Saturday, March 31, 2007

Chilly Morning

It's overcast and in the 50's. After 80 degree temps earlier in the week and upper 60's later, this feels downright chilly!

I'm getting ready for company tonight, and we're having another family over for lunch tomorrow. Tonight my plan is to grill chicken, and have a few side dishes. I'll need to run out to the grocery. Tomorrow we're hoping to have a picnic, but if it's this cold, I'm not too sure. I'm going to make chicken salad for tomorrow.

After supper last night we played a game we got at Christmas called "Snapshots Across America." It's a geography game and it was lots of fun. We ended up playing it twice. The kids loved it. (and they were learning -- gotta love that!)

Speaking of something else my kids loved. We read a book earlier in the year called "The Phantom Tollbooth." We all loved it. It is a great read aloud book. Beth was able to follow it a little better than Ben, but he still thought it was great. So it's probably best for upper elementary age and above. Here's a description I found:

Milo has nothing much at all to do -- until he drives through the Phantom Tollbooth. Beyond it lies a strange land and an even stranger series of adventures. Accompanied by a watchdog named Tock and the ever-grumpy Humbug, Milo sets out on a quest for Rhyme and Reason, hoping to settle the war between words and numbers along the way. Now that he thinks about it, he's got plenty to keep him busy after all.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Our Time Away

I've been trying to figure out how I want to express my thoughts about our time in Indiana. There's always such mixed feelings about time spent away due to the death of a loved one. One one hand, it's the saddest time imaginable. On the other hand, it's nice to see and visit with family that you do not get to see very often. But there's always the underlying reason for being there, and even if you have a nice visit or a laugh here or there, the sadness always creeps back in.

We arrived in Indiana around 8:45 Friday night, and went straight to the hotel. We tried to rest, but for the most part was unsuccessful. I woke up for good at 4:15 and could not go back to sleep. Ben and I went swimming in the indoor pool at 6:00 am when it opened. Beth was the only one who seemed to sleep well that night, but she was still very tired on Saturday.

We spent the day Saturday at my aunt's house. It was so strange without Uncle Albert there. I kept expecting to see him walk in the room. Saturday night, Lynnette (my cousin) and I went through all the pictures. We set aside pictures that would be good for a collage. Some of the pictures brought laughter and some tears. Some brought tears of laughter. Especially the funny picture of my dad and uncle at the cemetary. The angle of the picture made it look like they were playing leap frog and my dad was on his brother's back hopping over. In reality, my uncle was squatting down looking at a headstone, and my Dad was behind him, bent over, looking at the stone. LOL

Lynnette and I went to Hobby Lobby, and purchased a board to make the collage. It seemed like it would be big enough, but we found out differently. We ended up buying two more boards and still having pictures left over. The collages looked really nice though, and everyone seemed to enjoy looking at them. I was thrilled to find a picture of Uncle Albert and I on my wedding day. It was a really good picture of just the two of us, and after making a copy of it for the collage, Aunt Alberta gave me the original. I will always cherish it.

Some cousins from Kentucky came in for "the calling" on Monday evening. (I'm wondering what other people call this time of visiting the family the night before the funeral. I grew up calling it the visitation, around here they call it the family night, I've heard it called the viewing, and the wake. Is it called different things depending on the part of the country you're from?) Anyway, it was nice to see these cousins and spend some time talking to them. Sadly, about the only time we see each other is when someone passes away. My cousin, Harlan said that we need to have a family reunion. I agree. It's too sad a time to only see each other at funerals.

The funeral on Tuesday was beautiful. There were two pastors who spoke and they did a wonderful job. I was very honored to have my tribute to Uncle Albert read at the funeral. I wanted to read it myself, but was unable to do so without crying. If it would have been just a few tears trickling down my face that would have been okay. But I'm not a very delicate crier, and my words would not have been intelligible. One of the pastor's read it and did a good job. That meant so much to me that they wanted it read, even if I was unable to do it. My SIL, Debbie, read a poem that her brother had written when their dad died. She did such a good job. I was very proud of her. The poem was beautiful, too. Her brother is very talented. If I remember correctly, her dad wrote poetry as well.

After the funeral we drove out to the cemetary. I'd forgotten what it was like to have cars pull over and stop on the road for a funeral procession. A few people do it around here, but not every one. I had to explain to the kids how they were paying respect to the family of the person who died. Out at the cemetary they had a military service. They did the flag ceremony and gave it to Aunt Alberta, then there was a 21 gun salute, and taps was played. It was very moving.

My mom stayed in Indiana with my aunt. We miss her here, but I know she's where she needs to be right now. She remembers how it was to be left alone not long after her husband died, and she didn't want Aunt Alberta to go through that.

Thank you to everyone who prayed for my uncle and aunt, and who prayed for us. Your prayers were (and are) very much appreciated!

Friday, March 23, 2007

He's HOME Now

My Uncle went home to Heaven this morning. I don't know any details as of yet, but I do know he's in no more pain, and he's steady on his feet. No more Parkinson's. I will deeply miss him, but I know I'll see him again some day. I love you, Uncle Albert!

My cousin, Merle (his Mom is Albert's sister, Clara) posted this response on my blog and I wanted to share his memories here:

It was nice to read about Uncle Albert. I didn't know some of the stuff. My memories are of the times all our uncle's came in for Thanksgiving and Harlan and I would go hunting with them. I remember playing ping pong with Uncle Albert, Uncle Robert, Dallas and Harlan. I can't tell you how many games of horseshoes I played with Uncle's Albert, Robert, and Bernard. So many of our family has passed in recent years including Dad, I guess that is why I still dream of the times all the family would come home to Grandpa's and Grandma's. Bisquets, gravey, and fried chicken early in the morning cooked on an old wood stove and so many there we had to eat in two groups. Those feather beds you'd sink down into and dare not move because the only warm spot was where you laid, the fire had died out in the middle of the night. It's those memories we can keep the rest of our days!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

I am from...

I found this on an old blog of mine. I enjoyed reading it, so I thought I'd post it again. In April, 2005, Perri sent out a challenge to write a poem where each line had to start with the line "I am from..." Here's mine:

I am from a home where love was never questioned.

I am from a small town where there were no stop lights.

I am from a town where my neighbor was a famous baseball manager, but I only knew him as Smokey.

I am from summers anxiously awaiting the arrival of the Book-Mobile and reading the Boxcar Children.

I am from a time when I could go for a bike ride around the neighborhood, go to the store, or walk to a friend's house and all my Mom worried about was me being careful crossing the street.

I am from a time when we drank Pepsi from a 16 oz. bottle and then turned in the empty bottles for change.

I am from watching The Wonderful World of Disney at 7:00 on Sundays, and watching Hee Haw on Saturday nights.

I am from a time when Elvis was King...and it was a sad day when he died.
I am from a time of catching lightening bugs, playing hide and seek, playing Spud, and sitting on the front porch and just talking.

I am from a family who went to church every Sunday, prayed before every meal, and prayed together at bedtime.

I am from a time of 4-H and learning to sew, cook and garden.

I am from a small elementary school where we all grew up together and everyone knew your parents.

I am from a church that memorized scripture verses through BMA and went to camp in Georgia every summer.

I am from a time when Daddy's worked hard, and Mommy's were there to take care of us when we got home from school.

I am from The Six Million Dollar Man, The Bionic Woman and Charlie's Angels.

I am from Barbies and Cabbage Patch dolls.

I am from brothers who like to tease and call me names...Delta Dawn.

I am from being the baby of the family.

I am from sitting on Daddy's lap and listening to his heart beat and knowing he is the strongest man in the world.

I am from homecooked meals for supper -- every night, and the occasional bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken on Sunday afternoons.

I am from listening to records on a record player.

I am from eight track tapes.

I am from popcorn and pop while we watch Wonderful World of Disney.

I am from going to the fairground in the summer for 4-H.

I am from 80's music.

I am from football games and marching band.

I am from "big hair."

I am from playing records backwards.

I am from playing softball on Saturday mornings.

I am from working in the garden even when I didn't want to.

I am from a time that I felt very safe and happy.

Matthew, Mark, Luke and John

We have a 20 minute drive to church. It's not too bad...sometimes we listen to the radio, sometimes we talk, and sometimes we sing. And sing is what we did tonight. We sang the books of the New Testament in song, over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over (you get the picture) until we arrived at church. We sang it at normal tempo, we sang it in hypermode, and we sang it real s-l-o-w. After we finished with Revelation one of us would say "One More Time!" And off we'd go again. I may not be able to say the books of the New Testament, but I sure can sing them! :o)

I ran over to Target this evening. I bought the kids some stuff for their Easter baskets. Target has carried chocolate crosses for years, and I've always bought one for the kids. I think the first one I bought was 10 years ago when Beth was two. It's tradition now. I hope they never stop making them! I also bought some Easter Twix bars called Bunny Ears or something. That'll be it on the candy. On Tuesday I was in our church bookstore and bought Beth a Casting Crowns CD and I bought Ben the soundtrack to Narnia. That'll probably be about it. We don't do too much.

We're having our Sunday School class' annual Easter Egg hunt at our house on the 7th. That'll be fun. We usually have it at another family's farm from our class, but they are really busy this year and couldn't do it. We don't have a farm, but we have acreage and should have plenty of room for three different hunts (dividing up toddlers, middlers, and older kids). Hopefully the weather will cooperate.

My uncle is still hanging on. I know it won't be much longer. The waiting is so hard for the family. I remember with my dad. I pray that God just gives them a peace beyond our understanding.

Tomorrow will be an "at home" day. School, playing and cleaning. :o)

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Mouse Update

For those of you who were wondering -- I know this is keeping you up at night -- there have been no more mice! My thought is this: There were just 4 mice, and they were starving and that peanut butter was just too good to pass up!

It's pretty sad though when your kids are disappointed that there are no more mice in the house!

Oh, another thing. If you catch mice in your trap and you have an outside cat, Do not dump said mice in the woods. My Mom got excited when she found two mice on her patio. She thought her cat was doing a good job of catching the mice before they came in. Nope! He just brought two of the dead mice he found in the woods to her. Lazy, good for nuthin cat! LOL

Morning Ramblings

My eyes feel like they have sand in them! Good thing I don't wear contacts anymore. :o) Too much crying...

I had a good night's sleep and now the start of a fresh day! It's supposed to warm up a little today -- nothing like our 70 degree temps last week, but it'll feel pretty good.

Yesterday we had school, and then I took the kids to our church gym for a few games of dodgeball with some other home schooled kids. They had a blast! Once the weather warms up we'll start going to the park and playing kickball or something.

Last night I made some yummy, low sugar, chocolate chip cookies. Neal had one this morning and said they were good. I make my cookies with wheat flour and they are always so soft. It took a little while to get used to, but now my kids prefer it.

Today will be school and cleaning. I've finished my envelopes and they were turned in yesterday. Now I can focus on my house again. Neal made me a new batch of laundry detergent over the weekend, so I don't have to do that. It doesn't take long anyway, but it's always nice to have things done for you. :o)

I finished reading the book of Acts last week, and I started James yesterday and will finish it today. Then I think I'll go back to Isaiah and finish it this week. For some reason I wasn't able to focus on it when I was reading it, so I took a break and went to the New Testament. I loved reading Acts, and James is always good to read.

In fiction I'm reading a book called "Boo Hoo." It's the sequel to "Boo." Boo is a story about a famous horror novelist who finds no satisfaction in his life. He has all the money he'll ever need, but still feels empty. He has been quietly observing a person in their small town through the past few years, and has seen something in her that he wants. He goes to a local pastor, and finds that what his life is missing is Jesus. Now things will change in his town of Skary, Indiana. It's the story of several people who claim to be "Christian," yet get upset when their town's claim to fame finds true happiness in Christ. It's an interesting book, and unfortunately, hits too close to home in some ways! The book is written by Rene Gutteridge.

Now on to my day...

Monday, March 19, 2007

Uncle Albert

I am blessed with a large, extended family. My Mom had 8 brothers and 2 sisters, and my Dad had 3 brothers and 3 sisters (and two brothers that died during childhood). I have lots and lots of cousins! My Dad was the baby of his family, and my Mom was the third youngest in hers. I'm the youngest cousin on my Dad's side, and one of the youngest on my Mom's. I'm almost 41.

The one sad thing about having large families is that you have more deaths to go through. Right now I'm getting ready to lose a very special uncle. Uncle Albert is my dad's brother. My Dad passed away August 27, 2002. Uncle Albert was about 4 years older than Dad. He's now 86.

My uncle is a WWII veteran...a POW. He was a prisoner in Germany, and was there when the war ended. In recent years he has begun talking about his time in Germany, and I was blessed to have several conversations with him about it. I still cannot imagine what my Grandma went through when she heard that her son was missing in action. She also had another son that was shot in WWII, and he also came home alive.

Growing up I lived about 45 minutes away from my aunt and uncle. We spent Sunday afternoons with them at least once a month. We usually spent Christmas with them...if not Christmas day then we'd spend another day close to Christmas with them. We have lots of pictures of tables piled high with food, and pictures of us having our gift exchange.

One summer I spent a week at their house. They lived out in the country next to a river. One day I decided I wanted to fish from the bridge. They gave me a fishing pole and some bait. The bad thing was that I didn't want to touch the worms! Uncle Albert would put the worm on and I'd walk to the bridge and fish. The fish would eat my worm, and then I'd go back to their house and Uncle Albert would put another worm on for me. This went on for a while until I got tired of walking back and forth. Or maybe they got tired of putting worms on! :o)

They also had an apple orchard and a big red barn. Maybe that's where my love of barns came from.

When I think of Uncle Albert, these are some of the things that come to mind:

* shooting pool
* watching home movies on his reel to reel machine
* his garden
* his dogs
* his slow smile (or, as his daughter, Lynnette, called it earlier, his Elvis smile)
* his mustache (I was scared of him when I was little and I think it was the mustache :o)
* having Parkinson's but never giving up
* crossword puzzles
* horseshoes
* looking for sharks teeth at Myrtle Beach
* his short, but sweet message on my wedding video
* getting the balloons for my wedding
* going to an Amish nursery and giving me directions in German (telling me when to turn right and left)
* a soft voice that I had to strain to hear at times, but I wanted to hear what he had to tell me because he didn't talk a lot and I knew it would be worth listening to.
* a wife whose name is only one letter different than his...Alberta (I love you!)
* playing Aggravation on his homemade game board
* looking at his momentos from WW2
* The Bedford Boys
* Playing Putt-Putt in MB
* Eating at The Hut, Bob Evans, and K & W
* all of his beautiful wood working projects
* And many, many more.

Even though it's been sad through the years to see the older generation leave us, I wouldn't trade having a big family for anything in this world! It's worth all the tears from saying good bye, because we had many more tears of laughter through the years. Uncle Albert and my Aunt Clara are the only remaining siblings on my dad's side of the family. On my Mom's side, out of the 11, there are five left...the three girls and two of the boys. I love my family, and I thank God for allowing me so many happy years with them!

I'll miss you, Uncle Albert, and I love you! You are very special to me!

Some Thoughts

This morning some thoughts were running around in my head and I had to write them down. I know they are a bit simplistic, but this is what was on my mind and in my heart:

A Better You

Controlling the tongue
Can be difficult to do.
But the Bible tells us to do so,
And it will make a better you!

Do Unto Others

Do not bear false witness
against your brother.
The sins of lies and gossip
will destroy your testimony
Like no other.

God's Word says, "Do unto others
as you would have them do unto you."
So why tear down fellow Christians
when we know that is what Satan
Wants us to do?

Saturday, March 17, 2007

The Four Legged Family Members

These top two pictures are of my SIL's dog, Stewart. Stewart is staying with us temporarily while Janet is in India. He misses his Mommy a lot! But he's having a pretty good time here getting tons of attention from my kids and our four legged family members!

The next two pictures are of Symon (who looks like he's waiting for his school work to be delivered to him). And Susie and Stewart who were not cooperating when we tried to get a good picture of them together!

Mouse Trap

Oh, one more thing. For the past few months my kids have complained of hearing "noises" in the attic. About a month ago, I was sitting here at my computer and I heard these scratching noises overhead. Our study is next to the kids rooms, but our bedroom is on the other side of the house. Now, my husband had not heard these noises, but had just heard of them. That is until night before last. I went to bed at 2:00 (working on envelopes) and just as I was dosing off I hear this scratching noise. I jerk awake and jump out of bed. Neal said "It's probably just Stewart." (we're dogsitting my SIL's dog) So I walk out to the living room and find Stew sound asleep in his little bed. So Neal decides he's going to look up in the attic. However, by the time he gets over there the noise stops. After he got back in bed it started up again, but we decided there wasn't anything we could do that night anyway, so we went off to sleep. The next day Neal comes home with 6 mouse traps! Four of them went up in the attic and two downstairs (my Mom's been hearing something up in her ceiling). My kids were SO excited about setting mousetraps, and the idea that we might actually catch one. (weird, huh?) So tonight when Daddy got home, they wanted to run up there and check it out. They climbed up the ladder and we hear "there's a mouse!" Neal quickly goes in there and up the ladder and "low and behold" (I love that saying) there is not just one dead mouse, but FOUR!!! Each mouse trap had a dead mouse in it! We couldn't believe it! The kids were so excited. LOL Ben got a Walmart bag (see, didn't I tell you that Walmart bags have many uses?) and Neal dumped the dead carcasses in the bag. Then Ben had the extreme honor of carrying them out to the woods and dumping them for some wild animal to eat. While Ben was dumping, Neal and Beth were refilling the mouse traps with peanut butter. I guess we'll find out tomorrow if we have more than 4 up there!

After those traps were reset, off we went downstairs to check on those traps. Now these traps were a bit different. They don't kill the mice, they just catch them. Both traps were shut, but mouse! Tomorrow Neal is going back to the hardware store and buying another "Value Pack" of four mouse traps! LOL Mom would like to get rid of her scratching noises too!

Keeping Busy

Just a quick post here. I'm working on a handwriting job for a local company. I have 1,500 envelopes to address! I received them Wednesday afternoon, and I have to return them Monday by noon. So far I've completed over 900 of them! I want to get them done as quickly as possible, so I've worked really hard today!

Beth is in the Awana games tomorrow. She's been sick all week, so hopefully her strength will be up to par tomorrow. She started with a fever last Saturday that lasted 4 or 5 days. Then she got an upper respiratory infection, or something. Definitely not feeling well! She is on the mend though, so that's good to see!

Sadly, I have an uncle that is not doing well. He has had Parkinson's for many years and I guess it's just taking a toll on his body. This is my dad's brother (my dad passed away in 2002). I'm very close to him and his wife, and it hurts so much to think of losing him. It's almost like losing my Dad again. I love him so much! Please keep my family in your prayers.

That's all for now. I'm off to bed.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Spring is in the air...

One of the newest veggie tale characters:
Onion Man
Larry Boy's Latest Rival

Time to get the spinach and sugar snap peas in the ground!
That's Beth working the hoe!

We even put our company to work in the garden!
Shoes too nice? Wear plastic bags! (use #367 for Walmart bags)

He Caught a Mouse!

And to think that I once thought Symon was useless!


We had some friends over for supper the other night and I made this yummy New York Cheesecake. I found the recipe online and then altered it a bit to suit our tastes. Here's my recipe:
Teresa's Virginia Cheesecake :o)
15 graham crackers, crushed
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 1/2 pounds cream cheese, softened
1 3/4 cups Splenda
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
5 eggs
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup sour cream
1 cup mini chocolate chips

In a medium bowl, mix graham cracker crumbs with melted butter. Press onto bottom of springform pan. Preheat oven temperature to 475 degrees F (245 degrees C). In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, 1 3/4 cups Splenda, 3 tablespoons flour, 5 eggs and the 2 yolks and mix thoroughly. Add sour cream and mix only enough to blend. Pour filling over crust and sprinkle chocolate chips on top (or mix with batter). Bake for 10 minutes at 475 degrees F (245 degrees C). Reduce temperature to 200 degrees F (95 degrees C) and continue to bake for one hour. Turn oven off, but leave cake in for another hour. Don't worry if it looks a little jiggly in the center. Chill overnight. This is imperative! Serve with fruit topping, if desired.

Go Fly A Kite!

Walmart bags have many uses!

Friday, March 9, 2007

Back in February

We had three trips in February. The first weekend we went to Myrtle Beach and visited my friend, Perri. The second weekend, Beth and I had our Passport 2 Purity weekend (see description below). Then on the third weekend, we went to South Carolina to visit some good friends of ours, Gary and Frankie. Another family went with us, and we had a great time. We also met up with another family we know and one other man who used to be in the same single's class that we all belonged to. Gary and Frankie were the singles leaders at our church in the late 80's and early 90's. Gary also performed mine and Neal's wedding ceremony 16 years ago last month!

Neal and Teresa in front of the Biltmore House.

The Whole Gang!

Thursday, March 8, 2007

I'm a CopyCat Too

Okay, I copied this off of Perri. I've never seen this one before...should be interesting. :o)


YOUR GANGSTA NAME (1st 4 letters plus izzle): Tereizzle

YOUR DETECTIVE NAME (fave color + fave animal): EmeraldCat

YOUR SOAP OPERA NAME (middle name + childhood street): Dawn Oxford

YOUR STAR WARS NAME (last 3 letters of your last name + first 2 letters of your first name + first 3 letters of Mom's maiden name): Leytewat -- Queen Leytewat, that is.

YOUR SUPER HERO NAME (2nd fave color + fave drink): Sapphire H2O

YOUR WITNESS PROTECTION PROGRAM NAME (Grandma/Grandpa's first name + Jones): Flora Neal Jones

YOUR GOTH NAME (Black + name of one of your pets): Black Shadow

YOUR AMERICAN IDOL NAME (fav car and sea food): Mustang Shrimp

NAME OF YOUR DREAM BAND (name of computer + printer): Dell Deskjet

MOVIE STAR NAME (sibling's middle name + mother-in-law's maiden name): Wayne Wooldridge

YOUR ALTER EGO NAME (name of one your childhood pets + popular brand of clothes when you were young): Sassy Izod

YOUR LAWYER NAME (fav actor's last name + fav hard liquor): Hanks Bourbon (I've never even tried bourbon, but I liked the sound of it -- :o)

YOUR HIP HOP NAME (fav candy + fruit): M&M Pineapple

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Girls' Weekend

We had fun taking pictures in the mirrored elevator. We even took the elevator up to higher floors so we could get more pictures! ;o)

That was one BIG cookie! We did take the plastic off of it before we ate it though!

On the left are the cds from Passport 2 Purity, and on the right is another book we read entitled Beautifully Made.

A few weekends ago, Beth and I went away to a nearby city for two nights. We stayed in a nice suite, we ate out, and we shopped! The purpose of our weekend, though, was to go through the Passport 2 Purity cds created by Dennis and Barbara Rainey. They did an excellent job of explaining the changes preteens and teens face, and the challenges they face with peer pressure. One of the biggest items discussed was about staying pure until marriage. Not only do they promote staying sexually pure until marriage, but they even encourage no kissing before marriage. It was very refreshing to hear that point of view, because that is the goal that we are already instilling in our kids. If you want a way to talk to your son or daughter about these issues, I highly recommend this cd series and taking the time to get alone together for an entire weekend to discuss them.

Squaring Numbers

Ben is learning how to "square numbers" in Math. Look closely at the center of the picture below to see his "squared" numbers. :o)

New Blog

Here I am starting my third, and hopefully final, blog. I was at Blogspot, switched to HS Blogger and I haven't been able to type anything there in over a month due to problems that seemingly cannot be fixed, so now I'm back here. I hope this one is easy to blog and post pictures on!
That's all I'm going to type for now so that I can concentrate on fixing up my blog a bit.
Jeremiah 29:11

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."