We have had lots of struggles and challenges in our lives, but we've had even more blessings!

Friday, February 5, 2016

An Elliot memory from Christmas break :-]

"What's on my mind?" An Elliot memory from Christmas break :-] 
   I had been up for awhile, was in the midst of making choc. chip cookies, when a young voice literally startled me from behind by saying "Morning Grammy". Without glancing back, I said, "Morning sweetheart". A very offended grumpy voice replied, "I'm not Analyse, I'm Elliot!". Bother! Trying to lighten things, I said, "We're you being funny and trying to surprise me by using your Analyse voice? giggle..."  "NO!"  S-i-g-h. And he's usually the happy one in the morning. I asked if he wanted to help me make cookies. "NO!".  Decided to keep my mouth shut and see what happens. He disappeared for a couple of minutes, then was back, playing just inside the dining room doorway with something.
   I had just decided that I'd made enough for whatever it was going on that particular day and was going to stick the rest of the batter in the fridge and start chopping onions, when Elliot wandered in and wanted to help with the cookies. I decided to see if we could do both. Usually, I have them grab a wad of dough and roll it into balls, but there's always the "is this the right size?" dilemma going on. I put parchment paper on a fresh pan and flopped a dozen blobs at one end, that way all he had to do was roll them into shape. I then started cutting onions on the other counter. This process worked good for the first two and a half pans, then he got a bit bored/ yet creative. He'd roll them into a ball, then flatten his hands and roll them out into more of a hot dog shape. After squishing it, he'd roll it back into a ball and with great flourish present it on the palm of his hand with a "ta-DA!". He is such a fun character!!!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Such music to my ears

   A hard hitting, forever lasting, cold virus, hit our home this summer. It wasn't the nasty runny nose type. Rather, it was the type that induces coughing, that turns into deep painful coughing, combined with horrible drainage. The cold not only hit me, it flared my asthma. It got to the point that you couldn't talk without being interrupted by coughing. And then came the day that singing was not even an option.
   I always sing to our GRAND children at rest time. I sing while I rock the youngest one to sleep. Then the next youngest gets to climb into my lap. I'm honestly not sure who enjoys it more, me, or the GRAND children.
   But the day came when with a sad heavy heart, I had to tell them I wasn't going to be able to sing today, they just needed to lay nice and quietly and rest. "Why?". "Because I can't stop coughing and I can't breathe right". Very sad sounding okay-s were replied. All was silent for three or four minutes, then with hesitancy in his young voice, just turned four years old Mr. Elliot asked, "Grammie?" "What?" "Can I sing for you?".  My first instinct was to say no. I was quite sure silliness was about to invade the room. But then I looked closer at his little face. There was such sincerity and hopefulness in it, that I just couldn't bear to say no, so I didn't.
    He remained silent for a couple of minutes, but his furrowed brow and look of deep concentration, told me he was running things through in his mind before he started. I smiled at him, partly in anticipation. A couple of more minutes passed and then he started singing. Then I had to fight the tears. His tender heart would think the tears meant he was doing a bad job, or some such. There was no way I wanted him to think that! For one, his voice was so clear and pretty sounding. And for two, his face was still deep in concentration and I didn't want tears to interrupt that. So why the tears?
    First of all, was the love filled sweetness of his voice. Just beautiful I tell you! And then there was the fact that the song he was singing, was one of the songs I sing to them. During the course of the song, it actually became a mixture of three of the songs I sing to them, and occasionally the look on his face, or the momentary hesitation in his voice, clued me into the fact that he knew it wasn't coming out quite right, but I always smiled encouraging and he'd continue on.
    The song(s) he sang, were not just songs I sing to them, but he had picked the ones I've made up and sing about them. I sing it/them all of the way through to first Analyse, then Elliot, then Rylee. And while he might of mixed the songs together, the fact that he knew them word for word, that he sang them with such love and that he included me in the list, my heart was overflowing with thrilledness. My little songs mattered to them and HAD impacted them. Thank-you Lord!
    When he was done, I wanted to hug him and squeeze him and kiss him all up, but I shakily kept my self control and told him how beautifully he sang, how much I had enjoyed it and that I was glad he knew I loved him. With an embarrassed little laugh he had said "Thanks Grammie!"  My heart said "Thank-you Lord, for allowing me to have the privilege of this precious little guy as my GRAND son!!!"
    Then six year old Analyse asked if she could sing. More sweetness! Two year old Ms. Rylee was having nothing doing with waiting for a turn of her own. And while she didn't always pronunciate the words, her melody was spot on and oh so cute! My heart was overflowing with love, gratefulness and all sorts of other GRAND motherly feelings.
    After a bit, silliness did try to poke it's head in, so we returned to silence. But them singing to me for a bit at rest time, became the way we did things, that is until silliness started showing up from the get go.
   I enjoy closing my eyes to again see their sweet loved filled faces and hear their beautiful voices singing my songs of love to them. :-]

Monday, January 26, 2015

Sticker SHOCK

     Recently our van was pronounced D.E.A.D. . We had just had this fixed, then it went back in for that, then something else happened. That third time it was the final strike. To fix the latest thing, would involve a total engine tear down / take every thing apart, which is a huge time involved task, and the process there-of would most likely reveal even more problems, which would increase both the parts and the labor.  So the van is dead. It served us well. It has over two hundred and thirteen thousand miles on it. But that means we are currently with out a vehicle of our own.  Thankfully, Papa Honey is loaning us his truck. But we need to get another vehicle of our own.
    Brian had been looking on line, such as Craig's list, etc.. Yesterday we ventured out to look on local used car lots. For one, to see what certain vehicles looked like in person, how much room they really had, etc.. And secondly, to look at how much they were priced for.
     About number one. While some have suggested that it's time for us to move down to a small little car for just Brian and I, that option does not at all fit our life style. It is normal for us to be hauling stuff, or people, or a combination of people and stuff. And sometimes it's our GRAND children and their stuff. Definite priorities to us!
     About 'secondly' - oh  my  word  did  we  get  sticker  shock !!! A particular vehicle we were really drawn to, was nine (9) years old, had over one hundred and thirteen miles on it and yet it was priced at seventeen THOUSAND dollars. And on it went. Till our sticker shock wore into sticker numbness.
    "They must be getting it, since all of them are priced like that", "I know... but how in the world can people afford it?".
   That conversation brought a multitude of various things to mind.
  ~ Things such as, hearing just how many credit cards and loans some people are carrying.
  ~ Things such as, knowing a bunch of people who have filed for bankruptcy.
  ~ Things such as, 'getting' even better why minimum wage employees want the minimum amount drastically raised, yet being confused as to why they don't 'get' that the companies will in turn then just raise all of their prices, because there is no way that companies are going to take a cut in their gross profits. 
  ~ Things such as, a conversation we had with a friend several years ago, about the price the wife had paid for their daughters high school Sr. prom. $400 for a prom dress, then $ for shoes and a manicure and a hair appointment, etc.. Made me question if it was really her Sr. prom or her wedding. I had questioned how many hours he had had to labor to pay for all of that. I was informed that you can't look at things from that perspective any more.
    WHY  NOT ?!?!? Isn't that what you have to do to pay for said expenses?  And if you put those expenses on a charge card, the company adds interest to your balance, thus raising the total you have to pay, which in the end equals that many more hours you have to work. It really does boil down to being that simple. And it really does equal out to that vicious of a cycle. But that IS the way it is!
     Another thing which came to mind, was part of the Laura Ingalls Wilder book, 'Farmer Boy'. In the particular section which came to mind, the dad was teaching the son the value of money. And how before you could spend it, you had to earn it. And when you looked at something you thought you wanted, you had to keep in mind just how long and how much effort was it going to take you to earn that amount. Once you thought all of that through, you could then make a realistic decision about whether or not you wanted to purchase or even start saving towards said item. 
    Seems to me, that the world needs to start spending an hour every Sunday afternoon, reading their way through that book! And reading it aloud. That way more senses are involved and thus the truths therein are more likely to get grasped / sink in. 
    If "how your going to pay for it" doesn't actually figure in, as in, how in the world do you realistically plan on paying off that loan, or that credit card, or that mortgage, etc., then no wonder people are literally drowning in debt. No wonder businesses are going belly up. No wonder our national economy is in the condition it's in. People need to read that simple children's story and take heed of the wisdom contained there-in!!!
   So how are we going to get a new vehicle? Honestly, we're not sure yet. We've placed the situation in God's hands. He's proven time and time again that He is capable of both providing for us and of doing "the impossible" (things we refer to as 'miracles'). We are ever so thankfully that He is and does! ! !

Friday, December 5, 2014

'Recipes I'd like to try'

   The other evening, Brian had said that he'd like to find a new good recipe for a certain food product. I had replied that I knew I had some on my 'Recipes I'd Like to try' board on Pinterest. He was sure I did too. o;-p  I remembered our conversation the next day and went looking. My search revealed two different things.
   First - That in the end, we're going to end up making our own specialized recipe. See, after looking at several, I found one along the lines of what he wanted, so I copied and pasted it to an email to send him. Then I kept looking. I found first this then another recipe, which was kind of similar to the first, y-e-t ... So maybe if we replaced this product in the first recipe, with this one from this other recipe. Oh, and maybe if we also added this ingredient to the first recipe from that fourth recipe. Yup, I think I have the possibilities fine tuned to a recipe we're going to try making. And he thinks he got the just of it from the explanation in the email. Gonna try it out ourselves before we plan to serve it elsewhere. 
  Second - That my board needed some help! Often, like many other pinners, I just re-pin something one of the people I've chosen to 'follow' has pinned. The pictures look yummy, like something somebody in my little family would like, etc.. Occasionally I'd click on the pin so that it opened another window to the source of the pin (recipe) and verify that we actually would like it (or that with slight tweaking we should). That 'occasionally' needs to change to a habit of always doing so!
     I am literally mind boggled by how many recipes led me to a notice from Pinterest, stating that they had "blocked" the link due to spam, nudity, etc.. Mind boggled. Reportedly, x-rated web sites often draw visitors to their sites, by attaching their web page/site to pictures of things which have nothing what-so-ever to do with what their site is actually about. But to have had that many "recipes" on my board which weren't recipes at all.... mind boggled.
     So I decided to take the time and one by one double check each and every one of the pins on that board. Quite the undertaking, seeings how I had over 700 pins on it. (and yes, that first sentence does sound rather redundant, so did this task.)
     In the process, I found that I had duplicates of about a dozen pins. I was impressed that it was that low. I deleted the duplicates. Or at least I 'think' I got all of them.
     A couple of other times I thought they were duplicates, but it turned out they were from different sources and different recipes. I kept both in case I try one and it doesn't pass the test.
     I was surprised to find that I couldn't actually access certain recipes, unless I signed up to some recipe site/blog. While the pins pictures looked appetizing, instead of signing up, I deleted those pins. I just prefer it that way. Other times I was informed that viewing the blog was by "invite only". didn't realize their were private cooking sororities on line.
    Quite a few times, I found that instead of leading me to the recipe itself, the link led to a web site. Sometimes I was successful in finding the actual recipe, deleted the original pin and then pinned the actual link onto my board. Other times, my searching was unsuccessful and I ended up just deleting the pin altogether. 
    One time I got quite the surprise. The pin stated that it was for a chicken dish that Olive Garden makes. I figured it led to a 'knock off' version of their recipe. Instead, it lead to the restaurant's on line - carry out ordering page. :-p  Here's that link in case you wish to use it -  http://www.olivegarden.com/menu-listing/pronto-lunch.
    There were a few that got deleted just because. I had clicked on it, got to the recipe and said "nope, I don't want to make that".
     Then there were the ones that led to a picture somebody somewhere had posted on Flicker.  No recipe link any-where, just a clearer view of the yummy goodness.  :-[
    Okay, I will admit that I did keep a couple of the pins that led to pinterest blocked warnings. The reasons that I kept the couple that I did, was because there was enough of the recipe included in the pins description itself that I could work with.
    For the record, w-a-y into the process, I realized that instead of deleting the original pin, I could just delete the 'source' of it (click to edit pin), thus redirecting where you go when you click on it. Technology, I'm slow, but eventually I catch on.
    That board has now been totally edited/checked. Can't believe that the number of pins on it dropped down to 600 (601 if you count the recipe Benson sent me and I added last night).
    "Do you ever plan on trying all of them?" you ask. As a matter of fact, we have come up with a 'plan'. We are going to start trying recipes off of it at least twice a week. Once, during the week for dinner. The second one will be as part of Sunday's dinner, albeit the main course, side dish or dessert. Or maybe we''ll do all three and get further faster :-].
    You are hereby invited to go browse through the board yourself and try and all recipes you find intriguing. http://www.pinterest.com/cherylbz/recipes-i-d-like-to-try/

Friday, October 24, 2014

Our Etsy Shop is up and running ....

The Fall Wreath Section of my Etsy shop, "Crafted by Pink Bunnies" (without any spaces between the words) is now open. If you click to follow me, you will automatically be notified when I add additional sections and later on, additional creations.


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Sunday was FUN!!!

     The play [Menopause the Musical] Robin P. treated me to Sunday, was wonderful! It definitely is a secular play, so there were some spots we just shook our heads at, but overall, it was downright spot on about Menopause.  And being in a theater with LOTS of women who are also laughing, in great part due to relating to the subject matters = reassuring (aka: it's not just me!). So attending the play was GREAT!
    Spending time with one of my closest/dearest friends - What A Blessing! When I suddenly got very overwhelmed by the thrust of the departing crowd, her touch and reassuring words helped so much! When I was talking over dinner and stated "That word that I just had, but it suddenly went flying out the window" and in a bound she leans forward to get a better look out the window and states, "Man, it was fleeing fast, I couldn't even catch a glimpse of it" - wonderful combination of hilarity and acceptability! :-D
     The theater itself was BEAUTIFUL!!!  LOVED all of the architectural detailing! Got quite dizzy climbing the stairs to the balcony, due to my awe struck gazing at the ceiling. 
    Overall, or should that be 'lots more frequently lately' (?), my vertigo symptoms are a lot lower and thus easier to deal with/accept. Sunday's outing pushed them all way up again. I am still literally reeling from it. But I'm not really complaining, because the time spent with Robin and the laughter therapy of the musical, makes dealing with the current symptoms worth it!!!