Thursday, December 31, 2009

A Look Back . . . .

This last year has been a whirl wind of sorts, although not as bad as years past. As I look back over this past year I can see where the Hand of God has protected and guided. I think it is a good thing to reflect over the past. It lends way to a wealth of knowledge for the future. So here is a look back at this "year gone by" of mine:
  • We had a young lady exercise her "wings" this past year - breaking many hearts and causing a lot of shed tears along the way. She has since settled quite a bit and is coming along. It is rewarding to see the change in her and to watch her mom fight relentlessly for her daughter - with or without her daughter's co-operation. Thank you to those that have prayed for this situation. And just like us - this young lady is "still in the Potter's Hands!", the work unfinished. I believe God truly walks beside this girl!
  • We have had many job changes this past year. I am not one for so much upheaval - but God has there again, provided for us. We may have fallen behind in some things, done without some "things", but priorities have surfaced! It's amazing when you realize what is important and what you can live without and how liberating it can be to not succumb to "gadgets" and "fluff".
  • I started blogging this year. It has been an amazing outlet for me. I am able to share my joys, blessings and daily happenings. And although I don't share my inner most secrets, I can unload some burdens and daily junk! Most of the time I resolve whatever it is that's bothering me just by "venting" it out! I also have two amazing prayer warriors - my "Aaron & Hur". They have been a wonderful support system for me. And I thank God for them. Everyone needs that kind of support. If you don't have it - look for it. It takes time and effort and you have to be "picky". But that's okay. The hard work will pay off! Thank you Heidi and Diane - from the bottom of my heart! ! !
  • I also had the privilege this year to "proof read" a short story for a friend. What fun that was for me since I truly love to read. The best part was the fact the story was based on real life experience. It was entered in a short story contest. I will keep you posted on the outcome! !
  • In June - we had 3 high school graduates in our family - my grandson, Christian, my niece, Catie, and my nephew, Seth. That was a first. I went to the first "Walton Family Reunion" this spring. Great to reconnect with family members of my youth. And. . . Ben started our deck. (You learn quickly how to work as a team - or maybe just "hold that board".)
  • In July - Rease broke her arm - also a first, I think for our family - broken bones. We got to witness a "marvel of medicine", so to speak - a waterproof cast! PTL ! !
  • Dan (my second oldest nephew) asked Carrie to marry him in August, or at least that's when I became aware of it.
  • In Sept. the youngest of our clan - Helena - started Kindergarten. We also found out we were having another addition to our family! Kelly is expecting in June of 2010.
  • October - hmmm. . . . jury privileges for me ~~
  • This December - Matt - my oldest nephew became engaged to Amanda. I also started face book this last day of 2009. I am just at the doorway - inching my way around, so if any of you have face book accounts and you see me there and it looks like I'm ignoring you, I'm not. I'm just not sure what I am doing yet ~ ~ ~

It has been a short long year. Many changes, both good and not so good - but it is life and it rolls on with or without our blessing! So here's to a new year with new and continuous challenges. May we confidently seek wisdom and guidance in meeting them head on.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

DON'T Mess With The Tree!

In my attempt to simplify life this Christmas, I put up a small tree and less decorations.The small tree was not a wise idea on my part. I didn't realize how much the kids looked forward to the big tree being up when they came to my house. It's bad enough when I don't put up a real tree, but to downsize? No way - so . . . lesson learned (I think I may have fallen into "Grinch" status!). I may be able to get away with fewer decorations . . . but leave the tree alone! ! ! !
(Although it may seem as if "Santa" left more gifts if they spill out farther from under a small tree - do ya think?)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas Cookie Rules

My daughter emailed me this, this morning. And, although I emailed it to almost everyone I know, I thought it would make an interesting blog post! So here it is:

Christmas Cookie Rules:

1. If you eat a Christmas cookie fresh out of the oven, it has no calories because everyone knows that the first cookie is the test and thus calorie free.
2. If you drink a diet soda after eating your second cookie, it also has no calories because the diet soda cancels out the cookie calories.
3. If a friend comes over while you're making your Christmas cookies and needs to sample, you must sample with your friend. Because your friend's first cookie is calorie free, (rule #1) yours is also. It would be rude to let your friend sample alone and, being the friend you are, that makes your cookie calorie free, too.
4. Any cookie calories consumed while walking around will fall to your feet and eventually fall off as you move around. This is due to gravity and the density of the caloric mass.
5. Any calories consumed during the frosting of the Christmas cookies will be used up because it takes many calories to lick excess frosting from a knife without cutting your tongue.
6. Cookies colored red or green have very few calories. Red ones have three and green ones have five - one calorie for each letter. Make more RED ones!
7. Cookies eaten while watching "Miracle on 34th Street" have no calories because they are part of the entertainment package and not part of one's personal fuel.
8. As always, cookie pieces contain no calories because the process of breaking causes calorie leakage.
9. Any cookies consumed from someone else's plate have no calories since the calories rightfully belong to the other person and will cling to their plate. We all know how calories like to CLING!
10. Any cookies consumed while feeling stressed have no calories because cookies used for medicinal purposes NEVER have calories! IT'S A RULE.

So, go out and enjoy those Christmas Cookies - we only get them this time of year!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Happy Anniversary, Donna and Greg!

Happy Anniversary to my lovely sister and her husband!

Here's to many more wonderful years together!

Love you guys.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Let It Snow. . . .

We went to bed with it snowing last night and got up to about 4 inches on the ground. Snow usually is a stranger to the Eastern Shore of Maryland, with only a dusting or a "threat" of a visit. So we were pleasantly surprised to find the ground blanketed with the white stuff when we arose. It lifted the spirits to the point of braving the cold and nasty roads to go Christmas shopping! Even Mr. Grinch, I mean Bob, enjoyed the wintry outing! I am always excited when it snows, but I am thrilled that it is this close to Christmas! ! I may even bake some more cookies this afternoon! So. . . how's that for feeling Christmasy? Pretty good, even if I say so myself :)! ! Looks like God gave some of us our "Christmas present" a little early this year! And true to His character - it is perfect! Thank you very much :).

Friday, December 18, 2009

Happy Birthday, Christian!

Happy birthday to my one and only grandson (to date)!

How does it feel to be at the end of your "teens"?

Before you know it, you'll be 30! ! ! - Yikes! ! !

Love ya bushels and bushels


Thursday, December 17, 2009

An "Ah Ha", "Hmmm . . ." Moment

Most times I feel like my family resembles the character "Pig Pen" in Charlie Brown. Everywhere they move something falls from them and that's where it stays! It could be shoes, clothes, toys, mail. . . .you get the picture. I've often wondered, knowing this, how it is then, that when you go to their home(s), everything is in its place? ? ? It was as I was pondering this thought this morning picking up the "items" in question that I had an "ah ha" moment. Could it be that when you are "home", that is where you let "things" fall? You don't feel the stress of keeping up after every little item because "MOM" is there? ? This could also be my "Hmm. . . moment"? The fine line is trying to create my space without eliminating theirs, and understanding that: "this to shall pass". :)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Victuals and Tidbits

One of my favorite dishes to make when I am rushed for time is "Impossibly Easy Cheeseburger Pie" from Bisquick. It's great for those days when you have cleaned or laundered or shopped all day and don't really feel like fixing anything at all. It's quick and easy, and. . . the best part is - my family loves it! !
So here is the recipe: (you can also find it on the back of a Bisquick box)

Impossibly Easy Cheeseburger Pie

1 lb lean ground beef
1/2 C chopped onion
1 C shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 C Bisquick
1 C milk
2 eggs

1. Preheat oven to 400. Spray 9" pie pan with cooking spray
2. Brown beef and onion. Drain
3. Place in pie pan. Sprinkle with cheese.
4. Mix Bisquick, milk and eggs together.
5. Pour over beef and cheese.
6. Bake for 25 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean.

We like to have green beans with tomatoes in them for a side dish. A salad would work too.
*If you double this recipe - don't double the eggs - 3 is more than enough for a double dish - you can also use a 9x13 for a doubled recipe but you lose the "pie" effect!*

1. you can substitute ground turkey for beef and you can also use generic biscuit mix.
2. you can fix this dish as a breakfast strata - using ground ham or sausage (you don't have to refrigerate overnight, so if you forget the night before - just whip it up that morning!)
3. This is when using your frozen, cooked ground beef comes in handy! Just nuke about 2 minutes before using and proceed with steps 3-6.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Happy Birthday, Amanda!

Happy Birthday to one of the newest members to the "crazy farm"! !
Don't worry - after a few years you won't even notice our idiocies - LOL ! !
Have a great day!

Happy Birthday, Bobby!

Happy Birthday, Bobby!
I know you probably won't see this, but I just want you to know how much I love you. I pray for you all the time.
PS - you're catching up! ! !

Monday, December 14, 2009

"Our own Christmas party. . . Finally!"

We made the trek on Saturday to Tiger's (my youngest sister) for an unconventional "Christmas Party". The girls, Rease specifically, wanted their own party because Mommy and Daddy were going to Christmas parties for their work places. The girls helped scoop out M&M cookies, they made "jingle bells" with plastic cups, tin foil, tiny bells and ribbon, and they colored Christmas pictures.
They came to do what they intended - play and have fun. We had pizza and chicken nuggets for dinner - how simple is that?
I can see this becoming a tradition ! ! ! Yeah! ! !

The highlight of the "event" was Nichole. She was using my mixer to make a batch of oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. She couldn't get it to start so she gave it a quick tug and the flour in the bowl was like a volcano shooting out snow! ! ! It went sky high and landed everywhere - on her, the floor and the counter (and everything on that!). It was the funniest thing I've seen in a while! Grab the camera - this was a "Kodak moment"! ! !

This is also what makes the most memorable Christmas memories and stories. If you know me well enough, you know I'm more of a "Better Homes & Gardens" style person. But, the reality is - life is NOT, nor is the majority of my family - lol! I am glad to have the years behind me to see that I don't (or can't) remember the "perfect" moments in life, but the ones that cause joyful chaos and laughter and it has helped me to try let go of the desire to be so perfect. It is a struggle, but I'm coming along. Now, don't get me wrong - I can't stand clutter and I can't stand filth. So my particular remedy is to declutter the things in my life, not the people and enjoy the simple pleasures life has to offer!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Happy Birthday, Nichole!

Well, Happy Birthday, Little Lady! ! !

Don't you just love the pic? :)

That's what happens when "crazy ole' aunts" have access to modern technology! ! ! !

Hope you have had a wonderful b-day. Will hopefully see you at the "Christmas party".

Love ya bushels

"Our own Christmas party. . . "

This past Thursday at the dinner table Kelly asked me to watch the girls so she could attend the Christmas party for work. Rease wanted to know if she had to go and Kelly said yes, and that she was needed help clean up as well. Out of the blue Rease said: "Fine then. We'll just have our own Christmas party at Aunt Tiger's!" So. . . had to call my sister and ask her if she had plans for that day - asked her to pencil us in, and - pretty much invited ourselves to a party that wasn't "planned". Thank God for understanding sisters! ! ! !
We will probably just make cookies, maybe a craft or two, and have lunch together. The girls won't care if its a "true party", or not. They will be just as happy to go play! ! And me. . . . I will be happy for the fellowship of family! !

Saturday, December 5, 2009

An Oxymoron

I am so excited about Christmas, but my spirit is quite sad. Why is that? I truly love this time of year, but something always tugs at my spirit and leaves me feeling a little on the "blue" side of life. Could it just be circumstances around me, my past, the uncertainty of the future, the fact that I have a brother who's birthday is this month and the thought of him makes me sad, the fact that a little baby was born just to die for my salvation and I am so undeserving of that, or a combination of all these things? It bothers me to feel this way when I know I should be kicking my heels up and doing a jig. Maybe that's the way my life balances out - good, bad, and indifferent and I am more aware of it at this time of the year. After all, it is a time to reflect back on where I've been, where I am, and where I'm going. The trick, and sometimes very hard part, is putting it all in perspective.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Happy Birthday, Sam!

Happy Birthday, Sam!

It's hard to believe you are 22 years old - wasn't it just last week you were in diapers and sharing "binkies" with Ben ? LOL :) Time has really flown and I really miss those days!

When I hear your name, the very first thing that comes to my mind is your eyes. They always seem to have a "smile" in them! Could that be because you always seem to have a smile, too?
Hope you enjoyed your B-day dinner and dessert!

Love ya bushels!
Aunt Crickett

PS - Keep on smiling :) :)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Okay, So I Dropped the Ball!

I have been informed by my TWO daughters that I didn't quite complete my task of giving simple thanks each day before Thanksgiving! :(
I guess that's what happens when you put yourself out there for the world to see! ! !
I was actually thankful for something every day. It's just that by day's end I was so tired I forgot to blog and then - well things fell into the "gray" area of my brain - lol ! (aka- dropping the ball??) I have written them a note to explain myself:

Dear Sweet Children of Mine,
I have come to realize that my life is like one of those movie scenes - I'm being catapulted thru the journey of life. There is a door or hole I must go thru to reach my destination, but quite surprised by the whirly, twirly way I get to the bottom when I step or fall inside! The ride down and around is - should I say - hair raising, gut wrenching and sometimes makes me want to expel a blood curdling scream - be it out of fear or shear adrenaline. But I know I must do it - go thru that door. In my haste and excitement I sometimes forget that it is my ride and drag you, my unsuspecting family, along with me - I mean after all, you are part of the "Plot", the "bigger picture"! And as you can guess, I get sidetracked and forget some things because there are many doors to enter and it seems so little time to do it. Such is my "ride" in life! ! So. . . . . family of mine - "For your safety, buckle up and stay seated until the ride stops. Keep all objects and body parts inside the ride at all times. Enjoy your visit and come back again soon!"

PS - in case you don't know it by now - you guys are my world!

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i'm a wife, a mom, a mom-mom, a sister, an aunt, a cousin, a friend...i'm a child of God.... i love to read, scrap, and sew (all when time permits!)... i like trying new things, going to different places, even if only in my mind....i like simple, but life is complicated....i like spring days, snow storms, thunderstorms, and big puffy clouds you can make things out of....i like coffee, tea and iced chocolate milk you can sip thru a straw..........