Friday, November 30, 2012


Most people think I'm a little different for posting on tombstones and memories associated with
the person.  Especially for the shoe in the picture below.  I will explain that story later but what I find so spiritual today is that I have been going to post this for quite some time but never felt I had the right words or if I should even post it.  I had thought about it back in August on Michael's birthday, but somehow didn't feel I should.  Today, I had some extra time at work and thought, I am going to post about Michael Pickering today.  I went to the school website to obtain his obituary and was so suprised to see that today is the anniversary date of his death.  I knew it was in November but did not remember the actual day.
Michael Pickering Michael Pickering, 16, Meta, died Nov. 30, 1999, at University of Missouri-Columbia Hospital and Clinics, from injuries sustained in a truck accident.

He was born Aug. 17, 1983, a son of Robert and Traci Bullock Pickering. His father survives in Meta. His mother and stepfather, Traci and David Teeter, survive in Ravenna, Mich.

A sophomore at Maries County R-1 High School, he was active in the Future Farmers of America. He was a member of First Baptist Church, Vienna.

Other survivors include: one brother, Tommy Pickering, Meta; two sisters, Rachael Pickering, Meta, and Olivia Teeter, Ravenna; two stepbrothers, David Teeter and Joshua Teeter, both of Ravenna; paternal grandmother, Joyce Pickering, Lincoln, England; and maternal grandmother and step grandfather, Ernie and Lois Gallant, Deer Park, Texas.

Services will be at 2 p.m. Friday at First Baptist Church. The Rev. Cameron Moles will officiate. Burial will be in Stokes Cemetery, Meta.

Visitation will be from 5-8 p.m. today and from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Friday, both at the church.

Memorials are suggested to the Stokes Cemetery Care Fund, or a charity of the donor's choice.

Arrangements are under the direction of Birmingham-Martin Funeral Home, Vienna.
Michael was Todd's good friend, Tommy Pickering's brother.  Todd spent alot of time at Tommy's throughout school and went on dog show trips with Tommy, Michael and Tommy's Mom.  Just good people, good friends.
Sadly, Michael was killed in a truck accident just a few miles from our house.  Such a sad and shocking time in these people's young lives. 
I had drove into Rolla the day after and I saw a shoe right on the edge of the road.  I picked it up and brought it home with me.  It was Michael's shoe.  Dwayne and April were very upset with me for doing this and Dwayne wanted me to throw it away.  I couldn't, it was a link to Tommy's brother.  I kept it hid in a trash bag in my closet.  April wouldn't go anywhere near my closet for years.  Todd didn't think it was right either, but he didn't say much. 
I told Tommy about a year later that I had Michael's shoe.  Wasn't sure what he would think of that, but he got a funny look on his face and said he would like to have it.  Time went on and Tommy didn't come by for it and I didn't want to just take it to him.  Then I got an idea to somehow fix it into a "shoe planter" and give to Tommy.  My family thought I was absolutely nuts!  My sister, Katie is good at crafts and I knew she would help me come up with something.  A few years ago, I reluctantly gave up the shoe from it's safe keeping and gave it to Kate to fix for me.  Kate then started having a rough time in her life, a divorce and many life changing events.  I was so afraid she had lost the shoe through all of the happenings.  In August of 2011, I asked Kate is she still had the shoe, thankfully, she did.  I had made a copy of Michael's picture out of an old Year Book and copied the obituary.  Kate laminated these together, made a ribbon out of camouflage and fixed the planter for me.  It turned out so good. 
I brought it to my work and called Tommy and told him what I had done with the shoe and we were going to meet in Vienna one day for him to pick it up.  I hid it under my desk at work for a couple weeks.  I figured the cleaning lady thought I was a little crazy.
I was going shopping with April one weekend last fall and I brought the shoe with me.  I thought I would drop it off at Tommy's on my way home.  We did not take my vehicle shopping and April totally avoided my truck when I was loading up my shopping bags before going home.
I started to get a little nervous, thinking maybe I had made a mistake in doing this.  I couldn't remember exactly where Tommy lived but I saw an older white Ford truck in his dad's driveway so I pulled in there.  Right after that Tommy's dad, Robert pulled in.  I was so nervous.  I told him what I had done and hoped that I wasn't offending him by coming by.  He got tears in his eyes and said, no one ever talks about Michael anymore.  He said there is not a day that goes by I don't think of him.  He asked if he could see the shoe.  I took him over to the truck and he picked up the shoe and looked at it.  He said, you don't know how special this is to me, thank you.  Whew!  I was afraid I had made a huge etiquette error, etc. I told him Todd was keeping the area dedicated to Michael on Hwy E where the accident happened cleaned and we put flowers there.  Our neighbor, Steve Snodgrass had put up a wooden cross there in honor of Michael.  He said to tell Todd thanks for doing that.  (I really don't think the family has ever been able to go over to the actual accident site)  He then asked me if I had been over to the cemetery to see Michael's tombstone.  I told him no and he said you need to go over before you go home.  His eyes were all lit up as he talked about it.  He said Michael loved animals so we have animals engraved on it and a deer statue by the stone.  Hey, it's not just me that thinks a tombstone/grave site tells of a person's life and history.  He thanked me once again and told me how to get to Tommy's.
I then went on over to Tommy's.  Tommy was glad to see me but I think seeing Michael's shoe was too overwhelming for him.  I felt really bad for him and thought I had made a big mistake in coming over.  I think it just brought back so many memories for him.  He then gave me a hug and said thank you, it meant alot to him.  We talked for a few minutes (along with me trying to squeeze in a hug from his daughter, Kenadi).  I told him his Dad wanted me to go see Michael's grave site before I went home.  His face then lit up and he said, that's where Michael's shoe belongs, is with him.  We visited a little and then he asked if I would mind taking the shoe over and placing it on Michael's grave as that was fitting it should be with him.  I still feel kind of bad for Tommy though.  I think the thought of picking up Michael's shoe was just too much for him.  I, in no way meant to offend Tommy.  I so hope and pray he was okay with it.

                                        In Memory of Michael Pickering,
                                       August 17, 1983 - November 30, 1999

I can't imagine the pain and suffering the Pickering family has endured.  But they don't want people to forget Michael.  If you have a memory you want to share of Michael, they would be glad to hear it.
I am grateful my intentions were greeted as what they were meant to be.  A memory of Michael and the only article of his they were able to obtain after the accident.  Family, don't take them for granted, enjoy and cherish each minute every day.

Thursday, November 29, 2012


That's my boy!!
Love my oldest, that's for sure.  But he has been having a difficult time lately.  Can't find a job with this economy, getting behind on bills, etc.  It worries me to no end.  But at the end of the day, I think that all that is really important is he is alive and well.  It's not that he doesn't try, he does and sometimes he just doesn't make the best choices and honestly, life has dealt him a few curves along the way.  If something is going to happen, it will be Chaddy.  (like a horse falling head over and landing on top of him, breaking his collar bone, shoulder-but luckily did not break his neck.  The accident he was in last Spring that very easily could have left him for dead.  If you saw the truck you would know God was with him in that accident and spared his life.)
I wish to reach out to each of you to pray for Chad.  He had a really good interview yesterday for a promising job, but there were seven more interviews just yesterday, not considering the rest of the week.  He would be so good at this job and it is doing what he loves.
My Chad has the biggest heart.  He reaches out to everyone.  He has opened his home to more than one person that didn't have anywhere to stay.  One person had a little boy that Chad has came to love as his own.  He still sees Desmon at least once a week and sometimes Des spends the weekend there.
Just yesterday when all the buzz was about what you would do if you won the lottery.  Chad said, "The first thing I would buy is a truck for Todd."  A truck for his brother?  That's the first think you thought of?  Man, is that unselfish or what?!  I am so proud of Chad and his love for people.
Please pray for my Chaddo to see better days to come in the future.  Thank you.
I am grateful for our firstborn son God has blessed us with.
Love you, Chaddy Boy!!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


I went to church and then once again went visiting.
I visited with my good friend, Pat from childhood.  Pat is such an amazing person.  She came home from Vegas a few years ago to take care of her Mom.  The first few years were more of a live-in companion and helping out.  That changed in the past year as Maxine has had several more health issues and then a broken hip last Spring.  She also has a feeding tube due to another health problem.  Pat is so patient with her Mom and sees to her every need.  The days are getting harder on her but she doesn't complain, she just says, "That's my mom."  Not many people would be able to devote such loving care on a daily basis with the grace Pat has shown.  I admire her very much.
Added to this stress, a couple weeks ago, she found her brother, Randy dead.  Randy had been staying also recently to help with the lifting of Maxine.  What a blow to the family and I know much harder on Pat than she lets on.  Randy had been in poor health and almost two years ago wasn't expected to live, but many prayers and a long stay in the hospital he recovered.  He had another bout this past Spring and came through once again.  Those times were expected if he should die but this came about totally by surprise.
Think of my friend, Pat in your prayers.  She's for sure following the Bible's rules of caring for your parent with grace and dignity.  But she is getting tired, she doesn't want to admit it but she is getting worn out.  I also worry about her after this all over, such dedicated care and constantly being with her Mom and then the ending.  She will certainly feel such a loss of her mother but also a total change in her life.

That afternoon, I put a roast on for supper.  Chad and Todd came up and we had the best visit.  They stayed for four hours or more.  They had been helping Dwayne cut wood all day and as soon as Dwayne pulled in with a load, both boys were up and out the back door to help him split it.  Good boys, or I guess I should now say good men.  They aren't my little boys anymore, but in my heart they always will be.  And there is not a time that I see Chad I don't get a big hug and Todd is getting better and hugs me by each time he comes over.

I am grateful for my family and our good friends and neighbors, the Workman's and pray for them for all they've gone through.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Columbia Shopping Trip:

April was going to buy a computer at Best Buy and I suggested Dwayne and Mike come along with us.  She's like, huh, why?  I should have listened to her.
I thought it would be kind of fun to have them go with us and eat out.  Well, I was wrong!

We first went to Texas Roadhouse for lunch and it was very good and the guys had a good time.  Best Buy was right by their parking lot so they thought we would go there next.  No, why would we do that, if we bought the computer and needed software, someone could steal it out of the car while we were at the mall.

April drives across the street to the mall and Mike is, we're really not going here, are we?  I thought he was just joking and giving us a hard time.  Then when we get to the mall, Dwayne and Mike are both like, we don't do malls.  Well, we told you we were going here when we invited you.  As we were walking toward the mall, Mike stops and says, I'm not going in, I've never been here before.  I still thought he was joking.  Then he says, seriously, are we really going in?  I turned to him and said,
"Mike you just went from being my favorite son-in-law to my least favorite in the blink of an eye".  I think it might have upset him at first but April reassured him he could be either one as he is the only one.  I was just joking with him but maybe a little serious.

We get in the mall and just kind of stand around.  Then I said, April, let's just ditch them.  So we did!  We just went off shopping and left them to do whatever.  But we really didn't shop much, we felt rushed.  We went back to where we left them and didn't see them around.  I called Dwayne and they were just leaving Sears heading back to where we started from.  At least they found tools to look at and Dwayne bought needed tools of chalk line and some other small item, but he was happy.

We left and then stopped at Wal-Marts for a few groceries.  They did pretty good in there, but I did buy them some beer to drink on the way home so we woudn't hear them whine.

April still needed to buy a gift for a Christmas party and we couldn't find anything at the mall.  When we got to Jeff City, we pulled into Target.  The guys stayed in the car.  We did get some good shopping in, not very long, but enjoyable.

It was decided that would be the last trip ever shopping with Dwayne and Mike.  This was decided by all four of us!!  lol

I really thought it would be a nice change of pace and time together.  I think from now on, April and I will just make our monthly shopping trips and enjoy our time of just the two of us to the fullest.

I am grateful for family and most grateful Dwayne and Mike won't be shopping with us anymore.

Happy 55!!


My friend, Susan turned 55 today.  I'm from April to November older than her.
We get to be the same age half the year, although I get there first.

We've been friends since we married best friends.  We've been there for each other
through the good times and bad.  If I need her, she would be there in a heartbeat.
(As you can see above at April's Wedding Shower doing the games.  Susan hates
being the center of attention and getting up in front of people, but she did it!!)

We've raised our kids together, built our houses together and now semi-enjoying
our older years.  lol

I am grateful to have known Susan and having her as my friend.  Happy Birthday!

Monday, November 26, 2012


Carrie, Ryan, Ellie
Avery & Evan
For the past few years, Dwayne and I have been going over to Mike and Susan's to visit while their kids are home for Thanksgiving.  We just missed seeing Kelsey this year.  She had left about an hour before we got there.
We watched Carrie grow up right before our eyes and now the same is happening with her kids.  The age old saying, "where does the time go"?
Avery, the oldest is more laid back.  But he talks alot!  Which seems strange for a Southard grandchild as most of the Southards are pretty quiet.  Avery seemed more interested in our visit this time as he has gotten used to the us coming over.
Evan, the second is quite the child.  Mischievous and full of fun and merriment.  He always calls Dwayne the cowboy as he has his hat on all the time.  He didn't know him at April's wedding without his hat.  Luckily, at the reception he found the cowboy as Dwayne had his hat on then.  There is never a dull moment around Evan. 
Ellie, the third and also the little girl Carrie had always wanted.  I tease her that she followed my footsteps in birth order.  Ellie is a little doll!!   I can see both Avery and Evan in her expressions.  She loves her Granddaddy (as they call Mike).  She can be fun loving and a little of a dare devil around her brothers but then turn right around and be the little girly girl.

We always enjoy our visits with the Kansas City grand kids as we refer to them.  As we leave, the boys say bye cowboy and your cowgirl.  lol

I am grateful for Mike and Susan as friends and their girls who we've spent numerous weekends, river trips, etc. with as they were growing up.  And I am especially grateful for the addition of their grand babies, we enjoy them so much.


We had a wonderful Thanksgiving at Mom and Dad's.  All five of us siblings were there and most of the grand kids.
Mom and Dad had been busy for a couple days before hand getting things ready.  I went up Wednesday night and they were getting ready to put the turkey on.  Dad was like, "your Momma is gonna have all five of her kids here tomorrow".  Like it was just Mom excited about it, uh can't fool me Dad.
My niece, Tammy was there with her sons Josh and Cody.  So good to see them and even if the boys are grown, they always seem to enjoy the day and time spent with family.  Josh brought his little boy, Jay with him.  We thoroughly enjoyed the afternoon on the porch watching him.  He will be three in February and is in a very cute stage.

Jay,  an exact duplicate of his daddy, Josh.

I certainly missed Lizzy and Nathan being there but it was their turn at their other grandparents.
The food was good, the fellowship with family very special and the weather-wonderful to be able to sit on the porch in the middle of November.

I am grateful for the time spent with family and for my parents to still be here and host the special day.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A Sunday of Visiting:

I am a deer camp widow every year.  Most times I like it and just stay home and clean, read or just do whatever I want.  And I thoroughly enjoy it.
Not this year, I have been going through a weird phase of not liking to be home by myself.  How can you go from one day, loving being home and quite content to feeling lonely, the walls are closing in on you and you need to get out.
Dwayne came by Sunday morning before I left for church.  He asked what I was planning for the day.
I told him I was going to stain the patio door.  (My anecdote for not feeling content staying home is perseverance and doing a project and liking it!  Yeah, I am kind of hard on myself)  Dwayne said it's too pretty of a day to be home, why don't you just go visiting.  I'm thinking, like who?
I go to church and as I'm leaving it is a beautiful day out.  Do I really want to go home and stain the door?  It does need done-but it has needed done for quite some time so why not wait for a dreary weekend this winter.
After stopping off to treat myself to a Sun Drop and barbecue chips, I set out to visit.
First Stop:  My good friends, Pat & Kenny Allen.  I love visiting with Pat and we seldom get to visit.  She works so hard at her job and then helping to take care of her Mother-in-law when she gets home.
Mabel Allen used to run the Vichy Tavern for years on Hwy 68.  It was more of small hometown type atmosphere where you could take your kids with you and visit with all your friends.  The kids would ride trikes (much to the dismay of the ones playing pool) around the floor, catch an occassional pool game when the table wasn't being used and just having fun together. The floor was always so dirty, our kids had a bath directly when we got home before we could even think about putting them to bed.  We all have such fond memories of Mabel's.  It was good to see Mabel up and moving around and having a good day.
Second Stop:  My friend, Susan's.  We have been friends since we married.  At first not by choice as I was from Vienna and Susan was from Belle.  Little controversial there for awhile.  But our husbands were best friends and our friendship grew from there.  I can always count on Susan whenever I need her.  We spent so much time together as our kids were growing up, almost every weekend.  We didn't have much money but we certainly had alot of fun.  We would cook whatever we had on hand, the kids would play and we often played cards.  Such good times!  Susan was getting prepared for her kids coming home for the holidays.  She has three of the most cute grand kids ever!!  We usually try to get over and visit whenever the kids are down.  Carrie's boys think Dwayne is a cowboy. They didn't even recognize him at April's wedding as he didn't have his hat on.  They've not seen Chad and Todd very much, but they are also cowboys.
Third Stop:  Mabel Carney's.  Mabel is such a treasure.  I've know her my whole life.  We went to church together and her and her husband, Don owned Carney's Market.  Sometimes when the kids were little, that would be our outing.  Just driving up to the store and visit and get a soda.  (My kids didn't like candy)  Carney's Market was Chad's first trip coming home from the hospital.  We had a good visit catching up on family and neighbors.  I stayed over two hours and could have stayed longer.
Fourth Stop:  Mom and Dad's.  I had just stopped the night before but found myself stopping again.
Dad was looking at a box of old pictures and sure brings back alot of memories seeing the nieces and nephews growing up through the years, family reunions, etc. I am cherishing these visits with Mom and Dad.

When I was growing up, Sunday afternoons were spent visiting or just going on Sunday drives.  Our society has changed so much over the years, I think we have strayed away from this old time tradition.  We need to get out more and just plain old visit with people.  I hope I keep up with this more from time to time.

I am grateful for all my family and friends and I will have more memories to add to my "memory box".

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Little Miss Julia:

Julia Kleffner
Saturday, April and I went to visit Beth and baby Julia, actually just Julia....... lol
Beth and Doug had just built a new house and go to move in the same week Julia came home from the hospital.  I was so excited for them.
Little Julia only weighed 1 lb. 11 oz. when she was born.  Difficult birth for Momma and quite a scary time waiting to see how their baby was going to be.  Miracles happen.  Julia is almost five pounds now and so far all testing has came back good.
Since I was the oldest aka Grandmotherly, lol, I got to hold Julia first and Momma trusted me to give her a bottle and to rock for awhile.  I relentlessly handed her over to April to hold.
Beth gave us a tour of the house and the beautiful view of the creek bottom out their back windows was breathtaking.  I love our house and would never move, but I do get a little envious of the views some people have.  Maybe I could just talk Dwayne into picking up and moving our house to the top of the hill..........  In my dreams!  Or Dwayne's nightmares!!!!!!  lol
We stayed for awhile and had a wonderful visit.
We then drove the side roads to get back on the highway.  A HUGE buck ran across the road in front of us.  Man, wouldn't the guys be envious if April and I had shot that one!
We went to downtown Waynesville on a scenic drive.  It's neat to see different town squares and all the shops.
We ate at Miller's Grill, not our first choice.  I wanted to eat at Aussie Jack's but since there was police tape all around the door and porch, uh we decided something must have happened.  I meant to check the news later to see what but I never thought of it again until now.
We did some shopping at Lowes, Maurices and finished off at good old Wal-Mart's.  I enjoy trying out different Wal-Mart's, everything is always set up just a little bit different.
We had a great day and enjoyed the weather.
I am so grateful for Beth, Doug and baby Julia's good outcome.  And I am grateful for a daughter who still wants to run around with her Momma.

Monday, November 19, 2012


One of our good friends and neighbor of a lifetime passed away on the 8th of November.
Randy had been helping his sister, Pat take care of their mother for the past several months.
A couple years ago, Randy had been in the hospital with heart and kidney problems.  He wasn't expected to live.  There were many prayers sent out for him and miraculously he came out of it.
Then earlier this year he had another severe stay in the hospital.  He had been doing so much better so his sudden death kind of came as a shock.  We expected when he was so bad in the hospital, but not now.  We do think he died peacefully in his sleep, possibly from a heart attack so he didn't suffer any.
This blog is for my own personal memories so if the story I'm about to tell offends anyone, I apologize.
Several (like maybe 15 or so) years ago, we had went to St. James for some family friends 50th Wedding Anniversary.  The Vichy Pig Roast group always has a good time and we had a very good time that night.  I think the boys were too old to be running around with us and it was only April that had gone.  Randy was quite inebriated by the end of the night and his girlfriend had apparently left him there.  When it came time to leave, Randy didn't have a ride.  So we offered him a ride home.
What an eventful ride that was!! Randy was telling stories, some funny and some kind of sad.  Their dad was very strict when they were growing up and he told of some of the beatings him and his brothers received.  Then, he's like, Connie, your dad didn't beat you kids, did he?  I said no, we were made to mind and received occasional spankings but were never beaten.  He went on to say we didn't know how lucky we had.  Then he kind of quieted down, probably about to pass out.
It had started snowing on our way home and turned into quite a blizzard.  The closer we got to home, the worse the road got.  Dwayne really had to concentrate to see the road and watch for the slick roads.  All of a sudden, out of the blue, Randy comes to.  He said, "Connie, your dad is the best man that ever sh_t behind a pair of boots."  I'm like, what Randy?  He repeats it.  I had never heard that expression before but after I figured out what he meant I found it quite humorous and truth be told, honorable to my dad.  (in a weird warped kind of way)  The rest of the ride home was listening to what a wonderful man my dad was and how he treated everyone well.  And we heard the boot story SEVERAL times on the ride.
I think that was one of the longest rides home from St. James, what with Randy's stories and the super slick roads.  But it is a pleasant memory of Randy.  No matter what in this world, people notice when others are nice to them.
The picture in Randy's obituary brought me back to when we rode the bus years ago.  I was seven years younger but I still remember that smile of his.  Randy was friendly no matter where you saw him. 
His brothers and some of his friends started calling him Randolph in the later years.  Couldn't get used to calling him that.  Most of the times I've seen Randy in the past years is on the county road or when I went to visit his Mom, Maxine and sister, Pat.
Randy will be so missed by his family, but I know they are grateful for the "borrowed time" they got the past couple years from when he was in ICU for weeks.
I'm grateful to have known Randy and especially his whole family, The Workman's.  We grew up together and continued a close neighborly bond throughout the years.

Friday, November 16, 2012

A Good Friday in November:

Last Friday was a very eventful and fun day.  It started out with me being excited to go to lunch later in the day with some friends.
This excitement faded as I walked in the door at work.  Sheila asks me for the money bag?  Uh, money bag, it's at home under my mattress!!  I couldn't believe I forgot it.  I am seldom in charge of the money bag and if I am, I go to sleep telling myself over and over, do not forget the money bag in the morning.  I say, I'll just run back home and get it.  Whoops!!  I had brought Dwayne's truck in to have serviced at Weidinger's and as I look out the door they are already picking it up.  John says, that's okay, you can take my truck.  Just don't hit any deer along the way.  (He had just hit a huge buck a couple weeks ago and did alot of damage to his truck).  So, off I go home to get the money bag.  Luckily, I did not see any deer along the way.
My friends were to pick me up at 11 for lunch, so I had to get busy to get some work done for the morning.
Kay, Ruthie and my ex-sister-in-law, Marilyn arrive promptly at 11 and off we went.  I think there were constant conversations overlapping each other on the way over to St. James.  We all had so much to say. 
We went to the gift shop by Sybil's to look around.  I had never been in there before.  Very tastefully decorated and many gifts to choose from.  Also, very tasty dessert samples!! 
We then walked on over to the restaurant for lunch.  When we sit down, Marilyn looks around and says, is it old lady day or what?  Only Marilyn!!  (and it did seem to be several tables of older ladies but also several tables of our age, so what does that tell you?)   We were celebrating Marilyn's birthday.  We had so much fun visiting and laughing.  Laughter for sure is the best medicine!!  We all had a great time and decided we needed to do this for Ruthie's birthday, too.  We then decided since it's so close to Christmas, we would make it for January.
I didn't get back to work until 2 o'clock!!  I asked my bosses what they thought of me taking a three hour lunch and they just laughed.  (They are very lenient).  But I still had quite a bit of work to do in a short time.
My niece, Lizzy got off the bus at my work as she needed to be in town at 5:30 for a Junior Deputy Program at the courthouse.  Dwayne calls me around 4:30 and asks if I can come on home as he got off a little early and due to my Ford Edge driving so fast (?) he would be home at five.  We were going to St. Elizabeth to Miss Kitty's for a surprise birthday party for Mike's 30th birthday.  So, I go in ask John.  "John, since I had to go back home this morning to get the money bag and then took a three hour lunch, do you care if I end the day by leaving a half an hour early?"  He's like, go for it!
So off Lizzy and I go.  Dwayne gets home, takes his shower and we rush off to try to get Lizzy back to Vienna by 5:30.  Once again, Dwayne shows me just how fast my Ford Edge can go........  After showing off a little and me telling him we were responsible for an eleven year old in the back seat, he slowed down.  Thank goodness!!  lol  Being a guy, Dwayne is constantly on the look out for deer along the road.  I never understand him and the boys getting so excited to see a deer when we see them all the time.  About that time, I yell, look out!!  There is a guy standing in the middle of the road.  I thought I was going to have a heart attack.  Apparently he was walking back across the road from getting his mail and for some odd reason he was just standing in the lane we were driving on.
(Maybe we blinded him with our headlights, like with a deer..Uh, I'm just joking on that) Dwayne swerved to the other side of the road and it was just like the guy kind of came to or whatever and started on toward his driveway.  He kind of hopped as he ran, so I don't know if he had a hurt leg, was daydreaming, or what but thank goodness we didn't hit him.  It's a dark road, he's dressed in dark camouflage and we had just came around a curve.  Very scary.
We drop Lizzy off at the courthouse but I couldn't just let her go in by herself.  I had to walk her down to the sheriff's office and check her in.  I guess I was in there longer than I realized (talking, if you can imagine that!) as Dwayne came to the stairs and said, Connie,we really need to get going.
We got to Miss Kitty's on time but Mike was early so we missed the surprised look on his face.  It was fun catching up with Mike's family and people we had met at the wedding.  We have found St. Elizabeth to be a very friendly and welcoming community.
I was having a great time and not ready to leave yet but deer camp was calling Dwayne's name.
 "Deer Camp Eve" seems to be the best time to be there and I was lucky Dwayne came with me to the party as he never misses the first night.  Mike must rate as the number one son-in-law for Dwayne to come to his party. 
After Dwayne got his stuff ready and left for deer camp, I watched TV for a little while and decided I had worn myself out today and was ready for bed.  And here I had planned on staying up late and reading.

I am grateful for a great job (most of the, friends to go out with, a son-in-law's (still getting used to saying that phrase) birthday party and a husband who put other important events ahead of first night of deer camp.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Thursday is for thankfulness:

Couldn't think of a sweeter picture to share today than this one of my little, get this,
great-great nephew!!  How he loves his Momma.  Kara captured our hearts as soon as
she came into the family.  So many wonderful memories of her growing up (and talking nonstop!!  lol)
Kara is such a loving, selfless Momma to her little boy.  There is such joy in her face when he is around.  He can be crying to beat the band and she just smiles, cuddles him in her arms and he is content.   So so proud of this girl and sure do love her little Parker.

I'm grateful for the many nieces and nephews, great, great-great and all.  They all mean so much to me.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Dad's 88th Birthday Dinner:

This is one of my favorite pictures of my dad.
Sunday, we celebrated his birthday at our house with a huge meal and most of the immediate family there.  We had a good time sitting around and visiting.  My niece, Kayla brought down a couple old VCR tapes of Molasses Making in 1995 and a couple of her Tyler's birthday parties when they were small.  We all enjoyed seeing the kids being so young and of course us sister's hairstyles and clothes!!  What were we thinking?????????
April and Mom's birthday are one day apart and we always celebrate with a huge dinner honoring them both.
Well, now that Mike is in the family, him and my Dad get to celebrate together.  Dad's is November 6th and Mike's November 10th.  We didn't get any pictures of the birthday boys together this year so I thought I would share the ones from a couple years ago.
The pictures on the care are of Mom and Dad taken in from of Meramec Springs and the one on the right is of April and Mike taken at Alley Springs.

Such happy celebrations.
Wow, I got to buy my first son-in-law card this year. It was kind of a toss up as Mike turns 30 on the 10th and either doing a funny 30 card or the son-in-law one. Decided I liked the son-in-law idea better. Zach went with me to Wal-Mart last week and we had fun looking at cards. We found a couple we thought were funny and then we saw this one!! We couldn't resist. Most everyone thought it was hilarious but April. Not sure why on that.....
Mike certainly saw the humor in it!!!
It's a little hard to read this page but it says,
unfortunately your wife already spent it all while she was growing up.
We joke all the time about April being spoiled and all by being the only girl.
But the truth is, she started working at Connie & Albert's when she turned 16 and at school after hours cleaning at age 15.  April always bought her own clothes, paid for her car insurance and was overall responsible from the time she was old enough to start working.  She worked evenings throughout high school and on through her two years at RTI.  Seldom, if ever did she ask for money.
She saved and bought a new TV for the basement when she moved down there, bought her own decorations and things as needed.  She did her own laundry and really never gave us any problems.
We do brag on April quite a bit and most of it is in a teasing way.  We were delighted to be able to plan and prepare for her wedding and yes, we paid for it.  We had dreamed of that moment since she was born.  And yet, sensible April made most of her decorations, bought things on sale and still had a very well decorated reception.  Her dad and brothers made items to use and the boys were just as thrilled as if it was for their own wedding.  Now for the spoiling, don't think those brothers of hers just sat back and didn't do any!!  They love their sister very much and it was hard for them to let her go........and especially to move so far away.  (45 miles, uh could be lots worse)  Chad and Todd would do anything for their sister and also for each other.  One of mine and Dwayne's most proud accomplishments is the loyalty and love our three kids have for each other.  And now we have added another son to the family and the boys are there for him and are thrilled at how well he treats their sister and sees the love Mike has for April.
Grateful, yes I have much to be grateful for.  The love of my family, the joy of each year hosting my Mom and Dad's birthday dinners and just precious time spent together.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Couples shower for two special people, Doug & Beth Kleffner:

We were honored to be invited to a shower for a couple of April and Mike's friend Friday night at Brinktown.  I have become acquainted with Beth through April and found she grew up in the Vichy area and I know her family.  She got married not far from us on the same road as our son Todd lives.
This couple has had a hard time carrying a pregnancy to term.  We were all so delighted when Beth seemed to be doing so well with this precious baby but that all changed in August when Beth's health and the baby Julia were both at risk.  Baby Julia was born two months early and only weighed a little over a pound.  Due to many prayers, modern miracles and the parents love, this little girl has come a long way and got to come home a couple weeks ago.  She seems to be doing very well and Mom and Dad are handling everything in stride, along with moving into their new home just in time for Julia to come home.  The whole community is overjoyed for them.

These cute little butterflies made out of diapers were on the tables. Leave it to my husband to open one up and use as a napkin!!  He thought that was what they were for.........  Oh, well, it worked!  lol

If you've ever been around my husband, he is absolutely crazy about babies and children in general.
Luckily Lindsay wasn't offended when Abigail started to fuss a little and he just picked her up out of her carrier and started walking around with her.  Seemed to work as she settled on his shoulder and went right to sleep.  I think he would have walked with her the whole time we were there if she hadn't woke up and got hungry.  You can see the joy on his face.  I can't imagine how happy Dwayne will be when we are blessed with grand babies.   (I might be just a little overjoyed as well............)  I can see people running the other way when they see us as we won't shut up with all of our grand baby stories.  lol

We really had a good time visiting.  Dwayne didn't know many of the people there but soon became acquainted.  Especially with the parents of small children as he tried playing with the toys with them or holding any baby available.

I am grateful for Doug and Beth's joy and the opportunity to share in this event.