Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year's Eve:


I was a lot more patient in 1990 than I am today. When I look at this picture, I wonder what I was thinking!! The kids were excited to celebrate the New Year and wanted to throw confetti like they do on TV. So, I let them each (Chad, Todd, April & my nephew, Troy) have a basket and toilet paper to shred. Imagine at midnight 4 baskets of "confetti" tossed in the air. It really was fun to watch the kids have such a good time. They did clean up their mess, after they tossed confetti in the air a few more times.

We put a lot of emphasis on a new year, as if some magic will make it better than the year before. We should appreciate each day on it's own merit. But I, too, am looking forward to a better year in 2010. I pray for good health, children's life to become better, my parents. The list goes on. Then I think, Connie, God has blessed you with so much, appreciate each day and blessing.

So my wish for 2010 is to become a better person and accept each day as it comes, for that is a blessing in itself.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Holidays: (& the flu season)

Christmas Eve:
I worked part of the day then went home to get ready to go to Mom and Dad's that evening. We were a smaller group this year but we had a good time. We cherish our time together celebrating with our parents. Mom read the Christmas story out of the Bible and the kids sang Happy Birthday to Jesus.
After Mom's, we went to the house for our celebration. April had found a recipe for shrimp appetisers and let me tell you, they were very, very spicy!! If we have them again, we will have to cut down on the chipotle peppers and cayenne. We all received nice gifts and just sat around visiting.
My boys:
Todd & Chad

April & Mike:

Christmas Day:
This was a first for me and Dwayne in our entire married life and before, we were alone on Christmas Day. I thought I would be sad being by ourselves and not going to any family functions but I actually enjoyed the day relaxing. We went to Denny's around noon for breakfast and then just watched TV the rest of the day.
Flu, the beginning of the season:
No one likes to hear the phone ring at 3:30 in the morning. Your first thought is it has to be bad news, Mom or Dad sick, a wreck, the boys are in trouble, a million thoughts running through your head. It was Chad saying he was sick, could I come down. So Dwayne and I both took out to Chad's in a rush to get there. We always seem to panic a little when Chad gets sick as any infections seem to trigger his kidney disease and it takes longer for him to heal. When we got there, he was laying on the bathroom floor, too weak to get back to bed. We stayed for a couple hours as his temperature was high and he was so sick. We then went back home for a couple hours sleep. I told Dwayne he could be "Mr. Mom" and take Chad to the doctor. Luckily for us, a local doctor was in Saturday morning. Chad has the flu, strep throat and a sinus infection. Dwayne even brought his bed clothes home to wash and went back and forth to check on Chad during the day. Since my immune system isn't that strong, we figured Dwayne would be the nurse. (Unfortunately, he came down with the flu Sunday morning).
Rowe/Akridge Christmas:
April and I went to my nephew's house (Tony Rowe's) for their Christmas celebration. We had great food and lots of fun watching the kids open presents. We then had a "white elephant" gift exchange. The adults had a good time but the kids just didn't seem to understand the whole game of stealing gifts.
The rest of the day I made cookies and pies for our Elrod dinner on Sunday.
Sunday, Elrod Dinner:
Dwayne put the ham on and then went back to bed. He had come down with the flu and could barely get out of bed. I called David to see if they still wanted to come down since Dwayne was sick. They had their flu shots so we went ahead with the dinner. Good thing as I had alot of food cooked. Chad was still sick and unable to come over, Dwayne came into the living room a couple times but went back to bed. Trevor and Xander had fun with their presents and kept us entertained.
Before they got there, my sister, Judy called and said Dad was in the hospital and that he had the flu. She called again later and said Dad had a bowel obstruction and was going to have to have surgery. The rest of the day was spent visiting and playing cards with the worry in the back of my mind about Dad. Last night I went up to see Dad and he was feeling better. They were giving him medicine in an IV to hopefully keep him from having surgery.

The holiday weekend was a time of reflection on past Christmas' and missing Grandma Dodie and Grandpa Andy. Dodie loved Christmas and always made it a special time for everyone. I hope to carry on her tradition of celebrating Christmas surrounded by family and creating new memories.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Movie Night:

Occasionally, my sister Kate will rent a movie and bring it down for us to watch. Last night, she rented "It's All About Steve" with Sandra Bullock. Talk about a nerdy person, Sandra Bullock played the part to a tee. I like to watch Sandra Bullock's movies and she usually plays a funny part. I think it will be hard to watch her play such a serious role in her new movie, "Blind Side", but I'm sure she will do a great job as she is a very talented actress. I think I even have Dwayne talked into go to the theater to watch it instead of waiting for it to come out on DVR.
I fixed enchiladas for supper and April supplied the dessert. Along with me, Dwayne and April were Kate, MacKensie and Zach. We had a good evening with family and I love that we all live close to each other.


Nathaniel Lane Rowe
December 23, 1999

Nathan is the son of my nephew, Tony Rowe and his wife Billie.
Nathan was the highlight of our Christmas Eve family gathering at Mom's that year.His hair was almost the same color as Chad's was.
At the time of Nathan's birth, my sister, Judy (his grandma) lived in Ellington. I had the wonderful opportunity to play "grandma" to her grandchildren. We watched Nathan for the first time when he was just a couple weeks old. We took him to our friend's house for Mike's birthday. It seems to be a tradition for the great niece or nephew's first outing with us is to go visit Mike and Susan.
Nathan has gown up to be a remarkable child. He does very well in his schoolwork and helps out at home quite a bit. He loves horses and would ride most of the time if he had a chance.
Happy 10th Birthday, Nathan!

Monday, December 21, 2009


End of the work week and just a relaxing evening at home.
My great nephew, Nathan had a birthday party in the evening. I will do a tribute to him on the 23rd, his actual birthday. Blake went with us as he had got to know my family when April babysat him. Billie (Nathan's Mom) always has neat ideas on decorations and activities. She had the kids form teams and they were to see who could make a snowman the fastest. They used toilet paper to wrap around the child chosen to be the snowman and she had construction paper cut outs to pin on of boots, nose, etc. Blake was voted the best snowman, he stood so still and serious through the game.
Charlie Tynes

After the party, we went to Sput's Place between Vichy and Rolla for a College Graduation Party for our friend's son. Charlie now has his Masters in Business Management and the party was a nice tribute to all of his hard work. I enjoyed visiting with friends but I think I'm getting too old to enjoy being at a bar with all the noise and loud music. Showing my age!! LOL
I played hooky from going to church, no reason, just didn't go. I did finish up wrapping presents for Christmas. My Sunday evening family meal time isn't going as I planned. The boys are usually busy doing their own thing and don't make it. So it is usually just me, Dwayne, April and Mike; which is okay but I do wish the boys would make more of an effort to come over.
I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and takes the time to enjoy being a family. What greater gift from God, the birth of Christ, and continuing on with the birth and life of each one of us.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Kara Leigh:

Kara Leigh Cross:
December 16, 1992

Kara is the step daughter of my nephew, Wayne Feeler, Jr. I do not like to use the term, step, as Kara is very much my neice. Kara came into our family when she was three years old. What a delightful child and very talkative. Kara loved to ask questions and used the word why alot. One day she said, Aunt Connie, I can use the big words now. I asked her what words those were, she said how come? So we were then answering how come questions instead of why? So cute!!
A few years ago we were at a barbeque with some friends and Kara and Tess were with us. One of my friends said, you can certainly tell Kara is your neice Connie, she looks just like you and your side of the family. She could not have said anything better and I did not correct her. We never talked about it but I know it made Kara feel even more a part of the family.
April used to babysit Kara and her sister, Tess in the evenings while their Mom was at work. Kara loved to fix Uncle Dwayne's lunch for the next day. It took extra time to help her but it was so worth it to see how proud she was to help.
I have so many memories of the times Kara has spent with us through the years. She is well mannered, caring, smart and a great big sister, just an overall joy to be around.
It is with great pride I wish Kara Leigh a Happy 17th Birthday!!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

In Loving Memory of Doris "Dodie" Elrod

April 29, 1932 - December 14, 2003

It's been six years and our hearts still ache in sadness,
and secret tears still flow, what it meant to lose you,
no one will ever know.

Lovingly missed by,
Dwayne, Connie, Chad, Todd and April
David, Dustin, Andy, Cody and Trevor

Monday, December 14, 2009

Chad Anthony Elrod:

December 12, 1978
I have so many favorite pictures of Chad. Here is just a few of them.
First day home from the hospital.

People used to tell me I looked too young to have a baby. I would get so mad, thinking I was not young, I was 21 years old!! Now when I look at this picture of me holding Chad on the horse, I think I look around 14 years old. Funny how time changes your perception of how you look or how old you feel.

First Christmas Card:

Picture at Grandma & Grandpa Elrod's and Chad's 1st Birthday:

Chad and Dwayne.

We were so excited at the birth of our first child. Chad was due on December 12th and promptly arrived on his due date. When Chad was born his hair looked platinum instead of blonde, it was a really pretty color. I worked for Dr. Stricker at the time of Chad's birth and he came to see us in the hospital. (Quite a first for Dr. Stricker as he normally didn't remember any of his help's first names) He looked at Chad and said, "Well, Snookims you have the same color of hair as mine". Dr. Stricker had more of a silver color of hair than gray. That was probably one of the longest conversations I've had with Dr. Stricker. I feel honored that he came by to see us.
Chad was an easy baby to care for. He loved being around people and would reach out to most anyone. We joke now that that is still a trait of Chad's, never meets a stranger and is always reaching out to someone. Chad was very obedient. He minded very well and usually just a strong word or a "look" would be all it took to make him behave. Chad has always been a little grownup. We went camping at Moreland's Resort when they boys were small and Chad would go out with Dwayne at midnight to check the trot lines. He was only 3 1/2, we never thought anything about him going. He just always seemed older than his age and we treated him as such. Chad loved helping Dwayne work, anything his Dad was doing, he was right there beside him. That is one think I miss most about us having our own construction business; Chad at a young age running the backhoe, helping Dwayne with any job, big or small.
Chad is a very caring person. He still gives hugs to his grandparents and even today I never see Chad without him giving me a hug. Chad has the biggest heart, anyone in need, he is there to help them. Chad is exceedingly protective of his brother and sister and I am very proud of him for his loyalty to his siblings and family.
It is so hard to believe my first born child is now 31 years old.
Happy Birthday, Chad!!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Donalie Stormes:

I had mentioned before our neighbor, Donalie Stormes, was dying of cancer. Donalie was a teacher at Maries R-1, Vienna for several years. She was well liked by her students and had a great sense of humor. Donalie always had a smile and a cheerful attitude. Her Mom had told me last Friday that Donalie told her that morning she was tired and ready to go home and see Daddy. I'm sure her father is rejoicing in heaven at the welcome of his dear daughter.

Donalie Ann (Owens) Stormes, 45, lost her battle with breast cancer Dec. 8, 2009, at her home in Vichy, Mo.
A funeral service for Donalie Stormes will be conducted at 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 12, 2009, at the Hwy E Church of Christ.
A visitation will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 11, 2009, at the Null and Son Funeral Home of Rolla.
Memorial contributions are suggested to CORE/Donalie Stormes Memorial Scholarship, PO Box 1204, Rolla, Mo., 65402 or Phelps Regional Hospice.
Online condolences may be offered at
All arrangements are under the direction of the Null and Son Funeral Home of Rolla.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Tess Elizabeth:

My life would be pretty dull without all my extended family. Another great-niece has a birthday today. Tess is the daughter of my nephew, Wayne Feeler, Jr.
When Tess was born she had black hair and a dark complexion. We called her our little Indian baby. Tess was a good natured baby and easy to watch. April used to babysit for her and her sister, Kara, in the evenings while her Mom was at work. About the only time Tess cried was if she heard anyone sitting on April's bean bag chair. We don't know why that scared her but she certainly let out a scream. Take the bean bag chair out of the living room-problem solved.
I have to say that out of all the great nieces and nephews we've watched through the years, Tess and her sister, Kara, were the most well behaved. Their parents instilled in them at an early age to be respectful and mind your manners. Not to say they didn't try us once in awhile. One time when Tess was around two and a half, she sassed Dwayne about something, I don't remember what now. Dwayne got onto her and it just about broke her heart. The next time she was down, she said, "Uncle Dwayne, I don't want no trouble, I don't like trouble".
Tess has grown up to be a beautiful girl, inside and out. She is very thoughtful, excels in her school work and always a joy to be around.
Happy 12th Birthday, Tess!!

Monday, December 7, 2009


I stopped by Donalie Storms on the way home Friday. For those of you who live around Vienna, you will remember she was a teacher at Maries R-1. Donalie is dying of cancer. A few weeks ago I had stopped by to visit Donalie. She asked about Todd and Tommy Pickering. What a memorable pair of students! LOL Her Mom told me Donalie had her fair share of escapades in school, also. Donalie's Mom has been staying with her since last Spring. It's bittersweet memories they've made over the summer. We need to remember Donalie, Andy, their son and daughter and the rest of their family in our prayers.
I went to Rolla and ate lunch with Chad and we did some Christmas shopping. It has been years since I've gone to eat with just the two of us. I enjoyed spending quality time with Chad. Saturday night we went to some friends house for a Christmas Party. We actually stayed out until 1:30 a.m. We had a good time.
Mom fixed Sunday dinner and I played hooky on my Sunday evening meal.
Overall, it was just a great weekend relaxing and visiting.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Ian Christopher:

Today is another one of my great-nephews birthday. Ian Christopher, son of my nephew, Rod Bexten, is six years old today. Ian is such a sweet little boy. Last year April and I took Mom over to see Ian and his sister, Kieren. Ian only sees Mom about once a year. He was so sweet, he sat with Mom and they sang silly little songs and he would repeat the old nursery ryhmes Mom would say. It meant so much to Mom for Ian to spend that time with her; it was as if they were the only two people in the room. I'm sure it brought back memories of when Mom babysat Rod when he was a little boy. Rod was quite the character! He loved impersonating Johnny Olsen on The Price Is Right. He would grab anything that looked remotely like a microphone and say, Bob Barker, Come on Down!!!!!!!
Ian is much more calm than his daddy was. LOL
Happy 6th Birthday, Ian!!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


Wednesday Night:
I made a Caramel Pecan Apple Crumb Pie to take to Mom's for Thanksgiving. I'm not known for making pies but it turned out pretty good.

We went to Mom's for Thanksgiving dinner. All the siblings were there this year except Russ as he lives in Arizona. I often wonder about the future generations of smaller families getting together for the Holidays. We found ourselves saying they are only four of us here for Thanksgiving Dinner. In today's world, four children would be considered a large family. My niece, Tammy came down from DeSoto with her two boys, Josh and Cody. It's always nice to get to see them as they don't come down too often. Tammy is the first born grandchild of Mom and Dad's and her son Josh is the first born great-grandchild. Our kids, Chad, Todd, April and Mike were there and Chad brought Desmon with him. He is quite the wild child! Lots of energy!! Since he's the youngest around, everyone picks on him and keeps him riled up. He went home with me and Dwayne so Chad could cut a load of wood. He was very good at the house. He played quietly with the toy farm animals and actually sat on my lap and we colored for quite awhile. I was surprised as we were sitting there coloring and he said, "Hey Mr. Dwayne, I love Connie." So cute!! Kind of melted my heart. He always calls Dwayne, Mr. Dwayne.


I think it's too late for me to change my sleeping habits now, it felt so good to sleep late. After lazing around the house, April and I got ready and went to Rolla to shop. Not the early riser "Black Friday" shoppers for us, nope, we'll pay a little extra just to get the joy of sleeping late!Found some good buys at The Family Center for the boys. We ate at Los Cozadoras. We know several people that eat there and really like it. I guess mine and April's taste buds are different as we didn't care much for it. We're die hard La Pasada fans. I had planned on coming in to Vienna and watching the Christmas Parade and the lighting of the court house but didn't get around to it. I want to definitely go next year.


It was so nice outside. I washed windows and then I got the bright idea of mowing the leaves in the yard. No problem, until I had too many leaves coming around the manifold of the mower and the mower caught on fire. I was panicking, thinking it would blow up on me. Luckily I was almost out of gas. I ran to the house and yelled for Dwayne to come out. I'm known for burning leaves and the fire getting out of control, so Dwayne thought that was what I did. I kept screaming the lawn mower is on fire!! He couldn't get the fire out so he ran to the garage and got the leaf blower out and blew the leaves away from the mower. It did burn some wires on the mower and melted the front right tire. We needed to get a new mower anyway so I guess I just pushed the purchase up a bit. That night, I made yet another pie!! I'm growing up, huh? LOL I made a cherry pie and it turned out good. Todd is so surprised his Mom is making pies.


What a change in weather from the day before, very disappointing! I went to Church and then came home and started preparing food for our evening Thanksgiving Dinner for Dwayne's side of the family. As I was talking about smaller families earlier, Dwayne's immediate family consists of one brother, three nephews and two great-nephews. We always have a great time together but it is on a much smaller scale than my family's, but I don't think I ever thought too much about it until I just now started typing. Chad is known to be late for dinners but it was a miracle this year, he arrived 15 minutes early!! And for that I am very thankful!! LOL Desmon came with him again, I think they are becoming attached at the hip. Ha! Chad loves kids and he is very good with Desmon, Anna's little boy.

I had a wonderful weekend reminiscing and visting with family and friends. I am so thankful for the life I live.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Weekend Recap:

I think I'm really getting tired of my own company. Dwayne has been gone to deer camp for the past week and while I've enjoyed not cooking and cleaning, I am getting bored. You can only watch so much TV and read so many books before you start going stir crazy. I think I'm there.
Kate fixed an early Thanksgiving Dinner at 5 p.m. Only I thought it was at noon. I rushed around to bake my pie and get ready and got there closer to 12:30. I thought I was running super late-no, I was early!! Went back home and finished my book. Most of the family was there and we had a great meal. I stayed to help Kate clean up and MacKensie, Ashlyne and Liz put on a fashion show for us. They dressed in Kayla's old prom dresses and it was quite the show they put on. Elizabeth is such a little character and can make you laugh at her antics. Lizzy came home with me and spent the night.
Liz and I went to church and then to Mom's for Sunday dinner. This is the first dinner Mom has done for several months as we used to go every Sunday. After the first of the year I think we will take turns once a month to have dinner and give Mom a break. But what wonderful memories we've had through the years. Dad used to play Wa Hoo with the kids and after they got a pool the kids usually swam all afternoon.
I am trying to continue this tradition with my kids for a Sunday evening meal. Not too much luck on getting everyone there yet.
Thankful deer season is over and no one got hurt.

Friday, November 20, 2009


Katie, Connie, & Judy
Christmas 2007
Wow, what almost 12 years does to a person!! Wish I looked like that now!! Judy always says if you don't like your picture, wait a few years and look back on it and you'll think you looked good. LOL, so true!!
My sister Judy moved closer to home several years ago and our sisterly bond has grown since that time. I am happy to say that all three of us get along well together. Last night we had a "sister bonding time" along with April and MacKensie. Kate made soup for us and I provided the soda and popcorn for the movie, My Sister's Keeper. I usually cry at this type of movie but I didn't this time. It was a very touching story based on a true life experience. It's hard to imagine the pain they went through and what decisions each of us would face if we had to go through it ourselves.
We finished off the movie with dessert of Snickers Ice Cream Bars. April got us hooked on them. I'm not a Snickers candy bar person but I love the ice cream bars.
I love and cherish the times spent with my family.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Weekend Recap:

Dwayne was off to deer camp for the week and Mike was at his deer camp so April and I stayed home to watch a movie, The Ugly Truth. It was pretty good, not near as good as I thought it would be. I also watched Anna's little boy, Desmon for the night. We played with the little farm animals, feeding them hay, putting the "cows" back in when they knocked the fence down. He had two with horns he called his long horn steers and he had several he put in a pen as milk cows. I wondered how he knew they were milk cows, then he picked one up, turned it over and said yep this one has tits so it's a milk cow! Guess that answered my question. We had fun watching him and listening to all the cute sayings.
When Desmon woke up he said it's sunny out so we have to get up now. Chad came to pick him up and I made them chocolate chip pancakes, one of our favorites and most kids that come to visit. He didn't like the big cookies so Chad had to fix him a bowl of cereal. After they left I started getting ready to attend a baby shower and then to work at the Fall Supper at church. That didn't happen as I started throwing up.
Stayed home and felt sick all afternoon. Kate and MacKensie came down in the evening and we watched TV for awhile. An early night for me, went to bed as soon as they left.
April and I went to the lake shopping with Kate, Kensie and my niece, Tess Feeler. It poured down rain all day and we got soaked!! We did find some great buys, then ate at Vista Grande. Kate was going to fix supper for us when we got home but we were stuffed after eating Mexican. She jokingly told us she would give us a "rain check". Spent the rest of the evening watching TV and reading.
Overall, a great weekend.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Vernon Mark Feeler:

September 13, 1953 to November 12, 1953
Mark is my brother and only lived two short months. I cannot remember a time not knowing about Mark. There is no significant memory of Mom telling me about him, just always knowing I had a brother and he died. Until I was a mother myself I did not fully understand the extent of pain my parents suffered as a result of Mark's short life. Mark's heart was not formed correctly. Mom said when he was born, he was a plump baby and looked healthy. It wasn't until the next day they noticed he had a blue color and found out about his heart. I cannot imagine the pain Mom and Dad went through caring for this precious little baby knowing he was going to die. Fifty six years ago they didn't have the medical technology to treat him. For two months they cared for him and watched him slowly slipping away. During this time they nurtured the older kids, Wayne, Judy and Russ while diligently caring for and mourning the soon to be loss of Mark. I admire them very much. I have never heard them be bitter about Mark's death, just accepting. When Mom and Dad's house burned in 1990, Dwayne went in the burning house to Mom and Dad's bedroom to get Dad's guns. When he got to the bedroom he saw Mom's box of pictures inside the door. He grabbed them and was going to go back to get the guns. The fire was too far gone and he couldn't go back in. He made such a good choice of grabbing the box as it had all of the older pictures and Mark's Funeral Book listing all the neighbors that attended and several Sympathy Cards. That was a real treasure to Mom. We don't have any pictures of Mark as people didn't take many pictures then. I would love to have seen what Mark looked like.
I was the next child born and Mom and Dad were a little extra protective the first few years and always told me I was special. I was no more special than the other kids just a blessing to be healthy after losing Mark.
I am grateful for my Mom and Dad's love and respect them so much for not letting their child's death cloud the rest of their life or their childrens.

Deer Season:

I've mentioned before how much Chad likes to ride horses. How many people actually ride a horse to their tree stand? Appie was decked out in his "hunting gear" so he wouldn't be mistaken for a deer. Couldn't resist taking a ride with Chad near the house.
Praying for all deer hunters to have a safe week deer hunting.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Weekend Recap:

I had all of my work done so John told me to go ahead and leave early. It was such a beautiful day I took a short drive around the countryside. After supper Mom and I went to a bridal shower at Spring Creek Baptist Church. We used to go to church there and it was so nice visiting with friends we hadn't seen in a long time. Ashley received a wide variety of gifts and a handmade cedar chest from her uncle. We had a great time.
The day was so beautiful I didn't know what I wanted to do first. I was like a kid in a candy shop, too many choices. I washed windows for awhile, picked up items out of the yard to put in the garage, but mainly I just wondered around doing nothing. Kenny, Shelley, Blake and Nathan came in the afternoon for April to take pictures. We enjoyed the kids and the big kid that Dwayne is played in the leaves with Blake. I will have to post a picture when I get it. Blake kept wanting to build a house with a window out of the leaves. We couldn't figure out how to do that but that's what he was trying to do. So cute!

Went to church, we had a large crowd in attendance. I picked up lunch from the grocery store and we ate on the porch. Not many days you can eat outside in November. We had my Dad's birthday party at Broadway Baptist Church in the afternoon. Dad had a wonderful time visiting with family and friends. A few people brought old pictures to share. Lloyd Terry came and brought Mom and Dad straw hats. Lloyd and Dad had quite a time telling stories. They were still at it after everyone left.
Fixed chili and grilled cheese for supper. There was only me, Dwayne and April to eat. I had fixed a custard pie for dessert. Chad loves custard pie and has ate a whole pie before. Since he didn't show up we almost finished it off. I'll have to bake another one tonight for him.
I am so grateful to still have my parents and in relatively good health. I cherish the memories more each day.

Friday, November 6, 2009

85th Birthday:

Happy Birthday, Dad:

Today is my dad's 85th birthday. How to describe my dad-well he is a character that's for sure. Dad is a very optimistic person and looks for the good in people. Family History-now that's a topic he can talk about for hours. He can find a link back to most anyone. Mom has often joked that she wished he could recite the bible the way he can the history book.
I have been very blessed with the parents I have. Dad is a role model to his kids and grand kids. He takes great pleasure in the great grandchildren who live close by. His face lights up when talking about his family. It is with great pride I wish my dad a wonderful birthday.

Monday, November 2, 2009

My Girl:

April had the day off and stopped by work to see me. I love all three of my children, but there is a special bond with a daughter. I thank God every day for blessing Dwayne and I with two wonderful sons and a daughter.

Weekend Update:

Dwayne spent the night at deer camp so I spent a relaxing evening watching TV and reading.
Halloween Night:
Dwayne greeting the trick or treaters at the door with his mask.

Nathan the Indian:

Liz the Candy Corn Girl:

Ashlyne & Zach:

Blake the Cowboy:

Blake the Cowboy attacking the Monster:

"Blake the Ghost" attacking Dwayne the Monster:

Little Pumpkin Nathan:

I don't know who looks more forward to Halloween, Dwayne or the neighbors. Every year Dwayne dresses up to scare and greet the kids. Sometimes he is a scarecrow sitting on the porch swing and comes to life as the kids come up the steps. One time he came out of a chair in the yard. I think he's scared more parents than kids. This year he was a snake monster with huge plastic feet and hands.

Me and this guy went to church and then ate at the Farmer's Cafe. There were several there from church and we joked it must be Methodist Sunday. We then went for a drive and to St. James to visit Dwayne's Aunt Jessie and Uncle Warren. What a wonderful afternoon visiting and looking at pictures. We then went to Rolla and bought groceries. I didn't do a family meal this Sunday so we just watched TV and snacked.
A very relaxing weekend.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Grandma Dodie:

This picture is the last one I have of me and my mother-in-law, also the last time I saw her.(except for in the hospital) I can't remember if the date was October 16th or 18th. Broadway Baptist Church was having a dinner and I went with Dodie. We had a good time visiting. Dodie walked me out to my car and said good-bye. I remember looking in my rear view mirror and Dodie just standing there on the parking lot watching me leave. That memory is still vivid in my mind.
My sister, Judy and I left the next day to take our parents on a trip to CA and OR to visit relatives. I called and talked to Dodie on Wednesday before her surgery. She sounded so good. She had surgery the next day for an abdominal aneurysm. The initial surgery went okay but later she started hemorrhaging and they had to take her back in Friday for a second surgery. Her health declined rapidly after that. Saturday night we were around Oklahoma City when I called Dwayne on our way home. I asked about Dodie and he said she was not doing well at all and they weren't sure she would make it. It was very devastating as I wasn't expecting that at all. I didn't call home on Friday so I did not know she had to have surgery again. Mom, Dad and Judy prayed with me while I was on the phone with Dwayne. At that point, I just wanted to be home. The weather was so horrible and the fog so thick you could hardly see to drive. We had planned to spend the night in Oklahoma but I needed to get home; I felt desperate to be home with Dwayne and the kids. I don't know how we did it as Judy and I were both so exhausted as we had been driving all day from Arizona. The drive was difficult on all of us. We were so worried about Dodie, tired from traveling, treacherous roads. It seemed to take forever. The fog finally lifted when we got to Joplin. We made it home around 3 a.m. Sunday morning. I got a little bit of sleep and then Grandpa Andy, Dwayne and I went to Columbia to see Dodie. She was still conscience but couldn't speak. I went over and held her hand and she clasped it tightly. You could tell she was glad I was back to see her. Todd and April had went up with Dwayne on Saturday. Chad came while we were there. Grandma just kept smiling at him and holding his hand. This was the last day we saw Grandma conscience. Her kidneys were shutting down and the next day they had to put her on life support. The next six weeks were hard on all of the family. I loved my mother-in-law very much and I was so glad I was able to get back and see her before she slipped into a coma. I cherish the dinner before I left, the last phone call and being able to tell her in person one more time that I loved her.
Family: There is nothing more precious than time with our family and the love of God for all of us.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


I am a little late celebrating my great nephew's birthday online.

Trevor Hayden Elrod is the son of Dustin Elrod and was born September 28, 2001.

He has the most beautiful eye lashes. People tell him this so often that one day he decided to "trim" his lashes. He only got one eye done before his dad found out.

Trevor is a doll and he knows it, he can twist you around his finger pretty quick.

When Grandpa Andy passed away Trevor spent the night with April before the funeral the next day. He was asking her alot of questions, where Grandpa's legs were(never thought of that before, but you do only see the body from the waist up), if he needed his house and barn, etc. Then he got to the talking fish. He said, well, he can take that talking fish with him to heaven because it scares me to death!! We thought that was cute and funny. We are saving the talking fish for Trevor when he gets older. He will appreciate the irony of the fish story then.

Trevor loves taking pictures and I usually buy him a throw away "camer" (as Trevor calls a camera). One year at Christmas, I bought him a real child's camera, he did not appreciate that at all, it had to be the ones you just take right to the store, Aunt Connie. So, disposable camers it is.

We all enjoy Trevor and the great nieces and nephews on my side of the family treat him as if he's a celebrity. Even when he was too big for them to carry around they were constantly trying to pick him up.
Happy Late Birthday, Trevor!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Wonderful Weekend:

We celebrated my Uncle Robert Feeler's 79th birthday at his house with a surprise party Friday night. He did not expect to have company at all and was certainly surprised to have so many there. All of his living siblings were there except Uncle Hubert Feeler and he came earlier in the week to see Uncle Robert. Uncle Robert's health is not very good and he had been in the hospital in St. Louis for a couple weeks. We had a great time visiting. My sister, Judy, her husband Joe along with Keith and Sydney Feeler sang several songs as Joe picked the guitar. Judy's grandson, Nathan Rowe also sang.
April and I went to Rolla for the crafts festival on Pine Street. We saw the "Howard Girls" almost as soon as we got there. We always look forward to seeing them and visiting. We didn't buy anything, just shopped. We ate at Panera Bread. It was very good. I have always wanted to eat there but Dwayne didn't so I hadn't had a chance to eat there yet. Dwayne and I watched the movie, Australia Saturday evening. It was a good movie.
When I was young, our family would take a Sunday Drive after dinner. It was usually on roads around, Rolla, St. James and Newburg. Well, we went on a "Sunday Drive" yesterday! And it was a long one!
We started out by eating breakfast at Hardee's in Rolla. We then started our drive by going through Steelville towards Ironton. Our first stop was at Elephant Rocks.

We then drove to Tom Sauck Mountain and climbed the lookout tower. I was kind of surprised at myself for going to the top as I am afraid of heights. April didn't make it but about half way which surprised me as she was always a little dare devil. The view of the trees and surrounding hills were beautiful. We could see the reservoir from up there.

We then drove back to Ironton and ate at a restaurant I had read about in the the rural electric paper, Baylee Jo's. It was very good. They use cherry wood in the smoking process but also have a barbeque sauce with cherries in it. I thought the sauce was good but Dwayne didn't care for it, he preferred the spicier sauces.
After eating we went to Johnson Shut-Ins. Dwayne and I used to camp there with friends back in the 70's. Hard to believe we are the "old timers" reminiscing about how the park looked then and what was here or there. I'm sure April and Mike got tired of listening to us. But it was different! It is so hard to look at the entrance to the park now and visualize how it looked before the dam broke. The camping area is now almost treeless and there are boulders that look like someone just picked up a handful and tossed them about. The actual shut-ins looks pretty much the same.

We then drove up a side road trying to get a better view of the reservoir. It was so weird, you would see it in the distance, turn a corner and you couldn't see it. Then when you least expected it you would see a view again. Due to construction the reservoir is still closed. I would like to go back in a few years and look at when it's completed. As we were leaving the area we saw the exit for Sutton's Bluff. It was an additional 8 miles off the highway so we didn't stop this time. Sutton's Bluff is where April fractured her neck years ago on a camping trip.

We then headed to Eminence and on to Alley Springs. The paddle wheel is no longer there but the area is beautiful.

We had about an hour of daylight left so I tried to get in one more attraction. We went to Round Springs north of Eminence on Hwy 19. Normally, the spring is the most beautiful blue color, even more of an intense blue than Blue Springs. I was so disappointed that with all of the rain and flooding the water was not clear.

We put in quite a long day site seeing and went about 256 miles. We topped off the day by treating ourselves to milkshakes at Sonic. I am glad April and Mike shared the day with us.

Family, what more can you ask for in life.