Saturday, February 26, 2011

Birthday Weekend...

Today was Emma's first birthday so we celebrated with all the family.  My favorite thing is when all my children are in one place at one watching all the grandchildren play is just icing on the cake...birthday cake!! 

Whoo's birthday is it?  Emma's first birthday!!
The invitation came a few weeks ago and the theme was "Guess whoo's birthday it is?"  Owls were special guests and Emma's mother found lots of cute things to go with this idea! 
Attendees...Bryden, Cooper and Aunt Joni

Emma enjoyed her cake and without much prompting, dug in and had a ball!!
...with her cake!

Aunt Jamie's birthday too!
 This weekend is Lori's sister Jamie's Birthday we celebrated that as well!
-And Grandpa Jim's birthday!!
AND it is Grandpa Jim's birthday Monday!  My great friend Kathy at Whispering Pine's 's birthday is also this weekend and she missed her own party! (supposed to have been in Michigan...too much snow!)
Bailey with Uncle John and Aunt Jamie

Emma with Mom and Dad
 Mom, Dad and Birthday girl...
Uncle Mike with Bryden
Bryden having fun!!
Emma opening gifts

 Happy first birthday Emma!  Here's to all who are having February birthdays with this fun group!

And here's my favorite picture of the event...

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Go to my Happy Spot!

 Last weekend, we had great weather and all the snow melted!  It felt like spring and little buds appeared on the trees.  Birds sang and flowers started to break ground....I was sooo happy!

Last night we had a blizzard.  It started to snow in the afternoon, big, fat beautiful flakes....I'm just tired of it.

We went to Chelsea's about 10 miles away but I wasn't sure we would get there, visibility was terrible.

This morning, we got up to a LOT of accumulation for one night! was so pretty, but...

 even this little guy hates going out in it more than I do if that is possible.
 So....I was excited when the mail came today!  A package from artist blogger Vicki from Two Bags Full blog containing a nest that she created!!  I've been expecting it and I think she does a phenomenal job! 
 Vicki is a NICU nurse who makes other things as well and sells on Etsy.  Note the tissue has nests on it!
 Where to put such a fun thing??
It landed here where I will escape from the snow and have a bit of spring indoors!!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Update on Baby Caden

Baby Caden underwent more extensive testing today.  The family is anxiously awaiting results from these.  Mother Laurie had a chance to "kangaroo" her baby this weekend...hold him right next to her chest.  They said that all his vital signs returned to normal while she held him.  Grandma Linda said, "Ah the power of a mother's love!" Please go to her blog to see pictures and leave a message.  I know they would covet your prayers....thankyou!  ~Donna

Friday, February 18, 2011

Family Friday....

Emma and Lori 
It had been a while since we had been to Cleveland  to see the girls  so we ventured North today.  Emma was exceptionally charming and wanted to play "peek-a-boo".        

Bailey is growing up so fast and we were amazed at her computer knowledge and new vocabulary skills! 

Just having girl fun....

On the way home we called Tim and also talked to Cooper.  I asked Cooper if he would paint a picture for me...he dropped the phone.  Tim picked it up laughing...he's going to paint a picture for you...NOW! Miss that little guy! 

Mike and Bailey
Grandpa making faces at dinner with Bailey...who had him beat!!
As we got close to home, Chelsea called and asked if we had dinner...we said "yes-why?" She said "oh, I thought you might want to pick up a pizza and bring it over..."  We said  "SURE" got to see baby Bryden too.  A busy, family fun filled
day that left us tired but happy to see or hear from them all! 

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Celebrating with Annette from the Vandellas!

Larry       Me     Annette       Dan         Becca      Brant

Tonight we had dinner with Annette (from Martha and the Vandellas) and her husband Dan....
Annette and  Dan...(in red because of doing a Valentine's show) 

We were celebrating our son-in-law, Brant's new promotion with his boss, Dan, his wife Annette, and family.   We were excited to celebrate with them....but we also enjoyed hearing about "Nettie's" fascinating career!  There were many stories about starting to sing at age 14 in a U.S that was segregated and prejudiced.  Women's lib and Martin Luther King were just beginning to be known.  She is working on a book about it and they are traveling to England this summer to meet with an editor and friend working on the project.  It was incredibly surreal to be hearing about it all from a singer who I lipsinked to many times!!

Annette with Brant's father Bob

We managed to talk about Brant too,  and how much he enjoys his work.  Poor wife Chelsea was home with a bug being sick!
with Brant's mother, Becca
We took pics and while we were doing that, the table next to ours said they were fans too and could they please have theirs taken too!!! lol! 

Congrats Brant, good luck with the book Nettie (& Dan) and thank you for a wonderful evening!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Prayers for Baby Caden...

Me                 Linda    
Long time friend Linda who moved to Maine about a year ago, had grandbaby number two last night in North Carolina.  Daughter Laurie had baby Caden at 3 am and they are concerned about his health.  He has been flown to Duke University NICU.  Laurie followed by ambulance.  They will be doing many tests in the next few days.  Please pray for baby Caden, his family, his health and test results...thankyou!!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

War Stories....

This afternoon Larry and I played Valentine fairies to the generation above us.  We went to see his parents, and two 90 year old friends of my mother.  One is a British lady who got to telling stories from World War II.  It was so much fun to listen to her! 
She told of rationing and how they were given two walnut sized pats of butter for the week...might have been month!  Her suitor, who was an American GI brought her mother 2 lb of butter to impress her.  He said he had been saving it in the closet.  When he left, the mother said, "I am going to throw this butter out!"  She asked why and mother said "because he had it in the closet around all those men!"  "Closet" in England meant "water closet"...meaning outhouse...ha! 
She went on to tell what the air raids were like and how people got used to them so sometimes did not hurry.  She had a girl friend who set her hair in 50 little rollers to curl her hair at night.  If a siren went off, she took all the rollers out, combed her hair and then left.  When she got home, she re-set her hair all over again.  One day she came into work very tired.  Co-workers asked why?  She said the sirens had gone off 5 times the night before and she had to re-do her hair each time!
Another story was how black-outs affected them.  They had to have blackout drapes and if any glimpse of light escaped at night, an officer came around and tapped on their door to tell them "lights out!"  There were of course no street lights on and head lights on cars had to have paperover them with only a small pin hole to see where they were going.  Same went for the rare flash lights.  Walks to and from places at night had to be done by "braille" of sorts.  One foot was on the curb and one in the street with the route memorized.  On a very dark night, she went out and unaware of a pole, ran into it leaving a goosebump on her head the next day.  They hated full moons because more could be seen of towns and the countryside.  Thus when air-raids happened toward the end of the war, large balloons were launched to cause confusion to enemy planes. 

There were many more stories and I found all fascinating.  What gems we have that we may never again when we listen to those older than us!!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

E. Jean

My mother's birthday was last week and while I think of her everyday, I was especially remembering her on that day.  Valentine's Day is approaching and she will always be in my heart too. Sometimes when someone who is dear to you passes away, I think you tend to canonize them and that is absolutely so with me. Grandpa was Norwegian-second generation American from Norway and named Mom for an old girlfriend, Elinor.  Grandma refused to call her that (I've always wondered where she was when Mom was named???) so she was called Jean, her middle name her whole life. When she signed her name, she signed it E. Jean.  I sometimes wish we had named Chelsea, Elin after her (pronounced E-lin, with emphasis on the E) till the Tiger Woods scandal.
She was an only child and because of that loved being with people all the time. She was a talker but everyone loved her too....she never met a stranger, had a kind word for everyone and loved the Lord mightily.  She was a late bloomer...raised us 3 girls, then went back to school and worked at the same time teaching grade school.  She got her degree at age 50 and then her Masters at 55.  We had a huge hog roast party for her and party was her middle name! She was spunky always ready to try a new adventure.  I have pictures of her cross country skiing in her 60's and scuba diving then too! 
She was a strict mother yet we always knew that we were very loved.  She had jobs for all of us to do each day and on the weekend which involved "get your work done first and then we can have fun!"  Often we had something planned after.  There are so many special memories!  We each had one wonderful birthday party as a child. In days when parties are not like they are now and on a shoestring budget, mine was a treasure hunt in which there were clues and guests had to find the final gift...a treasure of candy and gum for each.  Then there was an obstacle course, over and under things at the end of which was a cherry tree  with 30 all day suckers tied on with colored ribbons!  My sister's BD was in October and on a perfect fall day there was a hayride and bon fire with s'mores.  Our third sister's was much like mine so you can see what imagination she had and what a great teacher she was!  She won top honors in Chicago for teacher of the year over 1,000 applicants. She even went on to author some teaching manuals and bulliten board books. 
Sitting here I think about retiring after a few years and realize she was still very vital at my age and I want to strive to do that too.  I am lucky to have such an amazing blueprint of how to live!  Thanks for that wonderful Valentine gift, Mom!

Monday, February 7, 2011

What's for dinner???

 When Larry comes home from work and into the house, the first thing he says is, "What's for dinner??"  Tonight was no exception but the answer was "50/50!" 
When I was small, I loved to watch my grandmother cook.  She was inventive and creative.  She had her share of the family "tried & true" recipes but she also had her share of what my mother called "50/50".  50/50 was a new recipe that she made mother said that one half of the time it was delicious....but one half of the time it was ugg!

 Tonight was one of those nights that I had certain things in the refrig and decided to put them together... It started with cooking noodles in one pot and in another other sauteing  onion in olive oil,  adding garlic and  one sweet Italian sausage  (pre-cooked leftover) link and shrimp.  When they were cooked, 1/4 cup of white wine was added with 1/2 cup heavy cream and 1tsp flour to thicken with 1/2 cup parmesean cheese to cover.  It smelled great....and....
It was pronounced a 50 thumbs-up!!  Thank you judges!!

Side note...when our kids were teens, they sometimes rated my cooking on a scale from 1-10...that was fun! (not always) That's when I taught them to cook! And they all are pretty good cooks today.

Sunday, February 6, 2011


We had a "minor" Super Bowl party tonight...a few hor d' oerves...a couple of friends and Bryden!!!  He is my speed for a game like this...or I should say, I am on his!  Being sports free mostly, I did know who played and that is a major accomplishment! I was even rooting for Green Bay because all of my grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins etc. etc. were/are from Wisconsin.
Bryden seemed to enjoy the game very much....

I pointed out the teams and he made a lot of noise, clapped and cheered just like the big boys!  They enjoyed him too...except for the first few minutes when he had the remote and turned the TV off 5 times in as many minutes! I think he's really going to be a day!!!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

It's good to have a friend!

If I'm at this faithful friend is always right beneath me! :-)