Monday, November 30, 2015

Thanksgiving 2015

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving filled with family and good food!  We sure did!  I have to admit that I was really dreading the holiday since we lost Dad just two months ago, but we made it through and managed to have a good time, even with moments of sadness.
Not long before Dad's death, they had some trees cut from the front yard.  I just noticed on Thanksgiving that the tree cutter carved Dad's initials in one of the tree stumps.  I don't know how I had missed this before now, but I loved finding it on Thanksgiving Day.

On Wednesday night, my mom's oven went out and we about panicked!  I was already cooking the turkey and several desserts and Mom was to cook the dressing.  Her dressing is the best and is really my favorite part of the meal...other than desserts of course!  So, it fell on ME to make the famous dressing.  I was SO  nervous to do it, especially following Mom's instructions..."don't let it be too soupy or too dry".  Evidently it's a fine line to get it just right!  And...I did it!  And it was great!
My niece made her first desserts for our dinner!  I usually make most, if not all of the desserts, so she was so excited to try to show me up!  She told her mom the night before, "Aunt  Cheryl is going to be jealous because she does all the desserts and crafty things."  That made me laugh!  Anyway, her leaf-shaped cookies and little acorns were very good and I was so impressed and maybe a little bit jealous!
After lunch, we all went outside for picture taking.
My brothers and their families all were here.  One of my sister-in-law's dad came too.  We missed having Ashley though.   Since she works in retail, she had a late work day on Wednesday and an EXTRA early morning on Friday so there was just not enough time to make such a trip.  The cousins saved a spot for her in the group picture!
We all had such a good time together and our rain let up most of the day which  we were SO thankful for.
You can't have Thanksgiving  without have a little football...on tv and also in the front yard.
I'm so thankful that we have a close family that really enjoys being together.  We always have lots of laughs.
Also, Allan and I celebrated our 33rd Anniversary on Friday!  33 years!  I'm so thankful for this man and all he does for me and our family!

Now that Thanksgiving is over, it's a mad dash to the Christmas season!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Everybody's Working For The Weekend!

The weekend went flying by wayyyyy to fast it seems!  Ashley came home on Friday for a short visit.  She had concert plans with her bestie to go see Leeann Rimes.  She got home so early that I hadn't even been up for too long!  We decided to have lunch with Mom at Roma's.  Mom had a beauty shop appointment soon after lunch and since we finished lunch rather quickly we decided to kill some time by sharing CHEESECAKE!  We chose black forest this time and it was amazing!
We didn't do much the rest of the afternoon...just waiting on Allan to get home before going out for supper.  Ashley and I took a bunch of selfies and since we tend to act goofy, it was hard to get a decent picture but this  really is our true selves I guess!
She went on to the concert after supper and Allan and I went home and waited for her to come home.  Even though she's grown, I still wait up for her when she's home visiting.
She had to leave mid-morning on Saturday to get back to work that afternoon. I ALWAYS hate to see my kids leave...ALWAYS!  Anyway, they'll both be home in a few weeks for Thanksgiving and I can hardly wait.
Allan was gone most of the day Saturday for a TKD tournament so I was left to watch Hallmark Christmas movies the rest of the day.
Pic courtesy of TKD mom Melissa

Sunday was church and then out to Roma's...again.  We have such few choices here in smalltown Oklahoma so we eat out multiple times a week at the same restaurants. The food is always great here so we really don't mind.  Today, Allan had Roma's Salad with grilled chicken and I had tortellini alla panna with grilled of my absolute favorites!
John & Tonee ate with us today they usually do.  I'm thankful for such good friends!
After church tonight, we went out for supper at El Pueblito with a more church friends.  We always have a good time with lots of laughs.  It's a great way to end a Sunday and get ready for the week ahead.
See!  We can do a normal picture, although those silly ones really reflect who we really are and how we act with each other!
Have a great week!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Wednesday Hodgepodge #243

Happy Wednesday!  It's time for this week's Hodgepodge with Joyce and the ladies of the link-up.

1.  In two or three sentences, tell us what Veteran's Day means to you.
First of all, my favorite veteran would be my Daddy!  Veteran's Day should be all about appreciating and recognizing what a sacrifice SO many have made for our country in years past and also in recent years.  War is a terrible thing but also a necessary thing at times in order to protect our freedom.  But with war, comes loss and changed lives for so many people.  Thank you to all who have served or are currently serving our great country!

2.  What's your favorite film with a patriotic theme woven into the storyline?
I have just drawn a blank on this one...sorry!

3.  Flu shot-yes or no?  If you answered no, do you plan to get a flu shot?  If not, why not?  Have you ever had the flu?  NO flu shot!  I'm terrified of needles and that is my main reason for not getting the flu shot.  I talk my doctor out of any kind of injection if there is a pill or something else I can do.  I have had the flu before and it's no fun but neither is that needle rammed in my arm! flu shot for me!

4.  I've seen lots of people posting pictures of their Christmas trees up and decorated.  Many stores have had Christmas on display since well before Halloween.  Red cups are back at Starbucks, sans the holiday decor and that has some people up in arms.  What are your thoughts on all the holiday ruckus this second week of November?
I do love Christmas and all the hoopla that goes along with it...BUT...why can't we let Thanksgiving have it's moment too?  I love Fall but it just seems to get rushed through to get  the Christmas shopping season rolling along.  I do recognize it's all about the dollar, but I would prefer a simpler, less materialistic approach to the Christmas season. 

5.  What 'critter' are you most afraid of encountering unexpectedly?  Why that one?
There are so many to choose from that I don't know that I can narrow it to just one!  I'm a wimp when it comes to most critters.  I guess the most obvious one is a snake...I have literally gone crazy when I've come upon one suddenly.  My life flashes before my eyes as I'm doing the scared-of-snake dance!

6.  Do you like building things?  What's the last thing you 'built'?
I do like building things!  We are building a house but lately I haven't been much help.  I did 'build' a birthday cake for my mom last weekend though!  That fat-free sweetened condensed milk totally make this a healthy cake!  And dark chocolate is good for you so there's that added health bonus! 

7.  In keeping with this month's theme of gratitude...what are you most grateful for that brings beauty to your daily life?
I'm so grateful for my beautiful family!  Even though I don't see my kids as often as I would like, they're never far from my heart.  My hubby is one of the hardest working men around and I'm so thankful for all he does for me.  

8.  Insert your own random thought.
My church is such a giving church!  We collect pantry items for two children's homes in the state.  Recently the Tipton Home truck came to pick up the food and supplies we had gathered for them.  They always comment about how much is contributed each time they come. 
I hope everyone has a great rest of the week!

Monday, November 9, 2015

Weekend Update

I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend.  We did!  It was busier than normal  it seemed but busy in a good way.  Friday afternoon, we met up with a friend, Cathey, at a local restaurant, Angie's Circus City Diner.   Cathey does freelance journalism and was in town to do a story so we had a good little visit over a piece of Angie's chocolate pie.  Pie is ALWAYS good!
Afterwards, Allan and I went to Paris to get some things picked up for the new house. I always love going by the Eiffel Tower, too, when we're in Paris.  It was lit up so pretty!
Of course, we had to stay in town long enough to eat supper at Magel's, which is always great!
Saturday, we continued Mom's birthday celebration.  Both of my brothers and their families were able to come down for the afternoon and evening.
I always torture everybody with a little picture taking!
 Mom and the three youngest grands. 
 My kids weren't able to come home this weekend but we did miss having them.
Mom with me and my brothers.  
We went to eat at Roma's for supper and I took a cake that I'd made and we all had a great time.

Later than night, I was getting my Sunday School lesson prepared with the help of Precious & Abby.
It never fails that I have at least one kitty trying to 'help' me each time.  They're so cute, though, that it's hard to make them leave things alone!
Sunday was Bible Class and worship.  I had a full class of kiddos and we had a great time learning about being a light for Jesus.   We went to lunch with friends and then of course there is the standard Sunday afternoon nap!  We went to church again and then out for supper with more church friends!
I hope everyone had a great weekend and will have a great week!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Wednesday Hodgepodge #242

It's time for the weekly Wednesday Hodgepodge!  I'm joining in with Joyce and the other ladies for this week's questions.
1. Besides Thanksgiving, something you're looking forward to on your November calendar?
Yesterday!  It was my mom's birthday and we had a little birthday celebration at our local Italian restaurant.  The best part?  There was cheesecake involved!! Oh, and the hubby and I will celebrate our anniversary at the end of the month! 

2.  If I gave you a Thank You card right now, who would you send it to and why?
It would definitely be my hubby!  I really haven't properly thanked him for all he did to keep our house and my parents house running while Mom and I were with Dad for a month in a Dallas hospital.  He had to take care of animals at both houses, pay bills and basically do everything I normally do to keep the house running smoothly.  And, he had so much patience by letting me stay gone all that time to be with Mom and Dad.
3.   Of the breads listed, which one is your favorite...bagel, cinnamon, sourdough, garlic, banana, biscuit, pita, Naan, or plain old fashioned white bread?
I love bread!  Of those listed, I'd have to choose banana bread, even though all of those others are great too.  Banana bread just gets better as it ages...moister and moister and so delicious!

4.  What's something you have in abundance?  Is that a good thing?
Ok, this is kind of embarrassing but I'm going to go ahead and say it...BEANIE BABIES!   I got in on the craze from almost the beginning of it, and I have so many!  When I think I'm going to get rid of them and just keep a few, the keep pile just gets bigger and bigger, so I guess I'll keep them all for now!  The good thing about it is, that I haven't added to the collection in years.  

5.  November 5th is National Love Your Red Hair Day.  Are there any redheads in your family?  Who is your favorite redhead?
We do have redheads in our family...a brother, nephew, and several cousins!  Other than family, my favorite redhead would have to be Lucille Ball.  She was just the best!

6. The travel website Busbud recently calculated the most Instagrammed spot in every state?  Go here to see what made the list where you live.  Are you happy with your state's #1?  If not, what do you think should be the most photographed spot in your state?  Have you snapped a photo there?  If you live outside the USA, answer as it relates to you city, state or province.
I live in Oklahoma and Busbud says The Tulsa Zoo is the most Instagrammed place.  I've never been there but I imagine you can get some great pics there.  There are so many neat places across the state that could have made the list, that it's hard to choose just one.  My hometown has a couple of tourist attractions that I always love to show people when they come to being our local cemetery! Being a circus town, there is a big section of the cemetery dedicated to circus people.  There are some very interesting monuments!  

7.  I'm going to try to have something related to gratitude in this spot each week during the month of November.  Here's this week's question- What's something you've learned about yourself this year that you're grateful for?
I've learned to truly rely on my faith to get through tough times.  Dealing with my Dad's illness and recent death has been the hardest thing to do in my life so far.  The last month of his life while he was in the hospital was really hard...hard seeing him decline, hard watching mom go through this with him, and hard being away from home for such an extended time. Prayer and faith is what I had to rely on.  I tell my hubby all the time, that I don't know how people that don't have a faith in God get through the hard times in life.  

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
We had such a fun Halloween last weekend!  The rain held off and we had a HUGE turn out for our Trunk or Treat at our church.  It was good that we could serve our community and provide a fun, safe environment for kids to come and have a good time.  And get candy!!  
Have a great rest of the week!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Halloween 2015

I hope y'all had a great Halloween weekend!
 We sure did!  Friday night we went to eat at Roma's, our favorite Italian restaurant.  The staff had told us earlier in the week, yes we eat there more than once a week, that they were going to dress up on Friday night.  So, we went to check them out.
They were so cute!  Cruella DeVille  was pretty evil looking but those puppies were adorable and so was the angel.  We had a lot of fun with them!  They really got into all the picture taking with us and other customers.
Saturday night, our church hosted a Trunk or Treat.  This was our second year to do this and it was very successful!
We had quite a few that came to decorate their cars/trucks and to hand out candy.
We had some really creative ones with a lot of work involved.
I had several ideas that I really wanted us to do but since I have great procrastination skills, they didn't get done, so we settled on a camping/hunting theme and I really liked it!  By the end of the night, we were wishing our fake fire wasn't so fake!

Before the Trick or Treat time actually started, church friends grilled burgers and hot dogs for all of us that were busy getting our cars all fixed.  We enjoyed this time together and it was great to have our supper fixed for us!
Overall, the night was a huge success!  Someone had a rough count of 600 kids that came by!  I think this is a great way we can serve our community in providing a safe place for kids to come and have a good time and gather up all the candy they can stand!  And, boy did they ever!
Have a great week!