Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Random Thoughts

**I want to feel good again
**I wish it would snow enough to make everything clean
**I can't believe I'm so organized with gifts for Christmas
**I am thankful for my daughter doing some of my shopping for me
**I love shopping on-line
**I'm looking forward to Abby's program at school and dance recital
**I want to get started back in the nursing home ministry, singing
**I'm thankful for my husband who takes care of me when I am sick
**I'm thankful to have my garage back to park my van in (Big thankful)
**I haven't had an appetite for a while
**I've lost over 20 lbs. this year
**I need some new clothes that I don't swim in
**I would love to sleep ALL night
**I'm thankful to have our doxie girls, even though they have accidents
**I finished reading another book by Joyce Myers, Women to Women
**I'm not on Facebook as much and I like it that way
**I love lemon rice soup, especially when I don't feel good
**I started watching "The Big Bang Theory", it's all Mike's fault
**I stopped watching non sense reality t.v. and feel better
**I have a new favorite beverage...cherry limeade on ice
**I haven't drank coffee since April 2012.  I don't miss it
**I would love to stow away to North Canton Ohio
**I need a new warm cozy robe, which I think I will treat myself to
**I can't believe Christmas is 14 days away
**I only have a few more gifts to get
**I'm looking forward to Christmas Eve dinner and church with family
**I want to thank you for reading my random thoughts

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Field Trip with Abby & Jack

What a beautiful Fall day it was on Tuesday, October 16.  I went with Abby's Class on a Field trip to the County line Orchard.  Her mommy is the teacher, so her brother Jack and daddy were able to go to help out too.  What a fun trip it was.  We learned about "Bee's" and watched as apples were being washed and packaged to sell in the barn.  We rode a tractor to the pumpkin patch where we all got to pick out a pumpkin to take home.  We got to visit the little zoo and pet and feed some animals.  We ate our lunch at the picnic tables and swatted bee's who were trying to eat with us.  As we were leaving, everyone got a donut to take with them.  It was the best apple cinnamon donut!
After the field trip was over, I took Jack back home with me to play.  Then we went to pick Abby up from school and they both got to play until it was time to go home after dinner.  It was a great day and I am so glad I was able to take off work to make these special memories with my grand kids.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Happy "Golden" 7th Birthday Grayson

What a special weekend we had!  Steph, Noah, Carter, Gray & Ivy came for their first visit since moving to Ohio.  She left early Saturday morning to head on to Indiana.  Mike and I left Saturday morning for the airport to pick my sister, Diane up.  Oh the joy I felt when I saw her walking towards us at the baggage claim.  As we were travelling back with her, Noah was texting me to let me know where they were and how close they were.  As we arrived to my moms house with my sister around 12:30, Steph pulled up minutes afterwards.  We could not believe we arrived at the same time.  I was never to excited to hug my daughter and grand kids.  And so, the reunion began.....
We decided to camp out at my moms for the 2 nights Steph was home, so we could all be together and not miss a minutes visiting time.  We had wall to wall blow up beds in the family room and everyone was comfy.
We had 2 Birthday celebrations for Gray.  One on Saturday eve. with his other grandparents and One on his Birthday the 7th at McDonald's with his cousins.  The kids ate and played hard in the jungle gym.  One of Gray's favorite gifts was a stuffed dog I had ordered for him that looks like my Halle dog.  He adores her so much and loves stuffed animals.  I went to Pet Smart and made a name tag for the dog.  Gray kept thanking me all weekend for his dog.  He even put a leash on her and walked her in to McD's. 
It was such a fun weekend and lots of hugs exchanged.  When Steph and kids had to pack up and leave Monday before noon, there were lots of tears.  She had to stop at the dealership she bought her vehicle from to get her oil changed, so she got on the road a little earlier.  After she left, I noticed she had left Gray's Birthday bag filled with his presents.  I asked her if she wanted me to mailed them and she said no.  After her oil change, she drove back to my moms house and we got to spend another hour visiting and eating and hugging some more.  I think it was meant for her to leave the bag, cause we weren't ready to say good-bye. 
Then after she had been gone about 10 minutes, I discovered the kids toothbrushes were left behind.  I will mail them!  We all are looking forward to our next time we can all be together.  We are hoping for Thanksgiving!!!!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Random thoughts of October 6th-13th

thought #1...My sister flys home in 9 days for 1 week
thought #2...My daughter and grandkids come home for a visit in 9 days
thought #3...Celebration of Gray's 7th Birthday at Red Robin
thought #4...Shopping to do, although I'm almost done
thought #5...Need to plan the menus for the visit
thought #6...My mom will fly back with my sister when she leaves
thought #7...I want to make every second count while they are all here
thought #8...Trip to the Apple Orchard
thought #9...Trip to Goodwill (Diane's favorite store)
thought #10..Trip to the Riverwalk
thought #11..Visit our dads grave
thought #12..Have breakfast at our favorite place in town
thought #13..Enjoy my sisters famous chicken & dumplings
thought #14..Maybe sneak away and go to the Elvis Fest on Friday night
thought #15..Have lots of sister talks
thought #16..Already missing my mom, but so happy she's able to go
thought #17..Getting my hair cut and colored next week to look good
thought #18..Decorating my moms and my house for fall 
thought #19..Getting enough rest to have the energy for everything
thought #20..Thanking God for allowing us to all be together for a visit

Friday, September 7, 2012

Healing my colon the natural way

I am on day 5 of being Prednisone free!  I was put on this drug for the ulcerative colitis.  The Dr. does not want me staying on this drug because of the side effects.  It not only puts unwanted weight on you, but it can cause cataracts and bone loss.  I do not want to be dependent on a pill.  It only masks the symptoms.  It's like a bandaid.  http://shop.newsmax.com/shop/index.cfm?page=products&productid=795&s=al&promo_code=E9DB-1&gclid=CM6M9LKMpLICFalDMgodFk8Ajg
I am so excited to be able to say, I am trying a Gluten free way of life right now.  My daughter tried to get me to go Gluten free last year after I had many flare ups with colitis and I think I was just too sick and my head wasn't clear enough to think about making a diet change.  I thought of it as work and effort.  But as I do more research and listening to friends who are trying this, it makes sense to me.  It is really not as hard as you think.  Reading labels is the key.  I have to admit, I was a Breadaholic.  I had to have my bread every day in some shape or form.  I craved lemon rice soup during a colon flare up and I would always have to have my french bread with it.  It was my comfort, my friend.  After overhearing a co-worker talking about going wheat and flour free, it really sunk in with me.  My daughter's mother-in-law also went gluten free a few weeks ago and feels terrific and is losing weight.  I know I have weight to lose, but I am doing it more for the healing of my colon.  She was telling me what made her start was after reading a book by Dr. William Davis called "Wheat Belly".  So many people are being changed and healed by going gluten free.  The disease I have is one of the ones he talks about in his book.  Wheat and flour aggrivate the colon and intestines, so why would I not give this a try?  It's doable and doesn't take a whole lot of preparation.  I had the best breakfast this morning....fetta cheese omelette and was so full and didn't want anything until lunch.  When I heard you could have corn chips and other potato chips, I was excited.  I also found the most delicious gluten free brownie mix I made.  And you can even have guacamole...one of my favorite snacks. 
Bottom line is....I want to feel good again and be normal.  I don't want to live in fear of not making it to a bathroom.  I don't want to always have to find out where a bathroom is every where I go.  I don't want to have to wear depends the rest of my life.  I want to walk our beautiful trail again outside without worrying about making it to a bathroom.  I want to ride my bike again.  No one will ever know unless you have suffered this type of affliction, just what it is like.  I look normal on the outside, but the fear I face every day in not knowing how my colon will act is very debilitating.  Sure, stress can bring on some episodes, but I really do believe that the #1 cause is the food that we put in our bodies. 
So, I am more than excited to share this new adventure with the few readers that I have.  I am on my way to healing my colon.  I think it will thank me some day soon.  I AM EXCITED!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Mr. Bear takes a long ride

Monday, the moving truck left with a house full of furniture, boxes, bikes, toys, clothes & household items.  Mr. Bear (Noah's first lovie) was looking out of a clear bin.  ...my daughter of 35 years is making a brand new start in a brand new town with her beautiful children and husband.  Even though there is an emptiness in my heart, there is also a Peaceful feeling. 
Mike and I went to their empty house to take all the garbage out for garbage pick up the following morning.  We carried stuff out for 2 hours.  This gives an idea of how much stuff that was no longer needed or making the long haul to Canton.
I had the chance to walk around inside the empty 3 story house that once was filled with so much life. 
I found myself in Steph & Jeffs old bedroom where I stood on the very spot my beautiful grand-daughter, Ivy LaRue was born.  I let my mind take me back to the early morning when I was there and knelt with my daughter as she gave birth.  What an awesome memory that I will cherrish forever.  I walked across the hall to the kids bedroom and let my mind go back to the times I would babysit and tuck them in and read them stories.  I walked into the bathroom where I sat many times on the closed toilet seat while bathing and watching so much life play in the tub.....picking out the perfect hooded towel to wrap them in.  I stopped and looked around at the dining area where I could picture hand holding at the table before meals, praying over their food.  I looked at the counter in the kitchen where stools once sat which were filled with hungry little bodies or just sitting working on crafts.  Oh, the memories in that little house filled with love.  What's really surprising is, I didn't cry while walking around.  I actually felt such Peace and excitement for this new adventure they are starting.  I know in my spirit that they are following God's perfect will for their lives. 
Before they left, Noah and I carved his initials in his tree that my parents planted for him when he was born.  His eyes lit up, knowing that when he comes back to visit that tree, they will still be there. 
In 9 days I will see them all again when my mom and I drive to Canton Ohio for Labor Day weekend.  Anticipation!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

The final days

We have been trying to lighten Steph's load with this move to Ohio by helping a little where needed.  We went out to her house yesterday after work for Mike to paint the heat/air registers in the house.  They have spruced up the house to sell and it's looking amazing.  Fresh paint on the walls and a little tweaking here and there really makes the difference.  Our nephew, Ben, is an amazing handy man, or should I say, miracle worker when it comes to ANYTHING needing fixed.  He was truly blessed with a great talent.  He has really been there for Steph & Jeff during this time.  He stepped in and took charge and did what had to be done, without complaint.  THANK YOU BEN! 
While we were at Steph's, we watched the "Grands" while she went down the street to the Nail salon to get her nails done and toenails painted for an upcoming wedding she is in this weekend.  She has been so busy with packing, she is trying to fit everything in when she can.  I took the "Grands" to the backyard and we played a game called "Freeze".  I tell them to run around and when I say "Freeze" they freeze their body into an animal and I have to guess what animal they are.  They love this game.  As we were playing, I had a wave come over me that this will probably be the last time I run and play with my 4 grandkids in their first backyard.  We had 11 years of good times in that yard, playing "Freeze".  We played until their mommy got home.  Ivy was sad to stop playing.  The next time we play it, we will be in their North Canton, Ohio yard on Angel Dr.  I can't wait! 
My mom and I are planning a trip over Labor Day weekend to see their new house.  Noah keeps bringing that up....and is anxious for me to see where their new life will be. 
The "Grands" will be staying with us this Friday night and Saturday while Steph and Jeff go to Chicago for the wedding Steph is standing up in.  This will be our last time being together before they make the big move on Monday.  I got lots of goodies and things planned with their cousins so we will have a fun time.  It might be the final chapter on Cub Run in Valparaiso Indiana, but it's a new chapter starting Aug. 20, on Angel Dr. in Canton Ohio....Bittersweet!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Starting over

I've been going through a whirlwind of mixed emotions lately with all the changes going on in my family. 
My Birthday, which was last week, was spent on the couch after work, dealing with another colitis flare up.  I have no clue what set it off, other than, maybe the few fried veggies I ate at the fair a few days before.  My Birthday dinner consisted of egg noodles and crackers...Happy Birthday to me! 
I felt inspired to pick up some books that I had been letting go by the wayside and never finished.  "Battlefield of the Mind" & "Women to Women" by Joyce Meyers.  Let me tell you, they really blessed me and encouraged me in such a way that I can't explain.  I could feel sorry for myself and ask "why me"?  If it's one thing I have, I can say I have Faith.  I believe in the power of prayer.  I confess every day that I am healed of Ulcerative Colitis.  The flare ups may pop up every now and then but I will not let it beat me and ruin my life.  It's not what defines me.  I admit, I have been living in Fear and have anxiety when going out in public, always looking for where the bathroom might be, just in case.  I will not live in Fear any longer.  I love my little book that Steph gave me called "The Bible Cure for Irritable Bowel Syndrome" by Don Colbert, M.D.  I keep it in my purse and pull it out when I need some advise.  A lot of the cause of this condition is "Stress".  I have had my fill of stress, believe me.  The advise he gives for Getting a Grip on Stress is to Forgive, Forget and Apologize.  Wipe clean your Slate.  Understanding the types of stress.  Renew with God's Word.  And the most important for your mind, body and soul is to Reinvigorate with Exercise.  I finally started doing this last night and let me tell you, do I ever feel Reinvigorated!  Just starting out riding the bike for 20 min. and walking on the treadmill for 20 min. gave me so much energy.  It made me ask myself, why did I ever quit doing this?  I know that part of my healing is going to be to destress and the key to destressing is exercising.  And of course, I also started watching my portion sizes when I eat.  My menu is very limited anyways, due to so many foods that I have to avoid.  I don't want to over eat though on foods that I can have.  It's a new start again, but I feel good about it.  One step at a time.... 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

350.2 miles away from home

I think it's finally sinking in that part of my family is moving 350.2 miles, 5 hours and 53 minutes away from me.  Steph, Jeff, Noah, Carter, Gray & Ivy are moving to Canton, Ohio.  Jeff has already started his new job there, while Steph is packing and getting their house ready to sell. 
It all came as a big surprise several weeks ago when Jeff got a call to come and interview for a job with another Newspaper "The Canton Repository".  He and Steph drove to Canton, where Jeff would later get a call on their way back home that he got the job, which came with a nice pay increase.  I know that they were waiting for a new adventure in their lives and this was too good to pass up.  And I am so proud for them.  My first feelings when I heard they were moving was "Bittersweet"....As a parent, we all want our children to do well and be happy.  If they are happy and want to follow this yellow brick road to Canton, then I will try my hardest to support them and be there for them every step of the way. 
I have watched my parents say good-bye to a daughter and a son who moved half way across the United States and I know how hard it was on them as well as myself, not having my sister and brother around.  My mom told me that I will experience what it's like.  I'm so very thankful that it's close enough that I can go visit on a long weekend.  The grand-kids have already asked me if I'm coming for Thanksgiving....And I know where I'm spending my vacation time next year. 
Several people have asked me if I am sad and how I will cope with losing my daughter, son-in-law and grandkids.  I tell them, I'm not losing them.  It's not a death.  It's a new beginning.  It's a change for everyone.  I want to look at it as a positive thing, not a negative thing.  Sure, I will miss them knowing I can't drive 20 minutes and see them, but there is Skype.  I can see their faces and smiles any time I want.  We will always have a connection. 
I'm sure when I see the U-Haul pull away from their house, the tears will flow and the heart will be heavy, but I know that God will be with them and will guide and protect them and we will all be together again before we know it. 
I have always told Steph growing up to follow your dream...Her dream might just be in Canton Ohio......

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Beauty and the Beast at Navy Pier with my 2 little Beauties

Steph treated me, my daughter-in-law, Elsa, Abby & Ivy to a fun filled Sunday by going to Chicago/Navy Pier to see Beauty And The Beast at the Shakespeare Theater.  It was incredible, to say the least.  It is very rare that I have the chance to be with both my grand-daughters at the same time, so I cherished this time spent.  We walked around Navy Pier after the show was over and had a very delicious lunch.  After the show, the Chicago sky was so dark and it started to rain.  I was so glad we parked inside the parking garage and didn't have to go outside to get wet.  The girls wanted to ride the huge Ferris wheel but it was closed during the rain.  It was fun to watch the two of them interact and carry on their own conversations.  I loved watching the expressions on their faces when Belle and the other characters were on stage.  They both love the story and were in Awe.  After the show, the actors met with and signed autographs and you could take pictures with them.  I would go see it again in for sure if I could.  We had the very best seats in the house.  We had front row right by the end of the stage.  I sat in the isle seat and when the actors would come on stage from the back they had to pass me.  I got side swiped several times.  What great memories we made on a wonderful Sunday afternoon in Chicago....

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Grandparent Vacation

Steph & Jeff went to San Diego and we had the kids from Friday eve until Monday morn.  How exciting for the kids to spend time with both sets of grandparents.  We have the pleasure of team grand parenting with Jeff's parents.  They are amazing.  We met them for dinner at Steak & Shake on Friday and loaded up our van with the kids clothes and stuff and headed home.  I had planned all our meals so we didn't have to eat out much all weekend.  Mini burgers, fries, tacos , spanish rice, italian beef, mashed potatoes & mac & cheese....YUM....I stocked up on all the snacks that I know they liked.  I probably had too much of a variety.  I tend to over do...imagine that!  I did throw in some healthy snacks, such as fruit.  The snack that was the most popular was Laughy Taffy.  Yesterday I found the empty package in the cabinet!  Saturday morning for breakfast I made "2 lbs. of bacon and homemade waffles"  These kids Love bacon!  We kept busy swimming and playing outside and went to Carter's Little League game on Saturday.  We were caught in rain storms during the game that was actually welcomed, due to the high 90 degree scorching heat.  We were all soaked.  I even had an umbrella.  We came home and everyone dried off and we ate tacos I made.  Sunday morning, which was Father's Day, I got up early, before the kids woke up and put a roast in the crock pot to make Italian beefs for later that day.  We all went to our favorite breakfast restaurant in town, Tate's Place, where the kids ordered Mickey Mouse pancakes with bacon.  We made a trip to Wal-mart and then hung out at my moms house for a while.  We went back to my house to swim some more and play with squirt guns, until it was dinner time.  By this time, everyone was exhausted and ready to relax and watch movies.  The Incredible Mr. Fox was on back to back, so they repeatedly watched it almost until bed time.  Monday morning they were all up bright and early since their Grandpa was picking them up before I went to work.  They enjoyed waffles with berries then packed up everything and we lined the door with bags.  Back to the other grandparents to finish out their vacation.  They had one more day with them before their parents would come home.  It was such an enjoyable time spent with Noah, Carter, Gray & Ivy.  They are Great kids!  Gray wanted to make sure that when Mike and I die, he will be the sole caregiver to our dogs, Halle & Lilly.  I made him that promise, but only if his parents say it's ok.  He was happy.  And Little Miss Ivy LaRue announced when she woke up on Saturday morning that she wants to be a mommy and have babies.  And she is married to "Asher", like I am married to Grampa!  And Carter liked my mashed potatoes cause they are made with REAL potatoes that you peel, not like his mom makes, which are Bob Evans. 
We were so busy having fun that I didn't pick up my camera...but that's ok, cause I have the memories stored in my head....

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Jam packed June

It has been a Jam packed June so far for me.  It's been filled with Carter's little league games, tournaments, Abby's Soccer games, Ivy's dance recital and the list goes on and on.  I'm not complaining by no means.  I've enjoyed every second of the hard bleachers (even though I have a comfy bleacher to go seat) & concession stand salted pretzels with cheese, and don't forget the hot blazing sun.  
My housework has been hit and miss....mostly miss...but that's OK.  At least the laundry stays caught up and the dishes don't stay in the sink for more than a few days.   I keep hoping that the dish fairy would fly down and do them....I have high hopes. 
I love summertime, because it gives us an excuse to be on the go and not feel guilty.  I find myself waking up way too early to get a jump start on things that didn't get done the night before.  I've even prepared my mom some meals to take to her in the morning before work, to heat up for lunches or dinner.  She really appreciates it. 
We will have 4 house guests this Friday eve. thru Mon. morn.  Noah, Carter, Gray & Ivy will be staying with us while their parents go out of town.  I already have my menus written out and grocery list ready.  I'm sure we will play outside a lot in the pool and have squirt gun wars.  We will all go to Abby's Soccer game and Carter's baseball game.  It will be a fun time.  New memories will be made. 
So, here's to jam packed june and lovin' every minute of it.....

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

A special Pyrex casserole dish / with lid

My dad LOVED yard sales.  He loved them because he loved to talk to people.  It's not that he really needed to buy anything, but then again, the thrill of finding a bargain did make him happy.  And, he never paid sticker price for anything.  He could always talk them down to half of what they were asking.  He would always say "Don't forget my senior citizen discount"?   Many times, people would just give him things, when he would say he's on a fixed income.  But he would end up leaving them some sort of donation. 
The reason this Pyrex casserole dish is so special to me is, my dad bought it at a yard sale for my mom the summer before he passed away.  Since my mom doesn't cook much anymore, I ended up using it more.  I actually use it on an average of 5 days out of 7.  It is mainly used to transport food to my mom that I cook.  Each time I use it, I think of my dad.  Each time I load it in my van with food to take to my mom, I think of my dad.  I can just see his smile and him saying to me "thank you baby doll for taking care of your mom".  Who would have thought that this simple Pyrex casserole dish would serve this purpose when he bought it, and he probably paid a quarter for it?  When It's empty and time to wash it, I wash it with care.  I would hate to break it.  I dry it off and put it safely back in the cabinet in it's special spot.  It's the perfect size and so handy.  I know that many times I would tell my dad to stop bringing stuff home to add to the stuff they don't need, but then I realized that it was his hobby.  He found such joy in the quarter or fifty cent items (treasures) he would pick up.  I will never forget the time he brought home a broken vacuum cleaner that someone just gave him.  He was so excited and said it was like "brand new".  Come to find out, all it needed was a new bag.  It worked great after that.  He use to love it when my sister would come to town and the 3 of us would go yard sailing.  He would have a baggie of change he would give us to buy what we needed.  He didn't want us spending our own money.  It made him so happy to see us excited to find a bargain.  So, this little Pyrex casserole dish might look like an ordinary dish, but to me it is special.  It hold more than food....it holds memories...

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Fun Packed Fun Filled Memorial Weekend

I had plans to watch Noah, Carter, Gray and Ivy on Saturday at my house while Steph went to Chicago for a bridesmaid dress fitting and Jeff had a project for work that day.  I also had plans to watch Abby & Jack for a few hours in the afternoon.  All week long I tried to think of how I would entertain the six grand kids and make it a memorable time.  I knew it was going to be HOT outside and water is always a big hit with kids.  So, I set out to the store on Friday during my lunch hour and found the perfect pool that is easy to set up and serves the purpose.  I got 6 noodles, 1 for each grandchild to play with also.  So, Friday night, Mike and I worked in the back yard, to get it grand kid ready.  Saturday morning, bright and early, Mike cranked up the air compressor and inflated the pool and we filled it up so the water would start warming up.  By 8:30 a.m., the 4 grand kids arrived and it was really too cold to swim, so they hung out being entertained by cartoons and after breakfast snacks.  We kept going outside to test the water and by 11:00, we determined that it was warm enough to jump in.  I hooked up our crazy sprinkler to add to the water excitement.  Gray was the first to test the pool, which shocked me, cause he usually doesn't like to get wet.  He was in and playing in no time and then Ivy, Noah & Carter followed shortly.  The noodles were a big hit (in a lot of ways)....and I had to stress that we do not hit in the head or face with them.....
Gray had a ball playing with our dogs, Halle & Lilly.  He was holding Halle and said to me "This is the best day of my Life".  It was a great day for Gray because he usually has an allergic reaction to the dogs, but this day, he was fine.  What a thrill for him to be able to love on them without sneezing and having a stuffy nose. 
Mike went to get pizza to bring back for lunch and by that time, Abby & Jack had arrived.  We all ate lunch and went back out to enjoy the pool.  Ivy wanted me to bring out the Dora kitchen so she could play, by filling up the sink with pool water and making grass soup.  They also enjoyed playing basketball by the pool.  I sat, when I got to sit and really enjoyed the cousins having so much fun in that little pool.  They kept saying it was the most fun at my house EVER!  It was one of the best $39.99 investments....Abby & Ivy ended up wanting to play in the house and dried off and got on their wedding dresses they always play dress up in.  Ivy wore the flower girl dress her mommy wore when she was her age.  They played in my jewelry box and had girl time.  When it was time to go home, they didn't want to leave and that makes me feel good.  Carter wanted to come back over to get in the pool.  Abby ended up staying another few hours so she could have more time to play with her cousins.  We took her home after she swam again. 
Then, Sunday morning, we picked my mom up and met Steph and her family for breakfast at Tate's, our favorite place, then went to the Riverwalk and the kids collected unique rocks to place on my dad's grave, where we would later go visit. 
We put flags on the grave.  It was so touching when Jeff, my other son (in-law), sat on the grass under the shade tree that shaded my dad's grave and he asked each child what they wanted to say to Poppal.  They each had the sweetest message to my dad.  It was a very touching time and day before Memorial Day.  We all had tears to wipe.  It is so moving to me to watch the great-grand kids paying their respect to their great grandfather and remembering the love he had for them.  He left such a lasting impact on their little lives.  Carter read the Army plaque that was on the back of his stone and his eyes got so big when he read that he was a Sargent in the Army.  My dad would have been so proud to have his family visit his stone and pay their respects.  We all parted ways after that.
We took mom home and Mike and I headed to the store to get our Memorial Day cookout food for just us 3.
Abby ended up spending the night with us on Sunday night, which was a treat for us.  We lost power on our block during the night and she woke up upset because her night light wasn't on.  Between that and being kicked periodically during the night, it was very eventful.  I ended up putting a pillow between us, so the pillow got kicked instead of me.  The next morning, Mike suggested going to breakfast at Steak & Shake.  So the 3 of us went and had the best breakfast.  I am a new fan of their breakfast items now.  We let Abby order what she wanted and she chose, an M&M milkshake, hot dog and Fry's.  And she enjoyed it!  I enjoyed the one on one time with her.  We then went across the street to Menard's to flower shop.  She helped me pick out annuals to plant in my pots.  When we got home we planted and sweated so bad, we got our swimsuits on and jumped in the pool afterwards.  Abby thought it was so funny that I would go swim with her.  She decided after a while she wanted to go inside and color and hang out until her daddy picked her up after work.  After she left, I gathered up the food to go cookout at my moms.  By that time it was cooler to crank up the grill.  I made shish-ka-bobs, corn on the cob and my delicious potato salad.  It was just Mike, Mom and I.  Everyone else had their own plans and that was ok.  We were invited to a cookout, but chose to just relax at my moms and be with her.  I really enjoyed my long weekend with everyone and so glad the pool was a big hit...

Role reversal

I never imagined that some day I would be the caregiver to my mom.  I never thought that she would be dependent on me.  I never thought that I would be her decision maker.  I have a HUGE responsibility and it scares me to death.  The past year and 3 months have been the most difficult time in my 55 years.  My dad was the decision maker for he and my mom.  He paid the bills, fixed the house problems and did a lot of the running to the store.  When my mom had to retire because of medical issues, he was her caregiver.  He took an early retirement so he could be more available for her.  There were a lot of lonely days for my dad because of moms hearing loss and problems, she was in and out of the bed and with my dad being a people person, he missed not being able to communicate.  It killed me, watching my mom go thru the dizzy spells and operation on her ear and losing her hearing.  She use to be an energetic mom who lived at the fitness center and always had a tan, when she wasn't working, trying to make a living for us.  We never wanted for anything.  We didn't ask for much.  She was the best cook around.  She taught us to keep a tidy house, cook and dress in style.  I remember times when she would sacrifice to give to others.  She was active in church in the ladies ministries and even sang in a ladies trio that travelled around.    She was the designated Christmas tree decorator in the church.  She hand crocheted bells for the tree.  Her and my dad were team leaders in peanut brittle making for fund raising at the church.  They must have sold 1,000 or more bags at their work.    My mom was and still is a classy lady.  She was my babysitter.  She never complained about babysitting after working long hours at her job.  She was always eager to see the grandkids and always had special treats for them. 
She still lives in the house that I grew up in.  I go over every morning on my way to work and make our breakfast and usually making another trip in the evening to take her dinner.  She made the comment that she needs to sell the house and move in assisted living.  I told her whatever she decides, we will support her decision.  We are in a limbo state of not knowing what the right answer is.  I admit, it gets very tiring running 2 households, but as long as Mike and I are able, we will be there for her.  She gave a lot to me, so the least I can do is give back to her. 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Carter is on a WINNING team! Da Bulls...

I was like a crazy lady standing and throwing arms up in the air when they came back from losing to winning....
My grandson, Carter, started playing on the Valparaiso American Little League Team "Bulls".  They had their 5th game last night and it was a nail biter.  We were losing 4 to 1 until the magic happened after Mia, the only girl on his team, caught a fly ball and then the mood changed and it gave the Bulls the energy they needed to come from behind and win the game.  Balls were flying and little people were running and the next thing we knew, we were ahead in the game.  The other team was last to bat and they still had a chance to score and win, but even though one walk was given, the next 3 up struck out....What a sweet win!  The Bulls are now at 5 wins and 0 losses.  He is on a great team.  I really admire his coaches because I never hear a voice raised and all I hear is encouragement.  And it's OK to strike out, cause if you swing and give it all you got, at least you tried.  I'm a very proud Mimi when I sit in my black bleacher chair....I know that Carter is loving what he's doing and he is a born baseball player.  GO BULLS!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Mother's Day 2012

Mother's Day started for me on Thursday night, May 10 with LTYM show my daughter, Steph directed and produced.  What a fun night it was, listening to the AMAZING ladies share their unique stories to a Sold Out Opera House.  I have never been so proud of my daughter.  Her stage presence is just jaw dropping amazing to me.  She commands an audience. 
The Mother's Day celebration continued the next night at grandson, Carter's baseball game with a Birthday Celebration for son-in-law Jeff afterwards at Valpo Velvet ice cream parlor.  I was given my gift that evening because we would not be together on Mother's Day.  Steph knows me like a book and knew I really wanted to go see the movie "Joyful Noise", so she gave me the DVD.  I love receiving movies as gifts.  She is so good for that! 
Saturday morning the celebration continued with Breakfast at our favorite hometown place, Tate's place.  My mom, hubby, Steph and I enjoyed a nice morning eating, before us 3 gals went to a nice spa to enjoy pedicures and manicures.  It was so special having both my mom and daughter sitting side by side enjoying such a fun time together.  I want to make it a yearly tradition...breakfast and ta taing...
Sunday, Mother's Day, I woke up to 2 beautiful cards from my 3 dogs.  Mike always has a way of being so thoughtful and since the dogs are our babies, he wanted me to know how much they appreciate the love and care I give them. 
I picked my mom up for church.  It was a great program which included a special service dedicated to us moms.  I got to see so many old friends.  After church, I decided to grill out at my moms, since we knew all the restaurants in town would be so crowded.  I had a taste for a good ole' burger.  I know with it being Mother's Day, the last thing I should have done is cook or work, but it's my nature to do it anyway.  It was a very simple lunch and with the help of my hubby, we pulled it together.  It was only the 3 of us.  Steph was out of town for the day (yay for her) and my son and his family were eating at his in-laws.  After a nice lunch, we just rested and enjoyed the quiet and peacefulness of the afternoon.  My brother, Randy called from Boise Idaho to wish my mom Happy Mother's Day and I got to talk to him and catch up on his life. 
We headed home in the early evening and as we pulled in our drive, my son drove up with his family.  They brought me a beautiful hanging basket of flowers.  It was my very first flower of the season, so I very happy.  They stayed and we had a great visit, watching the grand kids play. 
It was a GREAT Mother's Day, since it really started on that Thursday eve.  I am truly blessed with a family who loves me.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Battlefield of the Mind

I admit I am not an avid reader.  I received this book from my co-worker (my bosses wife) who is also my prayer partner.  She knows the struggles I have had in the past with some family issues.  I started reading and it has been my therapy.  I would highly recommend this book to anyone who has gone thru or is going thru a head war.  For years I have been trying to figure out how I can fix certain issues, but I learned that if I just give them to God and step back, he will fix them in his time.  The more I tried to fix them, the more it would backfire on me.  I literally had to throw my hands up in the air and give it to God.  He has larger shoulders than I do to carry it.  This book has ministered to me in a great way.  So, if you are struggling with a battlefield that's going on in your mind, read this book and expect a healing of the mind, like I am experiencing. 
I can feel my mind renewing after every chapter I read...

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Happy 3rd Birthday Jack Jack

Special Birthday Wishes to my Sweet, comical grandson, Jackson Kent.  He celebrated with his sister, mom & dad on his Birthday.  We will celebrate with the whole family on Saturday with a backyard cookout at his house.  Jack Jack has brought so much Joy to our family.  When he and his sister spent the night last Saturday night, he woke up with a frown on his face and said "mimi, I dreamed that a dinosaur was chasing me"  I told him it was only a dream and I would ask Jesus to take that memory away from him.  He smiled real big and said "ok, thank you Mimi".  Jack LOVES to eat when he comes to my house.  His favorite snack is fishy crackers and to get in the wooden cookie jar (that belonged to my mother-in-law).  I keep it fully stocked with their favorite fruit snacks.  When he saw that I got Thomas the train fruit snacks, he was so excited.  I love that he comes to my house and loves to explore and makes himself at home.  I got to thinking the other day that he just might be the last of my grandchildren.  I can't believe he's already 3!  HAPPY BIRTHDAY JACK JACK!!!!!!!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Jolly Rancher

I had the best weekend that started Friday eve. with a pizza / babysitting party at my moms.  I do a lot of babysitting at her house for Steph's kids because of dog allergies that Gray has when he stays too long at my house, and it gives my mom company and she gets to be with the kids and enjoy the festivities without leaving her lazy boy chair.  After dinner, Noah & Ivy went with me to Dairy Dip to pick up dessert.  When we got in the van, on the way, Noah, all smiles asked me if I liked Jolly Rancher candies.  Of course I said yes.  He pulled one out of his pocket and said "Here Mimi, I want you to have this Jolly Rancher"  He put it in my little tray by my cup holder and I told him that will be refreshing on my way home from work on Monday.  His smile was as big as ever.  He was so proud to give me something that I liked.  On the way, I handed him a $20 to hold for our ice cream.  Now, he was only sitting in his seat next to me and the trip was only about 1 mile away.  When I ordered and went to pay, he said he couldn't find the money.  He searched all his pockets and finally found it in the last of about 5 pockets.  I said "Noah, how do you manage to lose money sitting still in a seat for a few minutes"  He giggled.  I love this little guy.  He brings so much Joy to my world.  I will enjoy my jolly rancher on my way home today and think of Noah....

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Missing my sister

Last week was such a Blurr, but one thing I won't forget is how my sister became my nurse and with her tender loving care, brought me thru a storm. 
She ended up flying with my mom to bring her back home when I had to cancel my flight plans due to a colon infection and ulcerative colitis flare up.  My moms house was my hospital and Diane was my nurse.  I wasn't able to eat much and was trying to find foods that I could tolerate.  Diane made me a pot of her homemade chicken & dumplins and that was just what the dr. ordered.  After eating the first few bites, I felt the healing begin.  We spent each morning meditating and listening to Praise and Worship music, while Diane exercised on the bike, I relaxed on the comfy chair beside her.  I soaked in the positive energy I needed for my healing.  It was so comforting with my sister there.  I can't begin to explain how much better it was being there than in a hospital, which the dr. at one point was going to have me go.  I fought it and knew that I could heal better at my moms.  Company came and went thru the week and it was like I was being visited in the hospital.  I was able to get out some when I felt good enough and one of the highlights of the week was going to Marshall's with Diane, Steph and my mom.  We had a Pretty Women style show in the dressing room.  I found the perfect summer little black dress with a cute cover up to wear to 2 weddings this summer.   Diane found a whole new wardrobe and Steph found some good bargains also.  It was a great afternoon that started with lunch at Panera (love their cream of chicken & wild rice soup).  My mom who usually does not have the strength to shop, even shopped.  She had her walker to rest when her legs got tired.  We ended the trip by going by Designer Desserts to pick up a key lime pie cup cake to take home. 
So, thanks to Diane's chicken & dumplin's and lots of prayer, I am starting to feel like I am among the living again.  It might also have to do with the medication my dr. prescribed, but I do give God the Glory!  And I really Miss my Sister!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Happy Birthday Nate & Diane

Today is my son Nate's & Sister Diane's Birthday. When I found out I was expecting Nate, I had such a desire to have him on her Birthday, because She is so special to me. I went into labor on the evening of the 11th and he waited to be born the morning of the 12th. I can remember calling my sister to tell her she had a new Birthday nephew. She was so excited. I would like to wish them both a very Happy Birthday today and for God to pour out his blessings upon their lives.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Precious Moments

I worked in the 2nd Grade as a Teacher Assistant when my kids went to Elementary school. They also went to the school I worked at. It was the best Gig ever. I learned so much from the Special Teacher I worked with. "Dorothy Conry" had MS, but didn't let it stand in her way of being the best teacher she could be. She rode around in a "Putt Putt" as she called it, when her legs would not work. The kids thought this was awesome to have a teacher with such a special ride. I created all of her bulletin boards and walked around helping each child with their cursive writing and different activities. I also took reading groups to the Library and walked the class to their special classes. I was her legs and I was proud to be able to help her. She was in her early 40's when diagnosed with this horrible, crippling disease. Her husband left her. She had a son who would also abandon her later on. I had never in my life met a more positive person. I so admired her. She was in my Bunco Club with some other Teacher Assistants. She had a Precious Moments collection and a special Precious Moments Christmas tree that she kept up year round. We always loved meeting at her apartment for Bunco because we got to admire her tree, loaded down with her special ornaments.

She eventually had to take a medical retirement when the MS got so bad. She moved into a nursing home. She recently passed away from the MS and she had started to develop Alzheimer's. It was a sad day when I got the call that she had passed away. I went to her viewing along with a former Teacher Assistant.

Weeks later, I received a box in the mail from her sister-in-law. It was 2 Precious Moments ornaments with a special card. She said that when she was going thru Dorothy's belongings she came across a note with my name on it with some other names and it was in her box of Precious Moments ornaments. She knew Dorothy had wanted to make sure her special friends received her special ornaments to remember her by, so she mailed out 2 to each person on the list. I was so overwhelmed with emotion when I opened the box. It was just like Dorothy to be so organized and making sure her Precious Moments would carry on their special meaning. I will make sure that when I hang them on my tree this year, they will hang in the very front, so when I see them, I will remember my Precious Co-worker, mentor, teacher, but most of all, my friend. A Precious Moment I will keep in my heart forever. R.I.P sweet friend.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Daydream Believer

I have been a daydreamer since I was in Jr. High School. I attribute that to being an average student. My mind would wander a lot to far off places or what I was going to do after school or that weekend, to what I was going to wear the next day to school. I even remember picturing eating a yummy cheese pizza at my favorite place, "Woolworth" where my sister and I would go sometimes on our lunch hour in Elementary school. It was safe back then to walk down the street.

Now to explain the pictures of shells and sand. I have been many times to accompany my sister at her work conference at Heavenly Sandestin Beach, Florida. We called it our "Sister Vacation". Her husband gave up his chance to go, so I could go in his place. He doesn't really like the heat, sand and beach, so it's not an enjoyable place for him. He knows how important it is for the Sisters to spend time together, and I thank him for that.

I collected the sand, shells, giraffe drink stirrer, and this special rock that says "Grace" in this special glass from the beach. It sits on my desk at work within view. I remember the day the rock was found. My great niece was swimming in the ocean with me and she found it in the water and gave it to me. That little rock means so much to me. Sometimes I drift off and stare at my shrine of sand and I am actually sitting under the beach umbrella, sipping my cold beverage, toes in the hot sand and watching the breathtaking waves. I am snapped back to reality as soon as the phone rings, or someone needs my help with something. I must say that I go to that place almost every day. I even go to the website of the hotel we stayed at "Hilton Sandestin" and click on the live web cam that shows the 2 outdoor pools, spas and beach. I am there. Disconnected from my daily routine at my desk. I can smell the ocean breeze and feel the sand between my toes. I picture myself laying my towel down on a lounge chair to save it.

This summer, my sister will go again, but this time her husband will join her, and that's OK with me. I just cherish the time I had the past Summers. I can daydream and I'm there.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Happy 5th Birthday Princess Abigail

Today is my grand-daughter's 5th Birthday. She is a princess and fashionista. Her world is a fairy tale. I've never seen a little girl who loves to play dress up like Abby. I asked her what she wanted for her Birthday and she told me she REALLY wanted a Jasmine outfit. Well, the Disney store does not have them in stock, so I ordered her the outfit, shoes and jewelry to match. She will be so excited to open it up when we celebrate her Birthday at her party on Saturday. She's having a movie party with my other grand kids. We are going to see "The Lorax" then coming back to my house for cake and ice cream. Should be a fun celebration! I called her this morning to sing Happy Birthday to her and she told me about waking up to a new purple and pink bike with balloons. She asked her mommy if she is still getting the Jasmine outfit. She really wanted it. It's so hard to wait until her party to give it to her. I love my little Abby so much and wish her the Happiest Birthday ever! She is a BLESSING!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Aunt Nina, A flawless Rose

These are special crocheted roses made with Love by my Special Aunt Nina. They are pins to wear. I love receiving hand made things from her. I cherish these so much. When I think of my Aunt Nina, I think of a rose. She is perfect in my eyes. I have watched her blossom and grow as I grew up, and I am in awe of what she endured and seeing the strength she had, makes me admire her that much more. Growing up, we would spend our vacations in West Virginia visiting Grand-parents, Aunts, Uncles & Cousins on both sides of my family. My moms mom, Grandma Riddle was helping out my Aunt Nina in raising her 2 children, Michael & Vicky, while she held down several jobs, trying to put food on the table and pay the bills. They all lived together. I remember when we would visit, my Aunt Nina would come in from working nights and go to bed on the couch, because she would give up her bed for who ever needed one. I remember her having to ride the bus where ever she needed to go because she never got her driver's license. It was a treat when we would be there because my dad would drive her to work and to the store. She always provided for her children and mom. She always put them before herself. I think if I had to think of one person in my family who sacrificed for their children, it would have to be my Aunt Nina. I can remember when some of my cousins needed clothes or supplies for school, she bought them what they needed. She was a single mom, barely surviving herself, but when she knew of someone in need, she always stepped up and was there. You know the saying "He would give you the shirt off his back"? Well, she actually did give the shirt off her back, many times. I feel so blessed because my Aunt Nina named me when I was born. I have always loved my name, and it made her happy to know that. My Aunt Nina is multi-talented. Her daughter, Vicky, is following in her footsteps. This picture was taken during the week of my dad's funeral last February. My Aunt Nina rode the train to come and stay with my mom for one week. She is on the left side, my sister Diane, me, daughter Steph, brother Randy and mom seated. Everyone says I resemble her more. She brought so much comfort to us during this time. We adore her. She will be making another train trip this spring or summer and I can't wait. Everyone should have an Aunt Nina...I feel so blessed to have her in my life....

Monday, February 27, 2012

My sisters gentle touch

I cherish this picture of my Sister and myself. It was taken last week when she came home for a visit. She was so excited to wake up to fresh snow 3 mornings while she was home. This morning, I had to go to work and she was out building a little snowman on the porch of moms house. I wish now that I would have taken the time to build one with her. It was the best week. I took a few vacation days to spend as much time with her as possible. I spent the nights with her and mom. It was like a week long slumber party. I'm so glad I have an understanding husband. My sister and I use to share a canopy bed while growing up. We shared a bed while she was here. We both had to wear ear plugs because of all the snoring that goes on. I told her that she is a prim and proper snorer, while I am a bulldozer snorer. One night I guess I was snoring extra loud and it filtered through her ear plug and she gently touched my arm to have me turn over. Her touch reminded me of the night when our dad had passed away and I was secretly crying on my pillow, but she knew it and gently touched my arm and I immediately felt comforted. We have a sister bond that I am so thankful for. She's my rock. I miss her terribly.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

No more balloons

I am turning over a new leaf this year. You see, I've had this sickness that I think every Birthday party requires balloons. I stress over this and my sister thinks I'm nuts. I guess I've always thought that a party isn't a party without some balloons. My favorite party store closed down last year and left me trying to find another place to get balloons for a reasonable price. I was in mourning when they closed. When we were decorating for my dad's 80th Birthday party last year I was insistent on getting balloons. My sister laughed at me. She understands my sickness. I overstress and sweat the small stuff. While my sister has been visiting this week we talked about my balloon sickness. She kept repeating "No More Balloons". As my grand kids are growing up I would be the one to bring the balloons to the party. But, I am turning over a new leaf and hanging up my balloon sickness. No one else cares, so why should I? You spend that money and within hours they shrink or pop. I'm making less stress in my life. No More Balloons!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Happy 11th Birthday Noah Jeffrey Precourt!

Today we celebrate my First born, Grandson, Noah's 11th Birthday. It is so hard to believe that 11 years ago today, I was standing in the hallway of the hospital awaiting the news that our first grandson would be born. Jeff ran out of Steph's room where she had just delivered and yelled to the world that he had a "ball player". The feeling I had was overwhelming Joy.
Noah has a permanent Smile on his face. He's like a ray of sunshine when he walks in a room. I love him to the moon and back.
We will celebrate his Birthday on Saturday night at my mom, his Great Mommal's house. His Great Aunt Diane will be in town and will celebrate with us, as well as his other Grandparents.
Happy Birthday Sweet Noah!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Remembering today

The 23rd Psalm
The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want.He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:He leadeth me beside the still waters.He restoreth my soul:He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name' sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,I will fear no evil: For thou art with me;Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies;Thou annointest my head with oil; My cup runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,and I will dwell in the House of the Lord forever. Amen.

1 year ago today at 4:15 p.m. in a cozy room called "The Land Deck Room" at the Arthur B. and Ethel V. Horton Hospice center in Valparaiso, Indiana, my precious Mother, stood over my dad's bedside and quoted this scripture. As soon as she said the last line, my dad drew his last breath and the Angels carried my dad up to Heaven. It was a Peaceful Home going for him. My mother did not miss a word. Her voice was flawless. She gave my dad, her soul mate permission to leave this earth. She knew his body was tired and it was time. She led the way for him and handed him over to the Angels awaiting to usher him into the Heaven that he talked so much about. What a beautiful, precious, peaceful, sad, tearful time this was for everyone standing around his bedside. He waited for all of his loved ones to get there before leaving. He loved everyone, he loved life, but his biggest desire was to make Heaven his home. Welcome home dad.

Friday, February 10, 2012

1 year ago

One year ago today, we were on our way to pick my sister up from the airport. She was coming home for our dad's 80th Birthday Celebration. Dad didn't know it at the time that we were having him a big Birthday party with close friends and family. I wanted it to be a surprise, but a little voice inside said to tell him about his party. So, after Diane got there and we were all sitting around, I told him about his party and that it would be at the Mission Church down the street from his house. He loved that little church and the Pastor and his wife were so gracious to open their doors to us, with no charge to use their hall. Dad was so excited, he started calling people and inviting them to his party. I told him that I had already invited close friends and family. He wanted to help and go to the store with Diane and I, but it was snowing and we told him to stay in and we would handle everything. We didn't want him getting out and taking a chance on falling on the ice. Diane and I headed to the store to pick up the Birthday cake and balloons. I am a balloon person and think it's very important to have balloons at a party. I knew my dad loved balloons. I found one that said "older than dirt" he loved it. I also wanted to find an iron on #80 to put on a shirt I bought him. After we got back home, I snuck in to work on his shirt, which he would open up at his party and put on. Who would have known that he would have that shirt on while riding in the ambulance to the hospital hours later that night.

He watched me bake cookies from his comfy lazy boy. He wanted to be the first one to taste one. I will never forget the smile from ear to ear on his face. He was so excited about his party and watching us prepare for it. He was the first to arrive to his party. He was amazed at the decorations and got him a seat and awaited the guests arrival. I served him a plate of pizza and munchies and he said it was the best pizza. Who would have known it would be his last meal. He told jokes and stories to everyone sitting around him. I heard some that I was hearing for the first time. We lit the candles on the beautiful cake and he blew it out. My grand-daughter, Ivy cried because she didn't get to blow it out. My dad said "light those candles again and let that baby blow it out" and she did. He enjoyed his cake. Being diabetic he watched his sweets, but this night he didn't watch it. He may have known that it didn't matter now that he eat a big piece of cake. He opened up his gifts and we all had lots of laughs. Sherry, a family member, brought her karaoke machine and we sang and had a fun time. Dad was clapping his hands and really enjoying all the singing. I wish now that someone would have video taped the party, but we did get lots of pictures. I had gotten a large cupcake pillow with a candle that all the guests signed and it sang Happy Birthday. He held it tight to his chest after we got home that night. Who would have known that we would be burying that pillow with him days later.

It all still seems like a bad dream. It was like my world stopped. My dad would never walk down the hallway again to greet me in the mornings when I would stop before work for coffee. His chair across from me sits empty.

Tomorrow we will celebrate what would have been his 81st Birthday. I got a cupcake heart cake. The grandkids will blow out candles and we will sing. We will remember my dad & Poppal. He will be smiling down & probably having a big Birthday party in Heaven.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Feb. 3, Friday Random Thoughts

**I want to go back to this hairstyle

**I decided to stop coloring my hair

**I have lots of grey, but it's OK

**I love jelly beans

**I want to hold a newborn baby

**I love to make people happy

**Olive Garden upset me last night

**I love having dinner out with Mike

**I'm thankful for a great Boss

**I am happy when it snows

**I love our new dogs, Lilly & Halle

**I quit going on diets, cause they don't work for me

**I have been on a green olive craving spree lately

**I will see my sister in 2 weeks

**I miss my grand kids

**I love finding coins on the ground (money from heaven)

**My dads 1 year anniversary in heaven is coming up

**Time is going way too fast to keep up

**I love having coffee and breakfast with my mom every morning

**Did I say I love jelly beans? Cause I'm chewing on them now

**I must have the t.v. on to fall asleep in bed

**I need a personal chef

**I want to rock babies in the hospital nursery

**I can't wait til Celebrity Apprentice is on, Feb. 12.

**I like Michelle Duggar

**I want to see Bon Jovi in concert

**I found the best fitting jeans ever at Lane Bryant, I live in them

**I'm proud of my daughter's talent to knit

**I love wearing sweatshirts on weekends

**I don't watch the Superbowl, just halftime and commercials

**I can't wait for some sister time in 2 weeks

**I would love to retire some day to the Smokey Mountains in Tennessee

**I love to go to Lake George and feed the ducks

**I love Sunday morning breakfast with Mike and Mom

**I would like to have more family gatherings with my kids and grand kids

I could go on and on with my thoughts....thanks for tuning in.....

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A favorite Christmas gift

I don't usually mention things I want for Christmas. I happened to say that I really really wanted some soup mugs. I like eating cereal or soup out of a mug rather than a bowl. My darling daughter, Steph gave me this special mug for Christmas. It is from the "Friends" Central Perk. I LOVE it. It's gotten a lot of use already and I handle it with loving care. I don't like to let it sit in the sink dirty. I usually wash it right away and put it in it's safe spot until next use. It's the little things in life that bring me joy.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

What's on my mind?

A favorite Christmas gift from Steph & Jeff were tickets to see our favorite group, Celtic Woman. Believe is a new concert which we have seen on t.v. but not live. We have been to 3 of their concerts and were amazed each time at their angelic voices. The neat part is, the concert is on Mike's birthday, March 31 in Chicago. The way Steph had us open them was so clever. She wrapped my ticket inside a Coach wrist let(which I love) and Mike's was in a book on a certain page. She had us open at the same time. She puts a lot of thought into her gifts and we were so happy to receive.


I still have my Christmas tree up. It's in a corner, not in the way. I usually take it down before Steph's Birthday, Jan. 8, but this year I enjoyed looking at it longer. I guess it's time to take it down, maybe by the weekend.


Since my dad passed away, almost 11 months now, our routine on weekends are usually spent with my mom and taking her out for breakfast or dinner. It's been nice hanging out with my hubby and her. I appreciate my hubby so much in helping me and her with her household duties that needs a mans touch. Years ago my weekends were consumed with church activities (without my husband) and now it's consumed in a new way. I'm loving spending time with Mike and doing things with him and helping my mom at the same time.


I'm trying to cook new things, especially what my husband likes. I have been eating less chicken and trying to like fish. Mike will not eat chicken. He loves fish, so I am starting to like tilapia. As long as it's a white fish, I can eat it. We are trying to eat healthier and not having so much junk food in the house. I'm proud of Mike for choosing grapes as one of his snack foods. I was really proud of myself lately, for making a copy cat version of an Apple bee's recipe. Mike had ordered Cajun seasoned Tilapia over rice and corn & black bean salsa. It was on the Weight Watcher's menu. I googled it and found the recipe and made it. It did call for quite a few ingredients but once you make the seasoning, you have it for next time. It makes a lot. He said it tasted just like Apple bee's....Mission accomplished! I served it with steamed broccoli and we had a healthy, delicious meal.


I would like to spend more time with my grand kids this year. I would like to take my grand-daughter's, Abby & Ivy to get their nails done. I would like to take the grand-son's somewhere fun for boys. The cousins don't get to spend much time together and I would love to change that. I have such great memories as a child spending time with my cousins and I have remained close to many of them.


I am loving that we rescued 2 of the most loving, playful doxie dogs, Lilly & Halle. They have changed the mood in the house so much. Our 16 year old doxie, Hanker Boy, tolerates them pretty well. We don't look for him to last much longer. But he's a tough dog. For once, Mike has not only 1 lap dog, but 2. It was meant for them to come and live with us. They remind us of the possums in the movie Ice Age. We got them each a long stuffed toy for Christmas and now our living room floor is covered with white stuffing from the toys. They are so happy to see us when we come home from work. Halle jumps up about 3 feet and Lilly runs to get her toy. They are our little girls.


I started playing Words with Friends on Face book a while back and have 20 games going on now. It's hard to keep them going without getting behind. I find myself waking up at night going to the computer to play a word. I do enjoy it and it keeps your mind active.


So, this is what's on my mind today along with a zillion other things. Sorry if I bored you. I really am trying to Blog more often. And read other blogs. I want to get my old self back again, before my dad's death. It's been a hard year for me. I'm just glad I have my friends and family to lift me up. It will get better. So, what's on your mind?

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Happy 35th Birthday Steph!

Today is a very special day. It's Stephanie Ruth (Wilson) Precourt day. 35 years ago today a beautiful baby girl with thick black hair was born. My world would never be the same. Where have the years gone?
Growing up, Steph would choose her Birthday cake right after Christmas. Our tradition was "Baskin Robbins" Birthday cake. She had all the favorite characters through-out her childhood. Her favorite flavor was peanut butter & chocolate. We did do some chocolate chip also.

We celebrated her 35th as a family on the 6th. We had a delicious steak dinner at one of our favorite places in town. Kelsey's Steakhouse. We sat in a very comfy, private area and if the kids wanted to get loud, it didn't bother anyone. I looked around at the L shaped table and was trying to soak up my family...MY family. My 2 children, their spouses AND my 6 beautiful, healthy grand kids. And of course my hubby too. I could have sat their without having a bite to eat, just enjoying the moment of everyone getting together to celebrate their mom, wife, sister, Aunt, daughter's birthday. I have a permanent photo in my mind.

Abby & Gray wanted to sit by me, so I sat between them. I noticed that the closer Abby got to me, Ivy wanted a piece of me too. She wandered over and sat on one leg while we were waiting for our meal. Then Abby sat on the other leg. What a feeling, to have both of my precious grand-daughters on my lap. They giggled and had their own conversation. Ivy said to Abby "do you want to wear our white dresses when we go back to Mimi's house"? I have 2 white flower girl dresses that they love to play dress up in. They never fight over which one they want to wear. It's the cutest thing. After dinner, we all gathered back to my house for dessert. Steph has switched from Baskin Robbins to Designer Dessert cupcakes.

It's the happening place for Birthday Celebrations or any day of the week if you have a sweet tooth. I got a variety of flavors, since it is so hard to choose. We always cut them in half and everyone gets to try their favorite. The adults favorite was the Red Velvet Cake with cream cheese icing. I think it's my new favorite one now. I use to really like the coconut cream.

We sang Happy Birthday and enjoyed the rest of the evening. The cousins played and had a great time running around after the sugar high.

It was a great evening celebrating a special Birthday. She is a busy Birthday girl, getting to celebrate 3 days in a row with friends and other family. I see great things ahead for Steph. She deserves it! Happy Birthday Sweet Daughter. I love you, Mom