Thursday, December 17, 2009

Busy but Thankful

This week has been one of THE busiest of our lives, especially Rhett's young life. Even my mom told him not to try out for anything next time! LOL

Monday we had visitation for Earlene which went well. She had the the most beautiful spray on her of red and pink roses with baby's breaths. The funeral was harder on everyone. Janice and the older grandchildren sang hymns. I don't know how they did it, but they did without breaking down. It was hard for me because the majority; well 3 of them were my older grown step children. I kept thinking that is my family up there. I was just glad I could be there for them as was Don who served as paul bearer. So did Stephanie and her cousin Tabitha. That was a first for us.

Then Rhett had his 1st band concert and he did well. My pics without flash wouldn't turn out, but the ones with flash did and made everything look dark around him! Jason couldn't get over it. He came to it with Don. Rhett was playing Jason's trombone which he let us borrow. So we were keeping it in the family. We were sitting right behind our granddaughter Tatum who is in 7th grade band playing the flute. Her family ended up leaving early as she was supposed to play "Silent Night". When Rhett heard the senior high band playing, he turned around to look at me and say, "WOW!" He thought it was awesome.

Rhett was in a spelling bee yesterday morning. I was the only one attending as mom was having a mamogram. Don had to work. I was so nervous for him, none of my pictures turned out clear. They gave him really hard words. Alas he did not win. He remained throughout 8 rounds. He was third but only 1st and 2nd place received gift cards. He was greatly disappointed. I kept telling how well he did; how proud I was of him; how he last longer than the others but it didn't seem to work. I thought he was going to cry. He wanted me to check him out of school but I wouldn't. I felt he needed to suck it up. He had play rehearsal after school anyway. He did get a certificate. I found out later his reaction is probably a man thing.
There is always next year...

Yesterday was a day about small finds for me. I tried the new funnel sticks at Burger King before Rhett's spelling bee. I found pecans when I parked at Rhett's school. 12 of them! I stopped to pick up a sandwhich for lunch on my way to work. In the empty parking place beside me were shattered pieces of blue glass. I picked up one piece to be used in a piece of artwork.

I am still overwhelmed at work & home rushing to get things done, packages wrapped, bags packed, etc. and extrememly tired this week. But I know Rhett will have a good Christmas and that is what matters. I feel like that Mother Teresa quote.... I just wish God wouldn't trust me so much... or however it goes.

My church is helping a single father who's daughter has leukemia to have a really good Christmas. We are giving them 10 bags of groceries and $151! I just couldn't believe have giving these folks are. It feels so good.

Tonight is Rhett's play. I am wearing my gingerbread vest in honor of it since the title is "Little Miss Gingerbread". I haven't let Rhett tell me about the play because I want to be surprised. I am picking up my folks to take them to it. We will probably celebrate afterwards. Then I have to fix a lemon pie for Rhett to take to school tomorrow. Thank goodness it is the last day of school!

Even though our lives have been busy, I am still thankful for this life we have; for our health. We are never to busy to forget to be thankful. I am thankful that we can be there to support family members in times of need; to support them as they have supported us in our times of need. To be there for one another.

Due to this busy time of year, always remember to be thankful and count you many blessings. Please share them with us at Thankful Thursday at the following....

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Updates on Our Busy Life

I had two bad days last week where I felt like crying & overwhelmed. I know the season had a lot to do with, the fact that I am not prepared for it, etc. But things are better now. I had my friends praying for me. One told me that work crap didn't matter. Only family does and she is oh so right.

Jason and family made it home in time to see Earlene. We went out to eat with them Friday night at O' Charley's. The food was not as good as it used to be, but the company was good as always.

Austin spent the night with us, but Rhett had a play rehearsal on Saturday! As Don was leaving Rhett's school, Jason found him to pick up Austin because they had gotten the call that Earlene only had a few hours to live.

I spent the morning cooking as we had a Christmas dinner at church. It poured rain all day and night. I had to cook early since I was picking up my folks to go with us. Jason, Kristina and the kids came by after Earlene's death for a little while before going to Elisa's. I invited them all to come to the dinner with us. Jason and family did as well as Stephanie. So we had a lot of family there.

Last night was the visitation for Earlene. It went well. I think Don was shocked that hugged his ex-wife, but she'd just lost her mother. I met some of Steph's friends who know some of my friends. The world just keeps getting smaller and smaller. The family flowers on the casket were the most beautiful I have ever seen. Red and pink roses with baby's breaths. That is what I want when I go.

The funeral is today. I will be there for all the kids, but most especially for Stephanie because she was there for me at my Uncle Frank's funeral and I will never, ever forget that. Please pray it doesn't flood rain any more!

Rhett has one of the busiest weeks of his life thus far. His first band concert tonight. A spelling bee tomorrow morning so please keep him in your prayers for that. Then his play the next evening. We will be so glad when Friday afternoon arrives and school is out! Whew!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

My Thankful List

It is that time of year again... when I have to make a new time book for I am the The Keeper of Time. LOL I WISH I could keep time to make those special moments in life last longer. It is rather time consuming as each person's name is color coded by me with thought and care. It is funny how time appears in alot of my artwork.

Yesterday I had one of my sinus headaches for which I was NOT thankful! I took something for it by late afternoon as I felt it was not going away. I didn't have any Alleve. I went back by the $ store as I did the day before where I got a wealth of Christmas gifts and I was indeed thankful. Christmas socks for my DIL. One is argyle which she likes. So do I. The other has the exact number of snowmen that are in her immediate family. How cool is that? A small, pretty 350 piece puzzle for my in-laws to work on when they get snowed in next month. Dish towels for my SIL to sew her knit tops on so they will hang on a stove for her to sell under one condition - that she make me one! A book by Tom Delay for my Daddy. But best of all, Christmas cards for me! They have 3 lambs on them. When I saw them, I almost hollered & danced a jig like a kid on Christmas day. I did good.

By the time I got home, I laid my head down on the couch to rest while waiting for Don to get ready for church. I almost started not to go; just stay home and take a nap, but I got up and went on. Now I am so glad I did. I took a copy of the letter from an email which was my previous post. Please go back and read it if you haven't already. It will warm your heart. As I read it, I had the kid's undivided attention. It opened a discussion about hobos and the homeless and made us thankful for our nice warm homes and food on out tables. They have seen their mom's try to help some homeless people and they know to be very careful. One man threw back the Krystals Savannah's mom bought for him because he wanted the money for drugs! The Krystal gave her money back for them. Yet Savannah's mom has continued to help other needy people. Casey's mom tried to help another man who tried to get in their car!

I gave them a word jumble to do that I got from a Christian site that now sends me emails to help teach a class. They loved it. We had so much fun and laughed a lot. Then I let them play with paint. I drew a peppermint which got good to me because I drew a connecting trio once I got home.

I have several prayer requests to ask of you all. My good friend Anne has family friends that are going through a dificult time. Harry has heart problems and was recently released from the hospital. His wife Susan is 6 & 1/2 months pregnant but has asthma really bad. While Harry was in the hospital, she had to be admitted also! She was supposed to get out but they are keeping her til Friday now. They may have to take the baby soon. They have a 17 year old daughter named Lindsey who has taken a night job to help out. Harry's insurance isn't going to cover all of his expenses but thankfully Susan's will cover her's. When Susan gives birth, my church is going to give her baby items. She is having a boy.

My husband's ex mother-n-law Earline is in the last stages of lung cancer and is now in hospice. This came on really suddenly. They are waiting for her son to come home. If our oldest son flies to Atlanta, it would cost him $900 so he may not be able to make it & may be the only grand child who cannot make it. It is always harder when a family memember is dying around this time of year. Please keep these family in your prayers. Thank you.

Because it is almost Christmas, I thought "My Thankful List" would be the perfect title for this post. I was thankful to get my 1st Christmas card from a co-worker this week. I was thankful to finally "hear" from my best friend Genie in an email who has been busy. I had forgotten she was taking a class ontop of teaching Special Ed and everything else she has to do. But most of all I am thankful I can get back into size 8 pants! What were you thankful for this week? Care to share? Then join us for Thankful Thursday at the following....

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

What Christmas is All About...

Now, this, to me, is what the true Christmas spirit is all about.
The following note comes from CB&T's South Columbus Branch. What a great story!!

We all may know Mr. Collins, the homeless man who sometimes visits a few of the branches and sleeps on the 13th St bridge. He isn't met sometimes with such warmth by some people who don't know him, but I would like to take the opportunity to lift up my team at South Columbus. He has come in the branch every morning for the last few mornings. (He visits this branch a lot and every time, my team treats him with the utmost respect and kindness.) This morning when he came in, my tellers noticed he was shaking due to the cold and rain but he left and has been sitting in the parking lot of a restaurant next door. One of my tellers went out in the rain to ask Mr. Collins if it would be ok if we got him a room to stay in for the day to get out of the weather and he accepted. We tried to take him to two different hotels to stay nearby, but once they saw it was Mr. Collins, they turned him away and said No! Finally my teller Jake, who has truly been a blessing and witness to Mr. Collins through all of this, found a place that would let Mr. Collins stay there for the night. Due to the generous and loving spirit of my team, they took it upon themselves to donate money to pay for Mr. Collins a room and some dry clothing. When I went to get him clothes, I was telling the story of what was going on to the cashier and she even teared up and gave me a discount on his clothes. With the money I saved there, I went to Wal-Mart to look for a "jacket with a hood" because Mr. Collins asked if we could find him one. I truly believe what happened next was God's hand. As I looked for a jacket with a hood, all of them were $50 and up. In the middle of the floor on a rounder were big fluffy down jackets on sale for $7!! I was able to get Mr. Collins a jacket, gloves, and hat with the money saved at the other store.

Mr. Collins was able to shower and sleep in a warm bed last night and get a good nights rest. He came in just a little bit ago looking like a brand new man! He was clean and wearing his new clothes! I can't tell you the bright smiles on all of our faces this morning seeing him. We have contacted an agency to help him get off the street but so far he doesn't want the help. He is staying another night in his hotel room, so my prayer is maybe the Lord will speak to him through this experience and maybe he will reach out for help this time.

I cannot express enough how thankful I am to know each team member here at the South Columbus Branch and makes my heart so glad to work along side these wonderful people. It is also a blessing to know Mr. Frank Collins as well. We all go through struggles, each of us not knowing what the other is going through, but to put that aside and give to someone less fortunate than ourselves is really speaking God's blessings. I am so very proud of my team and I am so thankful for the generous and giving spirit here at South Columbus. It is truly amazing to witness this act of kindness first hand. This is truly what it means to give selflessly and I could not be more proud of each and every team member. Thank you all.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Quick Cooking Tip

Hi! I found boxes of Ronzoni noodles at Walmart that are called "Quick Cook" for $1.23 a box. They take less time to cook than normal by about half! About 5 minutes! A few years ago McCormick had some of them called "Micro Cook" where you cooked them in the microwave, but I guess they didn't sell well or I was the only one buying them! LOL I had found them online for awhile. These are just as good by Ronzoni. They didn't have them in elbows at Walmart, but they had the long noodles like in the Kraft mac-n-cheese boxes. I know we all could use the quickest way to fix things during this busy season. This is helpful hint is my gift to you, but please don't call me Martha Stewart! Enjoy!

Merry Christmas!


Thursday, December 3, 2009

Thankful for Thanksgiving

As far as my pie making went for Thanksgiving, I made an egg custard for my folks, a small bowl of just custard was left over which I had some of it a few nights later. Since my oldest step daughter was making pumpkin pies, I decided not to make any of them. Just cleaned house instead. I think I'd just gone to bed when Don's family arrived at 2 am!
I'd prepared enough groceries for at least 2 breakfasts. I had to get bacon for the 3rd day.
My pistachio pudding turned out the best it has and I was thankful. The recipe was on the box. Now my SIL & I know how to make it right! LOL  Well, I made more another night, but the crushed pineapple I used didn't have alot of juice so I had improvise by adding milk to it. Our turkey was better than my oldest step daughter's was. She used rosemary & other herbs. I am NOT a big rosemary fan. That Thanksgiving afternoon, Elisa, my SIL Peggy & I ran to Big Lots. I got 2 of Rhett's Christmas gifts and I was thankful. He is going to love one of them. I may let him open that one on Christmas Eve. I didn't buy a lot and was proud of myself. Peggy almost bought Jo-Ann's out the next day! She gave me one of her business cards she made herself using a photo I took of one of the crafts she makes. She also knits baby clothes and makes baby blankets. It made me feel so good that she used MY photo. She even had made herself one of those snuggies & is selling them for $10 which is much cheaper than they are in store!
Peggy & I went shopping on Friday. Not early at 3 am like Elisa & Stephanie did! I am too old for that! Peggy is a little older than me so we decided we'd take our sweet time. We just really enjoyed being together and doing that and I was thankful for this sister moment especially since I have no sister. Just best friends who are like my sisters. This was a 1st for Peggy and I. I hope it won't be our last. I know if we lived closer we would do a lot more as I would with my DIL up there in Indy.  We shopped from 9-4. Got home at 5 after going to Walmart 3 times! 1st to drop film off for my MIL. We spent the most time at Jo-Ann's. I did good. I only got a few things. Mostly $1 items; mostly rubber stamps. I did get the latest issue of "Somerset Studios" magazine. I'd sent the link to it before. Since Peggy was still shopping, I sat down in the pattern area and read some of my magazine. We looked at it later & found we liked most of the same things. We got sandwiches at Fire House. Peggy liked my Italian sub! Then we all had tacos back at Elisa's that evening.
Don's luck has changed ... first him finally getting a job with his firend Michael for which we are so very thankful. Then he got a deer the day after Thanksgiving! Elisa got onto him for leaving his cell at her house & being out in the woods by himself. She called him a "moron" on the phone, but he didn't hear it. She apologized for it later and hugged him.
My granddaughter Tatum made brownies for me. They were so good and I was thankful.
While at Jo-Ann's, I saw a simple lady bug stamp, but knew I could draw it. So I took out my art journal right there in the store & quickly drew one as well as a scumbling Christmas tree. I just had to draw later so I drew more lady bugs in my journal as my Grandaughter Tatum watched.
You know my life is never without drama. Saturday was my comedy of errors. We tried out the Bacon Genie mom gave me, but I never used it. She hasn't used her's either so I don't feel so bad. LOL She was waiting for me to try mine out. The drain in the ink in the kitchen wasn't draining properly. There was some water still left in the dishwasher. After breakfast, Don took his dad, his baby bro Alan to the woods to get his 4-wheeler & so Alan could see some horses along the way as well as the hunting land. I had a whole load of dishes to wash so I used the dishwasher.
I got on to Rhett for not having socks on. He had been coughing. I had to get up at 3 am that morning because he was coughing. Rhett asked me why was the kitchen floor wet! I had to grab towels, pick up wet rugs, ask for Peggy's help and get the water up. We formed a water brigade getting the water out of the sink. I couldn't find my mop behind the shelf Don put up in the garage. Then I couldn't get the ring out type mop down from it's holder behind this self! The one we tried to use, wouldn't get the water up so we used towels.
Once got all the water up, I had to take all the wet towels & kitchen rugs downstairs to the basement to wash & dry them. I was a real Domesic Goddess this weekend especially today! I was just thankful for all of Peggy's help. I don't know what I would have done without her. I wasn't so overwhelmed this year and I was very thankful for NOT having that feeling.
That is the 2nd or 3rd time a dishwasher has done this. The 1st time was right
after we were married. I was barefoot, stepped in the water, slipped & fell on one knee. I was lucky I didn't break my knee cap. At least it didn't get to the carpet this time.
So now Don has to work on the drain.
Then I had to fix lunch. We had ham & leftovers. I was thankful I had a cucumber which set the meal off. No deserts & I felt bad as they are a BIG desert type family, but we'd had strawberry muffins for breakfast.
Later we took them to our preacher's house. I felt like we were imposing on them , but they said it was alright. As we were entering their hallway, Larry's wife Katherine was standing in a doorway to the dinning room to greet them, introducing herself. When I came thru, I said, "Hi! I'm Becky!" We all just cracked up. Then she hugged me. It was one of those funny but perfect Becky moments. Larry (preacher) & Everett (FIL) talked about farming.  We stayed about an hour as they wanted to leave around 4 to head back home. I was pretty tired when they left & thought I'd just crash, but I didn't. After talking to mom, I went to the store. I got more pistachio pudding, yams & brownies. I can't wash dishes, but I can cook! LOL I made a pumkin pie for Don, 2 lemon pies for Rhett. We will be going to mom's for lunch tomorrow. I'll be taking some leftovers plus some other things.
Daddy decided he wanted to put flowers on his father's grave so they went either Thurs or Friday. The flower holder thingie was broken. Daddy tried to fix it, but mom told him she'd fix it. Once Daddy got down there, he couldn't get up! She couldn't get him up. Luckily a man was coming thru & helped him up. It made me think this man was one of those angels God sends in a person's time of need. We were so thankful for this man/angel. I told mom I would have put the flowers on the grave for them and will probably do so from now on.

I am just thankful our Thanksgiving went as well as it did, but I am thankful it is over. Hope your's went well. It was nice just to relax in an uncluttered house. Of course the back room is piled up with stuff again! LOL

Our life is back to normal except we have two art Christmas parties to attend tonight and tomorrow night. Tonight is the Phenix City pot luck dinner and we can wear jeans. I am lucky enough to be able to get off work to have lunch with my friend Anne after her dr's appointment today then I have a follow-up with my obgyn about my HRT. I'll pick Rhett up from his play practice, fix something for tonight which will probably be my homemade mac-n-cheese not the boxed kind as well as whatever else I am in the mood to make. Rhett won't eat the Kraft anymore. He prefers mine. Awe. Tomorrow night we have the fancy art guild which I did not receive an invitation in the mail, but I have called about this and was told to come. I will take brownies to it as I did last year. Looking forward to meeting new art friends at the 1st party and seeing old ones that the 2nd.

I realize I need to encourage Mrs. Emily as she encourgaged me to join.

If you would like to partipate in Thankful Thursday, please go to the following where Laurie of a Woman Taking a Stand has posted a wonderful post today.

Thanks, Laurie. I like being unique.