Saturday, December 31, 2011

Goodbye 2011

What a year! This year has been a doozy of a year for our family.  How was your year?  As we look back and reflect on the days gone by, we have many events which brought change to our family.
Sweetie and I went on our first international mission trip (leading the team!) together in January.  March brought us back to Costa Rica together as a family! This trip was challenging and a big growth spurt for all of us! Sweetie's back finally gave way, and the challenges ahead of all of us as we climbed over mountains of pain meds, USE OF A CANE, physical therapy, and chiropractor visits, and stomped through the valleys of the side effects of pain meds, surgery, bills, and paperwork. It is a HUGE blessing to shout for all to hear, "God brought us through!" Sweetie is all healed up, and back to playing basketball with the boys!
May and June were spent between home and Michigan as we helped Grandpa get back with the family and closed out his life in Michigan. Lots of road miles logged this year! Oh! In amongst all this, I managed a few days out of town with Best Bud!  The end of May I managed to pick 8 gallons of strawberries (on my own) and with some help, get several jars of jelly put up.  And..let's sister moved back from Navajo land in June to round out the month! July had the family up to our armpits in corn! We blanched over 300 ears of corn in one weekend! We won the "Gluttons for punishment" award this year!
With the boys starting high school, and middle school, all the changes and adjustments that brings, has stretched us all! The boys have learned to balance extra curricular activities, classes from one end of the school to the other, and keep grades in check.  This fall brought all sorts of band activities, concerts, cookouts, fruit sales, soccer games, and two tired parents. We even managed to fit in a project of restoring an old family glider swing!
 On several occasions we tagged each other as we were all heading separate directions!  This year we have definitely learned  how to manage our time better, and to appreciate a scheduled time out for the family!
Somewhere in all this our ever growing teen boys have decided to put us on what we lovingly refer too as the "teenage diet plan".   WE buy the food...they  eat it!  I have gone to the pantry, fridge, and freezer to get something to cook, only to find an empty package, or hear so and so ate it two days ago. So we are losing weight and don't really mean to! Ha!
Somehow we both managed to switch jobs, me leaving behind dress clothes for scrubs and Sweetie leaving scrubs to embracing suits, and business casual! This massive frenzy had us so busy we had the holidays sneak up on us this year! I missed Black Friday, Cyber Monday and we even got spotted out shopping on the day before Christmas Eve! Where did the time go?
Glory to God! We have more blessings than worries! How about you?  As we start a new year, we have set new goals for us as individuals and as a family. What goals have you set?

Friday, December 30, 2011

Christmas Band Concerts

Brian on the right with the black jacket
Both in the same night! Go figure! In our world that is just how things manage to happen!  We have come to expect a certain amount of go- go- go in our lives!
The middle school band put there performance on first and as the first time band parents stood around pointing out their little angel, we smiled at their innocence.  The honking of horns,  tapping of drums, clanging of cymbals, flashing cameras, and video recorders galore came to an end, it was time to race to the high school.  Brian played several different percussion instruments and even had a speaking part. We were very proud!
Cory on the keys
At the high school, the event was much more dignified, as nervous teens gathered around the band director. The lights went out, the spotlight appeared and the night of decibel piercing sound began! Sweetie even humored himself and found the 'app' for measuring sound, and took delight in showing us the needle dancing about in the red danger zone.
Cory proudly played keys and a whistle of some sort, and did a great job of it. Band has really stretched him this semester and he is better for it. (side note:  we got to meet his date to the snowball's parents on this evening - much to he and his girlfriends chagrin) 

Brian ready for the concert
All joking aside, it was a delightful evening.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Snowball 2011

Well...we are now moving into another category of parenting. The dating category.
Seriously, I should have known.... I mean the first day I took Cory to preschool a cute little girl with blonde pigtails came running up to him and planted a big kiss right on his lips! I left the room with her holding his hand showing him the toys! Wow!
Several years later, we now watch a handsome, unsure young man nervously asking his dad to help him tie his tie. His once, 'girls are gross' has been exchanged for, 'she's pretty hot!'  WHAT??
NOW he cares if he smells good, and does everything match! Hmmmph!
I was holding out for a picture, but Cory has yet to produce one of he and his date.  I hope by the time I publish this to have one, if I don't please understand we are dealing with the pendulum swing of teen emotions here, okay?
Seems his girlfriends dad decided to stay and supervise the dance, all night! Ha! As Cory put it, 'he is a tall man who had really big hands.'  He went on to tell us that the dad when he met him, told him he had trimmed his nails with his machete before coming to the dance. Ha!
A few nights later we were able to meet the parents of his date and we shared a laugh over the whole experience. We know this is but the beginning of many date stories, and we look forward to exchanging the same looks we remember our parents sharing with one another when we were dating!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Merry Christmas 2011!

This year we traveled to the 'boro for Christmas with Grandpa and my aunt and uncle. Then came back and spent time with the family in Woodlawn.
A good time was had by all, as memories of years gone by and new memories were made. This year it was Cory's turn to read the Christmas story to the family before we opened presents. He did a great job! We were so proud of him as he read through the second chapter of Luke.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Gone with the old - in with the new

Sweetie and I have recently joined the Apple iPhone generation. We have watched as many of our friends and family members have updated their phones over the years..Let me put it this way. I never even updated to a Blackberry. A phone that is just that a phone is fine for me..I don't need internet ect. Or do I?
But when the newest iPhones came out, we were interested.
Polling our friends and checking reviews, we finally took the plunge. Now we have this super amazing phone. This thing has all sorts of things my other phones never had. A person can work from home with one of these things.This updated phone makes sounds and things pop up on it all the time, I can't wait to understand this new language!
The boys laugh, and take great joy in introducing me to this 'creature'. (for those who know me..they know I approach change quite cautiously. Even avoiding it sometimes. Sweetie embraces change and loves to include me in on such changes much to his delight and my chagrin.

So far, my favorite part is SIRI  the part of the phone that in one wasy is a personal assistant. I can push a button and speak to her, she will send a text message for me, or put a reminder of a date and time on my calendar for me! It is great! I'm used to doing such tasks for other people all day long, it is a treat for 'her' to do that for me - and anyone else using the phone.
For now.. I'm excited.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Today I met Mayhem

Generally, I enjoy the Allstate commercials where the guy who plays Mayhem, creates all sorts of havoc, to which if you are a member of Allstate you are covered, when pick a disaster/accident happens. It's a good reminder that bad stuff just happens and it pays to be prepared, if at all possible!

The car in front of me this afternoon was carrying a Christmas tree on its roof. Problem was, it wasn't tied securely. It weaved back and forth, finally sliding off the back and bouncing into the road. I was lucky enough to be following this car and was able to get stopped so I didn't run off the road, or run over the tree. Pulling over with the distraught car driver, the driver behind me and I helped her carry the tree back to her car, and re-tied it securely this time. (I'm pretty sure with all the knots in the rope she will have to cut it off!)
Anyway, as we were trying to wrap the netting back around it, the part of the tree that was closest to me, popped out and smacked me HARD in  the face.
The lady looked at me and and grabbed some paper towels and handed them to me. The guy stopped and asked me if I felt okay and how many fingers was  he holding up.  I laughed and then felt it, blood running down  my face.
I knew my face hurt from the smack, but figured it was just red. The guy got in his car and left, while the lady and I drove back over to the doctor's office where I work. She came in with me as some of my medical friends attended to my face.
Bottom line, I have a scratched eyeball, some scratches and a small cut on my upper cheek, oh and quite the shiner!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Brian's colorful new Hat

See Brian's new hat? He has been bugging us for one for quite awhile. There are all sorts of hats in various colors and styles that kids are wearing these days. This is the one he picked out this weekend.

These hats can be found all over. This one was bought at a Trading Company outlet store in Cool Springs Galleria, TN. (less than $20) We looked at several thicker hats less colorful at American Eagle. ($35 +)
This hat fits his center of attention personality!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Veterans Day Parade

Veterans Day is a special day celebrated by many folks across our nation. However, in our family it has always been special as being a military family goes back generations. I've spent many Veterans days watching the soldiers old and young marching and being honored for their sacrifices. Some of my fondest memories are of placing hundreds of little American flags at gravesites of our veterans. I have grown up listening to stories of battles and friendships forged over the years, and of life and sacrifices lived on various continents. Since I was born on foreign soil myself, I understand the value of being with your family on free soil. America is great because our soldiers and their families have sacrificed greatly. Our freedoms should never be taken for granted.
If you ever get a chance to spend an afternoon or day with a veteran, it will be time well spent. They have lots of insight to share with us. This weekend I was able to chat with a few while waiting to march. One was a veteran from WWII. He was amazing. He has seen a lot and his heart aches watching disrespectful folks these days.  Cory and I both got to march in our first Veterans Day parade this year. Cory with the band, carrying the banner, and I alongside the horn section keeping the crowd off the kids, and watching for falling music, and or potholes that they could fall into. There were lots of bands participating and many groups and organizations riding in cars, and floats.

Thank you Veterans and families for your sacrifice. On this day and many others, we honor you!

November view from the front porch

Crazy! This morning I noticed a brand new bearded iris blooming just to the right of the porch. WOW~!  These bloom in March! What a suprise blessing!
The winds have been blowing big time the last couple of days. There aren't many leaves left on the trees. With evenings beginning to cool down to freezing, and the days anywhere from 70 to high 40's..The petunias are still holding on, but starting to look rather tired. They will be retiring to the garage for the winter soon. Hopefully some will survive. Last year the geraniums held on and flourished in the warmth of the spring sun. Maybe this year even more plants will survive!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Sasha vs. Squirrel

One of Sasha's favorite things to do is protect our home from Squirrels..those annoying rat like creatures. She takes personal offense to them daring to live in the trees in our backyard. The creatures enjoy taunting her - coming just far enough down the tree to stare at her.

SQUIRREL.. quite annoyed with Sasha as she is keeping it at home today instead of scurrying around on the ground storing nuts for the winter season.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Jack o' Lanterns 2011

 The boys and their pumpkins!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Happy Birthday!

Over the weekend, after the soccer game, half of the team came over to help Brian celebrate his birthday.  Look at the fun balloons I found at Walmart! They glow in the dark! We all had fun with these! The package says they last 15 hours...we will see!

We celebrated with a pinata...and the movie REAL STEEL. This is a great movie. I went into it rather ho-hum, but the effects were good, and the story line was captivating. The group of boys enjoyed themselves and so did we. The night was long, and the energy never ending, but the memories are priceless. The boys singing karaoke was entertaining, and once we all rocked out with Guitar Hero us older folks were ready to call it a morning. The kids stayed up to play two games of Monopoly, I managed to also..what a nut! The boys were great troopers and all of them came to church this morning and served in the elementary area for all three services.
Sweetie and I delivered some very sleepy and exhausted boys back home to their parents. Once the house  was clean..we relaxed a little ourselves!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Dedicated to Coach Diane

All month the Strikers have shown their support for Coach Diane and all breast cancer survivors by wearing pink, and gathering support. On Oct. 29 the Strikers completed their projects, and while it brought loving and joyful tears to coaches eyes, all the boys and parents/families wore pink in her honor today.
On another note, Brian scored two goals in today's game! Hooray!

Here he is just before the ball went in. I was too busy jumping for joy to capture the exact moment.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Atlanta Super Regional - Bands of America

The biggest band competition of the year was yesterday in Atlanta, more specifically the Georgia Dome. Cory earned a spot to play there yesterday! This particular competition consists of the best bands in the south/southeast of the United States. For Clarksville High School Wildcat band to be invited was an honor, let alone to be able to play and compete! We were the only band in the northwest area of TN to compete! Cory said it was great to be in such a big place where folks paid to hear the bands play. What a great experience! We are so proud of you!

The Neighbors' View....October 30, 2011

I just cannot get over having petunia's still growing and showing off at the end of October...I wonder what November will hold? Hmm. Now the other night we did have a frost, and I brought the petunias in the garage and Sweetie hung them for me, but other than that, that is where they have been.
The big pumpkin? It's a forty pounder..yep! Cory picked that one up at Boyd's farm this year. Brian got the 20ish pounder next to it. I picked up the little ones. I was told the white one was called a LUNA, and are the best kind to use to make pumpkin pie. I don't know if I have the heart to carve it.
The boys have been so busy they haven't had time to pumpkin carve...Guess we will just do that tomorrow, hopefully before it gets dark.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Old Memories- rediscovered!

What do the words memories, family, weekend project, and repurposed bring to mind?

I'll tell ya!
For my birthday this year I was blessed with an amazing gift that I would receive several months later, that was covered in over 20 years worth of dirt, dust and who knows what else, and yet it is one of the most precious gifts I've ever been given?
See? This is a double glider swing hand made by Chad's Uncle Hugh back in November of 1981. Uncle Hugh owned a saw mill, as a matter of fact it was in his front yard. He liked to build things, and so that particular year he and his friend, Lowell made several of these for the family.
My memories in regard to this swing start with dating Sweetie. This swing was parked over to the left of the family home. If we could draw back the folds of time, you would see Sweetie and I swinging on it, first on opposite sides, then together on one side. Me urging it along with my short legs, Chad slowing it down with his much longer legs! And then I smile as I see his mom and myself swinging and talking.  I didn't know at the time that she was investing in the girl that would eventually become his wife. We had some good talks on that swing, and to me it symbolizes the special relationship we have today. We can still sit and talk about anything, just as we did years ago.
Over the years, his family moved to a different location on the farm and the swing was set aside in one of the barns on the property. I never forgot about that swing...
So, when I was told that was my birthday present - I was touched and thrilled. My father in law lovingly reminded me that "it had been in the barn for years and would need a lot of work." He wasn't joking! It was delivered to us several months later, and we immediatly started talking about restoring it to its original usefulness, (besides, there are girls lined up to date Cory- but that's another story!)
So, this week we started the process. First the power sprayer took off layers of dust and dirt, then the wire brushes peeled of paint layer by layer. Then we taped, then painted it red and black.

And this is the finished product!

Now it is ready for more memories!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Vitamins- Good for us yesterday, bad for us today

Apparently today the news brought yet more tidings, not of great joy, but of doubt, and panic.  Go figure.
I try to keep up with the goings on of our world today. However, most of the time the news is full of sadness and woeI can hardly stand to watch much more than the weather segment . I should have watched the news this morning, as apparently I missed that some researchers somewhere have discovered that taking a multivitamin could indeed cause more harm than good. (that vitamins could cause more harm than good)
Since I work in a doctors office we heard about this latest revelation all day long. We received many calls filling up the mailboxes of the doctors and nurses regarding whether or not the vitamins that their doctors told them to take could be dangerous. Oh my!
It amazes me as most of the folks that call are elderly. Have they forgotten how over the years the news tells us that eggs are good for us, to eat more of them in our diets, then a year or two down the road we are told that the previous story was wrong and now we must avoid eggs, or perhaps just eat the yokes, or maybe just eat egg whites? Hang will change.
The answer to the stress of the day? I overheard that no vitamin should be taken in excess, as with any medication or fruit, or vegetable for that matter. Over indulgence in anything is bad for you. Folks need to relax. Talk to your doctor, your primary care physcian. The story didn't take into account the folks that really HAVE to take vitamins, or for how long, or family history of disease for one, and not another, for the folks that are overweight and those that aren't. But what the people heard was no matter what your personal issues are you may die if you continue taking something others have taken their whole lives and been better for it. Who knows what else is being reported that is not the whole truth? I know I have actually wittnessed news, was excited to watch it on TV that night, and wow the story was so loosely based on what actually happened I almost didn't recognize the story. The "what ifs" were the highlight of the story rather than the facts that it just wasn't that bad of a situation. Even the interviews were edited to make the story POP. While the sparkle of a well worded story may catch a few viewers, I would rather invest my time in the truth - even if it isn't attractive, or even what I want to hear.
How about you?

Sunday, October 2, 2011

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and the STRIKERS are showing thier support to their coach, and breast cancer surviovor, Diane. They are showing their support by each player making a donation to the cause and wearing pink wrist bands, shoe laces, and socks for the month of October. We are so proud of them. 
The majority of kids on Brian's team have played together for years so they and their parents have become good friends of ours. This team has supported many causes over the years where instead of getting trophies or having a pizza party at end of season, they spend Saturdays or a day during the week collecting food/clothing for the homeless, serving in soup lines, and even doing some free yardwork for folks that cannot get out and do for themselves. Congratulations Strikers! We are so proud of you and the well rounded young men you are!

Brian in goal.  Score this week! 5 to 2. We won! yay!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Wave Petunias in September!

Who woulda thought that I would still have wave petunias at this time of year? I bank on this season as being my mum bloom time...but I've got extras blooming this year! The cannas are doing great, the mums are coming along, and those wonderful wave petunias are great! I've been blessed with a good bunch this year as I've never had them last this long into the season!  I bought them in KY at the Country Barn. I've always had healthy baskets both that I made and they pre-made.

September 15, 2011

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Chocolate Bacon?

Okay, so what  made me create this intersting combo? Well, apparently chocolate covered bacon is a delicacy? I have looked all over for it, short of ordering online, I decided I would help curb the boys' (and Best Bud's) curiosity. I made some at home.

I melted some milk chocolate in my own homemade double broiler!

 I dipped the cooked bacon in the chocolate, then put it in the freezer for a few minutes... Then we all tried a piece.
Cory and Best Bud liked it. Brian was on the fence. Sweetie and I - YUCK!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Grand Champions - CHS Wildcat Band! Congratulations!

Today  - the whole day was dedicated to our band member - CORY!
He has put in a 12 hour day, and wow! It paid off!
Today, at Montgomery Central High School, there was a band competiton for area bands.  11 bands participated: West Creek High School, Sycamore High School, Rossview High School, Dickson County High School, Clarksville High School, Kenwood High School, Northeast High School, Reidland High School, Northwest High School, Montgomery Central High School, and Austin Peay State University. 

Kenwood band had Edward Scissorhands conducting for them! While Northeast had Elvis!

Congratulations CHS Wildcat Band for  willing the GRAND CHAMPION Trophy, and 1st place in Band Large Class, Percussion Large Class, Color Guard, Best in Class, Overall Field Commander, and Overall Guard!