Mm mm, nothing better than my Mom's fried chicken!! She's the best! I love fried chicken, but seldom fix it. I hate the mess and it never tastes as good as Mom's. Plus, I can't cut up a chicken worth a darn. Just never could get the hang of it. I used to have to call Mom for directions almost every time I cut one up. Now, I just buy the cut up pieces but it's just not the same without a pulley-bone the way Mom cuts it up and that's my favorite piece. My brother, Russ and I used to fight over it. Hard to believe, fried chicken, mashed potatoes/gravy, homemade lemon aide were most Sunday dinners growing up - after Mom got home from church. Times have certainly changed over the years. I don't fix a Sunday dinner unless we have company. Sunday was the St. Elizabeth Picnic and we, along with Chad and Todd had planned on going over and then spend the afternoon visiting April and Mike. But when I found out Mom was frying chicken, that won out. Even though people were busy with summer activities, there was still eight teen of us present.
The weekend was spent with visiting great nieces and nephews, plus Desmon.
Speaking of visitors, April has spent a couple nights this week with us. She's been working overtime and staying at the house since it's much closer to her work. We love having her stay with us, we miss her. But I can tell it's just not the same for her anymore, she misses her home. Once you leave home, it's never the same going back. April and I enjoyed a refreshing drink one night. I recently bought some frozen fruit daiquiris. They are made with white wine and pretty diluted. You thaw them until they're slushy. The peach tastes like eating a fresh peach. Very good. I used the wine glasses Robin Stratman bought for me along with a beautiful basket several years ago when I had surgery. They're hand painted and very delicate. I have them in the china cabinet and rarely if ever use them. What better way to enjoy the glasses than with a TV night with my daughter.
Dwayne and I had finished supper and I even had the kitchen cleaned, ready to relax. Then we had visitors and when I asked if they had ate, uh, no they hadn't. Well, what is a mother to do, feed her kids! So, as any good mother would do, I gave them lunchmeat and chips and let them fix it theirself. I loved it. We don't have company anymore and when we were younger, there was always someone stopping by and more often than not, I would fix supper or at least a dessert. That was the way I was brought up, you enjoyed your visits and you always provide soft drinks and some type of food/snack. I still love the unexpected visits but now I am just too plain lazy to go out of my way to fix meals unless I plan on them coming over. But the boys don't look like they mind too much, it's food! My nephew Tim was with the boys, he is always a such a gentleman when he comes over. His manners and complimentary ways are so appreciated.
April and I were watching TV last night and around 9:30 we heard foot steps on the porch. Dwayne was asleep and we didn't hear anyone pull in. Automatically, my brain always thinks the worst. When I went to turn the porch light on, there was my Chaddy!! He was out for a drive, with his horse and cart. My son was born in the wrong era. He will ride a horse in the heat, snow, rain. Got to admit, he is very resourceful; take a cart, attach old fashioned oil lamps for taillights, hook it up to the horse and you have a night time ride. He jokingly said he was going green. We had a good visit with him and as usual he had to jokingly kid with his sister. He didn't pick her up and turn her upside down this time, though. (I think she's getting a little old for that, but a brother that has done that her whole life doesn't seem to think so)
I am grateful for my firstborn son and his loving ways.
Thankful/Grateful, both are words I use when ending my blog on each post. I found this plaque today and thought, that's like my blog!! I had to buy it. Life is sometimes hard, there are trials along the way. I have a hard time letting go and letting God. My Mom has always told me, God knows your troubles, give them to him and leave them there. As he cares for the sparrow, he also cares for his children. While looking online for a picture of a sparrow, I came across the following sermon: http://www.sermonsfromseattle.com/series_a_gods_eye_is_on_he_sparrow.htm If you're having a hard day or time in your life, I hope this site will be of comfort to you. I didn't mean to "preach" today, I just wanted to emphasis the importance of being thankful for life and the support of family and friends. Somehow I got off track. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. —Matthew 10:29-31
Today, I don't really have any burdens (maybe a sore jaw from having a tooth pulled..) but I felt "burdened" to type the message of the sparrow. So maybe, someone needs to hear that today, I don't know.
I am thankful/grateful for contact with others via phone, internet, visiting, etc.
(Plaque, do you know how hard that is to spell? And if you don't know how to spell it to even begin to look it up in the dictionary? And I loved spelling in school. I would have flunked that one on a spelling bee).
This is my new toy!! I bought it a little over a month ago for a Christmas present but loved it so much, decided to keep it for kids to play with when they come over. I set it up on the kitchen counter when I got it and it is still there. We all "play" with it. It's a camping set, with deer, fish, boats, etc. Each one of us will rearrange the people and setting. (That includes, Dwayne, me, Chad, Todd, Mike and April!!) You might walk by the counter one day and the guys are in the boat fishing and the four wheeler is moved, or another day, the four wheeler is hooked up to the trailer and hauling a deer in the back. Neatest thing ever!! The past weekend is the first time I've actually had kids at the house to play with it. I knew Blake and Desmon would love it. Blake hasn't go to see it yet. Desmon loves to play with Chad and Todd's old farm animals (and I always have to play farm with him, even Mike who farms all the time, in Desmon's eyes doesn't know how to farm like him and Miss Connie). I think this week, I might actually take it off the kitchen counter and put it in a box in the living room. Not sure, the counter won't look the same without it. lol Zach and Desmon with the camping set:
I am so grateful for the "kids" in my life, old and young.
Saturday was Blake's 6th Birthday Party. Anna dropped Desmon off at the house and he went with me to the party. First we had to go to the field to see Mr. Dwayne and then on to visit Chad and Todd. We had all missed Desmon since he moved. Blake and Desmon are pretty good buddies and play so well with each other. They had a fun afternoon. Blake's Birthday Cake:(#88 for his and Mike's favorite race car) Dwayne with Elizabeth and Nathan:(He's a kid at heart) One of the presents he opened: Enjoying the afternoon: The hit of the party, Trampoline!!: Dwayne drove over separate as he had to go back and finish baling hay. Desmon and I stayed quite awhile and then we went to visit JuJu. JuJu is my sister, Judy who Desmon used to live by and absolutely loves her. I hadn't seen Ashlyne for for a few weeks so I was glad to see her. The kids went swimming in the swimming pool and then Zach went home with us. Zach and Desmon had fun (as much as a 13 year old can have fun with a 6 year old for hours on end. They watched TV in the basement and "camped" out down there. Sunday: The boys and I went to church and then came home to get ready for yet another birthday celebration. My cousin's husband turned 73 and her daughter 47. Hard to believe Marilyn is 47, I remember when she was born!! Now I sound like my older aunts talking...... We had quite the truck full on the way over to Mary Sue's. April, Troy, Zach, Ashlyne, Nathan, Lizzy, Desmon and me. It was gravel roads, so we cheated and let a couple kids ride in the back. Sometimes you just don't have a choice in vehicle space. There was ALOT of people there and most I didn't know. My Dad is so funny. He's such a talker and knows most everybody in our community. He looked so lost when he came in and looked around the room. He goes, I don't know hardly anyone here. That's a first for Dad. The kids had a blast with the water balloon sling shot. Perfect for a hot afternoon. Zach: Ashlyne and Lizzy: Lizzy:
Dwayne was pretty worn out from being in the hayfield so I barbecued pork chops in the crock pot for supper. Yuck!! They didn't get tender and were dried out. Don't think I'll do that again. Chad was brush hogging and Mike was hauling hay so luckily they missed out on the dried out meat!! But, hey the rest of the meal was okay, especially the fried potatoes.
Grateful for the life I've been given? Yes, most definitely. Family, friends, celebrations, (food!!) and good times, that's how God would like us to enjoy our life.
April came by last night and we went to Sirloin Stockade to eat and then on over to Mike and Susan's to visit with them and their grandkids. (mainly to see the kids, lol) Below is Avery. He is quite the talker, quite different from his Mommy. Carrie was always a quiet little girl. I think Avery thought Dwayne was his play toy. Of course, Dwayne made the most of it by tackling him, agrivating him, etc. I asked Avery before we left if he wanted a play date with Dwayne and he was like, YES. So, we do have a play date scheduled in August. Evan was more of my buddy. He's such a cute little guy and very cuddly. He came up to me and gave me a huge hug and then kept going back and forth touching his cheek to mine. Where Avery is more of the talker, Evan is more rough house boy. Could've took him home with me! Acutally, I jokingly said, Evan, you want to come home with me and he was ready to go. Little Ellie!! She is such a pretty baby. We enjoyed getting to see her again. She seemed more partial to April than Dwayne or me. She reminds me a lot of Carrie as a baby.
We so enjoy getting to see Carrie and her little family. Carrie was at our house so much growing up (Elrod/Southard family visits) it's like seeing her kids throughout our memories of her.
So grateful for Mike and Susan's friendship and the joy of seeing their kids and now, grandkids grow up.
Dwayne was sick last week (pneumonia) so our weekend was pretty lame. We stayed home Saturday so he could rest. Sunday, I went to church. Liz and I were ushers and although it can be a little nerve-wracking, I think we did a pretty good job. (if I do have to say so myself lol) It was also the first Sunday with our new pastor and his family. I enjoyed his sermon and think he is going to fit in just fine with our church family. He has a blog with more of his inforomation. mikehargraves.blogspot.com Dwayne was feeling better when I got home so we went to Taco Bell and then over to Mike and Susan's to visit. Ryan and Carrie were down from Kansas City with their kids. Ryan had taken the boys to the river and we didn't get to see them. We only got to see this little cutie: We visited for awhile and then stopped by Mom and Dad's on the way home. The rest of the afternoon, I read a book and just lazed around. Instead of me taking a Sunday afternoon nap, Dwayne did! Kind of a turn around for us but he has been pretty worn out from being sick. Monday: I was pleasantly surprised as I was making my salad to take to Aunt Jessie's to have a visitor. None other than my first born, Chad Anthony. Chad is always so busy with his place, HORSES and just living life, he doesn't stop by too often. We had a good visit with him for a couple hours before we went to Aunt Jessie's. Elrod tradition is having a reunion on the 4th of July. Not the 5th or 3rd or whichever day is closer to a weekend, we have it on the 4th. That way you don't have to see if you have anything else going on over the holiday, you reserve the 4th for the reunion. The Elrod's are such a close family and everyone is genuinely glad to see and visit with the other family members. I have always felt so welcome by them.
Overall, we had a good weekend and are so grateful for family, friends, freedom and the great country we live in.
Joe and Josh pointing to their birthday cakes and candles, Joe "80" and Josh "25": Joshua Thomas Tilley:(first born great nephew/great grandchild)
Tammy Lynn and Grandma: (first born granddaughter/grandchild) Tammy Lynn and Grandpa: I am so behind on my blogging. On the 25th of June, my sister had a huge birthday dinner for her husband, Joe who turned 80 on June 31st. No, that's not a typo, his birth certificate says June 31st!! He has tried to get it changed several times but they can't seem to get it corrected. I think his actual birth day is the 30th of June. Also, celebrating was her first born grandson, Josh's 25th birthday and it was his actual birthday.
The 26th of June wasn't actually a celebration dinner but a going away event. Pastor Karen retired and it was her last Sunday preaching and being at our church. We had the biggest crowd I've ever seen at church. Karen has made such an impact on our community and was literally loved by all. We are going to miss her tremendously.
I also attended the 85th Birthday celebration of Cellus Stratman, my previous employer's, dad. I worked for Donnie several years. He became a good friend as well as his family. We also went to school and graduated together in 1975. (ironically his mother and my mother-in-law were in the same hospital room and had their babies the same day) It was great to see and visit with everyone.
Judy continued her celebration on Sunday as there was plenty of food left. Always nice to visit and enjoy "stories".
I am so grateful for the milestone birthdays we've celebrated with family and friends.
Last week, Nathan (my great nephew)sent me a message asking if "Grand Nonnie" aka me, would like to have a date night to see the new Cars 2 movie and he would pay for it. He knows I loved the first Cars movie, we used to watch it A LOT!! Naturally, Grand Nonnie said yes!! (Only, I didn't let him pay) As it happened, Lizzy didn't get to go the carnival as she had planned so she came along on the date with Nathan and I. As you can see from the pictures below, we had a great time.
I am most grateful for the loan of my sister's grandkids to enjoy. Thus, the "Grand Nonnie". Ashlyne started calling me Nonnie when she started talking. It stuck with the other kids, too. When Nathan found out I was his great aunt, he he labeled me "Grand" Nonnie. He was only around three at the time, I thought it was so cute. (I guess I'm like the Grand Poompa!! lol)
This was my view on Highway A this morning on my way to work. My dad on his way to the Emge Place to plow. Brings back so many memories... When I was a little girl, I used to "farm" with my Dad. I thought I was so big! I would ride the tractor with him and thought I was really helping. Before we went home, Dad would have me rub my hands in the grease so Mom would know I was working hard. Of course, Mom probably knew the grease didn't come from me working, but as a child, I thought I was really doing something.
I am so grateful to see my eighty-six year old Dad still doing the things he loves.
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.