Category Archives: memories

That time of year again

We have a tradition around these parts. Every year we go to Dexter Blueberry Farm to pick…you guessed it…blueberries.

We even went the year Patrice was due any day.

This last Saturday the picking was rated excellent so off we headed.

And our first creation with the blueberries…

8 years

I mentioned in my therapy appointment yesterday that today marked 8 years since my dad died. The doctor asked what I was going to do to mark the anniversary. I have to admit, I wasn’t prepared to answer that question. Typically, I’m sad and then mad at my husband because he doesn’t read my mind and comfort me.

Some years I have driven to the grave, but that is impossible this year. The doctor then asked who I could talk to who would share similar memories, so later I will be calling my older sister. We started sharing memories yesterday via facebook and I am looking forward to hearing some of her thoughts on dad. I have more memories from growing up, but she has more of the last years of his life. He walked her down the aisle at her wedding and met all three of her kids. He died 4 months before I got married and never met any of my girls.

But one big way I am marking today? I found a cake recipe on pinterest that is similar to what I used to bake for him, complete with a frosting recipe identical to the one I used.

A Cake in Memory of my Daddy

Happy Anniversary in Heaven Daddy.  We miss you!

*The cake isn’t pretty, I almost didn’t post it, but hey Patrice left her mark on it and my daddy wouldn’t have cared he would have dug in.  I rarely make cakes,  but I think I am going to make this a tradition.


Enjoying daddy’s cake with my family

Tip Junkie handmade projects

Embarassed before kids–Secret mommyhood confessions

So the embarassment factor goes up when you have kids, like the day Caitlyn told a new friend she was feeling violent.  Yeah, she was repeating me.  What she left out was I was trying to convince hubby to buy me a punching bag for my birthday.

I was so embarassed.

But that does not compare to when I went on a mission trip to Mexico as a teen.  It was one of the few times in my life I owned a two piece bathing suit.  Because of the co-ed nature of the trip, I had to wear a t-shirt over the bikini top.  But a friend wanted to see to top too, so I lifted up my shirt.  Unbeknownst to me my top had come undone and was around my waist.  Yup, I flashed a guy on the trip.  I was sick with embarassment, but as I thought about it today, turns out he came out of the closet shortly after high school, so… was it really embarassing?

Better try again.

I traveled as a missionary after college.  It was a music group.  I was the interpreter for the Deaf.  So I moved a lot during the concerts.  Well one night we finished, so I went back to the music table to do my other job, sell CDs.  I didn’t have a chance to grab the money bag before people came up.  I sold a few, they gave me cash.  Our leader called us up for another song.  I stuffed the money in my bra.  Ran up front.  Started signing.  Again, moving a lot.  As I moved, money came up and out, down and out of my dress.  The drummer almost died laughing, “it was like a slot machine!  The more she moved her arms, the more money came out!!!!”

Writing it now, it’s funny, at the time I was mortified.

When have you been embarassed?

Something Something Button

Linking with Kimberly.

Helping as a Family–Gleaners Food Bank

I grew up in a rural area.  There was no place for people to be begging.  I was in my 30s before I saw my first beggar.  I was out for a girls’ night when I was several months pregnant with Sue.  The group of us had gone to dinner and were walking around the city area.  Everybody decided to get some ice cream.  I didn’t really want any, but I got a small dish.  Baby said there was no room for it.  So I started to throw it away.  I had taken 1-2 bites.  A guy, grabbed it as it fell and said “can I have it?”  I stuttered yes and was changed forever.

I have always been a giver when it comes to food drives, toy drives, book drives.  You name it.  I grew up very poor.  We benefited from people’s generosity more than once.  But the ice cream experience was different.  How do I get truly involved now?

Hubby and I talked about it more than once.  I wish for anything I could go back to that night and take the guy to get a real meal rather than eating my leftovers.  I’ve known since that day our family would be getting involved.  We just had to wait a bit for the girls to get old enough.

I volunteered at Gleaners Food Bank right before Christmas for a few hours through work.  I talked to the volunteer coordinator and found ot my girls were now old enough.  She has worked with kids as young as 20 months!

This last week we made up fliers for the neighborhood asking for food donations to take with us.  The girls were thrilled to find a few bags for us to take.

Yesterday we loaded them up and off we went.

Miss Sarah taught us that food insecurity affects 1 in 5 people. And that the people aren’t all on the street. They can look just like us. Last year Gleaners distributed 40,000 million pounds of food to food banks, schools, senior centers, soup kitchens.

The 943 bags we packed will go to kids throughout the metro area who are food insecure. The box of cereal, cans of veggies, fruit and ravioli will go home with them so they can eat when school isn’t in session.

If you are looking for a volunteer opportunity contact Sarah Blight at at the Gleaners Oakland Distribution Center.

Sue really loved her job!

Memory Captured–First Pony Ride and Thanks 331-349

I saw a call for memories captured in a tweet today from @galitbreen and I knew exactly what picture I had to link up.


The pony is Sandy, the baby is Patrice and yes, that says a ride is 1 cent.  It has been for decades.

My cousin and I grew up riding Sandy at a local grocery store chain, Meijer.  A couple years ago I got to introduce my girls and this weekend, my Patrice.

That little girl joins her sisters in being a marvelous joy and light in our lives.

We thank the Lord for them daily.

331 (61).  For childhood memories to share with my girls

332 (62).  Having my cousin just a text message away

333 (63).  A clean house

334 (64).  All the laundry done for the moment

335 (65).  Joy of reading by lamplight from a lamp my daddy gave me

336 (66).  Very hands on hubby

337 (67).  Caitlyn loving to go outside to play

338 (68).  Patrice learning to climb; daddy being smart enough to dismantle the tool she uses to climb where she shouldn’t be

339 (69).  Having my mom to call with cooking questions

340 (70).  Reuniting with college friends

341 (71).  24 hour grocery stores when needed

342 (72).  Caitlyn coming through dental surgery quickly

343 (73).  A knowledgable, caring dentist for our girls

344 (74).  Sue already feeling better after having a fever so high early this morning that she was hallucinating

345 (75).  Hubby practical enough to know how to get the fever down

346 (76).  Kleenex on sale just as we ran out

347 (77).  Warm reception for my blog carnival idea

Be looking for it March 15th, just in time to celebrate my mom’s birthday.  Need a button for your blog?  Check with Lauren, @unxpctdblessing on twitter or at My Postpartum Voice.

348 (78).  Patrice adding the signs milk and banana to her vocabulary

349 (79).  Being able to gather and calm myself today when Sue was sick

I am linking up for the first time for Memories Captured and once again with Multitude Monday.


A Blissful Day 250–261

Today, I had to take my oldest to the dentist for fillings.  I thought she would be pretty freaked out, so I told her afterward we were going shopping.

The dentist is very impatient and declared he could only do one, she was too fidgety…blah, blah, blah…but we got one.  She was so good.  And it just kept going.  We headed to the mall.  We had some Christmas shopping to do (as I will head over to my family later this week to celebrate). 

We started with some clothes shopping for a niece and nephew.  It was so fun picking stuff out with her.  Talking, Giggling.  Having her listen.

Then we got a pretzel, once her hour had passed and she could eat.  And on to two more stores where she helped me pick out gifts, her tastes run a little expensive in the toy store!

When she got tired, she said, “let’s find some place to hang out.”  And started hinting at the play area.  I said, “you just want to go play.”  “That’s what you think mommy.”  Then a little later, she said, “you’re right mommy, I do want to play!”

So we did for a bit.

Then off to do more errands.  And finally, lunch. I decided to treat us to a real, grown up lunch.  Too bad I chose something neither of us ended up liking to split…ah well.  We got it sorted out.  And then to head home.
It was a joy and a pleasure to spend the day with my Caitlyn.  Oh, the heartbreak I felt when I got home and the bickering, whining and crying started up with all three girls.  I LOVE having my three.  I wouldn’t change it for the world.  But I do wonder, sometimes, if we are raising them correctly.  Is it supposed to be so hard to have peace with all three of them together?  Are they supposed to bring out the worst in each other?  What are we doing wrong???
I am so thankful for today:
250.  Fun and bonding with my oldest daughter.
251.  A nice Christmas.
252.  Singing Happy Birthday to Jesus using a cake I decorated!!!
253.  Running 10 miles without stopping.
254.  Finishing a fitness challenge.
255.  Signing up to run a half marathon in the spring.
256.  Hugging a good friend at church on Sunday.
257.  The generosity of family to my girls.
258.  A green Christmas.
259.  The support of my hubby and friends during a rough bit yesterday.
260.  Still being here a year after writing this post.
261.  Singing, “My Hat it Has 3 Corners” and thinking of my dad.
Won’t you join in counting for what we are thankful?

Christmas Adventure

As I mentioned, we had planned to go cut down a tree and have real adventure getting a real tree rather than using one of our artificial trees. 

We had an adventure alright but it consisted of cleaning up a baby in the parking lot of a store after she got sick all over herself.  Sigh…

But we did find a beautiful tree at a flower market. 

Patrice took a nap while we decorated but she enjoyed cleaning beforehand

60, A Number Not Reached

My dad would have been 60 today.  But I lost him a little over 7 years ago in a single car crash. 

My dad was a hardworking, friendly, outgoing, chocolate cake loving, twizzlers licorice addict.

He was an exacting disciplinarian with high expectations, but you knew what they were.  There was no guessing on what would make him happy, what would disappoint him.

I remember as a kid if I wanted to go play at someone’s house, or go do something, that his first question would be, “are your chores done?”  It was incredibly rare for him to say I couldn’t do something fun if I could say “yes, all my chores are done.”

And if I paid attention, I could learn to expect other things from him.  When I was 13 I bought a horse.  My dad expected the horse to be ridden every day, and the stall cleaned each day…It was hard to find time to do both every day, but I quickly learned, if I got up on Sunday’s before church to go ride, my dad would clean the stall out while I rode. 

When I got older and started driving, I paid for my own gas.  I hated it when my dad would ask to borrow my car, until I figured out that if I said yes, he always returned it full of gas no matter how empty it was when he borrowed it.  I started hoping he would borrow my car!  And that was when gas was just over a $1 a gallon. If you were still with us daddy, I would let you borrow my car all the time! 

I wish he were here for lots of reasons.  He would love my girls.  I think, while he would think my running was silly, he would also be proud of how far I have come in my journey with Multiple Sclerosis.

I think he always believed in me, even when I thought it meant he didn’t understand what I was going through.  I think maybe he could just envision more than I could, past the current challenges, to a stronger future.

And though right now I often feel weak and beaten, it is a stronger future than I often imagined as a child.  I have an amazing husband and three incredible girls.  The future I always wanted.

Thank you daddy for loving me, for believing in me.

Happy Birthday!

Geoff Moore And The Distance – If You Could See What I See Lyrics

Hubby and I have been married seven years.  It is a joy to say that.  I was sure I would never find someone who could love me and my health issues, Multiple Sclerosis, asthma, both of which are in remission and have been for several years.  So glad my boyfriend, then fiance, could look past those things to see me. 

The above song was in our wedding.  Two of my cousins did an incredible job singing it. 

And my very soon to be hubby cried.  A girl can’t ask for more than that! 

taking a moment to relax at the reception before being announced as Mr. and Mrs. 

A quick picture with my beloved cousin and maid of honor, Lisa.

Not Much To Say Tonight…Maybe You’ll Enjoy This

Been thinking about my dad today.  He loved Hee Haw and this song.

And on a totally unrelated note, Sunday is my 7th anniversary.  Any gift ideas for the hubby?  I have no idea what to give him.