Wednesday, November 28, 2007

My Favorite Christmas Tradition

Momrn2 at My Quiet Corner is hosting a fun Christmas blogging idea. Go here to join in or read about other fun and meaningful Christmas traditions.

My favorite family Christmas tradition actually occurs before Christmas. It happens on the night we decorate our tree. I usually have the tree put together and the lights are on it - all ready to be decorated.

The kids are all there for dinner - usually something nice like roast beef or lasagna. And we always serve dessert on this night. The dishes are done. The candles are lit. The Christmas music plays softly in the background and we all assemble in the living room. Each daughter is handed her own box of ornaments. Each box contains a homemade ornament that I have made for each year of her life. It took a few years for daughter #4 to understand that her sisters would always have more ornaments than her - and it wasn't because we loved them more! Each girl is given this years ornament and they add it to their box. Then each daughter hangs her own ornaments on the tree.

We arrive to the most important moment of the evening - the placing of the star on top of the tree. And the story of how the star came to be. You see on our very first married Christmas we spent all the money we had on a tree and we didn't have any ornaments. So we strung popcorn and hung some little wooden painted ornaments that my mother had sent me. But we didn't have a top for the tree. That would never do. So my husband cut a star out of some cardboard and we covered it in tin foil. My husband, a college student at the time, found a ring from his Greek memory cards and attached it to the back and that was what we hung on our tree. For some crazy reason we became sentimentally attached to that star - it always reminds me of where we were and how far we have come. And somewhere along the line of time it became a sacrilegious idea to ever think of replacing it with something else. Every year we tell our girls this story and of course we embellish it with how very poor yet how rich in love we were. They love this story. Then dad hangs the star and the girls all argue about who is going to get that star after we are gone! Daughter #1 always sheds a few tears - funny, sentimental girl!

After the tree is done we enjoy homemade hot chocolate made from half & half and Hershey's bars or egg nog. We add handmade marsh mellows and Peppermint Bark from Williams & Sonoma.

And we bask in each others presence.

As our girls are growing and moving and getting married and having babies, I sense that this tradition is about to change. Change doesn't have to be bad, but it is different and sometimes different is hard. We will adjust. New traditions will be formed.

But the old ones will always be pondered in my heart.

Knitting and Such

I don't know if it is some subconscious thing that is attacking me - now that I am going to be a gradma and all. (Technically I AM a grandma already - that little one growing in my daughter's womb IS already my grandchild. I just haven't seen him or her yet :)). Anyhow, I digress. The point is that ever since I found out my little grandbaby is on it's way - I have had an unquenchable disire to be knitting. Now some of this I blame on Becky at The Butler's Wife because she got me knitting dishcloths. And some of this I blame on Sarah of In The Midst of It because she was knitting the cutest baby things and she doesn't know it but she talked me into buying Itty Bitty Hats and now I want to knit every single one. Some of it may be that I am just so busy sewing and cross-stitching Christmas projects that I don't have time to knit yet and I always want to do what I can't be doing - isn't that just human nature?

Today I was surfing through Bloggyville and I found a very fun blog called Getting Stitched on the Farm. This is a fun place. Kristin is an accomplished knitter and author. I haven't bought one of her books yet, but her newest one, Kristin Knits, is on my list. Hear that family? It's on my LIST. Good.

She is also hosting a fabulous yarn give-away. I entered because I could really use some yarn. Because I am having a grandbaby you know. And my grandbaby will be expecting his/her grandmother to be knitting lots of warm and cozy little things. I just know that.

Michael W. Smith - It's A Wonderful Christmas

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I got my free cd as promised - what a sweet deal! And I listened to it as I put up Christmas decorations as promised - it was awesome! Michael W. Smith is such a gifted musician. This CD is a delightful addition to my Christmas music library. I especially think it would be great background music for dinnertime or for a party. A lot of the music is instrumental. Christmas Day features Michael with American Idol's Mandisa - and it is a song I keep hitting the repeat button for! There is only one classic Christmas song on the album - the rest is new - or at least new to me :)
If you are in the market for some new Christmas music this year, I would put this one on the top of your list.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Back to Work

Thanksgiving week is over and I'm back to work today. Nothing like going back to work after a fun, fast 4 day weekend. I've decided that I never get enough time off - the more I have the more I want!

We had a great Thanksgiving day. My mom hosted our family at her house - there were 25 of us. Her house is small and we were very cozy! That evening my husband and I watched The African Queen before we went early to bed. I had talked him into joining me at the 6:00 a.m. sale at the fabric store. I DO NOT go early Christmas shopping on Black Friday at any other place. But I do go to the fabric store because they put their flannel on a 99cent sale. This is regular 5.99 fabric. 99 cents. Unheard of.

So we went. And it was fun. My husband didn't last long - he ended up at IHOP for breakfast. But mom and I persevered and we got a ton of fabric. It took us 3 hours to make it through the cutting line - but it was worth it.

That's a lot of shower gifts, Christmas gifts, blankets for the Argentine orphanage that my husband and daughter will be visiting in January, and of course things my new little grandbaby will be needing! I will tell you that crafters are the nicest people! In the 3 hour timeframe, everyone was helpful, generous, and kind. There was no selfishness, no greed. People willingly shared bolts of fabric with others and we got to spend lots of time knowing each other as we stood in line. Most people that buy fabric in bulk like that are making things for shelters and orphanages and people in need. It really is a beautiful spirit - I found it that way last year as well. It has become a tradition that I actually look forward to. But you will never ever find me in line at Target or Walmart on that morning. No sirree!

Jess and I spent Saturday decorating the house for Christmas and I must say it looks good this year! She did my village scene and it looks spectacular! I am a bit sore from climbing up and down the ladder a hundred times. But at night just before I go to bed, I love to turn off the lights in the house and stand in the doorway and just admire the beautiful decorations, the twinkling lights, and the stockings at the fireplace. It's such a good feeling. I'm looking forward to the Christmas Home Tour that Boo Mama is hosting on the 17th.

And speaking of good feelings - I had an opportunity Sunday afternoon to finish Home to Holly Springs by Jan Karon. Oh. My. Goodness. I simply don't have the words to tell you what a delicious book this is. If you are a Mitford fan, run, don't walk, to your nearest bookstore and treat yourself for Christmas. You won't regret it. Charming is the best word I can come up with. And it falls way short.

This week will be spent working on Christmas crafts, finishing up the decorating, and some holiday baking. There is never any lack of things to do in my world!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

It's Thanksgiving

Because tomorrow is The Day, I wanted to take a moment and tell you all Happy Thanksgiving. And as cliche' as it sounds, I know I have so much to be thankful for. I do appreciate taking the time to especially focus on how our great country began and remember those who gave everything they had to come to a strange land for the purpose of being able to worship their Creator the way they wanted too. So many of them didn't make it. And the ones that did suffered greatly. And because of them we are eating more food than a human being should be allowed to consume in a week - all in one day. We are so blessed. Sometimes it is so hard to believe that all of that happened just a little over 200 years ago. So much has happened in such a short time.

I was remembering a funny Thanksgiving story that happened to us about 3 years ago. Because my husband is a pastor, and because we have a most generous church, we have always been blessed by our people sharing with us the fruit of their labor. We have often received gifts of produce and meat from our parishoners. This was such a blessing to us, especially in the early days of ministry, when we didn't make much money. Many times it made all the difference in the world to what we would be eating that week. Things are much better now but our people are still so very generous. So three years ago John and Sue (not their real names) called us up and told us they had an extra turkey, it was good-sized, and would we like it. Thanksgiving was coming and of course we said yes. "Okay, I'll bring it right over" was the response. I began envisioning baking a turkey in my largest roaster pan. Sure enough, a few minutes later "John's" pick-up pulled up in our driveway and my husband went out to greet him. He got out of the truck, walked to the back, and pulled down the tailgate. Out jumped a turkey! I'm totally serious. It had a long string tied to his neck "so he wouldn't get away"! My husband tried not to laugh because "John" was so earnest. But my husband knew there was no way his wife was going to be okay with a real and very alive turkey! I'm still not sure exactly what words he used to turn this generous soul down. All I know is that the only turkey I wanted to bake came from the grocery store, wrapped in skin-colored plastic, with the word BUTTERBALL across it!

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If you are going to be doing some Christmas decorating this weekend you might me interested in this. I love Michael W. Smith. All you have to do is display it, listen to it while you are Christmas decorating, and give a review. Awesome!

May you all have a blessed day tomorrow with your family and friends. Be sure and take some time to thank God for living in this America. Take a few moments to ponder on the sacrifice of people called pilgrims. Count your blessings and name them one by one.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Oh and if you are so inclined, on ESPN2 Friday night Boise State is playing Hawaii in the game of the century. I'm thinking it should be really fun! It would only be better if I were in Oahu watching it! Go Bronco's!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

If That Doesn't Take the Cake!

Okay, an update on the cake. Paula Deen's Coconut cake. The one I spent THREE DAYS preparing for the auction. I placed it on the auction table all the while noting that Wilma K didn't bring her pumpkin roll. Things were looking good. I really thought I had a chance to make the most money for the youth group at the dessert auction. I mean really. Paula Deen's Coconut cake? How could I go wrong. I was set for success. This was going to be my year. I could feel it in my bones. Until. Until my son-in-law contracted someone in his family to make homemade caramels. Each one individually wrapped in waxed paper looking for all the world like they came from Mr. Olsen's Mercantile in Walnut Grove. They were displayed beautifully in a tall large old-fashioned jar adorned with ribbons and an ornament. Not one jar. Two jars! Two large tall old fashioned jars of homemade caramels. Life isn't fair sometimes. One jar sold for $200. The next jar sold for $175. And Paula Deen's Coconut cake? It got third place selling for $150.

Anyone have any ideas for next year?

Seriously, the auction did great and the money goes to a great cause. It is going to help fund some of our teens on a mission trip next summer. It's always a fun thing and it is a pleasure to contribute to it. The competitive spirit is all in good fun! (lest you think I'm upset with my caramel contracting son-in-law!)

Friday, November 16, 2007

Potpourri Friday

It is raining today. A cold, rainy fall day. I do love this time of year. This last week before the holidays officially begin is my second favorite week of the year. There is a certain "feel" in the air, just right before it all begins. Like something that can hardly contain itself - it's going to burst. My first favorite week of the year is the week between Christmas and New Years. I love the holiday feeling and all the work is behind me. Love it!

I was taking an inventory of my Christmas craft projects. My husband pointed out to me that I have taken on too much. I told him I love doing it. I want to do it. It's just that it is so hard to find the time to do it. Here is where I stand:

Wallhanging for my sister. The blocks are pieced together. I still need to do the backing and the binding. This project turned out much bigger than I anticipated. I actually made two (one for me). There is a funny story about it I will share when I can also take a picture of the completed project. I love saying those words. Completed project. Completed project. Completed project.

Christmas ornaments for my daughters. Three completed - one to go. Can't say too much about them because they are a surprise. Not that they are getting them - they know that because they have gotten one every year since they were born. But I never let them see them until I give them.

Cross stitched ornaments for the church board members. I started the tradition of giving each of my husband's board members a handmade ornament 19 years ago. I'm wondering why now! This year I chose a white and gold cross stitch pattern. They are lovely. I need to do 12 and I am on the thrid one. Not too bad huh?

A set of 12 knitted dishcloths for a sweet elderly lady in our church who claims us as family. The problem is with women in their 70's is that they have everything already. So I thought the dishcloths would be something she would enjoy. I am on number 9.

A special gift for each of my daughters. Again I can't say what because they read my blog. I have two almost done. And two to go.

I have 4 little ones who don't have grandparents in their lives so we are their grandparents. And of course grandparents are big on Christmas presents. These little ones enjoy homemade things. So I am making the 3 little boys pajama pants and matching robes and the little girl a nightgown and a matching robe. So far I am about halfway through one robe. Yikes - I've got to get going on this!

This isn't for Christmas, but when I found out I'm going to have a sweet little grandbaby I started knitting a little hat. It's so sweet. And it's for a girl. If we have a boy I will give it away. But it's so sweet. It's from this book that I learned about from this blog. I couldn't help myself. Did I mention how sweet it is?

Okay, I think that's all. You can see that I have just outlined my weekend for you. Except that I have to work on Saturday - I proctor tests about 6 Saturdays out of the year. And Sunday is our church's big Thanksgiving dinner and dessert auction. This takes all day.

Oh, and last night I made Paula Deen's Coconut Cake that I hear so much about in Blogville. This is for the Dessert Auction on Sunday that raises money for our youth group. This cake was quite labor intensive. But it is beautiful. Every year I try to win the "dessert that makes the most money" award. I've never done it. Not even the year I made Esther Bolick's Orange Marmalade Cake. I even included the little Mitford book that goes with it. Somehow every year Wilma K's pumpkin roll brings in the most money. And I know why because one year she made me one. Wow! Words can't describe. But in my dreams, some year, I hope to win the coveted prize. I'm just competitive like that.

So anyway, I have much to do. But as I said, I love doing it. It's a good thing!
Happy weekend everyone!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Drumroll Please . . . .

TA DA!!!!

The answer to my riddle is:

I'M GOING TO BE A GRANDMA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Michelle and Brad are expecting a little one mid-June. Oh my, to say we are excited falls short of how we feel. How is it possible to love someone so intensely that you haven't even met yet? How can you feel so burdened to pray for the life of a person that hasn't yet arrived? God is so gracious and His plan is so perfect. We are truly rejoicing as a family as we look forward to the arrival of a new member of our family.

When Chuck and I were having children, he wanted a son so badly. And I so badly wanted to give him one. But God's plan for us was different and now we cannot imagine it being any different than having our four wonderful daughters. And there could not be a more perfect daddy to daughters than my husband. The other day I asked him if he is hoping for a granddaughter or a grandson - totally expecting the answer to be a grandson. He thought for a moment and then said, "Oh, I don't know, a little granddaughter I guess." It brought tears to my eyes. The truth is, it doesn't matter to us - we will love what we are given. I guess we have learned a lot over the years!

I have already started knitting and planning on what I am going to make for this sweet little baby. Michelle and I are going to make the nursery layette. She is using a Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star theme. Oh the fun we are going to have!

Lilypie Expecting a baby Ticker

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Denial - It's Not Just a River in Egypt

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

This just made me laugh! Apparently it's all about perception.

Dont forget to check in tomorrow - I will be posting an exciting riddle!

Friday, November 9, 2007

Homemade With Love 2007


I chose to share a gift from my kitchen - Candied Pecans and Almonds - for GiBee's Homemade Gift Exchange. These are delicious, easy to make, and I can't even begin to tell you what wonderful cinnamon-y goodness will fill your home while they are baking. I'm not kidding - it is amazing. I have no idea how one teaspoon of cinnamon can invade your whole entire house but trust me - it does. Better than any candle. These make great gifts for neighbors, teachers, friends, mailmen, and don't forget the garbage men! We made these last year for Michelle and Brad's wedding favors. We made up about 400 little guaze bags and placed them at each place setting.

Here are the ingredients you will need for:

Candied Nuts

2 pounds of almonds or pecans, 1 egg white, 1 cup of sugar, 1 tsp. water, 1 tsp. cinnamon, 1 tsp. salt.
Separate your egg because you only need the egg white. I will save my yolks to cook up for my dogs - they love them mixed in with their dog food. Don't forget to save the egg shells and add them to your compost pile!

Beat the 1 tsp. water and one egg white until frothy. I love my red Kitchen Aid. My husband tells me I have a better power tool than he does.

After your mixture is all frothy, add your pecans and stir them by hand until they are all coated with the egg white mixture. It's important to be sure they are as well coated as possible.

Pour 1 cup sugar, 1 tsp. cinnamon, and 1 tsp. salt over to top of the nuts and continue stirring them by hand until they are covered with sugary cinnamon.

Pour into a shallow baking pan in one evenly spread out layer.

Bake for 1 hour in a 225 degree oven. About half way through the baking time, stir the nuts around on the baking sheet.

Take them out of the oven and scoop them on to some foil or waxed paper to cool.

Then I do a second batch and use the almonds this time. I can never decide which I love more!

Make your own Gift Bag

I always love to find creative wrapping ideas for gift giving. While your candied nuts are baking and you are enjoying the cinnamon scent wafting through your house, you can prepare these cute little gift bags for your candied nuts. These are quick, easy, and inexpensive - my favorite combination. They are so easy you can even have your kids help you make them.

Here is what you need:

Lunch bags, ribbons, jingle bells, buttons, pre-made bows, or you can make your own. You will also need a glue gun.

I like to put my candied nuts in cello bags. You can also use zip-lock bags if you want to. Put your filled candy bags inside the paper lunch sack. I place two bags of nuts in each paper bag for my gifts. You need to be sure and put the nuts in the bag before you start to assemble it.

Begin folding the top of the lunch bag in an accordian style. I fold it in 1/2 inch folds about half way down the bag.

Bring the ends of the bag together in the center. Glue together with a dot of hot glue.

Make ribbons and bows - you are limited only by your imagination. I used a pre-made bow for one. For the other I simply tied a ribbon and added a piece of jute with a jingle bell glued on each end. Secure with hot glue to the middle of the accordian.

On one of my lunch bags I decided to make a cut-out on the front. I traced around a star shaped cookie cutter and cut it out of the front of the bag. You should do this before you put the candy in the bag. It would also be cute if you traced around mini cookie cutters and made cutouts all over the bag.

And you now have little gift bags full of sugary sweetness for someone special.

Potpourri Friday

Is it really less than two weeks before Thanksgiving? I really can't believe it. It's time to start pulling out the pumpkin pie recipes not to mention the boxes of Christmas decorations! This year Jess is MAKING me decorate the way I usually do. Last year I didn't decorate much due to the fact that Michelle and Brad's wedding was January 13. I couldn't imagine decorating, and worse yet, un-decorating two weeks before the wedding. I made the right decision. But this year I won't be getting away with anything! So the weekend after Thanksgiving will be filled up with our own "hanging of the greens".

Well, this was a hard week, with losing our little puppy. We still miss her. It is strange how you can get attached to something so little in such a small amount of time. But the other puppies are thriving and growing and doing well. It won't be long and they will be yipping and making more messes than I can keep up with. And they will be someones Christmas present this year - they will bring a lot of joy. And a lot of cleaning up after. I cut their tails and dew claws this week - I'm always glad to get that job over with. I started doing it myself because the vet charges so much - and it really isn't hard to do. I just don't know how made the rule that Yorkies have to have short tails. All went well and now they are tail-less and dew claw-less. Just as all good Yorkies should be.

This weekends plans include some out of town company. Being Veteran's Day, our church is having a special military service and a college friend of my husbands, who is now a Army chaplain, is speaking. So he and his wife our spending the weekend at our house. We will have a good time reminiscing about our college and seminary days. And I will find some of my bed and breakfast recipes to impress them with. Caramel Apple French Toast is sounding kind of good this time of year.

Jess is starring in her school play this weekend as well. It is called "The Truth About Cinderella". She is not so excited about it because it is a musical and she doesn't like to sing. So therefore she got a smaller part. She is a good little actress though and I know she will be great. We will be there on opening night with flowers and camera in tow.

I really, really, really hope to get some sewing done this weekend. I haven't stayed up to par with my goals and I am getting a teensy bit worried that I may have bitten off more than I can chew. I will just keep plugging away. Christmas Eve may find me shopping at the last minute to get gifts for those I couldn't finish.

I also need to get my favorite homemade gift post ready for Monday for GiBee's Homemade With Love - Holiday Gift Exchange. Mine is a gift from the kitchen. It also will have a tutorial on how to make a great, inexpensive, attractive, and fun way to wrap it. I sometimes love the wrappings even more than the gift. Weird huh? But I love being creative and there are so many creative wrapping ideas. Maybe we should have a present wrapping contest sometime!

Oh, and on Wednesday next week - you won't want to miss my post. It's going to be a riddle. A very exciting riddle!

Have a great weekend everyone - I'll be back on Monday!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Veteran's Day

This Sunday is Veteran's Day - a little noticed day in the year. Except that banks and post offices get to close on those days. They are observing Veteran's Day on Monday this year.

I don't want to rouse a political discussion - we are all entitled to believe as we want. That, of course, is one of the privileges we have because of those we honor on Veteran's Day. And although I have been accused of being a member of the Republican party, I am not a party person, meaning I don't vote by party. I vote by the person. I vote for the person who most closely believes as I do and lives a life of integrity. I have voted for people in both major political parties in my lifetime and I would not hesitate to vote outside of the two main parties if I found someone worthy of my vote. I do not vote by race or gender either. I try to stay informed of political and world issues - I believe that is my duty as a citizen of our great country. I believe everyone should. Sadly, not a great many do.

This week President Bush met with France's new president, President Sarkozy. What he said to a joint meeting of the House and Senate was amazing. Of course, I didn't hear about it on any major news networks. You probably didn't either. It doesn't fit in with what the media's beliefs are, so they simply ignore it. Here is what he said:

"To the millions of men and women who came from every country of the world and who -- with their own hands, their intelligence, and their hearts -- built the greatest nation in the world, America did not say, "Come, and everything will be given to you." Rather, she said, "Come, and the only limits to what you will be able to achieve will be those of your own courage, your boldness, and your talent. The America that we love throughout the world impedes this extraordinary ability to grant each and every person a second chance, another chance, because, in America, failure is never the last word. There is always another chance. Here -- in your country, on this soil -- both the humblest and the most illustrious citizens alike know that nothing is owed to them and that everything has to be earned. That is what constitutes the moral value of America. America liberated us, and this is an eternal debt we owe America. Every time, whenever an American soldier falls somewhere in the world, I think of what the American army did for France. I think of them -- and I am sad as one is saddened to lose a member of one's family."

I just thought that was amazing. This French president gets it. This has nothing to do with the mentally ill, the oppressed, or the sick. Jesus clearly told us that it is our job to take care of them. (And my personal belief on this matter is that this should be done more on an individual, charitable, and spiritual level - not so much a governmental one.) But for all who are able - the opportunity awaits them. We can be who we want to be. Because of the great price of Freedom. And this weekend I will think of my dad, my father-in-law, my husband, my brother, and all of those who have served this great country through military service. I owe them a debt I can never repay.

Well, that's as political as I ever want to be on my blog. But this struck my heart at a deep level and I wanted to share the words of a man who is from another country. A man who understands Americans better than a lot of Americans do. Because if you didn't read them here, you may never see them at all.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Being Thankful All Month Long

Leah at South Breeze Farm has come up with a wonderful idea. She is encouraging bloggers to not rush through the month of November in a mad dash to Christmas, but instead to savor each day something we are thankful for. I LOVE IT! So I am adding a Thankful List to my sidebar and each day I intend to add something to it. I love the Thanksgiving season - it is one of the few holidays that can be savored without a ton of preparation. It is a time when we can enjoy family and not have programs, concerts, shopping, and events get in the way. We can focus more on each other and on the blessings we have.

I have a sad update about our little girl puppy. She didn't make it. We lost her last night. She was a fighter - but the odds were against her. We tube fed her every two hours. Previously she had been sucking and nursing but yesterday she became very lethargic. Her breathing became very labored and heavy. I was praying she would go quickly because I could not stand to see her suffer. We fed her at 10:00 last nite, 1cc of puppy replacer with pedialyte. She actually gained a little strength and lifted her head a few times. At 10:30 I checked on her and she was snuggled next to mama with her two tiny little front legs wrapped around her mama's right front paw. It was a precious sight. I got up at 12:30 to feed her and she had passed away. Our hearts are very heavy today but we have the peace of knowing we did everything possible for her. She just wasn't meant to make it.
We are blessed to have three others who are thriving. I will now turn my full attention to them and enjoy watching them grow. Dog breeding isn't for sissies. These experiences hurt to a depth that is surprising. I have been breeding for 8 years and I have been very blessed to not experience this very often. This is only the second time I have lost a living puppy and I have had one stillborn. I love doing it - it brings me much joy as well. But it sure can be hard at times.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Another Day in the Life

So remember when I said in the last post that the puppies due next week would probably come sooner. Boy do I know my stuff! They were born the next morning! The morning of the game. THE GAME. The first real college football game I ever had the opportunity to go to. But there is no stopping things of this nature. And my sweet dog Josey did a great job and gave birth to four puppies. Two girls and two boys. One of the little girls is LITTLE. I've always heard that when you raise Yorkies you can end up with tinies. It has never happened to me. Until now. The one little girl weighed in at a whopping one and one half ounces. OUNCES. Most of my baby yorkies average around 4 ounces. She seems like a little fighter and she tries to nurse although she doesn't have enough strength to get any milk. So we are supplementing her. And that means she eats every two hours around the clock. And yes, you are thinking correctly - I haven't had a whole lot of sleep this weekend. To be honest, I'm not sure she is going to make it but I will do whatever I can to help her. She is such a sweetie.

So be in prayer for this little baby - I really want her to survive.

And now for the game. The first college game I have ever had the opportunity to go to. I got to go! My daughter Andrea came over to puppysit. She is my right hand puppy midwife assistant - she has helped me many times. So Chuck and I put on our borrowed blue and orange and spent one of the loveliest fall days ever cheering for our team. It was so fun! I discovered that there is a whole sub-culture out there I never knew existed. There was so much more to look at than just the game. They had a fabulous band, fun cheerleaders, crazy fans, and tail-gaters galore! Confetti flew, fans cheered, and vendors cooked amazing food. Why do hotdogs always taste so good outside? I would never eat one indoors but when I'm outside they are like gourmet food. I was especially proud of our team when they knelt in prayer for an injured player from the opposing team. And we won. 42-7. I took my camera only to discover the batteries were dead. Bummer. I so wanted to share the blue turf with you. Perhaps there will be another time. There are only 3 games left of the season. One of those is in Hawaii. Now there's a game I would give my eyeteeth to go to!

And in between birthing puppies and cheering for BSU I started reading Home to Holly Springs. All I can say is "Father Tim - I hope your stories go on forever. I am crazy about you!"

Friday, November 2, 2007

Potpourri Friday

That's a picture of my family celebrating my birthday at P.F. Changs's last evening. How fun it was! Yesterday I turned. . . . . .plenty-nine! Usually for family birthdays I prepare the birthday persons requested meal. And usually that is what they do for me. But this year we decided to so something different and it was such a lovely evening. There were gifts and candles and the usual birthday "getting older" jokes, but for me the best part of the evening was just looking around the table and watching my family laugh and visit and celebrate together. For a moment I felt like I was in a movie and I was the character just observing the happy scene with the beautiful music playing in the background. And then I realized - this is no movie - this is my life! How very blessed I am!
P.F. Changs is my most favorite restaurant of all. Their food is incredible and I ate entirely too much of it - but hey - it was my birthday! After we ate every entire morsel of food on the table and were so stuffed we could hardly move, the waitress brought these two fabulous desserts:

Every bite was a million flavor explosions going off at the same time - incredible!

We had a great Family Harvest Party at church on Wednesday night. It's always so fun to see all the creative costumes. My favorite was a family who dressed up as the Flintstones. They looked awesome. The mom and dad were Fred and Wilma, their daughter and son-in-law were Betty and Barney and their two unmarried kids were Pebbles and Bam-Bam. They won the prize of course - they added a lot of fun to the evening. Chuck and I don't usually dress up but maybe next year we should. Everyone would be surprised. It would be fun to come up with an idea where no one would recognize us.

I am so excited for tomorrow - I am going to do something I have never done before. Ever since BSU won the Fiesta Bowl I have sort of become a football fan. I have never watched a football game in my life before then. And I still only watch BSU - I really don't see myself ever getting interested in other teams or turning into a sports freak. But a couple in our church have BSU season tickets and they can't make the game this weekend so they gave the tickets to us! I am going to a college football game! How exciting is that!

So today I am rustling up some blue and orange gear to wear - because everyone has to wear blue and orange of course. And don't worry, I will take my camera and report next week all about it.

Oh, I am a firm believer in buying myself a birthday present every year. I think everyone should do that. So Happy Birthday to Me:

We are on puppy watch this week - my sweet dog Josey is nearly bursting - she is full of puppies. She is due next Saturday but something tells me she will have them sooner than that.

Any by the way folks, it is November. Christmas is officially next month. NEXT MONTH! Boy, do I have a lot of projects to finish. Have a great weekend!