Friday, July 31, 2009

I Miss You, Buddy

One of my real favorites...this picture of Tyler with his sister, Erica, taken at her rehearsal dinner. Tomorrow marks Tyler's third Heaven birthday. Three years it has been since he left us...and waits for us in Heaven!

Almost more than my brain can grasp really. That means three years...

Three years since I enjoyed his laugh or heard his voice.
Three years since I stroked his forehead, kissed his cheek or rubbed his swollen feet.
Three years since we sat and enjoyed The Food Network...completely at peace just being together.

But I am sure of Heaven and the promise of being with my boy again...together in the presence of Jesus. And I am confident that Christ will provide exactly what we all need tomorrow - through the tears and with the smiles - He will be with us.....and that is the only way I can face tomorrow.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Some Texas Photos

As promised, a few pictures. Of course, these are the ones my girlfriend chose and forwarded to me - so no silly pictures of her...only me!?!? The first one is also off my cell phone (fuzzy!) but I just couldn't pass...

Thanks for coming back each day to hear my story! It really was a fun trip........

ONLY IN TEXAS!!! John Deere Cowboy boots!!

Our lunch spot in was so
super cute inside!

What can I say?? Every tourist gets goofy turning on
cowboy hats - but, like I said, all the store owners were
so nice...and patient!! This store was in Fredericksburg.

The infamous Gruene Hall - next door to
the GristMill

Downtown Georgetown.....would have LOVED
to have time to see the Huck Finn musical!
One wedding shot - it really was such a pretty setting!
San Antonio.......the Alamo
(sorry I just had to slip that in!)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A Texas Wrap-up

Just one more post on my Texas trip...I have that feeling when you know that you've shown one too many family dvds of little johnny's birthday party...and one by one all of your guests are excusing themselves to the restroom - and never returning! That's way I've saved the pictures for last - hopefully, that will make you come back from the bathroom! I promise I will finish my notes today....

We headed out on Sunday morning after the wedding....headed toward San Antonio - by way of a super cute town called Fredericksburg. We actually have a Fredericksburg close to home here but the one in Texas had a true German feel. Actually, quite a bit of Texas was originally settled by Germans...who knew? The town had tons of charm; however, it was quite the tourist spot. It was really crowded - and personally, I was just captivated by Georgetown earlier so it just didn't compare for me.

We had a nice time there, though. And had a yummy, quite authentic German meal. While actually, my girlfriend did. I had pizza...sad, I know. But I did try cabbage! But the best thing I had to eat...maybe even the whole trip...was during our lunch there - FRIED PICKLES!! I've been told they are quite the "southern" treat and easily found lots of places but personally, I had never heard of them and was a bit skeptical. They were the best!! My friend thought they were a bit too spicy but I couldn't get enough!! Please tell me - has anyone else every had a sliced dill pickle...with a zippy breading and perfectly fried.....and ranch dressing to dip them in??? Oh, I want to go back!!

Then on to San Antonio....and you know who is in San Antonio?? My boy, Jordan! Honestly, I did not think it was going to work out that I would have a chance to see him - which was terrible. So close and not even a minute. But it turns out we were able to pick him from the base and spend about two hours with him - two short but oh so special hours for the mommy missing her far-away baby!!

I grabbed this photo of us at Olive Garden - yes, he wanted food! It was taken on my cell phone and honestly looks great...on the phone. I had no idea it was so fuzzy until I transferred it to the computer - so disappointing. But I will share it with you anyways! And, by the way, I did get photos from my girlfriend (the one who remembered a camera!) and I'll post those tomorrow!

I don't know - who looks happier? The proud momma...or the airman getting off base and having "real" food?? He is just too cute! :)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

More Shopping - and even a Wedding

Yes...we did a lot (ALOT) of shopping - browsing, admiring or even drooling, some giggling and even some purchasing - on our trip to Texas! But, I have to say my favorite spot was the town of Georgetown where we stopped on our second day. Just the cutest town!! It is one of the best preserved historic districts I've ever visited. Four main streets built around the town square.

I found an antique store I could live in and had so much fun at the used book store. There was also a really unique craft store that is supplied strictly by senior citizens - some very talented seniors I might add - working on consignment. The quilts were beautiful!! We also had another great meal at Wildfire on Austin Ave. downtown. Goodness, everyone was so nice in Texas...especially our servers at meals! I have to admit that is a bit of a "lost art" here in our hurry-scurry area!

After lunch, we headed out to Salado where the wedding was held. I know, it seems like we went to Texas to eat and shop but we really did have a wedding to attend! And a gorgeous wedding it was - even outside. Even at 100 degrees! The wedding was held on a ranch (surprise!) and the setting was phenomenal! I had the opportunity to visit with lots of family which was super special. Yes, we did do a little browsing in Salado and even found a cute tea room for lunch - but the highlight of this part of the trip was, for sure, the wedding. Aren't brides just beautiful??

Great time there and then on to our next stop.....and guess what I was able to arrange??? (My last update tomorrow!)

Monday, July 27, 2009

Texas - Luggage Woes but Awesome Food!

Believe it or not...I forgot my camera when we went to Texas (most of you can, no doubt, believe it!) but my girlfriend took tons of pictures - I'm just waiting on them. So a bit of my Texas trip recapped....with pictures to follow (hopefully pressure, Mo!)

The trip started on an interesting note. We flew to Austin by way of Chicago. When we arrived in Chicago, the hostess came on and welcomed us all to the windy city and announced, "If you are continuing on with us to Minneapolis, feel free to stay on the plane and we will be leaving again shortly." And, yes, my luggage did just that - stayed on the plane!!

Seems just about everyone I've told my sad but true story to has a lost luggage story of their own, but this was the first time it had happened to me! I wasn't terribly worried when we first discovered I had nothing. I was sure it would follow on the next flight and find me soon. That did not happen. After our day of shopping, eating and fun (can't let a little lost luggage ruin your fun), we returned to the hotel and no luggage. I made some more phone calls and was assured they would call me as soon as my lovely belongings were located.

Off to sleep I went. About an hour later, the alarm clock begins beeping/ringing! What?? I didn't set the clock. I was trying every button and knob possible and I promise you I actually smacked the top of the crazy thing before it went off. I really was only half awake/half dazed and trying to get back to deep sleep...when it goes off - AGAIN! I had the radio in both hands and I think I was actually going to throw it when I realized - OH!?!? That's my phone going off! What a goof. When I answered the phone in a fog, the lady actually seem annoyed with me that I did not gratefully - and cheerily - answer the phone the first time! The luggage did arrive about 12:30 in the morning! Yea.

That first day we ate at a cool Tex-Mex place just outside of downtown Austin - called Gueros! Tons of atmosphere and yummy food. Then we headed over to New Braunfels/Gruene (pronounced Green) - home of the infamous Gruene Hall. It was built in 1878 and is known as "the oldest dance hall in Texas" where folks like Willie Nelson, George Strait, and Lyle Lovett have played. It was pretty much empty when we checked it out but, yep...Texans are pretty serious about their country music!!

Dinner that night was at the GristMill. Although this restaurant is "open" (read that HOT!), it was so worth it! Probably one of our best meals during our trip! The food was amazing. And - this is weird - our server was a teenager (named Taylor) that just so looked the way I imagine my Tyler could look now. About 6'3", thin with dark red hair cut short and slightly spiked in the front.....and just so handsome! It was uncanny, exciting in a way and kinda creepy all at the same time!! (It is just so hard to imagine my boy almost 17!!)

Anyways, the GristMill could easily be one of my favorite restaurants but I doubt I'll ever eat there again. But, it was good! I was stuffed - and that was only day one!! I knew I was in trouble.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Home Again - from Texas

I am home from Texas!! My trip was tons of fun and I hope to have pictures, as well as a few stories, next week.....but, for now, the trip can be summed up in one word - HOT!! Oh my goodness, hot! And brown. I suppose a lot of the brown is because of the hot...but it just seemed like everywhere we looked, things were brown. Now, I know our summer has been exceptionally mild..and its usually scorching here, too, this time of year....but when I got off the plane the other night - it was 69 degrees!! (Dorothy, we weren't in, Texas...any more!)

As my girlfriend's garden flag says....
Be it ever so Bumble,
There's no place like Home!!

I spent the day yesterday reading through all of my favorite blogs and "catching up" which was fun...and hope to be back in the game next week. Just thought I would share a recipe I brought back from my trip. I haven't made them...yet....but they sound too yummy!! There are alot of ingredients so I think this cookies are gonna be big....but, then again, they are from Texas!!
Texas Cow Chips
2 c. butter
2 c. each white and brown sugar
4 eggs
2 TBS vanilla
4 c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. each baking powder and soda
2 c. each oats and bran flakes
1 c. each pecans and coconut
1 c. raisins
1 - 12 oz. pkg. chocolate chips
1 - 6 oz. pkg. peanut butter chips
Beat butter and sugars together until blended. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until smooth. In a separate bowl, combine flour, salt, baking powder and soda; gradually add to sugar mixture and stir well. Stir in remaining ingredients. Drop cookies with a 1/4 cup measuring cup onto lightly greased cookie sheet, 6 to a sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes. Cool on wire rack. Store in container between sheets of wax paper.

Friday, July 17, 2009

A Wedding Vow

I mentioned yesterday that I am in Texas for a wedding...with that in mind, I thought I would share something cute I heard on the radio the other day. The question was:

If you knew then what you do now, what would be something you would add to your marriage vows???

One caller said:
For richer, for poorer
In sickness and in health
In silence and in snoring!!

Totally with you there!! Made me laugh :) Happy Friday, friends!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Headed to Texas

Thankful Thursday.....and this Thursday finds me on my way to Texas for a family wedding! My girlfriend is travelling with me and we will have a great "girl's weekend"!! Before and after the wedding on Saturday, we are going to visit several cute little towns in Texas for plenty of girlie fun - shopping, eating, and, of course, laughing and talkin'!! I am really looking forward to this trip - 100 plus weather and all!

Today, I am thankful:

** all the details worked out for this trip...including my friend's work schedule, my husband holding down the fort here, and the extra finances to allow it

** for the chance to see several family members that I haven't seen in years - you know the ones you see at weddings and funerals (the last time I saw many of them was at my mom's funeral :( but wish you could see so much more! Oh, and its a wedding!! I love weddings!

** for the cutest pair of red shoes to wear with my dress - petty, I know, but they really are cute!

Hope to have good pictures when I return!!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Missing Mom and Dad

Wordless Wednesday....
July means memories of Mom's birthday,
Mom and Dad's anniversary
and lots of memories of them both!
I miss them so much!!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Three Things You Didn't Know

Today I am "blog hopping"...what fun! And the theme is three things you might not know about me - and, yes, a couple I don't even understand myself!

ONE....I faint at the sight of blood. Actually, I faint at just about any situation that might involve blood even if I haven't actually seen the blood. I have passed out while visiting family members in the hospital. I have passed out in recovery rooms when my children were depending on me (not good!) I have even passed out when I was the patient. And, yes, I volunteer - AT THE HOSPITAL - every week! So far, no passing out!!

TWO....I once attended the Daytona 500! Do I have one iota's interest in cars? racing? or cars that are racing?? No. Why did I go to the Daytona 500?? I have no idea. I'm not kidding - after about the tenth lap, I asked the person next to me, "Exactly, how many times do they have to go around this track?" Um.....the Daytona 500....500!!! Are. you. kidding. me!! Torturous does not begin to described that day for me!

THREE....(this one I may have mentioned before..) but there was a time when I seriously - SERIOUSLY - wanted to be a dairy farmer. Anyone who knows me even a little bit is seriously scratching their head right now - even I am. Oh, I love cows alright...its the whole farmin' thing that I cannot even imagine myself doing. But I promise you, I begged God to send me a dairy farmer and make me his wife! We can only be thankful that sometimes God answers our prayers with a NO!

And now, a word from our sponsors...........

Monday, July 13, 2009

A Weekend in Alexandria

What a fun weekend we had! We went to a birthday party....for a city! The city of Alexandria celebrated its 260th birthday on Saturday and every year we look forward to the festivities that go on all day. This past Saturday was a beautiful day and Hubbie and I had such a nice time walking the cobblestone streets, browsing the antique shops and people watching. We saw several couples who were "just married"! What fun!

The city is located on the water and the docks are full of boats...some that are amazing! I mean, huge!! And, of course, there are too many restaurants to ever imagine trying them all...but we did find one new one this weekend. A shower popped up so we took that time to have the best homemade pizza I've had in a long time and by the time we were done, so was the rain!

The best part of the evening is the outdoor concert by the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra. They played some of my favorite "big band sounds" and always finish with Tchaikovsky's "1812 Overture," complete with cannon fire provided by the U.S. Marine Corps and spectacular fireworks! I love it!!
I suppose I should have some great fireworks photo here...but I'm not that great with a camera and I think we've seen quite about of those photos lately so just use your imagination! :)
It was a bit different for us this year - this is first time we have gone "just the two of us" and we sorta missed the pleas for candy cotton, slushies, ice cream and, of course, glow necklaces and light saber swords! Okay, so we did eventually buy a glow ball to have when Riley comes next month! We're weak!! Such a fun Saturday!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Trust and Obey

I just want to share a hymn that has spoken to me a lot lately....and been in my brain. I won't share a lot of my own thoughts but hope God will speak something to you through it.....careful, if you're like me, you'll have it in singing in your mind all weekend!! (Have a great one!)

A hymn about following God's plan

Trust and Obey
When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word,
What a glory He sheds on our way!
While we do His good will He abides with us still,
And with all who will trust and obey.

Not a shadow can rise, not a cloud in the skies,
But His smile quickly drives it away;
Not a doubt nor a fear, not a sigh nor a tear,
Can abide while we trust and obey.

Not a burden we bear, not a sorrow we share,
But our toil He doth richly repay;
Not a grief nor a loss, not a frown nor a cross,
But is blest if we trust and obey.
But we never can prove the delights of His love
Until all on the altar we lay;
For the favor He shows and the joy He bestows
Are for them who will trust and obey.

Then in fellowship sweet we will sit at His feet,
Or we'll walk by His side in the way;
What He says we will do, Where He sends we will go--
Never fear, only trust and obey.
Trust and obey, for there's no other way
To be happy in Jesus,
but to trust and obey.

Words: John H. Sammis, 1887. Music: Daniel B. Towner

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Too Much!

Thankful Thursday.....and let me say, first, that I hope I didn't offend anyone with yesterday's Wordless Wednesday - such a crazy photo! And, I promise you, no one that I know! Seems when we visited San Antonio a few months ago, we arrived during Festival! Literally thousands packed the city daily with parades, music, events, food (and drink?!?) in order to celebrate. Exactly what they were celebrating, I am not positive and I'm not sure many of them knew either. But it didn't seem to matter...the excuse was there to celebrate - and celebrate excessively!

Don't get me wrong - I enjoy a good celebration. I had a wonderful time just last weekend celebrating our country.....and just mention a birthday, and I'm all about the celebrating! But, goodness, how quickly our emotional selves can lose control. Certainly the events of the past couple days prove that well!

I must admit I can easily become critical...and disgusted. Then, today, the children of Israel came to mind. After waiting for Moses to return from Mount Sinai, and what most likely started "innocently", their seeking for a god escalated into a wild, wicked dance of idol worship. I think how could Aaron get caught up in that??? How, indeed. Not to hard to imagine, is it?

Instead of being so critical...perhaps events like this week should cause me to pray - and pray more. Pray for my country. Pray for those around me so desperately seeking someone to worship. Pray to keep myself unspotted from the sin of this world.

So I got a little off from Thankful Thursday....guess I'll just leave it at A Thought for Thursday!!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Taken on our trip to San Antonio for Jordan's graduation.....I suppose I will leave this "wordless"!?!?! Makes me laugh, though!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Cheering Her On

Guess who took their first steps?? That's right.....Miss Roo's mommy called yesterday to say that Riley had taken four steps!! Honestly, if she had swum the English Channel, I could not have been more tickled!! How exciting!

I couldn't wait to get on the phone to call her aunt and uncle - and share the big news!! As always, I thought of my Tyler. He would be an awesome uncle - and I so wish I was sharing the fun news with him! Then I was reminded that he - and a great cloud of witnesses - are, indeed, cheering us on.....watching and interested in what is taking place here. How encouraging - and exciting!

You know, there are folks all around me that need "cheering on"...whether young or new Christians taking those early, and sometimes unsteady, steps of faith.....or perhaps older, yet weary Christians that need someone to simply come along side and give some support. There are even those who have not yet accepted Christ - but are so seeking and just need that little bit of encouragement.

Just as I am eager to see Roo walking...running....and taking on the world!, I hope Christ will allow me the privilege to "cheer" someone along their path today. Now, that would be exciting!


Monday, July 6, 2009

Patriotic Pizza

Sure hope everyone had a great weekend! The weather here was amazing...more like May than July and we enjoyed a lot of time outside!

We especially enjoyed having friends over and spending the evening out on our deck. Of course, we had dessert. In the background is Mama Hen's "secret recipe" strawberry cake - very tasty! And dessert pizza is always a hit! It's almost too easy to share the recipe.....

Use one roll of refrigerator sugar cookie dough for the crust. I let it soften for five minutes and then press onto a stone pan. One quick note here...NO spraying of the stone is necessary! If you do spritz the stone, expect it the dough to run and to run completely over the sides and drip all over the oven somewhat like an old I Love Lucy rerun- not that I would know!

Bake the dough for 10 minutes until light brown and puffy. Let cool. The topping is one block of cream cheese, completely softened, and 1/3 cup sugar mixed well. Spread this over the cooled crust and then decorate with any seasonal fruit. You can use whatever you like on top - it always comes out yummy!

Did you make anything yummy this weekend??

Friday, July 3, 2009

Independence Day 2009

Have a happy - safe - Fourth, dear friends!!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Happy Birthday, My Man!

Thankful Thursday..........

So thankful for both of my nephews....but especially for Eli (the sweetie in red) because today he is the coolest eight year old! So thankful he and has family live closer now....that we got to spend the day together last weekend and, I even saw him, again, yesterday! So thankful I was able to enjoy his impromptu violin performance for us (he's good!!) and that I was able to learn a new card game - well, ok...I stunk! But we had fun!! Super thankful he is going to spend his birthday at Water Country USA - super cool!!

Have a great time, bud!! I hope your birthday is the bomb!! I love you!!