Thursday, December 30, 2010


We get up Friday morning to a snow storm that followed ice during the night. April and Mike were going to go on over to their house and we were going to come over later. They couldn't make it up the big hill so they came back to the house. After coffee, (for me!!)Dwayne decided we would all go over in his 4x4. The closer we got to St. Elizabeth, the less snow there was.
It was exciting to see my little girl's house for the first time. April and I spent the day cleaning. I took over the ingredients to make my food for the evening at Mom's and at home. Dwayne and Mike started painting the living room. We finished up mid-afternoon so we could to Mom's.
We had a wonderful get together at Mom and Dad's on Christmas Eve. Liz had planned a Christmas play for us to do. It was a cute play and we had a lot of fun. Todd and Zach played ornery kids in the play and they were both a natural at it. lol
We then went home for our family time. Dwayne got me a camera and I have pictures I need to post but I haven't figured that out yet.
April put together scrap books for the boys and a couple photo albums a piece of pictures though out their childhood. They both seemed to like book/albums a lot and talked about looking at them more over the weekend.
Saturday morning, Dwayne and I take out again for St. Elizabeth. April and I did some of the priming and painting trim. Todd came over mid-afternoon and helped. Dwayne said he wasn't leaving until he got the living room done, so he made Todd take me home around 8 p.m. I felt like a baby, I had to go home and get some rest. Which, actually I really did, I was pretty tired. I took a shower and then watched TV for awhile. Sleep came pretty fast that night.
Sunday morning, a repeat of the day before. We went over and Dwayne, Todd and Mike finished up the kitchen painting and a lot of the trim. The house is looking very nice and with fresh paint it seems new.
I had the day off and I really needed it. I rested quite a bit and just had a lazy day.

I know it bothered April quite a bit that we worked on her house on Christmas Day, but we enjoyed it. Along with Christ's birth, Christmas is also a time when families come together, whether it be a big dinner, an outing to relatives or helping your children start a new life together.
We celebrated the "reason for the season" at Mom and Dad's with our Christmas Play and scripture reading and the rest of the weekend was spent with family.

I am so grateful for my family and the special times together.

I Did It!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Well, people, I did it, I pumped gas!!!!!!! Can you believe it, I'm 53 years old and I actually pumped gas!! For those of you who wonder what the heck I'm talking about, you can go to my post in June titled "Random Acts of Kindness". I sure didn't want to, though (and I really hope Felix doesn't find out I did it). When I stopped at the station in Joplin, I went in and told the guy I didn't know how to pump gas. Well, he gave me step-by-step instructions...... First, he said I needed to unscrew the gas cap on my truck. Duh!! I do know that much!! lol I was really nervous and was scared I would run the tank over so I stopped it when I thought maybe I had enough.
Now, to the reason I pumped gas.
I took Mom to Joplin for a surprise 40th birthday party for her great-niece. Julie moved to MO from California and her sister liked the area so much, her and her family moved, also. Followed by their Mom. It is funny as Julie's grandpa (which is my Uncle Glen Williams) moved to California over fifty years ago and has never wanted to move back to Missouri. His son, Ron has never even come back for a visit since he was a boy. He hasn't even come in the last few years to visit his daughters, he's a die-hard Californian. Mom and Uncle Glen are the only ones left in their family. It made Uncle Glen happy that Mom was able to go to his granddaughter's birthday party.
We got to Joplin okay but needed a little bit of help to find Julie's house. Map Quest doesn't give you the most direct route. A guy at a gas station used the GPS on his phone to get us on to Julies house from there.
Julie was totally surprised by the party, then she saw Mom and almost cried. But to top it all off, her brother, Tony and her best friend from California had flown out and they hid until Julie had been home for about ten minutes or so. THAT really surprised her. It was a fun party and you can't help but have fun around Tony, he is a riot. They had it catered from a local Mexican Restaurant.
When we were leaving, I got very nervous as my gas tank was below a fourth of a tank. I thought about asking someone from the party if they would go with me to get gas but I didn't think that was really fair. So, we take out and Mom said she couldn't pump gas either so I worried about it until we got to the first station we saw. As we were getting ready to leave, the attendant came out and moved the nozzle from where I had put it. Hey, I can't get everything right!!

I had a great day with extended family and was very thankful Mom felt like making a long trip.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Elrod Christmas:

Since my in-laws passed away, I have changed our Christmas Day celebration to a Sunday close to Christmas. I know Dodie would not have liked that, but the kids are adults now and have several other places to be and I would rather have all of them there than fixed on a certain day.
David fixed smoked pork loin and ribs. Yummy!! David is really good at barbecuing. We supplied the side dishes and dessert. It wouldn't be an Elrod Christmas without Grandma Dodie's Punch and Cranberry Sauce.
We were all present except Dustin as he couldn't trade days. We missed him being there.
Chad brought Desmon with him and he had a good time playing with Trevor and Xander (Dustin's little boys).
We had a great day visiting and reminencing.

I'm grateful for having a close relationship with my Elrod Family.

Cauliflower Soup:

I made this soup for supper last night along with grilled cheese sandwiches.
I had made this soup one other time and got it way too salty!! April had been wanting this soup again so I decided to make it last night as she will be moving out next week. This time, it turned out very good.

Cauliflower Soup Ingredients
■1 stick Butter, Divided
■½ whole Onion, Finely Diced
■1 whole Carrot Finely Diced
■1 stalk Celery, Finely Diced
■1 whole (to 2 Whole) Cauliflower Heads (roughly Chopped)
■2 Tablespoons Fresh Or Dried Parsley (chopped)
■2 quarts Low-sodium Chicken Broth Or Stock
■6 Tablespoons All-purpose Flour
■2 cups Whole Milk
■1 cup Half-and-half
■2 teaspoons To 4 Teaspoons Salt, To Taste
■1 cup (heaping) Sour Cream, Room Temperature
Preparation Instructions
In a large soup pot or dutch oven, melt 4 tablespoons butter. Add the onion and cook for a few minutes, or until it starts to turn brown.
Add the carrots and celery and cook an additional couple of minutes. Add cauliflower and parsley and stir to combine.
Cover and cook over very low heat for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, pour in chicken stock or broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and allow to simmer.
In a medium saucepan, melt 4 tablespoons butter. Mix the flour with the milk and whisk to combine. Add flour-milk mixture slowly to the butter, whisking constantly.
Remove from heat and stir in 1 cup half-and-half. Add mixture to the simmering soup. Allow to simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Check seasoning and add more salt or pepper if necessary.
Just before serving, place the sour cream in a serving bowl or soup tureen. Add two to three ladles of hot soup into the tureen and stir to combine with the sour cream. Pour in remaining soup and stir.
Serve immediately.
(I didn't use the sour cream and I added about 1 cup shredded cheese)
The EAR (aka Elizabeth Ann Rowe) had her Christmas Party at school yesterday and asked if I would come and help. It was a lot of fun and the kids called me, Lizzy's Granny!!
Liz and I then went to Rolla to finish up my Christmas shopping. I had taken the day off work and thought the middle of the afternoon would be a good shopping time. Wrong!! J.C. Penney's was crowded and we had a long line at checkout. Wal-Mart!! Man, I could not believe how busy they were!! I was so glad I went at two in the afternoon, if it was that busy during the day, just think what it would have been like after work!
Liz spent the night with us and we had a good time watching TV and wrapping presents.

Monday, December 20, 2010


Chad Anthony Elrod:
What can I say about my son but that he loves to ride horses!! This picture was taken a few years ago during deer season.
It is so hard to believe my first born "baby" is thirty-two years old!! Where has the time gone?
We celebrated Chad's birthday on Sunday, 12th. I pulled together several recipes from online friends. From Sarah, her twice-baked potatoes and from PW, her olive cheese bread. Both were very good. Dwayne grilled steaks and we had a couple other side dishes with homemade cinnamon rolls for Chad's birthday cake. It was Dwayne, Me, Chad, Todd, April and Mike. We had a good time visiting around the table during and after dinner.
April and I left mid-afternoon to go to St. Louis. Poor Dwayne, we left him the whole mess to clean up.

Clayton, MO:
I had a two day seminar in Clayton and April went down with me. We stayed at the Crowne Plaza. Our first night's adventure was quite eventful. I wanted April to drive from the hotel to the mall as I was tired of driving. I had printed out directions from the hotel to the Galleria Mall. On paper it looked pretty easy, in life-not so much!! We left the parking garage the wrong way, April ran a stop light, we got lost, etc. So, then I took over the driving. Not so great on my part either. I did a u-turn in front of a cop, took the wrong street, went the wrong way on a one-way street. After all that, we make it to the mall. It didn't seem very crowded. Well, no wonder, we got there a little after six and the mall closed at 7 p.m.!! What? The mall closes early on Sunday? We're from the country and even our stores stay open late on Sundays!!
Monday, 13th:
We have training all day. We get done at four and head back to the mall. Yeah!! We make it there without getting lost! We're disappointed this mall doesn't have very many stores we like. We leave there and eat at Olive Garden. It was good but I think it's overrated. Here we are in a different location and we wind up shopping at a Wal-Mart. But hey, we will take what we can get!! As we head back to the hotel, I get on a wrong street and we wind up in Shaw Park. It is deserted and scary. I turn around and try to get out, the exit was a dead end and it went under a bridge. I said, I watch CSI and other shows, we're not going under there!! I could just see us being attacked. I said, I don't care if this is a one way street, we're going back out the way we came in. So, that's what I did and luckily no one was coming towards us. When I got to the light, there was a truck trying to turn on the street towards us. So, I just went ahead and turned left at a red light from going the wrong way on a one way street!! But, we were out of Shaw Park!! Most of the traffic lights had cameras but fortunately neither one of us have received a ticket in the mail for our little driving episodes.
The training was very good and informative, I learned quite a bit. Class let out at 3:30, so we were looking forward to some major shopping. Wrong!! I got directions from someone on how to get to a mall on 270. Well, they left out one of the turns and I wound up going west towards Chesterfield. April and I were both getting a little anxious and crabby with each other. Then I saw a turn off that led to several shopping centers. Finally, day three, and we are at a Target!! We then stopped at Chesterfield Mall and it is a good place to shop. I was hoping I remembered how to get from Chesterfield on over to Hwy 100 to head home. Luckily, I did remember and that saved us a lot of miles of backtracking we would have had to do otherwise. Then we hit pay dirt again, I spied a Kohl's!! I pretty well finished up my Christmas shopping there and got an additional 15% off my items that were already on sale and I got a fifty dollar coupon to use in January 2011. We felt much better about our shopping even though we didn't find too much the first couple of days.

I am so grateful God looked after us on this trip as we made many driving mistakes and made it home safe and sound.

Friday, December 17, 2010


Yesterday, a friend of ours Dad had a major stroke. I feel so bad for the family as they are going through this. It is devastating to see your loved one in that state.
Last night, I was reading the paper and there was an article and picture of the Christmas Party at the Maries Manor. Without realizing it, I started to cry. We went to the Christmas Party at Maries Manor with Grandpa Andy the night before he had his second (and major) stroke. I miss Grandpa Andy so much; he and I had become very close after Grandma Dodie passed away. I cherish my time with him and all of the precious memories. Time may lessen the loss but you never stop missing them.
Dwayne, Grandpa Andy, David, October 2006 at Iron Works, Meramac Springs:
I am grateful for the loving relationship I had with both my Mother-In-Law, Dodie and my Father-In-Law, Andy. There are a lot of in-law jokes and I don't think they're fair. Your "in-laws" are your spouse's parents and need to be treated with respect. (I know it goes both ways, I was lucky that was true, I'm sure some don't have that relationship)

My Mother-In-Law, Dodie passed away seven years ago on December 14, 2003.
She had been on life support for six weeks. It was a very emotional experience for our family. On one hand, you are hoping and praying she comes out of the coma, on the other hand, she is not really there and it is so hard to see her like that. We continued to hold her hand, talk to her, etc. We would watch for any movement of her eyes, a gentle pressure from holding her hand, anything at all. This was my first experience losing a parent.
I was so proud of all of the grandchildren at her funeral and visitation. We never spoke to the kids (Chad, Todd, Dustin, April, Andy and Cody) about standing in the receiving line at the funeral home. Each one stood and greeted everyone that came through and stayed there at the receiving line the whole time. Dodie would have been so proud of them. At the time, it was sad losing Dodie so close to Christmas. But then, it was fitting. Dodie loved Christmas and all of the decorations. David Martin does a wonderful job decorating for the holidays and I know she would have enjoyed the festivity. So our final farewell was during Dodie's favorite time of the year. We used her Christmas ornaments this year on our tree. Merry Christmas, Grandma.
Doris Jean (Dodie) Elrod:

Take the time during this holiday season to really appreciate each member of your family and enjoy your time together.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Kara Leigh:

My beautiful great niece, Kara turned 18 today. So hard to believe this little girl has grown up!! She was/is such a joy to be around. When she was around three she constantly asked "why" as most kids do. One night she was at the house and she said, Aunt Connie, I can say the big words now. I asked what that was and she responded, "how come". Cute!! So then we had to answer how come questions insead of why.
Love this girl and I wish her a happy life.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Tess Elizabeth:

It's so hard to believe our little Tess is now a teenager!!
Love this girl
The Birthday Girl, Tess:
Tess and her Mom, Jamie:

Kara, Tess, and Jamie:

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Allen Boy's Update:

Blake making his squid creature:

Nathan:He did not like having an apron on for a bib. He kept looking sideways at it and then making a face.

After drinking a cup of milk, he was quite the little show off.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Weekend Recap:

We offered to watch the boys for a few hours so Kenny and Shelley could have a night out. Liz (Little Bits) came over for a couple hours, also.
April and I had saw a project for squid worms-cutting hot dogs in pieces and sticking raw spaghetti noodles in for arms, legs, etc. and then boiling them. I don't think Blake and Liz thought it was near as neat as the picture we had. I will post pictures after April loads them. (Guess I'm going to have to learn how to do that!!)

Nathan was starting to get a little fussy and didn't really know what he wanted. We gave him apple juice, then water but still he wasn't satisfied. Dwayne filled his cup with milk and that did the trick. As a matter of fact, we wondered just what was in that milk as he got really wound up. lol He was so much fun to watch as he would climb on the couch, get down, do it again and then do a nose dive onto the cushion and then blowing a raspberry. So cute!!
Blake had fun playing with Liz and spending time with "his April".
I spent the day cleaning. I have put off cleaning the upstairs bedrooms for quite some time, so I did a thorough job of cleaning and vacuuming the stairs. Felt really good to get that done.
Red Lobster:

Dwayne and I got lured in by the Red Lobster commercials for lobster and decided to drive to Jefferson City. My lobster was very good. Dwayne had a different type of lobster with a steak and his wasn't the greatest. But we had a nice evening and a different place to go.
Dwayne was so fortunate to be able to go to the mall with me......... Mall shopping is not his cup of tea. We are looking for a new refrigerator and decided to see what was in stock at Sears. The salesman was very pushy and we didn't see what we wanted anyway.
We then looked at Lowe's and found one we will order online. Then on to Target to finish up Mom's Christmas shopping for her.
Overall, we had a great evening out together.
April and I went to church and then to Mom and Dad's for dinner. Mom had the dinner prepared before she went to church again!! We had beef stew, green beans, cooked cabbage, french bread, apple & orange slices, cake, peaches, and banana bread. What a feast!!
Ashlyne came home with us and helped putting pictures in photo albums for Chad and Todd. I loved recapturing their childhood again through pictures. I miss those days!!
I took a nap and probably shouldn't have, I was even more tired after I got up.
My Sunday evening meal consisted of barbecue chicken, hash brown casserole, corn and milk shakes for dessert. After eating and watching Extreme Makeover, Home Edition, I took Ashlyne home. She was a big help on getting last minute things done.

Once again, I am grateful (and amazed) by my Mom and Dad and how good they are doing for their age. My family has been very blessed.