I had a request a few weeks ago for the recipe I used on my Valentine's Day meatloaf. The recipe was in a cookbook from a church I used to attend, Broadway Baptist. I love this cookbook as I knew the people posting the recipes and there are several of my mother-in-law's recipes in there. I always make her cranberry salad and punch for Christmas. I do not put my ingredients in the blender as it suggests. I'm sure it would work great, I just never tried it that way. The spiciness of the mustard and horseradish sauce gives a nice tangy flavor. Sometimes I've been out of horseradish sauce and I will just add more of the spicy mustard. The glaze reminds me of a shrimp cocktail sauce. My nephew, Nathan loves this recipe and just recently requested I make it. I may have to surprise him soon. I have a lot of happy memories going to this church. Dwayne, Chad and Todd were all baptised there. We spent many happy hours in bible school and doing puppet shows. I had almost forgotten about the puppet shows until I ran across a book of scripts in my kitchen drawer. Marlene Feeler and I directed the kids in acting out a lesson with puppets during children's church. I think the adults enjoyed it as much as the kids. I so missed the puppet shows and interacting with the kids on that level when we moved our membership.
I am grateful for the many church families I have come in contact with throughout the years.
My sister, Judy celebrated her birthday February 1st and her great-grandson, Jay celebrated his 2nd birthday the next day. Missed his great-grandma's birthday by one day!! Would have been neat if it had been the same day. Judy has always had a gooseberry cake on her birthday. Her middle name is the same as our Grandma Williams middle name, Ellen. We never knew our Grandma Williams as she passed away when our Mom was only ten years old. Gooseberry cake was one of Grandma's favorites and has been passed down to Judy. Mom makes an old fashioned yellow cake and then puts gooseberry pie filling (homemade) in the middle. This is followed by seven minute icing. We have always referred to this cake as Judy's cake. In January of 1997, Mom had major by-pass surgery. Dad started helping out around the house and doing things we had never seen him do before. Judy lived in Ellington at the time and Mom and Dad were going to drive down for her birthday. I stopped by on my way to work that morning and Dad was proudly standing at the stove make the seven minute icing (and stirring with his finger occassinally to see if it was the right texture). I took a picture of him and he was beaming from ear to ear. I wish I had that picture with me to post, it was monumental!! I always joke that Dad didn't even know how to get his own glass of water until after I left home. From that time on, Dad has made Judy's birthday cake each year. We had a good afternoon the 5th of February enjoying cake and ice cream for Judy's birthday.
I am grateful for these times celebrating with my family.
The past weekend has been full of activity and a lot of fun. Friday: Started the evening off with Ashlyne coming to the house. She was quite disappointed we didn't go on in to Rolla and pick Tess up but I was tired and Tony had offered to pick her up while him and Lizzy were in town. I told Ashlyne this way she got "Nonnie" and Uncle Dwayne's undivided attention!! lol That didn't go over too good but as the evening wore on I think she liked being the only one there. After supper, I asked her if she wanted to go downstairs and watch TV. To my surprise, she said no, I think I'll stay up here with Uncle Dwayne and watch a "Dwaynie" show. Since she was about two years old, she has referred to my shows as "Nonnie" shows. Tony came by later and dropped Liz and Tess off. The girls were going to the basement to watch TV and I thought I would relax for awhile. Uh, no, they're like, aren't you coming Aunt Connie? I was a little surprised these teen-age girls still wanted their Aunt Connie to watch TV with them so decided I'd better go down. (But I did fall asleep on the couch) Saturday: Dressing shopping extravaganza!! Ashlyne, Tess and MacKensie are going to be candle lighters in April's wedding. Liz is going to be at the guest book. Thank goodness Liz now understands she doesn't HAVE to write everyone's name down as they come in, they can do it themselves!! She had it all planned out. What a time she is going to have-and everyone who is greeted by her. lol Judy, Katie and MacKensie met us at Mom and Dad's and away we went. We went to April's house first so they could all see it. April has babysit them throughout the years, so it is a big deal to see where "their" April lives. Judy and Katie hadn't been over either. We went to Jefferson City to eat lunch and on to Victoria's for the girls to try on dresses and get their size ordered. They got a sneak peak at April's dress as it was on display. After a full day of shopping at the mall and several stores you would have thought they would be quiet on the trip home, but I underestimated teenagers. Reminded me of the many trips Katie, Kayla, April and I have taken shopping in years past. Judy joked on the way home that not too many "girls" our age Dad lets them drive his vehicle AND gives them gas money!! Never too old to be treated by Dad and Mom's. Zach had spent the day helping Uncle Dwayne cut wood and feed cows. I'm not sure they even missed me as I had left them a pot of chili and they could watch TV uninterrupted. I was too tired to fix supper so they got pizza rolls and a soda. Sunday: Another great day of family and visiting. I picked up barbecue for lunch and then we headed to Mom's around three for birthday cake and ice cream. My nephew, Troy turned the ripe old age of 34. It was such a beautiful day out, we went for a drive and wound up at Kenny and Shelley's to see their new house. Blake wasn't there but Nathan was excited to see Dwayne and Nonna, mostly excited about seeing Dwayne and showing him his room. We then left and stopped at Phil and Carol's for a visit. It was also Phil's birthday (58!) and their son, Jake was there. Jake turned 30 the day before. We used to go visiting on Sundays all the time when the kids were home. I think we need to get out and do that more often.
What an embarrassing evening my sisters and I had last night!! lol Kate had been wanting Judy and me to go to a Zumba class with her for a few weeks now. Seemed like something always came up and we were never able to all three go at once. Well, we did last night!! Uh!! Never again!! Not just that we weren't physically able to keep up, we just plain couldn't do it!! Kate did pretty good, but in all fairness, she'd been before and she is younger than me and Judy!! lol We are just dance-challenged, no rhythm whatsoever!! Judy started laughing hysterically and then we all three started laughing. Judy gave up and went out. I was trying but just couldn't seem to get the hang of it. Judy said I was doing good and keeping up but I was not in sync with everyone and seemed to just be doing my own thing. Kate kept up and was doing good but I left not long after Judy. (people were laughing at us, really) Judy and I were the oldest ones there. We felt bad leaving Katie in there by herself but the humiliation was getting to us. We did have fun though. A few years ago it would have bothered me alot to be laughed at but we didn't care, we knew we were bad!! lol Katie came out not long after us. We were all laughing. When we went out front, to add to our humiliation, there was a TV with the camera showing the Zumba room. At least we kept people entertained. They told us the were going to start up a Golden Zumba Class for older women if we would like to join. (Gee, thanks!!) I told them I thought we needed the tarnished version. lol MacKensie had stayed out in the front room to do homework, not sure if she saw us on the screen or not. Must not have as she didn't say anything about it. We decided we would start our own exercise class one evening per week in the privacy of my basement. Lizzie would be our perfect instructor as she is the little leader in everything. I can just imagine the laughter that could be heard from upstairs from all of us giggly girls/women. Even though we sucked at Zumba, we had a fun evening out. We joked, laughed and acted like kids. Kids that even stopped and visited their parents on the way home. As a kid, my dad used to throw his change on the floor out of his pocket and I would pick it up. I don't know why I always hurried to get gather it up so fast as I was the only younger child at home. It's always been a joke in our family that "Connie would get all the change," as Dad would repeat the throwing of change in the floor for the grand kids, great-grand kids, etc. and I would usually (for fun) get in the scramble and gather as much as I could. I always won, I still do that when Dad empties his pockets. (I do divide the change up with the kids, though) Last night was no exception, Dad said he needed to throw change on the floor for Connie to pick up. And I did!! See, we're still kids at heart. And our love attention from our parents is just as important today as when we were young. Each of us have some silly childhood quirk that we shared with our parents and they still repeat occasionally with us.
I am grateful for having sisters and sharing moments like these.
Saturday evening, April and Mike went with us to Sybil's in St. James to celebrate their engagement. Their fillet Mignon is the best!! It seemed to be the evening for several celebrations. Some friends of ours were there celebrating their 42nd Anniversary and my cousin's family were in the next room for her wedding dinner. We were going to their reception later that evening but it was nice to get a sneak peak of everyone. And of course, the triplets!! We always make such a big deal out of seeing them, I'm sure they get tired of it. Especially now that they are 18 and graduating this year. So hard to believe!! I remember going to see them for the first time, my kids thought it was so neat they each had a baby to hold. We had time to kill before the reception started so we drove around town for awhile. I think we're getting too old for that, not as much fun as it used to be. lol Even with extra time, we barely made it to the reception on time!! Well, we did make it to one reception on time, but it was the wrong one!! We went in, looked around and didn't see anyone we knew. Then I saw a guy and his wife come in that used to work with my Dad and knew my cousin. They brought their gift in, set it down and went and sat down. Well, I knew them, but still didn't see anyone else we knew. Dwayne asked a lady if this was the Spencer reception-whoops! No, but they were very gracious about it. Talk about wedding crashers!! That's us!! lol The reception we were going to was at the Sports Club at the other end of the park, but you had to go out of the park area to get there. We were joking to Paul that we had went to the wrong reception. I told him we did see John over there and I thought he knew the people. Paul is like, "He's suppose to be over here". I wanted Dwayne to go over and tell John but Paul said he would figure it out. lol Later, John and his wife and another couple we had saw over there came in. We all had a good laugh about it. We had a good time visiting with family and friends. Especially, Pat, the nurse that worked for Dr. John for years. She was so surprised to see us there and couldn't figure out how we knew the family. Small world! Even smaller world was Pat and Mike talking about people they know, etc. She lives in St. James and he lives in St. Elizabeth. Comes to find out, Mike works with her brother and his distant cousin dates her niece. She told Mike they have to definitely invite her to the wedding. It seems most of our stories about our kids always refers to Todd as he was so goofy and just memorable. Or with April, her curly hair, her constant talking and playing pranks. But with Pat, it was, "How is my Chaddy? He's my favorite. April, I just loved Chad, he was the prettiest baby, I would just take him every time your Mom came to the office. Yeah, Chaddy is my favorite. Be sure and tell Chad I said hi!!" Funny!! I think Chad would have enjoyed hearing that if he had been there. I will have to tell him about it. April and I stayed up and watched Grey's Anatomy as it wasn't on Thursday evening. Sunday morning, Dwayne and I fixed a huge breakfast and then April and I went to church. We went to Mom's for Sunday dinner. She fixed chicken 'n dumplings for MacKensie's birthday. Hard to believe MacKensie turned 14 on the 12th of February. Also, hard to believe my Mom still continues to fix Sunday dinner at least once a month. It is great in keeping all of us connected. The great nieces and nephews really look forward to it. Our church has flower dedications each Sunday. Dwayne and I sponsored January 15th in honor of April and Mike's engagement. Grandma Dodie would have so loved being there. She loved any type of celebration and would have loved the planning of the upcoming wedding. In her honor, later in the week, I took the flowers over and put on her and Grandpa Andy's grave. I know their spirits are in heaven but for me, I feel close to them in decorating their graves. It's also something I grew up doing each year on Memorial Day. I know it makes some people feel uncomfortable and I understand that. Grandma Dodie and I used to go to cemeteries throughout the year when and if time permitted for her to "connect" and remember relatives. For me, this is a time of honoring Dodie and her memory and sharing April's joy. Grandma Dodie: Sharing with Grandma: Don't get me wrong, Grandpa Andy would have been just as proud of this moment and time to follow as Grandma Dodie, but this is a special girl bond of rite.
I am so grateful for our children, our future son-in-law, (wow, that is a new one to type, lol) our wonderful parents and grandparents and the legacy they have passed on.
Last night, I had to scrape the meager remains out of the Miracle Whip container. I told Dwayne I thought he might have to start the tractor and go to town to buy more. Of course, he looked at me strangely, like wth? I guess I thought he should read my mind and see the image going through of the commercial a few years ago. The one of people running out of Miracle Whip during a blizzard and having to drive to town on a tractor to buy more. Sometimes my humor gets ahead of me.
I'm grateful for dry beautiful roads to drive on tonight and buy more Miracle Whip!! It's the small things in life....... lol
When the kids were growing up, I tried to make meals to match the holiday/occasion. Thus, the valentine shaped meatloaf. (much easier to make than a shamrock for St. Pat's Day........lol) I had found some heart shaped serving bowls years ago at Wal-Mart. They matched the blue dishes I was using at the time. Now, they only come out on Valentine's Day. It seemed a little odd this year to be making the Valentine meatloaf for just Dwayne and me. To make it a little more special, I got out the Blue Willow dishes Dwayne got from his Mom. They are such a pretty set and I'm always afraid I am going to chip them when I use them. (Our mashed potatoes look to be a super small portion-they are, left overs from Sunday; milk in the wine glasses. lol)
I'm grateful for the years Dwayne and I have been together. We had just started dating in January of 1975 and he brought me flowers to work on Valentine's Day of that year. I just now remember that as I was typing this post. 37 years of celebrating Valentine's Day together. Hopefully we can double that. My Mom and Dad will be celebrating 65 years of marriage June 1st of this year.
I haven't had time to blog for awhile and basically just haven't felt like it. Work has been stressful to say the least.
But today, I took the time to browse around a little bit online and noticed April had posted this picture last week. Really lifted my spirits. April is not a big talker for expressing her feelings but I think the picture and the figurine below it she bought me last year when I fell down the steps says quite a bit.
Thank you, April for brightening my day. I love you.
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.