Saturday, December 26, 2009

All grown up

Wow, after looking at some pictures we took at Christmas this year I realize how grown up our kids have gotten. I realize I was there as it was happening - but sometimes pictures not only say 1000 words - they scream at you.

I had no idea our son was now tall than his father. I look taller than our daughter - but that has to do with shoes. I think we are about the same. Looks like the apples don't fall too far from the tree.

It has been wonderful spending time with both of them the past few days. Mainly I am thankful that they actually seem to want to spend time with their parents. AMAZING for kids their ages. Maybe it was just the bribery of the gifts. (giggle, giggle)

Friday, December 18, 2009

Home for the Holidays

After watching the Hallmark commercials all my life, I am now experiencing that warm feeling of finally having everyone home for the holidays. Our son made it home safely today from Fort Sam Houston. We are thankful for his commitment to serve our country and his dedication to the Army National Guard.

As much as we are enjoying having him home for a couple of weeks our hearts go out to those who are not able to be home with their families. There are so many who are stationed away during this time.

Thanks to all who are protecting our freedom and willing to give their all! Our family prays for your safe return back to your family.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Well worth the wait!

So many things never live up the the anticipation that precedes it. The Pioneer Woman and her cookbook were well worth the wait! I have been reading/addicted to her blog for about two years now.

When she began her cookbook I knew I would have to have one. It was well worth the wait, it is more than a cookbook, it is a snapshot into her life. And job security for heart surgeons everywhere.

I was ultra excited to know she would stop on her Griswold Book Tour in Nashville. A friend from highschool and I have reconnected via Facebook and both planned to attend. We had a great time and were joined by other bloggers for dinner and what seemed like 6,789,432 of our closest friends at the book signing.

Luckily we had visited the book store a few weeks ago to purchase our coveted books and obtain our group 3 ticket. I can't imagine if we had been in group 18!

Now, back to cooking - I think the next recipe I will try will be the bacon wrapped meatloaf. If I can quit making those biscuits long enough.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The little things

So many of my Facebook friends named things they were thankful for each day in November. I am thankful for so many little things - that when you think about them are BIG things....

healthy children
a wonder and loving husband
great friends
the friendship of my children
a warm and cozy home
faithful dogs - who bark at everyone who drives up
a good job
being able to cook

Most of all I am thankful for a loving God who had a hand in all those blessings listed above.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Staying Young

I have to agree with everyone - having kids keeps you young. I would have never thought I would agree to go shopping at midnight only to get up again the following morning to be out shopping again by 4:30 a.m.

The only explanation I have for this is my daughter. I drove her to work on Thanksgiving night at 11:30 p.m. This way I could retrieve her the following morning at 9:00 a.m. to shop. One car to find a parking space for on the day after Thanksgiving is enough.

Since I was already at the mall at 11:45 p.m. and it opened in 15 minutes, I gave in to the temptation of going in the mall. It amazes me the people who were out. I shopped for only 45 minutes, just two purchases. Three hours of sleep later I returned to shopping.

The best part of the day - spending time with my daughter! Oh, can't forget the nap later in the day - that was so great!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Proud Mama

The past couple of days have been wonderful! Watching our son, now a man, graduate from Basic Training was such a joy. Children make us smile, cry and laugh in life. There are times they make us proud, frustrate us, and disappoint us - but through it all we love them just the same.

Our son has made us so proud! He has known for several years he wanted to join a branch of the armed forces. Last fall he enlisted in the Army National Guard. Today he graduated from Basic Training. It was one of my proudest moments!

The past 10 weeks have been mentally and physically challenging, strenuous, and harder than ever imagined. Oh, I guess they weren't a walk in the park for him either. In our "connected" world, we were so disconnected. Not anymore, Uncle Sam allowed him his cell phone yesterday.

As he leaves for his AIT at Fort Sam Houston, he will once again be connected. That makes the distance between us and him much easier to tolerate.

We wish him well as he begins the next chapter in his National Guard experience.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Not much longer

In about 36 more hours I will should be spending some long awaited time with our son. He has completed Basic Training. We are attending his graduation at Fort Benning Georgia. He called tonight and we could hear the excitement in his voice. I think he has really missed his family, probably wouldn't admit it to just anyone - but he has.

We couldn't be more proud of both of our children. We love them both!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Pumpkins, leaves and football

I just love the fall. Mainly I love the vibrant colors. The leaves seem so pretty this year, guess that is one thing the rainy season has been good for. I also love those UT orange colors too!

I still haven't purchased a pumpkin, I just haven't found the "one" yet. Guess we might just skip that is year. I think I can do without those icky, slimy, snot-like guts running through my fingers.

Nothing seems to say fall like football time in Tennessee! I just hate I haven't made it to a game this year. I keep having to pass on tickets for lack of a football game buddy.

Hopefully this time next year my boy will be a little more "available" to go to some games with me. Uncle Sam has him 24/7 for a few more months.

The photo above is from the 2007 UT/Vandy game. In case anyone has forgotten - Vandy lost!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Birthday Wishes for our boy

It has been a challenge dealing with the absence of our oldest child. We bring our babies home from the hospital thinking we could hold them and look at them forever. Then it seems that someone must have fed them miracle grow.

Our baby boy came home for the first time 21 years ago today. I remember on that drive home how beautiful the trees were, with the shade of orange, red, and gold. Perhaps just the love and joy I felt for that cute little boy made me appreciate the colors that much more.

He celebrated his 21st birthday on Sunday, without us. He called and talked for the usual 15 minutes. He had received his cards of well wishes and just seems to enjoy hearing of "home" things.

Rumor has it - is platoon "helped" him celebrate before the day was over. I am sure not in the same way his family would have - but hey guess he will never for get his 21st birthday.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Why I am not a nurse

I love my family - but I am not the best nurse in the family. That title is reserved for my wonderful daughter. She doesn't mind blood, cuts, scrapes, vomit, any of that gross stuff. She is great at helping clean a wound and bandaging it for you. She will ask if you need anything, fluids, pillow, tylenol.

Me on the other hand is so ready for the sick to be back at 110%. I have also saved my compassion for my mom, who had double knee replacement. She is currently in rehab, and I feel I have done well at helping. Today is the first day in her 11 day hospital stay I have not visited. Some days I have even been there twice a day.

So if you are thinking I have had enough of helping her, you are mistaken. Our family has been visited by the "Piggy Sniffles", aka H1N1, Swine Flu. When I came in this evening my wonderful husband was sitting on the sofa, heat cranked up to 78, wearing a coat, covered in a blanket, thermometer in and shivering. His fever was 102.6 and rising.

After a quick trip to the walk in clinic we learned he more than likely has the swine flu, thanks to the H1N1 vaccine he received yesterday. He is in bed, and very whiny. All you other wives understand, husband sick - the world must stop.

Hopefully he will be on the mend quickly. Mom is doing much better today. She is making great strides in walking. Maybe I won't be playing nurse much longer.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

BRB (Be Right Back)

I promise I will be back posting soon. Some how I don't seem to have the time to post. Maybe it is because I have been putting out fall decorations? No, I only put out my wreathes. Maybe it is because I have spent time cleaning the house. No, you would know that if you saw the state my house was in. Maybe it is because I have been working outside in my flowers. No, my wonderful husband planted my mums. Maybe I have been to too many UT games this fall. No, I haven't made it to a game this year.

Oh, I remember - mom is in the hospital...for now the 10th day. And being the good daughter I am, I have been going each day, sometimes twice a day. Someone has to do her laundry, and if you see her tell her I am not putting her shirts in the dryer!

I am actually loving the time I am spending with her! I need to be better about that - someone remind me of that in a few weeks when all this has passed.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

This house is meant to have flowers

For anyone who knew my husband's Grandmother Grubbs, they knew of her love of flowers. There were always flowers inside and outside. Violets on the bathroom window shelf to the flowers behind the kitchen table on the plant stands. There is no way of knowing how many flowers she shared through the years with friends and family. She never had a selfish heart. She was always willing to share what she had with others.

The only down side to Grandmother's flowers were when you were mowing the lawn. There were the lilac bush, snowball bush, crepe myrtles, iris, daylillies, rose bushes, the hedge, just to name a few to mow around. Oh, and the trees -apple trees, maple trees, locust tree, now gone, just to name a few.

This past week my wonderful husband added just a few more flowers for me. Actually, I purchased the flowers, he just surprised me with new pots for our rock wall. Good job sweetie.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Apple Cake

I would have to say either Apple Cake or Jam Cake would have to be my absolute favorite cake. Both are cakes I have been blessed to enjoy my entire life, and I would imagine every year of my life. We could always count on my mother baking a couple of Apple Cakes in September and then come December she would make two Jam Cakes.

Both are moist, juicy, packed with cinnamon and only get better with age. I am fighting the temptation to eat a second piece today. The main reason for my resistance is the fact that by Wednesday it will be so much better than it is today. After sitting a few days - if it will last - it becomes just that much more moist.

Today's cake is lacking the cinnamon, due to the fact I married a man who doesn't like cinnamon. I am not sure that is even normal, that's like not liking marshmallows in your hot chocolate. You guess it - he doesn't.

Thanks to the memory packed cookbook from my mother a few years ago, I have successfully made one of her recipes "Fresh Apple Cake".

Now about those left over apples....Apple Glazed Cookies will be next.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

I think I need some apples

On my way home fall arrived. Didn't you hear? Like around 4:18 pm central time - give or take a second or two. With the crazy weather we have been having, I am not so sure it hasn't been fall for like a month or so.

It also helped to get a new catalog in the mail today. With all kinds of fall, Halloween and Thanksgiving cupcake and cookie supplies. I could order one of all of them. I do think it is time for a visit to the Stewart Apple orchard, I can almost take a fresh apple cake.

I think my goal for the weekend will be to put out my fall wreaths and other decorations and make a fresh apple cake. Stay tuned......

Monday, September 21, 2009

Newest Addition and empty nest

It is time to meet the newest addition to our family. Reba, our Min-Pin (miniature pincher). I know it would seem every time our son goes away, we get a new dog, but I promise this is the last one for a while. Reba is 8 weeks old now and on Saturday weighed a whole 2 pounds and 14 ounces.

She has now stolen our hearts. Even Philip's, who didn't care about that dumb dog. Yes, you will hear her referred to as Reba the Rat, but hey, she does look like a rat at times. But spend some time with her and she will steal your heart. Even Obie, our oldest black lab is taking a liking to her.

About that empty nest, well it is just half empty for a few months. Our wonderful daughter chose to live a home for her first (and probably all) semester of college. She is adjusting to college life. Her biggest bother is the constant question - How is college going". As soon as she conquers Physics and Calculus she says college will be just fine. And for our son, he is getting as he calls it - three hots and a cot.

Our son joined the Army National Guard last November. He has begun his Basic Training at Fort Benning, Georgia. He has called a couple of times and has sent some letters. I think he is anxious to get it completed and move on to his AIT at Fort Sam Houston in Texas in November. When finished with both trainings he will be back home until he starts. We miss him, but wish him the best. For both of our children we only wish the best. They have both made us very proud.

Saturday, August 15, 2009


Today I am waiting very impatiently for wayward two to come home. Could they at least hurry up? I am not good at waiting! I never have been a patient person. Guess I need to work on that.

I have been working hard at keeping things going around here - so my wonderful husband won't have lots of chores to catch up on when he returns. But, boy is that a job! Hopefully by the end of the day most all will be accomplished, unless Facebook, Twitter, and texting get me distracted. He He.

Animals are all taken care of for the day; cows, chickens, dogs, cat and kittens have all been tended to. Laundry is started, house is cleaned up, grocery shopping still to do. All this in anticipation of their return.

I suppose this just reminds me of how much they mean to me! I miss them dearly and am ready for some help around this house/farm!

Monday, August 10, 2009


Family - there just isn't anything else like it. Well, maybe your hair, really - think about it. You love it today, irritated at it tomorrow, miss it when it is gone, constantly thinking about changing it, gets messed up easily, disappoints you sometimes..... See your hair is like your family.

Okay, so I got a little wacky there for a while. I do miss my family when they are gone. Two have gone away this week - without me! I will forgive them, I had the chance to go too, just not enough time off from work. They have gone to be with some of our extended family and I hope they are having a wonderful time.

Maybe this is helping me adjust to another family member being gone for while. Our wonderful son is going off to basic training in a few short weeks. He go straight to AIT from there. Seems like he will be gone forever. I know it will pass quickly. Just the thought of it now is sad.

We have always been a very close family and I am thankful for that! Even though it is only August - I can't wait until Christmas. We will be together then. He comes home for two weeks then. I don't care if that is the only present I get - I just love being with my family.

P.S. - Don't tell my husband about not caring about getting a gift for Christmas. he he

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

A new addition

Yesterday we were surprised with a new baby calf. We surprised isn't really the correct term. We knew it was due, over due, past due, poor mama could hardly walk. Anyway, sometime on August 3rd we added to our herd. If you could call, one bull, two cows and two heifers a herd. So now our total head is up to six.

The mama is so proud. This is her second calf, they seem so happy together. Her first calf did not make it. So, she seems very proud of this one.

Red, our bull, seems very proud too. He seems to have a little more strut in his walk this past day or two. As long as he doesn't start passing our cigars I am good.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Summer Fun

We haven't had the typical summer fun, you know the big "V" word. There was no family vacation planned this year. We knew there just didn't seem to be time in everyone's schedule. Our kids wanted to work as much as possible. One for money during her first year of college. The other just to pay off his truck.

That does not mean we are not having a great summer. The changes I have seen in my children over the past 18 and 20 years has been amazing. They once depended on us 24/7 and we thought we had lost that during their teenage years. Lost isn't the correct description. Maybe changed is a better term.

Remarkably they still ask if it is okay to be out until this time or that. The two of them have become adults that seem to respect their parents. Not that they think their parents are "cool" or something. Oh, I am sure "cool" isn't a cool word anymore. And every time I think they are so adult acting, they get into that sibling squabble. You know the one, where the old brother and little sister ego's come out. When she says just what gets under his skin and he says mean brother like things. Afterwards, it is really kind of funny.

This summer has contained some different fun just watching another stage of our children's lives. The fall will be the major adjustment.

There have been few days our son's life that I haven't spoken to him, at least by phone. That is about to change. Not sure how often he will be able to call. But hey, there is always snail mail. He WILL get lots of letters, even if he doesn't want them. I pray those first few weeks pass quickly. He seems so ready for this new adventure. I wish him only the best!

And, watching our baby start college. So proud of her, just can't believe our tiny baby is ready to be so independent. I know she will do great, she is a very determined young lady. Just tell her she can't and boy will she can.

Summer fun can be just sitting on the front porch playing with the dogs and cats, just watching your family. Who needs a vacation? - ME! Won't be long now!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Swealtering heat and wonderful memories

I must not have been thinking when I suggest our house for a family gathering on a nice hot, humid June evening. I was only thinking, lazy summer evening under the giant maple trees. Here just a couple of hours before they all get here, it is 90 degrees in the shade, 75 in the house - that is as cool as I can get it. And the humidity, well let's just say - we all know it's here.

I think back to they many summer days we visited in this house. No air conditioning running, just a couple of lone fans. The box fan on a stand and the black and silver fan on the dresser. Oh, don't touch that fan, you might cut your fingers. We were all warned of that each summer. Amazingly that old fan is still running. Right now it's running, it sits atop our refrigerator. It no longer oscillates, it hasn't done that for many years. I wonder how many years it has labored to keep this house cool.

I can remember Grandmother sitting with the windows open, fans running, sweat running too, but never complaining. Always just happy to have you come by and visit a while. Those times are now priceless to so many of us. We are thankful for every moment we sat listening to her stories of growing up, working hard and family.

Hopefully we will may some good memories today.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Overloaded Apple Cart

It never fails, or should I say, I never fail. A day off, isn't that supposed to be a good thing. Something to look forward to? Not if it is planned in advance and it is my day off.

It all started with a dentist appointment. I was to have my teeth cleaned at 1:00 p.m. I scheduled this back in November of last year. Thought Monday at 1:00 p.m. would be good - work all morning - go to the dentist and then take the afternoon off. Good plan, huh?

Then my wonderful daughter tells me we both need to go to the university she plans to attend in the fall; a meeting with an academic advisory is need prior to applying for a grant. I said sure, we can do that in the morning - I will just take the entire day off. We need to drop by the Financial Aid office to turn in more scholarship acceptance letters. Along the way we must also stop by the Business office to confirm tuition discount info was received.

While she is with me and just two doors down from the dentist is the insurance agent. Never a cheaper time than while young to get your own life insurance policy. Get insurance while you a health, young and have a little money....

So, a call last week to our "Charlie" of Farm Bureau and a 2:00 p.m. appointment was made. The day is getting busier, but not too bad.

Next, it dawns on me I keep putting off apply for a passport. My wonderful husband has his, and it is current (I checked this morning). We have toyed with the idea of a cruise this fall and to go out of the country now a passport is a must. Thinking on the way home, we will pass right through the Metropolitan of Springfield, why not just take car of that today too?

Photo - almost forgot - must have photo for passport. A trip to the local Walgreen's is on the to do list. Last but not least, a trip to the county building to complete the passport application.

Did I mention Vacation Bible School at church tonight? What about needing to bake a batch of bar cookies for VBS? Maybe add in a trip to Dollar General, lunch and dinner. How did this day start?

I think I remember, a lone little trip to the dentist. And he must be planning a nice vacation for he and his wife. I must go back for "a little work". I am looking forward to a nice day at work tomorrow. Wait - who said that? Surely not me!

Maybe when I am having a not so good day at work - I will come back and read this post and be thankful for the job I have.

Friday, June 5, 2009


Okay, it is summer and I am getting on track. I am going to blog more, walk more and be more organized. I hear you laughing, I am serious. I have been walking more and trying to get more organized. You will see - I will blog more. I am inspired by a high school friend who blogs. She does a great job - she should she is an experienced writer.

I saw she was on Twitter and was impressed. My daughter twitters, but I kept resisting. Until I finally gave in, I joined Twitter. So, for it is good. Enjoy little spontaneous surprises from those I am following. We will see how it goes.

I have been so ready for summer to get here and it wasn't a disappointment! We all survived Lea's graduation. It was such a joy watching my baby graduate. Oh and the 4 scholarships along with the Hope Scholarship made it even better. She will now be paid to go to college. Way to go Lea!

Off to fold more laundry - you know more of that organized thing......

Thursday, April 9, 2009

You would think it was Christmastime

Busy is the only way to explain the next 6 weeks in our lives. You would think the month of December is your busiest of the year, that is unless you have an overactive senior. I had forgotten how busy a senior year is, but I think this year is worse than two years ago.

Greenbrier has a few more graduation "activities" than Sycamore did. The next few weeks are filled with: more scholarship essays, a recognition dinner, a scholarship acceptance banquet (in Knoxville), Senior Walk, Senior Prom, Awards Night, Senior Reception, Baccalaureate Service, oh and graduation and a party.

Today my sister called to see if I would be interested in a weekend get-a-way some friends are planning for her. This would be to help celebrate the end of her chemo treatments. This would all be along with everything else going on - hopefully planting a garden, if the weather will cooperate. Landscaping along the front porch. Celebrating Mother's Day.

How I love to be busy, it makes me feel alive. I can't complain, we are so happy to see our baby graduate. Sad to see her growing up so quickly, but oh so proud of her. We only wish her the best as she takes the next step of her life.

She has come so far from that tiny baby we were so worried about that snowy, icy night she made her grand entrance. We should have known she would make a huge impact on life when at only 3 pounds and 3 ounces and 3 months early she was born crying at the top of her lungs. Watch out world - here comes our baby.......

Friday, March 20, 2009


I love change, most of the time. I am excited that we are getting new floors. The living room and two bedrooms should be hardwood by this time next week. Today I picked up 40 boxes of 4" oak flooring. I can hardly wait. I am wishing some moving fairy would come and help move out all the furniture.

There is one upside to this, we are staying in a hotel while it is being installed. Makes things so much easier. No having to impose of someone else, or having to function around "stuff" while everyone goes to work or school.

I am also sad about change, with my baby a senior and knowing her life will soon change forever. I know she is looking at four more years of school, but college just isn't the same. She has grown into a very special young woman, of whom I am very proud.

She was overjoyed today with scholarship notices arriving in the mail today. As of today, she will be able to attend college for free, at least her freshman year. She will also be getting money back each semester. She still has scholarships she has not heard from yet.

Change always has positives and negatives. We must learn to accept them all. Change is how we grow and we must always continue to grow, or else we begin to wither.

I wish you all growth. May we all be inspired by the new growth we see as spring is around us.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Fried Peach Pies

Oh doesn't that just bring back memories. I made a batch of those wonderful little things this past weekend. My wonderful husband ate every one of them. He ate four when he came in the door from work on Saturday.

It is funny how some things we are always baking, like brownies and cupcakes. But we meringue pies, real banana pudding and fried pies. I can remember my mother frying up a whole stack of apple pies when I was younger. We would put a confectionery sugar and milk frosting on ours. My husband's family like apple and peach. Peach being his favorite.

This summer I was lucky enough to be given several Red Haven peaches and thought then of peach cobbler! YUM! I made one of those a few months ago, in the "peach cobbler bowl" his grandmother always used. This time, I made what he prefers, the fried pies.

It is so nice to make something for someone who seems enjoy them so much. His eyes just lit up when I made those. Making those for him also brought back many memories for me of frying pies with my mother and also with his grandmother.

Fried peach pies were a hit.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

My Mother

Today is my mother's birthday. As my cousin reminds us - it is one of those milestone birthays. My cousin, my mother, my uncle, another aunt, another cousin and I were all born in years ending in 9. So, yes this is the year I turn 40 - not bothering me yet.

I think about all that my mother means to me and I just can't comprehend everything she is. She is so much to so many! But most of all I think about her strength. I see now how strong she was that year my dad was sick and they next few years raising a teenager alone. She did it without ever letting me see how hard it was.

She is true inspiration to me and I don't think I will every be the woman she is! Happy birthday mom!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A snow day

Today I am taking a "snow day", actually I am using my personal day to stay home. Not that we have any snow, I am just waiting for it. They say even though it has rained all night, the freezing rain is on its way. After the freezing rain, we get the snow! Or, so they promise.

I love snow days. Just staying at home and being with family. I do miss the knee deep snows we had when I was younger. I can remember one year we went to school very little in the month of January. Not sure I miss that.

I did enjoy spending the entire day with my mom and sister. At some point in the day I would walk next door to my Granny's house. So, today I am just going to enjoy the day with my kids. One is out of school and one was told to take the day off, not much house moving in this weather.

So, decisions to make - chocolate chip cookies, fudge pie, chocolate pie, cup cakes....what should we make today?

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Winter Blues

I think the winter blues have it many of us. We hit them after the anticipation of Thanksgiving, the madness of Christmas, and the anticipation of the New Year. We kid our selves all during the months of November and December that everything will be better as the new year comes. We think we will have more time, we will eat better, exercise more, save money, have more time to spend with others. And then we hit the middle of January, and what happened to all those great plans.

Well, someone gets the crud, it's too cold to get outside and exercise, football parties with all those great foods, and we seem busier than ever. All those are just excuses aren't they. Okay, so maybe you are now as depressed as I am.

Well, it is time to get up and get off that soap box. Get up and do something. I have been cleaning more and doing better at small things. I am happy others around me are doing something. Someone close to our family, put on Christ last night! What better way to start the year off right. He will be my inspiration for the week.

I am going to shake these winter blues! Well, maybe my fingers and lips will still be blue some (when I am outside), since it is like 10 degrees outside.