sheets on the bed--I hate to fold sheets, so I only have two sets (one for summer and one for winter). Today's the day I made the change to winter sheets. My neck feeling better for the first time since August (thanks, April!!!). The list could go on and on, but I need to save some things--hey, I've got till the end of the month!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Appreciation

Last year we bought a hot tub--a used, older model. It was an adventure getting it up on our deck, but oh so worth it! We are fortunate to have a private deck off our bedroom and that's where we put the hot tub. On chilly nights like tonight, sitting in that hot water is heaven itself. Tonight the moon was almost full and the sky was cloudy. Just beautiful. Other times the sky is clear and the stars seem so close. We watch airplanes going in all directions--you can tell the ones taking off and landing in Nashville.

Darrell and I have some of our best conversations in the hot tub. Maybe it's the darkness that helps us open up to each other. Maybe it's the relaxation of the water. Whatever it is, I love it. Don't know how I made it all these years without a hot tub! That's what I'm grateful for today.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

And today....

I am thankful for my calling as Gospel Doctrine teacher. I've been doing this for about a year and a half and while others may not have learned much, I certainly have. I've been a member of the church since June 1976 and served in many callings (Primary teacher, Relief Society teacher, secretary, and counselor, visiting teacher coordinator, librarian, Young Women's president and advisor, Stake Young Women's secretary, Sunday School teacher). The callings I always said I would never want are the two I've enjoyed most and learned the most from. Young Women's president and Gospel Doctrine teacher.

About this time two years ago, I was praying for a closer relationship with my Heavenly Father. My desire was for a greater understanding of the Atonement and how it applied personally to me and my life. When I was asked to teach Gospel Doctrine, I laughed out loud. How could I teach these people anything--they were so far above me. Then I found out the subject matter for the year was the New Testament. What better way to grow closer to the Lord or understand the Atonement than to have to study it and teach others? So I accepted the calling and have never regretted it. This year we have studied the Book of Mormon and next year will be church history. While I don't know how much longer I'll be teaching, I want to make the most of this opportunity and learn all I can.

And from now on I won't be a member of the "hall class". I'll be in Sunday School where I belong and will have studied the lesson and will aid the teacher by participating whenever I can. Hint, hint ;-)

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Today I am Thankful For...

...returning home. I like getting away, but I love coming back home. No matter how short the vacation, I get excited the closer we get to the house. I love walking in to familiar sights and smells. And I can't wait to sleep in my own bed tonight! Especially since I forgot our pillows and we had to buy cheap ones at Fred's and use them without pillowcases. Not conducive to a good night's sleep!

We may not have a mansion, but it's ours. And it's filled with love and the spirit of the Lord. I'm thankful for that and for the protection this house provides against the outside world--both acts of God and those of man.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Today's Installment

This post is coming to you early as Darrell and I are going to the lake for the weekend!! Our friends have a small house there and we are using it today and tomorrow. And so my gratitude on this day is for being able to spend time with the person I love most in the world. One of the things I like best about this place is NO CELL SERVICE!! So it's just me and him.

See ya tomorrow!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

I am thankful....

I'll try to make this shorter than the last two!

I am thankful to live in a part of the world that actually has seasons. As I was thanking the Lord the other day for autumn and all its beauty, I realized that there is something special about each season. I love fall when the air is clear and crisp, the leaves are turning beautiful colors, and the sweaters come out. I love how blue the sky is. I even love watching all the birds flying south. I love smelling vegetable soup or chili cooking on the stove. I love racing to the hot tub to get in the hot water. Sitting there all warm and watching the steam rise, all the while surrounded by cooler air is wonderful.

Winter is lovely in its own way. The busyness of the holidays. The outline of bare tree limbs against a sky so blue it hurts your eyes. We don't get much snow, but when we do, the whiteness covers everything and makes something spectacular out of the most mundane. I even love the ice storms we get. It sparkles like diamonds--and you all know how I like jewelry!

Spring is probably my favorite season. Watching what I call the rebirth of the earth is one of my favorite things. The world seems to be coming to life again with the trees budding and the grass turning green. I love how vivid the flowers seem. I love hearing the birds and watching them build nests. I love the fluffy white clouds. I even like the rain--as long as it doesn't last too long--because I know it means my flowers will grow even faster.

Summer may be hot and humid here, but I even like that. Getting hot and sweaty makes a cool shower all the better. Big fluffy clouds in a Carolina blue sky. The smell of fresh cut grass. Flowers blooming in abundance.

How can anyone experience these things and not believe in God? I just don't get it. I am thankful for a beautiful world to live in and enjoy each and every day.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Day Two--so to speak

In an effort to catch up on my list of things I'm thankful for, I'm going to cheat and list my four children. That way, I'll be where I'm supposed to be tomorrow. Is that clear as mud?

I'll start with the youngest of our brood: Lauren. I am thankful we kept her. When I was pregnant with her, we were at a very difficult place financially. We had moved from Tennessee to North Carolina, our house payment was $50 more a month there, and we had bought a van and thus had a car payment. Darrell of course had changed jobs and was making about half what he had been making in Clarksville. We just didn't see how we could support another child. We came ttthhiiss close to asking Darrell's sister and her husband to adopt Lauren. I'm so glad we didn't. Our first three children have always been Darrell's. You know what I mean. Especially Shana. She'd be under the car with him and knew different tools before she was two. From day one, Lauren was mine. If she was hurt, she wanted me. If she was afraid, again me. If she was crying and someone picked her up, she'd cry until I took her. Then she'd just stop. Frustrated Darrell no end, but I loved it! She has become a wonderful friend and I appreciate her immensely.

Clayton is our only boy. He has been blessed/cursed with a mother who wants him to be happy, but doesn't want him hurt. One of my great regrets is not letting him play football. He wound up getting just as hurt wrestling and playing soccer. Clayton inherited my cleanliness habits and actually (sorry, Lauren) is probably my neatest child. He folds his t-shirts according to sleeve length and sport (i.e., long sleeved soccer shirts in one stack, short sleeved in another, etc). He constantly astounds me with his knowledge of scripture and his ability to remember them. You may have read on the sidebar that I don't like to be called Bev. Clayton does not like to be called Clay. I try really hard to honor this wish, because I feel his pain.

Next comes Holly. She's now the oldest of the lot and I often wonder how she feels about that. She followed Shana around so much when they were little and Shana taught her a lot of things. I can remember Shana trying to teach Holly the alphabet. Holly is like me and is very hard on herself. I tell her that she's done too many difficult things--things other people will probably never do--and she needs to give herself a break. One of those hard things is having a baby without an anesthetic (we got to the hospital too late). The other thing is finding Shana. My prayer is that she can find a way to live with that and be at peace.

And of course there's Shana. My first born. I was only 19 when she came along and she used to tell people we grew up together. She probably wasn't far wrong. She wasn't active in church when she died, but I know she loved the Lord and still had a testimony. I've found evidence since she's been gone. She was a great friend to me and often told me I was her best friend. I still feel her with me sometimes, especially when I'm down. I can't wait to see her again.

It's been said children bring us our greatest joy and our greatest heartache. All I can say is Amen. There are some things I would change if I could. But I think I have great kids and I am thankful they are mine.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Cultivating an Attitude of Gratitude

Since this is National Blog Posting Month, as well as the month of Thanksgiving, I thought I'd kill two birds with one stone. I've decided to post every day about something I'm thankful for. When the kids were little, we once made a "turkey" out of a shoebox and construction paper. Each day every family member was to put a slip of paper into the turkey--thus "stuffing" it. On the paper was something they were thankful for. Before eating Thanksgiving dinner, we read some of them. It was wonderful to read the things the kids wrote. That's kind of what I'm going for here. I'll have to name four things today, since this is the 4th day of November.

First, I am so very thankful for my dear husband. Last Thursday was his birthday and I let it go by without acknowledging him here. We met under very unusual circumstances, so I'm sure Heavenly Father had a hand in our getting together. When I was in 8th grade, Darrell was a very popular senior at Clarksville High School. I knew of him through the older siblings of my friends. He worked at a little gas station on Madison Street and my bus would pass by there every day after school. My friends and I would yell "Hi, Darrell" out the windows and he would wave to us. At the end of that school year, my best friend Renea had her 14th birthday party and of course I was there. Darrell showed up to visit Renea's older brother. I followed him around all night and I can still remember him glancing over his shoulder at me, probably wondering who this weird kid was and what she wanted.

Fast forward about 3 1/2 years. I'm now a senior at CHS and Darrell is in the Army, stationed at Ft. Knox, KY. It's Homecoming week and I'm president of a club at school. Me and several other girls are at our teacher/sponsor's home decorating a display for the commons area (cafeteria). Unbeknownst to me, Darrell is friends with this teacher's husband and is upstairs visiting. He hears all the commotion being made by a bunch of girls downstairs and asks Mike (the husband) what is going on. Mike tells Darrell about all the girls down there and says "go pick you out one". The two of them head downstairs where they tease us a bit before heading back to the kitchen. Renea was still my best friend and remember she's known Darrell for years. So she flirts and teases him right back. Even though we were best friends, we were also very competitive and if she could flirt, I could, too. So I did. I found out later that when they went back upstairs Mike asked Darrell which girl he had chosen. Darrell told him me, but added that I was too young. Darrell was about to turn 21, and I was only 17. That didn't stop him from calling Renea the next day and getting my phone number. He started calling me and continued to do so for the next two months. I refused to go out with him because my parents were pretty strict and I thought the difference in our ages would prevent them from giving me permission.

My father finally had the opportunity to meet Darrell and approved of him. Our first date was Christmas Eve 1975. We were engaged about 3 weeks later with an August wedding date in mind. Darrell got orders for Italy in mid-February and would be gone for 2 years. In order for me to go with him, we had to be married so I could get an ID card, passport, shots, etc. So we moved our wedding date up to April 10. While others were off to Daytona Beach for spring break, I was getting married and going on my honeymoon!

The Lord meant for Darrell and me to be together and I'm so very thankful Darrell saw that from the beginning. He is a wonderful husband and father. A gentle loving man. His generosity and compassion know no bounds. I admire and respect him. He is my best friend and the greatest blessing in my life. I need him. And I love him.

Whew! This got to be longer than I meant. Enough for today. I'll be thankful for more tomorrow. Right now, writing this has made me want to cuddle on the couch with my sweetheart.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

I'm Quirky, Not Weird

Thanks, Tamara, for sending this one my way!
Here are the rules of the game:
1. Link the Person who Tagged you.
2. Mention rules on your blog.
3. Tell about 6 quirks of yours.
4. Tag 6 fellow bloggers to do the same.
5. Leave a comment to let them know.


I'm sure I won't be nearly as entertaining (or weird) as Tamara ;-) but here goes....

1. When loading the dishwasher, I will not put one utensil by itself in a compartment with several other utensils. For example, if there are 3 forks in a compartment, I won't put a lone knife or spoon with them. I don't like being the lone anything and I figure silverware is no different. Also, when unloading the dishwasher, I always put the glasses in the cabinet like they were in the dishwasher. If the glasses were next to each other in the dishwasher, they have to be together in the cabinet. Maybe they began a relationship or something, and who am I to break them up?

2. I have a routine for just about everything. I shower in the same order (shampoo first, bathe, etc), put on my makeup (I've been known to forget a step if I get interrupted), clean house, everything. Routines make things go faster and easier, though you can take it a bit too far (Tamara!).

3. I cannot sleep without a fan going. It's not the cooling I'm after--I love the white noise sound. And still air makes me nervous. I feel like I'm suffocating. I need the air to be moving.

4. I don't like mixed up food, like casseroles, unless I made it myself. I'm very particular about what goes into my mouth.

5. I have this thing about even-ness. Don't know what else to call it. A long time ago, we had a striped comforter on our bed. I couldn't go to sleep if the stripes weren't straight. I guess I was afraid I didn't have my share of the covers. We have a light switch at the bottom and at the top of our stairs. I will walk up the stairs in the dark to use the other switch if it is that one's "turn". If I'm tapping my fingers, I won't stop unless each finger has been used the same number of times.

6. I read the obituaries every day.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

So...whaddya think?

After several days now of my new cut, I think I may be getting the hang of it. May need to work a little more on the sides. So...how'd I do? I'm a little disconcerted in that no one---NO ONE--has noticed that I cut my hair. It seems like such a change to me, but apparently it's not. Or maybe they're being Thumper and can't think of anything good to say and so don't say anything at all. Or--and this is quite possible--their world doesn't revolve around what my hair looks like and they just don't notice. I'll shut up now. And I promise no more posts about my hair.












Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Who's Looking at This?

You may have noticed a map on the sidebar that tracks the locations of those checking out my blog. It's been confined to the US until this morning (at least that's when I noticed it). Look at all those hits from all over the world! I have to admit to a little case of envy when I would see all the hits Lauren had. Now I have my own.

Then I had to wonder what had drawn these curious people to my little old blog. Could it be the news of my new hair cut had been broadcast far and wide? As I pondered this possibility, it dawned on me that perhaps it's the word "buzz" in the name. Reckon these poor unfortunates were looking for a connection of a certain kind? Imagine their disappointment when all they found was a grandmother from the South bemoaning her hair dilemmas and bragging on her husband!

Monday, October 27, 2008

I Did It! Gulp!

Well, I bit the bullet and cut my hair today. After wearing the same style for about 7 years, I was ready for a change--or so I thought. Midway thru the cut, my stomach started hurting and I was having second thoughts. I'm always disdainful of those people on "What Not to Wear" when they cry over getting their hair cut, but I felt and understood their pain today. I'm not very adept at making my hair do what I want it to, so I'll probably be pulling it out by the roots tomorrow. But for now, it looks good and Darrell likes it. I'm reserving judgment till I've had a chance to mess with it myself. Maybe I'll post more pix tomorrow.









Sunday, October 26, 2008

AARRGGHH!!!


I am SO aggravated with myself this morning. I got up last Monday morning determined to drink my water, take my vitamins, work out each day--my jeans are just too tight. I did pretty good. If I set a goal to work out every day and only make it 3 or 4, I consider that successful. If I shoot for 3 or 4 times a week, I'll only exercise once or twice. I do really well during the week when my days are fairly structured, but on the weekends, it all goes to froofenhoffen! In the last two days, I've undone the hard work of five days! Right back where I was last Monday morning! I start with renewed vigor today. And just call me Scarlett O'Hara--my motto is "tomorrow is another day".

Friday, October 24, 2008

Husband Tag

1. Where did you meet? 1st time at a friend's birthday party in 1972--officially at my high school teacher's house in 1975
2. How long did you date before you got married? 4 months
3. How long have you been married? 32 years (and they said it wouldn't last!)
4. What is your favorite feature of his? his beautiful face
5. What is your favorite quality of his? his compassion
6. Does he have a nick name for you? not really, though he usually calls me sweetheart
7. What is his favorite color? Blue (bet you thought it was orange, didn't you!)
8. What is his favorite food? Steak
9. What is his favorite sport? Football
10. When was your first kiss? honestly don't remember
11. What is your favorite thing to do as a couple? sitting in the hot tub
12. Do you have children? yep, 4
13. Does he have a hidden talent? he can do just about anything--constantly amazes me
14. How old is he? 53
15. Who said I love you first? don't remember that either
16. What is his favorite type of music? 70's
17. What do you admire most about him? his selflessness
18. Do you think he will read this? yes
* I tag: anyone who loves their man

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Here's a real thought provoker...

I search: for peace, but usually in the wrong places

I regret: not appreciating the good friend Shana was

I love: sitting in the hot tub late at night talking with Darrell, looking at the stars and watching planes

I care: about others more than I let on

I always: carry all my makeup with me--just in case (I was caught in the rain once and spent the day at work looking like a drowned rat)

I worry: about losing Darrell or one of my children or grandchildren

I am not: as good a housekeeper as people think I am

I remember: when a quarter could get you a soda and candy bar

I believe: in love at first sight

I sing: terribly (I knew Darrell really loved me when he would let me sing in the car and not shut me up or make me walk)

I dance: about as well as I sing

I don't always: prepare my Sunday School lesson like I should

I argue: because sometimes I forget that different from me is not necessarily better or worse, just different

I write: on this blog, because I can't always say what I really feel

I win: when my family is happy

I lose: when I try to force my opinions on others

I wish: I was more outgoing

I listen: but not as well as I talk

I don't understand: why I'm not happier because I have so much to be grateful for

I can usually be found: lately sitting in front of this computer

I am scared: of losing someone I love

I need: more friends

I forget: way too many things all too often

I am happy: when my family is all together

Time for all bloggers to think and post this on your blog, b/c I tag YOU!!!

Happy Birthday to our Miracle Baby

Today is Grant's first birthday. There were times in the beginning when I wasn't sure we'd see this day. But here we are! Darrell and I just got a new computer and haven't transfered our pictures yet, so go to uswheelers.blogspot.com and see Lauren's post. You will then be better able to appreciate the gratitude we have today that this sweet little boy is in our lives. He has already been through more than most of us will ever go through and yet he is happy and sweet and precious.

Happy Birthday, Grant! Wish I was there!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Melody's Recipe for Potato Soup

For you adventurous cooks, here is my 7-year-old granddaughter's recipe for potato soup in her own words. Let me know how it turns out.

the resapy for potato sope:

a pot of boullerd water
1 can of sweet potatos
1 can of corn
2 cans of green beans
2 cans of peas
1 can of chili
salt. peper.
mix. coule. put in mikerwave and serve.

YUM. YUM.

Monday, October 13, 2008

8 Things...

I've been tagged!

8 TV shows I love to watch:
1. Jeopardy!
2. M*A*S*H*
3. American Justice
4. Cold Case Files
5. Dr. Phil
6. Don't Forget the Lyrics
7. Reba
8. Decorating Cents

8 Things That Happened Today:
1. Worked out
2. Attended Elias's 5th birthday party
3. Ate too much pizza and cake (thank goodness for #1)
4. Wasted time on the computer
5. Got spit up on (thanks, Grant)
6. Tried unsuccessfully to break a pinata
7. Got hotter than I meant to
8. Had my keys "stolen" by my son

8 Things I'm Looking Forward To:
1. Yard sales this weekend
2. Christmas
3. Grant's 1st birthday
4. Finishing the Book of Mormon by the end of the year
5. Losing 10 lbs
6. Getting my hair cut shorter ;-)
7. The end of football season
8. Time Out for Women in Nov

8 People to Tag:
1. Sharon
2. Cheryl
3. Susan
4. Lauren ;-)
5. Marlena
6. Tamara (got ya back!)
7. Nicole
8. Ashley W
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