Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Movie Date

Stevie has known Charlie for many years, and ever since she was his high school prom date I have chaperoned them on a couple of dates each year. It's usually a movie and dinner.

This time they went to see the movie Tangled, a funny version of Rapunzel. I laughed as much as they did.

Then off to The Chocolate Cafe. After all that popcorn, we only got a cup of hot soup and dessert. The "Fondue For 2" was just enough for the 3 of us.Yummmm!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve

Our family had Christmas dinner and gift exchange on Christmas Eve this year because Deliverance had to work on Christmas day.

Well, she had to work on Christmas Eve too, but not in the evening.

Deliverance and Josh hosted downstairs with a cozy fire in their fireplace and mellow Christmas music.

As usual there was lots of good food and sweets. I think the star of the show was this chocolate cake Deliverance made with peppermint mousse filling and ganache coating.

Stephen received some karaoke games and microphones. He loves to sing, mostly alone in his room.

(Oh, btw, Steve requested I cut him out of the photo on the internet)

Poor Scooby, why do we torture him so?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Stained Glass Sugar Cookies

While we were art my parents house I found myself with nothing planned one day so I made my grandma's sugar cookie recipe,
only I altered it slightly by adding a pane of stained glass in the centers.

This takes a lot of extra time but is pretty easy.
Just crush a hard candy (Jolly Ranchers are best) to fill into each center cut-out just before they are done cooking.

It is easiest to get them off the cookie pan if you bake them on baking parchment so you can slip it off the pan to cool before you peel the cookies off.

I also made my mom's cream cheese cookie recipe. One of my all time favorites.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Michigan Family Pre-Christmas Visit

We took a few days to run up to Michigan to visit my family a few days before Christmas since Steve managed to actually get this time for one of his vacation weeks..

Besides my parents, this also included seeing my brother, sister, niece and her husband.

We don't often get to see them around the holidays so it was a special treat.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Mom's Nursing Home Christmas Party

The Alzheimer's unit sponsored a Christmas dinner for clients and their family.

There was plenty of food and gifts, songs, and cute children to give the clients lots of joy.

Barb, Stevie and I had a memorable time with mom. As for mom, she forgot about it the next day,

It was worth seeing the joy on her face, because she thought it was all for her birthday, which is 2 weeks later.

Being the good hostess, she had to play the social butterfly and visit each client and visitor to ask them if they were having a good time.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

Deliverance and Josh invited us downstairs to their place for Thanksgiving dinner, and Josh's brother Chris was there too.

It is the first year they have their own completed kitchen. I welcomed it gladly, since it would mean a lot less cleaning up for me.

I decided to try a recipe I found on line for sausage stuffed mushroom caps. They went over very well.

Deliverance's chipotle-augratin potatoes are always a big hit, as well as her sweet potato casserole with pecan praline topping, and pumpkin cheesecake.
Sooo easy to partake in the traditional Thanksgiving over-indulging.

It was also too difficult to choose just one of the yummy desserts, so I allowed Stevie to have a sample of each one. His favorite course.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Survival of the Fittest Flower

Petunias are pretty hearty. When I forget to water my flowers for a few days in a heat wave, most of them don't survive, but after a while my petunias will make a comeback.

When I don't dead-head them they tend to loose all thier leaves and die back, but if I cut them back short they may take a month but will come back to their former glory.

Our first real snow that stuck around for a few days before the weather warmed up again, snuffed out my other flowers for the rest of the year, but this amazing pot of petunias don't seem to be phased a bit.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Nursing Home Halloween Party

If Steve's mom leaves the Alzheimer's unit someone has to be with her.
Her unit was having a little celebration but more fun was to be had where the singer and visiting children were.

So Steve, Stevie and I helped mom attend the party in the larger common dining room.

She loved watching the little ones go trick-or-treating from table to table where the patients could give them something from the bowls of candy on each table, and then watch them dance to the songs the visiting singer sang throughout the hour.

She wanted to hang on to the cat ear headband I made for her costume. The aids said she played with it for days, putting them on her as well as any client who would let her put it on them.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

9th Anniversary

So proud of our kids Deliverance and Josh. (and Stevie too of course, but it's not his anniversary)

They have been through a lot of hardship and experienced a lot of blessings packed into the 9 short years they have been husband and wife.
A lot more than Steve and I probably ever have.

The Lord has blessed us by giving us them.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Stephen's 27th

Of course he had to have a double fudge cake with chocolate ice cream.

He asked for balloons and streamers this time.

He still gets a kick out of the trick candles that re-light themselves.

Enough super soaker water guns to have a war.

Power Ranger multi-function weapon.

Deliverance & Josh took him to see the play Pinocchio.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Brookfield Zoo With Friends

I haven't been to one of the Chicago zoo's for many years, so when my friends Linda and Pat wanted somewhere to go together that's what we decided on.

A zoo is about the only place you can get a good look at God's wonderful creations that live in other parts of the world that we will probably never experience. I don't like animals to be caged, but these all had nice habitats to roam around in.

Despite it being a scorcher of a day, we had a good time seeing as much as we could before the heat would stop us. So we cheated and took the trolley around a lot of the areas and then picked out a few areas to take a closer look at, including the dolphin show.

While we ate a late lunch in the shade, the younger of the 4 of us, Stevie and Linda, went to a couple of the exhibits that Pat and I weren't up to pushing ourselves to, before we made the trek out to the car and head home before rush hour.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Happy Birthday To My College Sweetheart

Steve - you have never given me cause to wonder about your love and devotion to me.

...and by the way, you have a great smile

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Berry Picking Season

Look at the pretty sky, this farm is called Blue Sky Blueberry Farm.

I picked the biggest ones I could find, but most all of them were big and delicious.

I put one on a penny and one on a nickle to help you see how plump these beauties are. I'll only need a few for each blueberry pancake or muffin (but I like more than a few in them). Enough for fruit salads until Easter.

The bushes were so full and ripe you constantly heard all the little thump sounds as berries just fell of the bushes. I didn't know whether to pick the bushes or pick them off the ground,

Stevie and I got to the red raspberry field at Grandma's Berry Patch just as they were dwindling out but managed a few pints, the black raspberries were already gone. The blackberries and blueberries are still going good for a couple more weeks.

A few days later to Garwood orchards for blackberries, the blackberries at Grandma's were a little sweeter.

You can tell Stevie wasn't too happy to be there. The days we picked were extremely hot, so we didn't stay long. the hottest day was 95f but heat index of 105.

After we eat a bunch I freeze them on sheet pans and bag them to use throughout the year.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Being Content Doesn't Come Easily

When our heart breaks because our plans are shattered, peace can only come from trusting that the One who created our life is controlling it for His own magnificent plans. His ways are much higher than our ways. This has always been hard for me, because I tend to be a bit controlling, Each time He breaks our plans we can try to go it alone or save time and get on the path He is preparing for us.

 This song is about Romanian hymnist and pianist, Nicolae Moldoveanu. He served 5 yrs for his Christian faith. While in prison and without pen and paper, he composed over 360 hymns. He's credited with 8000 songs, they are still sung throughout Romania today.

verses on being content, at peace:
2Co 12:10 Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.
Php 4:11 Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am
Heb 13:5 Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, "I WILL NEVER DESERT YOU, NOR WILL I EVER FORSAKE YOU,"

lyrics to Break my Plans:
The praise songs of a nation flowed from his hands
and in a world of dark repression he made a stand
they told him to be silent and led him away
ten years was the sentence, a prisoner of faith
as he waited for God's timing another winter chilled the air
and as he thought of his own family he was filed with despair
so he cried out for justice "was there any other way?"
but then he gave it all to Jesus as he began to pray

"break my plans, shape my heart, take my will to where you are.
Move my mind through your Word, til all that I am
lives to love you, Lord."

I know I'm called to suffer and to take up my cross
but sometimes I grow so fearful when I count the cost
still my heart wants to follow and to walk in Your ways
to be counted with the faithful, Lord guide me today.

with all my heart, my strength and my soul,
I will love you God, so use my life and take complete control.

"break my plans, shape my heart, take my will to where you are.
Move my mind through your Word, til all that I am
lives to love you, Lord."

Romanian hymnist and pianist, Nicolae Moldoveanu, served 5 yrs for his Christian faith. While in prison and without pen and paper, he composed over 360 hymns. He's credited with 8000 songs, they are still sung throughout Romania today.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Michigan Visit

Stevie and I went to visit family for a few days near the Detroit area. I picked up a few Buddy's pizza to bring home in the cooler. Then decided to bring home a couple more so dad loaned me his cooler too.

When dad and Stevie went to pick up the extra ones he took a photo of Stevie in front of the building. Then a guy waiting for his take-out volunteered to take a photo of them together.

My mom is a Chaplain at a medical care facility. She organizes church services for the patients 3x a week with various pastors and others who can sing and teach. When they forget to show up sometimes she has to fill in for them, which makes her a little nervous, but doesn't want to let them or the Lord down so she does her best.

The preacher she had scheduled this time was also a great singer. And guess what? He grew up next door to me. I've known him since we were little, but I hadn't seen him since I went to college and moved away. We wouldn't have recognized each other on the street. I was good friends with his sister, so it was good to catch up for a few minutes.

It was also good to see my sister and niece who always make an effort to come over while I'm there. My brother has now moved out of state. I miss them all.

The flower tree "snake" that my parents make every year is always beautiful to see. It is so much work that each time they wonder if it will be the last year they can do it.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Poor Baby!

My mom has a Quaker parrot named Carmen who fell and broke her leg. The vet put a cast on, so she has a difficult time getting around on the bottom of her cage.

Carmen would usually be on mom's shoulder a lot during the day, but since she can't stand now mom made her a sling to sit in so she can still ride along.

It's made from cutting a nylon knee-hi so it can be tied around mom's neck, and making a hole for each foot and tail so she won't slip out the bottom.

It's so funny to see.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Puzzling Time

On our most recent ladies night we decided to work a puzzle before dinner (pizza) and then our usual card games.

We've become used to half focusing on the movie playing in the next room where Stevie is sitting close by.
He is half watching the movie and half trying to interact with us, because Pat and Linda like to tease him, and they know he so enjoys it.

It's nice to have a Christian support system.
When you're with those who have the same values you feel comfortable discussing what is going on your lives. You know they understand what you are feeling, and will have the kind of advice or encouragement you can really use. You can rely on them for good clean fun and meaningful relationships. When we have a conflict, God has instilled in us the desire to reconcile because we are part of His body.
Part of our maturity comes from being accountable for our failings. When we don't have that warmth from each other we are like a lone coal, our spiritual life grows cold.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Happy 57th Anniversary

...to my mom & dad.

I was their 3rd anniversary present, on the longest day of the year. When I was little it always felt like a festive week with 4 celebrations, cause it was just after Father's day and my mom's birthday was 2 days after mine.

My mom always had a party every year for each of us kids' birthdays, she didn't have a very happy childhood. I always thought that was the norm for everyone until one year a friend commented on how cool that was.

So, now that I look back on it, their anniversary never overshadowed my day, isn't that just like good parents.

They would still go out to dinner and a show, or a weekend getaway. When I turned 12 they went on a week long trip and mom sent my cake (she was a cake decorator) with me to stay at my grandma's, where we watched the moon landing.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Spider Bite

Be careful. I thought I was, didn't even see a spider, or realized that I was bit. Saw this hours after coming inside from cleaning our pool cover.

The next day it started getting hard, itchy and a little purple. The ER doc said it really looked like it was from some kind of spider.

20 hours in the Hospital. IV of 2 antibiotics, steroid and morphine.

I was told if the swelling area gets bigger than 2" diameter, seek help.

Mine ended up being 6" while I was in ER.