Monday, October 29, 2012

Football season comes to an end...

Cade played flag football this year.  His team was the Bills.
They were a really good team!  They won almost all their games.  Sadly, they lost in the Superbowl.

We live in such a pretty place. 
 How many people can watch a football game in this setting?

Cade was a little aggressive.... I think he's more suited for tackle football.

Jens' team had a GREAT season!  (Jens is #62) Jeff was the coach.... what else is new?
They were region champs!

I had to put this one in here of our darling neighbor Kaylie.  She is seriously so pretty!

Fall 2012

These little girls were destined to be friends long before they were even born.

 They worked so hard to get this little pile of leaves!

 All the kids in the neighborhood love to rake leaves into big piles and jump in them.  We have so many trees in the back that most of the kids come into my yard to rake, which is great for me.  It just means less leaves for me to rake!

Yesterday my mom came over for Sunday dinner and we carved pumpkins afterwards.

Molly started out gung ho!  
Then she decided she DID NOT like the feel of the pumpkin innards.  

This picture is totally out of focus but her expression is the best in it.

She dry heaved.
She really did not like the feel of it!

So I told her to wash up and I would finish for her.

 She went and got out her dolls and played with them instead.

The finished products

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


I found this recipe on Pinterest and it is the yummiest queso I have ever had!

32 oz block Velveeta Cheese
1 can Rotel
8 oz block cream cheese
1 pound cooked and crumbled Italian Sausage or ground beef

*Heat the Velveeta, Rotel and cream cheese together, then add the cooked meat.  That's it!  So good too!  For those of you who don't know what Rotel is:  Rotel is kind of like a salsa.  It has tomatoes and green chilis in it.  You usually find it in the Mexican food isle.  It comes in a can about the size of a soup can.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

My Dad's 75th Birthday

Two days ago was my dad's 75th birthday.  I am convinced that it was either his last birthday that he will celebrate OR it was at least his last birthday that he will spend in his home. 

I have shed many tears over this simple fact.  

My parents divorced when I was 10 years old.  I was relieved, crazy as that may sound, that they finally got divorced.  Their marriage was no good for everyone and they were much better people apart.  I developed new respect and love for both of my parents after they divorced that I simply could not have done if they had stayed married.  However having said that, my dad lived just a short two and a half miles away from me while growing up, but by my own choosing, I didn't spend much time with him.  I never really developed that "warm and cozy" relationship with him.  I still loved him though.  I am 36 years old now and I still find myself longing for that.  I always wanted it.  I know that time is drawing near and I feel a panic to somehow develop that.  And while I am grateful for the "warning" that time drawing near, it is still painful.  I contemplated my feelings of his birthday the whole day.  I called him earlier in the day to wish him a happy birthday and while I was on the phone with him I wondered if that would be the last time I would call him to say those words.  I baked pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting for him, all the while wondering if it would be the last time I would make him a birthday cake.  I took my time with the whole process.  I turned the oven down and baked them a little longer, making them rise higher.  I took my time frosting them, swirling the frosting around so that they looked delicious.  I sprinkled a little nutmeg on top of the frosting as a nice garnish.  I drug the process out as long as I could, just enjoying it.  As I sat in his home that he has shared with my stepmom for 20+ years, I wondered if it was going to be one of the last times that we would all be there at the same time, me, my kids, Jeff, my brother and his wife and kids, chaos, loud laughing, worries of something being broken, light heartedness......

All too often in life we focus on the "firsts".  Our first steps, our first words, our first kiss, the first time we see our children hit a homerun, the first time we make a birthday cake for someone....

But what about our "lasts"?  I think they get overlooked a lot.  If we realized that the last time we spoke to our grandparents was going to be the last time, would we slow down and take our time speaking to them?  If we knew that the last time we were at our parents house to visit them was going to be the last time we would see them there, would we take our time with the visit?  Would we stay longer and savor the time?  If you knew that the last time you hugged someone and told them you loved them was actually going to be the last time, would you hold on tighter?  Would you look them in the eye and convince them that you love them?    

About 10 months ago my dad started to have some problems with his left leg.  He was starting to loose control over it.  He could no longer lift his toes up and he didn't have the strength in it that he once did.  Then it moved to his left hand and left arm.  No strength to even squeeze the toothpaste.  No strength or fine motor skills to button his shirt.
 Now this is a man who went from running on a treadmill everyday and hauling wood and sheetrock and building buildings.... to just.... nothing...

Getting up and walking is a chore.  He has to have his walker or a cane or else he falls down.  He has to sit on a stool in the shower or else he falls down.  His exercise now is walking around his house and going up the stairs to his room.  Luckily he hasn't broke any bones.  In two days he sees a specialist in ALS, otherwise know as Lou Gerhig's Disease.  Hopefully we will have some answers soon.

I had to take some pictures of my stepmom Nancy, my niece Marissa and Sidney.  Nancy, on the left is 75 years old, Marissa in the center is 15, and Sidney on the right is a whopping 12 years old.  She towers over the others!  

I totally savored my time at my dads on his birthday.  I enjoyed the stories, the laughs, the time with family.
I even enjoyed the bittersweetness of it all.