summer 2011

summer 2011

Paul and I, all 16 kids and Ashley, Benjamin's wife...Christmas 2012

Paul and I, all 16 kids and Ashley, Benjamin's wife...Christmas 2012

Monday, March 27, 2017

the real honest truth....

This is what the living room looks like some mornings, when Puppy has been ripping things up. Ripping things up is her favorite. Shopping bags, cereal boxes, stuffed animals, she's not picky. She was looking for something under that rug, too, I guess. The truth about puppies, besides being irresistibly cute, is:
1. They are slobs.
2. They are pooping/peeing machines. Sunny gets confused when it's snowy on the deck, and thinks it's a great place to poop. The snow is now melting, and voila, five piles of poop on my deck! It's not MY favorite to clean it up, but that's what I had to do this fine morning. (housebreaking them is no picnic! Sunny is fine during the day now, she has learned to whine or bark at the door, but sometimes she still leaves a present near the door during the night, what a thing to have to face in the morning!) But she is getting better and better.
3. They have too much energy. They crash and smash, knock things over, and romp around the house.
4. They like to steal things and run away. When we were matching socks, Sunny had great fun with this. (Thankfully,she's learning to Drop It, with the help of lots of treats and rewards...)
5. They get really really muddy on rainy spring days. Romping through the drainage ditches is also Sunny's favorite.
6. They grow up too fast, ha.
7. They sometimes bring yucky stuff into the house. At exactly 5:03 a.m. on Sunday morning, Little Miss Sunshine brought in a huge bird was hanging out of her mouth, she dropped it when commanded, got her treat, then I had the privilege of disposing of had a huge beak, and one eye looking at me.

So the real honest truth about puppies is they seem to take more patience than we can possibly possess, to the through those first crazy months, then all of the sudden one day you realize that you have a pretty nice dog.

And, the real truth about me...

1. I also am a slob. I like clean, but I also like to drape sweaters on chairs and create stacks of things to go through later.
2. I seriously wish I had a house cleaner. I don't mind cleaning the house every once in a while, but ever single day gets old.
3. Weight loss...ugh. More like the creep...the dreaded creep. But I am not giving up, never ever.
4. Writing is my favorite. Besides snacking, but we know I can't just do THAT.
5. I cannot wear high heels. My feet are wide, perhaps from all the pregnancies, because they were a nice 7 1/2 narrow when I was a teenager. 8 1/2 wide, ugh. It's hard to find comfy shoes, thus I am a Brikenstock girl. From flat comfy Ugg-type boots in the winter, to sandals in the spring, occasionally Birkenstock clogs.
6. I love to bake. That's a dangerous love.
7. Babies...oh, I held my niece's little one the other day, and instant love.

And, the truth about our weekend in the kitchen...last week, I spent lots of time on a huge church gathering we had on Saturday. Wednesday night, shopping for dessert items...Thursday night making white cakes, seven sheet-sized cakes (the huge full sheet pans, the kind that don't fit in regular ovens). That endeavor was a huge crying FAIL. They rose up beautifully, then sunk down, way down, and took forever to bake all the way through...they were nicely golden brown on the outsides, then soupy in the middle, so I had to turn the convection oven down really low and wait for them to bake through. We served them anyway, I hoped that berries and whipped cream would cover a multitude of sins, and they did. Some people actually loved the "cake", it was like a thick brownie-like cookie thing. I mean, they were made withall those pounds of butter, and 48 cups of sugar, so how bad could they be?

The rice krispie treats turned out marvelous though! They had seven packages of Oreo cookies in them, which Char and Cam crunched up for me. They were drizzled with melted chocolate chips, then cut and individually wrapped, 240 of them.

We somehow managed to make that meal for almost six hundred people...300 pounds of ham. I made the glaze with 18 pounds of brown sugar (and honey and orange juice), it was pretty good. Paul and Kim sliced that ham, we glazed it and baked it a bit...we trimmed, wrapped, poked, and baked 600 potatoes. And the green beans...boiled, run under cold water, chilled, then tossed on the griddle with bacon grease, chopped onions, lemon juice, and a bit of crushed red pepper, served with lots of bacon pieces...and rolls...600 rolls, heated in the warmers. The plating crews did a fabulous job of serving it all up with butter and salt and pepper, and sour cream. It was a busy day in the kitchen, but the meal came out wonderful. Emily was the manager, and she kept it together, and we had great fun.

Last night, we had ribs. They cooked on low in the oven for four hours, then slathered in barbecue sauce, for another hour on high. We also had fresh strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries with real whipped cream (no sugar!), served as parfaits (some of the kids had strawberry yogurt with theirs)(and confectioner's sugar sprinkled on the whipped cream). We sort of celebrated Kathryn's birthday, and she wanted fruit instead of a cake.

Here's a really good story:
My oldest daughter Emily is a lovely girl, she loves reading good books, writing stories (she has a few health themed short stories published in, "The Healing Muse"). She is also a hard worker. She has been a registered nurse for years now, but in addition to working full time, she has gotten her Bachelor's degree, and now is working on her Master's. It takes a long time to fit those classes in while working, plus all the other things Em does, like catering and doing trips and activities with the kids. So...she is considering cutting back her work hours at the promptings of her sisters Abigail and Mirielle, who are also her housemates. They have offered to help her financially and in any other way they can, so she can be a full time student, still working her nursing job at the hospital, but with less hours, so that she can finish her college in one year instead of dragging it out! That means in just one year, she will be a Nurse Practitioner! I think Abby and Mirielle are wonderful sisters. It just makes my heart full.

So anyway...the truth about my mornings...when I get up at the butt-crack of dawn, as my girls like to say, with Duke barking, and there is NO present near the door, it's a good day. When there ARE messes to clean up, it's not necessarily a BAD day, but.

Duke. His days are numbered and since I have already covered this topic too many times, I am not going to go there, but I can't take it. Being a dog owner isn't all sunshine and rainbows when they get old and decisions have to be made. I would rather he just pass away in his sleep, but he's just so feeble. One day he was standing in front of the fake fireplace barking. Just barking at it. And he gets a bit growly and snappy sometimes because he can't hear, and can't see so well either.

Oh, and here's a truth: Our sweet kitty Kettler is going to have ANOTHER batch of kittens! Yes, I know, irresponsible pet owners, who don't spay their cat. But there's a method to their madness, my kids' madness. Suzanne owns the Kettler, she is Suzanne's kitty. She has the responsibility of getting her spayed. I will pay for it, but Suze has to look into some of the low-payment options out there, and she has. But after the last kittens were all given away with us not keeping one, which considered a wonderful thing, as we need another cat like we need an elephant. But the kids do not see it that way. Three dogs, two cats...they NEED a kitten. They are all on the same page on this. After this litter, the cat will get "fixed", they promise. But we need to keep one. NEED. Who am I to argue against this? I don't want to be the really bad guy, and I also like kittens, having a kitten with Labs is adorable. They are so gentle with cats, even Sunny. Oh dear, am I crazy?

Anyway. Yesterday I took these nice girls to the mall...Sonja, my niece Grace, and Evelyn.

Sonja wanted a new jean skirt, which she found. Then we went to Forever21, which had a sale on clearance, buy one get one free. I found these sweet little white lacy dresses for the little girls and cousin Dani...$7.99, but but with the buy one get one, they were four dollars! (Sonja also got a four dollar skirt) After just H&M and Forever 21, we were done. I don't much like malls with their high prices and bright lights and people looking so lost. I mean, it's like, "Let's go to the mall and buy clothes to wear to the mall!" I would rather shop thrift stores, or maybe just cruise the clearance racks. Yesterday I rather wanted to get home, I had ribs in the oven...and older kids coming over to visit.

I took the girls for milkshakes at McDonalds, which turned into some chicken nuggets too, and you have to have some fries! Not me though, I had a few nuggets and an iced coffee.

I have truly enjoyed the comments, the stories, the introductions. :) Any more?


Susan R said...

Hi Della, I so love your blog and will try to share a bit of my life.
I am a registered nurse and some years back I lived in Philadelphia and was working two jobs to support my son Justin who was a Penn State senior. One day he and his best friend were on the Interstate and a tractor trailer driver fell asleep and that was the end of my world. I really wished to die and interestingly the next month I developed breast cancer. It was just such a terrible time but I tried to press on. Finally my car was stolen and totaled and then I went on vacation and came home to find I had been robbed. That was pretty much it for me and I knew that I needed a do over life. I just wanted peace and serenity and did not care if I ever saw another human. So I came to Georgia where I did not know a soul. I bought a log cabin on several acres and thought that would be it. Well, God had other plans for me as I now see so clearly.
I took a position in a medical clinic and two friends there told me about their church which has been such a turning point for me. I was not even sure that I wanted to be friends with the Lord but it seems he still wanted to be my friend. So (this is the Readers Digest version!) I am now in the church choir, work in the soup kitchen and also work in the clothing ministry. I live in the Appalachian mountains so the need is great. I love living here and I love the people. It is a completely different life in a way that I never could have imagined.

Anonymous said...

Hi. I’m Kristy from Iowa. I work as a secretary for a large insurance company, have three children, and three grandchildren. I was a blogger for half a minute. I am excellent at starting things, but not so great with follow through.  I found your blog through Kim’s around the time Camille was born.
I was a single mom. Not my plan, but I believe that things work out the way they are supposed to. My eldest daughter is 27, married to her high school sweetheart, and the stay at home mother to two gorgeous little curly haired imps. My middle daughter is 21, works for a financial services company, is a Combat Medic in the National Guard, and is mommy to a sweet little guy who has Hemimegalancephaly. The youngest, who we’ve nicknamed “the boy”, is 17 and a high school junior.
I enjoy reading about your family and life. Your experiences are so different than mine. I can’t imagine how much fun it must be to have a full house! Also, your honesty and faith are very admirable.
I lost 70 pounds following a mostly Paleo diet, gained back 40, and am back at it again. Wish me luck and the same to you!

16 blessings'mom said...

Susan, I am so sorry about Justin. God has worked a miracle in your heart in spite of your trials. I am honored to be your friend. Thank you for sharing, and I am sending you a big hug.
And Kristy, hi, it's nice to meet you. We do have a few things in common, my son was a Combat Medic in Afghanistan, in the Army. I do think that it's very kick-a$$ that your daughter is one, if you'll pardon my French. (what can I say, I have lots of teenagers). How is her son doing? I had to google the condition. Is he okay? I hope so! And "the boy", I bet he loves those little nephews...wait, I assumed that the curly haired imps were boys? And UGH to REGAINING. It seems pretty universal, we all think it won't happen to us, and yet...and I object, because I don't eat like I used to, but my metabolism just won't listen to reason. I get on the scale, and it hates me, and I feel like I just need to try harder and endure longer and suffer more, and I get nowhere, yet I cannot give up, because I was much fatter than this when I started, so ugh. Anyway, our experiences may differ, but I don't think we are all that much different in the long run. Thank you so much for introducing yourself, I really appreciate it. Let me know how the little guy is doing.

Carol Slater said...

Hi. My name is Carol. My life changed almost two years ago when I suddenly became a grandmother literally overnight. My daughter had gained about 9 pounds over the winter, which I thought nothing of since she was always heavier than her sister and always put weight on in the winter. Suddenly, she developed pain in her left hip area. I finally made her go to the doctor and they suggested that she might be pregnant. I was shocked! She was too as she was taking birth control. After an emergency ultrasound, we were told that she was pregnant and due in three weeks.
A million emotions raged through me and I thought of all the things that could be wrong. The birth control, no prenatal care, and she had been barrel racing just a few days before. The next morning, my older daughter called to tell me to come to the hospital as my younger daughter was in labor. I thought that she was crazy, but within a few hours, we had a healthy baby girl. She will be two in May and other than being bow legged she is healthy.
I have been married for 22 years and live on a small hobby farm. I am a home health aide and I home schooled my daughters. I love to camp, horse back ride, and travel. I enjoy my time with my friends, but I love the moments I get to spend in the rocking chair with my grand doll.

Marilyn Reid said... guys were amazing to prepare a meal for 600 people!!!!! BRAVO!!!!!👍👍👍 You have more energy than a barrel of monkeys! Everything sounds just delicious. Our dogs are great with kitties too. We do Pet Therapy with our dogs and one of the places we go is the Young Offenders jail and a cat comes to that, and I think our 2 labs just think he's just another dog 🤣🤣 Gotta love those labbies!! Here's a funny story for you. We have a little kangaroo rat living in some of the bushes in the back yard of this house. The only reason we know what it is my husband saw it with the flashlight the other night and told the pool guy and he told us what it is. Our youngest dog kept running to the bush and had her head in there. This only happens at night.....he lives underground somewhere in the daytime. They are very much like a gerbil.....NOT A BIG FAT UGLY. SEWER RAT!!!! 😂 He cute and we have named him Jerry.........and we just have to say to Bindi our 3 year old...."where's Jerry?" she's at the door ringing the bell to get out there 😂😂😂 The other night Jerry tried to make a dash for it and she was in hot pursuit and Hudson the 7year old lab was right behind her.....I'm surprised they didn't all end up in the pool!!!! Brahahaha!! Our are yours......are a contstant source of entertainment. Have a great day Della.....I love your stories and your lovely family.

Marilyn from Canada.

Joybells said...

Ok, wow, that was a lot of cooking!! What was the event? The green beans sounded especially delicious. :)

How nice for Emily to have that support, and good on her for taking on all that school. How exciting for her!! I got my Bachelor's in business, and thought about an MBA, but never got around to it and now I'm a work-at-home mom learning real estate appraisal.

I'm sorry about Duke. My Corgi is almost 11 years old and I know the day is coming when he'll go to the happy hunting grounds. How do you explain that to your kids??? :(

Today was a good day; I took my girls to visit my parents (they're in their 70s and not in the best of health) and we had a wonderful time. They played with all G&G's toys and got to ride the tire swing. We got home way too late so of course bedtime is 2 hours late. But it's totally worth it.

Joybells said...

True confession: I have a house cleaner. It's more stress-relieving than a massage. I am not a neat person; I tend to take on lots of projects and give them 110 percent, and in the meantime my household suffers from a serious lack of maintenance. So thank goodness for my sister-in-law, who has a cleaning business and a knack for organization. At first I was embarrassed to let her see my messy house (got to keep up appearances for the in-laws!) but I have let that go and just appreciate that not everyone has the same gifts. And somehow I'll teach my kids to clean up after themselves...We're working on it!

16 blessings'mom said...

Carol, hello! Oh my goodness what a surprise, a granddaughter with almost no warning! Our second granddaughter was quite a surprise in a different way, my daughter isn't married, but her choices are her own, I love her no less, and her little daughter is a precious gift from God. I truly believe that, send straight from heaven to warm our hearts, and my daughter (Molly Rose) is an excellent mommy. The rocking chair with the grand doll, I love that too!
Ha Marilyn, your dogs made a friend, that's so funny! They are such smart dogs.
Joy, the event was the East Coast Golden Heart Feast. We had tons of help for the plating and serving, and also the cleaning up. There were dishes and pans being washed almost continuously, and then there was...a clean up crew, thankfully! So it wasn't that bad, and I much more enjoy being in the kitchen...we have the best times in there.
I love that you have a housekeeper! It's true we are all different. I have always been quick to let the house go in favor of an adventure....

Anonymous said...

The imps are girls. I should have said curly haired little sweeties, but they are rather impish. LOL! I love them to pieces. The little guy has had a rough time of it. He was born at 29 weeks and had all of the typical preemie issues. His seizures were well controlled until he was about 13 months. He went into status epilepticus at 14 months, had a hemispherotomy, a revision surgery at 2 and ½ years, and a shunt placed when he was three. He has been seizure free for almost 3 years. He is learning to walk and talk, is very affectionate, loves Mickey Mouse Club House, and is filled with joy. He will never be “normal”, but he will be exactly who God intended him to be. Thanks for asking after him. Kristy

Deb said...

I have been reading your blog since before Camille was born, it feels like you are almost family! My four kids are grown, two are married, and I have two granddaughters that light up my world. I homeschooled my children all the way through until they went to college.

I lost my husband to cancer 13 years ago, and started back to school to finish my bachelor's degree in business when he was ill. I later rolled it into an MBA program. I went back to work when my youngest two were in high school, and started working on a doctorate. In the process, I was offered a chance to teach at the University, and decided to do it. I haven't looked back, and I love it! I feel very fortunate, but there are times when I miss my husband so much, and all of the things he is missing with his kids. He would have loved this part of his life, and been so proud of his children.

I'm now seeing a boyfriend I dated 42 years ago! While I never would have married him back then, and don't plan to do so now, I am glad we've had a chance to get to know each other once again. The things that I liked about him back then have grown better, and he is past the things I didn't like when we first dated. I told him, after a few dates, "You're much nicer than I remember." He agreed. We've both had a lifetime of growing.

I love reading your blog and learning a bit about your lives. I admire you for your faith and commitment to your religion and your family. You are a wonderful mother, and your family is so lucky to have you.

16 blessings'mom said...

Hello Deb, I am sorry about your husband. Congratulations to you though, for going back to school and doing so well, it can't have been easy. And you homeschooled four kids, and they all went on to college, very nice!
The grandchildren are amazing, aren't they? What gifts they are...!
Thank you for commenting, I really appreciate it.