Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas Day and Beyond

Christmas Day was really nice. The kids all liked their gifts. Poor Keith was not feeling good. He had been having headaches and stomach aches all week. I thought he was coming down with a cold. He was already on an antibiotic the doctor had given him for an infection he had but I didn't think that would cause him headaches. Then Tuesday night he started having severe chills and stomach cramps and his fever was 102.5 degrees. I was still thinking it was a cold. But he didn't have a sore throat or runny nose or anything. Then Wednesday when he got up his skin looked kinda yellow. I thought maybe it was just the lighting in the kitchen. He said he was feeling better and he didn't have a fever. But I could tell he still didn't feel real good. Then when he got up Christmas morning he was broken out all over his body in a small rash. I thought it must be Roseola. My nephew had that when he was a toddler and his rash looked the same. I looked it up on the Internet and it said it was rare in Teens and Adults but they can get it. Then later that day we were over at someones house and I was telling them about Keith. The lady said it sounded like an allergic reaction to the antibiotic he was taking. As soon as we got home we got out the paper that had came with the antibiotic from the drugstore and started reading and all the adverse reaction symptoms it had listed, Keith had even the yellow skin! So Hubby took him to the doctor on Friday and the doctor said that was what it was. So they put it in his chart so he will not be given that medicine again. By Friday his rash was fading and he was feeling much better. I had stopped giving him the antibiotic on Tuesday since he was so sick that evening. Thank God I did. It's no telling what would have happened.
Here is a picture of Keith, my niece Rheanna, and Tara taken Christmas Day. You can tell Keith does not feel good in this picture. He went back to bed after he opened all his presents and spent most of the day there.
Here is Amber. She looks like she is happy about her gifts!
This is me with my load of goodies from my best friend who is in Minnesota! She sent me lots of fabric, a blouse, a book, and a cute ornament with Minnesota, 2008 written on it. I just loved it all! If you look at the date on this picture it is really crazy! This picture was taken with Hubby's camera and he has not got the date set correctly.
Tara's cat, Lilie, who loves boxes, loved all the boxes and paper on the floor!
Here is Amber, Rheanna, and Tara chilling out after the gift opening. Tara is working on her scrapbook. She got scrap booking stuff for Christmas.
On Saturday the kids and I went to visit my Uncle Junior and Aunt Vivian. We really had a great day. I always love visiting with them. For those who don't know, Uncle Junior is my Mom's brother and Aunt Vivian is my Dad's sister. So I get to hear stories from both of them about my grandparents on both sides and about my mom and dad and all my other aunts and uncles. Aunt Vivian cooked us a nice lunch and she had baked 2 pecan pies. I love pecan pie.
Here is a picture of Uncle Junior, Tara, Aunt Vivian, Amber, and Keith. The kids really enjoy visiting them.
Here is a picture of Uncle Junior, Me and Aunt Vivian. Do you think I look like Aunt Vivian? When I was young my cousin used to always tell me I looked like Aunt Vivian and that I had hands like hers. We have large hands. Our hands are also very soft. My dad's hands are the same way. I guess it runs in the family.
Here is Amber helping Aunt Vivian peel potatoes. They were having such a good time!
This is an old picture that Uncle Junior had. He is the second from the left. He was only 17 at the time and he said this picture was taken the day he joined the service.
I've mentioned before that Uncle Junior has bees. He sells the honey from them. Aunt Vivian has a really nice stove. She said she bought it with their honey money! Anyway, on the way to their house Tara was giving my niece, Rheanna, a lesson on bees. She remembered just about everything that Uncle Junior had told her before about bees. It was really neat. It makes me feel good that my kids like to visit them and learn about the bees and other animals Uncle Junior has. He doesn't have too many animals anymore as he is 81 now and it got to be too much work for him. At one time he had lots of goats and some cows. He sold goats and goat milk to people.

Today is the last day of my vacation. It has been so nice being home for these past 11 days. I will have to work two days and then I will be off for New Years day. So that won't be too bad.

Monday, December 22, 2008

We have been having FUN!

Sometimes uploading photos to blogger can really test my nerves! You have to upload them backwards from what you want them to appear and I always get so confused! It seems to take me forever to get them all uploaded. But I finally did it!
The kids and I have been very busy and having fun at the same time this past weekend. On Friday, Hubby, Amber and I went over to this building where we have stuff stored. This building is really what used to be hubby and mines bedroom. We lived in a trailer on this land and Hubby built this huge room onto the back for our bedroom. He did a great job! The trailer is gone now and we use the room as storage. Mostly what is stored there is my kids baby things and Amber's things that she can not take to college with her. We managed to go through quiet a number of boxes and totes and throw lots away and give lots to goodwill. I am afraid that I am the type that saved everything! Well, there is no way my kids are gonna want all the stuff I have saved and we just need to try and clean out this room. So I only kept the most special things.
Here is a picture of some of the boxes we were going through. The bed they are on was my Mama's king size bed. I just can't part with it. I think one day one of my kids will have it. My Daddy still uses the dresser and chest of drawers that go with it, but he is using a smaller bed. It is really a nice set.
Here is Amber in an Indian headband she got in Kindergarten!
Here is Amber with a bag full of her hair. Yes, her hair! When Amber was 3 and I had to go to the hospital to have Tara she had separation anxiety and start twisting her hair in her sleep. We would find these little balls of hair in her bed that she had twisted so and pulled out. Finally I had to cut her hair all off because it was getting so thin. She finally stopped. She did start back again when she started kindergarten. She was just not used to being away from me. But, after she got used to kindergarten she stopped pulling out her hair and was fine. See, I told you I saved everything! We took this picture and threw the hair away!
On Saturday Amber and Keith went grocery shopping at Wal-Mart with me. We were over in the Christmas Isle and they were trying on silly hats and headbands. What a cute picture they made!
Sunday our church had it's yearly Christmas cantata. This is a picture of the front of the church.
Here is our choir just as they were getting ready to sing.
Here is Keith and Tara playing Joseph and Mary! At first Tara did not want to play Mary. She said she did not want to be married to her brother. I told her it was just a play! They were like actors. So she agreed. We don't have very many youth in our church to play the part. I think she made a beautiful Mary and Keith was a very handsome Joseph.
Here is a picture of the whole stable scene. Keith and Tara did very good sitting there with Tara holding the baby and both of them looking at it. Of course it was a baby doll. But they did very good pretending it was the baby Jesus.
These are our flags that some ladies in the church made a couple years ago for our cantata. They are brought out every year at Christmas now and displayed.
After we got home from Church on Sunday and ate lunch we started baking. I had made these cake balls on Saturday and dipped them in chocolate Sunday. I got the recipe from Bakerella. I don't know the exact post that gives the recipe but you will so enjoy looking through her site to find it! She has some really good and tasty treats on her site and everything is so beautifully made! Everyone here loves them! They are so simple to make. Just cake mix of your choice and a can of cream cheese frosting. Then they are dipped in chocolate. The dipping them in chocolate is the most time consuming part.
We also made lots of cookies. These are the chocolate chip ones we made.
These are chocolate chip with pecans in them.
And here are my famous M & M cookies! I have been baking these for years and years! I had put the recipe in our church cookbook and since we had the Cookbook Tasting Party Sunday night I decided to make extras of these to take.
Here is my plate of food from the tasting party. There were so many tasty things there! I didn't get to taste everything as it was just too much food! But what I did taste was delicious! We have some great cooks in our church!
So it was a busy and fun weekend. I am on vacation from work this week! Yeah! I am fixing to go start putting new shelf paper in my cabinets and getting my dishes organized. I am a very organized person and can't stand for my kitchen cabinets to be unorganized. But with my dad living with us it is next to impossible to keep them organized. He takes it upon himself to put away the clean dishes and he never seems to put any thing in the same place twice! I spend most of my time hunting through cabinets looking for what I need when I am trying to cook. I am trying to think of a way that I can label the cabinets without it looking unsightly. I still don't know if that would do much good. Oh well, I'll just get them organized again and show him where every thing goes and see how it goes. I have told him before if he doesn't know where something goes then to put it on the counter and I will put it up. But he doesn't seem to always want to do that. At least he is doing something and that gets him up and moving.

Thursday, December 18, 2008


Don't you just hate it when you upload pictures and start to type the post and somehow hit a wrong key and it deletes your picture? That is what just happened with this picture. Amber came by where I work on Tuesday afternoon and we took some pictures before we went to get our hair cut. This is a picture she took of the both of us. I thought it turned out really good.
This is Amber before her haircut! She has been growing her hair for two and a half years and it had really gotten long. She was just gonna get it trimmed, but decided to get it all cut off. I think she looks really cute with a short haircut. She had her hair cut really short at the end of high school and it really looked cute.

Here she is after the haircut. She kept telling our hairdresser (Gary) to cut it shorter and shorter. Gary and I were worried that once she washed it the natural wave in it would make it bounce up and she would think it was too short. So he told her if she wanted it any short after she washed it and saw how it did that he would cut it some more before she goes back to school. Well, guess what? She wants it shorter! She did have it shorter then this right after she graduated high school. So after Christmas we are gonna get Gary to cut a few more inches off. No one at school nor work is gonna recognize her!
Here is the back of her hair before. Now this was taken where I work in fluorescent lighting so it looks really light.
Here is the back after.
She loves the way it bounces and is so much easier to wash and brush! When it was long she always wore it in a ponytail and that was not very flattering at all. Now it frames her face so nicely and she looks so pretty! I can't wait to take Christmas pictures!

Amber did take a couple before pictures of me, but we did not take any after ones. I only got my hair trimmed and so it doesn't look any different really. Just a couple inches shorter.

I am so excited today! Today is my last day at work for 11 days! Yeah! I am taking the rest of my vacation days! It will be so nice to be home for that long. There are so many things I would like to get done while I am off. And the kids and I can do some cookie baking! My niece from Louisiana will be here tonight so she will enjoy baking cookies, too.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Cookbook & busy weekend

We finally got our church cookbook completed and printed! What a job! 282 pages with 678 recipes! Linda, who started this project and was in charge and me have been emailing the company that put together our cookbook and going over proofs and making corrections for several weeks now. It really was a lot of work. I really believe this was this companies first cookbook. The lady who was putting it together was very nice, but not very organized. We had to keep resending her recipes we had already sent and pictures we had already sent. I know she was glad to get this thing completed and off her hands! Here is a picture of the front of it. We did not do this cookbook as a fundraiser. We did it in celebration of our churches 50Th anniversary. Linda called people who no longer go to our church, former pastor's wives and relatives of members who are deceased to get recipes. My friend who is 86 and a member of my church said it was so special cause it has recipes from everybody in it. We are selling them for just what they cost to make. I bought one for each of my children. Hubby thought this was silly since our kids are still young. But they can use it when they start their own households. I have a lot of my own recipes in it and I put a lot of my mother's recipes in it and a couple of hubby's mother's recipes in it, too. So it will have all the recipes my kids grew up with in it and that will make it special for them. I also sent my brother one. He told me just now that he got it and when he opened it the first recipe he saw was one of mine! What a hoot!
My oldest daughter, Amber, got home from college Friday night. Or I should say Saturday morning, as it was about 2am when she arrived. She was so busy Friday trying to finish up with school and get her things moved over to another dorm that she will be staying in when she returns to college so it put her late leaving to come home and it is a five and a half hour drive. I was so worried about her and so glad when she got here. Then all three of my kids and me got up early Saturday morning and went to Mobile, which is 70 miles from us, and went Christmas shopping. We didn't get home till 7:30pm. I was so tired. We enjoyed it, though. It is something we do every year. Just the kids and I. Hubby does not like to shop, plus he was working Saturday. Then Sunday we went to church and then I had to go grocery shopping and wash clothes. So it was really a busy weekend. I thought I would get to relax last night some, but Tara texted me from school to tell me she had a concert to sing at at 6pm at the high school. So I had to go home from work, change clothes and go to that. Then I came home and cooked some rice to go with the beef tips that I had cooking in the crock-pot all day and we had supper. Then of course I had to clean up the kitchen. I finished the dishes and unplugged the drain and then I heard this strange sound. I looked down and water was pouring out from under the cabinet door under the sink. I hollered for hubby and he came running in. The pipe had came loose. We got all the water cleaned up and he fixed the pipe. Then he took the wet towels out to wash. What a night! Hopefully tonight will be much quieter!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Christmas Purse

This is my Christmas purse I made. I didn't think to take pictures of it when I first made it. A couple of days ago I was sitting at work and thought about it. It was hard getting good pictures of it as it is filled with all my stuff! This is the front.
This is the back of my purse along with the handles.
This is a close-up of a little pin wreath I made a few years ago. I usually wear it on my clothes but thought it looked cute on my purse!
This is a little hand project I decided to work on some. I had started it a couple years ago and had forgotten all about it till I was going through some patterns and found it tucked between them! So I decided I would work on it some.
Here is a close up.
This is a cute little angel pin I crocheted a few years ago. I got the pattern off the Internet, but am not sure from who. Sorry.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Barbara's Quilt

This is my friend's, Barbara, quilt. She is the one I was talking about on the previous post who did her pattern the same as mine. You have to turn your head to see that the squares are on point like mine as she took the picture of it standing at one of the corners. After reading my post this morning, my daughter, Amber, told me I should have put a picture of Barbara's quilt top in my post. So I decided I would just do a new post and show it to you.

Quilt Tops & Christmas decorations

This is a quilt top I made for myself. I am waiting till after Christmas to have it quilted. I have to finish my children's quilts first and my brother's. What is really a hoot is my best friend, who got married and moved to Minnesota in the summer, has been working on a quilt for her bed in her new home. She hadn't sent me pictures and I hadn't sent her a picture of my quilt top. Nor did we discuss the pattern we had chosen. Well, last night she was finally able to take a picture and send it to me. Can you believe she did her squares just like mine?! Not the same fabrics, but the same design! I was blown away! The only difference is I did not put a border on mine and she is putting a border on hers and doing something different in the corners of the borders. I guess we really are a lot alike!

This is a Christmas quilt top that my 86 year old friend, Lucille, made for me. I have yet to quilt it. Hopefully, I will have it quilted by next Christmas! I think I might just quilt this one myself. On my sewing machine, that is.
I know I've mentioned that we live in a very small house. I really never realized how small it was until we moved back in after my mother's death and there are now 5 people living in the house. When I first moved there with my mother and brother at the age of 15 it was just the three of us and was not crowded at all. Well, we did have a garage full of stuff since we had moved out of a large two story house, but we managed to get rid of all that. My brother moved out a year later when he married and went to college. So the house was just the right size for my mom and me. But now with Hubby, me, two kids, and my Dad it is way too small. We have a very small den and this is my Dad's territory. He sits in his recliner in there all day long and watches nothing but news or TV Land on TV. He keeps this little heater going non-stop in there and it is always so hot that this old menopausal woman can't stand to be in there for more than a minute or two at a time. Therefore, our bedroom has become our family area for Hubby, the kids, and me. I did put my big tree up in the corner of the den. But since I am hardly ever in there I don't get to enjoy it. I really didn't even feel like putting it up, but I did for the kids sake. It is so hard to try and put it up in there because my Dad is always watching something on TV that I am interrupting while I am working on the tree. Never mind that it is a show that he has seen at least 20 times! So this year I put this little tree in our bedroom. I also put some other decorations in there. I figured this was the only way I would enjoy a tree this year. I have had no Christmas spirit at all this year. But since I put the decorations on this little tree last night I feel a little more in the Christmas spirit. Also, since my Dad was sick the past two Christmas' and I spent most of my time at the hospital with him it kinda makes me worry that the same thing will happen again this year. It is so ironic. My Dad is an alcoholic. He has been sober for the past 2 years now. But when my mother was alive he got on a drunk every single Christmas and would be so drunk on Christmas day that my mother would always have a miserable Christmas. And now since she has died and he no longer drinks he gets sick every Christmas. How strange is that?! I have really been praying that he will not get sick this year. I am taking a week off and would love to just relax and spend the time with my family. My daughter is coming home from college and my niece will be coming again. The one who came at Thanksgiving. I might have to go to Louisiana and get her if her Dad can't bring her over here. But that will be fine. It has been really hard on her living in a house with nothing but men since her Mom died 9 years ago.
Here is a picture of my little tree in our bedroom.
This is a cross-stitch Christmas picture I made back in 1985. I love to get it out and hang it up each year.
This is a snowman made out of a sock. My brother, George, made this in school. I imagine he was 11 or 12 at the time. George died at the age of 13 in 1967. We have put this snowman out every year. As you can see he is a little spotted from age, but he is really in pretty good condition for his age. I have kept him wrapped up in paper towels every year, but this year I would like to put him in some kind of plastic box and put him in my china cabinet so he does not get anymore handling and fall apart.
These little elves were given to me by a dear lady who we called Aunt Sybil. She and her husband lived next door to my parents when they lived in Hialeah, Florida way before I was born. She was so sweet and was always sending me little things. I just love my elves!
The next two ornaments are just two of a few that I have left from years gone by. These were always on our tree when I was a child and I have always loved them!

The next two pictures are little plastic deer that Aunt Sybil gave me, also. I always hang them together on the tree. Aunt Sybil has been dead for many years now and I really miss her. As a child she and I would exchange letters and we went and visited her and her husband, Uncle Johnnie, lots of times.

That is all the Christmas decorations I have to show you today. Maybe I will take some pictures of some more another time to post. Oh yea, I almost forgot. The doily that the deer are on is one that my Aunt Vivian made and gave to me. She had almost finished it. All I had to do was finish that one row of red around the outside. Isn't it beautiful! Can't wait to go see her this weekend!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Tara's Elite Night

A while back I had posted a picture of a name I crocheted for someone on my blog. Well, a lady saw it and emailed me wanting me to make one for her. I agreed and she sent me a money order for it and I crocheted it up and sent it off to her. It was so exciting! This is the first time anyone has saw something on my blog and wanted to buy something from me! I sure hope I get lots more requests.
Here is the name I sent her:
My daughter, Tara, was in her beauty pageant last night. I had to cut off part of the tulle on the bottom of her dress as it was too long. Look who liked the left over tulle! This is our cat Molly.
Here is Tara outside our house in her dress before we left for the pageant.
Here is a back view of Tara.
Here is Tara and her best friend Tiffanie.
Here are the Senior contestants and their escorts. Tara is 3rd from the right. The girl on the far right is the one who got top Senior beauty. They choose 5 girls out of each grade as the top five for that grade and then they choose one girl from each top 5 for the top beauty for that grade. Then they choose a Miss Elite Night. Miss Elite Night is not choosen from the top beauties of each grade.
Here is a closer up of the Seniors. Tara had a hard time finding a little child for an escort. Finally she had to tell the lady she did not have one. We only know a few children young enough and each of them were too shy and did not want to do it. So the lady in charge knew someone who would let Tara use her little boy. There really is no need for the escorts. The only reason they use them is as a money maker for the school. The lady in charge actually told Tara this. Because everybody knows that the parents of the children will buy tickets to Elite Night!
These are all the top fives for all 4 grades. I am sorry the pictures are not very good. I was a few rows back and my camera does not have a very good zoom lens.
I, personally, think they should not have beauty pageants. I was sitting there in the audience watching all these girls come out one by one and parade in front of the judges and I am thinking why are these girls up there trying to convince two people that they are the prettiest one? It is ridiculous! I believe that my Tara is very beautiful. I have had lots and lots and lots of people tell me how beautiful she is. But she did not win anything. Because she did not at least get into the top five she told me she was just ugly and fat! Now that she is not. I was thinking all this about how girls should not be allowed to try and prove to only a couple people that they are the prettiest long before the judges had picked the top five. Tara says now her self-esteem is even lower. I told her not to think that way. I told her they go by poise and the way you hold yourself and all kinds of other things. You have these two judges sitting there watching 39 girls walk by them and they are making notes. Then they go off and make their decisions. How can they possibly remember what each girl looked like. I guess Tara thought about it and later she told me that it was only two peoples opinion as to who was the prettiest. I said that was right! The girl who won Senior beauty was not really that pretty in my eyes. Tara said she always wins everything. We live in a very small town and so sometimes things are not really judged fairly. Sometimes it is who you are and who you know. I did not go there with the attitude that Tara was the most beautiful of all the girls and would definitely win. I went there knowing that this would be a good experience for her as far as helping her to get up and do things in public. As she was doing her solo walk, and I thought she walked with a lot grace and did great, I happened to notice that there was a little white strap sticking up out of the side of her bodice. I knew it was the little strap that you use to hang the dress on a hanger with. I could have died! I know the judges had to have seen it if I could see it way back where I was sitting. Tara also had to perform with her singing group, The Madrigals. She did great then, too. I am just a proud mother. The girl who won Miss Elite Night was a girl that my son, Keith, and I both thought was pretty.