Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christmas revisited

Here we are nearly a week after Christmas and I am just writing about it. This hesitancy should be easy to explain since this year we were missing a key person. I tried my best to "keep my chin up", but you could tell that my heart wasn't completely in it. We tried for a simple Christmas and I think we achieved it. Our focus wasn't on the worldly aspect of it, but the spiritual. Like it goes, "Jesus is the reason for the season". We had a simple meal, but it wasn't the same because I couldn't call my mom for advice. We are usually awakened it the morning by my mom who asks the children if they opened their gifts yet. She was and is a vital part of any celebration or activity in our life and I'm feeling her absence so deeply.

The children had gifts of meaning and I made them each a fabric cone and filled them with little things like chocolate coins, peppermints, gift certificate to a restaurant and one individual gift that they REALLY needed (April-a lovely key ring, Wyndon-a manly manicure set, Elise-some sweet hair clips and Chloe- $2.00 for some ice cream, her favorite!).
I received a large wooden chest filled with silverware! Quite a surprise!
Mr. Dad received several games to put some "fun" back into his life.
Everyone was happy but we sure missed those phone calls from Mom..

Many Blessings,

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

When birthday cake goes wrong.

We survived what could have been a disaster today. April had made the cupcakes the night before and they tasted fine.(I am a fresh freak. I have been known to make cakes up to an hour before they are to be presented, but I thought I'd try to work in advance.) They had a bit of a sugary crunch to it. Hmmm, tasted fine, icing should mask the sugary crunch of it. Let's go to bed, it's late.
Next morning, 45 minutes before the party, April goes to assemble the cupcake mountain and it wasn't acting right- nope, it didn't need a spanking, it just wouldn't set up. She took a bite, made a face, I took a bit and by golly, the whole thing went crunch! Hmmm, no icing in the world would mask that texture. Lord, HELP US!!!!!
Okay, I already asked for a "Loaves and Fishes" miracle with the frosting since I only made 2 kinds instead of 3. I didn't think it would be enough for 10 children, but THANK YOU LORD, I came home with leftovers!
Back to the cake saga.......... We had to get out of the door, the clock was ticking, snow and ice on the ground, needed to set up. What's a mom to do??? Send Dad to the store. Well, I had to get cracking since folks were on the way. Wonderfully, everyone arrived late and gave us time to get it together.
When I walked into the door of the community center, the young man in charge said that I had cancelled the party, and since there was no heat in the building, they were going to close early anyway. I asked him if he could hold that closure for me to have the party and do something with all of that food. I probably could have pinched Elise, made her cry and gotten the same results, but I wasn't going to go that low to get results. He said that he would stay if the heat came on and low and behold, 20 minutes later, it did!!!! Wow! It was a Miracle Happening Birthday!! I can't be thankful enough!
The party went well, no one became sick from too much candy from the gingerbread houses they were making, and most of all, Elise was happy!

Uh, here I am......

Today is Elise's birthday and I am feeling green. So much green that I had to change the sheets in the middle of the night. So far only 5 1/2 hours of sleep and I feel like I'm being held together by stitches. I wonder if it was the cupcake I ate before I went to bed?
I might feel ill, but I don't really get SICK! So now I am off to some ginger tea, ginger ale and a boiled egg(or two).

I will survive and get these chicken wings cut up, cooked, cook a pot of rice, make 3 types of icing (one for the cupcakes, one for decorating the graham cracker houses, and one for gluing those things together). Am I a glutton for punishment or am I a born party planner?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

What's Cooking Dec 5-10?

Here is my new addition to the blog because someone consistently asks "What's cooking at your house"?
Saturday 5 Dec
-Homemade Kolaches with cream cheese or cherry filling
-Pizza at Shari's house, snickerdoodles
Sunday 6 Dec
-Mini sausages surrounded by phyllo pastry.(It was supposed to be puff pastry but I picked up the wrong package.
- Philly cheese steak sandwiches with lots of red, yellow and green peppers, corn on the cob

Monday 7 Dec
-Fried egg with 1 slice of ham served on a cheese bap (a soft bun baked with cheese on the top)
-Ramen noodles with chopped cabbage and sesame oil
- Crockpot!! Smoked ribs with sauerkraut(I added some onions, chopped cabbage, carraway seed and cream of mushroom soup to mellow the flavors then cooked it for 8 hrs)Served over boiled potatoes

Tuesday 8 Dec
-French toast and Lincolnshire sausages ( I saved 2 for another breakfast)
-crockpot meal rehashed for me. Boiled potatoes with bacon and cheese for Chloe
-Tortilla soup! It was really good. Filling but not a overeat sort of filling

Wed 9 Dec
-Eggs scrambled with minced Lincolnshire sausages and parsley, crumpets with butter and strawberry preserves.
- sandwiches
-Filipinana- chicken adobo, beef bulgogi, garlic chicken, sesame chicken, lumpia(eggrolls), sliced fresh veggies and rice

Thursday 10 Dec
- Sausage balls, toast with jam
-I can't remember!
-Chef's Delight (fridge cleanout)

That's all folks!!

Thursday, December 3, 2009


Okay, we are on the border of an outbreak here. Sunday evening, Chloe had large blisters on the soles of her feet. Try as I might, I couldn't think of what could have caused it. New shoes-no, new stockings-no, running a mile or two in combat boots-impossible, she can't even lift a pair of boots! What happened?

Darryl thought that she got into bathroom cleaner, but even if she did that, she would have confessed shortly thereafter especially if there were any ill side effects. She knows what a burn feels like since she put her hands on a hot BBQ grill in the summer.

So what was it? This was one of those times when I even questioned my sanity. Lord what is it??? Monday morning came and I was mental toast. I almost had it figured out when I looked at her hands and they were blistered also! AAHHH, I know there is a simple answer but it didn't hit me until I called to get her an appointment at the pediatric clinic. When the lady asked me about all of her symptoms, she paused for a moment and it hit me-Hand Foot and Mouth! That's what I thought and that's what she said. Oh, what a weight lifted off of my shoulders! I wasn't crazy after all and my memory still worked, albeit 12 hrs later, but it still works! Now the diagnosis was made and the rules of good conduct were stated to me: Stay home and try not to contaminate anyone else-playgroup, visiting friends, etc, Wash hands frequently,Tylenol for any fever and keep her well hydrated. That hydration thing is easy, she is a major drinker, has an affinity for watered down orange juice and the occasional cup o'milk.

I notified all the other families that she has been around and no one else had it. The hospital told me that my other little people were probably too old to get it, but make sure they keep clean. Okay- we are in QUARANTINE!!!!

Now where did it come from? Hmm, Africa Sunday? Playgroup? I want to KNOW who gave it to us!!!!!!!!!! So, that question may never be answered but I won't lose sleep over it. And to all those parents who let their sick children out and contaminate others, SHAME ON YOU! I am going to pray hard for folks like that because they give others so many troubles that don't need to happen for the sakes of convenience or whatever.

Marimbe from church has it, but she had a fever before she got the spots. Shari and her crew have it, but they have it worse than us- the sores are in their mouths! Bless them, so much pain. I'm sorry folks- if I had only known beforehand that we had been exposed I would have kept her at home.

The High School nurse thought I was talking about "hoof and mouth disease, but wouldn't listen to an explanation of the correct condition, so i've marked her off my list of sane people.(She is forgiven but clearly a confused person).
Now April has the spots on her hands and Wyndon has some bumps in his mouth.
Elise has a few on her hands so another week in the house for us!!!

Send reinforcements!

Here is a picture of what it looks like.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Another little field trip

This field trip was last week. We went to the fire station and had a great time. I was surprised that she went up to Sparky the fire dog and gave him a hug. She was with him for most of the trip. It was, may I quote this, "A love story I couldn't believe!" When it was time to take a group photo, Sparky wanted Chloe next to him. I don't know whether to be happy or afraid. Anywho here are a couple of photos from that trip.
I made the firemen a pound cake to thank them for being so kind to the children. Trust me, they deserved it!

Just a little field trip.

Forgot to share that Chloe went to a "pumpkin patch" for the first time. She dosen't know that she is a little thing and tried her best to carry as many pumpkins to the car as she could. She eventually got the message and moved down towards pumpkins that were only 2 to 4 pounds, but she carried them nonetheless!

A trip to Ireland

Now back to Ireland- We went at the end of October and had a cross country drive to get there.
We also fielded many boo-hoos from a couple of the children about missing Halloween. We don't dress up and go trick or treating. We make cupcakes and give them out at the door with little scripture stickers that we had made that have different Bible quotes and verses on them. The children LOVE doing this. We have an assembly line going with baking the cupcakes, packaging the cupcakes, labeling the cupcakes and then someone gets to give them out. Last year, we made over 100 cupcakes and ran out several times, which had me baking during the evening and April was handing out the "hot right out of the oven" cupcakes. The locals were crazy! They kept coming in droves and we were praying that we wouldn't run out so when we finally did-and we used every cake mix in the house i tell you-we gave away what little candy we had(with the scripture stickers taped to them also). We finally had to put a sign on the door and catch our breath when we ran out of everything. Whew! It was almost comedic!
So that is why they missed Halloween at our house.
Needless to say, we had a passenger with us from Ely who survived the long trip too! Asia came as our adopted child so she and April had each other for entertainment. The rest of us had ourselves.
It was a 3 hr drive to our first destination of RAF Fairfort in Gloustershire. We spent the night there to breakup the drive. This area is called the Cotswolds and has the rolling hills, sheep dotted fields, and lovely stone cottages. it is one of the most expensive areas to live in this country and looking at the homes and estates, you could see why!
So we got moving the next morning and had to make the ferry from Fishgard, Wales to Rosslaire, Ireland. We took a wrong turn when we got to Fishgard and had a great tour of the town. Thank the Lord we didn't miss our ferry and ended up having to wait near an hour to board. We got on, found a seating area and got prepared for the 3 1/2 hour journey. When we took off, all you could hear from my group was Chloe saying, "Look at that!". This phrase was repeated nearly 100 times as she saw sailboats, ships, lighthouses, piers and many, many birds. I was rolling in laughter at her until we had to go and retrieve a snack from the cafe and the ship started rocking and rolling. From there on I was green.
We made it to the church late that night and they were having a fabulous meal that I can't remember what it was but the dessert they had is emblazoned in my mind. Banoffee pie,(I don't know how to spell it!)was the name of it and it was SO GOOOOOD! I had one there and took another one for later. I ended up eating that one and some one elses, but it was good and that's all I remember!
So we got there and met so many people the first night. It's a good thing we had introductions on the second night or I would have had to find labels somewhere and write names on them! The speaker who came from central America, (forgive me- I can't remember from where and Darryl isn't around to remind me), he did a fine job in leading our thoughts towards God and our families. We had multiple discussions and many who didn't want to ask questions for fear of disclosing their personal problems to everyone came forward and just poured out their hearts. I was embarrasses when my husband spoke of our marital issues, but he did it out of love and wanted to hear if anyone else had been touched by those same problems. So, my pride was sadly beaten down by love but God did it in the right
place and with the right people. Our weekend was a wonderful refresher on how God want us to be and to treat others. It was well worth the trip and to top that off, the children had a great time and never mentioned Halloween during the whole trip!
Here are a few pictures from the trip.

This is Janek- we have known him for 10 years!!! So just look past him and see the beautiful greenery that is Ireland.. Ahhh, relaxed yet?

This is Wyndon and some of his friends. Janeks brother, Tomek is in the plaid shirt next to Wyn. These 2 boys came back muddy, wet and stinky nearly every evening from playing. They had a GOOD time!!

This smile says it all- We were blessed!


Okay maybe that's not all of it, but I have been incredibly busy lately and when I wasn't busy, I was ill and when I wasn't ill, I was distracted. Is that enough excuses for me? Well, it all started at the end of October when we went to Ireland for a family conference.
Oops, that's my next blog!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

A comfort food recipe

Todays thought for me is about comfort food. I remember these cookies have always been in our repertoire but for the last couple of years where have they been? My tastes and cooking methods may have grown more complicated but these make you feel like a child again. I even remember that these used to be served at the school cafeteria back in the day when there were a bunch of older ladies actually COOKING the food. God bless them all-my children hear so much about me and my love of the "Cafeteria Ladies of Fort Worth". Maybe I should write about them. Meanwhile, Enjoy!!!

No Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies
* 1/2 cup butter or margarine
* 2 cups sugar
* 1/2 cup milk
* 4 tablespoons cocoa
* 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter (or chunky)
* 3-3 1/2 cups dry quick-cooking oats
* 2 teaspoons vanilla


1.Add the first four ingredients into a 4-quart sauce pan.
2.Bring to a rolling boil and hold for 1 minute.
3.Remove from heat.
4.Stir in the next 3 ingredients and drop by tablespoons onto wax paper.
5.Let cool until set.

Try not to eat more than 5 in one session!!!

Today I deviated and I subtracted 1/2 cup sugar and added 1/2 cup cornflakes.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A Birthday Girl!!

I'd better mention that CHLOE had her 2nd birthday on the 11th. We had a small party with a few friends, a bouncy castle and a ball pit. There were mini pumpkin cupcakes, banana cake and a pumpkin cake.( Pizza, chicken drummettes, fresh veggies and rice helped to top off the meal. She received 4 great gifts and that's all she needed! A good time was had by all and I am thankful for such a wonderful group of friends.

A few pictures taken by Bob Morrow were a great gift to us also. Here they are.

The black hole of time........

Okay, we are here and have been here. Just waiting for me to get myself together. Yes, me! I am falling apart from a sudden bout of insomnia and severe anemia. I have eaten until I thought I would pop! Dark leafy vegetables, meat, meat, and orange juice, but every year when the weather changes, it hits me. This year, I am drained. The insomnia thing is new. Now I'm from the old country and that means we are solar powered. So when the sun comes up, I wake up and when it goes down, well, you get the point. Albeit it is a great way to live in the US, but it gets dark early here and I'm outta joint! So whats a mom to do???

Friday, October 9, 2009


We are learning hot and cold. Chloe pointed out a vent on someones house that steam was pouring out of. She also disliked the ice that she was holding, then she dropped it on the floor and when she picked it up and put it in her mouth, miraculously it tasted great! She told me it was cold and said "happy"!!
Apparently the floor has a seasoning of its own and it must be good!

Elise is going to the Rheumatologist in Cambridge. That will take up most of the day since she is complaining that her left leg hurts. This is a blessing since she hasn't had ANY reocurrance of her JRA. It dosent happen often but I can be thankful for the good care she receives.
Mr is working looong hours this week and has been unusually cranky. We made him a chocolate cake and poof! He has become a new man. The power of the stomach wins again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (And lots of prayer first.)
Wyndon is having a hard life. He has been slacking off at so many things, especially school. He is paying the price and it is expensive.
April has homecoming this week. Event after event after event. It's been fun, but I'm tired. I am going to the faculty vs student game tonight and will cheer for the faculty! They need all the help and prayers they can get! Not just for the game, but for working with a lot of undisciplined and worldly children.

I had better go- a short person just licked the cajun seasoning lid and I can see the slobbering is about to begin!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Have a blessed and wonderful day!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

It's been a while........

Howdy there folks! I have been a slacker for the last 8 or 9 days and with a semi-decent excuse. Last Saturday morning, Sept 26th, Chloe fell off of a tall wooden stool and cracked her head on the corner of the wall.I WAS NOT IN THE ROOM WHEN IT HAPPENED!!! At first she cried, (THAT'S WHEN I WALKED IN THE ROOM!), and you could tell she was really hurt. Dad was holding her and had his hand on her head while arguing with April about I DON'T KNOW WHAT, then he took his hand off of her head and you could see the wetness in her hair and the blood on his hands.Yep, this was the first time she had lost blood in one of her many crashes, and being a head injury it was a lot of it. You should have seen the eyes of the other children when the "Shee's Bleeeeding", declaration was made. You would have thought a goat ran through the living room! So with dad holding Chloe's head, I ran upstairs( two flights, mind you) to get my shoes,and a quick run to the potty since I was sure we were going to be gone for hours and public toilets are the WORST (that reminds me of a story about the toilets in Scotland at this one town, we were coming from Glasgow and stopped in Biggar. You have NEVER seen toilets this CLEAN!!! You could have eaten off the floor! There were fresh flowers on the sinks and a real live attendant!! I felt like a Queen! Oh my!). Sorry, back to Chloe- So to make this story short (since the thought of me talking about toilets has triggered Chloe to need to go), we took her in, and were seen by the doctor within the first 15 minutes after arriving. The nurse and staff were awesome and so caring.What a blessing! They did a fantastic job and she acts as if nothing ever happened, except for the occasional scratching of a healing wound.
So, I had better go and take care of the little person before she fixes herself.
Have a wonderful day!

Friday, September 25, 2009

A bad cold

Well thank the Lord, the Dr confirmed that she has a bad cold and not strep or the flu. She can have all the cough medicine she needs and can go back to school on Monday. She missed a field trip and school pictures but those can be made up. I am just thankful that she is doing better and her fever is gone.

Have a well feeling weekend!

Four days and counting

Poor Elise has been at home sick for 4 days now. She has had a fever and although I took her in for a throat culture,NOPE-NO STREP! So I have been home remedying her with the pitiful stock I have left and it hasn't worked. Why don't they have REAL health food stores in this country??? All these vegetarians and no health food stores. I think they don't get ill here because they drink so much alcohol! Oh well, time to go to the DR. I think she might have bronchitis, but pray that it is just a bad cold.

See Ya!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Here's what I did today..........

It's Monday and I had a list to work from. There were at least 14 things to do in addition to the the "daily dozen". Top that off with a sick son, internet service that only seems to work when you cough, a toddler who wakes up with new forms of breaking and taking things to pieces, and me being quite moody lately and there is a recipe for what could be a bad day. Thankfully and mercifully, the house wasn't a wreck and I had already spent over an hour the night before getting control of the "laundry room typhoon".
So, my list consisted of these things:
1. Call maintenance-only hot water running out of tap in girls bathroom.
2.Repeat above call because our shower head won't stay in one spot.
3.Make appointment for Chloe's 2 yr checkup
3.Call Wyndons school and inform them of his illness
4.Inform housing about yard sale.
5.Order whatever is needed for Chloe's birthday.
6.Order Oregacillin.
7.Find pattern for potty training pants-Chloe.
8.Preorder tables for garage sale at outdoor rec.
9.Find a hanging clothes rack for the garage sale.
10.Order vitamins from Vitamin World.
11.Call Insurance company and obtain a new pediatrician.
12.Find a place to have Chloe's party at.
13.Cut up enormous pork leg into manageable sections, and use 1/3 of it for dinner.
14.Do whatever else I couldn't remember because I didn't write it down!

So that was my list and I was determined to get most of it done! Oh and for dinner I made shredded pork tacos (from scratch), crunchy slaw with radishes, cooked cabbage(for the toddler with very few back teeth), sliced tomatoes and all of the taco fixings.
Thinking back, that leg of pork weighed 14 1/2 pounds when I started and I only used 4 lbs for the tacos. So after the trimming and stuff, we have a large pork joint, complete with skin, one large hunk of butt roast, and a bag of pork skins ready to fry. Grand total for the whole piece of meat was $14.62, around $1.08 a pound versus already trimmed meat at $2.32 per pound.So a little time saved mea little money- more than half price!!!
Praise the Lord for a little math and some working arm muscles!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

A weekend away

Whew! We had a busy and exciting week with moving on the 27th, school starting on the 31st, cleaning an entire house, Darryl working 12+ hrs and stress, stress, stress! What does one do about it all? Get away. So off we go to Fairford in the Cotswolds. Look up the Cotswolds online and see how beautiful it is- it is also very peaceful here and a great place to go for some peace and quiet.
We get to sleep late and go and see some of the lovely sights here. Today we went to Avebury stone circles which are similar to Stonehenge but better- you can actually go up to them, walk around and touch them. Also we went to Tilbury Hill- my mind is tired and there is a lot of typing involved with explaining what Tilbury Hill is, but you can look that up too. Meanwhile, here are some pictures of what we did today.
Enjoy the beautiful greenery and the long weekend!

Moving AGAIN!

Okay- I think I have had enough. We moved again last week and we weren't ready for it nor were we going out of our way to get organized. We let them pack and what we didn't want them to pack up , we packed the stuff ourselves. So we had several boxes to move ourselves- no problem. Then we had to clean the house we moved out of and poor Darryl had to work 12hr shifts for the days that we had to clean. One day, bleachy water was left in a bucket in the kitchen by a lady who was helping us. Darryl hadn't noticed it until Chloe sloshed her hand in it and stuck her bleachy watered hand in her mouth. We took her to the hospital and she was fine after a good rinse. Her guardian angel works overtime.
We finally finished the house and thank God, we passed inspection the first time. Now our efforts will go to organizing and decorating the new house and keeping my sanity while the praying and decision making about or future with the military stands.

Wanna come over and help open some boxes??

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Tuesday Morning Ramblings

Well, this is going to be quite a week for us over here. We have guests driving in from Poland tomorrow (Wednesday),for an overnight visit and then the packers come to move us on Thursday and Friday to a house on the base of RAF Lakenheath. I am sad through all of this since I like where I live, I can walk anywhere in this city, I have made great friends here, we found a sweet little church that works well for our family, I will miss my huge back yard and I love living away from the American base and living amongst the Brits and most of all- I will miss my milkman!!!
Lord, am I being petty??

So right now, my house is a mess, my oldest is coughing in her sleep, and I should take my allergy medicine before I use the WHOLE box of tissues up.
Breakfast today? Oatmeal with brown sugar and a side order of sausages. Ran out of orange juice 2 days ago. Met with lots of protests by unhappy children!
Lunch? We will eat at the bowling alley since we have a back to school get together to attend.
Dinner tonight? Pakistani Kima-from the "More With Less" cookbook. It's just an easy one pot beef curry that the whole family enjoys.

So what are your plans for today?

Many Blessings,

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Umm, she should have napped earlier!

Okay, we are gluttons for punishment. These are the last few days before school starts and since we were gone for most of the summer, we are trying to squeeze in a few more day trips here and there, even with the impending move staring us down this week, so we went to the Maize Maze which is a really big maze in a cornfield between here and Cambridge. We took our friend from church, Keziah (pronounced Kae-zha), who was born and raised in Zimbabwe and live here now. She is such a happy, excited and action filled young lady I though I'd appreciate some of her energy chasing the youngsters(and soak some up, too!).

So, we packed up the van, children, and Keziah (she is just an older teen to us!)and went to the maze. We all did the big maze, including Chloe who walked, no ran through at least 1/4th of it. When she slowed down, I put her in the stroller and we bumped throughout the rest of it. It was lots of fun and we only got lost a couple, no a few, nope-several times, and we were using a map! The good thing was that we could hear each others voices through the corn and were able to regroup when we were separated. (And yes, walking through the corn was a no-no, but I didn't do it- "SHE" did!!! So after wandering for a loooong time through what should have been popped and buttered, we made our way out and into the lovely play area where there was a racetrack and adult sized pedal cars! Oohh, lovely! Everyone was excited and in my mind, I saw hurt leg muscles. So everyone pedaled for 5 minutes while Chloe and I waited for a 2 seated one to use. We get in ours (did I hear NO SEATBELT for the passenger!), and I told Chloe to hold on, which she did, and we start a pedalin'. We are moving it on the first turn, slowly getting to the second turn, and just when we get around it, WHOOSH, we are passed by the my group- Keziah laughing all the way! Well, my momentum began to fail me on my 2nd turn around the racetrack and more folks passed me. All this time, Chloe didn't say a word-not one!! No "wheeeee" or anything, just silence. So I get to the last turn on this racetrack and I couldn't make it any farther-it took all my strength to get to the pullover. Wyndon comes and grabs my drivers seat, saying "I'll take Chloe and ride!" He gets started pedaling and only 4 feet later, Chloe is screaming,"AHHHHH, MOMMMY!!!!!" Okay- I guess that proves that she really does notice me, so I grab her and off we go to the bouncy castle and her sandals fly onto the ground as she is placed onto it. Two step later, she is flat on her face. She gets up walks 3 steps and kisses the castle floor again- laughing all the way. Elise makes a 30 second guest appearance to tell me she is headed to the enclosed color inflatable right next to us, April is standing with me laughing at Chloe and her slippery footedness, and where Wyndon was-I don't know! Keziah was probably racing around the track for the umpteenth time with her boundless energy,(I want some!!) All of a sudden, April gives me a look of HUNGER! So she goes to the car to search for a snack while everyone else is corralled, sent to the toilets and marched to the van.

We ended up taking a scenic route to Mildenhall where we had lunch at the bowling alley-yes, they have pretty good burgers there. We take Keziah to the BXTRA shop a little for piddly things, hit the Minicom for 2 potatoes, ground beef and some green beans for dinner. Yes, that combo of ingredients makes BEEF CURRY!!!!!
Then we head home, dropping off Keziah on the way. We get home and try to get some work done before Mr.H arrives. I scramble to get dinner done and we sit down to eat, finally. Chloe eats a bit of food here and there, but when her eyes began to close and she starts to fall over and melt, I realized that we did so much running, walking and playing that SHE DIDN'T GET A NAP!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So today, Sunday August 23rd 2009, get some rest and don't do too much. Enjoy this Lord's Day, glean something from the sermon you hear, savor your Sunday dinner, love your family and show it, but most of all don't forget to take a nap.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A face plant and flying noodles!

Okay, the title tells it all, but I HAVE to tell you what really happened. Yesterday (dreamy music playing in the background), at our extremely late lunch around 2:30 pm, we were enjoying the remnants of beef stroganoff we had the night before. Chloe was in her highchair and stood up. I grabbed her bowl and loosened her tray but it was still in front of her. Wyndon came in the room and stood behind her while talking away. (this is his new bad habit- talking through anything going on, ignoring whatever surrounds him, including danger!) As I was breaking into his conversation to ask him to grab Chloe, she leaned forward, pressing onto the loose tray, dislodging it and taking a dive. She was only inches from cracking her head on the corner of the table when miracoulsly her head redirected itself and headed for the corner of the table leg.

(Now let me tell you about this table we have- it's a manly table chosen by my husband because it was made from solid wood so nothing on it is less than 2 inches thick. It is SOLID and anyone's head meeting it will have a slight concussion from the impact!)

Okay now back to the story: So her head is headed (that's a pun, get it?) for the edge of the table leg when it redirects itself toward the side of the leg and down she goes, scuffing her eyebrow off before she hits the floor on her face with legs bent up behind her upon impact. Me,in the process of trying to catch her and watch her at the same time, with extreme delayed reaction, grabs in the air, tossing the bowl and noodles on top of the already hurt and traumatized child. Well, she started crying and Wyndon started laughing, so I held myself together, checked her out for any serious injury and have been laughing ever since!
(As I wrote this, I was laughing so hard that the children kept asking me if I was alright!)

Thank the Lord for Angels and quick growing eyebrows!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Picking up the pieces

Well it's been a bit over a week since mama passed away and I find myself singing the last song they sang at her funeral, "I'm Trading my Sorrows". It's a nice song and quite catchy. Of course it wasn't as fancied up as it is here on YouTube, but they sang their hearts out for us and I do appreciate all that the Higher Praise Family Church did for our family. If you happen to go to the Fort Worth area, look them up and have a visit-they are a wonderful group of Godly people.

Here is the YouTube link:

I am waiting for the full impact of her being gone to hit me. It's creeping up slowly and I felt it's sting this afternoon when the children and I were in the car and I had to remember an uncles middle name and I couldn't. So I thought that I had better call mom and ask her when I got home. Then came the silence. She isn't here anymore and I can't ask her anything. She can't squeeze my hand, hug the children or forget ingredients to a recipe that she gave me(that's a whole 'nother story). Man, reality hurts and it's hard, but God has given my heart some peace in the form of humor. My mom was funny and I have that gene. My children have a bit of this gene too and when I was feeling low after wanting to call mom, my son says, "Hey what would happen if we could call Grandma in heaven?" "I can see it now, someone answers and I say, "Could I speak to Joyce England?" A voice says, "Hold on, please." (In the background, there is loud music and singing.)She answers and I say, "Grandma, it's me Wyndon." She replies, "Who?" ME, WYNDON, YOUR GRANDSON!" "Oh, Hi there Wyndon, I can't talk now, I'm in a conga line headed to a toga party. After that, there is a dinner buffet."Wyndon says,"How many times a day do they have this buffet?" Mom replies,"Oh, every hour! Well I gotta go! Bye!" Click.
We had a good laugh at that and could only imagine the wonders of heaven she is enjoying while we are down here picking up the pieces.
And knowing my momma, she is up there singing her heart out and waiting for the next pork buffet to roll around!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Remember my Mother

Dear Friends and Family,

My dear mother, Joyce England, passed away after suffering a series of strokes following surgery. She was a good woman and we are all so hurt by the loss of my mom.

Keep us in your prayers as we struggle with this.

Blessing the world in my mothers memory,
Misty, Darryl and the Children

Saturday, August 1, 2009

When surgery goes awry

I am writing this from my sisters home in Fort Worth Texas where my whole family and I have rushed to get to my mothers side. She underwent a surgical procedure (July 27th), on her thyroid and was supposed to come home 3 days later. The day after the surgery she was sitting up and talking almost in a normal fashion. Later that afternoon, she seemed to be extremely sleepy but still trying to talk. The next morning, she was not awake when my sister and aunt came to visit. That evening, she was still asleep. The next day she could not be awakened.
My sister called me early Monday morning to tell me that I might want to consider coming home. Mom was in a semi-coma. She was transferred to the intensive care med/surgical ward. They were to do a cat scan that day and had called in a neurologist. I called and spoke with the nurse on duty and they were waiting for the scan to be over-I said that I would call in 6hrs. Six hours later I was informed by the nurse that my mother had had a series of mini strokes and was suffering the effects.
Now was the time to get home.
Thank God for the Red Cross.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

All day headache

Okay, It was Monday in the wee hours and I was trying to sleep like anyone else should have been doing, but there it was-boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, chicka boom! My head was vibrating like I was running through a minefield and hitting all the mines!If you have a headach in your sleep, it makes for a miserable night and sets you up for an even more miserable day. So that began my Monday.

By 5:50am I was awake and inhaling acetaminophen and water (possible dehydration?). At 6:05 the phone rang- my sister from Texas to tell me that mom was in a bad state and hadn't been able to awake for several days after her surgery (they took her parathyroid-don't get it done, trust me!).I am not a bad daughter-I had been calling to check on her since she had her surgery but the folks back at home don't answer or pay their phone bills (just kidding!). She seemed to be not heavily concerned, but wanted me to know what was going on. She gave me the hospital contact info and the nurse whom to talk to.

So I called the hospital and spoke with Ike- the nurse in charge of one of the most difficult patients known to man- my mother, and he told me the jist. Mom's lab work was normal and they just can't figure out WHY she won't wake up. The neurologist was on his way to check her out and do some more testing. My mom whom I spoke to the day before this surgery was unresponsive. This little woman, all of the height of a fence post and had the will and attitude of a HERD OF RUNNING BULLS was down. I told him I'd call back in 6 hrs.

6 hrs later, Ike was still there. I told him he should be at home asleep, but I was glad to speak to him. He said that she coul squeeze his hand a little when he asked her to, but still could not open her eyes. Aha! Progress!! Told Ike to have a good night sleep and I'd talk to him soon.

Fast forward to Tuesday morning- spoke to Ike and the results are in that she has had a series of mini strokes (I thought so). We have taken the steps toward getting home to be there and help Dad, who had a stroke and heart attack in April, and be there for mom. Pray for us as we are headed to Tx tomorrow and who knows what we face, but Lord give us strength to endure.

P.S. Chloe is claustrophobic since the drive from CA to TX.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The race is on!

Well, we are home from our adventures and have walked into a pot of boiling commotion. Our travel was a bit costly, but not as much as it could have been. Getting the car back on the road nearly wiped out our extra money and what was so bad is that it could have been avoided had the car just been started and driven at least three times a month, but there it sat for 16 months, lonely and undriven. Wasps made their home under the hood and the new tires and hoses began to rot. The brakes needed replacing also in the end. But thank God after all of those repairs, "Old Trusty" got us to Texas without a single problem!! That old Volvo saved us money in the end vs renting a car or flying. We just had to get tough and ride through scorching New Mexico and Texas on leather seats with no air conditioning in 104 degree weather. We had to stop and hang out until the evening,(maybe 5 hrs), also a trip to a childrens hospital helped eat up some time-and they had REALLY GOOD AIR CONDITIONING, story to follow later, but that forced us to rest and we got to eat while not moving!

God bless good friends and relatives who let you stay at their homes when they are gone! And bless all friends that make you feel like family even when you seem to overrun them! The song says, "Give and it shall be given unto you....Pressed down, shaken together, running over, running over..." That is how good our friends and my sister have been- homes, cars, whatever we needed, it was handed to us so generously.
Thank you so-ooooooo much! I didn't know I had done the same for you before.

Now we had to get home because some of our friends from Scotland (we visited them last year), were coming to spend 2 nights with us on their annual trip to Poland. They are a family of 7 and we have known them since we only had 2 children! We also needed to get home for a couple of appointments and to see if my flowers survived,(they died-sniff, sniff). We left Texas Wednesday night, picked up a rental van, drove to Dover, spent the night, hopped on a plane at 2pm, flew to Germany, stopped at our friends house for an hour, ate lunch and got on the road to home. We crossed the chunnel and were making good time till we hit traffic in London. It took an hour and a half to drive 6 MILES!! Needless to say, we didn't get home until 10pm Friday night and our guests were due on Saturday evening. We go to bed at 1am with the knowledge that there is a LOT of work to do at our house before our guests come in a few hours. Top that with time change and jet lag and you have a recipe for--exhaustion!
So get ready, cause here they come!

Monday, June 29, 2009

It's hot

Okay, I know this is the fact around the world, but it's hot here.The heat coupled with, of all things-a SUMMER COLD, make one miserable and cranky. Yes, it's noticeable that I am cranky too. We are also getting ready for an insane road trip too. So, the intense heat of 78 coupled with a cold, add to that the packing and cleanup of my house so that when we get back, we will have guests have made me crankier than normal.

I am bathing myself in prayer and also Chloe who burned her hands on a bbq grill yesterday resulting in 1st and 2nd degree burns on her palms. Don't ask me how it happened- I was watching the other 3 children and playing a game of Pit and had left her in her fathers care. I just know there was a bunch of commotion and people running around then Darryl came up and was holding her. There was a bowl of ice water involved and I suggested some Aloe Vera gel which must have helped a little bit because her screaming went down a few decibels upon applying it. She also had a dose of Tylenol to help dull the pain. We were at a church bbq and I suggested taking her home would probably make everyone feel better at that time. He dropped me off at home and she cried/screamed for at least another hour and a half then promptly passed out. I finally called the nurse advice line and they suggested what I thought already- take her in to get it checked on. So after the other party goers came in, Spring Chick and Chloe and I went to the ER. Met a fantastic Dr, wonderful nurses and the best bunch of techs anyone could have asked for and was in and out of the door in about an hour! Yes, less than an hour! What a blessing!
She has some Tylenol with codeine for pain and antibiotic cream for when the blisters break open, also an appt for a follow up in 24 hours.
Keep her in prayer- the hands are a terrible place for a burn and especially on an active toddler, infection can set in quickly. And you know how little people like to touch things........

Our insane road trip begins here with a lovely drive to Germany to catch a hop to California. From there we will repair our old Volvo and drive it to scorching hot Texas where we will go to a juvenile arthritis conference in Houston. From there we try to catch a plane back to Baltimore and then over to Germany. Hmmmm, sounds like a great leap of faith, so pray for us on that issue also.
So for now, I am going to pack and sweat and pray and sweat some more.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Am I crazy or what??

It's been a week since I could collect my thoughts and write something on this blog.

I've been writing alright, but it's been emails flying back and forth to America and Canada. You see I have been granted (and blessed) with some funds from the Dept of Defense to further my education on any job that is portable. Yes, free money from the government to make me smart and able to work for someone else(or myself),and get paid for it! How could one say no to that? So, I have been debating on which school I would like to go to or which online program I want to do. So much to do- so little of me to do it with!

The catch is that I am cheap and don't want to spend it all in one place! So I have been asking around about all of these careers and which fits me best. I have a stake in all three of them and they all are dear to my heart. I just can't choose. Ummm, uhhh, ahhhh. This is driving me crazy!! I can't make a major life changing decision on an empty stomach. I have to go and eat a cookie or three.. Recipe to be posted tomorrow- I promise.
So what do you vote for me to do? Catering, etiquette and protocol or master herbalist??
I'm so confused..............

Sunday, June 7, 2009

A lazy Sunday afternoon

It's 7pm on Sunday and I am pooped! Yep, I can actually say it and mean it. The littlest one has been crying, clingy and just really cranky. She was sick for the last week with a feverish cold and I had to cancel a couple of appointments to stay with her. I was in the house for nearly 4 days straight! I haven't done that since we lived in Maine and the wind chill stayed below -20. I wasn't crazy back then. I had just moved there straight from Texas and hadn't experienced that kind of flash freezing before!
Now another child isn't well. Poor Elise- she has had a fever for 3 days now and I stayed home from church with her. We did our Sunday school lessons and I worked on some laundry then started on dinner. Mr and the other folks went to church and came home remarkably early. Come to find out, they were late and didn't want to make a fashionable entrance so they went to Tesco and shopped. Now whenever Mr. goes shopping, you can count on something unique coming home with him. This time they came back with some "Fentimans Botanically Brewed Traditional" drinks. He takes such pride in being a "hunter" and finding these wonderful new things for us to try. Well, we had a lovely spread for our meal- Pork chops, mashed potatoes & gravy, Dads secret recipe cabbage, homemade macaroni and cheese and for dessert, peach crisp. Alongside that meal was dads selection of exotic drinks. We ate and he made sure we all tried some of these new tastes. He and science dude (our son) were reading the labels out loud so I would know what was in there and while they were reading the back, I was carefully scanning the front for anything unusual. Holding back my laughter, I read the fine print on the front where they both failed to read. "Are you sure this is JUST SODA?", I asked. "Sure it is, says Mr." And with that I read the tiny lines they did not see,"NOT MORE THAN 0.5% ALCOHOL BY VOLUME!"
Hope your Sunday was as lazy and relaxing as his was after that drink..

Saturday, May 23, 2009

A sad birthday and a cut throat!

Okay, May 22nd was Mr's birthday. I hadn't really planned anything special since I was shamed two weeks ago because I though he was turning 45 and he was actually turning 46! Somewhere I lost some time , I guess. I was shocked that I got it wrong and if I were him I should have been flattered to have lost a year from "Ye Olde Lifeclock."

So anyways, it just happens that "Spring Chicken" has been having repeated bouts of tonsillitis this year,(So far a total of 6 bouts since January) and I took her to the pediatric clinic a gently demanded that they get rid of those pesky things since she was missing school at least a week out of every month with fevers and all. "No protesto" from the Dr and we were headed out with the referral to the Ear Nose and Throat clinic within 10 minutes. (Just hold on- there is a correlation with this and the birthday thing, trust me!)So one week later, we are sitting at the ENT clinic waiting for this mysterious Dr whom you have to go through hell and high water to see and he was running late. Not 15 minutes late, no, ONE HOUR late. I was slated to go to an appt when the first appt was over, so Darryl had to reschedule that and to top that I had "Action toddler" with me! Now she roamed the hallways looking cute (as my mother would say), and we went up and down the elevator a dozen or so times and once she nearly jumped out right as the doors were closing, but mom is still quick, you know! Dad was on his way to get her and bless him, he was running late too!
Time was a'wasting and I had things to do. So I disappear with "Action toddler" and when I come back, April, aka "Spring Chicken" is gone!! The techs see my distress and show me my daughter who is waiting (yes, still waiting) in an exam room. More to explore for Chloe aka "Action Toddler"! Lord, give me strength- I can't do this much longer! Then is walks the Dr-A fellow who looks about Darryls' age with braces on(which April says makes everyone look younger-is that a hint, April?) and a BIG smile. He says April is a prime candidate for tonsillectomy and he will be gone for most of June so they will call us for an appt at the end of June. In walks Mr, he grabs Chloe, says "Hello" to the Dr and out the door he goes! So Dr explains a bit more of the procedure and what to expect when it happens and asks if we have any more questions. "Hmmm",I say, "not really but if you can squeeze us in before you leave, then please do so". "Okay", he says and then off he goes a'smiling and on to his next patient.
So we go to the front desk, hand over the request for the tonsillectomy and ask her to call us if they get a cancellation.
Surprising us, 48 hrs later we get a call saying she can have it done on the 22nd of May if we want to. Umm, you don't have to ask me twice!! YEESSS!
In my thoughtless moment, I was only thinking of April who during this last bout of fevers looked at me with red eyes and a 103 degree temperature with big swollen tonsils and said" Mom, they have to take my tonsils out, I can't live like this being sick all the time." I momentarily forgot that Darryls' birthday was on the 22nd and the prom was a week later and she wasn't supposed to be around a large group of people,and the last few weeks of school were happening, didn't take into account all of the social implications of having this surgery right now. SO WHAT! My child was sick and she needed this done ASAP! I prayed about it and had such a peaceful feeling that this was the right time and place for it to be done. That other stuff dosen't matter even if it has cost a lot of money, sniff, sniff.

Now back to the whole point of this- She got her tonsils and adenoids out on my poor husbands birthday! It was a rough morning, but we were done and home by 12:30 and the birthday party seemed to drag on all day after that, but he had some really funny birthday cards and a really delicious dinner of strange and exotic Indian foods and it all was topped off with a chocolate mayonnaise cake that had the most divine butterscotch icing on it. We laughed and cried and most of all we were thankful to be together and have him for however many years he has been here.

The downside to this all? Poor April sitting at the table watching us eat it all.
She will get hers as soon as she recovers- we all know how that girl loves to eat!

Friday, May 8, 2009


Okay folks, I know I disappeared from the face of the earth for several months now but there are many reasons for that. First of all there was a personal struggle with myself, then my husband, and then my father became ill to the point of death and he wanted to die but God had other plans for him. Then to top all of that off, I had to go to the states and I'm back but now there are serious ongoing medical problems with my 7 yr old. So that was a brief update on my life and I think I am ready to get blogging again.

So keep us in your prayers and I'll blog to you soon!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

It's been a while......Part 2

Okay here we go.... So I called my father in law and asked him if we could use his timeshare for Christmas. He says for me to wait and he can see if there is room for us near him. I hang up and minutes later, he call to verify if we really want it or not. I tell him, "Yes" an then the story begins........
Flash forward to November- Darryl changes jobs and tells me that there is no replacement for him so he isn't coming for Christmas. Wow, was I angry! Can't you do anything about it? Hello! We've ALWAYS been together for Christmas. You can't just stay here! You'll drive somebody crazy worrying about us!! So, I prayed about it and left it as it was. If I don't go, his dad will lose 2 weeks of timeshare. If I stay here, all we will do is eat and clean. (That's his new hobby-cleaning) So, To Virginia we go.
To fly on a military transport requires a letter stating that I am eligible to use the services (well something like that, it says). You have to get this letter to the transport office weeks in advance so you can get at the top of the list when a plane you want to get on happens to be flying through. So I had to get this done and take it and fax it to all of these different places so that if I happen to end up in Spain because that was the only plane they had to Europe that week went there, I would be in the computer there so I could try to get the next plane closest to my destination like Germany or landsakes!, England! Apparently no one flies here anymore that often. So, getting out of here was going to take an act of God, literally!
The days before I was to entailed calling the airport every day, at least 4 times to see if anything popped up. I was willing to catch a plane to Germany if that was the only was to get to the east coast. I was desperate and I was going to get there!!!
So 3 days before I was trying to fly out, there just happened to be a plane headed to Dover. Yep, thats close enough for me. Lets take it. WHAT??? It leaves in an hour! I can't even pick up my children from 3 schools in an hour. It's a 30 minute drive to anywhere from my house! What in the world kind of scheduling is this?
Okay- I'll be ready for the next one. What? There is a plane going to Florida on Friday? Alright I am packing NOW for it! It's on the East Coast. We can hitch a ride if need be..Just kidding.... Ha HA HAAA.
So, we are walking out the door with our luggage in hands when the phone rings. Science Dude's history teacher has his wallet! We need his ID so he can leave the country. Oh my goodness, what next? Maybe they won't notice........
To be continued... Cali girl is up from her nap..

Saturday, January 3, 2009

It's been a while, but here's what happened.

I am guilty of many things, but the most is not keeping up with my electronic stuff. You know blogs, websites, emails and stuff. So I apologize form the deepest corners of my heart for not taking the time out to keep you informed of life at my house.
Now, let's get you caught up.......
It all started one dark night when I was talking to my sister via SKYPE that we came up with the idea to spend Christmas together-again. I was so proud of her coming to California from Texas at Christmastime all those years and cringe thinking of all those miles she put on her cars (multiple vehicles I tell you- but that's another story). But okay, California wasn't that far, was it? Nope, not compared to a trip to the UK. Now that's a bit of a drive.
So, back to the story- We decided to meet for Christmas again, but where? Passports and plane tickets for a single mom and 3 children would be too costly,(Think a total of around $5,000.00, now faint!), But I'm not rich either so think just plane tickets alone for me and 4 children were around the same price. Then I'd have to have a rental car and then I'd have to drive to at least 3 cities to visit family after the 11 hour plane trip. Oh just thinking about all of that back and forthing makes my back end hurt. That would be a torture trip especially without my husband with us. Back in the days before Chloe, that would have been possible, but she is NOT a happy long trip traveler. Brainstorming........ Okay. How about Virginia? The wonderful in-laws(Opa & Oma), are there and the children have never had Christmas with them and it's possible to get there in ONE day of travel without having swollen limbs and a trip to the hospital for blood thinners. How about it? YEA! Virginia it is!!
Now, how can we get to Virginia and where are we going to stay? Too many of us to sleep on the couch anymore. Hmmmm.
We shall continue this story after dinner.......