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

Friday, January 31, 2020

grandchildren day...

Today will be a busy one. No sitting around relaxing for me! Today, some grandchildren are coming over!

Margaret works from home, so I thought to invite her to work from here, and I can keep Wulf busy...well, he keeps his own self busy, I'll try to keep him safe. Ashley is coming over with little Elise, as Anya is in first grade. Mali might come over with Lydia and little baby Ophelia.

Miss Charlotte Claire did not want to go to school today. I told her she can't stay home "just because". This is hard for me, because I want her to stay home! After homeschooling those two youngest for five years, it's so hard not to send them on that bus! So I offered them this: I'll pick you up at noon. Their tests and important classes are done by then.

This afternoon, I'm heading off to my weekend away with a few of my friends, and three of my daughters. You know you are a very lucky/blessed woman when your grown daughters are also your friends. We will do some relaxing, the camp/house/cabin has a little fireplace, and it's right on the water! We will make a gourmet brekky, go do a little bit of wine tasting, then make some good food for dinner.

Life is passing by, days ticking away. I do what I can to be healthy, I take my magnesium (you also should take it! Studies have shown that taking extra calcium doesn't help, but magnesium helps the bones, and many other things too! Our soil is almost depleted of it, so no matter if you're vegetarian or a carnivore, you need to take magnesium! It is very hard to overdose it, too!). I take fish oil (omega-3), turmeric with ginger, vitamin D, potassium, and berberine. I eat either one or two meals a day, usually one, but when I have two, the second meal (usually eaten first though, at around two in the afternoon) is eggs. No toast. I do eat some carbs, tortilla chips with taco salad, especially the lime ones! Or corn tortillas browned in the skillet with olive oil and a splash of lime juice, oh yummers! But mostly just meat and veggies, but I do put cream in my coffee.

But life is short, as we get older we realize that all the nice houses in the world, all the trips, all the new cars, cannot fill that void that God has put in our heart, that longing for eternity. We each must stand before Him one day, and give account. It shouldn't be a scary thought! Every day, my prayer is that I can hear what He is speaking to me, and be obedient! As my mama used to say, "You can't take it with you!" In the end, the only think that will matter is how much oil we have in our lamps. If we just burn before people, we'll be very sorry.

So I am thankful for today. I am thankful for my house, and for my friends and family, and I'm thankful that I live in a time when we can connect with each other via internet. It CAN be used for good.

There is still that thought in my head that if I really had one of those huge spotless gorgeous houses with the giant farmhouse kitchen, with a garage and entryway, and and and...that I'd be totally happy. I know this is NOT true. More and more, I see that these things don't really interest me. It'd be nice, but it's not my goal in life.

Paul is ice fishing with Jonathan and Adrian today, I hope they have tons of fun and catch lots of fish. Paul and I went ice fishing a few times long ago, before we were married. He has always liked to do the outdoor things, hunting and fishing. He gave all of it up while we were raising the kids, it was so busy. He picked it back up a few years ago, and I totally encourage it. It makes me happy to see him do what makes him happy, and especially if he can spend time with Jon, sometimes Ben, or the boys from church, Jon's friends. (I hope I don't get him fired, ha, if this is a "sick day"). He works so hard. He travels a lot for work, and his last trip, he got home on a Saturday morning, had traveled during the night, plus he worked the whole weekend he was gone. He doesn't get overtime pay, either. He works really hard, because he is a faithful, reliable, honest man.

Anyway, time to tidy up a bit. I washed last night's dinner dishes already. We had chili, with hot sausage in it, whoa, I only had a tiny bit because it doesn't agree with me, being so spicy. I had eggs and bacon earlier, so I wasn't so hungry. The less you eat, the less hungry you are, but I am sort of broken. I try to mix it up so my body is not in a routine, my metabolism is slow enough. I've lost 30 pounds in six months, and in the last three, hardly any. It's not that I don't have enough fat on me to fuel me, either! The trick is finding what works, finding what you're happy with, what makes you feel good. I personally feel good when I don't eat sugar. But then if I DO eat pie, for example...homemade apple, flaky buttery crust, homemade pumpkin, I get the biggest sugar rush, and honestly, it feels fantastic! But the inflammation and the highs and lows during the day, the shakiness, I do not miss those. Since I'm fat adapted, I no longer get shaky, and that alone is worth passing on the Oreos.

Off I go...

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

long time no see...

We used to say that back when I was growing up, back when dinosaurs roamed and our phones had short cords and rotary dials.

Life is interesting, and as much as I'd like to pour my heart out on my blog, it's not always my story to tell, so sometimes you all get the whitewashed version. So don't read my blog and wonder why you have more trials than I do. It's not always sunny in my life, but God is good. "Therefore we do not lose heart. For though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day, for our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory..."(2 For 4:16-17)

The things that happen to us in life are not by accident, and when we trust God, these things are for our good.

All is well, I've been busy. Lydia was here the other night, then Anne yesterday, then Margaret and Adrian came for dinner and Wulf stayed here with Grandpa and I while they went to a youth meeting.

He liked playing with the doctor kit.
This pic is one Margaret took...

He kept us hopping. He is a busy boy, but his attention span is increasing, and he listens really well if you tell him to stay out of the DVDs. Grandpa got out his headlamp flashlight, and put it on Wulf, the little guy was so pleased he was prancing and laughing his head off, moving his head as he figured out how to shine the light. They had to go down the dark hall to play, it was quite adorable. They played ball too. Wulf is not a whiner, he is a happy little guy.

So So guess what? I am going to Hawaii. Seriously. Can you believe it? The plans for the trip to Mexico fell apart, and I don't want to get into details about that, but now I am going to Hawaii, to Kauai I think, with Aaron and Riley. The plans are taking shape. I do have two new bathing suits to wear!

Life is interesting. Anne is coming today, and tonight is my swim class. This weekend is a girls' weekend for me, staying at our friend's place on Seneca Lake, a beautiful place with a beautiful view, near some wineries....

Saturday, January 25, 2020

cookies, glasses, and snow! oh my!

And Sunny!

Cookies, just because. I didn't eat any, not even a bite of dough. But I think I did have too much dinner. It was bone in chicken breast, marinated in lime juice, pepper, Montreal chicken seasoning...roasted in the oven with strips of bacon over it. Roasted potatoes, carrots, and broccoli, too. Then some peanut butter for dessert. It WAS my only meal of the day.

Glasses. They are bifocals! I am old! They don't work right, ha. I need to get used to them. They SHOULD solve my Where Are My Glasses dilemma, but what fun would that be? I have a pair here and a pair there and a pair everywhere.

Snow, after the rain showers today, we got more snow. It was falling down in beautiful thick flakes, like living in a snow globe. I did go out and shovel a little bit, after picking Paul up at the airport.

Jonathan had a few friends over tonight, so I made them some French fries. They ran around playing with light sabers, then played video games. The girls are all gone to their girls' weekend.

The dogs are snoring, and Paul is watching Civil War documentaries, blah. I am no history buff, I guess. Horrible things happened, Atlanta was burned to the ground. That is just unspeakably over-the-top, mean.

Ah well. It's been a quiet day...

Thursday, January 23, 2020

dreaming of warmth...

It had been a mild winter, by New York standards. As the lifeguard at the pool said, "We really can't complain." "But we will anyway", I said. Because yes, we can drive, there is snow and it's beautiful and the roads are clear, but it's still COLD. Cold. Chilly and cold, and brr. I have slippers and a sweater on, and am covered in a big warm blanket. The fake fireplace is humming. I can't really complain. But I can dream of warmth and sunshine.

This is why I am glad I'm going to Mexico. I try not to talk about it in front of the kids, because they aren't going, I'm going with some of the older ones. But hey, Sonja and Jonathan and Charlotte Claire and Camille are going to Norway for Easter!

Anyway. I am thinking a lot about Cancun, Riviera Maya. When I look at pics of the ocean and the sand and the palm trees, I somehow think I'd be chilly, wading in the waves. I'd be chilly lying on that beach chair, as if the sun wouldn't quite be warm enough. The pools look clear and inviting, but I can't quite imagine the water being WARM. The sun warming my skin seems like a long lost joke. I know it happens, vaguely remember it, but it doesn't seem quite real.

When I get there, I'll be too hot, and too sweaty, ha.

Between now and then though, real life. I have a sketchy spot on my back, one on my lip, and some scaly spots on my face that face, the face ones have already been treated as pre-cancerous. I do slather on my sunscreen, on my face. I do have an appointment with the dermatologist for in a few weeks. I do not love going to the dr. in the beginning of the year, we have to pay hundreds and thousands before reaching our deductible, but that's another story for another day.

I also have to go get a mammogram, yay, my favorite!

Today, we went to the dentist for teeth cleaning, Miss Sonja K. and I. Char and Cam came along too, I picked them up from school. We had to go to Walmart for some snacks for this weekend's young sisters' conference at church.

We looked like total piggies. I wanted to tell everyone who glanced at my cart then at my tummy that I was indeed going to eat every bite. Or that this was only a one day supply. We bought chocolate covered raisins, M&M's, chocolate chips, Oreos, chips, pretzels, popcorn, Skittles, gummy bears and gummy's for 140 girls, so it was a cartful.

We also went to the hair salon to get a hair cut for Miss Sonja K., aka Ginger, or Miss Ginge. She tried to cut her own hair the other night, and let's just say it didn't go as planned. So we went in for a fix. I think it looks fantastic, she has such pretty hair.

The kids were STARVING. I had suggested some Little Caesars pizza, but somehow, they wanted Wendy's. Their burgers aren't bad, and they have the four for $4 deal, where you get a burger or chicken sandwich, small fries, four chicken nuggets, and a drink, for $4. We brought some home for Jonathan too, it's a good way to make a 15 year old boy happy. I didn't get any for myself, I came home and cooked up some burger/taco meat, and had a taco salad. I did stop at the local coffee roaster for a coffee flavors, no sugar, just a coffee with cream. (I always want to try the flavor specials, like coconut, vanilla, marshmallow with whipped topping with toasted coconut...but too much sugar, wah.

So here's the thing: I have only lost ten pounds in the last three months, but it's been thirty pounds lost since July 1st. Sloooooow but at least I'm going down instead of up now! I have tried on lots of my clothes, and they fit way better. I'm not exactly jumping down in sizes, although I have lost a few jeans sizes, but things fit better. I still have a ways to go, but I am not giving up. My blood pressure was 125/74 at the dentist today, that makes me happy. The top number is higher than I'd like, but.

Anyway. Paul is coming home on Saturday, that's nice. Tomorrow, Mali and Josh and Lydia and baby Ophelia are coming over in the morning because their apartment is being worked on. Mali woke up this morning with plaster and dust raining on her and the baby, and she wasn't too thrilled about it. They could have at least told her in advance.

So excuse me for blabbing on and on about Mexico...there's a clip from Family Guy with two girls saying over and over again, "Mexico!", and it's Evelyn and I, and Mirielle....we are going to be the happiest people there (seriously, the reviews, the things people complain about! .."I had to wait ten minutes for my coffee, and my butler didn't answer my texts right away and all the Bali beds were taken and some people take too many towels and my room was damp and still wasn't cleaned at three o'clock....")

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

being gramma today...

Lydia spent the night last night! I got out this Emmaljunga double stroller, I've held on to it for years now. Suzanne and Sonja used to sit together in it! Lydia was happy to sit in it with her baby doll.

I also dug this out...the carriage bed has been in my bedroom closet for years, the frame in the storage room. I got rid of the seat, and the other carriage bed a long time ago. I just felt like cleaning it up and assembling it. I'm putting it away again because Orange Guy, Mr. Kitty, thinks it is just for him.

So we went outside for a bit, just to get a little bit if exercise, and put some pink in our cheeks.

Tonight is swim class again. I was sore yesterday, so it's a bit challenging. And of course I am full to the brim of excuses why I should NOT go tonight. Scheduling conflicts with the kids, ect. We've sorted things out though, and I am going!

I am counting down the days to Mexico...this is a pic of the exact beach I am going to:

But don't hate me. I'm only going for six days. I know, you still hate me. But how 'bout this: For years and years, I didn't go anywhere fun, everywhere I went was a huge0 production. Nursing baby, skippy cups and diaper bag(s), Cheerios. Our vacation were camping, and ha, it wasn't really a vacation for ME. I loved it, had fun, but relaxation came in tiny little amounts, wedged in between feedings and cookings and changings.

Mexico...ahhhh. We are staying at the Adults Only section, where there is 24 hour room service, lobster at the buffet (yuck, wasted on me!)...a butler, who will iron your clothes, rides to all the other pools and restaurants at the resort. Don't hate me. I will appreciate every stinking' minute of it. I found a fan page for this resort, and one gentleman was proclaiming how nice it was at the exclusive pool, "No riff-raff here", he said. Well, I could not help commenting, "There will be in March!" Some of the people who stay at the 5 star sections of these places walk around like their toots don't stink. Paul and I stayed in the fancy upgraded section of the Iberostar in Punta Cana, because we got a free upgrade (because I called and requested a nice room, and made friends with the lady on the phone). It was almost un-fun, because of the rich people, their jewelry, nice clothes, and the snobbiness! I noticed that at the more medium suites in Jamaica, the visitors tipped more, were more thankful, happier. Maybe it's just the spirit in Jamaica, I don't know. But no matter, WE will be thankful and easily pleased. :)

Anyway, I am glad to have warmth and sunshine to look forward to...for now, it's cold here, and it's time to go to the pool.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

seven blessings...

1. & 2. Anya and Elise

3. & 4. Lydia and new baby sister Ophelia

and little Aunty Camille with Ophelia

5. Grant (Sam and Grace's little guy) (he lives in Virginia)

6. Wulf in his moose costume

7. baby Achilles (my Salem, Oregon grandson, Kathryn and Darius' little guy)

There is nothing like a genuine hug from a grandchild. Even better, when you get to rock them to sleep. Margaret spent the night here with Wulf on New Year's, and Wulf was really tired...he's one of those kids who goes faster and faster, the more tired he can scoop him up and he'll put his head on your shoulder and melt into you, swooning when you sing to him and rock him, but then after twenty three seconds, he's pushing away, scrambling down, and getting busy running around again. Somehow I tricked him into staying with me that night, and he fell asleep with his head on my shoulder. Okay, confession: every time he started to scramble down, I said, "Your mama is going to get you and put you to bed...", so he would bury his face in me and try to hide...after like three times of this, he was just so tired and he conked out.

So I went to my deep water arthritis aerobics class last night. I am SO glad I didn't listen to my lazy old self and stay home! I woke up yesterday with a stuffy nose, sneezy, feeling a bit lousy, thinking I was coming down with something...but I went to that class anyway, and I feel much better today!

We've been cleaning and de-cluttering and purging, and I'll be honest, it feels good AND bad. I do not like to part with things of sentimental value. I do it anyway, but it's painful. The old quilts from the couches, I loved those! The remaining Fisher Price Little people houses and airplane and town, ect. Books and clothes and old rollerblades, off to the thrift store. I did keep one Emmaljunga double stroller, and one Emmaljunga pram. I have the carriage bed for it still in my closet, and why not keep it? It would be nice for babysitting Ophelia, we can take a grand walk, or a good nap. When the kids protested about me saying I was keeping them, I got a little loud..."Seriously? Don't give me a hard time about this, I am giving up the Fisher-Price, the old Easter Baskets, the Little Tikes tractor trailer...! This is hard for me!"

Sentimental value. It's hard to balance what brings true joy, as Marie Kondo would say, and what just floods you with memories of days gone by. I did screech with delight when we opened a bin, and there on top was an afghan my mother crocheted for me, at least 20 years ago. I am keeping this!!! My mother made this for me! I haven't seen it for YEARS! I wondered where it was! Yes, it's getting washed, and going on my bed.

Here's the thing: kids move out, we don't need so much stuff anymore, so yesterday we cleaned out our storage room. We don't really have a garage, we have one of those portable kind, like this:

It's good for storing the lawn mowers and weedwacker, bicycles, and the rototiller in, but not much else. We tried to build a real garage, but didn't have enough feet from the house to the property line on the side we wanted it. Anyway.

So we have this storage room downstairs, with a freezer, and shelves, and oh dear, it gets cluttered and messy. It was a big job, but we cleaned it up nicely yesterday. Sonja and Jonathan loaded up the truck and made a trip to the dump, and oops, it was already closed, so they had to take it all back out of the truck...
Here's how it looks now:

The far end of the room still has lots of stuff destined for the thrift store, bags and boxes. So our work isn't done, but it looks better and is more organized. I have saved up most of my babysitting money, and am paying the kids for doing extra work like this, towards their upcoming trip: they are going to Norway for Easter! Sonja, Jonathan, Charlotte Claire, and Camille are ALL GOING! Emily is going as their chaperone, they already have their plane tickets.

Emily is picking Jonathan up to take him cross country skiing this morning, as she has the day off from work. I have big plans too, thinking of going to the thrift store, dropping off a few bags, and then looking around. I don't want any more STUFF, but sometimes it's nice to browse without any eye-rollers along. I've gotten some really good things at thrift stores, a few really beautiful mirrors...little known fact: it doesn't matter what color the frame is, you can chalk paint it! I've even chalk painted metal frames. I have a round mirror in the kitchen:

It was ugly and brassy, but a little bit of paint, and it looks sort of vintage-y.

Other thrift store mirrors I've painted...there's also a nice huge one in Sonja's room. The flower picture had an ugly metal frame, I like it now.

Anyway. I wander through the thrift store, with chalk paint on the brain, seeing projects and possibilities. I've also gotten a few other good deals there: Little Tikes tables and chairs, outdoor chairs which I've spray painted, a Miele vacuum cleaner for $4.99, never used. I've found beautiful white porcelain Corelle mugs, and a few pretty glass pitchers. I've found Birkenstocks, Columbia boots, and the warm mittens I've worn for years now, and the brand new wood matching lamps that I chalk painted gray, and use in the living room (new shades, and bam!). Our leather couch if from the thrift store, real leather, forty dollars. I would never consider buying furniture from there, and wasn't even looking for a couch. But one day several years ago, this couch caught my eye, and when I looked closer, it was beautiful. I peeked between the cushions, and it was spotless! Nary a crumb to be found! wow, I want this! It was 47.99, but I had a seven dollar off coupon, ha! I bought it and have loved it, great for having dogs, no need to cover it. There have been fails too, like the food processor that was cracked, and the coffee pot that didn't work. Then there was the brand new soft ice cream maker we bought for seven dollars, used once, then donated it back. It's like renting ha. There are also thrift store regrets, as in things you regret not buying: the brand new in the box Bissell Crosswave floor cleaner vacuum for seventy dollars, and the brand new gray leather couch for two hundred.

Anyway. I do ramble on sometimes, don't I? I have SO much to be thankful for. My life isn't perfect, no one's is. Last night, for example, I got in the truck and started driving to the pool, and brr it was cold! What?! The passenger's side window was down, from when Jon opened it to direct Sonja when she backed back into the driveway from their waste-of-time trip to the dump. I tried to put it back up with the little button on my door, nope. It wouldn't go up. So I drove to the pool, and froze my arse off. When I got there, I heaved over toward the passenger seat, reached that door, and yay, that window went up. But I was a cold customer, going into that pool. (I had a hot cup of decaf when I got home!)

And that's all the rambling for now!

Monday, January 20, 2020

January chill....

Our church meeting was cancelled this morning, due to snow plowing issues. So basically, I got up and took a shower for nothing, ha. I would have slept in though. I did not end up taking the midnight trip to the airport, Evelyn's flight was delayed a few times, she ended up getting in at almost three a.m. Emily went to pick her up for me, because she said it wasn't a big deal, she could nap beforehand, then go back to sleep when she got back...whereas I would be awake for hours.

A beautiful little Ophelia visited us today with her mommy and daddy and big sister Lydia.

We had:

I knew it was a good idea to buy a few extra turkeys when they were like seven dollars, back in November. It was thawing in the refrigerator since yesterday, still pretty frozen, but guess what? You CAN cook a frozen turkey! Even the FDA says you can safely cook when it's frozen. It's like the tummy sleeping recommendation for infants, changing to back-to-sleep, totally changed, ha.

So turkey went into oven at 11:45 am, and we ate dinner at seven o'clock, p.m.

We had seven baked potatoes, 8 baked dinner rolls, some corn, olives, celery sticks, cranberry sauce, black olives, turkey and gravy, and stuffing. Then, pumpkin pie, Keto cheesecake with blueberries (no one ate this but me), brownies with Reeses' peanut butter chips, homemade peanut butter frosting, drizzled with melted chocolate frosting and sprinkles.

(I only had the Keto cheesecake).

So we had a cozy dinner, Lydia ran around happily. She played hide and seek, and dollhouse. She gave me a few cuddles, but she was very busy playing with Evelyn, Sonja, Charlotte Claire, Camille, Danielle, and Jonathan.

It was very snowy out. Mali and Josh probably wouldn't have come if they actually realized how bad the roads were. I am glad they did visit, and glad they made it home safely, if not stressfully...the latch for the hood gave them trouble, so they had to drive home slowly, with Ophelia screaming all the way...

Tomorrow we have plans which the kids are not thrilled about. We are cleaning out a huge room, a storage space. Christmas stuff, camping stuff, the air conditioners, tools, sleeping bags, gets all organized, then next thing you know, it's a mixed up mess again. So tomorrow, we are tackling it. I am not thrilled about it either, but I do like the finished result. I am not an organized person, but I DO adore organized spaces. I love them. I like to dream that someday, I'll be organized. I AM in the process of whittling down, getting rid of, and fine-tuning our belongings.

It does feel good to throw things away, and to pack them up for the thrift store. At the same time, I don't always want to, but I try to do it anyway.

I hope the roads are better tomorrow. We have to go the dump, the thrift store (to drop stuff off, not get more stuff!), and maybe return some cans and bottles...goodnight1

Saturday, January 18, 2020

cozy baking day...

It's this girl's birthday! My oldest daughter,Emily, whom I am so very proud of.

Emily is a smart girl. She graduated third in her class, took a 6 month trip to Salem before she went to college, then a one year stint in Norway after graduating and working for a year. She worked for ten years on the floor in critical care/ICU at the big hospital in the city, while continuing her schooling. She now works in patient care in a doctor's office, as a nurse Practitioner, and you would be very lucky to have an appointment with her.

Growing up as the oldest child in a big family cannot have been easy. She was a reader, and used to go out and climb a tree, stealthily, to get some peace and quiet. The younger kids loved her, because she was an adventurer. All these years, she has kept that up. Their latest adventure was a trip to Winnipeg over Thanksgiving weekend. They got snowed in there for an extra day, walked a few hours in the snow and cold, to a theater, where they watched the new Frozen movie.

Anyway, she is celebrating a birthday, and I am invited to her house for dinner. I said I'd make dessert.

Pumpkin pie!

Peanut butter chip brownies, which will be frosted with peanut butter frosting AND a layer of chocolate frosting, and some pumpkin muffins.

So let's just say it smells heavenly in here.

Now I just hope the snow eases up enough for me to drive the five miles into town later, for her celebration.

And then again at midnight for a trip to the airport to pick up Evelyn.

We stayed up late last night and watched Catching Fire, today we are watching Mockingjay, Part I. It's so cozy and comfy, but...we have to go out before it gets dark and shovel out the driveway.

For now, I'll sip my coffee and watch this movie with the girls...

Friday, January 17, 2020

sunny and....brrrrrr!

Jonathan and I had our eye exams today, and can I just take a moment to diss our new insurance plan? I suppose I should be thankful it was as good as it was for years, but now, ugh. Things keep getting more expensive! And, I am getting bifocals, I am getting old!

We shopped around Walmart a little bit, got some bagels and heavy cream, dryer sheets and bananas, and a bag of kitty litter. Then we checked out a local coffee shop that roasts their own coffee beans. They do one dollar pour over coffees, and let me say this: yummers. We also bought a few bags, mmm.

So I've been cleaning my room. I will never tell how many bags of clothes I took out of there, to donate to the thrift store. But it's more than three. I went through dresser drawers, and pulled all the clothes off all the hangers, washed what I want to keep, and put it back neatly. It took a long time because I tried things on, and yay, a lot of things are too big now. I have too many clothes still, way too many, but at least they are all clean and organized.

Dinner won't make itself. :)

Thursday, January 16, 2020

a day off...

Today seems like a day off. There's nothing scheduled, Paul is in Nevada, Anne isn't coming over, Charlotte is home from school not feeling well, and I almost went back to bed.

I worked at the college basketball game yesterday, phew.

These three sweet girls rode to the basketball game with me...(Sonja, Grace, Irene)

They had Chick-fil-a on the brain. There is only one in our area, relatively new, and they tried it out recently...and unfortunately, they REALLY liked it. So they mentioned and suggested, and I heard them google-mapping it, they wanted to go there on the way home. Well, it was a school night, and it wasn't really on the way, but of course we went! These girls are such good kids, fundraising, being cheerful about it, so yes, I took them there. I brought some nuggets home to Jonathan, and tried a few, oh dear, they ARE good.

It's snowing out today. It looks SO beautiful, so cozy, I do like it, from the house, from the window. I also like going out into it, just not driving in it.

Sonja K. went to work with Emily today, to job shadow, which I think is really cool. The program Sonja is in for school is based at the hospital in the small city, and the students have freedom to set up their own opportunities to job shadow. It's geared toward helping them decide on medical careers, giving them a good look at all sorts of options, from geriatrics, pediatrics, obstetrics, general medicine, OR, ER, ect. Sonja has watched a birth, a few surgeries, ridden in the is really an amazing program.

Ashley came for a visit yesterday with little Elise. I made a batch of chocolate chip cookies, and we drank coffee and solved the world's problems. Times like that are just precious.

I did miss my water aerobics class last night, dang it, but we were so short-staffed for the game, I decided to sign up. Benjamin met us at the big mall, and drove the rest of the way up to Syracuse University, it's on a hill, and it was so nice that he dropped me off at the gate, and went a parked the car in the garage. It made it very do-able, and I think I'll be able to work there again.

Jonathan and I are going in for eye exams tomorrow. I am thinking to take the plunge and get bifocals. It will ruin the Where Are My Glasses game, and might make me dizzy at first, but...I can't read anything without them anymore.

I'm getting old.

35 years ago today was my due date for my first child, Miss Emily Anne. She was born two days late, and oh my was it cold the day she was born...

Well, Miss Charlotte Claire is up now...poor girl, she has the cold that has been going around, been complaining her ears hurt, and she went swimming for gym yesterday. Her ears hurt even more after going under water. The note the school sent home regarding swimming for gym class indicated that students HAVE to participate, unless they have a doctor's note. Harrumph. She has a low grade fever, so will be staying home tomorrow anyway, but my goodness, as her mom, I should be able to write a note. This is the same sickness, it seems, that Camille had, and Sonja had, and she most likely doesn't need to go to the doctor for it. Does the school think we all go to the doctor for free or something? Don't worry, I will stand up for Char, no one can MAKE a child go underwater, right? (she went to school yesterday and went swimming for gym, came home and her ears hurt really badly...they feel a bit better now, but she's all stuffy and miserable...)

Ah well, never a dull one, eh?

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

sunshine in January....

...but look out, winter is COMING BACK! Snow on Thursday, frigid temps on Friday, and perhaps a nice snowstorm on Saturday, which ugh, because I have to pick Evelyn up at the airport at midnight! Saturday is also Emily's birthday, hopefully snow won't interfere with our planned celebration. Can you believe that my oldest daughter is turning 35?!

Paul is traveling for work, so I have to drive him to the airport today, then stop to buy dog food. This morning has been a real puttering-around kind of morning. Laundry, more laundry, sweeping up, wiping down the top of the stove, putting away clean dishes and washing up the few in the sink. I still revel in being able to just go ahead and putter. Years and years of babies and toddlers, and wading through toys on the floors and books pulled off the shelves, piles of bedding to was a balancing act, a continuous game of What Is The Most Important Thing To Do At This Very Minute. Obviously, nursing the baby, changing diapers, feeding the children, rocking hugging dressing...those took precedence. But when you cannot stand sticky, and have an affinity for clean floors, what can you do, but frantically try to fit it all in, day after day, sighing at the clothes monster on the couch, and the laundry room, do not even LOOK in there!

Now, things have wound down, and I can clean up as I like, and sit and blog, and have another cup of coffee, pretty much assured that it won't go cold, and get lost on one of the counters, because seriously, there IS such a thing of losing your cup of coffee. Believe me.

Dishes and diapers. But you can get tremendous treasures out of your days, even if they are crazy days. There is so much God wants to show us during the trials, big trials and small trials.

So yesterday, I got to go out to brekky with a few friends. I decided to just eat, had an omelette with bacon, and about half the hash browns, and requested no toast, please. I cannot sit there with a plate in front of me and NOT eat the toast, no sir, no how. Especially when they have those yummy little rectangles of strawberry jam on the table!

Water aerobics was really fun, again, was glad to make it there. It was a bit challenging, but with arthritis in my knees, and now in my spine, it's a good exercise for me.

Home...oh, dinner was good! I had marinated chicken breast ($1.49 a pound at Aldi) in lime juice, and seasonings. Paul put it in the oven while I was gone to the pool, and made broccoli and Brussel sprouts. Jonathan made some rice (which I didn't eat). When I got home, they had eaten already. I cut up some of the chicken, put it in the frying pan with olive oil, chopped green peppers, tomatoes, and onions (leftover in baggies in the fridge),broccoli, and some leftover bacon...I know, leftover bacon? strange. But anyway, I tossed it all around with salt and pepper, and yum! A nice big bowl of dinner! I rolled it by a huge spoon of crunchy peanut butter, my favorite dessert. I am not saying it's healthy, but I don't eat cookies or candy anymore, and if I want a spoon of peanut butter, I'm having it.

I still keep my "before" skirt. I remember, 8 years ago or so, wearing this skirt, and one day realizing it was getting loose. I tried it on yesterday, because sometimes you have to remember where you came from. I feel like I am not really making much progress, but slowly wins the race, I guess...

I have things to do today, have to make eye exam appointments, take Jon for a haircut, and and and.

Sunday, January 12, 2020

babies and toddlers and dogs, oh my!

Paul and I and our newest little grand baby, Ophelia Madeline Rose.

Mali and Josh, he greeting Sunny, she holding their baby...
And, my oldest "child" holding baby, and my youngest child holding baby, Emily Anne and Camille Anaya.

Our oldest grandchild holding the youngest grandchild...:)
Anya Jade with Ophelia...

Grant and Sunny...

Samuel and Grace get a turn with Ophelia...(Grant's mommy and daddy)

Tonight's dinner: beef stew, crescent rolls, Brussel sprouts, green beans, and mashed potatoes. The stew was SO easy: a chuck steak, and a roast, the roast cut into smaller pieces, in the crock pot with rosemary, salt and pepper, onion powder, and a few packets of brown gravy mix. Cut up carrots on top, then some potato chunks, more seasoning, and in the crock pot all day. Before serving, I removed the meat, cut it up, put it back in. Super easy, super yummy.

Sam and Grace are heading back home to Virginia with little Grant. It was a nice visit. Today, 11 of the kids were here, with a few spouses, five of the grandkids, and our little friend Davian.

Now the house is quiet, and I am tired. Tomorrow I am going out to brekky with some friends, then hopefully making it to the pool tomorrow night for a water aerobics class...