Way Back When-sday Hodgepodge

Many thanks to Joyce From This Side of the Pond for thinking up some questions for us all to ponder!

1. Do you send Christmas cards? If so about how many will you send this year? How do you display the cards you receive? Or don’t you? (gasp!)

I usually do send cards most years, but have been known to not quite get around to it on occasion. It is always my goal. It is usually the family picture that is the problem for me. This year my Girl Cousin Lindsay took our picture on Thanksgiving, WOO HOO!! Check that off the list! Sometimes the Christmas letter causes me angst, but since I have been blobbing, it is not as difficult as it once was. My typing skillz have greatly improved. There may be those of you who might say don’t bother to do a picture or a letter, but I have to say that is what I enjoy most about the Christmas cards we receive.

When I do send cards, there are about 90/100. I do not display the cards we receive, I put them in a pretty basket for anyone to look at. My Mother always enjoyed this as she knew many of the senders.

2. When do kids become adults?

I am not quite sure about this. All I know is none of ours are! I would think being adult should indicate that you are not dependant on your parents anymore, therefore, we have no adults.

3. Does your ‘beauty regimen’ change with the seasons?

I probably use more moisturizer, and occasionally wear foundation. Other than that, no.

4. What’s something you like to eat that might cause another person to turn up their nose?

I live with some wimpy baby kitty whiners. Many of them would turn their noses up at mayo, chocolate, salad dressings, vinegar, mustard, beef, sour cream and a lovely dessert I like to call pink fluff, but The Boy refers to as doo doo.

5. Gloves or mittens?

Mittens to walk in, gloves for everything else. Preferably with at least leather palms.

6. What’s the longest queue you’ve ever been in? Was it worth it? Queue=line but doesn’t queue sound nicer?

The longest line that comes to mind was when The Boy and I were registering him for summer school. It seemed like hours. I have waited in some doozies at Cedar Point as well. Gemini, Corkscrew, Blue Streak.

7. Besides Christmas, what is one thing you are looking forward to in the month of December?

I always look forward to spending time together when our whole family is home. Decorating cookies, playing games, snowed in, Honey home from work, lounging around talking. It’s all my favorite and it happens this month!

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Girl Cousin Kay and I went and visited our Great Aunt Adalene yesterday. She moved into a nursing home last month and is receiving visitors. We had a wonderful visit, talking about the old days, the good old days and the present. There was laughter and some tears.

Aunt Adalene is 96 and has lost her sight to macular degeneration. She is getting weaker and she is worried about her forgetfulness, but Kay and I told her we are worried about our own forgetfulness! But despite her troubles she is determined to have a good attitude and be kind to all she speaks to. She said everyone at her new home is so nice, and I was impressed she knew everyone’s name. Including us, she had 5 visitors that day, confirmation that she is much loved.

Here is the Way Back When-sday part of the post. My Grandmother Hoover and Aunt Adalene were sister-in-laws, as well as good friends. Shortly after The Boy was born, Grandma and Grandpa moved up north to be near their daughter Ava and her husband Frank. Aunt Adalene frequently travelled the 4 hours up The Mitten with me and the kids for a visit.  Here we are on the famous porch swing in front of Grandma’s house. My Grandma Hoover is on the left, Capri K, The Boy, The Ab-Cat and Aunt Adalene in 1997.

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We continued visiting together when Grandma moved out of her house and into an assisted living place. 2004. Eight hours up and down The Mitten is prime conversation time! We talked about everything under the sun and solved many world problems. There were also many visits to her home. Many games of Skip-Bo were played.

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Beeve joined us in 2006, the year before Grandma passed away.

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And here we are last summer.

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She had been living with her daughter Girl Cousin Joyce for many years. This is her with her other daughter, Girl Cousin Vickie from Indiana.

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It would be hard for me to tell you how much my aunt has meant to me over the years. She was always so good to me and Beeve. She loved my Mother and my Mother loved her dearly. She has such a sharp memory and has told me many stories that I treasure. I have loved hearing her tell about her life, she has a book in there and I am not the only one who feels this way. It has been hard watching her health fail, but it has been inspiring to see her immediate family rally around her, to lovingly care for her, to watch over her, to remind her that the Lord still has a plan for her life, even in her last years.

She is a wonderful example of persevering, of finishing strong. She said she guesses the Lord isn’t finished with her yet. I love that she is so positive, and still has her good sense of humor intact. Yesterday she kept sliding down in her chair and we had tried several times to rearrange her pillows to get her more situated. She had taken a fall a few days before and had some aches and pains that were being attended to. Finally Vickie couldn’t do any more and she asked “Mother, what would make you more comfortable?” Aunt Adalene joked, “are you KIDDING ME?” What wouldn’t! A new body would probably do the trick! We had a rousing laugh over that!

I look forward to visiting with her again soon.

Thanks for stopping by, see you next week.

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Thanksgiving Day 2011

We headed up to Lansing for supper at my Uncle Bob and Aunt Phyllis’ house. The food was da-licious, the company was most enjoyable and GUESS WHAT??? I think we got the Christmas picture!!!!!!!

Mousey was loaning The Grandpa some of her hair. He misses the hair of his youth.

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This was the only food picture I took. The lemon curd wasn’t even there to be photographed. I just want to say there was not a bad bite in the whole batch. I know, I sampled every single thing. Some twice.

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I asked my cousin Lindsay if she could find it in her heart to take our family picture. She said SURE, which leads me to believe she has never heard how difficult that particular task can be. Then her mother, aka Aunt Phyllis, said she wanted to get a family shot too. Unfortunately, we had this great idea after their son, Michael, had already departed.  He had to leave early to travel with The Red Wings. Yes, those Red Wings. He won some sort of great prize involving The Red Wings in a poker game. I feel I need to say RED WINGS one more time to make a point!

Here they are, sans Mike. Uncle Bob, Aunt Phyllis, Lindsay, Robbie and their fur child, Ava, who was rocking a cool lions mane.

My uncle is not a big smiler. He was looking too serious, so I mentioned he looked like he should have posed with a pitchfork.

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There it is! From then on, I didn’t bother to say cheese, it was just “pitchfork”.

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Still working!

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All this posing was wearing Katie out.

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Mousey too a picture of me and Honey.

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Then there was a photo crasher right between our legs.

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I tried to take our picture holding the camera out in front of us. It was not very …..flattering.

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Uncle Bob said he liked this better.

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The Grandpa and Phyllis had front row seats for the show.

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Lindsay began with us posed this way.

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Then that way.

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Change of venue. I had already decided that Katie’s look was not going to influence my choice.

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Group hug!

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Extreme close up. It’s even cute of Katie!

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This was the most well behaved family photo shoot our group has EVER had!!!!!!! Seriously, all of the shots were good, there may have been a couple of mid blinkers, but no shenanigans! Instead of my usual hard decision of which pose The Boy ruined the least, I have a nice selection to choose from. I think The Boy is FAR too comfortable with Nurse Lauren, our usual family photographer. The poor dear only does it out of the goodness of her heart and he gives her all sorts of grief!

Thank you Lindsay! It was so nice to see Team Levine, up from Orlando!

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We taught Robbie to play the card game Golf, and played our usual game of Peanuts. We heard the story of  Bob and Phyllis’ meeting at church when she was on a date with Dwayne, their courtship, their hanging chad of a pause when he went into the Marines, his eventual return home and their marriage about 6 months later. Oh, and then the story of Bob and my Mom, breaking down in his corvette on the way to his wedding in the 190 degree heat. They are celebrating the big 5- 0 soon, so I guess it all worked out for them!  There was more talking, laughter and then we ate again, and then there was a theological discussion to cap of the night. A day full of things I love!

On to Christmas!

Potent Quotable

Be content to act, and leave the talking to others.
Baltasar Gracian

aves ipod 192 

If you believe what you like in the gospels, and reject what you don’t like, it is not the gospel you believe, but yourself.
Saint Augustine

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Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.
Abraham Lincoln

aves ipod 158

Black Friday Thoughts

Read this. I feel exactly the same way!

Happy Thanksgiving 2011!

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. All of the family, food and fun, without all of the Christmas hustle and bustle. Not that I do much hustle and bustle anymore, but there is still more to do at Christmas.

I have a list of thankfulness to share.

1.I was up early yesterday. Not super thankful for that, especially since Mousey had no school and I had no reason to be up at 5. But I was happy to have two cups of tea and peruse some blogs to see what you all have been up to. I am thankful for blogs and keeping in touch with loved ones and friends.

2. I was thankful that I was finished with my food preparations by noon. Except for that last run to the store for the broccoli. The broccoli salad would have been mighty skimpy without it. Cheese ball, check. Lemonade Icebox Pie, check. Grandma Hoover’s carrot cake, check. The salad AND the broccoli, check check.

3. I am thankful that Honey has a few days off! This has been the case for the last couple of years and I have already decided it should be a tradition. We have been talking about what we will eat and do for the next few days. He has some ideas. He always has some ideas.

4. I am thankful again for The Boy’s acceptance to Moody Bible Institute. And we found out on Monday that his friend, The Subject, was also accepted! Chicago has NO IDEA what it has gotten itself into!

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Mostly I am thankful that these boys want to serve Jesus with their whole hearts.

5. I mentioned yesterday that my Mom has been on my mind. What I am thankful for is that I have so many memories and was able to spend so much time with her here in this life. I realize not everyone has that blessing for 47 years. I can hear her laughter, the stories she loved to tell, see her pretty, smiling face, watch her with our children, all from the home movies that run through my minds eye. God’s kiss on the cheek to me.

6. I am thankful that The Sewer Debacle is 95% finished and done with. I am most thankful that we spend very little time wishing hateful stuff on our incompetent, dishonest builder. God is the God of miracles.

7. Seven is God’s number, I am thankful for Him.

1 John 4:9-10

New International Version (NIV)

9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

That’s it, isn’t it?

8. I am thankful for Honey. As we inch closer to being back to two, I am so thankful that we still enjoy the company of each other. I don’t take it for granted that we are a good team, companionable, or that we can still make each other laugh.

But I am telling you right here, in front of the world wide web and God, he is going to have to break down and get some hearing aids.

9. I am thankful for health in our home. We are not complaint free, but God has blessed us with things that were not insurmountable. I like surmountable.

10. I am thankful for our Girls. Both so different, so special, such Dears. I am looking forward to many more years of being their Mama.

11. I am thankful for my sisters of the heart. God did not bless me with sisters, so He gave me extra special girlfriends that I cannot do without. They just make life all the more sweet! All of you, come on, group hug!

12. I am thankful to be spending today with family and friends. Lets eat and play Peanuts!

What are you thanking God for today?

Way Back When-sday Hodgepodge

Happy Thanksgiving Y’all! Thanks for stopping by, and special thanks to Joyce for taking time out of her holiday preparations to host us!

1. Let’s start with something controversial…dressing or stuffing? What’s it called at your house and what’s included in your recipe…cornbread? oysters? sausage? chestnuts?

Definitely dressing. It is a southern recipe that has been passed down. We had been trying to get a written recipe for years and after many revisions, we finally nailed it the Christmas before my Mother passed away. Some of the ingredients are cornbread, celery, onions, eggs and sage. If I tell you more, I will have to kill you. It’s The Boy’s favorite food, he requests it for his birthday every year. Da-licious!

2. Who do you sometimes compare yourself to?

I think I am a sampler. I see all sorts of things I like or would want to incorporate into my life, character traits, wisdom, spiritual walk, fashion sense, home decoration, service, skills. So obviously I am comparing myself to these things, and sometimes making a change, but I don’t know that I compare myself to a complete person.

3. When were you last inside an airport?

November 5th., Fort Meyers to Detroit Metro.

4. What is one side dish that absolutely must be included in a turkey dinner?

My Aunt Phyllis and I were talking about this a couple of years ago. We are not opposed to having different things at dinner, but we want certain things every year! We HAVE to have dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy, rolls, and our children would say corn, cranberry relish and broccoli salad. All of them, not just one.

5. What Christmas song do you dread hearing?

I used to always dread I’ll Be Home For Christmas. No matter where I was, home, work, shopping, it would always make me cry. And it could quickly turn into the ugly cry! My Mom told me she thought she knew why. The year I was born they were living in California and were not able to come home to Michigan for the holidays. She said she remembered sitting with me on her lap when that song came on and she proceeded to have the ugly cry. She always said I just looked at her solemnly while she sobbed. She was aware of how the song affected me and always said she was sure that was the reason.

I don’t know if that was the case, but it is a good story. It just makes me so sad to think about loved ones being separated for the holidays, like our military or for whatever reason. I guess that is why I cried. I am able to hear it now without having to leave the premises.

6. If someone approaches you and asks for money do you give it to them? Do you drop money ‘in a tin cup’ that belongs to a person on the street? Do you have a specific charity you support during the holiday season and/or year round?

I do not. Honey does not either. One time, years ago, we were in the parking lot downtown at the courthouse and a regular looking man said he had lost his wallet and needed the parking fee, $10/15 dollars or something. Honey told him to pull his car behind ours and he would pay for us both. The man was annoyed and left. He had no car there. It was an eye opener. There is SO much of this in the Detroit Metro area. Every corner has a person with a sign; homeless.

Since it is impossible for us to know who is in genuine need, and who is a scam, we prefer to donate time and resources to organizations that serve the needs in our communities. Our church partners with Gleaners and has a food pantry that provides monthly groceries and to over 300 families. They also provide a homemade soup lunch on pickup day, and hats, coats, scarves, mittens and gently used clothing are sometimes available those days as well. There are many hands needed to run this ministry, many opportunities to come along side others. The church where I attend BSF has a well attended outreach ministry they call The Clothes Closet. We donate all of our clothing, and sometimes other things there.

I don’t want to give the impression that every scrap of our time is spent serving and funding others, that would be false. Some things we do weekly, monthly, yearly and occasionally. Just a plug for looking around and seeing ways to help others. And ask the Lord, He’ll show you where you are needed  🙂

We have supported many different charities and organizations over the years, at holidays and year round. With our finances and our time, don’t discount your time, it is a valuable resource. Many hands make light work. The Salvation Army, Focus on the Family, Grace To You, RBC, Samaritan’s Purse, BSF International, missionaries, church related things, individuals we knew had needs, lots of things. It’s a good thing to do, God calls us to care for others.

7. Share a favorite Thanksgiving memory. If you live in a country that doesn’t celebrate Thanksgiving share a favorite memory associated with food.

Nothing comes to mind, they are all good!

8. Insert your own random thought here.

My Mother is never far from my mind, but she is even closer during the holidays. I mentioned above that we were able to finally get the correct recipe for dressing the Christmas before she passed away in 2010. I wrote about it here, and I think it was The Boy who photographed the moment.

The liquid is the hardest part for me, it needs to be soupy. How soupy is the hard part.

This is SO my Mom, it’s like she said mmmm, perfect!

My Dad was here last night for his holiday haircut and dinner. We had a nice time reminiscing about Mom. We will see her again one day.

Funnies

This guy is hilarious!!!

Abby and I had quite the laugh listening to his nonsense.

Give him a whirl!

Forgotten Field Trip

I am taking you back to our vacation in Florida for one last, almost forgotten post. Honey and I discovered this very cool place on our way home from church one Sunday. I think it was in Bonita Springs, and I am sure it was on Old 41. I loved it, but nothing would fit in my suitcase, and I am pretty sure even one piece would ruin our airline imposed weight requirement.

SO much to look at!

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Purty colors.

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Many, many pottery things.

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My field trip friends.

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The bothering begins.

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I know some Capri’s who could do a much better job than this, but an interesting idea.

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I think these were my favorite color.

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No, maybe these were.

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Or was it these?

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Water feature!

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More water features!

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They also had very colorful painted things.

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I think I could have found places for many of the pots.

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I did end up taking these big Goobers home.

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We are officially finished with the Florida 2011 Vacation Pictures. Thank you for your time.

Potent Quotable, Thanksgiving and Gratitude

God has two dwellings; one in heaven, and the other in a meek and thankful heart.
Izaak Walton

Gratitude is the inward feeling of kindness received. Thankfulness is the natural impulse to express that feeling. Thanksgiving is the following of that impulse.
Henry Van Dyke

No one is entitled to anything. We must appreciate every opportunity we get in life. Being humble and thankful goes a long way.
Unknown quotes

If you can’t be content with what you have received, be thankful for what you have escaped.
— Author Unknown

If you concentrate on finding whatever is good in every situation, you will discover that your life will suddenly be filled with gratitude, a feeling that nurtures the soul.
— Rabbi Harold Kushner

It is impossible to feel grateful and depressed in the same moment.
— Naomi Williams

None is more impoverished than the one who has no gratitude. Gratitude is a currency that we can mint for ourselves, and spend without fear of bankruptcy.
— Fred De Witt Van Amburgh

You won’t be happy with more until you’re happy with what you’ve got.
— Viki King

So often we dwell on the things that seem impossible rather than on the things that are possible. So often we are depressed by what remains to be done and forget to be thankful for all that has been done.
— Marian Wright Edelman

The unthankful heart discovers no mercies; but the thankful heart will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings.
— Henry Ward Beecher

Update on The Previous List for Your Enjoyment

1. Guess who won the ugly Christmas sweater contest? Woot woot, Miss Ab-Cat!!!!! It was totally because of the dog.

2. Capri Deb said her new Christmas tree was a whopping $29.71. And again, we need to ask, why the seventy one??

3. Because of the encroaching winter, Keelyody and I have officially closed the 2011 walking season. Another good run for us, see you in the spring!

4. I achieved my goal of getting our house clean for CareGroup last night. It was a Herculean effort, but it looked swell. Honey did lend a hand to steam mop the wood floors. It was one of those cleanings where you did one thing, that led to another thing, which led to you cleaning out the cupboard or closet and so on and so on……. All need to be done stuff and a good jump on our hosting the Christmas festivities this year.

5. Concerning our comfy, much loved bed. I had mentioned earlier in the week to Honey that there might be something happening to our bed. In my exhaustive search for my socks, I looked in an under the bed box stored conveniently under the bed, and had great difficulty pulling it out. From under the bed. It was like the sides of the bed are sinking. It cannot be a good thing. I just mentioned it to him, because I do that sometimes. Mention things.

6. Last night at CareGroup, we were having a spirited discussion about the holiday of Black Friday, which I have never participated in. There was much angst about the decision of some establishments opting to open at midnight, instead of the usual 5 a.m. I was aware of this scandalous turn of events because it directly affects Keelyody and her sister-in-laws and their time honored, very fun tradition of Black Friday shopping. It was then mentioned that a local furniture store was hosting an incredible Black Friday sale, maybe even before Black Friday! Whatever the details, Honey turned to me and said that maybe we should go and get a new bed, a KING SIZED BED!!!! Who knows the way to my comfort loving heart??? We will see, he has mentioned getting one before.

7. I believe we may be starting a rich, comfortable, Black Friday heritage of our own this year!

8. I FOUND MY SOCKS!!!!!!!

Have a good weekend.

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