Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year

We are back from our vacation in Colorado. A full week of snow and fun that goes with that (skiing, sledding, snowshoeing, gameboards, eating, etc.). Our children went with us as well as our son-in-law's family. Our sweet granddaughter had both sets of grandparents with her all week! Our cabin was great and plenty of room for everyone and a beautiful view of mountains and an occasional elk. I will be posting pictures soon.

For now, I am still trying to dig out from underneath vacation and all that goes with that -- laundry and more laundry, boxes of packed goodies, all the miscellaneous that you thought was a must for a vacation week! My house is a full blown disaster and I've been too tired to dig into it yet this week (back to work, etc.). So New Years Day is the day of cleaning! What a way to ring in the New Year -- oh well, I still plan on sleeping in first!
Everyone have a Very Happy New Year. I hope 2009 is just as great as 2008 has been for our family.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Merry Christmas

This is the Christmas card we sent out this year. 2008 has been and is a big year for our family. A grandbaby in January and our youngest child to graduate as a Computer Engineer in December.

I will be taking a break from blogging. Just over Christmas Break. From our Family to Yours ... Have a Very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Christmas Angel

Here is my Christmas Angel! My granddaughter, Cora. She is 11 months old now. We're very excited about this Christmas!

Cora took her first steps last week. By Christmas she may be running! She says Mommy, Daddy and Hi (maybe other words I haven't heard yet). Now we need to practice saying Nanna and Pappa!

Cora is a sweet baby and brings much joy to our family. We love you sweetie!

Friday, December 12, 2008

New Shoes

These are my new shoes. They are soooooo comfortable. I think they are really cute too! I bought them at the Naturalizer outlet store. After wearing heels on most days, these really make my feet say "thank you"!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Favorite Christmas Movie

My all time favorite Christmas is (drumroll please):

White Christmas

You probably already figured that out by the picture to the left! I haven't sat down and watched it yet this year. I always like to watch it with my daughter. Believe it or not, but I have a copy of this movie in beta format. Does anyone else remember beta? Our beta player still works and I have many movies recorded that I watch periodically (ok, almost never!).

I need to DVR this movie and save it like I have "Its a Wonderful Life" (my 2nd favorite movie, maybe tied for 1st). My beta version may not last too much longer -- you just never know.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

More on Simple Christmas

Simple Christmas Thoughts:
  • A relaxed loving time with the family

  • Realistic expectations with the family

  • An evenly paced holiday season

  • What traditions were the most enjoyable to you as a child?

  • Include some of those traditions in your holiday celebrations

  • Discuss with your children which holiday traditions they enjoy most

  • Set aside time with your children

  • Simplify holiday preparations

  • Entertain less

  • Cut back on outside commitments

  • Watch less TV/Commercials

  • Discuss gift expectations with your children

  • Travel less

Lowering Expectations...If there is no such thing as "the perfect family", then how could there be such a thing as "the perfect family Christmas?"

  • Identify disappointments that we have during the holidays

  • Realize that people will disappoint us and that most people don't change

  • Realize "family" has many definitions and shapes - accept and celebrate that which is unique about your family

  • Realize we can't be everywhere, do everything and please everyone

I'm working on incooperating a Simple Christmas into our lives. Tonight I am going to go listen to our High School Choir sing. I haven't done this in several years and am looking forward to their beautiful voices singing the holiday songs -- Let the Holiday Season begin!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Monday Memory

This is my daughter playing with her blocks. This is probably 25 years ago. We lived in Hobart, Indiana. Our first place in Indiana was a two bedroom apartment within a large apartment complex.

We called her "Little Pebbles" because I pulled her little bit of hair up into a barrette! She was a very busy little girl. She was a very sweet little girl and mommy's big helper. She was also really good to play by herself.

Where has the time gone?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Simple Christmas

Our church introduced a "Simple Christmas" season. We are challenged to spend less and give more thoughtful gifts. We received resources to help us consider making Christmas time less hectic.

Ten Steps from Hectic to Simple (Movement Toward a Holier, Healthier, Less-broke Christmas!)

  • Draw names

  • Give family gifts instead of individual gifts

  • Give gifts only to children

  • Design and make your own gifts

  • Give to mission and benevolent project in someone's honor

  • Give and wrap gifts in a way that cares for the environment

  • Give the gift of your time, talents and involvement (more presence, less presents!!)

  • Adopt a family in the community

  • Give to global missions

  • Plan a small snack reception in your home in order to get to know your neighbors better

Our family is trying to do some of these suggestions. We are going to spend vacation time together this year in lieu of gifts and just bring gifts for Cora, my granddaughter. We also adopted a local family and have been buying gifts and grocery gift card for their family.

Is your family doing anything different this year for Christmas? Do you have some simplier suggestions?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Movie Review

My son and I went to Disney's new movie, "Bolt". John Travolta is the voice to Bolt, the main character, and Miley Cyrus is the little girl's voice.

We both really enjoyed the movie. It was a very cute story and many laugh-out-loud moments. This may be one that I need to purchase and have in my library for Cora to watch in a few years.

Just a good all around movie to watch with your family.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Blackberry Free Downloads

I am trying out new software on my blackberry. I have downloaded google, yahoo and MaraTick.

Google has a search engine, google map, news, photos (Picasa Web Albums) and Reader (that I catch up with some of my favorite blogs).

Yahoo has e-mail, flicker photo albums (which is where I keep my family photos), news, sports, celebrity watch, weather, maps & driving, facebook, find-a-movie, and abc news.

MaraTick is a list maker. So far I have just used it as a grocery list. When you begin to type in an item, it shows multiple names of items that you can pick from. Makes it easy to use. It looks like I can e-mail this list to someone too. I am still trying to figure out this software.

I'd like to try out WorldMate the next time we take a trip. I'm also looking at Viigo. Looks like this has a lot of up-to-date news and RSS Feed. May duplicate a lot of what I already have.

Anyone know of other free downloads for Blackberry that I should try out?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Monday Memories

My children posing in front of Yellowstone National Park's Upper Falls (I believe - or is it the lower falls) in 1990.

Wonderful memories and a great vacation. I love waterfalls and Yellowstone is a fabulous park to visit.

We lived in Indiana at the time, so thus the Purdue sweatshirts. They did such a great job posing for mom's numerous pictures. A few years from this and they were definitely complaining about mom taking their picture!

Monday, November 10, 2008


My hubby bought me a dozen roses for my birthday! I love the red and yellow combination. Yellow is my favorite color. I absolutely love yellow roses. What is your favorite rose color?

I received a beautiful black sweater from my daughter that I have been wearing ever since she gave it to me and it is so warm during this first cold spell.

My son took me out on a date and we went to a movie and watched "The Changeling". It was great. I'm not a big fan of Angelina Jolie, but she was great in this movie.

I'm blessed to have a wonderful, loving family.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Chicken Costume

My granddaughter in her 1st Halloween costume. What a cute little chicken!

She looks very soft and cuddly!

Alas, no candy in her basket! Maybe next year.

It is the day after the elections and I am so glad that it is all over! No more ads, robo calls, etc. That was definitely getting old. Regarding the Presidential candidates, both men ran a hard fought race and the speeches from both were inspiring to me. America is a wonderful democracy and I'm proud to be a part of it.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Bargain Find

I found this vase a few weeks ago and just had to have it. It was a garage sale find. I have black and white in my living room and decor that has swirls, so I thought this would fit in nicely. It is sitting in the center of my coffee table in my living room (except when my granddaughter is visiting!).

After looking at this picture, I believe I need to cut away some of the wax on that candle!

Bargain finds at garage sales are probably done for the year -- too cold. I'll just have to move indoors to antique malls!

Friday, October 24, 2008

New Fav

I just found this soda. Caffeine and sugar free - yeah! I tried it and really like the flavor. I had not seen this before, but I think it comes out around this time for the holidays. I need to stock up on this so I can have it year round! My other favorite soda is Sunkist Diet Orange. It is zero calories but does have caffeine.

It's the little things in life sometimes - and finding a zero calorie, no caffeine, taste good drink is a good thing.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Coming Home

My husband is coming home today from Kenya. He has been gone 10 days on a mission trip. He is flying from Nairobi to Amsterdam to Detroit to St. Louis.

I'm anxious for him to get back home. It has been a long 10 days. I'm also anxious to hear about his trip and all that he has learned about the country of Kenya.

My SIL is going to Haiti next week on a mission trip with his church. My daughter and granddaughter will be coming to stay with us for a few days while he is gone (yeah!). Haiti has had a lot of destruction recently from hurricanes and needs a lot of help. Please pray for his safety during this trip.

We're thankful for these opportunities of service, but we will also be glad when they are both back home with us.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Movie Review

"The Secret Life of Bees"

Loved it, loved it, loved it!

Cry, weep ... cry some more.

I read the book and really liked it as well .

Great acting and just a great story. Not sure my husband would have liked it though ... actually pretty sure he would not have!

Great movie to go to with your girlfriends. Get out and see it as soon as possible.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Quilt Show

I attended a quilt show on Saturday with my parents. There were many beautiful quilts. They had different categories (i.e. machine quilted, hand quilted, wall hangings, etc.) and you voted on which quilt you liked the best in each category.

I have personally quilted one quilt top given to me by my great aunt and am currently working on a baby quilt from scraps of material that I have in my closet. That will be my first quilt top that I have made. I thought a baby quilt would be a good place for me to start.

The quilt above was on display and not in the running on the voting. The quilt on the left I thought was really interesting. The material in the circle area has raw edges.

While I was at the quilt show I ran into one of my High School teachers. That was fun to catch up with her. During lunch at a local restaurant, my waitress was a past classmate that I hadn't seen since graduation. Her twin sister lives nearby me, unbeknownst to me, so we are going to try to have a small reunion when she comes through my town.

Good weekend for visiting and enjoying the wonderful fall weather.

Friday, October 17, 2008

New Toy

This is my new toy! My cell phone was broken and I decided to jump into the SmartPhone arena. I am receiving my e-mail, surfing the web, reading my fav blogs and oh yeah, it is also a phone! I'm still figuring out many of its features, but so far I'm happy with it.

I bought the red one from SAMs. What was nice about buying the phone from SAMs is they sell the product at the price after rebate. If I bought it at AT&T I would have had to pay $200 and get $100 rebate. But SAMs sells it for $99.99 and no rebate needed - yeah!

I'm still trying to figure out how to blog with my blackberry. Hopefully, I will get that figured out soon.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Last Leg of Trip

On our last day in the Seattle area, we rented a red Ford Mustang and made a trip to Idaho for my cousin's son's wedding. The wedding coincided with our being in the area, so we felt we would take the beautiful Washington drive to Idaho and congratulate the young couple. The Mustang was fun and it was installed with Siruis radio, so we had fun playing with that as well. On the way back from the wedding we were able to listen to the Mizzou football game!

We crossed the Columbia River and stopped at the scenic overlook to get this beautiful picture. So much beauty in the state of Washington.

As we crossed into Idaho, we continued to see beautiful lakes and gorgeous skies.

The wedding was in Kellogg, Idaho, and was suppose to be outdoors, but the rain stopped that and so they quickly moved everything indoors.

The picture on the left is the wedding site. We enjoyed visiting with our family and was happy to celebrate in this important event in my cousin's family's life.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Seattle Public Market

If you haven't been to Seattle's Public Market, it is a bustling, bright, exciting market.
Every fruit, vegetable, fish, and flowers that you could want. The flower bouquets in the picture only cost $4.90!

Pike Place throws their fish from behind the counter to one of their employees walking around in the crowd. That employee interacts with the crowd and everyone has a good time.

There are music performers all around the market. On the ground there are musical notes painted into the concrete and that is where the musicians can play for one hour. The musical group in the picture played folk/bluegrass music and while I was standing there two people bought their CDs and others put money in their banjo case. I enjoyed their music and I think others did too.

The upper left picture is me in front of the entrance to the market. The bottom left is a bakery that I really liked called "The Three Sisters". Their cookies were scrumptious.

If you ever get a chance to visit Seattle, by all means don't miss out on the Public Market.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Seattle at Night

While in Seattle we took a 3 hour cruise (but unlike Gilligan, we did make it back). As we were leaving the habor, this is what we saw. It was a beautiful evening and was a little hazy so we couldn't see Mt. Rainier in the background, but still a beautiful night.

The cruise was with my husband's conference. They had an amazing dinner for us on board and everyone relaxed and visited and took in the fabulous sights.

I used about every function on my digital camera trying to get the best night picture. This is one of my favorite shots. I really love city skyline pictures. I tried my night landscape, fireworks, sunset and candlelight options on my camera. I used so many different functions that now I'm not sure which one I used that worked the best!

I zoomed in close to get this Space Needle picture. Several of the pictures I took ended up blurry because of the distance, but this one turned out really well. I love digital photos -- you can just keep taking pictures until you get the one you like.

The next post will be pictures from Seattle's Public Market. The Market is rich with color from flowers to vegetables and interesting people from many cultures.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Back from Seattle

We had a great time in Seattle and the surrounding area. Beautiful city and many interesting sites and people in the downtown area.

My husband and I had some trouble in changing time zones. We would be tired around 8:30 p.m. and wake up at 4:00 a.m. I definitely had plenty of time to exercise and get breakfast before the stores opened!

The picture to the left is Mt. Rainier from the plane. When we were in Seattle a few years ago, we did not ever see it. This time it was hazy and cloudy, but I can see at least part of the mountain.

The picture to the right is our view from our hotel room. Gorgeous! Puget Sound and beautiful mountains in the distance.

We spent Tuesday through Sunday in Seattle with a side trip on Saturday to my cousin's son's wedding in Kellogg, Idaho. We rented a red Ford Mustang and drove through Washington and a few miles into Idaho to celebrate this occasion with them.

I'll be posting more pics and fun stories about our Seattle trip soon. Stay tuned.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Sleepless in Seattle

This week has been a crazy one! Preparing for a work retreat happening this weekend, exhibiting at a conference this week and packing and getting ready for a trip to Seattle.

My husband has a conference and I am tagging along. I'm really looking forward to this vacation. We went to Seattle a couple of years ago but only stayed one day. I'm going to have six days in this wonderful city.

We are taking a cruise on the Royal Argosy as one of the networking dinners - that is going to be fabulous. If we are lucky, it won't be raining (although I bought a really cute raincoat at Macy's) and Seattle won't be fogged in and I can see the city with the mountains in the background.

The last time we went to Seattle and traveled around Washington, we couldn't see Mt. Rainier or Mt. St. Helens. I really hope that sometime during the week the skies will be clear and I can go to the Space Needle and get some beautiful pictures. I'm also looking forward to visiting Pike Place Market.
Seattle here we come!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Grandma's Toys

Cora came to visit Grandma and Grandpa. Her mom and dad came too! She is playing with Grandma's toys. Even some that Grandma played with herself when she was a baby.

All of my children were home this weekend - the guys played some golf and the girls shopped. Seems like we do that a lot (golf and shop).

Cora has a little tooth on the bottom, says momma and dadda and waves goodbye. It is fun to watch her grow.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Project Complete

This is the plaid skirt I mentioned in a previous blog. I guess I can call this my flood skirt since I made it on my day off because of the flood. I'm really happy with it. Add a brown belt, white shirt and a brown blazer and the outfit is all ready to go. The pattern is really easy, elastic waist instead of zipper, nice side pockets and a small split in the back to make walking easy. I need to keep my eyes out for some more material and whip up another one sometime soon.

I don't really sew very often but when I do, I enjoy it. Making things like skirts or baby afghans help me feel very productive. Taking material or yarn and turning the product into something to use is satisfying. Well...onto the next project.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


My table all set for 10 ladies coming to the Bible Study Kickoff gathering. Soup, sandwiches, chocolate dessert -- but still in my refridgerator. No one was able to come to my home due to the high waters!

Well, maybe another evening before Winter. Snow will also keep people from being able to get to my house. Our driveway is very steep and you have to have a 4-wheel drive to get out in the snow.

Instead I spent the day sewing myself a skirt. I had some teal, brown and green plaid material laying around and decided to spend my time on a sewing project. I'm not quite done with it but am anxious to wear it.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Flood Waters

This is the road that we normally drive on to get to town! Needless to say, we didn't make it to work today. This is a river that gets out of its banks from time to time but very rarely goes over the road and bridge. If you go the other direction on this road, it is also flooded by a creek. We are one of a few homes that gets flooded in. We also have water in our yard but not close to our house or basement. Thank goodness.

Hopefully the waters recede and we are able to get to town or work tomorrow. Thanks Ike!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Tour of Missouri

We enjoyed watching the bikers race to a finish at our capitol city. This biking event is called the Tour of Missouri. They have been biking all through Missouri and will end the race in St. Charles (St. Louis area).

I don't know too much about each rider or who is in the lead, but it was great to see all the athletes and the crowd excitement.

Later in the evening we went to the home opener of the local high school football team. My husband and children are all alumni and the evening started with a dedication to the school's new football and track field. We played a team that was ranked 2nd in the state of Arkansas and lost by 5 points. Our school is ranked 4th in the State of Missouri in Class 6A.

Monday, September 8, 2008


I am hosting our Women's Bible Study kick-off for the fall. We take a summer break and now we are ready to jump into the the book of Luke! We have a few new ladies joining us this year so we our up to about 11-12 ladies. We normally meet at the church but for the kick-off, I invited everyone out for soup and sandwiches.

To get ready for this event, my husband and I did some mulching in the flower beds. We have been meaning to do this earlier in the summer but kept putting it off. This year we used a darker wood chip instead of the lighter color we have used in the past. I really like the look of it. Our dog Belle is helping us by stomping down the chips after we pour them into the beds! She is also overseeing the project.

Now, this week, cleaning up the inside!

Saturday, September 6, 2008


I've been sewing and crocheting a little in the past weeks. A friend of mine also became a grandmother of a little girl and her son and wife live on the east coast while he attends medical school. I love to crochet and had this pink yarn in my craft closet, so I made this baby afghan with a frilly edging for the new parents.

I also bought some really fun material at a garage sale not too long ago and made some of the material into slipcovers for these pillows. This is the baby bed Cora sleeps in at out home. I also bought her the cute little cabbage patch doll for her to play with at Grandma's house. I have more of that material but I haven't decided yet what to do with it. I was thinking about somehow using it as background in a picture frame to hang on the wall. I haven't figured that out yet.

I have so many craft projects that I either have already started or have plans to start that I would have to quit my job and do that full time to complete all of them! Well, I guess I have enough projects for this winter anyway!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Favorite Things

Some of my favorites internet sites are:

I also check out all of the news sites (CNN, MSNBC, Fox, ABCNews, CBSnews, USAToday) on a daily basis not to mention all of the local newspapers. The WWW definitely keeps me much more informed than I was prior to Al Gore inventing it ;).

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Weekend Fun

We spent the weekend in this cabin on Lake of the Ozarks. My daughter and her family joined us as well as my son. My daughter's in-laws also joined us along with their daughter and new SIL. This is our 2nd annual holiday together. We are also making plans to go to Colorado together over the Christmas break. You can imagine, that little Miss Cora received a lot of spoiling over the weekend with both of her grandparents in the cabin with her!

We enjoyed our weekend boating, shopping, golfing, eating and playing Taboo. The young guys beat the 'ol guys in scramble golf but they all had fun either way. The gals went shopping and split up with moms and daughters and did the most shopping at Gap, Carters, Nautica, Marshalls, Bass, J Crew, Banana Republic, Hartstring, Geoffery Beene, Nine West, Baby Gap, and Izod.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Did anyone else grow up with a Childcraft Set? I loved the stories in these books. They go from nursery rhymes to short stories. My parents let me have the set that we had growing up. I'm really looking forward to reintroducing myself to the stories as I read them to Cora someday soon.

It's amazing how reading back through some of these stories take me right back through my childhood. Stories like these hold up over the years.

Fond memories ... good feelings.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Back to School

My youngest child (on right) is finishing up on his college career this semester. Yeah! He will graduate in December with a Computer Engineering major and a Computer Science minor. He came home this weekend after working all summer as an intern and starts school on Monday. No break for him! He has already received a job offer from his internship company, so he is taking some deep breaths now and looking forward to his last semester and the future.

We are very excited for him and are very proud of him and all his hard work at school and at his company. It's hard to believe we are already at this place in our lives -- last child graduating college ... but it is a very good feeling.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Did you watch the Saddleback Debate? It was during the Olympics, so some people may have not tuned in. Rick Warren from Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California invited both candidates to come and answer questions that he prepared from e-mails he received and his staff and congregation. Each candidate took a turn sitting on the stage with Rev. Warren and answering the same questions posed to them in front of the same audience.

I really enjoyed the format and this show really helped me feel more comfortable about what the candidates believe and their stance on certain issues. Some stations have been reshowing in the late night. If you missed it, you might catch it on a rebroadcast. It is worth your time to watch. The different media outlets are rehashing it bit by bit ... but it would be much better for you to just watch it for yourself and not every one's interpretation.

Friday, August 15, 2008

My Baby

Happy Birthday Kate! - Love You -

The day you were born was one of the best days of my life! (tearing up!).