Friday, December 28, 2012

Christmas Eve:

    April Lee

Me & Chad
Me & Chad

Todd & Mike

Todd & Mike

Table Chad & Todd made for
"The Holtmeyers"

Dwayne's, self portrait........
We go to Mom & Dad's for Christmas Eve.  Most of the grand kids were there this year.
After our evening at Mom and Dad's, we come home to do our Christmas with the kids.
We usually just have snacks and as a treat, a glass of wine.  We were all so stuffed this year, we didn't even eat a thing.
The highlight of the evening was the barn wood table Chad and Todd made for April and Mike.  They worked hard to get it just perfect for their sister.  It turned out really good.
I am grateful for my family and the time spent together.

Christmas with the Elrod's:

Hard to believe we were able to sit outside to eat Christmas Dinner.

April's pumpkin pie

For not having grand kids, we certainly had several children at our house for our Elrod Christmas.  Nine to be exact!! 
We had a very good day on Sunday.  Visiting and family, which is really what holidays should be.
The only presents were for the kids.

I am grateful for having all of the Elrod grandchildren together this year.

Braxton Hunter:

      Uncle David and Braxton

Braxton is the newest great nephew to our family.  He is Andy's baby and as you can see Grandpa David is very proud of him.  He's a cute and chubby little guy.  Grandma Dodie would have been so proud of him as he has red hair.  She always wanted one of her grandkids to have red hair and none of them did.

I am grateful for family and the newest additons on both Elrod and Feeler side.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Friday, December 21, 2012

Merry Christmas:

From the Elrod and Holtmeyer's, we wish everyone a Merry Christmas.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Justin Beiber Wrapping Paper?

I went to Lizzy's Christmas party at school yesterday.  They had a gift exchange and everyone was in awe of Lizzy's gift as it was wrapped in Justin Beiber wrapping paper.  What?  They didn't have Donny Osmond or David Cassidy wrapping paper when I was young!! Liz only opened up one end so she could save the paper.
Liz spent the night with us and we had a Teen Mom marathon while wrapping presents.  She keeps a person on your toes as she remembers everything.  She is a smart and funny girl.

I am grateful for my sister Judy's grandchildren in my life and the joy they bring to all of us.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Monday, December 17, 2012

Table Rock Lake:

View from Bette Jo's back deck.
Jesse Jo on her scooter.

I went to Golden, MO this weekend with Dwayne's cousin's wife, her Mom and daughter, Jesse Jo.  We stayed at Bette Jo and Tom's.  The same wonderful hosts Dwayne and I have been going to see each summer.
Bette Jo definitely spoils a person, she has food prepared ahead of time and you aren't allowed to do anything to help.  Makes me feel guilty, but this time I just enjoyed it.
We went to Branson shopping Saturday and to see all of the sights.  Jesse Jo kept us entertained most of the time.  She liked to pout occasionally when her Mom told her no on something.  I would just reach over to her and try to pull her mouth into a smile.  Worked every time!!  She would then start giggling.
The deck goes all the way around the house.  Jesse Jo made so many circles it would have made me dizzy.  I did try the scooter once, but didn't do very well.  While we were "scooting", Jesse said she was so excited I was coming and her Mom kept talking about my kids.   She couldn't remember which one of the cousin I was.  She thought I would be taking kids along on the trip for her to play with.  I told her my kids were all grown and she then asked me how old I was.  When I told her I was 55, she opened her mouth wide and said, "You look really good for your age.  I thought you were around my Mom's age!"  (almost 40)  She is my new best friend.  lol
We were going to eat at Lambert's on the way home but the line went all the way around the building.  Crazy!!  We were all homeward bound, so we opted out of waiting.
The weather was so beautiful all weekend.

April came by in the afternoon and we went to Rolla.  I almost finished my Christmas shopping, going to Springfield with Susan tomorrow and finish up.  Brought fried chicken home and Chad, Todd, Dustin and Trevor came up for supper.  Good to see all of my kids today.

After they all left, I went to check on Mom and Dad.  Mom's blood sugar had been high and then dipped low during the day so we was resting.  I told them I got homesick on the weekend away and the laughed at me.  I used to get homesick when I went to church camp and Mom was my counselor!!  lol

I am grateful for times like this.

Friday, December 14, 2012


This is a review of last year's post on my mother-in-law.

I don't understand grief, some years you are okay dealing with their death and then another year the anniversary date comes up and Wam!! it hits you full force again.  This is one of those years.  I don't know why but I have missed Dodie more this year than any other since the first year of losing her.  Love and miss you, Dode!!

A dear friend.........

My Mother-in-Law, not just Dwayne's mother, not just a relative by marriage, but a dear friend. I miss her, our shopping, card playing, trips with the grandkids, family gatherings. I miss it all, but most of all I miss us, me and her.

Doris Jean (Dodie) Elrod:

My Mother-In-Law, Dodie passed away eight 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 have started using her Christmas ornaments on our tree. Dwayne decorates the tree now that the kids aren't home. I think it is a time of relection for him hanging the ornaments that were so dear to his Mom.

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

Thursday, December 13, 2012


Last New Years, I vowed I would take the time to visit people more.  I was going to visit someone I don't normally see often at least once a week.  Not always easy to do, especially with our busy year of Mom being sick, planning April's wedding and work.  But we did venture out and visit relatives and neighbors a little more often.
Saturday, we took the day to just be free and run around.  After going to the bank (twice, because Dwayne forget his paycheck at home..........) we went to his cousin's shop in Bland.  If you like antique dishes, this is the place you should go.  While there, another of Dwayne's cousins walked in with his wife and grandchild.  We rarely get to see Bryan so it felt like a small family reunion.


Spotted Rooster

Spotted Rooster

After leaving there, we went on through the back roads to St. James.  We stopped at TJ and Sarah's house.  TJ lived with us for awhile and we hadn't seen him in quite some time.  Apparently a couple years, as they are now parents to a precious two year old little girl who talks like a little grown up and twin boy and girl who will be one in February.  Quite a busy little household.  Dwayne had seen TJ and the kids a couple months ago when TJ dropped by while I was at the Lake shopping with April.  It was so good to see them.
We did our grocery shopping and headed home.  That evening my neighbor, Nadine from Germany asked me to come over for a German drink and cookies.  I wasn't sure about the German drink, thinking it would be a strong liquor type but if so it was not very strong.  The hot drink along with the German cookies were really good as well as visiting with Nadine and her four children.  She had just received a package from her Dad in Germany that week.  We looked at old photos from her homeland and shared life histories.  A very pleasant evening.
I think I did pretty good in one day to try and visit people.  We are so used to the modern world of technology, I think we miss out on good old fashioned visiting.

I am grateful for neighbors and friends.



(His glasses are broke, not used to seeing him without them)

Update on the picture of Chad.  Not only does he not look like himself in the picture without his glasses but he also wasn't feeling well.  His kidneys have been bothering him again.  This has been an on going condition since he was about six years old.  We had so thought he would "outgrow" the condition, but we were told at Cardinal Glennon they didn't follow children into adulthood so they did not know the long term prognosis but it could flare up again in mid thirties to forties.
Chad had another episode when he was a senior in high school and had to go on bed rest for a couple weeks.
He tries so hard and has always been a hard worker, thus not really taking care of himself with heavy lifting, etc.  He had a really good job last year on the barge but the final physical called for a kidney biopsy.  Although, not really bad but it was enough to end the job with the likelihood of big health insurance issues.
It's been a rough year on Chad and I ask that each of you pray for my son on being out of work and health issues.

I am grateful for this kind, big-hearted son of mine and pray for his health and happiness.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

12-12-12: Repost of Chad's Birthday from 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.  Updated today on December 12th, 2012, NOW 34 YEARS OLD!!!  Where has the time gone?  Age old goes be in a fleeting moment.  Enjoy each day.
Happy Birthday, Chad!! 

Wordless Wednesday:

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Chad's Birthday Dinner:

Chicken Pot Pie
(not sure if you can notice but I cut into the crust,
Happy Birthday Chad)

Apple & Cherry Turnovers

(His glasses are broke, not used to seeing him without them)

                                         Mike, Mom, Dad, Todd, Chad & Dwayne

Dad, Todd, Chad, Me, Mike, Mike, April & Nathan and Desmon at counter
(didn't get one of Lizzy)

Mom, Todd, Chad, Dwayne, April  They're listening intently to one of  Dad's stories...........

We celebrated Chad's 34th Birthday Sunday with a birthday dinner and visit with Mom and Dad.  So nice to have them here celebrating with us.
I didn't go to church as I'm not as good at getting everything ready and attending church all at the same time. My Mom did that (and still does as of last Winter) this all the time.  I remember her frying chicken, making homemade biscuits, lemonade, etc. after church every Sunday while growing up.  Sadly, I can't seem to accomplish all of that the way she has always done.
But, I have Dwayne, whom I refer as my house-husband, that helps me out tremendously when we have a family dinner.  He doesn't like the term house-husband, so I now refer to him as my daughter-in-law and for some reason that doesn't offend him.  lol  Whatever, he is a big help.
I was making chicken pot pie for dinner and he deboned the chicken.  I have never had such small cut up pieces of chicken before for any of my dishes.  He did an excellent job.  He cleaned up after me all morning as I make a mess as I cook.  We had chicken pot pie, salad, corn, & rolls and for Chad's cake, we  had homemade apple and cherry turnovers.  I set the pies on an antique square cake stand that Grandma Dodie gave us, seemed to make it more special.
Nathan and Lizzy were visiting Mom and Dad for the day so they came down and then Chad brought Desmon with him.  Seems more natural to have kids around.  We enjoy them coming over.
My great-niece, Tess turned 15 on Sunday and was having cake and ice cream over at her Grandma Pat's at two o'clock.  April and I took Nathan and Lizzy over and we stayed for a little while to visit with everyone.  So hard to believe how this generation of kids is growing up so fast!!
As we were getting ready to leave, there was a coyote up in the field.  We had been seeing it the past few days and it just didn't act right.  Our neighbor came over that morning and said he had been seeing it and it didn't seem to be scared and would just stand there in broad daylight in our other neighbor's yard.  Dwayne and Mike drove up the drive and Dwayne was able to shoot it.  When they were loading it up to take to the neighbors as he wanted the skin, Mike said it stunk really bad.  Not sure what was wrong with it but glad it's not around anymore.
When we came back from Pat's, Dwayne, Mike, April and I spent the afternoon playing Liverpool Rummy.  I miss afternoons like that as that was always an Elrod tradition to play cards anytime we were together.
Chad, Todd and Desmon came back by for a visit.  Such a good day.  I love having my adult children come over.

I am grateful for family and especially having Mom and Dad with us to help celebrate another birthday with Chad.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Funny Friday:

Replay of Blake and Dwayne last December.
When April used to babysit Blake, him and Dwayne got into this routine of "tattooing" each other with some type of little plastic toy knife that was in the toy box.  Blake hadn't been to the house for awhile or done the "tattooing" for quite some time so we were a little surprised when he found the toy knife and wanted to tattoo Dwayne.  He doesn't forget anything!!
Dwayne makes a big deal out of it as it tickles him or hurts him and reacts to that.  Blake finds it hilarious and finally fell to the floor he was laughing so much.
Expensive toys needed for kids to have fun?  Not really.  These kids and others that come find one object or toy and go back to it each time to play their make-believe.
I'm not sure who had the most fun, Blake, Dwayne or me just watching the two.
I am grateful for each of the kids that come into our life.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Deer Camp:

        Background:  Tim and Xander                    Chad and Desmon

Each year the guys go to what we call the Emge Place and camp all week for deer season.  How they can all stay in one cabin together for a week, eat deer all week, play cards and live is such close quarters is beyond me.  But apparently they love it.
They don't keep it just to the adults.  As you can see above occasionally kids are allowed and they love it just as much as the older guys.  Everyone has a good time.

I am grateful my Mom and Dad has provided a wonderful get-a-way for the family.  It is a greatly appreciated legacy to passed on through the generations.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Zach & Nathan:


I have these two boys at my office this evening.  They had tutoring after school and since I work in Vienna I picked them up.  An hour in an office with a 14 and 12 year old makes for a very boring hour for them.  Now, they are each telling me I should say "I love Zach more" and "I love Nathan more".  lol  I think I'll stay neutral on that one!!

I am grateful for these guys and the opportunity to spend time with them.