Monday, September 18, 2017


Sarah, Caroline, Claire and Bella are all back at dance this fall. Sarah and Caroline spent the entire summer talking about when dance would start back up. I kind of liked having that break, but they did not. So, last Monday was the first day back and they were all so excited. We are back in the routine and Mondays are dance days again. 

Bella ready to go in her new tap shoes - we added tap to her company class this fall and she does enjoy it. 

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Berry Fruit Pizza

Yesterday we did our cooking class again. I am thinking we will do it every Friday this fall. We made Berry Fruit Pizza and it was a hit with every kid except Sarah - who wouldn't even taste it. But, she is like that. They all said it was delicious and gave it a 10 out of 10. Bethany said she didn't think we would make anything else this fall that would be nearly as good. 

It was simple to make and had bananas, peaches, strawberries and blackberries on it. It actually looked really pretty before we put it in the oven. 

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Moments to Remember

This afternoon I sat in a rocking chair with my grandson in my arms and watched Bethany for at least thirty minutes sewing something. She quietly sewed and sewed and I rocked and rocked. It was one of those moments to remember - my grandson in my arms and my daughter sitting quietly in front of me so happy and serene. This girl is so dear to my heart. 

I almost missed getting this picture of her as my camera was in another room and things started to get busy, but I handed my grandson off and snapped it before this picture of this moment was lost forever. 

Tuesday, September 12, 2017


Bethany has loved to hand sew things for a long time. She got a book on sewing for Christmas this past year and has spent many hours looking through it and sewing things from the book. She has asked several times to take a sewing class and I finally looked to see what I could find. She wanted a class that taught sewing by hand and not a machine. But, I only found one of those and it was full. So, I asked if she wanted to try a class that used sewing machines and she decided she would give it a try. She was actually worried that she was going to get her finger caught under the needle and sew her finger, though I told her multiple times that wasn't going to happen. So, she went to the class a little uncertain if she would like it. 

 Bethany and Tess were both signed up, and today was their first day of class. It was actually a private session with just the two of them so they could get the attention they needed to get started. They both had picked out fall fabric to make pillow cases and were pretty excited. The class was wonderful and they both had such a good time. Bethany was so excited that she literally beamed. She loved the entire class and said at least ten times to the instructor how much she loved sewing. I don't think I have ever seen her enjoy something so much. They both made pillow cases and were thrilled with them. They are going back in two weeks to make a Christmas pillow case - Bethany said she is making one for me and Tess is making one for Sarah. 

They both are so excited about sewing now and can't wait to go get new fabric. Bethany said she will still like sewing by hand but thinks that she may like using a sewing machine better - though we don't have one as I don't sew. So, now she is talking about getting a sewing machine. 

Bethany came home and got out her sewing book and made an apron. Right now this is her favorite thing to do. 

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Getting Started

We were a little later than usual starting school this year. So, Monday is actually our first full day. But, on Friday we did do some cooking from an online curriculum that I printed and will use this year. I think we are going to enjoy using this and it was free. The first thing we made was Apple Crisp and it was very simple to make so all the kids could help. We had to buy four different kinds of apples and try all of them to taste the differences and then each child had to choose their favorite. Red Delicious won for all of the kids. 

While we cooked, Zola took Luke upstairs and let him nap on her bed. And she didn't leave him for one minute, but sat at the foot of her bed and simply watched him sleep. 

Thursday, September 7, 2017

That's Just The Way He Is

Yesterday was not my best day. Nothing terrible - just stressful and tiring. My son, Joey, texted me and asked how I was and I told him I was fine, but it had not been a great day. He assured me that the next day would be better and told me to get some hot chocolate, put on a sweater and sit on the front porch and I would feel better. We only talked a few more minutes before we both had things to do. Later that evening after my grandkids had left and most of my kids were in bed I went upstairs and put on my pjs - ready to relax a little. I came downstairs and there was Joey. He had brought me milk, hot cocoa mix and some candy. Told me to have some cocoa and relax a little. He had only been off his chemo five days and he brought me something to help me relax and have a nice evening. 

After he left I texted my oldest daughter and told her what he had done and she said she wasn't surprised as in her words - "That's just the way he is." And it is. 

Joey and his little girl, Madelyn. Please continue to pray for him. 

Tuesday, September 5, 2017


Yesterday we made ice cream sundaes instead of cooking out like we usually do. It was so easy that I think we may do this more often and the kids loved doing it. I took lots of pictures and was going to post some tonight, but I just haven't gone through all of them yet. So, I thought I would just post this one picture of my grandson, Asher. He ran to see the ducks and I ran after him and got a couple of pictures and thought this one was cute. He was really interested in them but did keep his distance. 

We are now getting ready to start school. I am not ready but the kids are -- and that won't really last. Funny how excited they are to start and how quickly it wears off. But, I was the same way when I was a kid. So, I guess it is goodbye summer.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Chemo Week Over

Thanks to everyone that prayed for my son, Joey. He finished his chemo yesterday and is really tired but says he doesn't feel too bad. He hasn't been able to eat much and has nausea from the chemo, but still says he is ok and glad this week is over. We are all glad he has finished another round and only has one more to go. Please continue to pray for him and that his tumor will shrink or remain stable. 

Had to post this of Bella - she is such a smiley little girl - and such a blessing to our family. 

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

End of Summer Baking

With summer just about over and my guilt over not doing enough, I let the kids spend the day baking and making a mess in the kitchen. Tess made her first batch of cookies all by herself. Caroline did stand there and watch and coach, but Tess did everything herself and was so proud when they were done. She absolutely loves to bake. She asks just about every single day if she can make something. 

They made two kinds of cookies, a crumb cake and a pumpkin pie. After Andrew had mixed all the spices together for the pie he brought it to me to smell and the first thing that went through my head was - Christmas. It smelled just like Christmas. Delicious. 

Bethany spent just about all of her day in her room sewing a doll from a sock. She never even came down to bake. She has talked about making a doll for weeks and yesterday I took her to get some needles and thread and buttons for eyes. So, today was her sewing day, I guess. 

Piper watches most of the time. She doesn't really help or seem to mind that she only watches. She has trouble doing many of the things that Tess has learned to do so quickly. We are taking her to see a developmental pediatrician this fall.

One thing for sure - she is a happy girl just about all the time.  

Saturday, August 19, 2017

MRI Results

Joey and Shannon got the results of the MRI and the tumor is stable. No change. No change is good, though we would love it to shrink some. Thanks so much to everyone for their prayers. They did his blood work the same day and all is well there, too. So, he starts back on chemo on Monday. His numbers actually looked good - not just ok. Now we can relax some until the next time -- October. 

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

MRI Day Again

Thursday is MRI day again for Joey. It seems like he just had one done, but it has been two months. It is always stressful having it done and then waiting to talk to the doctor to see what it shows. Please remember him in your prayers. It has been a long year for him. He will get the results tomorrow afternoon. 

This picture is not very good and I took it at night with my cell phone, but I love it. I sometimes stop by to see Joey and Shannon in the evening and they will be on the front porch talking. I will usually stand and talk to them a few minutes and almost without fail Joshua will hear us and come to the window to see me. He will smash his nose and face against the screen and look out and smile. It is so sweet. I told Shannon the other night that I will always remember him doing this. 

There is a strange shadow on his face but I just wanted to post anyway -- I only had two pictures and the dark shadow is on both. 

Sunday, August 13, 2017


My daughter, Abigail, is 20 years old. Since she was about 10 or so she has talked about going to Tennessee to see where my grandmother lived and where I spent every summer of my life until I got married. When she was young I would tell her about going to my grandmother's house and sitting on the front porch and talking on hot summer evenings. Also, about walking to the ice cream store with my grandmother to get ice cream and then walking home eating it -- stopping along the way to sit on porches and talk with all the neighbors. I would sit and listen as the neighbors all talked and visited. Though I was young, and never really joined in on the conversations, I loved those summer nights. I told Abigail how we would walk to town and spend the day -- walking and walking and then having to walk home up a steep hill. All of these things -- happy memories. 

I told Abigail that one day we would visit and she could see where my grandmother had lived and where we had walked and just get a feel for what it was like for me. Somehow we never seemed to have time to go. Something always happened or the timing was wrong or I just couldn't seem to get away with so many kids here. Since Abigail is now 20, I knew our time for going together was getting short. I wanted to go before she finished school and moved out. So, I decided I had to find a way. Getting someone to watch my kids was the hard part. Strangely, Emily volunteered to watch the kids. I was a little surprised but very happy and took her up on it. I knew she would do an excellent job -- which she did. 

So, Abigail, Zola and I left on Wednesday morning and headed for Tennessee. It was such a wonderful feeling to know that I would finally be able to show two of my children where I spent my summers. I only took the two oldest so that we could spend some adult time together - which doesn't happen very often. It was really a nice time for the three of us.

We got there Wednesday evening in time to actually get into the hotel and then go out and walk across the bridge to my grandmother's house - not a short walk but doable. 

So strange, after so many years, to walk up that hill and see my grandmother's house. Brought back so many memories. 

So much had changed, but so much was the same. Many of the little houses that were down the street from my grandmother were gone. It made me a little sad as they were so cute and I had wanted to see them again.

At the top of the hill, almost all of the houses were pretty much as I remembered them - with a few changes. This old brick house was one I passed every Sunday morning in the summer as I walked to church. I always loved it as a kid. 

We walked the Market Street Bridge - if it is still called that - and the walking bridge. Actually, we walked them over and over. We also visited the little ice cream shop at the end of the bridge. 

There were lots of places to eat and lots of little shops that we enjoyed. Zola was quick to find a Vegan restaurant and Abigail and Zola were both happy to see there was a Mellow Mushroom not far from our hotel. We walked all over and enjoyed downtown Chattanooga and NorthShore. I am so glad we were able to go.

We only stayed a few days - we left on Saturday morning after breakfast - but it was long enough to show both girls around a little. There were lots of new places for all of us to explore along with visiting the old neighborhood. 

We found this merry-go-round in the park and it was really beautiful. I love merry-go-rounds.

It also gave me time to rest and think a little about what I need to do this year for school. It is much easier to think when you have a little time to yourself. It was a lovely few days.