Two special little boys in our lives and two interpretations of starting school:
1. Kindergarten: Blake started Kindergarten this year and was very excited about it. He is like sponge and absorbs knowledge like no other child I've known. A very smart and perceptive little boy. It is wonderful to see a child love to learn as he does.
2. Cattleguardan: Where as Blake started Kindergarten, Desmon started "cattleguardan". Not sure how to spell it but that is what it is. And before you wonder how in the world he got that out of Kindergarten, it is easy. He is to meet the bus on the other side of the cattle guard on his road, sounds almost like what other people are saying, "kindergarten"/"cattleguardan". So cute!! Desmon is a ton of fun and has grown up around adults so he hasn't played with other kids that much. Give him an adult and he will talk away!! Desmon and Blake have become good friends and play together occasionally.
Kids and school, such a precious time in their life.
Friday: Had a very good day at work so decided we needed to go out and celebrate. Dwayne and I ate at Applebees. The food was very good. Sometimes when we go, it is so busy and the food is just okay. I think with more competition in town, the service is now better and the quality of food is better than it had been. Saturday: Dwayne went to Vichy to help pour the floor on Kenny and Shelley's house. I did his job of going to the bank and to MFA. Such exciting ventures we have!! lol That afternoon, I watched Nathan and Blake while April went to a bridal shower. The boys had a lot of fun and it is neat to watch Nathan be in awe of his big brother. No matter what Blake does, Nathan cracks up laughing. Sunday: My Mom's parents are buried at Watt's Cemetery out around Edgar Springs, MO. They still have their memorial day the same as when the circuit preacher came around years ago. He always came on the fifth Sunday of whichever month if fell on. It was in August this year. I feel bad that I always refer to them as Mom's parents instead of my grandparents. I don't know if it is because they died before I was born or just what, but I seldom refer to them as my grandma and grandpa. Mom was only ten years old when her Mom died just five days before Christmas. I think this has had a big impact on my Mom losing her mother so young. After losing her mom so young, my Mom grew to have a close relationship with her dad. It was then especially hard on Mom to lose her dad. Mom and Dad by Grandma and Grandpa Williams Grave: I drove Mom and Dad out to the Watt's Cemetery yesterday to "decorate" the graves. This was a big event in my childhood. Mom would try to save money each year to have a new dress. Mom got up way before any of us to cook dinner to take. She made fried chicken, several pies (usually raisin for my cousin's Otis and John) and other dishes. This would all be packed into a cardboard box along with our plates, (no paper then, our everyday dishes were used)and real silverware. I don't remember Mom taking drinking glasses so we most probably used Aunt Mary's. The day was spent visiting with family. We most often went to Flat, MO to my Aunt Mary and Uncle Ike Mathis' house. There was always tons of food and family you didn't see but maybe once a year. It was always a fun time. This year was no different, Mom got up early, fixed us a lunch of fried chicken, stuffing, potatoes, muffins and water in quart jars. One difference was the food was packed in a cooler versus the cardboard box. We ate our lunch under the bridge in Newburg after enjoying a ride through the countryside off Highway J. Mom and Dad reminisced about times they spent here and there as we went through. The Spring: (off Hwy J) Mom and I: Dad and Mom: Sixty-Three Years Married and still very loving:
Yesterday was bittersweet. I loved the time spent with Mom and Dad, the tradition of visiting the graves on the 5th Sunday, eating lunch and just being together. But the day also reminded me of how close the day is to come for me to lose my parents. I really cannot complain, I (and the rest of my family) have had many, many years with my parents and enjoyed all of the many times together. I have much to be grateful for.
If you have a moment, please say a prayer for me. I am at a difficult time in my life "letting go" of my parents. I shouldn't be doing this but it seems as if I'm mourning them before they are gone and in the same breathe I am so grateful for their life and enjoying each moment spent with them.
Work and life is so hectic right now, I can't seem to get caught up. But it is good, I LOVE my job and my life is at a good place. Saturday: The morning was spent watching TV with April. Good times spent together that I'm going to miss when she moves out. It's the cycle of life and I am truly happy for her and her new life in St. Elizabeth. We will still have plenty of times together, lunch, shopping, etc. I am so happy God blessed me with a daughter. I love my sons very much and we are close, but there is a special bond with a mother and daughter. I cleaned house (a much needed job!!) in the afternoon. After supper, I went to Rolla to buy groceries. Came home, fixed corn casserole and chocolate chip cookie bars to take to Mom's for Sunday Dinner. Sunday: Chad came by just as I was getting up. He was leaving at noon to go to Columbus, NE to work on a job. It was good to visit with him and wish him a good trip and work challenge. Chad needs a change in life and I think this will be good for him. I miss my old "Chaddy" and it is wonderful to see that side emerge again. He is a very caring, compassionate young man and I am proud of him. Chad is a person to reach out and help anyone even at a cost to him, qualities we should all have. After Chad left, I went to church and Pastor Karen had a very wonderful message, very inspiring. I had a Pastor's Parrish Committee Meeting after church. It went much longer than I anticipated. Came home, rushed to get my dishes to take to Mom's for dinner. Luckily, they were all running late and didn't have dinner finished yet when I got there. I really enjoyed the afternoon visiting with my family. We hadn't gotten together for Sunday Dinner for over a month. Mom outdid herself as usual with dinner, but at almost 81 years old, I think we need to take over and let Mom have a break. Came home and read a good book all afternoon. I fixed a Mexican supper of tacos, refried beans, and rice. Todd, April, Mike, Dwayne and I had a good evening visiting. And of course, you can't watch TV with Todd without bursting out laughing with him and all of his comments. One of a kind, Todd is!! Wouldn't trade him for the world!! Monday: I had a doctor's appointment in Jefferson City so April and I took the opportunity to make it a day long event. We did quite a bit of shopping and April was able to find items for her new house. Furniture shopping wasn't too good as we could not find any furniture in the style April likes (or even that I would like-you know like the old lady furniture) We ate at El Jimador's as I had never ate there before. It was okay, but I wasn't overly impressed. We took the scenic route home. I enjoy seeing roads and houses that I haven't seen before. Poor Dwayne, he had to heat up leftovers for supper as I didn't cook. On another note: My doctor's appointment went very well. It was so wonderful to have good news on my health and to know I'm in a kind of "remission" on my lupus!!
I am so grateful for my health, family, job, extended family, friends, etc. God is good!
After work, April and I rode with Dwayne over to Kenny and Shelley's house site. Dwayne was helping Kenny mark the water lines for the plumber. Blake's Grandpa Mitch brought Blake's log house over and sat it in their new yard. Blake and Nathan had a good time playing in it. Nathan thought he was so big standing at the cutout windows and door. He also like crawling in the grass and was quite fast at it. Blake liked telling "his April" about his day at school and riding the school bus. The fun wouldn't be complete at the house site without playing with your bike on a dirt/gravel pile.
We then went on in to Rolla and stopped at Lowe's for April to get a rug for her new house. I'm sure glad we waited until Dwayne could go with us as it would have been quite the hassle of me and April carrying it to the front of the store and trying to load it.
We then ate at Wendy's. When Wendy's came to Rolla in 1977, it was a great place to get a fast food hamburger that didn't taste like the run of the mill burger. The patties were square, about one half inch thick and was a little bigger than the bun. Very good and tasty. Through the years they have downsized the square shape and then also started making the patty thinner. Last night takes the cake!! The very small, almost card size patty is now very, very thin. I would be so ashamed to put my name on a product so small. Seems like everyone is downsizing in products, a candy bar is much smaller, snack cakes get smaller all the time, etc. I for one would rather pay a few extra cents and get a product worth it's size.
I actually had a very nice day on Saturday so I shouldn't say the whole weekend was ho hum, boring, etc. Saturday, Shelley brought the boys to the house for Dwayne to watch while we went to a friend, Amanda's baby shower. The Bullock Family sure knows how to put on a feast!We had tons of food, tons of fun and just enjoyed the afternoon. I didn't even fix Dwayne supper as I was full from eating at the party and went to bed early. Sunday: I went to church, was very sleepy all through church and just plain lazy. I went home and slept all afternoon. When I woke up, I told Dwayne we would just have to have our family meal out as I was too tired to cook. Dwayne stepped up to the plate, fixed supper and cleaned the kitchen. We had a nice evening visiting with Todd and watching our Sunday night shows. I fell asleep during Army Wives and missed most of it so off to bed I went again. I really hope I'm not so tired next weekend, I feel as if I missed out on life this weekend.
Last night April and I went to Rolla to shop around for furniture and accessories for her new house. Not much luck on the furniture. Not too crazy about the styles they have out right now. April did have luck at Lowe's on finding a couple of rugs.
On the way home, I pulled in to Dairy Queen to get us a couple milkshakes. As we were waiting in the drive-up, I start singing (and believe me, I cannot sing), "You're gonna miss me, there'll be times like this, you're gonna miss me". April tells me I'm a dork and I just keep on singing it. Then I said, wouldn't it be something if that song was on the radio now? She's like, yeah, right.. About a mile on down the road the song came on the radio!! I was in seventh heaven and really started singing it to bug April. (worked, too) I could not believe the song actually came on at that time!! I (jokingly) thanked God for the timing. I did not mean it to be irreverent and I think God appreciates humor, too. Plus, he knows how I am.
Hopefully, April will be grateful for "times like this and she's gonna miss me" when she moves. lol
Friday: I went to Rolla Friday evening to buy groceries and then to pick up the neices/nephews/friends from the roller rink and take them home(three different houses to drop off kids). They always seem to have a good time. Saturday: Watched a little TV and made my dishes to take over to the lake for our reunion. I started this reunion in 1997 at Meramac Springs in memory of my husband's Grandma Rea Lennaman. She had passed away in January of that year and it was a way for the family to get together. We have had family in from Florida, Washington and from around the state. The siblings Doris (my mother-in-law), Uncle LeRoy and Aunt Rita have all passed away. Aunt Carol (married to LeRoy) is the only one of her generation left. And we love her, she is a very nice lady, aunt, friend, etc. We had a good turnout and stayed visiting on up until 8:30 that night. Stopped by Todd's on the way home as he wasn't feeling well. I didn't realize until we got there I haven't been to Todd's house for well over a year! And he only lives five miles away! Of course, he comes home to visit, we just hadn't been over there. Sunday: My brother-in-law, David invited us to go to the river with him, their cousin Mark and his friend, Susie. We put in at 89 Bridge and spent the day relaxing on the river. I love to go boat riding and I enjoyed the day immensely. The river isn't as crowded over there as it is close to home so that made it even more enjoyable. After we got back to Vichy, we headed over to Kenny and Shelley's house site to see how it was coming along. Visited for awhile but Dwayne was in a hurry to get home as April was watching Blake and Nathan. We played with the kids and just watched TV the rest of the evening.
It has been almost a year since I started blogging and there have been times I've been so busy I didn't post about some of my much loved neices, nephews, greats, etc. I hope to do better in 2011 and remember a special tribute on each one's birhday.
I saw a news segment this morning on Good Morning America about linseed oil being the most combustible and causing the most intense fires. They interviewed a firefighter who was burned in a house fire caused by rags used with linseed oil left in a box.
I learned this lesson when we built our house. We lived in the basement at the time and worked on the house evenings and weekends. It was a long process and looking back I don't see how Dwayne did it. He was working in St. Louis at the time and after a long day of work and commuting, he would go upstairs each evening to work on the house. We started in September 1987 and finished December 1988. A very long year and half!! We seldom took a day or evening off from working on the house. I (along with my two year old daughter that hung on my leg constantly)would spend the days cleaning up sawdust, nails, etc. A never ending job.
In the fall of 1988, we had most of the rooms painted and were starting in on finish work. I was finishing the patio door with artist oil paint and linseed oil. I put the linseed oil and the rags in a paper sack and set them in the room that was to be mine and Dwayne's bedroom. I went downstairs, took a shower and started supper. About the time the boys got home from school, I smelled smoke. I asked the boys when they came in if they saw any trash burning outside. They hadn't seen anything. The smell was getting stronger and I went upstairs to look around. Horror! Our newly painted bedroom was on fire!! Luckily there was a water hose outside the bedroom window and I pulled it in and put the fire out. I couldn't believe it, I had almost burned our new home!! The fire had started with the sun shining in the window on the paper bag I had set in there with the oily rags. I was able to put the fire out but was totally devastated at the ashes and burnt pieces of paper settling around the room and the smoke damage to the walls and ceiling. I'm a cryer and I just sat outside on the porch swing and cried. Dwayne came home and asked me what I was so upset about it. Dwayne used to be (key word, was)a very patient person and seldom got mad or upset. He never got mad at me for my carelessness and said we would just have to repaint. Oh, the extra work I caused for him!!
That fire made a believer out of me on the many times I had heard through the years to make sure you clean up good after using paint/oil based stains and NEVER put the oily rags in the house. From that point on, I would take my paint/oil rags outside and pour water on them and sometimes I went so far as to bury the rags. Wasn't going to take any more chances! So, if any of you are staining/painting, be sure and take care of the rags properly or you could be the victim of a fire also.
The Birthday Guy with his annual present, a new hat: Not quite the same style as usual. Me and my guy: Todd and Grandpa: Apparently Dad was telling a funny story. Mom and Chad: They don't look quite as happy with whatever story Dad was telling. Todd, Dad, April, Mom and Chad: One of the hottest days of the year and April is wearing sweat pants and jacket.
We had Dwayne's birthday supper last night. Chad, Todd and April were there but Mike had to work so he couldn't make it. We missed him being there.
Mom and Dad were there for dessert as they eat much earlier than we do. It was a fun night and we enjoyed Dad's stories. (even though we've heard them many times before...........)
I really missed my mother and father-in-law last night. Dodie loved celebrations and Grandpa Andy just liked coming to the house anytime.
Times like this make me appreciate even more having my parents with us.
Lasagna 1 medium size onion, chopped (1 Cup) 1 clove garlic, minced 1 can tomatoes (2 lb. 3 oz.) 1 can tomato paste (6 oz.) 2 tsp. salt / ¼ tsp. black pepper 1 container Ricotta Cheese (1 lb.) 1 pkg. Mozzarella Cheese, sliced (8 oz.) I usually use more than called for and use both shredded and sliced. ½ to 1 lb. ground beef 2 tblsp. Vegetable oil 2 tsp. leaf basil, crumbled 2 tsp. leaf oregano, crumbled Lasagna noodles (9 pieces) 1 jar Parmesan Cheese (3 oz.) Optional: 2 tbsp. Grape Jelly 1. Sauté onion and garlic in oil until soft in large skillet. Add ground beef and brown. (Pour off fat) 2. Stir in tomatoes, tomato paste,grape jelly, basil and oregano, salt and pepper. Simmer uncovered, stirring frequently apprx. 45 minutes or until sauce thickens. 3. While sauce simmers, cook lasagna noodles following label directions. Drain, and place in a bowl of cold water to keep from sticking together. 4. When ready to assemble; drain noodles. Spoon a little sauce on the bottom of 13x9x2 baking dish. Arrange 3 strips of noodles over the sauce; spoon on 1/3 Ricotta Cheese, 1/3 Mozzarella Slices/Shredded, and 1/3 Parmesan Cheese. Spoon more sauce over mixture. Continue layering until all ingredients have been used. Top with Mozzarella Cheese. 5. Bake in preheated oven at 350 for 45 minutes or until bubbly hot I always use this recipe in making lasagna. I got the recipe from a good friend, Shirley Carl when I worked with her at the Vichy Wye Cafe.
This is the first time I've added the grape jelly and I think I will always add the jelly to any tomato based sauces. It seems to take away some of the acidic taste of the tomatoes. I got this tip from my sister, Kate.
Susan Elrod Greene wrote and read a beautiful tribute honoring her Aunt Jessie Workman. I sat by Susan during the ceremony and she was nervous about getting up in front of everyone. Susan did a wonderful job of reading and did not break down at all, but briefly when she got back to her seat. Susan helped to make the service more personal as we saw glimpses into the relationship of Jessie to nieces, nephews, etc.
In addition to Karen Alden doing a wonderful eulogy celebrating Jessie's life, Susan also shared precious memories of their family.
Friday: Fixed one of my favorite foods for supper, chocalate chip pancakes. Normally very good but the syrup had a weird taste to it, so kind of ruined my longing for pancakes. Saturday: Slept late. (comes as a big surprise to everyone!! lol) Spent the morning watching TV with April. Enjoying this time together as she will be moving in the near future. I then cleaned house, swam in the pool and then got ready to go out for Dwayne's birthday. His big adventure started out at Family Center to buy new boots. We then drove past a friend's house in Rolla to see their new water feature and landscaping in their yard. Looks very nice. We then went to St. James to eat at Sybil's. Dwayne had asked me if we needed reservations and I'm like, no, at six o'clock in the evening we shouldn't have any problems. Wrong!! They were already booked for the evening. We went next door to Country Bob's Cafe and their food was really good. Anyone in the St. James area looking for somewhere to eat, this is a good and clean restaurant. We then went to visit good friends, Phil and Carol. Their daughter, Jasa was home from Arizona for a few days. We also got to see Jake and his son, Dacoda. We had a nice evening visiting and getting caught up on Jasa's life. We spent a lot of time around her as she was growing up. Sunday: I had planned to have Dwayne's birthday supper in the evening but when I got to church, I learned a good friend of ours, Jessie Workman, had passed away. After church, I stopped by their house and ended up staying for lunch with them. Lloyd and Jessie's daughters, Carol and Janet, have become very good friends of ours through the years. Billy Elrod, Jessie's sister, was there along with her daughter, Susan. Jessie was a big part of Billy's life and always there for her kids. She will be sadly missed by all. Although it was a sad occassion, we visited and remembered happy (and sad) events in Jessie's life. I am glad they included me in their time of remembering. I canceled Dwayne's supper to Monday evening as we went to the visitation at Vienna for Jessie. There were a lot of people, young and old paying their respects. This generation of friends is drawing to an end as there is not many left of the original Tallahasse Pig Roast group. Now we are on to the next generation (ours) of carrying on the tradition of the annual pig roast. Monday: I just returned to work from Jessie's funeral and funeral dinner. My heart goes out to Janet and Carol as they are having a hard time dealing with their Mother's death. Jessie has been in poor health for years so it wasn't a surprise, but a daughter never gets over needing her "Mommy". Please remember them and Lloyd in your prayers.
I hope everyone ejoys the day and remember to count your blessings as each day is a precious gift.
We've changed some since 2008. We celebrated 35 years of marriage at our daughters wedding in September of 2012. We've added a family member, Desmon who lives with Chad. Desmon is now nine years old and a big party of our family. Our dream of becoming grandparents one day finally came true with the birth of April and Mike's baby boy, Cash Michael on October 12, 2013. We were blessed with a granddaughter, Iva Lorraine Holtmeyer, born June 3rd, 2016. We couldn't be happier.