Saturday, June 21, 2014


Tomorrow is the  three month anniversary of the date we lost my Mom.  Although we knew it was coming and we had a lot of time to prepare, nothing can really ever prepare you for this heartache.  There is a hole in our lives that a tiny, strong-willed, gentle-handed, loving woman filled.  In one of Mom's favorite movies, "Message In a Bottle," Theresa asks what will happen now, will Garrett just forget about her? His reply, is "Every single day."   And my reply is the same...every single day, my sweet Mom.  

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Have you met Gus?

Usually, posts about pets top the charts if boring. must meet Gus or your life will be incomplete (or so Gus says.).

Gus believes he should be on our Christmas card.

He also believes that the dog wants to share her bed. And her toys.

And now he is demanding that I stop writing. Of course, he is the boss. Right?

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Getting Healthy

2012 was an....interesting year. I spent the year getting healthy. Which means quitting all of the 42 bajillion meds I was on for whatever I have (take your pick... Lupus, rheumatoid arthritis or the brand new name we just found out about--ankylosing spondylitis.). I've been going to acupuncture almost every week for the year and it has done amazing things for me. I also changed my diet--no gluten, no sugar and no dairy. Did I mention how much I miss BREAD??? But it has totally been worth it. Very little joint pain and I've lost 50 pounds! I'm going to be sharing recipes soon!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Bacon and Ice Cream

It's the Saturday morning of my 3 day Labor Day Weekend and I'm in the mood to cook! So far today I've made bacon and ice cream...(but not together!)

I've been cooking bacon in the oven for a while now and I love it.  Line a baking pan with foil, lay the bacon on, start in a cold oven, cook for 20 minutes at 400 degrees.  But today, I made a mouth-watering discovery.  When the bacon finishes, pour off the bacon grease, and lay some bread in the yummy goodness still on the foil and bake in a 425 degree oven until toasty.  Spread with homemade peach butter and eat fast, before your son wants your piece! (I'll post the recipe for homemade peach butter soon.)

Now, for the ice cream.  The fastest, easiest, yummiest homemade ice cream.  Mix together 1 quart of half and half, one can of Eagle Brand milk, and 2T of good vanilla.  Pour into ice cream freezer and let it do it's thing.  Place it in the freezer and cover.  We keep this in the freezer all the time...(except when Evan needs a midnight snack!!)

Happy Labor Day, everyone!

Friday, June 3, 2011


Tomorrow, my full house will get just a little bit closer to being an empty nest, when my son graduates from high school.  His has been a long, hard road.  I tease him that when they call his name, he and I will walk hand-in-hand across the stage to accept "our" diploma, because it has taken a lot of work from both of us to get to this day.  Some kids have it easy, and sail through school, effortlessly bringing home A's and B's.  Others struggle and suffer just for a C.  My middle child has had that kind of road...sandwiched right between two kids who seemed to get A's just for showing up.  But, through the tears and torment there have been tiny remembering something they have long since forgotten, like which president declared that he spoke softly but carried a big stick. (I'm not sure his younger brother even remembered that Teddy Roosevelt was a president...)  Or passing his written test for his driver's license on the first try, unlike his older sister who missed it by a few points and had to take it again... not that he points that out to her (much.)

His hard road started early in life.  Words came with difficulty and often required translation.  "My nee no" meant "I don't know."  "My wan nee-nah" meant "I want a banana."  When his PaPa asked him whose boy he was, he sweetly replied in his deep voice "Mam boy," letting us all know he belonged to his Mamma.  Bigger than the other kids, my gentle giant had to be taught to stand up for himself in Kindergarten when smaller kids realized he wouldn't do a thing when they pushed him down.  Never was a sweeter child born than this one. Tender-hearted and caring, he would put band-aids on our freckles if we let him.

And while he has struggled in school, he has succeeded in other areas like teaching himself to play the guitar by ear, taking care of patients in the nursing home, and building playgrounds on mission trips.

When he goes off to the Air Force in a few months my grocery bill will probably be cut in half and I will spend less time shopping online for size 15 boots.  But I can only imagine how empty the house will be without the sound of those boots on the hardwood floors and his deep chuckle rumbling at something funny he hears on television.

So, tomorrow, when they call his name, I will smile through my tears when he holds that diploma.  You did it, Taylor!!! We love you!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

My Daddy

This is my Daddy.  I know... I'm 43 years old and I still call him Daddy, not something a little more dignified and suited to my age.  But I can't help it...he's my Daddy.  As I write this, I'm sitting on a bench that he made for me and painstakingly engraved with the Texas A&M logo, even though the instant I enrolled he declared himself a die-hard TU fan (that would be a University of Texas to those of you who were not fortunate enough to attend the right 

We took this picture together on Thanksgiving Day this year, because he wore maroon on the day the Aggies played (and beat) the Longhorns.  I had to get a picture, so that he couldn't go back and deny wearing it later.

When I came out this morning to drink my coffee on the patio (that he helped us build) out of my favorite A&M coffee mug (that he gave me for Christmas the year I graduated...covered with a Longhorn sticker,) I got the best surprise in the form of a text from Daddy. 

"Coffee on the patio? Got another cup?" 

"Of course, " I replied, "Come on over!"

We moved back to Temple 9 months ago, to be closer to our families and to allow me to make a career change when I needed something less stressful.  I often wished we had been able to find a house closer to my parents, so that when Daddy took his morning two-mile walk, he could come by for coffee.  So, this beautiful spring morning, he hopped in his truck after his walk and came by his favorite (and only) daughter's house.  We drank coffee, talked, and just enjoyed being together.  Did I mention that I love my Daddy?

There are some things about my Daddy that you should know.  He can fix anything.  And I do mean anything.  From broken hearts to broken cars to broken furniture.  He has the best hands.  Big, strong, callused and surprisingly gentle.  He is never wrong.  And if he is mistaken, it is only because he was misinformed...of course.   And, he has a sarcastic sense of humor.  So, now you know where I get it from.

Ever since I joined the Aggie family and he declared himself my enemy in this regard only, a battle has waged between us.  When I go over to my parent's house, I often leave a little gift behind for him.  Like an A&M pillow case on his pillow, that he doesn't find until he gets ready to go to bed, and then can't sleep because he states that it will surely give him nightmares.  

Christmas, however, is the day the war rages with passion.  I have filled my parents stockings on Christmas morning for about 20 years.  For the last 10 of those, his stocking has only contained items bearing the A&M logo.  Aggie M&Ms, Aggie wine, Aggie kleenex, Aggie playing cards...well, you get the picture.  His bathroom is now fully decorated in maroon.  From soap and lotion to toilet paper. (Which he declared the perfect Aggie gift so that he could use it to wipe his butt.) When he complained that some items should bear a longhorn, I obliged and gave him a stuffed longhorn (with it's horns sawed off, naturally) and some longhorn poop (chocolate covered peanuts.) 

And here is where it gets bad.  One day I found a beautiful stool to use in my classroom but it needed some work.  I took it to the man who can fix anything, who said he would be happy to make it sturdy and stain it for me.  When it was ready, he brought it to my classroom and we stood back and admired it. I noticed my Mom had a funny look on her face, but I couldn't really figure out why.

"Do you like it?"he asked.

"Oh, yes! I love it!" I replied.

"Are you sure? Do you like everything about it?" he said.

"Absolutely!" I declared, hugging him tightly.

He smiled a smirky little grin.  And I knew I had been had.  My eyes searched over the beautifully stained stool... and then I saw it.  That sneaky rotten Daddy of mine had painted a longhorn on the leg of my stool.  And I had just told him that I liked everything about it.  Dang...score one for Daddy.

I have the best Daddy in the world.  I wouldn't change one thing about him....well, maybe just the Longhorn thing.  

Monday, March 28, 2011

Full House

Don't you love a good play on words?

Our family is a full house...3 guys and 2 girls.  Unless you count the dog. Who thinks she's a cat (but that's a post for another day.)

When I was pregnant with our third child, my favorite song was by Garth Brooks.  I loved to hear my sweet hubby sing "We're two of a kind, workin' on a full house." He would flash that dimpled grin at me and I would forget that there were tiny little feet waging war against my bladder.

Now the three precious kids who made us a full house are teenagers and the house is full...of cell phones, computers, flip flops, grease-covered jeans, muddy boots and love.  And in just a few short months, we'll start that journey toward being empty-nesters. 

Where did the time go? They were watching Barney and Blue's Clues just the other day.  So hold on, young moms.  Hold on to every moment.  Because before you know it, the full house won't be quite so full anymore.