Friday, March 30, 2012

Squidward vs Squid Worm:

Okay, a correction to yesterday's post. Duh, as the kids would say! I always thought the kids were saying squid worm and it is Squidward from SpongeBob. I knew when April and the kids made them before it was after a cartoon character but did not pay much attention. I'm sure if Blake would have read my blog yesterday he would have caught my error! lol
So, now I know what Squidward is and for those who (like myself) don't know you can become enlightened below:
Squidward is a whiny stick-in-the-mud; a self-centered snob who imagines himself to be sophisticated and talented, but he's rather average and untalented. He's jealous, especially of his classy and successful nemesis, Squilliam Fancyson. He's quick to anger and just about everything annoys him. The Krusty Krab annoys him. Mr. Krabs annoys him. But most of all, SpongeBob annoys him, almost 24 hours a day. Besides working side by side with SpongeBob at the Krusty Krab, Squidward is SpongeBob's next-door neighbor. If it weren't for the fact that SpongeBob is the only one who appreciates his clarinet playing, modern dance routines, and artistic abilities, Squidward would have nothing to do with him. SpongeBob finds Squidward's grumpiness part of his charm, knowing that deep down Squid's got a good heart and likes to have fun, Squidward just doesn't know it!
Came across a picture from the first Squidward creation at our house with Liz and Blake.

I am grateful to have gained this new knowledge.......... lol

Thursday, March 29, 2012

The girls and "Squid Worms":

Two of my beautiful great nieces came home with me after school for a girl's night.
We had so much fun. It's funny how you can talk and laugh and not be tired after a long day at work. Maybe I'm not so old and tired as much as making myself feel tired by laying down watching tv when I get home.
Lizzie was at the house a couple years ago when April and Blake were making squid worms by sticking spaghetti noodles in cut hot dogs and then boiling them in water. When you take them out, they look like little sea creatures. I had linguine noodles last night and they seemed to work better than the thinner noodles.
Assembling the squid worms:

I had to be different and make a hot dog man:


After watching several "teen" shows and having a slumber party type atmosphere, it was time for the girls to go home and get ready for school the next day.

I am so so grateful for these little (they are still little to me) girls in my life.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


Sunday was such a beautiful day. We enjoyed the outdoors quite a bit.
The day started off with breakfast with Nathan and Blake and a few minutes of play on the porch before Kenny and Shelley came to pick them up. Our front porch works perfect for running and playing.
Chad brought Desmon over to visit the boys but they had already left. Desmon was all cleaned up to go to church with me. Chad was so proud Desmon had combed his hair to the side for church. The weather was so nice after church we went to the park for a little while.
Desmon doing a stunt:

After the park, we went to visit Desmon's great-grandma, Maxine and his great Aunt Pat who stays with Maxine and takes excellent care of her. Desmon is so sweet giving his grandma hugs and gave her the little project he made in children's church.
Dwayne worked in the yard all afternoon and I took a nap. Not used to so much kid activity anymore. lol I now understand the saying of having your kids when you're young-you just do everything and don't think a thing about it.
That evening, Dwayne and I rode the four-wheeler up to Mom and Dad's. Mom has not been feeling well and she looked a little pale. Her blood has been too low. It' such a fine line being on Coumadin, either your blood gets too thick and they have to increase the dose or it gets too thin and they have to decrease. It's a real life save but has to be monitored closely. Dad tells his history stories repeatedly, but we just smile and listen again. I find myself already doing this with my kids. I think we just want to relive memories.
It was such a nice evening out, I suggested to Dwayne we ride on down to Chad's. The ride on the gravel road was a nice slower pace and gives you time to "smell the roses" or in this case the lilacs blooming in neighbor's yards.
I hadn't been down to Chad's in awhile. He has so many flowering trees in his yard and everything looked so pretty. He is building a log barn with a breezeway in the middle. I had heard people talking about it but hadn't taken the time to go see it yet. He has a long ways to go on it but it is going to look great.
What a peaceful and relaxing day.

I am grateful for such lovely weather and family and friends to enjoy it with.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

A Dear Lady:

Our church and community lost a dear friend this week, Betty Terry. Betty was indeed a lady in her manner, grace, and walk with the Lord. Her kindness touched everyone she met.
I became acquainted with Betty when I worked for Donnie in town. She moved into the house across the street and was the talk of the town. Only for her unusual yard, large white rock with various lines of black rock mixed in. Unusual to us but not to Betty who moved here from New Mexico where rock yards were common in the desert. Betty's yard was very steep and hard to mow so this made perfect sense. I can remember seeing people pull in off the highway just to drive by Betty's yard.
Betty and I would chitchat across the street to each other, visit at the post office and then became better acquainted at church.
Betty's daughter, Tracy works at the local Quik Spot. Tracy opens up in the mornings and Dwayne is usually one of the first customers of the day. Tracy loves to give everybody a hard time but she is really a softie. We've been there for each other with hugs and friendly words through many a heartache. My heart goes out to Tracy as her and her Mom were very close.
Tracy has a good outlook on her Mom's death. She stated that her Mom had a very happy last day on earth and not many people can say that. This is the brave Tracy but I know inside she is very heartbroken. We need to remember her and her family in our prayers.

I am grateful for the opportunity to have known Betty and the legacy she has left with her three children. Their words spoken at her memorial are a testament to her love for them.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Weekend with the boys:

We had a fun time with the Allen boys over the weekend. Periodically April "steals" the boys on a Friday evening after work and they spend the night with her and Mike. They have a good time at the farm, fishing, four wheeling, seeing the cows, turkeys, etc. Then Dwayne and I will borrow them on Saturday night.
April and Mike brought the boys over Saturday evening and I fixed supper for everyone. Chad wasn't able to make it this time.
We had spagetti, meatballs, salad, corn (a must for Mike) and olive cheese bread. This is a Pioneer Woman recipe that we love. It's really good heated up the next day. We had chocolate cake and ice cream for dessert. I cheated and fixed store bought Easter sugar cookies to bake. They were a hit with Blake.
Nathan would not sit at the table, he insised sitting at the counter. Works pretty good for a little guy, the plate is right at his level. Blake decided he would sit with little brother.

Nathan spilled drink and food on his pants. It was no big deal but it embarressed him so he had to have his April.

Todd asked Nathan if he was going to be in April's wedding. His face lit up and he said, "No, Mike's Wedding!!" Todd said, but what about April, "No, Mike's Wedding!"
He has become really attached to Mike. He cried and held on to him when they were getting ready to leave.
We had such a good time playing with the boys. Nathan talks so much now and is quite the little character. I had to be really careful not to leave Blake out as Nathan steals the show right now.
Blake and I had a late swing time on the porch. He was telling me all about when he used to stay with us when April babysat him. He is so smart and observant. He remembers everything. When they first got there and he saw our bedroom after we redid it, he's like Dwayne, you painted the knobs on the furtniture. Not many would notice that.
Dwayne fixed us chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast. Yum!! My favorite and seems to be a hit with all the kids throughout the years, too.

I'm grateful for these two special little boys that have come into our lives.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Kaden & Kaleb:

Aunt Connie with Kaden Michael & Kaleb Russell:
I was in Rolla yesterday evening and decided to go by my niece, Kristin's house for a visit. I should do this more often as I remember how lonely you can get when you're in the house with two small children all the time. Sometimes I would feel as if I was the only person on the planet. lol Don't know why we feel that way when there is so much to do taking care of the babies but the feeling of isolation does set in.
The kids are getting so big. I love how Kaden welcomes you in and then automatically becomes the little host by asking if you would like something to drink or a snack. He's a polite little boy. Recently at Mom's when my Elrod nephew, Dustin came with his little boy, Xander (almost five) Kaden went right in and shook Xander's hand and said, "Hi, my name is Kaden Michael, nice to meet you"!! Xander didn't know what to think. Kaden is only three years old, such manners.
Kaleb is such a good baby. He sat on my lap the whole time I was there and never cried or acted fussy at all. I was there for a little over an hour. He entertains himself and would just babble and laugh away.
I also got to see Ashlyne as she was there spending the night. She loves going and spending time with Kristin and the boys.

I'm grateful for the my siblings' grandkids. I enjoy them alot.

Thursday, March 22, 2012


Oh, how I loved that name when growing up!! I always thought I would name a little girl, Cheri Rebecca. Sherry seemed to be the most popular name (or so I thought) while in school. So many ways to spell the name and all three of my friends spelled theirs different.
The first Sherry I met was my good friend since elementary, Sharon Laurel Deaton. We were good friend throughout school and after. She spelled her name, Sherri. I remember in high school we were trying different ways to spell her name, Shari, Sheri, Cherri, Sharey, etc. I wanted to be cool too and spell Connie a different way. We came up with Coni, Konni, and it just didn't look right. I tried Coni for quite a while. Mom never said a word about it, I guess she figured it would wear off after awhile and it did. But when spelled it Coni most people would call me coney. Nope, guess I'll just be Connie. Sherri was her own person and was always willing to try something new. I was timid and afraid to try anything out of the ordinary. We were an odd pair to most people but our friendship was very strong and we always had a good time. I spent many nights at her house growing up. I was very close to her family and miss her Mom very much.
Sherri got married in June after we graduated. I was in her outdoor wedding near Plato where her and Mike made their home. Dwayne and I visited often with her and Mike before they moved to Springfield. Our lives do not meet much throughout the years as Sherri has moved quite a bit. But believe me, when we get together we have lots of catching up to do.
Sherrie, another good friend I met in high school. Sherrie Bishop and her family moved to Vienna in her senior year. We became good friends and again, a most unusual pair. I haven't been in contact with Sherrie for years but would love to visit with her again. She had a beautiful little girl, Michelle the year after we graduated. I don't think I've seen Sherrie since Michelle was around a year old. After she moved away, we lost contact with each other.
And now to the Sherie that has been my best friend since 1973. I honestly don't remember when Sherie and I first ran into each other. She came out weekends and summers and stayed with her grandma who was our neighbor down the road. I always knew the family but really didn't visit with them. I think we met when her brother was running around with another neighbor or ours, Rocky. However, we became best friends.
It is funny the first time we went somewhere together. Sherie is two years younger than me but looked older, which was important at that age. I always looked at least two, maybe three years younger than my age. We had gone to a dance for teenagers at a barn by Macedonia church. Her cousin, Millie was there with her friends. She took Sherie aside and said, I didn't know you had to babysit tonight. lol She thought Sherie was babysitting me and had to bring me along.
So many stories of our times together. I was her maid of honor and she was mine. Our second sons were born the same day. I was due April 4th, 1981 and she was due around the first of May. I was two weeks late and had Todd at 10 a.m. on April 17th. Imagine my surprise (and hers) when her son, Jerami was born two weeks early and arrived around 10 p.m. on the 17th of April!! It would have been so neat if we would have got to stay in the same hospital room.
Long story short, today is Sherie's birthday. Sherie Lyn, her name is spelled so unique, first and middle. And in a time different spellings weren't the norm.
I so need to look up old pictures at home and post my different friends of Sherry's.

Happy Birthday, Sherie!!

I am grateful for good friends and just for fun, the name Sherry.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Tuesday Terrific Two:

Terrific Two!! These two little boys have stolen our hearts.
All due to a chance encounter five years ago. April was in between jobs and a friend of ours called to see if she would babysit her newborn grandson. A perfect solution for April and for them.
April brought the baby over to my work one day and we went to a local restaurant for lunch. Shelley's Mom, Sheila was there. We visited awhile and then she said, Shelley is looking for a babysitter. She then asked April if she would be interested. What a blessing that turned out to be. Not only did we fall in love with Blake but we started a friendship with Shelley that has been ongoing. For me, Shelley is like a niece and good friend all rolled into one. I can go to her for anything and she is always there for me. For April, she is like the sister she always wanted.
Dwayne and I have known Kenny since he was born. He is between Chad and Todd in age. We have now developed an adult/friendship with Kenny. Dwayne has helped him some on his house plans and given advice when needed/asked for. Kenny and Dwayne have become close and we know if anything is needed, we can count on Kenny.
This started out as a post on our little terrific two of Nathan and Blake, but has turned into more of a post on our terrific two friends.

I am grateful for a chance (?) encounter a few years ago and the duo of terrific two's that came into our life.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Mute Monday:

I'm going to copy off my friend, Gail and do a Mute Monday since I don't have time to post. (you know me, can't ever keep my mouth shut, so my mute is not talking very much) lol

I'm grateful for the little girl, Ashlyne Paige, that came into our life fifteen and a half years ago.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Light and Bright:

I love the new bedroom color and carpet! It is such a change from the blue we've had all these years. We will still of some blue in the room as there is blue etched flowers on the furniture and globes. Also, I'm keeping the bedspread which is white with blue embroidered flowers. I need to find a couple throw pillows in the right shade of yellow to tie in with the wall color.
I will be so glad to get the furniture moved back in this weekend and everything put away. And find my kitchen again!! So much clutter to go through out of the nightstand junk drawers, cleaning out clothes we never wear, etc. Things that take so much time, as I find little notes stuck in drawers from the kids through the years, school pictures, change, lots of things that take time to go through (as you reminisce).

I'm grateful for life and the home Dwayne has provided. (and that he vacuumed after he installed the trim.......)

Thursday, March 15, 2012


I posted last week about an outing at the hay field last summer. My great nephew, Gavin was another one of the little boys there. As you can see by the pictures, he had a great time.
Along with all of the playing the boys did, one of Gavin's favorite things to do is ride in lil' chubby and be in a parade. My truck, aka lil' chubby, has a sunroof and I let the kids stand on the console and pretend to be in a parade(in my driveway). They love it, they wave and pretend to throw out candy. Gavin thinks this is the neatest thing ever. The older kids (Ashlyne, Zach, Nathan, Liz and Tess) used to do this all of the time. They are now too big but some of them still try it occasionally, but only two can fit at a time. It is now a treat for other kids that stay at the house, too. Blake, Nathan, Trevor, Xander, Kaden.....uh, you get the idea.
I remember the first time April and I had Trevor after I got the truck. He was four years old and I automatically stopped the truck when we pulled in the driveway and opened the sun roof. I told him he could stand on the console and we could have a parade. He looked at me kind of funny and stood on the console. April is telling him to wave at the people. We were so used to the other kids doing this we didn't think anything about it. Poor Trevor, he's kind of waving and looking around and then staring at us like we've lost our mind.

I'm grateful for the opportunity to share in these kid's lives.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Blue Be-Gone:

Our bedroom is no longer blue after almost twenty-four years. As much as I was ready for a change, I kind of hate to see the blue go. I had put up a border that matched the blue flowers on our furniture and then a few years after that I feather painted the walls. I received so many compliments on the feather painting. Most people thought it looked like wallpaper. And the biggest benefit was it seemed to hide little scuffs throughout the years.
As of today, the walls are a pale yellow and new carpet is being laid. I will be so glad to get back in our bedroom. For the past week, we have been sleeping in the living room. At least, we had our mattress set up. But I'm not used to waking up every hour from the chiming of the clock (and half hour strikes). Our dressers and nightstand are in the kitchen. This leaves little space to move around since we have an island in the middle.
It's hard to believe we built our house with three kids running around and now just redoing a room completely wears us out!! Age might have something to do with it.
We also redone our bathroom this winter. That project took much longer than a week. How could a room so small take so long?! But I love it!! We also had blue in the bathroom and now it's a darker color yellow than the bedroom. It turned out great.

I'm grateful for a husband that can do these remodeling jobs, I can't imagine the cost of hiring someone.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


March 12, 1985 - February 5, 1998

Fourteen years have passed but we still remember your birthday each year. Bittersweet.

It's hard to say I'm grateful with this post. A life taken or I should say, murdered, what can I be grateful for. The only thing I can come up with is being grateful for the friends and community being so close during this time and God giving me (and everyone else) strength to get through.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Never too old to play dress-up:

Ashlyne & Tess:

Zach with his "mullet":

A few weeks ago Ashlyne, Tess and Zach spent the weekend. The girls were having fun dressing up and trying on each other's clothes. I think Ashlyne got the better of the outfits. Tess had on one of Zach's shirts and yes, it shows a can of chew in her pocket and a drink-totally for fun on the girl's part and yes, I remember doing the same thing growing up. My cousin's and I would pose with my Aunt Ella Mae's cigarettes in our hands and we were known to "borrow" an empty can from the trash and pretend to be drinking. It's just part of growing up and even though the girls are teenagers, it's fun to pretend. I so wish I could find the picture of April and Kelsey to post along with these when they were around that age. They totally looked goofy with rollers in their hair and I think their shirts stuffed. They couldn't hardly stand still to get their picture taken as they were laughing so hard. Such good memories.
Zachariah!! Now that's another story!! Couldn't believe he went along with it. The girls pinned Tess's hair extensions on him. We got a good laugh watching them and teasing Zach. Chad and Todd used to wear their hair short on the top and sides and long in the back as did other's in that time frame. I don't remember ever referring to the style as a mullet or even hearing the phrase. A couple years ago I kept hearing on TV people making fun of the 80's mullet hairstyle. I didn't know what they were talking about. I had to ask April what it meant and then I was like, oh the boys had their hair cut like that, we just called it a haircut. I still think calling it a mullet sounds stupid. My cousin Martha agrees with me, her son had that haircut and they didn't know it was a mullet. I guess now we know.

I am grateful for these times with the kids and the memories of our own kids growing up we get to re-invision through them.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Tuesday Terrific Two:

Desmon & Trevor:
Looking back at pictures and decided to feature these two terrific kids. One evening last August the kids were "helping" in the hayfield and as a special treat, Todd let them drive the four wheeler in the field afterwards.
Trevor loves to drive the four wheeler and he knows he has to obey Todd and go slow, drive only where Todd can see him, etc. He sooo wants to go faster and beyond the limits but he knows Todd will not let him drive it again so he grudgingly obeys. Desmon is just happy to get to ride along.
There was quite a group of little boys that evening and they all had a good time playing, rough housing and just being boys. I have several pictures from that evening I just now uploaded and looked at. Maybe I will feature a different set of two boys for the next couple of Tuesdays.

So grateful for all of these memories.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Road Kill:

The boys and April ate with us Friday night at a local restaurant not far from us, Road Kill Grill. If you've not eaten there yet, I would recommend you try it.
After a long week, I went to sleep while watching TV.
Saturday morning, April and I went to Springfield to buy a few things for the wedding reception. We did pretty good except for our favorite store in Springfield, Gordman's. Didn't buy a single thing!! And I had two gift certificates to use. I told April I felt like Todd when he was little and had a dollar to spend, "Mommy, find me something and talk me into buying it!!". lol
We ate lunch at Longhorn's Steakhouse. The food was really good and we needed a pick me up to finish out our day of shopping. The mall at Springfield gives me my exercise for I think the whole upcoming week. Ugh!!!!!!!!
We had a great day out and the weather cooperated also.

Sunday was church, lunch bought at G & W and the rest of the day relaxing.

I am grateful for family and church and I want to remember the spoken requests in prayer.

Friday, March 2, 2012

The Fall of the Spring of 2011:

A year ago last night, I fell down our basement steps. Just a freak accident but tramatic to say the least.
I was going to bed, I remember distinctly having my cell phone (brand new!! Just got it the day before) in one hand and a full glass of water in the other. I shut off the kitchen light and started into the bedroom. I kind of bumped into the door frame and I had thought I was stepping into my bedroom, so I kind of backed up and walked in the doorway. Apparently I was a little disoriented as I stepped into the open stairwell to the basement. (The basement door was left open) I didn't fall down the steps, I fell and landed in the basement. I can remember thinking the glass was going to break and I would be cut from the glass but other than that I don't remember much. I think the heavy glass with a handle might have been what hit my forehead and caused the hemotoma. My cell phone didn't make it. It hit the baseboard and then the floor and smashed. It hit so hard it left a nick in the wood. I remember waking up and moaning and then Dwayne coming down the steps yelling my name. To me, it seemed like he was wanting me to get up and I couldn't move and didn't feel like getting up. He said that it wasn't that fast he tried to get me to move. I do know, I am very lucky that we didn't do further damage as he helped me up and we went straight to the emercency room. I remember being in a lot of pain and I could feel my forehead swelling and thinking the skin was going to crack open as I could feel so much pressure and stretching.
Looking back, I am surprised at how fast we were taken into a room and them checking me out so promptly AND not asking a lot of questions before treating me.
Hematoma on my forehead:

The night is kind of a blur, I had a major concussion, a sprained neck and two hemotomas. The one on my forehead you can see and the other one at the back of the head. They did an MRI, x-rays and other tests I can't quite remember now. We have always been pretty self-reliant and didn't even dream about calling for an ambulance.
The released me some time early that morning and we got home about an hour before Dwayne had to leave for work. They told us we needed someone to keep an eye on me and watch for any changes. As I said, we are pretty independent, so Dwayne went on to work and I stayed home by myself. April had come out during her lunch hour to check on me but I was out of it from my medication and didn't even know she had been there.
This all happened on a Tuesday night, I went back to work for half a day on Thursday. This bouquet was on my desk when I got there.

Friday, March 4th, this is what I looked like:

March 7th, still looking like an abuse victim. lol

March 11, 2011, starting to look a little better:

I did not realize a concussion could affect you for such a long period of time. I was confused a lot (ask Dwayne and April, they used to make fun of me at night because I thought they had two heads or seeing double on TV-I would get so mad that they didn't see it too). I still have epidsodes of dizziness occassionally but I got a check up last week and I have an inner ear infection, so it's good to know the dizziness is from the infection and not still lingering from the fall. My concussion was from a fall, I cannot imagine the pain and trauma car accident victims go through.
When Blake found out I had fell down the steps, he said, "Well, April should have had a gate up!!" lol Now the family joke is if the basement door has been left open or not and telling me to be careful and not fall. That's okay, I am just glad my fall was not any worse and it can be joked about. And Dwayne has shared in the joking discomfort also as everytime people would see me they would jokingly asked if Dwayne beat me up. That does get old after awhile even though people don't mean it.

I am grateful I am okay a year later and I was not injured more than I was in the fall of the Spring of 2011.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

April 15th:

My first thought when Kate called me last night and asked if I had anything planned for April 15th - Tax Deadline!! lol
But nopie, my calender is set for my baby sister's wedding at the Rosati Winery.
Below is pictures of her and Pauley on February 11th at our house. They were going to a gala benefit that night in Rolla for a cancer fund raiser. I was so happy Kate came to the house for me to take pictures of them dressed up. I teased Katie that if her hair was darker she would look like a Spanish Seniorita.

I am grateful to share in my sister's joy.