Monday, November 16, 2009

Stepping Back into the Blog-Mobile

Hi my family and friends,
All is well. Wish I would have been blogging more. Thought about it just about every day. So much in my mind right now, so much I'd like to write about. But for now, I'm just going to share a couple of things I found while going through some papers.

the first.....from Megan, at about age 9 ~

It's a little hard to read, but I love her little girl handwriting.

It's titled:


(and I'll write them just as Meggie did)

1. Ask if they've lost weight.
2. Keep your room clean.
3. Do chores they didn't ask you to.
4. Feed, water, a take the dog out.
5. Do my chores very well.
6. If they're tired & your hungry make your own food.
7. Don't talk to them when they're getting dressed or going to the bathroom.
8. Watch Josh.
9. If they're not in the mood to cook you cook.
10. Love them.

I just love this. I've always loved cooking for my family, but obviously when Meggie wrote this, I might have just had enough of the kitchen for awhile. #1 cracks me up. And #7 is still true. And she has #10 down pat. She's a winner at #10. As far as #2? Well, we all need something to work on.

Ok, this next tidbit is from some daily ramblings I was keeping in my Franklin Planner. This is from Monday, October 25, 1999. Meg would have been 10 years old. This is the beginning of what I wrote that night:
".....sitting with Meg on the couch tonight. Meg says, "Mom, do I have issues?" I asked, "What are issues?" (wondering what her concept of them were) She says, "No clue. But Dad says I do."
And, at the end of that journal entry, I was writing how Kelly was in New Jersey for some training and how much we were missing him. He had called that night, and Josh just couldn't wait to talk with him on the phone. (he was six) I thought it was so sweet. Josh got on the phone, and asked, "Dad? What color hair does your roommate have?" Kelly told him that his hair was black. Josh was completely satisfied. I wrote that "it's funny to see how Josh's mind works".

(And you know what? ...ten years later, it still is.)


And another treasure found.....again from a six-year-old Josh.

He used to love to draw. He drew his family a lot. And many times, Jesus would be amongst us.

I absolutely love this. Yes, Josh, Jesus is real. And what a good reminder this picture is of keeping him as the center of our family.
(and by the way, I think Dad and I are looking pretty snazzy here)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

What are YOU doing this second???

It is now 9 seconds after 9:09 am. on 09/09/09.

9:09:09 on 9/09/09. I don't know have anything profound to say about this, except I think it is cool.

Monday, July 13, 2009

My 200th Post!

Awwww, Meggie, I miss you.

Love to Megan

I have been wanting to blog a little about my Meggie.
She has been an absolute gift in my life.
She turned 20 years old on June 24th, while out at BYU-Idaho, and I missed her so much. I sent out a package and called and sang to her, but it's not the same as spending the day with your birthday child.
I am so blessed to be her mom. We have the longest and best talks. We used to do that on my bed when she was home, now it's on the phone. Usually about 12 or 12:30 at night. (hate the time change between Virginia and Idaho, but when she calls, I want to talk with her) We still laugh, fix the big problems, complain about the little ones, (or maybe the other way around), we share the spiritual things we have discovered lately and catch up on everything. She makes me laugh, she makes me think, she sometimes makes me crazy, and she helps my faith grow. She has learned so much, and loves sharing it with me. For that I am grateful.
Her siblings are blessed to have her as their sister. Her daddy adores her. Her friends are lucky to have her as their friend, as she is fiercely loyal. Dogs love her and she loves dogs. Any dog. Meg has touched many lives, and I am excited to see where her life takes her.

She will need.....her family, a great guy, her scriptures, music, a lovable big dog, some wheels, the outdoors, hugs, some hot popcorn with shredded cheese, hummus, feta cheese and turnip greens. (not all at once). She will need sleep, a MEGA alarm clock, her down comforter, some good movies and a comfy couch. She will need her phone, her IPod and her computer. She will need lots of laughter, cool school supplies, some good running shoes, and some big adventures. She will need the Magic Bullet. She will need the Lord and His teachings.
Yes, I am excited to see her days to come.
I love you, my sunshine girl, and here are some pictures of days that were.
Happy 20th!

Megan in the witch costume I made her. She loved it. She stayed in character all night. No matter what. Her face HAD to hurt!

Josh, Megan and Shammie. Playing in paradise. They couldn't have been happier that day. All three of them.

So cute. SO cute. 'nuff said.

More Meg

Megan and Josh, with their Fourth of July T-shirts. Beavercreek, Ohio. Aren't they adorable?

Megan, Mom and Megan's BEST friend, Shammie. Giving a report about Shammie at school.

Snuggling with Mom. Her Aunt Beth's wedding day.

Watching a RIVETING cartoon with Daddy. With her toys, blanket and Daddy. Good times.

Even more Meg

Love my Meggie. Always have, always will.

Love this picture. I caught her smack-dab in the act. Grabbed the camera and laughed all day. Even during the clean-up.

Meg was positive that Jesus came to talk to her on a hill in New York called Hill Cumorah. She told everyone. No one could convince her that it wasn't really Him. He came to talk to HER, and she felt special. (and she is)

Strangers? Dogs we don't know? No such thing.
Meg with two friends she just met.

love, mom.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

"Can" she do it?

I have so much to blog about. But it's after 1:00 am now, and I need some sleep. Worked late, called home and Kelly was already home. I asked him what he was doing and he said, "Figuring out what movie I am taking you to tonight." How fun. We ended up seeing the late showing of The Proposal. Before that we hit Penney's and Kohl's. I got a clock for my kitchen!!! I've only needed one for hmmmm.....almost NINE years! (Andrew, I know you are so happy!) and a ring on MEGA sale at Kohl's that perfectly matches the earrings I got there last year on MEGA sale when Laurie and I were shopping. It's awesome when that works out!

I think the movie was kind of "The Devil Wears Prada" meets "While You Were Sleeping". Except for one scene that just wasn't necessary, I enjoyed the movie. The BEST thing about this movie is Betty White. I've loved watching her my whole life. Tonight was no exception. I also think Sandra Bullock was awesome in this movie. But I think she has had WAY too much work done on her face, because she looks so different now. She used to be gorgeous, I thought. What's wrong with aging? I know I look as old as dirt but I'm still kickin' and having fun. THAT reminds me of AFTER the movie. Kelly and I were walking back to our car (after midnight by then, and quite dark), and another family group was kind of near us walking to their car. I was talking to Meg on the phone, and I saw a can sitting upright in the parking lot a little ways in front of me. Now, I'm not sure why, but I suddenly became about ten years old and ran (yes, folks, I ran a little) and kicked that can as hard as I could. I anticipated it flying through the air. Well, it turned out to be a beer can, and was just about full. BEER was flying through the air. I can never win. But, Kelly was cracking up. Me too, as I TRIED to avoid the beer shower.
But then, Megan read me a letter she wrote me, which made me cry. I mean I bawled like a baby it was so precious. Love that girl. She will be home in two weeks!

Peace out, girl scout.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Mr. Magoo ~~~
~~ the love of my life.

Happy Fourth of July!!!!

Happy Fourth of July!!!! I LOVE this weekend, full of fun and friends and family and flags.
I came across this yesterday, read it to Kelly and Josh, and thought I'd post it on here.

Take a moment to reflect..... (it's from Glenn Beck, and I know at least ONE friend who calls him Glenn Blech (you know who you are!) but please read it anyway, I think you'll like it!

Have fun today everyone.......and be safe!!!


From Glenn Beck....

July 3, 2009

Hello America,

Here it is, another Fourth of July. Traditionally, this is a day to gather with friends, maybe fire up the barbeque and play with kids until the sun sets and the fireworks start. But in thinking back on the meaning behind this day, we must never forget that our nation was baptized in the blaze of a very different kind of "fireworks." Yes, this is a day of rest and relaxation, as well it should be, but this year…I'd like to ask you a favor. At some point during the day, I hope you'll take time to think and reflect on what it is we're truly celebrating on the 4th of July -- our Independence Day. Of course the Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4th, 1776 but it's so much more than that. On this day, 233 short years ago, a small group of men dedicated themselves to a higher purpose, an ideal they believed in so greatly, they signed their name to its expression and in doing so put their very lives at risk.

Never has a simple act of signing one's name carried such weight, such a profound commitment. By signing the Declaration of Independence, 56 men stood in direct defiance of the British government. They became marked men, and willingly so. As I was doing some research on the significance of July 4th, I came across some interesting facts about these men. Today as we all enjoy the freedom our forefathers guaranteed us, join me in honoring the extraordinary sacrifice of 56 extraordinary Americans.

Of the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence:

Five were captured by the British as traitors, and tortured before they died. Twelve had their homes burned to the ground. Two lost sons serving in the Revolutionary Army, and two more had sons captured. Nine fought and died in the Revolutionary War.

If you ever feel like your lone voice can never be heard, that the political system isn't set up for "regular" Americans to change the course of history, remember: The signers were flesh and blood, mortal men with a divinely-inspired aim.

Twenty-four were lawyers and jurists, eleven were merchants, and nine were farmers and large plantation owners. They were well educated, smart enough to know that by signing the Declaration of Independence, they were signing their own death warrants. They did it anyway, and God bless them for it.

As we enjoy our liberty on this 4th of July, or any day of any month, we must never take that liberty for granted. Too many have given too much. In the words of the Signers themselves, "For the support of this declaration, with firm reliance on the protection of the divine providence, we mutually pledge to each other, our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor."

Their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor -- I think that's a price paid worth a few minutes of reflection, don't you? But let's not be solemn in that reflection. I say rejoice and share this information with your friends and family, especially your kids. The Signers asked for nothing in return for their pledge, but I say that we show our thanks with a pledge of our own: To remember, to be grateful, and to carry on in their spirit. America is the greatest country this world has ever and will ever know, and it will stay that way so long as "we the people" remember that just like in 1776.

It's US that surrounds them, and we'll never back down.

Happy Independence Day, and God bless America.


Sunday, June 21, 2009

Our little 24!

Our Jessie turned 24 on Friday. I have had two dozen terrific years of being her mother. Jessie is sunshine in my life. She has so many wonderful attributes. Just a few are: integrity, empathy, wonderful mother, smart, kind, creative, strong, faithful, fun....lots of fun, loves her family, incredibly beautiful, did I say smart? and sweet.
Our sweet Jess. Yes, we are blessed.
Elephant shoes. (you'll have to ask one of my kids about that)

Enjoy a few of the faces of Jessica Erin. Our JessBess. We love you, honey!


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Ticklin' the Ivories

I was reading online and came across a story about this couple, the Cowans. They have been married 62 years. He is 90 years old, and she is 84. While at the Mayo Clinic having tests for a few days, they took time to play the piano together that is there in the atrium for anyone to play. Here they are putting on a little impromptu recital.
Take a listen HERE.

(Watch the hand movements when they switch places.)

I just want to say that I think marriage and music are two of God's greatest gifts.

There is more to this story, but I'm beat.

Enjoy the video.

Try not to smile.

I dare you.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Blast from the Past - 1994

Sacred Grove ~ Palmyra, New York ~ July 1994

(I've always wondered what Josh was looking at)

Drew - 17
Michelle - 16
Laurie - 10
Jessie - 9
Megan - 5
Josh - 1

I drove the kids to Palmyra from Toledo, as Kelly couldn't get off work. We had a wonderful time together, going to the Hill Cumorah Pageant, seeing the other sights, like the Joseph Smith farm, staying in the hotel, etc.
I am crazy about these people.

Time for Some Sleep

End of another work week. A busy week with lots of fun things, too. Last night was the Annual Spaghetti Dinner and Music Awards at the high school. I met Josh over there at 6pm. We were there until 8:30. It was so much fun sitting with him and his friends at a lunch table. So many kids wanted to be together that they had chairs just bunched up all around this one table. Josh has great friends in band, and they were so funny. I sat with Bryan's mom, Linda, and Maggie's mom, Robin, right next to our kids. FUN NIGHT! Josh lettered last year, so this year earned a bar for his letter, certificate and medal for District Band and a certificate for City/County Honors Band. I was really proud of him and it was so fun watching his joy with his buddies.

Tonight we went over to our friends, the McIntyre's, for dinner. It was supposed to be a cookout, but it was raining, so it was a COOK out, but an EAT in. There was a great group there. We had lots of fun. One of the highlights of the evening was getting to hold little Katelyn Rebecca McIntyre, almost 3 weeks old, daughter of David and Mandy. She is adorable with a thick head of hair. I held her while she slept for quite awhile. A sleeping little baby is like the best muscle and tension reliever there is.

Then Kelly and I went to Barnes and Noble for a little R&R. Reading and relaxation. We each got a hot chocolate and a pile of books and snuggled into two of their comfy chairs for a little while. Heaven.

But now, it's time for sleep. Not getting up until 7:30! Woo-hoo!
(Kelly is throwing marshmallows to our dog, Sloopy, as I write this. Yep, we do know how to par-tay!)

(3 days in a row....I am on a roll!)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Josh in the Driver's Seat!

My last one. My baby boy. My Joshie. How in the world did THIS happen?
I blinked, and now here he is, proud owner of a 15 year old's prized possession ~ THE Learner's Permit. I've been through this six times now. It still chokes me up a little. One more step away from mom. But I'm so happy for him, too. I was sitting at the DMV waiting for him to take the test, and when he started walking towards me, he tried to fake it. He shook his head, and I wondered for a moment, because Josh seems to smirk a little when he's disappointed, but he was trying to suppress a big old grin. He said, "just kidding...I passed". And even though the DMV was CROWDED (we picked the LAST business day of the month to go. Yes, I know, real smart) I wanted to cheer for him. He was so happy. It reminded me of each time one of our children would get their permit. It was like the world was opening up for them. And I was there to just help them along.
It was a busy Friday afternoon when he passed, and we wanted to stop by the music store, so he could get an amp cord and some guitar picks for his friend Zach's birthday party that night. He hesitated, but he drove. And he did really well. He must have felt grown up too, because he asked the owner of the music store if he was hiring. Just out of the blue. The manager might be interested when Josh turns 16 in August. He likes to hire his customers, who know the store, and he has seen over the years.
Josh has driven everywhere we've gone since then. He's doing great. Me? I'm not so sure.

These "lasts" are really hard.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Painted by the Master

I have missed so much by not keeping this up. I will try and catch up a little, but tonight I just feel like posting these. (kind of an easy way to begin blogging again)
We went to Ohio twice in the last month. The first was for a funeral for a dear friend (more about that later) and over Memorial Day weekend for my nephew's graduation (more about that later, too)
While we were there, we went to a Memorial Day breakfast at a park with Laurie and Jeremy. Jeremy's mom MaryAnn was there and it was nice catching up with her. (I've known her for 35 years or so....also a long story) After we ate breakfast, we all walked around a nice little herb garden/pathway built there at the park. It was Kelly, Josh, Laurie, Jeremy, MaryAnn and me. We enjoyed looking at all the signs telling us what we were looking at. I was touched again my the magnificent detail and beauty of His creations for us. I quickly snapped a few pictures. These are the only four I took, and I think they represent what I mean.

Wild daisies - how I love them. I guess I AM a child of the 60's and 70's, but I just think they are about the friendliest flower around. My wedding bouquet was daisies. I am getting older, but daisies still make me feel young. (He loves me....he loves me not....he loves me....he loves me not)
He DOES love me, by the way.

In the picture below, I just love the lingering raindrops. He provides what we need.

These bush roses below were the most amazing color. Vivid and spectacular. Fireworks among the leaves.

And just as we were leaving the herb garden......a little patch of pansies. Deep purple in the center. Like the night sky on a hot night. And such delicate petals. Love the contrast. Such different hues on one petal. That's how we are, too.

Yep, I do love to walk a garden. It's like a walking worship service for me.


( I have officially begun blogging again. I promise to blog again tomorrow night, even if it's just a few sentences. I see you snickering. Yes, you! You know who you are. Well, we will just see tomorrow, won't we, missy?)

Monday, May 11, 2009

Absolutely Bushed.

It's 11:30 and I have a 7:30 meeting at work tomorrow. Should be in bed, but this is the first I've sat down today with a minute to myself. After work, Josh and I went and worked out. And I REALLY worked out. Well, as much as this old, overweight, injured body will let me. Already my legs and shoulders are yelling at me. By morning, they will be having an all-out hissy fit! But, it feels good, too. And I plan on going and working out again tomorrow after work. Alert the media. Two days in a row, perhaps!

It was a whirlwind weekend, full of ups and downs, both in circumstances and in our emotions. We received the sad news last Monday that one of our very best friends had passed away from a heart attack. I want to write more about that, but it will take me awhile to get my thoughts together for that one, as it was such a tender experience.

The funeral was on Saturday in Dublin, Ohio (right outside of Columbus). We planned on leaving right after work on Friday and getting to Ohio about 1am on Saturday. Well, life had other plans. Our refrigerator decided to take a break from working on Friday morning. Kelly worked with it awhile, with no luck. He met a repairman there Friday afternoon, who also worked with it awhile. Diagnosis: our coil in the back of the fridge is shot. $250 for the part, and $150-200 labor. Oh....and the part is on back order. It will take 7-10 days to get the part in the shop. He will call when it comes in. Oh, terrific.

So, we cleaned out the freezer and fridge, rearranged some things in our little chest freezer, got out the cooler, bought two bags of ice, and filled our makeshift refrigerator. Josh spent the weekend with his buddy, Zach. Yay for Zach's terrific mom, Michelle. Josh had a great time over there.

We left Harrisonburg around 8:30, stopped at 11:30 on the east side of Beckley, WV. The storms had been horrific ever since we left the 'burg. Nighttime darkness, severe storms, fogs and semi trucks on the West Virginia mountain roads. Yep, makes for a peaceful drive. We decided to get some shuteye. It was a great idea. Got up early and got ready and dressed for the funeral, had the motel's "lovely" continental breakfast. (Toasted english muffins with YOUR choice of jam or cream cheese AND two choices of or apple. I'm telling you....a virtual buffet! Seriously, the absolute saddest continental breakfast I've ever seen) Drove right to the chapel for the funeral. I will perhaps write tomorrow about that experience. I will just say that Saturday we KNEW we had made the right decision about going.

After leaving our friends, we decided to get the BEST PIZZA IN THE WORLD (Donato's) and take it out to my mom and dad's house and share it with them. They were happy to see us, and we spent three great hours with them, just enjoying each other and enjoying the pizza. Mom always wants to cook for whoever shows up, but I could tell she was grateful that she could just sit. We talked and laughed and I was so glad we went.

We left their house about 9 pm and drove the 40 minutes to Laurie and Jeremy's house. We hadn't seen their new place in Grove City yet. It was so terrific to be with them awhile. Their townhouse is so cute, and Laurie has really done some cute things with the place, and it was fun to see all her little touches there. We played Wii and talked and laughed. Kelly and I slept on their couches.

Mother's Day morning....Jeremy made us all breakfast! A sausage, egg, peppers, hash brown concoction that was TERRIFIC. And orange juice. DELICIOUS. Then we all got ready for church. I loved being with Laurie on Mother's Day morning. We saw so many people at church that we knew from years ago. I had a great time catching up with old friends. Of course, I felt OLD when I saw Jenny Kiehl....who used to babysit the kids a little, and she told me she is turning 40 this year. 40!!!

After church, we went back to Laurie's to change and get on the road. Well, "get on the road" turned into "just one more game of baseball" on the Wii, or Laurie and I looking through the LTD catalog together, or us making crazy faces while Jeremy shot some pictures. It was hard to leave, but we finally did around 2:45. We pulled into our driveway about 9:30 last night. Unpacked the car, got MORE ice, and repacked our "cooler fridge", got a little sleep and was up at 5:45 this morning. wonder I'm tired. I'm tired just TYPING this. And if you are still reading this, then YOU must be tired. Sorry for the rambling.

It was wonderful talking to all of my children on Mother's Day. I wish all moms everywhere a Happy Mother's Day.....but I think I am the luckiest mom in the world, because I get to be mom to the 6 most terrific people. And those six have exploded into 17. Seventeen to mother and grandmother. I am indeed a rich, rich woman.

A tired, old, very sore rich woman..... but a rich woman for sure.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Weekend Thoughts it's the wee hours of Wednesday morning, but I thought I'd write just a few ramblings about last weekend.
Friday night, Josh played in the tennis match between Turner-Ashby and Harrisonburg. He and Shane played the second doubles team from Harrisonburg High School. They lost 7-10, but Josh felt like it was a win because they were playing the second best team at Harrisonburg. He was so excited about the match.
Took him to his friend Tyler's house to spend the night. There were four guys spending the night, and they had a great time...playing pool, "jamming", etc. I got an urgent call around 11:30 p.m. from Josh asking me to bring over his bongos. I did, and it was fun seeing him so happy. I had some time to myself, because Kelly was down at Drew's house. He had a meeting down there that day, and really enjoyed spending some time with Drew and his family. So I stopped by Walmart for some pink petunias and went to the hospital to visit my friend.

Saturday morning I got out a little late for the "Belmont Garage Sales", a semi-annual event our subdivision puts on. It's quite a party.
This pic was taken a little late in the festivities, and things had died down quite a bit. I picked up a few little things, and the whole time I beat myself up because I need to HAVE a garage sale, not go to one. Just didn't have time to put it together. I was extremely sad that day too, because I talked to my daughters and all but Meggie were out going to garage sales too! Jessie, Laurie, Michelle and I....but no one was together. That just stinks. We went together on a Saturday last October and it was terrific. We need to do that again. I fought that "alone" feeling all weekend. It was bad. I did get a couple of cheap frames with some ugly pictures inside. I am going to try some ideas Michelle has on her blog. We'll see how that goes.

Then I ran down to my office on North 42 near the Harmony Square Shopping Center. The chiropractor who owns our building was putting on a big Kid's Fair. My boss wanted someone to dress up as the State Farm Good NeighBear ( heard that right).
Well, at first Josh was going to do it, but he wanted to get to the garage sales, and he wasn't too excited to do it anyway. I called Brooke L., who is home from college this summer, and she was glad to do it. I just wanted to stop by and see how she was with it all. Well, no worries there! She was dancing up a storm, and usually had a little parade around her. I mean, this bear had some moves! Good job, Brooke!
Josh had a great Saturday going around the sales with a big group of friends. I met up with him to give him a few bucks. He was so excited. Found a couple of CD's....and a terrific find..."'s a midget tennis racket!" (I had to tell him it was a racquetball racquet. I shouldn't have. He was kind of excited about this racquet for munchkins) He also found one catcher's leg shield...or whatever it's called. One. Not two. One. And he had it on. I asked him why. He said "Cause I like it." good answer. They ended up back at Tyler's house for pizza, more pool and he learned how to play poker. "don't worry mom...not with money". Michelle said she was learning how to play poker too. Interesting. Anyway, he had a great day. And even greater, when he realized it was raining when he got home, so he "couldn't" mow the yard.

The valley is looking gorgeous. Springtime in the Shenandoah Valley is only surpassed by fall in the valley. The dogwood trees are alive with color, so I snapped this picture along one of the streets around here. Soon the blossoms will fall, and the trees will all be various shades of green. A different kind of beautiful, but oh, I love the "crayola springs" around here.
I went to the store, cleaned out the fridge, cleaned the house from a week of me being at work, and made some chocolate chip cookies and chicken enchiladas. Kelly and I took some over to Barb's house, and then Kelly and I both went up to the hospital to visit her. It was nice. Her husband was there, and then the Shavers came, too. A little party in the hospital.
Sunday was nice. A peaceful day. It felt good to be at church. The sister missionaries asked when they could stop by, and I said "How about today for dinner?" I made tortellini soup and garlic bread for dinner. I had been feeling kind of down, and it was so nice to have them over. We got to have them for quite awhile, and we laughed, and ate, and talked. And they gave us a nice little lesson, too. It brightened me. Our home is meant to be full. I like it that way.
Late Sunday night, Kelly and I stayed up reading in bed, and just talking. It was nice to stop and spend a few minutes together. I think reading in bed is heaven. Double heaven when your husband is reading with you. boring post, just felt like getting it down. sorry.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Take a minute and Feel Good....

I found this story last night, and wanted to share it. I've watched it a number of times and notice something new each time.

Watch how BOTH teams are excited and run out at the end. Kind of makes me feel that in the end, we are ALL on the same team.
Also, we need to find our passion, do all we can to prepare, and when we get the chance.....let it rip. Go all out. Make it happen. No excuses.


Saturday, May 2, 2009

Late Night Thoughts

One year. 365 days. It was one year ago today that we had to make the tough decision to put our dog Shammie down. (well, technically yesterday, since it's after midnight now)
It was so hard. Kelly and I held her at the end, and she looked up at us with eyes full of love and let us know it was OK.
The vet assured us we were doing the right thing. But, this dog....well, I'm too tired to write it all, but she was amazing. An absolute gift to our family.
It would also be her 14th birthday today. I miss you, girl. Sometimes when I wake up, I still expect you to be asleep on the floor right beside my bed. Thanks for all the love.

Last year, Drew, Steph and Kimmi and Alli were staying with us for a few months. They were here when we had to say good-bye to Shammie. The girls really loved this dog. Well, I got up and was ready for work the next morning. Came out to the kitchen and put a smile on my face. As I was leaving, the girls were eating breakfast. Kimmi (who was seven at the time) came over and hugged me and gave me a paper she had been working on. She said, "Grandma, I wrote this for you."

She wrote:

Shammy was a good dog. When Magen was 5, Shammy could run faster than Sloopy. Magen is a person and she is a teenager. Sloopy is a dog. He is very big, and he is 2 and a half years old. Shammy is in heaven now. It was her birthday. She turned 91 years old. Going to heaven is her birthday present. Shammy got to see her Mommy!! Shammy must be happy. So should her Mom. I love Shammy.
The End

(I do too, Kimmi. I do too. And thanks for the treasure)

~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~

Other thoughts:

I went and spent time tonight with a friend that just had open heart surgery on Wednesday. It was incredible to think about and talk about what modern medicine can do. I felt a great spirit of gratefulness and sisterhood in her hospital room with her. I took some beautiful pink petunias I found at WalMart and put in a basket. I told her when she got home I'd come over and plant them. (I didn't want to bring something that she would have to watch die over the next week) Anyway, my heart is filled with gratitude that there is knowledge on the earth to repair something as intricate as a heart, while being kept alive by machines during the surgery. I'm so happy, Barb. You are on your way.
While I was there, a good friend, Br. Larsen, came to visit, too. It was nice spending time together. He gave her a blessing of comfort before we left. One phrase he said is especially sticking with me....he was talking about Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and how she is "nestled in their arms".
And I have been thinking - those arms are for us all.
of us...whose hearts are "broken" too.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Almost Midnight....Again.

The phone rings.
I think it's a lovely sound.
I wish someone would get it.
It keeps ringing.
Where is it? What is it?
Oh yeah, it's the phone.
Is it still ringing?
Ok, ok! I'll get it.
Wait...where am I?
Was I just sound asleep at the kitchen table with my work clothes and shoes still on?
Yes, I guess so.
Michelle apologizes for waking me up. I am just glad she did. After some VERY important discussion of American Idol...and the merits of Danny, Kris and Adam....(love those three, altho Danny is my favorite) I realize maybe I should get some real shut-eye. It's been scarce lately. Some soft pj's and my bed will make it all better.
G'night y'all.

On a side note, between the hours of 5:30 and 11:00 tonight, I got to talk to and enjoy each of my six children. They are each terrific people...who teach me, and stretch me, and love me.
So glad to be their mom. Thanks, Heavenly Father, for my greatest gifts.

Monday, April 27, 2009

And the Winner Is....

Saturday was our Ward Dessert-Off. Or whatever it is called. Kind of like the chili-cookoff....but with desserts.
Saturday was also jammed packed with "have-to's". I know you know the deal. But I wanted to bring SOMETHING!!
So...I decided on something our family LOVES, but isn't real hard to make.
Michelle's Butterfinger Cake.

Michelle has made this for family gatherings....and it is gobbled up in a flash. I've made it before and it was well loved. So I thought I'd bring that.
The desserts were divided into four categories. And this little gem WON the cake division!!
YAY!!! (you can stop applauding look kind of silly sitting there in front of your computer clapping. But thanks.)
I cut the pieces real small since it is so rich. So lots of people got a chance to taste it. We even brought some home.
Anyway...if YOU want a winner, try out Michelle's cake. It is amazing. (and jam-packed with calories...but who's counting??)
The recipe is on our new family recipe blog...which I need to add to. Thanks for Jessie for getting this started and adding some recipes and for Michelle for posting some, too. I promise I am adding to it. Fun! the mean time.....get over to
our recipe site

and get your fixin's for the one and only yummy Butterfinger Cake!!
A party in your mouth.
I promise.

Thanks, Michelle!! :)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Tuesday Morning

Thanks, James!
I have stayed over at work quite a bit, so my boss let me have a day off with pay, without taking a vacation day! Woo-hoo! Jessie and the boys are visiting for a few days, so I have been saving this day up for a few weeks.
I woke up this morning to the biggest toothless grin. It made my heart jump. :) I played toys on my bed with both Noah and Griffin, while Poppy was getting ready for work. And I have spent the last hour sitting in my rocking chair in my jammies, with a big warm black dog laying on my chilly bare feet, rocking Griffin. He fell asleep under a toasty soft blanket, and we rocked and rocked. Every once in awhile he would turn his head, or look up at me and grin, then close his eyes and rub his face back into my shoulder and fall asleep again. For the last half hour, he has slept peacefully snuggled on me under his blanket, and Noah was coloring a few feet nearby on the piano bench. Well, not ON the piano bench, but on some paper that Poppy got out before he left for work. Jess was able to shower, get dressed, do hair and makeup without a baby on the counter with her. It was great. What a super way to start the morning! Griffin is finishing up his nap in his bed, while I get ready. Then we are off to the Children's Museum and other adventures today.
Josh is playing in a tennis match at Turner-Ashby today, and I hope we get to take the little ones and go. He played in his first varsity match last night. He played doubles with Zach on his team. He loved it. I can't wait to see him play. Just a few weeks ago he was checking at night, hoping for a snow day, or at least a delay. This last week or so, he checks it every night, hoping for great weather, so he can play more tennis. His band director is adjusting the indoor drumline schedule to accomodate his tennis, so he gets to do both. He is really happy about that.
Well, I am getting in the shower and getting ready for this incredible, wonderful, terrific day.
I just wish that tomorrow I could do the same with my other grandkids and their moms...Michelle and Toby and Tate...and then the next day with Steph, Kimmi, Alli & David.
I miss my little ones so much. They change so fast!
Another thought: THANKS, Jessie for helping me with my blog. I have talked with Jess and Michelle and they both have told me ways I could fix it up a little, but I have gotten frustrated trying to do it, and it seemed to take too long. With Jessie on the laptop and laying on my bed, she helped me while I was on my computer at the desk. It worked out do you like it?
(I personally love the kiwi clock I found!)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Awwww....what a lovely time of year!!!

It's that wonderful time of year again. Yes....spring. In fact, tomorrow is officially the first day of spring. Yay! I love springtime in the Valley.
But I am talking about that fantastic time of year called .....MARCH MADNESS!!! Games began today, and so far 12 games are final, with four more in the second half. Sixteen games today. And sixteen more tomorrow to finish up the first round.
Our family has one big pool, which is so fun. Drew sets up a website and game on and we all sign in and make our picks. Then we can message each other, etc. It's terrific, and we have had GREAT fun through the years. Thanks, Drew!
This year there are 19 in our pool. The oldest, well, is Kelly at age 55. The youngest? Just shy of six months. Yep.
Anyway....12 games are final. What are the odds of picking EVERY single winner of those 12? No, I didn't pick them. (I do have 10 correct so far, though!) But, Josh has picked a winner for each game! And, looking at the final four games, I think he will get at least three correct. Western Kentucky might just beat Illinois, which would be Josh' only miss today. But who knows. Anyway, as of right now, his picks are perfect. PERFECT!
GO JOSH~! (and Go Memphis!)

and I am plain tuckered out. g'nite.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

You are Tagged!

OK, the post below explains a challenge that I accepted. I am supposed to challenge six others to do it. I choose: Jessie, Michelle, Steph (or Drew!), Ammon, Ken, and Deb F.
And...anyone else up for the challenge!!! (as in YOU Laurie, if you get your internet working! and Miss Meggie...but she hasn't touched her blog since November)
Oh, and I'd love to see what David F. has to offer, because he has some great pictures!

Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Sixth Challenge

My friend, Deb, had this challenge on her blog.

She "dared" me to participate in the "sixth" challenge which is where you:

1. Go the the photo folder in your computer
2. Go to the 6th folder.
3. Go to the sixth picture.
4. Put the picture on your blog and the description.
5. Invite 6 friends to join the challenge.

So, here's my picture:

Ok, so I know it's not that exciting. Just a pretty bad picture of an old guitar. But, I guess it takes some explaining.

Josh has been playing around with my guitar lately and decided it needed new strings. (it did!) to one of his favorite places in the 'burg....HomeTown Music. We bought some Martin acoustic strings and I was in the middle of taking the old ones off, when I had a "hankerin" for a cold pop. (and it IS pop...not soda....but that's another subject)
I set the guitar down "mid-strung" and when I came back, those strings pulled on my "heartstrings" a little and I took a few pictures....just for me, I thought. But now, my blogging buddies share in it, too, I guess.

Now...about this old guitar. Flash back to the beginning of the cold and snowy season of late 1977. Kelly and I were living in an upstairs apartment off of Norton Rd in Columbus. Drew had been born in January of that year and I was pregnant with Michelle. Fun times, busy times, and I never stopped. That is, until the pregnancy hit a big speed bump. Everyone was concerned. The doctor put me on "bed rest" for a couple of months in hopes that I could carry Michelle to term. (which I'm thrilled to say I did...even PAST term, oh goodie!)
But during that bed rest, it was tough. Imagine being young, usually VERY active, with a 9 month old little guy, and you have to stay put. No computer of course, and we got fuzzy NBC if I stood in a certain place in the living room and held up one leg and pointed tin foil at the TV. ( THAT is a little exaggeration, but it was really hit and miss reception on that old little black and white tv, and we DID only get NBC and sometimes a very snowy and fuzzy ABC) No computer, no cell phone, no video games. We did have a few albums and an old stereo, but I wasn't supposed to keep getting up to change it. Kelly was working at Prudential Insurance, and I would get all set up on the couch with things around me, and an open playpen right next to me with Drew and his toys, etc. I did get up quite a few times during the day for necessary things, but the majority of time I spent on the couch trying to be as still as possible for my unborn baby while doing my best to take care of my other baby. (These days I know that medically that was probably ridiculous, but back then they seemed to think bed rest was the answer to everything)
After several weeks, I was going batty. My mom came over when she could and a couple friends from church would pop in, but the walls were closing in. I tried to be upbeat, but I know Kelly could tell the days seemed like forever to me.
One day, he came in all smiles. I mean big goofy little-boy smiles. I could tell something was up. He asked me about my day, because I usually didn't talk to him during the day at all (remember no cell seems weird now) Then he kissed me. He said he forgot something...went to the door, and picked up something from our little landing. He tried to hide it behind him (didn't work) then brought me over a beautiful, brand spankin' new guitar and handed it to me. He said something like "uh, this is for you" or something wonderfully romantic like that. Seriously, I was in love. Head over heels in love. I mean over the moon in love. (and I felt pretty good about Kelly about then, too!)
He had been saving the little bit of money he had to spend on lunches, and other things, and he worked out a great deal with the guy who sold it to him. It was unbelievable to me. No special occasion. Just because he knew I needed something to keep me busy.
Well, Drew loved it. He would sit and watch me fumble with it and work out a few songs. We sang the ABC song and Twinkle Twinkle over and over. (it's the same song so that made it easy) Then, it was on to bigger and better Puff the Magic Dragon and Blowin' in the Wind. Soon we were on to Venus and House of the Risin' Sun. Oh yeah.....we were rockin' out on the couch.
The guitar has been brought out and loved over and over through the years...sometimes forgotten for months, and sometimes right smack in the middle of things. I was always so careful with it. Not a mark on it for 19 years. Until....I left it out after a "jam session" with Laurie, Jessie and Megan up in Toledo. Josh was almost three. And had a toy hammer. Not a good combination. It must have been a little sharp, because I came back and saw him right in the middle of "me fix tigar, mommy!" Click to make this picture below appear can see his handiwork. (I actually love those marks now)

I've been married 33 1/2 years.
Lots of special moments.
But few equal the day my sweetheart brought home a guitar to his girl on the couch.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

All-District Band 2009

Not a great shot, but perhaps you can pick out the handsome percussionist standing in the back?

Josh made All-District Band this year and the performance was February 13th at Robert E. Lee High School in Staunton. They practiced all day Friday and most the day on Saturday and then the performance was at 4pm. The auditorium was full, and the music was amazing. There was a Middle School Band, the Concert Band and the Symphonic Band. Josh played in the Concert Band. I thought it was incredible that they only had two days with each other and with the music yet it sounded so finished and so sharp. I had a super time. Eighteen high schools were represented. Hundreds of kids tried out, so this was quite an honor for him. Megan, Kelly and I went together to the performance. We enjoyed being together so much.

Me and my "baby". (When did THIS happen???)

The obligatory shot with the parents. Josh looks so thrilled.

Big sister and little brother. I'm so glad Meg came with us.
(I think Josh had about had it with the camera AND the monkey suit.)

More Shots.....

When we got back to the car I noticed a little something that just didn't look right. I had to capture it. My handsome young man, in his sharp-looking tux, and his hairy ankles. Yep....pure class, Josh.

We were driving down Route 11 towards Harrisonburg and decided to stop at Jalisco's in Verona for a little celebration. We laughed and laughed and had a great time. Good food, but weird, weird service. Let's just say I have no doubt this waitress is just not going to make it in the service industry.

There were four of us, so the waitress brought four mints with our check. She had to count them out, it wasn't like she just grabbed a handful. Wouldn't you have noticed the open and broken one?? Not sure who that one was for. Fun times, though. Fun, fun times.
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