Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Weekend and Elrod Christmas:

We had a wonderful evening.  We started out by going by the hospital to visit Mom and then to Apple Bees for supper.  It's one of the best meals I've ever had there.  I went out of my comfort zone and order Tequila Chicken n Shrimp with Avocado Tango Sauces.  I don't even like Tequila!!  It was delicious.   You could cut the chicken with a fork and there was a large amount of shrimp with it.  This was followed by a madhouse Wal-Mart trip to buy last minute Christmas gifts.  We had fun looking for the kid's gifts but Dwayne had a hard time sticking to the price limit.  I had to tame him down a few times.  lol
I spent the day preparing food for our Elrod Christmas that evening.  I even hummed and sang a bit while cooking.  I am NOT a singer, so it's good no one was home.  lol
This was one of the best Elrod gatherings we had.  So much fun watching the kids open presents.  Poor baby Cash was still sick from a stomach bug so he didn't get to enjoy the evening much.
Our new tradition is that David cooks the meat.  David is an exceptional barbecue and we had barbecued ribs, smoked pork tenderloin and smoked wild turkey.  All delicious!!
I wore the sweatshirt I made for my mother-in-law years ago when applique was in style.  It has all the grandkids as angels with their name and date of birth under each angel.  It was one of Dodie's favorite gifts.  I've decided that will be a new tradition for me to wear it every year in remembrance of Dodie.
We were missing one of David's boys this year.  Andy and his girlfriend and family couldn't make it.  We really missed them.  Hopefully, next year we can all get together.
The Elrod cousins were excited to see Cash.  No matter our differences, the Elrod family sticks together and are truly happy at other's happiness and there for them if something bad happens.  We rejoiced this year in the exciting news of Cody and Jessie's engagement.
I am happy to be a part of this family.
Finally, I made it to church.  Our pastor has been out sick.  Frank did the sermon and did an excellent job.  He compared our life needing an anchor with God as the same as a boat on the river.  Without that anchor, you drift here and there and sometimes get tangled up.  Very good sermon.
After church, I took a nap before tackling cleaning the kitchen of the evening's leftover mess.
I woke energized and got the kitchen cleaned up pretty fast.  After that, I decided to tackle taking down the Christmas decorations.  I was ready to get the house back to normal.  I put all the decorations away and Dwayne took the tree and lights down.  The trips up and down the stairs to put the boxes away about wore him out.  What happened to the days of just doing things and not even noticing it-now it's a chore and it wears you out.  lol
Elrod Christmas 2013
Dwayne and I
Passing out presents
Hayden, Gabby and Grandpa David
Hayden and Cody
Chad, April and Cash
Poor sick little Cash
Cody and Jessie

I am grateful for this time of year and times spent with family.  It's not the hype of Christmas nor the presents that make this time of year special, it's the quality time with family and friends. 

Monday, December 30, 2013

Chad and Desmon:

I'm writing this post in tribute to my son, Chad.
Chad is an amazing young man with a heart of gold.  He loves people and is very friendly and caring.  Even as a child, he loved to hug everyone.  In first grade, he would get to school and run up and hug his friends when he saw them.  They didn't know what to think of another boy hugging them and felt uncomfortable.  I hated to hurt Chad's feelings, but I had to tell him other little kids don't always like to be hugged.
To this day, if he says his Grandpa, he walks up and gives him a big hug.  It doesn't matter how many people are around.  He was the same way with Grandpa Andy.  And there is never a time I'm around him, I don't get a big hug and "I love you, Mom".
Chad is now taking care of friend's eight year old son.  He has temporary custody.  Chad and Desmon's Mom have never been boyfriend/girlfriend.  She was just someone in need.  A few years ago, she was living out of her car with Desmon.  Chad took them in until she could get back on her feet.  Last Summer she was struggling with some life issues and asked Chad if he'd take Desmon for while.  How many 35 year old men would take on someone else's child?  It's simple, Chad loves children and he especially loves Desmon.  Taking on Desmon also meant taking on a little boy with trust issues and behavior problems.  Chad is so patient with him.  Desmon is a very loving little boy and comes up and gives us a big hug when we see him.  Uh, something just clicked in my brain (scary, I know  lol) but this is behavior is copying after Chad!  Hopefully, he will take on more of Chad's traits and learn to trust more.  We all love Desmon.  Desmon calls Cash his cousin and also calls him Cashy.  He was in awe at Cash's baptism.
Chad has taken in so many over the years.  In High School, one of his friends from Newburg parents moved to CA mid-year of his Senior Year.  Chad met Paul at RTI in Rolla.  Naturally, Chad asked if Paul could move in with us.  Paul still calls Dwayne and I Pa and Ma.  Paul's cousin, T.J. moved down from Washington.  He needed a place to stay, T. J. stayed with us for a few months.  Both Paul and T.J. if they see us in town call us Grandma and Grandpa to their kids.  It confuses the kids as they only see us about once a year but to us it feels like quite an honor.
Once Chad moved out on his own, he continued to give friends or cousins a place to live while they were going through hard times.  This in quite a financial burden as Chad doesn't make that much money.  Just like the Good Samaritan, Chad just keeps on helping people.
I am so proud of my son and so grateful for his caring ways.  It's been a pleasure to have Desmon in our lives and to call us Mr. Dwayne and Miss Connie.

I am grateful for my son and his kind ways.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Christmas Day:

The past few years, Dwayne and I have been alone on Christmas Day.  I thought it would be hard to get used to, but we've really done okay. 
This year, we made it a day of visiting.  We started out by going to visit Mom in the hospital.  We had a nice visit and Mom had several visitors for Christmas.
We then went to visit an old neighbor of Dwayne's, Joe Southard.  But he had been moved to a nursing home the day before.  We went to the nursing home and had a good visit.  Joe and Dwayne talked a lot about the old days of the horse shows in Vichy and other old memories.  You don't have to stay long, it just brightens up their day to get a visitor.
After that, we went to an open house at our dear friend and neighbor, Maxine Workman.  It was a wonderful time!!  Most of her kids and grandkids were there and we had a good time visiting.  So glad we went.
The rest of the day was spent just relaxing and watching TV.

Christmas with family and friends, what more could you ask for.

I am grateful for the birth of our savior and the celebration each year.

Thursday, December 26, 2013


Christmas Eve:
Despite Mom being in the hospital, we still had a wonderful Christmas Eve.  Dwayne said it was the best Christmas ever.  I think it's because he's smitten with his grandson.  lol  Honestly, Cash loves his Grandpa.  I would think he is too little to recognize him but he constantly follows Dwayne with his eyes and if Dwayne has him, he babbles away, just as content as can be.
There may be quite the bombardment of pictures, but this is my personal journal and photo album.
Cash with his GT Sports Car Grandma and Grandpa got him.
Desmon and Chad
Desmon, Chad and Todd
Mike and April
Mike and April
Grandpa and Cash
Christmas Eve Snacks
Uncle Chad, Cash and Dwayne
Uncle Todd and Cash
As you can tell, the uncles aren't the least bit proud......lol
Uncle Todd and Cash
April and Me
April is reading Grandpa's almost full page in the paper of stories.
Uncle Chad, Uncle Todd, Cash and April
Cash talking away at his Daddy.

I am so grateful for my family and I'm especially grateful after just talking to Mom, she is FINALLY starting to feel a little better.   Any and all prayers for Mom is much appreciated.

Monday, December 23, 2013


We went to my nephew, Tony's for his son Nathan's 14th birthday party.  We had a good time visiting.
I went to Rolla shopping.  The stores were very crowded but everyone was very friendly.  A lot of Merry Christmas greetings and people just saying hello.  A nice holiday atmosphere.
That evening Dwayne and I went to a cousin's wedding in Rolla.  It was a beautiful ceremony.
We then drove through Lion's Club Park to look at the Christmas lights.  I have always wanted to do that but it never interested Dwayne.  I think he enjoyed it, too.  Our favorite was the one of the fisherman out in the lake reeling in a big fish.  Don't know what it had to do with Christmas but it was very neat.
We then went home and watched a couple of Christmas movies.  A very good day.
Woke up at 6:30 a.m. to the phone ringing.  My sister, Judy called to say Mom was very sick and they were taking her to the hospital by ambulance.  I never could go back to sleep but laid there and rested awhile longer.  I went to the hospital and found out Mom had a severe case of pneumonia.  Fortunately, her heart checked out okay and all her blood cultures looked good.   I stayed until around one o'clock and then went home to where Dwayne had dinner fixed.  Steak and baked potatoes.  Very good.  I told him I was really tired and going to take a nap.  Well, it must have been a long winter nap as Dwayne woke me up at 6:45 p.m.   He said I needed to get up so I could go to bed later.  lol
He once again cooked and we had sirloin steak and potatoes.  Dwayne really helps a lot around the house anymore.  He is spoiling me.
Another evening of watching a Christmas movie.  There has been a lot of good Christmas movies on this year.

I am very grateful for my family and especially grateful I still have my Momma and pray she recovers from this bout of pneumonia.  Please pray for her.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Most Admired Person:

The person I most admire is my childhood friend, Pat Workman.  Pat came home from her lucrative job in Las Vegas a couple years ago to take care of her Mom who is bedridden.  This is a twenty-four hour a day, seven days a week job with no breaks.  Family comes in to help with the lifting but the constant care is on Pat's shoulders.
I just came from a visit and always enjoy reminiscing with Maxine.  We used to teach Bible School together to about 17 three and four year olds.  What a time we had!!  lol
Pat was doing Maxine's tube feeding while I was there.  What a time consuming procedure that is; and that is more than once a day.  Pat is so patient with her Mom and doesn't complain.
As much as I admire Pat; I would have never thought she would be the one taking care of her Mom.  Pat's personality just didn't fit the bill.  Funny, how we all change.

I am grateful to have had the Workman's as neighbors and Pat and the others as childhood friends.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Grandma's Pride 'n Joy:


Desmon came over and spent a few hours with us.   He helped me wrap Christmas presents.  We have a lot of presents decorated with black magic marker..........   It's a good thing I'm not the super picky neat present wrapper of days old.
Believe it or not but I spent almost the WHOLE day cleaning out my roll top desk!  How can a person accumulate so much junk and paperwork?  And I have several drawers that need the same cleaning plus closets.   Makes me tired and anxious just thinking about it.
Saturday evening we went to a Christmas party.  We had such a good time visiting with friends.  If laughter is the best medicine, we should all be well for the whole 2014 year!!
Sad to say, but I didn't go to church again.   We were having Chad's birthday dinner and I just can't seem to handle going to church and cooking anymore.  I've also not been feeling very well this fall; not sure if it's a lupus flare-up or just generally not feeling well.  Sure slows a person down.
We had Chad's favorite of lasagna, April's favorite of scalloped asparagus-a recipe from Bess Green, a lady I used to clean for.  She told me I needed to always fix this as a funeral dish to take to families. lol  You just had to know Bess; she was quite the character.
We had a nice evening visiting and of course enjoying Cash.
I am grateful for my family and friends and especially my son celebrating his 35th birthday on December 12th.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Old Time Picture:

I went to Mom and Dad's for a visit last night.  Dad was thrilled with a picture he'd received from when he was a boy.  Dad is known to have his hands in his upper overalls quite often.  He said, "See, even as a boy I had my hands in my overalls".  Gotta love him!!  The man is my Great-Great Grandpa Ed Balance, my Grandma Feeler's dad.  Dad loves all these old time photos and the stories that go with them.
I will make him even happier tonight as my boss, Don Allen has a box of old photos of Feelers and Allens and he doesn't know the names of everyone.  I'm to take it to Dad to see who he knows of them and to mark the pictures with their names.  He will be in seventh heaven.
The quality of these old photos are really magnificent, such heavy cardboard and fancy cardboard frames.
I am so grateful to share in these times with my Dad.

Wordless Wednesday:

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


Dwayne and I went to the Lake of the Ozarks for the day.  He's not much on shopping but he humored me and went along.  We had a good day.  Of course, we bought some clothes for Cash.  The jacket was exactly like one I had already bought him earlier in the year.  Guess I must have liked it. lol
We went down to the strip and it was deserted.  I remember when we were young you couldn't even find a place to park.  Such a fun place now a ghost town.
We then went to April and Mike's.  April's work Christmas party was that evening so we were taking Cash home with us.  Wasn't sure if Mommy was going to let him leave or not.  It was his first night away from home.
Cash "talking" to Grandma.  I've never seen a baby babble as much as him.
Grandpa just watching him sleep.
We had a good evening with Cash and Dwayne is the one that got up with him at night.  Him and Cash "camped out" in the living room.  He was very good and only got up twice.
We had planned on going to church, but we overestimated our energy level after watching a baby.  lol
April came over mid-morning and stayed for awhile.   Uncle Todd came over to visit.
Cash must have worn Grandpa out as Dwayne went to bed at six p.m. and didn't get up until 9:45 a.m. the next day and that was only because he got a phone call.
I am so grateful for our grandson and the joy of watching him.

(Notice the non-matching clothes?  We didn't see the other diaper bag in the car and thought April forgot to send a change of clothes.  I scrounged these up from my stash upstairs.  We laughed when April got there and got the huge bag of clothes out of the car.  I kept telling Dwayne, April wouldn't not pack clothes, I can't figure out where they are.)

Thanksgiving Pictures:

Dwayne making dressing
Mom's Centerpiece

Kristin, Cash and Ashlyne
Russ and Kaleb

Wayne, Jr.'s girlfriend, Deone and Mom
Mike, Me, April and Joe

Dad, Michael and Katie
Chad and Bobbi
Visitors:  Wendy and Genevieve
Dad and Judy
Desmon and Kaden

Uncle Todd and Cash
Ashlyne and Cash
 Afternoon at our house.  We did the Elrod tradition of playing cards all afternoon.
Grandma and Cash
I am grateful for such a wonderful time of visiting with family and another great Thanksgiving with all my siblings.