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Saturday, May 30, 2009

Memory Monday on Tuesday-You joined the Army?!

It was early February a couple weeks before Tommy turned 3. Tom came home from work late and said "I'm joining the Army" and so WE did. We were in debt and the Army was giving a $5,000 bonus and in 1982 that was a ton of money. They also guaranteed that our first duty station would be stateside at Ft. Riley Kansas and we would need to move ourselves but we had $5,000, right? Needless to say we were again broke by the time we got there. Of course what they didn't say was that by June of the next year we would find ourselves in Fulda Germany. As much as we fought this move it turned out to be one of the best times of our lives and THAT is a story for another day.
Preparing for the E-7 board
Fort Carson "Family Day"
Flight Status Fulda Germany

Just back from Basic Training Family Reunion

Basic Training Family Day

"Reforger" somewhere in Europe for 45 days,

orders were waiting for him when we got to Kansas

So, looks like my laptop no longer likes blogging. It works I just can't get on any blogs, STRANGE. I had to actually walk down to the family room and GASP use the desktop!

I went to the doctor with Tom for his monthly check in. I haven't been very involved with his help in the last 6 months or so, he just doesn't want to talk about it. He seemed content with leaving everything as is and just treating his pain with percocet. So, on the advice of my sister I took the bull by the horns and went with him and asked a lot of questions. His Cholesterol is up and she doubled his medication for that. His kidney function is down and we're keeping an eye on that. She didn't have all the results from the cardiologist so WE'RE going to see him on Monday. I'm still working on him called the neurosurgeon. I feel better knowing that the doctor and I both feel that the tiredness & depression he is struggling with is just because of the amount of percocet he has to take to deaden his pain. As much as he doesn't want to he needs to have surgery or never feel better.

*UPDATE; neurosurgery appt for June 26!!!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Where You Live Friday-Kids' Room ie Ella's Room

This is our grandkids room. Our granddaughter stays with us during the day and she calls it her room. Small but full of love!

"Ella's" bed is on one side of the room. My mother and I made these transportation quilts together for my sons in 1981/82. My dad bought me the doll for Christmas as an adult because he thought it looked like me when I was little. There are also popsicle stick churches that our sons made for my mom at church when they were in elementary school and she kept them. A poem that Tom's grandmother wrote is there and above the tv is a painting by our granddaughter.

My parents had these hung up in their grandkids bedroom too

I made these crossstich pictures and they hung in our kids' rooms too. They now hang above the twin bed here.

There's a crib on the other side with pictures of our sons, their birth announcement samplers & their collectible German plates from the years they were born. Also a chalk drawing of Tom as a one year old.
So many memories!


Wyatt's thinking OWW Papa does that boo boo hurt?

More in the drama of Tom's health. After a week of wondering if the surgery would happen it's done and Tom is home resting. We finally found out Wednesday afternoon that he was good to go for the surgery but it does appear he probably had a minor heart attach sometime in the last couple of months. He'll see the doctor Monday. He's been very tired and short of breath and hasn't been able to go into work since last week. We're hoping that since the hernia was in his chest the surgery was the fix for those symptoms. The "kids" were all here for dinner to check up on Pops and he really needed to see everyone, it was the best medicine! Charlie & Jen stayed on their diets I was very proud of them

Pops coloring with Ella while Jack plays at their feet

Monday, May 25, 2009

Not Me Monday

So much for only posting once a week! I did not let Jack eat the stale Nilla Wafers that were meant for the ducks. Not Me

After seeing the biggest blister caused by a sunburn on Ella's shoulder I did not pretend it was nothing and give her no sympathy because I really didn't know how to treat it, Not Me

I did not TRY to use Ella as free labor to plant my marigolds. Not Me I say try because she kept wanting to give me "a turn"

I did not TRY to use Ella as free labor to clean the winter off the picnic table. Not Me. I say try because for TWO DAYS she kept wanting to refill the bucket with soapy water and clean everything in sight.

I did not try to make a buttered noodle lunch healthy by adding carrots but then had to add "dip" Not Me.

I did not serve Ella Ramien noodles for breakfast twice this week. Not Me.

Seriously kids like noodles so much they have to have SOME nutritional value, Right?

I did not teach Ella about knock knock jokes. Not Me.
I know that it's like opening a can of worms. What was I thinking?
I did not get jealous when Jen told me that Jack was giving kisses to Daddy. Not Me. Up until then I was the only one he gave kisses to.
I did not show up to Charlie's cook out without my camera knowing all my grandchildren would be there. Not Me.
I did not then instruct Jen when & what to take pictures of. Not Me. Check some of the pictures out here http://babybranson.blogspot.com/2009/05/sunday-with-our-family.html
I'm sorry this is such a boring post. It feels a little forced this week. I have been worrying about Tom and the kids. I even sent them in to our prayer tree. I have been having a nervous stomach and that hasn't been happening much until lately. I've really been feeling good for a couple of months and now my anxiety is getter the better of me. I'm not sure if I'm making mountains out of molehills because my system is out of whack. So here's the skinny.
Tom is scheduled to have his hernia surgery on Thursday, they expect it to just be out patient. he went to his regular DR for the pre op check up and had an abnormal EKG. So off to the cardiologist then to get a stress test which took most of Friday. They said it DOES appear he had a slight heart attack and may need some minor corrective surgery but nothing to stop the hernia surgery. His dad's side of the family has a history of heart attacks so it's always been a big fear for him. He seems so out of it lately. Unable to do much physically and is moody.
Natalie has started having pregnancy induced migraines. They have a C-section date scheduled for June 23rd since her last delivery was so complicated (She had an emergency C-section and then a massive infection. She had to have her incision opened three weeks later and drained, then they left it open to heal on it's own. ) She also had a miscarriage at 11 weeks and then 2 years of infertility. I hate that she has to suffer. She is a wonderful DIL!
Then there is Charlie & Jennifer who both have overeating disorders. Charlie has let it get so bad his doctor suggested Gastric Bypass. It breaks my heart to look at Jennifer. She seems so uncomfortable with her size but then treats her moods with food. I want to help but I don't know what to say or do. They both take offensive when I say anything but how do you ignore your children slowly killing themselves especially since I'm sure it was something that we did raising them.
I'm not sure why I'm putting all this out there. I do feel that the reason I have been feeling better lately is because of this blog. It's kind of like talking to my best friend. I hope someday that letting the grandkids know how I feel now will let them understand me and themselves. My blog earned it's name on this one!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Where You Live Friday- Dining Room

It's Friday so once again I'm joining Kelly's Korner blog and showing where we live. This is our dining room. If you can call it that, it's just the other half of the kitchen. It's really the only room in the house that we're going to outgrow SOON. We have eight chairs & one high chair. As of now we have eight adults and three grandchildren when we want to have everyone over.

Ella "God is Gracious"

The table came with 4 chairs and we added 4 brown leather ones. This is more furniture from the 1940's. We also got it at an antique store in Kentucky. It came with the table, buffet and china cabinet for less than $500. You can really tell we live in a townhome in this picture.

I got this shadow box 25 years ago and have been adding things ever since. It has things from Rome, Paris, Moscow, Berlin, NY to name a few. It also has some things from our grandmothers and things as recent as Gus Gus from CinderELLA.

Our buffet stores pots and pans, small electrical appliances & even art supplies. I didn't realize the water bottles look so bad there! Oh well, what can you do? The top has SOME of my crystal. I collected Red Bird for a while and there's various other pieces. I rotate it out periodically. My favorite thing is the canister set. I got it on a trip to Chechoslovakia (before it split) and is written in their language. Above the buffet are two prints we bought from a flea market in Germany. They are authentic to the early 1920's. The first one is a soldier going to war and the second one is of him coming home. Since we are an Army family they really touched us.

The "Daily Bread" print on the side wall here is a staple in all our houses since our boys were little. A copy hung above Tom's grandparents' kitchen table. The rest of the pictures are actually ads taken out of magazines from the 1920's. The bottles on top of the buffet are from other countries and a vase from my mother. Inside the buffet are two sets of china from two of my grandmother's sisters.

The left pattern is vintage china from Japan, Kaysons Golden Rhapsody and pretty popular but I like the other set better. I wanted to get more pieces so I started looking for them on E-bay. I was tickled to get a good price on a few since they were Symco China from Japan and numbered. Only to find out that they were actually a give away at gas stations in the 1960's.

Towards the kitchen with an island made from a cabinet and hand tatted napkins from my Gram for curtains and of course grandchildren pictures & art hung on the fridge.

John Robert's "All Done" in our $30 Ikea High Chair

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Memory Monday-What's in a Name!

My mom pregnant with one of us
(the toddler looks like John Robert)

Since I just celebrated my 50th birthday Jennifer suggested I tell the stories surrounding my birth. So here goes. Beware much rambling ahead!
I was born on Mother's Day 1959, the fifth child and because I was a girl (the third) also the last child to my parents in a six year span. I say that because after their first child, a girl they called Kim (my mom wanted a boy, Tim) my dad said he wanted four sons, Matthew, Mark, Luke & John but what they got 14 months later was another girl. That delivery has a story of it's own that I may as well tell here since I'm rambling anyway. It was a Sunday when my mother went into labor. Since my parents were both born and raised in downtown Cleveland they either walked where they needed to go or took the bus (my mom didn't even get her drivers license until she was 30). My mom with a toddler in tow walked to mass (the day before their wedding anniversary), while my dad chose to play softball with his buddies. This didn't make my mother very happy. She went into labor and had to walk home from church, crawling up the steps to their apartment and then having to wait for him to come home from his game. Since they had no girls names picked out she came home as "Baby Girl". Later my dad went to City Hall to give her an official name. Without any help from my mom, Dad thought he would do her a favor and name their new daughter Nancy, my mom's name. She wasn't happy, she didn't even like her name so she looked at her first born and asked what would you like to call the baby and she said cookie. So Cookie it was and still is although legally she is Nancy. The next two babies WERE boys and they were named Matthew & Mark.
My brothers Matthew & Mark
Matthew's grandson Luke and our grandson, John
Our grandchildren share names!
John's middle name is Robert, my dad's name,
Ella's middle name is Nancy, my mother's name &
Wyatt's middle name is Thomas, my husband's name
Then it was my turn to be born and I also came home as "Baby Girl". The night I came home from the hospital they watched the TV show "Father Knows Best" the youngest daughter's name in the family was Kathy. So I became Kathy (even though my Aunt Kay,my dad's sister, thought I was named for her.) My dad was very sweet to my mom this time and even bought her some fresh strawberries for her first dinner home which she loved.The problem came when my grandmother served them to the kids instead, oops!
Kim, Cookie, Matthew, Mark & Kathy

Friday, May 15, 2009

GUEST ROOM ie Nenni's Room

It's Friday so I'm joining
Kelly's Korner's blog and showing our
"Guest Room"

Welcome to our guest room. It has been used mostly by our daughter, Jennifer(otherwise known as Nenni by our granddaughter). Her husband of four years has done TWO tours of duty in Iraq and she stayed with us both times (engaged through the first & married through the second). Thankfully he has returned healthyand they now have a 14 month old son(born while he was in Iraq last time)

You can read about them @ http://babybranson.blogspot.com/

Now, on to our "Guest Room"

My favorite part of the room are the curtains that are from the 40's. I got them on E-bay for $16 including shipping.

I made the cross stitch below for my daughter's room when she was a toddler and she had it re framed recently so what better place to put it but in "her room"

Below that is one of four "shabby sheik" shelvesI painted & stenciled with the words live, dream, hope. On that shelf are pictures of the grandkids of course.

A plaque that says Angels Gather Here was once Tom's grandmother's also hangs there.

Below, another sewing machine used as a side table.This one was Tom's Great Aunt Rosie's.On the table is a picture of my daughter & her husbandthat she had there when he was gone and a Disney Princess music box that they got on their honeymoon.My granddaughter loves it so much that Aunt Nenni was more than happy to leave it for safe keeping.The chair came from Target and the afghan was made by my Gram who lived with my family from the time I was 10 and has been gone now since 1983.

My Gram & our sons Charlie & Tommy Spring1982

Below; my husband uses the closet and gets dressed here so as not to bother me while I sleep. He's such a sweetie! The next picture is of the dresser that was his great grandparents. We snatched it from his mother's house (formerly his grand parents house & formerly his great grandparents house) when they were using it
in the basement as a tool box. On top of it are pictures of . . .you guessed it
the grandkids!

The bed is from the 40's, we bought it from an antique store in Kentucky when we lived there about 10 years ago.

The shelf above the dresser has some of Nenni's Little House and American Girl books & a small painting of a ballerina that her dad got her because it reminded him of when she was little & took ballet classes.

Here are the other two shelves and the two framed prints that hang above the bed that we saved from my daughter's room as a child.The items on the long shelf are antiques from a Flea Market in Germany where Jen was born.

Since Brutus, our 2 year old English Bulldog, was a hit
I thought I'd just throw one in of him!

Monday, May 11, 2009

"Dream" video of Mother's Day

Thomas made this beautiful video from the pictures he took of the moms & kids(&even Pops!)
of our trip to the beach for Mother's Day
& my 50th birthday.
Thank you all for making it such a memorable week end.

I love you all!

Not Me Monday

I didn't promise myself and the world that I would only blog once a week and then blog THREE times last week, NOT ME

I didn't try to be organized and write my Mother's Day blog ahead of time with plans of posting it on Mother's Day (which I did!) only to have it show as if posted the day I created it 4 days earlier, NOT ME

I didn't gain 5 pounds in the last two week (enough said!) NOT ME

I didn't make cookies with Ella and join her in more than one spoonful of cookie dough (see 5 pounds above), NOT ME
I did not pick out a new school picture outfit for Ella from the one her mother had picked out just to match the bow I bought her for her hair (in my defense her dad gave me the ok and the pictures turned out great) NOT ME

I didn't even notice that my poor husband has a ventral hernia in his chest that needs surgery, NOT ME


I didn't buy snack size rice cakes (chocolate) as a healthy snack and sit and eat the whole bag (see 5 pounds above) NOT ME

I didn't let Wyatt and Brutus drool on each other just for a cute picture, NOT ME

I didn't let Jack taste the milk bone before he gave it to Brutus just for the picture. NOT ME

I didn't let Wyatt chew on Jack's hand just for another photo op, NOT ME

I didn't just find a way to be able to post pictures of my grandchildren, NOT ME

I DO love pictures and Thomas took some great ones when we all went to the beach this week end. Look for them soon & check out the one on my Mother's Day post!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Where You Live Friday-Living/Family Room

I started this blog as a journal to my grandchildren and what better way to show them how things "used to be" than to show them how we lived. So when I saw this link on
I thought I'd join in!

First I should say that we are a Military Family and spent 16 years traveling with the Army never living anywhere for more than two years when my husband, Tom, was forced out on disability. He took an internship as a civilian with the Department of the Army in HR and they moved us to Maryland. We sold our house in Kentucky and bought a townhome here. We NEVER planned on staying past the 3 years of his internship. EIGHT years later here we are! Our grown children followed us here and our granddaughter(& her parents) even live across the street.
So here we will stay.

Our "Living Room" on the main floor. The window seat is a great place to change diapers and below it are books and puzzles. The other angle shows a bit of the kitchen/dining room and an old church pew adds seating for when everyone is here. Seating is big with us! I also have leather bins under the pew to hold toys. Above the pew is a painting I was able to get from my parents home when they passed, it's of the house I grew up in. You can see how Tom and I use our laptops here too. Below is the sewing machine my grandmother taught me how to sew on as a side table, the rocking chair I used as a child and the afagan that my parents made together in 1954.

"Family Room" This is our downstairs antique sports themed "family room". I don't know if you can tell but it's quite a bit bigger than the upstairs and when everyone is here I try to direct them downstairs. We have dueling couches, one on either side of the room and my father's chair & footstool in front of the fireplace and my grandmother's rocking chair in front of the window. Of course the wall above the couch is filled with pictures of grandchildren. By the way the dogs Brutus & Minnie Mouse (guess which is which) are WONDERFUL with the kids.

Here is the other side of the basement. It used to be storage space but we had it finished as a bar/game area. There is a 3 in 1 table, tv's mounted in each corner, chalkboard, antique kid's desk and of course a kegerator with Tom's High School football jersey framed on the wall. The view into the bar shows our desktop computer, this is where we print and scan from. The boxes on the floor are full of my parents pictures that I am categorizing & scanning. Even though Ella (our granddaughter) plays on my laptop she likes to use this computer because she can print. You can also see the overflowing toy box and gumball machine. The doorway is to the sports themed bathroom, I guess that will be for another Friday.

This is a close up of our mantel. It has my parents wedding cake topper under a dome and a canvas picture from last Mother's Day of my two grandchildren at the time.