Monday, January 31, 2011

This and That

School is out Tuesday...the storm is on it's way...the weathermen say! The amount of snow and ice remains to be seen! There is a huge range of possibilities of what is to come! And what can you do? Dig out the shovels ! It also means settle in and make a list of things "To Do". I stocked up on the eggs, milk, and bread, I have laundry to do, I have bathrooms to clean, I have income tax info to get ready.


Tonight I made a great can find the recipe on Linda's blog at Prairie Flower Farm. It's called Cinnamon Apple Pecan Crumb Bar. It was so easy and so good.

Tomorrow is February 1 and I'm so happy about that. The snowmen will now be packed up and it's time to bring out the pink and red for Valentine's Day! February gets me thinking Spring and I know it's not. We have a huge storm coming but my mind always transfers to Springy hopes when February comes.

I've also told myself that come February 1, I need to think about some exercise. I go to the Y but haven't been as consistent as I need to be. My fam is all talking about getting in shape, losing some winter pounds, a new diet, cutting out this or that, having to put on a swimsuit for the cruise. My girls are looking at swimsuits to buy and about getting a spray tan. My husband's saying is "tanned fat is better than white fat". Thank you very much dear!

Well, it's bedtime now...past my bedtime actually....but that's okay....I get to sleep in! YIPPEE!
Can't wait to hear how the storm treats your neck of the woods! Stay warm!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Welcome Phoebe

Phoebe came to visit today. She chewed on my shoes, chewed on my afghan, chewed on my hair, chewed on my hands and tinkled on my floor twice. She has extremely sharp, razor-like puppy teeth. 

Then she went home. 

I think she's precious. Lace thinks I get her too excited. She says I make her FEROCIOUS. She's a puppy and does she look ferocious to you?

Sorry about my pics (I'm still trying to find the right settings on my she didn't sit and pose for me!)

We have another winter storm predicted for Monday and Tuesday! We still have "some" snow left on the ground but I think it sounds like there could be more to shovel.  I don't think the Groundhog needs to bother watching for his shadow on Wednesday. It is sounding like 6 more weeks of winter already!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Happy Birthday Kansas!

Kansas is 150 years old today...they call that a Sesquicentennial !  We had our annual 3rd grade parade of floats at school on's a big 3rd graders that is! :0)

 Friday was a beautiful day here in eastern Kansas...after a lot of snow and very cold temps, we hit the 50 degrees today. It was wonderful and almost... almost made you think it was spring! We took Grandma out for a ride in the wheelchair and she loved it. We all did actually! 
 And then tonight we were driving home from Darb's basketball tourney and Haley snapped the prettiest sunset. (Ignore the dates on pictures!)

And then we got home and Lace called....I have a "GrandPuppy" ! I'm so excited! Lace is a little... uh... ummmmm... uh... ummmmm... IMPULSIVE shall we say.  This puppy was on it's way to be euthanized....and she couldn't bear it. This is what she is telling me so of course I can't bear it either. (I wonder if she is embellishing?) Well, I met Phoebe and she is so cute. She bites, chews, growls, barks, and tinkles on the floor. She is part black lab and part schnazer. Didn't I just write in a post a few days ago (Monday, January 24th to be exact) about the kids bringing home animals? Oh well, this one has to live at THEIR house. I'll just puppysit! Pictures to come soon! 

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Happy 81st Birthday Dad...

Today my Dad would have turned 81...
My Mom and Dad's 56th anniversary would have been 3 days ago as well. 
My Dad passed away of a sudden heart attack standing in his bathroom July 3 at the age of 80. 

 He was rarely sick, never in the hospital, and I can count on one hand how many times he went to the doctor.

He did not like to talk about himself, his family, his growing up.We had to drag any info out of him or seek out info from relatives. His mother passed away during childbirth with him and he never once spoke to me about it. He just wouldn't. His dad and his dad's brother and wife raised him. His Aunt passed away when he was young in a house fire. He was left with 2 men to raise him. They were not the most physically loving, huggy, kissy men. They ran a bait shop. I often think that their lives would have been a great movie. When my parents married, they lived with the 2 elderly men. I can only imagine how my mom must have felt! My grandpa died and Mom and Dad were left to care for Uncle Bill. My Dad was also the caretaker of his Dad's and Uncle's widowed sister as well.

I can't imagine never having a mother present your whole life. I can't imagine never seeing or touching or talking to your mom. Being a mom, I understand the things my dad missed out on. I can't even begin to list them for fear of the flood of tears. I know that my dad must have grown up very fast. He must of had to learn many things on his own. He was a do-it-yourself man, could make anything, fix anything and loved "projects." My kids know his famous line to them was, "I need a project to do for you." You should see his garage and his basement. It is full. He was extremely organized and a perfectionist. He was a coin collector and his collection is perfection. He polished for hours. He did leather work and could make the most beautiful saddles. He knew the value of a dollar and he appreciated it and was very smart with his money. He did not have 1 or 2 of anything...he had 20 or 30. He grew up in the Depression and therefore never wasted anything. I learned at a young age to take as much food at supper time that I wanted, but I always cleaned my plate.  
He loved being a grandpa and his 4 grandchildren were probably what he was most proud of. No, not probably...they were. They knew they each got to hear certain stories over and over from him and they were used to it!
Every year I made him his favorite cake....German Chocolate with the Betty Crocker Coconut Icing. Certainly NOT my favorite...but his! It was a tradition...same present every year for Dad at Christmas....
 flannel shirt and Old Spice....they will forever remind my family of my Dad!

Since losing a parent, I'm finding the "firsts" of events kind of hard....first Thanksgiving without him, first Christmas without Dad, first anniversary to not celebrate with them, and now first birthday to not bake him a cake. I'm going to believe that is will get somewhat easier. I hope it does. But "remembering" and having memories is a blessing. 

And so today....I'm thinking of my Dad.
Happy Birthday Dad...we love you!!!!!!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Good Grief Charlie Brown!

 #1 Pathetic
#2 Spoiled Rotten
#3 Breaking Rules
#4 I forbade my children from bringing home any more animals....I get too attached! They do not listen! They bring them as babies and it's hard to say NO!
#5 I'm trying not to be attached!
 #6 That is MY bed!
#7 When Winter is over, she must stay outside!

He Practiced What He Preached!

Jack LaLanne, the seemingly eternal master of health and fitness who first popularized the idea that Americans should work out and eat right to retain youthfulness and vigor, died Sunday. He was 96.

 I heard the news this morning when I was getting ready for school. Then when I got to school I was getting ready for the day and had my TV on and listened again as they spoke of him. I thought to myself, "Now that man really led a "healthy" life...good for him!" After school I went to visit my mom and we were watching the news and they were speaking of him again and they played a clip of him being interviewed. I was just about ready to head home and fix something to eat for my son and I (everyone else wouldn't be home till later). I was thinking of making some big ole' heaping, juicy, greasy burritos with some left over pumpkin cake smeared with whipped cream! As I standing up to kiss my mom goodbye, I heard Jack say in his quote something to the effect...."With Exercise as the king, nutrition as the've got a kingdom here to live in!" Oh brother....just what I needed to hear! I got in my cold car, crunched through the ice and went in to the YMCA and walked a few miles on the treadmill! Talk about a guilty conscience! Here's to you Jack!

A kingdom here on Earth of living good, living healthy, living by the Word, living FOR the Lord.
An even more awesome, perfect kingdom to come in Heaven WITH the Lord!

To live to be 96 is amazing to me! I don't know if I could or even want to... that's not up to me! That is all part of God's wonderful perfect plan! But I guess doing what you can to stay healthy in the present is a pretty good idea! I have Grandbabies to consider that I want to spoil one of these days!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad....

Today is my parent's wedding day. They would have been married 56 years today.  My dad passed away 6 months ago. My mom is 74 and  suffering from the disease of Alzheimers. They spent 55 years together living on the same corner of 6th and Lincoln.
My mom grew up a true hardworking farm girl. She and her siblings rode their horses to school and mom would turn him around, slap him on his behind and he would head for home where my grandma would be waiting at the gate. 
My dad's mom passed away during childbirth with him. His dad and his uncle raised him in a house on that corner with a bait shop for their income. My parents met at a skating rink and my mom was 19 when they wed. When my parents married, my mom moved in and my parents cared for my dad's dad and uncle until they both passed away. I remember that house and my grandpa and great uncle and how little they had or wanted. When I was 10, my parents tore down the house and the bait shop and we built a new house on that corner.

I'm thinking of them today. I'm remembering all the happy, all the good, and the commitment of vows, "in good times and in bad....till death due us part". 

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Snow Day!!'s another snow day! Snow started on Wednesday about 1:30 p.m. and snowed through the night. We got the call last night and I did my "Snow Day" dance! So what does a person do with a free day off? Well, laundry, dishes, pay bills, bake, cook....for starters! January is flying by thanks to Snow Days! January is usually my toughest month Mentally! But good's getting close to February! I really enjoy reading blogs where bloggers are having sunshiney warm weather. It gets me thinking about Spring!

Income Tax Time is upon us and it's time to dig out all the paperwork and begin the process of filling in the numbers. Are you ready to tackle it?

Friday, January 14, 2011

Madden Winter Survival Plan

It's booked and we're going! We are heading to the Caribbean for Spring Break!  And it's what is getting us through this cold Kansas winter.  Rodney and I have been on a cruise for our 10th anniversary and then the fam went a couple of years ago and decided "Oh yea...let's definitely do this again!" I spent months getting in the mood for that cruise watching old reruns of  "The Love Boat", researching the islands and saving change! If I get asked, "Where's your favorite place on Earth?", I always answer "Put me on a Caribbean beach!" We will set sail from San Juan, Puerto Rico and head to 5 different islands. We are pumped and so excited. 

Here's a familiar little tune for you to hum along!

Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale,
A tale of a grateful trip
That started from this tropic port
Aboard this mega ship.

The mate was a mighty sailing man,
The skipper brave and sure.
Five passengers set sail that day
For a seven day tour, a seven day tour.

The weather started getting warm,
The ship was totally full,
If not for the courage of the fearless crew
The minnow would be lost, the minnow would be lost.

The ship set port by the shore of this exquisite lovely isle
With Gilligan
The Skipper too,
The son in law and his wife,
The baby girl
The horseman and Haley Beth,
Here on Royal Caribbean. 

 Barbados, St. Lucia, Antigua, St. Maarten, St. Croix

Each person has started a "change jar"....souvenirs! I'm saving my extra duty money from school. Santa filled Christmas stockings with Bath and Body Tropical lotions to get us in the mood. And Momma is going to make the countdown poster. 
If you have never cruised....I'm going to go out on a limb and say you'll love it (unless you don't like water and/or you don't like might not be so great!) There is FOOD 24 hours a day!!!  And I'll also put a plug in for Royal Caribbean Cruiseline...AWESOME! 

My favorite part of the ship honestly is just sitting on the top deck listening to the Reggae band playing, having my lounge chair facing the ocean waters and just staring and appreciating all of God's wonder! Aaaahhhhh! 

Be prepared...lots of pics from 2 years ago. 

Music playing all day...all night!

Ahhhhhh....calmness....Darb calls this her "Escape from Life" HA!

This was in Jamaica...should we just swim over to the boat?

Daddy and Darb....relaxing and kickin' back!

Can I retire and just do this?

Darb getting her hair braided...

Jamaican Fun!

Heading back to ship!

 Formal Dining!

 Room Service ! We go as cheap as we can on the rooms....small and cozy! 2 - 3 in a room...we actually don't spend a lot of time in the room...just sleep, shower, dress and out the door!

More food!

 Let's go get a snack!

 Muster Drill...

 Captain's Party...

 Grand Cayman white sand!

An early morning sunrise!

So when I look out at all the snow, or go out and freeze to gather wood for the fireplace, or smear more lip balm on because my lips are so chapped, or put on another sweatshirt to bear the chill, or make another pot of hot steaming soup.....I sometimes catch myself grinning a little thinking about the sun, sand, and blue water and then I'm better! 

And so....I'm wondering...where on this beautiful Earth is your favorite place to dream about...that "feel good" place OTHER THAN HOME?
Because after all..."There's no place like home!" (I'm a Kansas girl!)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Grab My Button!

I have a button....and NO I did NOT make it! Are you kidding? That would make jaws drop! Miss Darb made it for me! I think I told her I would hire her to make me one! 16 year olds like spending money/gas money! HA! they say in blogland..."Grab My Button!"

Blessed Mom's Simple Home Giveaway

There is the sweetest lady named Marcia over yonder at Blessed Mom's Simple Home and you have got to get over and visit her beautiful blog and sign up for a great giveaway.

 CSN Stores has graciously offered to give one of my sweet friends
a $65.00 gift certificate!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Another Snow Day....Yippee!

 Cozy night at home last night...settled in with a fire and watched a football game and watched the snow. And someone (hairy, spoiled, who walks on 4 legs) got to come inside for the night. But she is NOT allowed on my furniture! So what does Lace do...curls up with her on my afghan!

 Not funny Lace!!

 Outside this morning...pretty blue skies....but cold cold cold!!!!
 Deer tracks came right up to the house....must have been nibbling on my bushes. Last night when Blake and Lace walked home they said a little mouse was trying to run through the snow...can't you just see it...trying to run across the top but sinking down into the inches of it all! Poor thing!
 Although it is very very cold and snowy out....Spring is on it's way...and beneath all that white stuff there are roots surviving and ready to let some new shoots burst above the ground soon. Doesn't that thought just get your blood pumping thinking about new growth, beautiful colors, mowing the grass? Okay....I'll stop....back to WHITE reality out there.

This week, I got this in the mail and I got a little excited thinking about brown rich dirt to till and dig in and plant in!

 Fresh fruit anyone? How about sittin' outside with a juicy watermelon slice....spittin' seeds!
 Or some really yummy smellin' herbs! Aaaahhhh...cilantro! I'm dreaming about you! I won't have to stand in the aisle at the grocery store and smell it and have people stare at me....and my daughters say, "Mom, stop it!"  Or what about some ruby red radishes!!

How about some ripe, green, crisp vegetables! Freshly snapped green beans, onions, and new potatoes boiling in a pot for supper?
I think I'll start planning my garden and draw it out and make it look fancy smancy on paper.  It won't end up looking like that but isn't "planning" half the fun? So as pretty as the white fluffy stuff is out there, I still think about the green stuff ever so often!

Is Spring and Gardening creeping into your mind yet?