Saturday, January 31, 2009

The World Has Lost A Great Man Today

Pastor Tom Kyle, went home to be with the Lord this morning. He was a great man with a wonderful sense of humor, an unforgettable laugh and a passion for leading the lost to salvation in Christ. The above photo shows him in the center of a group of people from our congregation, that he is about to baptize in the river, while he was pastor of our church. He and his wife, Mary were missionaries in Brazil for many years, prior to that time.
When my sister Patty passed away in 2003, in Arizona, we had her body flown here to Minnesota for burial, because most of her family is here. Since she no longer had a church home in this area, I called Pastor Tom and asked him if he would consider officiating at her funeral service. He graciously answered, "Of course", even though he'd never met my sister while she was alive. I'll never forget that. He will be greatly missed here on earth, by everyone who was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to know him.
However, if you listen closely, you can almost hear his booming laughter across all of heaven, as he is shown around his new eternal home there. Please keep his wife, Mary and their family and loved ones in your prayers.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Update on Bart, the WonderDog

(Bart and CJ last Halloween)

Actually, we're all kind of wondering why he's alive. But he is. After having been hit by a car on Sunday night. The only thing I can think of is that being a Corgi, he is so low to the ground that the only thing that probably hit him was the tire. That may have helped.

We took him to the vet yesterday, and since we didn't call first, they said they could see him at that time, but it would be on an "emergency basis". I asked what that meant, and was told it was an extra $50. Or, we could schedule an appointment for later on that day, and save $50. We chose to do that, so we didn't get the little guy in until 3:40 in the afternoon. I called Molly's school and told them to have her ready at about 3:10 so we could pick her up on the way...otherwise she'd get home on the bus while we were in town. The only thing I didn't think about, was that we'd told her we'd come and get her if it came to having to put him to sleep. Ooops. For a few minutes, she was pretty sure she was being picked up to say goodbye to Bart.

Anyway, they checked him over and said he seemed okay, just by their exam, and the fact that his bodily functions were in tact but they don't have an x-ray machine at that office, so we had to take him to their other facility, which is in a larger city to the south of us. The office visit would be continued over there, (so we wouldn't have to pay that again), if we took him directly over there. So that's what we did.

By the time he got there, he'd been in pain for quite some time, and was absolutely physically exhausted. They stood him up on the exam table, and he was falling asleep standing there. Seriously, he slowly lowered his head until his nose was resting on the table, (which isn't all that far when your legs are only 2 inches long), if it wasn't so sad, it would have been quite comical.
They took the X-rays and determined that everything looked fine for the most part. The vet said his inability to move at first was probably from spinal cord shock. Earlier yesterday, he was actually walking pretty well, but leaned a little to one side and seemed dizzy. The doc said he had most likely hit his head, and had a concussion too, which would cause that. It does make sense, and we had already diagnosed him with cord shock and concussion...but not being veterinarians...we couldn't have known we were right. We also didn't have an X-ray machine to rule out anything worse. They gave him a shot of pain medicine, and also sent home some oral pain meds and some antibiotics.

The grand total for the exam, the x-rays and the drugs was almost $300. But what do you do? He is a purebred Corgi, and Jess paid $500 for him originally. So far, we haven't heard a sound out of him since the accident, which is an improvement.

Today, he seems much better, if a bit dazed and confused from his pain medication. He goes out to the kitchen, takes a drink...and then wanders into the bathroom and stares at the wall, like he's lost. Nothing like having a dog on drugs. Oh well, this too shall pass. Thanks for the prayers!

Monday, January 26, 2009

25 Random Things About Me

Since I've already done this on Facebook, and then inadvertently erased it, I thought I would do it as a blog. My blog is imported to Facebook, so that way I sorta kill two birds with one stone. I'm not going to "tag" anyone here, but I will over there. If you read it and feel like doing it, go ahead. Just leave me a comment to let me know, so I can go read yours too.

Rules: once you've been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it's because I want to know more about you.

  1. I'm the 5th of 10 children in my family, and growing up, I didn't look like any of the others.
  2. I was accidentally kidnapped when I was 4 days old, while asleep in the car that someone decided to take a joy ride in.
  3. When I was 5 years old, I had a pet chicken named Henrietta.
  4. My cousin Bonnie and I were born on the same day in the same hospital, and often pretended we were twins. We celebrated a big birthday last June.
  5. My sister Kathy was born on our 11th birthday. This year she gets to celebrate a big birthday.
  6. My favorite color is blue.
  7. I collect frogs, (not real ones), dolls and dust.
  8. My husband and I met on an online Christian dating forum.
  9. Between us we have 7 children, ranging in age from 12 to almost 30.
  10. The 12 year old and the almost 30 year old are both mine.
  11. I'm working on losing around 100 pounds. I'm a little over a third of the way there.
  12. To say that I am NOT a sports fan is the understatement of the year. If you talk sports to me, it turns off a switch in my brain and I won't hear another thing more you are saying.
  13. I ran off with the carnival when I was 18 or 19, but only for about six weeks or so.
  14. In 2002, I underwent open-heart surgery in May and had a hysterectomy in October.
  15. I've been a blogger since April of last year. It's a great creative outlet, and also comes in handy when I want to brag about my grandkids, or vent about how stupid McDonald's is.
  16. We have 3 of the cutest grandsons in the whole wide world.
  17. All of my kids are now taller than I am. Even my 12 year old daughter.
  18. All of my step-children are married, but none of my own children currently are. Not even the 12 year old.
  19. My bestest friends are all quite a bit younger than I am, so they refer to me as "the token old lady".
  20. I don't really like surprises. Perhaps it's a control issue?
  21. I drink way too much coffee, in fact I'm drinking some now and it's almost midnight.
  22. I really hate cold and snow and ice, but I was born in MN and my family is here I am, and here I shall stay.
  23. I come from a singing family and love to sing. I especially like to use my voice to sing praise to my Lord.
  24. Speaking of 24, I hate that show...and my husband is watching it even as I type this.
  25. I lost my younger sister to breast cancer almost 6 years ago, and I miss very much.

Say A Little Prayer for Bart, Please?

I can't believe I'm asking this, not being much of a "dog person", but Bart is my 4 year old grandson, CJ's dog. That's not the reason he needs prayer, even though in this picture, he looks like he might be being hugged to death. My daughter Jessica, her son CJ and their dog Bart have been staying with us, ever since the first part of December, when Jess was discharged from the Air Force. Bart is a Welsh Corgi.

Bart and our dog, Jake had been doing fine just being let out in the yard without being tied up, since we moved out in the country where we live on about 20 acres. However, Bart has recently decided that he owns the road too, and has started chasing cars when he goes outside. I think you can figure out where this story is going now.
Yes, he got hit by a car last night. A lady came to the door crying, saying she'd hit our dog. We assumed the dog was dead, and I think the lady did too. Ray went outside to check it out, and saw the little dog lying on his back with his feet straight up in the air, but then he got a little closer...and Bart rolled over and looked up at him. Ray said it kinda freaked him out! The thing is, that's what Bart does when he's scared or just doesn't want to come when he's called. The little stinker rolls over and plays dead.

So Ray brings him in the house, he's not dead...he's not even bleeding, but he's not really moving or making any noise at all. And it's a Sunday night. We called around to some pet hospitals and all of them needed money up front to even take a look at him. Unfortunately, money is something pretty scarce around here at the moment. We decided to monitor him overnight and take him in to the vet in the morning...if he made it through the night.

He has made it through the night. In fact, at about 5am, our dog Jake was barking from upstairs in Molly's room. He needed to go outside, so I went upstairs, which woke Jessica up. She had Bart's bed in their room overnight. I asked her if he was still alive, she looked down in his box asked, "Where is he?" He'd somehow made it across the hall to the TV room and was lying in a corner with his head behind the futon. He had also gone to the bathroom on the floor...but I guess that wasn't his fault. At least it's a bare floor, and not carpet up there. And we now know that he is able to get around. We just don't know if he actually walked or dragged himself there.

As of nine o'clock this morning, Jessica, CJ and Bart are all still asleep. We plan on taking him in this morning, but if his injuries are extensive, we'll have to have him put to sleep. Molly wants us to come and pick her up from school if it comes down to that. She's taking this whole thing harder than anyone else. I don't think CJ really understands it. He thinks that if the dog dies, we can just go to the "Bart store" and get a new Bart. I hate this, myself. I've never especially cared for Bart, but don't really like to watch an animal suffer either. Not to mention, the expense for Jessica in taking him to the vet, possibly to find out that he needs to be put down anyway.

I guess I'd better go wake them up and see what the situation is, I'll update later.

Update: We decided to take Bart outside, just to see what would happen. Jess carried him out and gently set him down. He not ony stood up, but did his business and then trotted around after Jake a little bit. He's walking a little crookedly, but he's walking. We stil plan on taking him to the vet, but right now Jessica's car won't start...and mine hasn't worked in a couple of weeks. She does have roadside assistance, so right now we're waiting for them to come and give her a jump.

And now, as I type this, Bart just got out of his bed, (which he's been lying in all morning), and came in to visit me, walking around my feet under the computer desk. He does look like he's walking straighter. Ray thinks maybe the blow caused shock to his spinal cord or something, and it's just taking awhile for him to get everything back in working order. Hopefully, that's all it is. And Jess just came in now, after her car was jumped. It's running, so as soon as it warms up a bit, we're off to the vet.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

More Karaoke Night Fun!

We had a pretty good turn out for karaoke night at church this month. I'd say there were 20 or so people there at one point, with a few of the youth joining us for the event. That's Jason, (in the baseball cap), who entertained us with some Elton John songs, and some other oldies but goodies. Sisters, Christina and Shelby and their friend stopped by too, as well as Cedie and her friend. With a little more practice, Christina and Jason could be American Idol contenders someday. Not everyone sang, but I think they all had fun, or at least enjoyed the food and fellowship. Jody had told me on Wednesday, that she was bringing a pot of chili. She said her family doesn't care for chili beans, she makes it with potatoes. I thought chili sounded like a great idea on such a chilly night, so I decided to make a pot as well. My family happens to LOVE chili beans though, so I made mine with lots of beans and chicken instead of beef. They both went over quite well, mine was gone first, but I'm pretty sure that's just because our family ate it. We hadn't had supper yet.
Some of the usual crew was there, Jody and baby K, (her dh Dan was out of town), Lisa and Donnie, Anna and her daughter, Ashley and niece, Tammy Jo. Here they are singing a song:
Sarah and Terry usually come too, but have been rather busy lately, what with having a baby a week and a half ago and all. Sarah said she was going to come, until her little girl got sick and started puking. And unfortunately, our friend Padma was a bit under the weather also, so was not able to make it either. Unbeknownst to her, she had apparently passed whatever she had on to Lisa earlier in the week during their bible study, and poor Lisa started feeling ill by the end of the night too. Before that happened, she did get up and sing "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" with Anna and Jody though. I thought they did a great job, but Ray told them they probably woke the lion up with their singing. He can be so mean.

Donnie sang a few songs, including "America Will Survive", and I think he did "The Streak", and also joined Lisa in that all-time favorite, "Summer Nights".

Kim O. decided to bring her whole family out to celebrate her 50th birthday with us. If I'd known she was coming...I'd a baked a cake. Seriously. Her husband and son sang quite a few songs, and Kim said she might even get brave enough next time. Come on Kim, you can do it!
Tim even stopped in to say hi. We couldn't get him to get up and sing either, but he did show us his multi-tasking abilities, by holding K while enjoying a bowl of her mother's delicious chili. I was impressed.

Even the little ones got into the act. Kim's daughter (in the pink) and her little friend in the purple, (hidden behind the TV) sang quite a few songs, and Trinity graced us with "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star". Mom had to help her a little bit with the words, since she can't read yet.

Trinity may not be able to read yet, but she does know how to pose for the camera. Here she is with CJ. I guess we'd better keep an eye on these two, CJ seems a bit enamored already.
Come on out next month if you're in the area! You just don't know what you're missing!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

One Fish, Two Fish... Red Fish, Blue Fish

Jessica and Christian went shopping today, and this is what they came home with:

Two Betta fighting fish. Christian wanted to name them both "Cody", (I'm not sure exactly why), but his mother convinced him that the fish would be confused and would both come when called by name that way. Anyhow, they had bought the red one for Molly, and she decided to name her new pet"Ozzy" after Ozzy Osborne, of course.

Their small aqarium has separate "apartments", with a solid center divider, that can be removed so that only the transparent one remains. In the picture above, they are looking at each other, (which is supposed to get them all mad and try to fight each other), however, they seem to be quite bored with each other already. Maybe they're just tired from the trip? I don't know. I'll check in with them tomorrow, their new deluxe water-filled condos sit right behind me here in the computer room, so I'll be able to keep an eye on them easy enough.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I Have a Blog...And I know How to USE IT!

We just went to our local McDonald's again tonight. I don't know why, since they manage to mess up our order 99.999% of the time. We generally go there on Wednesday nights after Awana at church, because we don't have time to eat supper beforehand, and by the time we get home, we're pretty hungry.

I don't hate McDonald's generally, and their salads are actually quite good...if they make them correctly. Ray and I each ordered a GRILLED chicken Southwest salad, and he asked for a 4 pc mcnuggets w/BBQ sauce too. For Molly, we ordered a McChicken MEAL with a Sprite...and we waited.......At least this time, they didn't make us pull over to one of the waiting areas, I guess because there was no one behind us. They gave us a bag and a drink and said they were "just waiting on the salads". At that time, we noticed there were no fries with the McChicken meal, and they'd forgotten the BBQ usual. They ALWAYS forget the BBQ sauce, even though it shows up on the screen and the receipt. So, when they finally gave us the salads, we told the gal about the missing items and she got them for us, and said, "Thanks guys". No apology, nothing.

My daughter Jess had picked up her sister Molly and her son CJ and they stopped at McD's just before we did. She was going to get her own and CJ's meals and we were to get Molly's. On our way home, Molly called to tell me that there were no french fries in CJ's HAPPY MEAL! This of course, did NOT make CJ very HAPPY! I told her she'd just have to share hers, (that she almost didn't get either), because I wasn't planning on turning around and going back there.

When we got home, I discovered to my horror, that our salads were NOT made with GRILLED Chicken but were made with breaded fried disgusting chicken instead! I have never understood for the life of me, the concept of putting breaded fried chicken on a SALAD. Doesn't that defeat the purpose of having a salad??? Ewww. I ate it, so I took in more points than I'd planned on, and it didn't even taste good. Jess said her "Chicken selects" tasted really old and gross too. I've noticed that at this location before myself, even though they are good at OTHER McDonald's.

I sent a complaint to their corporate office, but I highly doubt that I'll even hear back from them. I'm thinking we should find another place to eat on Wed nights, maybe Taco John's...but then, they've been known to mess up our orders from time to time too.

UPDATE: I got a response to my email...for what it's worth. It was just a lame reply saying they'd forward my concerns to the local franchise owner...whatever. Here it is:

Hello Jean:
Thank you for taking the time to contact McDonald's Customer Service Center to bring your recent experience to our attention.First, I hope you will accept my sincere apology for your disappointment in McDonald's. I can assure you that we want you to be completely satisfied every time you visit one of our restaurants.Because most McDonald's restaurants are independently owned and operated, I have forwarded your comments to the franchise owner or local representative for follow up at the restaurant you visited Mn. Please be assured that your comments will be investigated and, if appropriate, corrective action will be taken.

Yeah, right.

Wordless Wednesday #19 ~ Do You Like My Hat?

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Slumber Party's Over ~ Well Almost

It's 7:45 AM and there are three girls in my kitchen eating ICE CREAM, because it's NOT just for breakfast anymore! We ended up with just 2 of Molly's friends here last night. The third girl that was invited was not at school yesterday, so we're assuming she was sick. So we had a total of 3 girls, 2 dogs and one 4 year old boy. After finding out how much noise 3 twelve year old girls can make, I was glad we hadn't invited anymore.

They were all pretty good though, and actually DID slumber last night! I went upstairs at 1:15am and they were all fast asleep. The DVD was still playing, so I shut it off. I had my suspicions that they were only feigning slumber, but I never heard another peep out of them. Unfortunately, I had to wake them up early this morning, because one of the guests is exactly one day younger than Molly, and has her own party to get ready for today. That's why I didn't protest when I found them helping themselves to ice cream for breakfast. I drew the line at putting 12 candles in Nevynn's ice cream though.

Here's Molly's birthday cake. Molly had picked this one out quite a while ago, but I couldn't find the flip-flop cake set anywhere. Finally, last weekend , I won one on ebay. The auction wasn't over until Saturday, and I was afraid we wouldn't get it in time. Luckily, it arrived yesterday, just about the time I was going to decorate the cake.

My back-up plan was to use these little Hawiian figurines and palm trees. Since we didn't nee them for the cake, Jessica used them to garnish this lovely fruit tray that she'd created.

Here's Christian, modeling his new Hawiian shirt, and trying to snitch fruit off of the tray.

Jess also decorated the upstairs family room for her, and bought this scary-looking lovely balloon boquet and banner, along with some pineapple-scented candles, to set the tropical island atmosphere up there.

Molly had a special lei to wear, that had a "happy birthday" sign hanging from it. She wore it to school, just to make sure everyone there knew that it was her birthday.

Here are the three girls and CJ enjoying their strawberry daiquiris (NA of course), complete with umbrella straws, also provided by Jessica. They each had a name tag with their Hawaiian name on it, and received a lei and a new pair of flip-flops as party favors.

For some reason, "Mana'olana-Ana" was avoiding the camera all night. Perhaps she's practicing to be a famous rock star some day???

Or maybe it's just because her mom, Lisa is a blogger too, so she's used to covering her face every time she sees a camera lens pointed in her direction. We did catch her here, but the picture is a bit blurry.

"Moli", "Newine" and "the future rock star" eating cake and ice cream last night

And last but not least, Jake or "Iake" had to get in on the act too, complete with Hawaiian name tag and lei. Jessica's dog Bart, "Palaka" had one on too, but I caught him sneaking a cold drink of water out of the bathroom, and then noticed he'd left his calling card. His name tag was floating around in the toilet. All in all, it was a pretty good party.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Happy Birthday, Molly or La Hanau, Moli!

My baby turned 12 today. You may think we're having a cold spell this week, but 12 years ago on this date, it was so cold that the governor of MN closed ALL the schools in the state! I'm not sure if the actual temp was colder than it's been this week, but there were wind chill factors ranging from -50 to -60 if I remember correctly. She came into the world at 5:10 pm, weighing 8 lbs 6 oz and was 21 3/4 in long. Molly was my 4th child, but came 13 1/2 years after child number 3! She was only 4 months old when her oldest brother graduated from High School.

Here's Molly at approximately 9 months of age. I had to dress her in pink, or in ruffles like this so people wouldn't mistake her for a boy, since she'd not been blessed with a lot of hair yet.

But by 1 1/2 she had ringlets of curls starting in the back. If you asked her how old she was then, she would reply, "Sixteen". I also caught her sitting at the computer around this age, too. I asked her what she was doing and she said, "Checkin' my eee-mail"! That's what happens when a toddler has teenage siblings, I guess.

This picture was taken at a little over age 2, which is about when we met her step-dad, Ray. Before they met in person, they had a little chat on the phone. Molly was a very early talker, and had quite the vocabulary by then. When I finally got the phone away from her after a few minutes, Ray said, "I can't believe I'm carrying on a conversation with a 2 year old!"
Can you blame him for falling in love (with her)?
Here she is in her Easter best, a year later. She also wore this dress as the flower girl at our wedding the following Fall.

This is her Kindergarten picture. Notice the curls are gone. Just before Molly turned 5 (and right before Christmas of course), she decided she needed a haircut. It was one of those do-it-yourself jobs...I think I cried when we came home and I found little blonde curls on the bathroom floor.

Molly became an Aunt for the 2nd time at age 7 1/2, when CJ was born.

Now, fast forward to a little over 4 years later...
Today, she's my 5' 9" tall, beautiful, dramatic, enigmatic, sometimes silly tween-ager
...who loves to take lots of crazy pictures of herself like this one.

Her "big" sister Jessica, (the one on the right), is going to help Molly host a slumber party tonight with a Hawaiian luau theme. She's invited 3 friends for it. We looked up all of their Hawaiian names, and hers is Moli, of course. They're going to do the usual slumber party stuff, like karaoke, movies, facials etc. I suppose they'll be up giggling all night long too. That should be great fun. Happy 12th Birthday, Molly!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Never Say Diet Book Set~Review and GIVEAWAY

This is my new "BEFORE" picture:
Because it's a brand new year, and because I've been virtually stagnant in my weight loss efforts for a couple of months now, I've decided to start over. I'm just not going to dwell on the weight that I've already lost. I'm going to start from where I'm at right now as if it were my "before". So, in addition to doing the basic program I had been doing to lose almost 40 lbs so far, I've decided to try something new.
I was sent a copy of "The Never Say Diet" Book by Chantel Hobbs to review. It looks to me like something that could work. After all, Chantel lost 200 pounds on this plan, so I figure I should be able to lose another 66 or so pounds, right?

Never Say Diet summary:

After years of failed diet attempts, Chantel Hobbs discovered the missing
ingredient to permanent weight loss: to change your life, you first have to
change the way you think. She developed a balanced plan for exercise and
nutrition and lost two hundred pounds. Now, through writing, speaking, and her
work as a personal trainer, she inspires others to achieve far more than they
thought possible. In Never Say Diet, now available in trade paperback, Chantel
provides everything readers need to lose weight for good, including:

· Simple, step-by-step workout routines that fit into a normal weekday schedule

· A realistic approach to nutrition that helps people break their bondage to food

· Strategies for staying motivated when life takes unexpected turns

· Keys to dealing with discouragement by relying on God’s strength

· The secret to moving beyond past failures and getting over old excuses

Chantel helps readers make the five commitments that are necessary for changing their lives. Her high-energy, no-nonsense approach inspires readers to achieve results that last in body, mind, and spirit.

Author Bio: Chantel Hobbs is a personal trainer, certified spinning instructor, and motivational speaker whose no-excuses approach to fitness has won her a grateful following across the country. The author of Never Say Diet, Chantel hosts a weekly fitness program on Reach FM radio and is a regular guest on Way FM. Her “Ditch the Diet, Do the Weekend” bootcamp takes place several times a year in a variety of locations. She has presented her unique approach to lasting fitness in People magazine and on Oprah, The Today Show, Good Morning America, Fox News, The 700 Club, Living the Life, and Paula White Today. Chantel enjoys life with her husband and their four children in South Florida.
I love the fact that Chantel is a Christian and that when she had reached her lowest point, (and her highest weight), she broke down and surrendered it all to GOD. She asked Him to give her a plan to lose the weight, and He answered her prayer. Chantel Hobbs sincerely believes that this plan is not just for her, but for all of us out there who have been struggling with our weight. I'm willing to give it a try. And if you think you'd like to try it with me...KEEP READING...
But wait! There's More!!! I was also sent a copy of her latest book, "The Never Say Diet Fitness Trainer". This book is designed to be a companion workbook to the Never Say Diet Book and includes a 16 week program to get you started on your weight loss success.

Personal Trainer summary:

Her newest book, The Never Say Diet Personal Fitness Coach, now allows
readers to have Chantel show up each week to inspire, encourage, and energize
them on the journey to a healthy life that centers on body, mind, and
spirit. This fitness guide helps readers set new weight-loss goals and create
an exercise schedule that works in the midst of life’s constant demands. Readers
will be inspired with Scripture, and they will welcome Chantel’s healthy eating
plan with simple, energy-and-nutrition-packed recipes. Weekly checklists and
personal evaluations direct readers in reaching their goals. Plus, Chantel’s
personal and entertaining stories provide the motivation needed to get through
even the most frustrating days. With Never Say Diet and The Never Say Diet
Personal Fitness Coach readers will establish new fitness habits that burn off
excess weight, increase strength, and establish a new, healthy way of living.

You can use this book set alone, with a group of friends, or in your small group bible study. A leader's guide can be found at

Now, for the really exciting part!!! You can join me in this new weight loss endeavor, by picking up these books for yourself, or you can try to win them right here! I have an extra 2-book set to give away to one of my readers. All I ask you to do, is leave me a comment telling me how much weight you would love to lose, and I'll enter you into a random drawing.

This contest is open to everyone, NOT just bloggers. If you've never left a comment on a blog before, it's very easy. Just click on "comments" after this post, and check the "name" or anonymous" box. Just make sure you leave me your name and a valid e-mail address, so I can contact you, in the event that you are my lucky winner. I will leave the contest open through January 31st, and announce the winner within the following week. If the winner does not get back to me within 3 business days, I'll draw another. Thanks for entering, and GOOD LUCK!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Wordless Wednesday ~ Our New "Draft Doggy"

At least he's good for something.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Happy Birthday Dan~A Quarter of a Century Old!

My step-son, Daniel turns 25 years old today. Here he is with his wife, TerriAnna and their son, Hayden. They live in Portland, OR. Dan does construction out there. Like father, like son.

When my kids and I met Ray and his kids, (almost 10 years ago), my son Joel told me I had to get together with this guy because then he'd have a really cool step-brother. That first Summer the two boys were pretty much inseparable. They'd answer the questions in unison, and everything they did became a competition. EVERYTHING. We used to refer to them as "the twins". Joel is 7 months older than Dan, so at the moment, we have two 25 year old sons. How about that, their ages together add up to mine.

Dan came to visit us this Fall, with his son Hayden. He and his dad had the opportunity to work together again, for a couple of weeks. Ray was thrilled to be able to spend time with his son for a little while, and I think Dan enjoyed spending some quality time with Dad too. Can you tell they're related by the above picture? Like I said, "Like father, like son". The funny thing was, they accidentally wore very similar shirts that day.

Have a great 25th birthday, Dan!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

A GREAT, GREAT Birthday!

Yesterday, we got together at my parents' house to celebrate my mother's 77th birthday. As you can see by the cake I made for her, she is now a great-great-grandmother. It was probably not the "greatest" cake I've ever done, since I very hurriedly decorated it that morning, but it turned out okay I guess. The inscription on the left says, "lucky 7's" in case you can't read it. As a birthday gift, my mother had requested a "work day", meaning all of us would come out and work on the list of things that she wanted to get done around the house. That's what we did.The above picture is their lowest-level family room, that my husband Ray had covered in poly, so that he could re-spray the ceiling that had some water damage from a broken pipe some time ago. He also did some plumbing and who-knows-what-else around the house. He's pretty handy at such things. My sister Kathy did some work on the downstairs bathroom that she's been redecorating for them for awhile now. My brother Bob was filling in grout in the kitchen tile etc. She had my brother Dan fix the doorbell that wasn't working, while everyone else was busy cleaning and doing all sorts of odd jobs around the house. I'm thinking that my "job" was the easiest of all. I took all the kids, (which consisted of my daughter, Molly who is almost 12 and five kids between the ages of 3 and 5), and put together a gingerbread house with them.
I was thinking that it wasn't really "work" at all to me. I was pretty much in my element, hanging out with little kids, and decorating something with an icing bag. The only problem was, that with all of those little "helping hands" adding candy decorations all at the same time, the frosting glue that was holding our little gingerbread house was loosened up, and the whole thing eventually collapsed. Oh well, we had fun doing it anyway, and the most important part of my job had been to keep the kids out of everyone else's hair while they did THEIR jobs. I suppose I succeeded at that.
They did manage to each decorate a gingerbread snowman while we were waiting for the house to dry. Unfortunately, I didn't get a picture of the decorated house before it collapsed.

My dad had another great idea to keep the kiddos entertained. He is a "retired" heavy equipment operator and still owns a lot of excavating equipment...and still likes to play with it.
He had pushed a pile of snow together, while plowing the driveway, and decided to make it into a great sliding hill for the little ones. It worked wonderfully, and the kids all had a BLAST on it.

This is Molly, giving Christian a push down the hill.

He would laugh his little head off, all the way down the hill and for a few minutes after he'd reached the bottom. I was having fun just watching the kids.

When the work was over, we still had to celebrate Mom's birthday too, of course. The really cool thing was, that my niece, Missy was able to come out, along with her daughter Kasey, her son Kurt and Kurt's daughter, Mya.

Kurt and his little "dolly", Mya are pictured above.

Does Missy, the gal in the baseball cap with her daughter Kasey on her lap, look like a grandma to you???

Would you believe my sister Laurie is a great-grandma???

Or, does the lady trying out her new bike that her kids got her for Christmas here, appear to be a great-great-grandmother to you??

Here they all are, 5 generations of the Felix family:
(l to r), Great-Grandma Laurie, Great-Great-Grandpa and Grandma Felix, Grandma Missy and Daddy Kurt. And of course, Mya, (their "great"est grandchild), is on my mom's lap.

It really was a GREAT day, wouldn't you say?

For Word Nerds Only

Word of the Day

Quote of the Day

Spelling Bee
difficulty level:
score: -
please wait...
spell the word:

Match Up
Match each word in the left column with its synonym on the right. When finished, click Answer to see the results. Good luck!