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Friday, November 27, 2009

We Are THOSE People

We all take turns hosting holidays. Jennifer hosted Easter (see HERE) and for the last few years Natalie has hosted Thanksgiving. Last year even though we all brought dishes she spent $350 and way too many hours and even though we had a great time when Tom mentioned a buffet at a CHOKE restaurant she jumped at it. So we became the family that went out to eat for Thanksgiving. We spent over an hour and a half sitting around the table, getting up to fill our plates time and again (prime rib or pink steak as Ella says for her, myself & Jen, sea food for the men and turkey all around). We had a wonderful waitress clearing the table and filling our glasses as we ate and it was sooo relaxing. We all agree we should make it a new tradition. Of course Ella wouldn't let it go by without buying and cooking the biggest turkey her and Pops could find (16 pounds) so we had it for lunch one day and used it for sandwiches over Thomas & Natalie's house along with pies and drinks for dinner Thanksgiving night. It was a very a wonderful day, the only thing missing was Charlie, Michele & Wyatt who were stuck in Ohio.

We cooked "the biggest turkey ever" the day before ThanksgivingElla wanted a wing from our "sandwich " turkeyPops, Jen & Shawn GOOD FOODUncle Tommy taking Jack for seconds. . .and two high chairs
Ella eating her third helping of prime rib Shawn belonged to the clean plate clubSammi just hung out, she did start cereal this week and at 5 months is 16 pounds, that's in the 80% , her length is in the 90% but her head is only in the 15% so completely opposite of her sister who was always in the low % in size with a big head.and Natalie was stress freeJack and I shared a glass of water with lemon then dessert

Jack giving Ella a kissThen it was time for comfy clothes and hanging out at Thomas & Natalie's
Jack and his new big boy hair cut, most of his curls and the blond are GONE

What a great day.
Thomas and I went Black Friday shopping today and
tomorrow it's off to see Santa and his reindeers
and cut down our Christmas trees

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Thanksgiving is the appointed time for focusing on the good in our lives. In each of our days,we can find small blessings,but too often we overlook them,choosing instead to spend our time paying attention to problems.We give our energy to those who cause us trouble instead of those who bring peace.Starting now,let’s be on the lookout for the bits of pleasure in each hour,and appreciate the people who bring love and light to everyone who is blessed to know them.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009


I DID have my appendix out on the day I was suppose to have my mammogram,
one day short of Tom's 6 week surgery follow up
(Jen took him & he got another 6 weeks off from work
and the ok to lift up to a 25 pound grandchild!)
and 3 days before a week end get away with all the kids and grandkids.I DID read stories and hold babies I DID sit in the van for 3 and a half hours with three grandchildren
and a pregnant daughter driven by a
man driving for the first time
in 6 weeks out of major back surgeryI DID NOT eat anything without it tasting like
a salty metal can.Not that I would eat
Jen's pregnant lady snack anyway.
No wonder she threw up in the back
of the van on the way there.
I DID enjoy my grandsons sharing and enjoying a snack together.I DID NOT go in the hot tub with Ella, one of our favorite vacation things to do
but Aunt Chel was a great stand in!
I DID enjoy spending time with these beautiful babies!I DID NOT roll around the floor with the grandkids
I DID NOT get to ride in the bumper cars or go carts but Ella & Uncle Shawn sure did have fun. I DID get to start the Christmas season with a visit by Santa (Uncle Chuckles).
Look at Jack trying to see his sleigh.

Friday, November 13, 2009

We are Proud of our Soldiers-Veterans Day

I started this post a month ago and had intentins of showing all the veterans that are in our family and how proud I am to be a 'Military Family'. Like with so many other things though life got in the way and I didn't get it fiinished. I realize now that is the reason we have a special day to remember our Veterans. We all get too wrapped up in our day to day life that we forget to thank those that gave us those freedoms. For all those out there. THANK YOU! This is Thomas in a project he once did
showing all the places we were stationed

Jennifer joined the Reserves in High School
because she had such respect for her father's choice of careers

This was taken in Europe during training
shortly after Tom finished Basic Training in 1982

This was the first time Shawn met his son
on his return from his second tour in Iraq.

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Monday, November 9, 2009

Not Me Monday

I Did Not let Ella eat still frozen peas for a snack, she wanted them and they're healthy what more can I say but NOT ME oh ya I Did Not put her in pj's and a skirt for her Halloween party NOT ME but isn't she cute!

I DID NOT rush together a package for Wyatt and his parents so that I could send Mommy pumpkin coffee and then forget to mail it for four days, NOT MEI Did Not just post this picture of Charlie at work because it cracks me up NOT ME
I Did Not let Ella lick the Crisco covered spoon when we were making cookies, NOT ME
and then let her use her hands to "drop" the cookies on the sheet instead of a spoon, NOT ME
I Did Not let our sweet natured Sammi cry just because I wanted to get a picture of her in her costume, NOT ME

I Did Not pull the stool up to the sink for Jack to wash his hands and then wonder a couple of hours later why there were puddles on the counter NOT ME

I Did Not take pictures of Samantha's very first big girl bath to realize my hair was in every one of them, NOT ME

I Did Not 'blue screen' my third laptop, my S-I-L's, he said we need to figure out my browsing habits NOT ME

Monday, November 2, 2009

Birthday Memories

I started looking through pictures for projects I have sewn for the kids and realized most of them were for my cupcake,Jennifer. I call her that because my dad called me his little cupcake and my brothers and sisiters sometimes still refer to me as Daddy's Little Cupcake. That's not what this post is about though so I need to stop rambling and get to the point!

On November 2, 1984 our daughter was born on my brother, Matthew's birthday in a local hospital in Fulda, Germany were Tom was stationed. It was an easy birth and the Germans treated me like a queen. We were very excited to get a girl after two boys but it really wouldn't have mattered. We had a couple of names picked out, Katherine Elizabeth (Katie Beth) but my sister thought it was too "country". Then I wanted to name her after our mothers, Nancy (my mom) Joyce (his mom) but Tom had a bad experience with a girlfriend named Nancy so that was out. We decided on Jennifer Joyce, JJ for short (although my brother said we should have named her Matty after him, I kind of like it now) We didn't realize how popular the name, Jennifer, would get.

I made these pj's for the kids. Jen looks like Sammi in this picture doesn't she?
We were living in a German farmhouse at the time and their electric was 220 volts and all our christmas lights were 110volts so we didn't have any lights on the tree, no big deal right? Wrong. All Thomas asked Santa for that year were lights for the tree.
When he woke up Christmas morning you better believe that tree was lit!

Here she is on her second Christmas again in home made jammies.
This year was when the Cabbage Patches came out. We put our names on the wait list at the PX and then put them in lay-away. We got three and they were $25 EACH.

I made this velvet dress for her and a matching one for her cabbage patch.

My sister made the sweaters for the boys. Can I say now that even though I picked out the yarn I never liked them?

My parents came to visit us in Colorado for Easter in 1988. Look she still has her Cabbage Patch and I made her and the doll matching dresses. I loved sewing for her. I would even make her scrunchies (remember those!) and use the same material to put a ruffle on a pair of socks to match.

I threw this outfit together the day before school pictures when Jen was in Kindergarten. It was scrap material and old patterns. Not my greatest effort but the hat is cute.I wanted her to have something new but we couldn't afford anything. Maybe that's why I buy the grandkids too many clothes:)This was an outfit we put together for Thanksgiving when we lived in Regensburg, Germany. The school was an American school but it only had about 100 kids K-8. She was in a Primary classroom (1st-3rd) for two years.

I made this for her Senior Prom. She went to a Christian High School and they had some pretty strict dress code restrictions. The biggest one for her was no cleavage. She is big busted and we found no dresses in her age group that didn't show some, so we designed and made this one. She was so beautiful, just like a princess. I just have to throw this one in! My dad always had a special chair and he loved holding and singing to the children. "A You're Adorable" and "Pennies From Heaven" In this picture we were getting ready to leave after a visit (it was easier to drive at night with 3 kids) Thomas (Tommy)was sleeping and we were trying to get him in the car without waking him up so Grandpa Bob was teaching them how to Shhhh.........This is me, Ella , my dad, my brother Matt & his grandson, Luke ,on my father's 75th birthday. We surprised him and showed up without notice and all my brothers, sisters, nieces and nephews showed up for steak at this steak house. The best presents are those of your time & love. He was very happy that day. Little did we know we would only have one more birthday to share with him. He would have been 79 this month.

Natalie Grace October 30, 1980
and this is our Natalie, Editor of the Fort Knox High School Newspaper. Her husband to be ,our son Thomas, was also on the newspaper staff. We've known her since she was 15 years old, even though they didn't date then we knew their friendship was special and so was she. Thanks for sticking with us all these years and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

FYI see some of the grandkids Halloween fun here