Friday, March 30, 2012

Birthday Celebration and Update on Daddy

Today is Friday and that means Friday Favorites and Company Girl Coffee.  What a super combination! Pull up a chair, grab a cuppa  whatever you desire and share some of my favorites from this past week.

Hubby celebrated a big birthday this week, #65.  Yep! our mailbox has been full the past 6-8 months of all things Medicare related.  Of course, I could write a book on Medicare after the past months of my Dad's illness and tending to his affairs concerning that.  But, back to the "birthday boy."  

Hubby - Through the years
Saturday evening I had two couples over for dinner for his first celebration.  I cooked a delicious (even if I do say so) meal and you can find the recipes to the Sunshine Congealed Salad and the Las Vegas Chicken under my Recipe Tab at the top of my blog. And, I didn't take a picture of the dessert (shame on me) but it is called Caramel Ice Cream dessert.  Hubby LOVES ice cream in any shape, form or fashion, so it definitely "hit the spot."

 We had only  two bushes left with any azaleas on them by last Sat.  The rains had ruined the gazillion other blooms we had, but I cut a few from these two bushes and put them in little vases to go with the bunnies on the table. It made  a nice looking table scape for the event. 

It was a nice evening spent with good friends celebrating a special birthday.  Then this past Tuesday, his actual birthday, I had the children and my Dad and step Mom over for grilled hamburgers.  It was another fun time and I think Hubby felt very celebrated for this "big" birthday.  But, as we all know, age is just a number anyway. ~smile~

Speaking of my Dad...........

Daddy is doing fairly well. Some days are definitely better than others and I think that's likely the way it will be.  His improvement has sort of reached a stand still or is so slight that we are not noticing it.  Nonetheless, he has made soooooooooooooo much progress and we are more than grateful.  He is able to get out some and while anything he does is very, very tiring for him, he does enjoy getting out.  Some days he can't really see the forest for the trees and I think we are all guilty of that at times.  He wonders what the rest of his life holds, how he will spend his time and will he ever fully recover.  Of course, no one but the Lord knows those answers except for how he will spend his time.  We are hopeful that he will remain optimist and since he still has his mental faculties, use his days to continue to be  a testimony to God and minister to those that pass his way.  It is still hard to believe that this time last year he was "working like a turk" in his yard getting it all lined out for Spring.  Oh, my, how quickly our lives can change but thank goodness, we serve a never changing God that sees us through the tough, tough times that come our way.

May your weekend hold all kinds of wonderfulness!!!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Wednesday Hodgepodge

It's Wednesday and that means it's time for Joyce and her Hodgepodge questions.  No matter how busy she is she seems to always find time for us.  Thanks Joyce, we do appreciate you!

1. What's the last job you did that required elbow grease?
About 3 times a year I begrudgingly clean the ceiling fans in our house and at that time it seems that we have about 50.  But, there's really only 8.  It is one of my most dreaded jobs but I do get a real good feeling when it is done and they are all sparkling clean. Working from a step ladder with my hands and arms up in the air definitely requires elbow grease.

2. March Madness, aka the men's Division I basketball championship, is nearing an end. What sort of 'madness' has your house seen this month?
Well, I am pleased to say that I do not know of any madness that our house has experienced this month.  Hubby and I try to keep things rather calm. ~smile~
3. What's your favorite shop for browsing?
Well, it will have to be shops......TJ Maxx, Tuesday Morning and Ross.  I love to browse each of the shops to see if there might be something that I cannot live without.  They seem to always have something that "fits the bill."  And, it's always at a much discounted price.  Love them!

4. Is there ever a time when giving up makes sense?
Yes, if you have tried something several times and have not succeeded, I would think that it might be best if you moved on to something else.  I know the saying says, "if at first you don't succeed, try, try again" and I do agree up to a point.  

5. What's a song you love that contains the name of a city, state or country in its title?

I love Lee Greenwood's Proud to be an American.  It brings tears to my eyes every time I hear it.

6. When did you first begin using a computer?
It was about 20 years ago and we got one mainly for our children to use for their school work.  Of course, like everyone else, we had the amazing quick speed of dial up internet.  My, how things change, there are times now that high speed cable is too slow.  

7. Did you buy girl scout cookies this year? What's your favorite?

I did not have any Girl Scout come by this year and I completely forgot to contact one to get some, so I missed out this year.  And, I do hate that.  Samoas would be my favorite by far!!!!
8. Insert your own random thought here.

Girlies, if you do not know about these little "fellas" then you need to.  It is the Mini Masseuse and it can take the hurt right out of your neck, shoulder or back.  It is similar to a tens unit that is often used by Chiropractors that uses a deep massage method.  We bought one back in Nov. and we have already used it multiple times.  It is just a little bigger than an IPhone but it can send a jolt through your muscles that you won't soon forget, I assure you.  If you are interested you can click here to check them out.

Happy Mid-Week to you! 

Monday, March 26, 2012

Miscelleny Monday

Poor Carissa, she had an eventful weekend but doesn't seem that anything can stop her from showing up right here to host all us girlies on Monday.  Thanks Carissa, you're the BOMB!

Simple toys............

My little Princess spent the day with me this past Wed.  A couple of weeks ago I thought about how my kids use to enjoy playing with  what was called "pipe cleaners" at that time.  They are now known as Fuzzy Sticks. ~whatever~  Anyway, I went to the store and bought a pack and thought Hanna Beth and I would see how creative we could be with them.  We made bracelets, stick men and she just enjoyed bending and shaping them.

The other simple toy she had a blast with was an empty box.  I had it sitting on the floor by the island in the kitchen until I could take it out to the trash.  She got it and had the most fun getting in and out of it, sitting in it and closing and opening it.  I mean, really, why bother with "real" toys.  


My Vietnamese daughter (my nail tech) called this past Wednesday to tell me that she had made me some Spring Rolls.  We had had a discussion a few weeks ago about them and I had told her how much I liked them.  I had never even heard of one, much less tried one, until about a year ago.  These had shrimp in them and they were so delicious and can I just tell you that the sauce she made to dip them in would "make you slap your pappy."  Oh, my goodness and was it HOT!!!   She is such a busy, busy gal and it was so sweet of her to make them.  They are very time consuming so it was indeed a "labor of love."  She and her family are special folks and my heart was made happy when they decided that they were not going to move away from here.  I will get to continue mothering and loving them. ~yipee~

The fan.............

I'm sure you are wondering what is so special about this little fan.  Well, my friends, this is what lulls me to sleep at night and keeps me asleep.  Yep! the noise this little fella makes is the perfect sleep medication for me and it is "Katie bar the door" when I do not have it!  Hubby thinks it is the craziest thing he has ever heard of but his hearing has become so comprised in recent years that he doesn't really hear it, so all is well.  Who would think that a little $12 fan from Wal-Mart could work such magic. And, this fan travels with me when we travel by car, that and my pillow both. ~chuckle~

Tiny Toms.......... 

You gals probably knew that Toms came in tiny sizes but this CiCi did not.  That is until my Princess came strutting in with these on her feet.  Can I just tell you that I about had a fit.  They are so blooming cute and she wears them so proudly. Tiny Toms on my Tiny Diva. Yep! it works!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Random Favorites this Friday

I so enjoy Friday Favorites with Rachel.  In fact, I appreciate all the blogging gals that hosts memes for us.  It is such a great way to meet other bloggers and it often helps us bloggers come up something to blog about.  So, I see it as a "win win" situation.  Thanks Rachel for hosting us each Friday.

Some "random" favorites........

Last Sunday our church hosted a 10 year anniversary celebration for our pastor and his wife (as our pastor).  We have one of the most talented floral designers in all the world in our church.  She is always ready and willing to use her creative juices to conjure up some of the most gorgeous arrangements and table scapes this side of heaven.   

Do you not agree?  I mean, who would have ever thought that plain ole green apples would be so attractive in a clear cylinder container? Not I, but I plan to remember this idea.  I do believe I could polish up some apples and drop them down in a container. And, how about that lettuce and strawberry tree?  It was so, so pretty and created on one of the styrofoam cones you can get at a craft store. Now, not so sure I could ever get mine to come out this pretty.  By the way, I asked her if she got any ideas off of Pinterest and she didn't even know what I was talking about. ~funny~ 

I was asked to make some of my "famous fudge" for the event and was delighted to do so.  Last summer I found this great Fleur de Lis mold and thought this was the perfect occasion to use it.

I had not a smidgen left on the tray so I think folks must have enjoyed it.  The reception was indeed another lovely "Southern affair."

I have been getting our home decked out for spring and Easter.  I am pretty plain and simple when it comes to decorating and I am not blessed with mega talent in that area.  But, I do think it looks warm and welcoming. 

When I use my dining table for a meal at this time of year I fix a couple of cute vases of azaleas to add in with the bunnies.  Fresh flowers always add that something extra to a table setting.

Hubby and I spent last Saturday working outside.  We were preparing the many pots that we have to be planted with new plants. Rhett and Rosco were so excited to have us outside with

them all day.  They enjoyed laying around and watching us work. ~smile~  We also replaced our gazing balls.  I love gazing balls and think they add such a nice touch to a yard.  Since we have 2 1/2 acres to place them on we can use 3 or 4 without it looking like "overkill."  I did fill some of the pots with new plants but still have some to fill.  I am also trying my hand at growing herbs this year and Hubby is trying his hand at a raised garden.  He has tomatoes and strawberries planted in it right now.
Can I just say, I love spring! It's just like a breath of fresh air!


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Wednesday Hodgepodge

Geez, I missed you gals last week and the fun that goes along with Joyce and her wonderful questions each Wednesday.  I'm glad to be back and joining in the fun this week..........
1. The first day of spring is you enjoy working in the yard? Weeding, raking, mowing, planting-your favorite springtime garden chore? How about your least favorite? 
Well, I do NOT enjoy working in the yard per say, but I do enjoy preparing my patio in the spring.  By preparing I mean planting blooming plants in various pots and placing them on and around our patio.  I look forward to this time each year.  Now, you will not find me mowing or pulling weeds. No, not me!!   We have 2 1/2 acres and my Hubby thinks that the entire 2 1/2 acres needs to be neatly manicured and I must say it usually does "make a statement."  Hubby loves a pretty yard and he enjoys working in the yard.  We do have help with our yard but he still does a lot of it himself.

2. What puts a spring in your step? 
When all is well with my immediate family, the sun is shining and the temperatures are near perfect.  I use to take that for granted, but recent years have taught me to never assume that the stars will always align and the sun will always shine.

3. Describe a time when you had to spring into action?
The first thing to come to my mind is when my Dad became sick last June 9th.  It came upon him with no warning and my life was turned completely upside down for about 4 months. I had no choice but to "spring into action" just to survive.

4. We're having carrots for dinner...would you prefer yours raw or cooked?

Oh, they must be cooked for me and since you asked, I'll take them with a brown sugar glaze too.

5. Do you take the shampoos and other sundries from your hotel room when its time to check out?
How funny! Isn't that what they are for?  I do take lotions that are more than "run of the mill" quality but not usually interested in any of the other stuff.  Besides, they are a great travel size! ~smile~

6. What's the most enjoyable team or club you've belonged to and what was it that made it so?

I have been a part of several fun clubs over the years but the one that is so enjoyable for me right now is the Bunco Group that I belong to.  It is such a varied group of women and half of them are ladies that I would never otherwise see and I enjoy being with them at our monthly gathering.  And, it is a very relaxing, laid back time.

7. Is cloning a sign of progress? 
Joyce always has to throw one of these in.............Cloning is defined as "make an identical copy of." So, for me personally, I'm not so sure it is.  I tend to think it is playing around with God's creation and taking away the individuality of all that He orchestrated in the beginning.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
 I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that my Dad had plans to be returning home in the very near future.  Well, after a couple of overnight visits at home, he made the decision that he is not yet ready to return home.  He still needs to be stronger and  more independent.  We remain hopeful that he will be able to go home in the future but for now, he seems pretty content right where he is.  I'm so glad that he did these "trial runs" and realized it wasn't the right time before we actually moved him home. Your continued prayers are appreciated.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Miscellany Monday

Mondays and Carissa always go hand in hand. I can't believe it's been almost two years since I joined her "happy band." And, don't you just love Carissa's new blog design?  She's so savvy and cute!

Mothers of Preschoolers........

A couple of weeks ago I was privileged to do a mini Organizational Seminar for a MOPS group in our area.  What a delightful group of young Moms.  There were 26 of them and they seemed to enjoy themselves so much and I'm hopeful that I helped them in some small way as they strive to become more organized in their lives.  Most folks think of closets when you say the word "organized" but there is so much more to organization than just one's closet.  It is the total life and it runs so much more smoothly and orderly when there is some kind of organization to it. 

Cutie Patootie......

My niece, Ashley, will turn 21 years old this coming Thursday.  I simply cannot believe it.  It seems it was just yesterday that she was toddling around.  What a lovely young lady she has become.  She is now a sophomore at the University of Northern Iowa  pursuing a degree in Education.  I so wish that I could have shared more in her life, but she and her family have always lived several hundred miles away.  But, thanks to technology, we've been able to share more than we could have otherwise.  By the way, she is pictured with her boyfriend above.  Are they not the cutest? Happy Birthday Ashley, Aunt Lea loves you bunches!

He's Not Big Enough.......

I mean, really!!!  When our daughter shared this picture of Clancy on Shug, it made this CiCi's heart skip a beat.  That horse is HUGE and Clancy is so LITTLE!  I know, he looks like he's right at home (and he is) but oh, my goodness.  You know, there are just some things that it is best not to think about. ~smile~

St. Patty's Day Princess.....

 Need I say anything?  I think not! This picture says it all.

3 Years and Counting...

My 3rd blogversary is Thursday!  It has been such a fun ride and it's because of YOU, my readers!  Your sweet comments and words of encouragement have meant so much to me.  I started blogging for myself not ever realizing the relationships that I would build as a result.  It truly has been an amazing journey and I look forward to what lies ahead.  Thanks to all those who read my blog regularly or occasionally, you are special to me!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Favorites of the Past Week

Girlfriends, it is so good to be back!  I missed all of you while Hubby and I were away spending a few days with our daughter and Clancy.  It's a perfect day to share some of my favorites of this past week..............

Hubby and I left a week ago yesterday  headed to Oklahoma City by way of Springdale, Arkansas.  It was a very tough day of driving as it poured down rain on us most all of the way.  We were glad to arrive in Springdale and enjoy some time with our dear friends, Dwight and Diane. Both Dwight and Diane went to school with

Tommy and I met them several years after we were married and we have been dear friends ever since that time.  They have hearts of gold and are the type of friends that you pick right up where you left off the last time you were together.  

Friday afternoon we began our trek to Oklahoma City.  It was a much prettier day which made driving much more enjoyable.  We arrived about the same time as Bridget and Clancy and got checked into our hotel rooms and began our time of fun together.

Clancy is 3 1/2 and has such an imagination and we were amazed at how much he had changed  since Christmas.  He has such expression and kept us royally entertained.  Poppa and he enjoyed swimming in the indoor pool while Bridget and I found our way to the outlet mall and the regular mall.  And, might I add, found some items we just simply could hot live without. ~chuckle~

On Monday we met Bridget's sister in law and her twins for a morning at the Oklahoma City Zoo.  It was a great time and was a beautiful day to be outside with a 3 year old and two 4 year olds.

It's always good to go but all good things must come to an end.  So, on Tuesday morning we headed to the IHop for a nice breakfast and then each of us went our separate ways.  It seemed to me to be a long drive home (about 9 hours) but I think most return trips are that way.  Coming home to a pile of mail and dirty laundry is not near as exciting as going to see your daughter and Grandson.  But, we made a lot of memories and are already looking forward to our next visit.

Tomorrow is the birthday of my youngest brother.  He was born when I was 12 years old and he has always been very special to me.  I pretty much thought that my Mom and Dad had him for me.

Of course, St. Patrick's day has always held a special significance since his birth.  He has a very busy life as husband, Dad to a daughter (21) and a son (16), CEO of Merit Resources in Des Moines, Iowa, and maintains a very strict workout schedule.

I do not know what I would have done without him these past months of our Dad's illness.  He managed to be a vital part of his care giving in spite of the many miles that separate us.  And, he is always there for me whenever I just need a listening ear or a shoulder to cry on.  We were close before Daddy got sick but we have an even closer bond now because of the journey we have been on these past 10 months. 

I'm wishing for him a most wonderful 47th birthday tomorrow!

Spring is bursting forth all over here.  The Azalea's, Forsythia and Dogwoods are blooming and I've gotten my Easter decor out and can hardly wait to start playing in the dirt. ~smile~
Our backdoor entrance
Happy Friday my friends!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. Did March come in like a lion or was it something less ferocious in your neck of the woods?
Oh, it was no big deal here, we have had a little wind the past couple of weeks but nothing to get "out of joint" over. 

2. Speaking of lions, which one's your film favorite...The Cowardly Lion (Wizard of Oz), Mufasa (The Lion King), Elsa (Born Free), or Alex (Madagascar)? You may notice I left Aslan off the list. Including him would have made this question way too easy for many of you.

Mufusa for sure! Bridget and I went to see The Lion King in Oklahoma City 4-5 years ago and we enjoyed it so much.  We are huge fans of musicals and this did not disappoint us.

3. What's your favorite spot from which to view the sunrise or sunset?

Well, I do not get to experience it often, but a there's just nothing like a sunrise or sunset on the beach. I'm up most every morning before the sun but never even think of peeking out to see it rise.  Shame on me, it might be pretty right from my own front or back yard.

4. To what extent is knowledge power and to what extent is truth power? What's the difference?
Okay, I'm confused! ~smile~  I am reminded of my Dad's diagnosis of GBS last summer with this question.  It is such a rare condition and I knew absolutely nothing about it and felt powerless as a result.  As I began to search the internet and read and understand the condition of GBS, I began feeling so much better.  Again, the true raw facts given us by Dad's Drs. gave us power as well.   We did not want anything sugar coated, just the truth about what he/we were dealing with.  If we knew that, we could move forward.  I'm not sure there is any difference in knowledge and truth in this situation.  Perhaps in others there is a difference.

5. What's something peculiar you've seen recently?
Oh, just not sure that I've really seen anything peculiar lately or maybe it's just that I can't recall it at this hurried time.

6. Bottled water...your thoughts?
 Wayyyyyyyy overrated!!!!!!!!!!  Hubby and I use to have bottled water delivered to our house and then I did some research and found that about the only thing going for bottled water is CONVENIENCE.  We not longer have bottled water delivered but I do still keep a few bottles in the frig for us to grab on the go.

7. What's your strongest sense?

Well, it's a close call between sight and sound but I'll go with sight.  And, if I had to loose a sense I'd much rather loose my hearing than my sight. 

8. Insert your own random thought here.
My bags are almost packed and Hubby and I will be outta here tomorrow morning.  We'll head towards northern Arkansas and visit friends and then will go on to Oklahoma City Friday afternoon.  We look forward to spending a few days with our daughter and our Clancy Man.  I may not be around much the next week but be assured that I will have lots to share upon my return next Wed.  


Monday, March 5, 2012

Miscellany Monday

It was a most beautiful weekend here in NE Louisiana.  So spring like,I got all excited about getting our patio  decked out, but still have to wait a little longer.  I'm also planning to get into "herb growing" this spring.  But, for now, my mind is running random as I link up with sweet Carissa.

Eggs,eggs and more eggs.....

The Princess stayed with me one day last week and I gave her an Easter basket filled to the brim with Easter eggs and she had more fun.  This will be her first year to really get "into" the whole Easter thing.  She poured them out of the bucket and would sit and open each of them and then place them back in the bucket.  Such a simple little activity but it seemed to bring her a lot of enjoyment and I had such fun watching her.  I wonder sometimes why we buy kids "real" toys.  They can take the most ordinary of items and entertain themselves for hours.

4 more days.......

Yep, this Friday, Poppa and I will get to put our hands on this little fella.  We will be meeting our daughter and Clancy in Oklahoma City for a few days.  It's a fun place and only 4 hours for them to drive and about 7 for us.  Bridget will begin Spring Break this Friday and will share the first few days with us.  Our son in law will have to stay behind and work.  Shucks! work has a way of interfering with fun sometimes. ~smile~ We look forward to this time of making memories.

One step closer.........

 Look at that smile!  That's Daddy taking a stroll down the hallway this past week.  Alisha, LaToya and Amber do this every afternoon and they still cannot believe that Daddy is walking.  He walks about in his room without any assistance but if he goes any further, he always has someone near in case he should stumble.  Each new day continues to bring additional strength and we continue to be amazed.  Yes, he is one step closer to going home. March 9th will make 9 months since his illness.

Crafts, and Ideas Abundant.....

Rice Krispie treat bird nests, icing and jelly beans
Pinterest is the coolest site!  I have no idea who is the brains behind it, but they are nothing short of a genius. If you are running short on ideas for anything you can just go to Pinterest and fret no more.  I thought these little bird nests were the cutest idea to do with little ones for Easter.

  And, then there is Etsy! I just had the above eggs made for my Grans by a gal on Etsy.  They are big acrylic eggs and can be filled with goodies from the Bunny. ~wink~  If you would like some just click here. I enjoy Etsy all the time, but I especially enjoy it during holidays. I think it is so neat that there is such a site for folks to share their workmanship for profit.

Happy Monday girlies, and may I leave you with this thought....