Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Easter Sunday:

Chad, Todd, April and Mike:
We had our annual Elrod/Feeler Easter Dinner on Sunday. Dwayne and I started the tradition of combining both our families in 1988 after we built the upstairs to our house. It has worked out nice for our families throughout the years. We have watched one generation of kids grow into adulthood, the second set of kids starting to enter the teen years, with just a few under the age of five. We need a new "crop" of kids. lol We don't think of our families as being separate, the nieces and nephews on Dwayne's side of the family call my Mom and Dad, Grandma and Grandpa, my sisters and brothers, aunts and uncles. The same with my family towards the Elrods. David is Uncle David and Dwayne's parents were, Grandma Dodie and Grandpa Andy. (Oh, how we miss them!!) My family grieved for my in-laws along with the rest of us when they passed away. (Dodie in 2003, Andy in 2007)
We supply the meat and a few side dishes along with everyone bringing in a covered dish. We have had as many as 48 people. There is always a combination of great desserts to choose from. This year the favorite was cake balls.
A few years ago, I retired from being in charge of the egg hunt and turned it over to the younger people. It is too hard (at least for me it seems to be) to take care of the kitchen duties and see to hiding the eggs. I like that I can sit back and watch the kids.
The rain put a damper on the afternoon, but the kids managed to hunt eggs despite the weather.
My poor little great nephew, Kaden, got hurt on my treadmill. I never thought to go downstairs and remove the key from the treadmill. That will be first on my list next time we have kids down.
Kristin, Kate, Pauley, his kids, Ashlyne and I paid Liverpool Rummy. It is/was a tradition in the Elrod family to play cards any time we got together. The memories we have had through the years..... Funny, even now playing cards, we refer to Grandma Dodie and Grandpa Andy a lot and remembering things they would say during a game.
I was sooooooooo tired after everyone left. I watched TV for awhile and fell asleep on the couch.

I am so grateful for the blending of mine and Dwayne's families.

Chad, Todd, April, Mike and Desmon:
Desmon counting his eggs:
Kaden with his burnt arm:
Kaden hiding under the desk:
My brother, Wayne:
Kate, Pauley and Wayne's wife, Bobbi:
My sister, Kate and her friend, Pauley:
Momma, relaxing after a busy day:
Dad, no doubt telling one of his stories:

April and Mike:
Cody Elrod:
Andy Elrod and girlfriend:
Tyler Birdsong:

Friday, April 22, 2011

Todd Christopher:

My baby boy:
My baby boy turned 30 on the 17th!! Where did the time go?
Todd was born on Good Friday in 1981 and we went home from the hospital on Easter Sunday, the 19th and my birthday. I was also born on Good Friday in 1957.
My due date for Todd was April 4th and that was my Grandma's birthday. Since I had Chad on his due date, I smugly thought I would have a baby girl on my Grandma's birthday, the 4th. I had planned so well..... lol
God had other plans. A baby boy born two weeks late. We joke that Todd is such a sleepy head, it was natural he didn't wake up until two weeks after he was to make his appearance. At the time, (and it's no secret to Todd) I was a little disappointed not to have a girl. I looked over at the screaming red headed infant and thought, a boy, a red headed boy? Chad was born nice and clean and quiet, not Toddy, he came out screaming. I was glad when they brought him to me after he was cleaned up to see his hair was not red but almost black. BACK THEN, you didn't get to hold your baby until the body temperature was back to normal.
Trust God!! That is what I should have done. No one could have prepared me for the funny little character he blessed us with. Todd was (and is) like no other. He was such a little comedian and he wanted to grow up and be Johnny Carson. There are so many funny Todd stories, I wouldn't know where to begin.
We took the boys to the Smokey Mountains the summer Todd turned two in April. He was such a talker. We did not see any bears but a stuffed one at a souvenir shop that Chad and Todd sat on for a picture. On the way home, we stopped at Dwayne's Aunt Rita's in Illinois. The boys had been asleep in the truck and Todd came fully awake once we got in the house. He began telling Aunt Rita stories about the trip and how he saw a bear and fought with it and on and on. That was the beginning of "Todd's stories" for years to come.
In December of that same year, I saw some people in town that came to the doctor's office where I worked. Todd proceeded to tell them I was having a baby girl on April 4th of the next year. They congratulated me and I don't know where he came up with that as I was not pregnant. He also told them Dwayne, Chad and my full name and birth dates, along with the years we were born.
In hindsight, thank goodness our ways are not God's ways and he knows better than us. What a joy Todd has brought to our lives and everyone around him.
Thank you God for the birth of our second son.
Birthday Boy with Cinnamon Rolls:

Todd and Dustin:
The banner for all the April birthdays, Carrie, Desmon, Dustin, Carol, Todd, Reenie,Connie & Shelley:

Thursday, April 21, 2011

April 19, 1957-2011

I was born to wonderful parents, Arch and Maxine (Williams) Feeler. I was the fourth born child. There is quite a story to my birth. (and if any of you know my Dad, the whole story telling process is a long one). My Mom went into labor on Friday, April 19th of 1957. Late at night Dad was taking Mom to Vienna to Dr. Howard's Clinic. On the way, they had a flat tire. Dad stopped at a neighbor's (Wilbur Ragan) house to get a spare. Wilbur asked where they were going so late at night. Dad told him they were going to Vienna to get a bull calf. The next day Wilbur asked my Dad if he got the bull calf and he said, "No, I got a heifer (be nice here people, he meant a female, not that I would grow up to be a heifer!!) instead. Wilbur did not know they had a baby and was confused as to why Dad would go to buy a bull and buy a heifer instead. Dad then told him about me. SOOOOOOOOOOOO, I guess now if Dwayne refers to me as "an old heifer", he would be telling the truth. lol
April 19, 2011Now:

Chad and Todd:
April and Dwayne:
My "birth day" got even better as the day went on. I love spending time with my kids and it's not always possible to get all three there in the middle of the week at the same time. I was pleasantly surprised to see Chad, Todd and April at the house when I got home from work. Dwayne had stopped and picked up my favorite ice cream on his way home from work, butter pecan. I couldn't have asked for a better day of celebration.

After the kids left, I went to visit Mom and Dad. I tried to take a picture of me, Mom and Dad together with my camera. Whoops! Guess we have to piece it together......
The Parents, Mr. Perfect and Mrs. Wonderful:

I am very grateful for the life I've been given.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Work Birthday Surprise:

I have really great employers and co-workers. They treated me to a lunch of grilled steaks and all the fixins, along with several jokes on my age....
Seriously, I couldn't ask for a better work place. Along with the jokes and birthday grafitti, I received a willow tree angel and a day of fun.

Thank you to Black Gold!!


I am so lucky to have "my own" flowering trees each year for my birthday! This was the view when I left the house this morning. So pretty!!
Well, today I turned 54. I really don't feel as old as 54 sounds. Reminds me of when I used to clean house for some ladies in Rolla. They were in their late 70's and early 80's. They would refer going out to eat with their friends as the girls. I remember thinking, girls? you people are old, like uh, ladies????? Well, I never refer to my friends as ladies, it's girls!! lol So, I guess no matter the age, we're all girls at heart.
Seriously, I don't mind being 54. My Mom has always said, if you don't get old, you die young. Well, I an enjoying my life and hope I have YEARS left to go out to eat with the girls.

I have been very blessed with my husband and children. I cannot imagine my life without them. This morning when I got up, there was a birthday cake and gift on the table from Dwayne, Chad, Todd, April and Mike, and the most amazing card. Apparently, April snuck in this morning while I was asleep.

I am grateful for fifty-four years of life.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Weekend Recap:

Dwayne worked in the yard and we had leftovers for supper. Later I went to Wal-Mart and then to the roller rink to pick up Ashlyne and Gracie. On the way home I decided to drop by the house before taking them home and they could help me unload groceries. Worked out great, might make them do that each time I pick them up.
Mom and I attended a funeral for Tim Howell.

My cousin, Jeannie Allen's ex-husband Tim Howell passed away on the 26th due to diabetes and heart disease. Even though they were divorced, they remained close friends and supportive parents to their two sons. Their oldest son, Jason did a eulogy in honor of his dad, very sad and touching. Tim's wife, Maricar also gave a tribute to Tim and their love for each other. Tim's brother and his best friend also gave tributes to his life. There were a lot of tears shed but also laughter in remembering their times together.
Funeral Dinner at The Brookshires:

Martha's daughter, Terri and her husband, Ryan hosted the family following the funeral. Despite the sadness of the day, it was nice visiting with family we don't see often. It's times like this we feel the loss of Aunt Ella Mae even more.
At Feeler/Allen dinners throughout the years there was almost always a cottage cheese salad known as pink shit. I don't remember how it got this name, I think my ex brother-in-law. I thought what more fitting to take to the dinner. Apparently Martha's family thought the same thing as Brooke brought it also. lol
Pink Salad:
Container Cottage Cheese Can Crushed Pineapple (drained)
Container Cool Whip Small Box Strawberry Jello
Mix all together and keep in refrigerator.
After taking Mom home I spent the day relaxing (watching Dwayne work in the yard....)
Saturday evening, we went to Mike and Susan's for a get together. Nice seeing our friends after a long winter of seemingly hibernation.
We sat on the front deck around a fire and enjoyed the evening and the nice view. I tried taking a picture of the lake with the lights around the gazebo but it didn't turn out very good. Not use to the new type of camera.

April and I went shopping in Springfield. I found some good buys at Gordman's. It's a good thing we don't have one close to home or I might be buying a lot. We then went the mall. While April shopped, I treated myself to a pedicure. I've only had one other pedicure in my life and it wasn't done very good and I could do a better job at painting my toe nails. Very disappointing. This time was nice. I relaxed in a vibrating chair and got pampered. Since I didn't really need to buy anything at the mall, it worked out great as April got her shopping done I played the "old lady" roll of sitting around!!
We then ate at Applebees and had a good meal. We talked and I thought laughed and had a good time. Apparently the guy adjacent to us didn't think so. As we were leaving, he told April it wouldn't hurt her to smile once in awhile. He was being serious, how rude!!
Judy called and said she was at the hospital with Mom. Her heart rate was up and they were doing blood work, she would call back and keep us update.
The ride home from Springfield was DANGEROUS!! I have never seen that much traffic coming out of Springfield, even when I've come back from taking Mom to the doctor and being in work traffic. The cars were darting in and out and just crazy!! A diesel ran the car in front of us off onto the shoulder of the highway and later a diesel tried to swerve into our lane, good thing April is an alert and conscientious driver and avoided an accident. The traffic remained heavy all the way to Rolla, it did let up a little around St. Roberts.
When we got to Rolla, I called Judy and she said they were getting ready to leave the hospital and Mom's cardiologist in Springfield would look at the test results on Monday. As we were leaving Rolla, Kate called and they hadn't released Mom yet as her heart rate went back up. We went on home and I was going to drive up later. Judy called after I got home and said they were releasing Mom. Jeeze, hospital, make up your mind!!
I was pretty tired and my neck and head hurt so I laid on the couch with an ice pack on my neck, watched Army Wives and went to bed early.
I had a doctor's appointment in Rolla and went to work on Highway 63. I usually go back on Highway A to Vienna but today I didn't. When I got to work, they told me to call my sister, Katie about my Mom. (my cell phone was dead) It really scared me and I was stunned to hear Mom had went to the hospital by ambulance. We never use an ambulance, we just load up and drive, it's much faster as we're only nine miles from the hospital. At first, they thought it was her heart and talked about transferring her to Springfield. I was very upset. Judy and Wayne were at the hospital with Mom and Dad. Kate and I decided to stay at work and we would drive down together after they got Mom stabilized to transfer. Judy kept us updated throughout the day. Mom's heart rate was fast and they also wanted to check to make sure she didn't have a blood clot in her lung. (It was just a year ago this month she had multiple blood clots in both lungs) Thankfully, no blood clots. By the afternoon, her heart rate was stable and blood work didn't show evidence of a heart attack. Even more surprising was, they released her yesterday evening. Poor Judy, she has had quite a workout with hospital/doctor visits with Mom and Dad. Mom looked very tired when she got home. Dad came in, put things away, fed and watered the bird and made sure Mom didn't need anything. He has become quite the caretaker.
Mom is to go Friday for an EKG and checkup.

I am so grateful we have been so blessed with the outcome of Mom and Dad's health the past week.