"Things that matter most must never be at the mercy of things that matter least." ~Goethe~

25 February 2015

Moving along...

     Things are starting to get back to normal around here.  There have been a few times where emotions will get the best of me when I look at pictures of my FIL and I turn into a mess.  I still have moments like that over my Dad all these years later.  It's just something to be expected with me, always.  But at least we have our most loved guy back home with us.  It was a rough 2wks without him but a sacrifice that had to be made because of the situation.  There are so many pictures that were brought home for safe keeping.  Precious treasures and momentos from my FIL that we are grateful to have.  Special little things that were thought to be treasures for us.  It's just wonderful to have these things to remind us of Dad always.

     Otherwise things are moving along as usual.  The weather is beautiful for the end of February.  One can't complain about upper 40's & 50's, and bright sunshine.  At least we don't have -20 like family in the Midwest is dealing with.   I'm also starting to think about what seeds to buy for the garden.  Never to early to start on with that.  So many new veggies to try.  It gets to be a tad bit overwhelming.  I need acreage for all I would like to grow.

     Things are flying off the hook like crazy around here.  Blankets for family and friends.  Hats for little people dealing with the -20 temps.  And a "sleeping bag" for my new IPad.  Apparently the case my dearest found for me isn't enough and it needs more protection.  One can't be too careful with new gadgets.

     Now that things getting back to normal, cookies must be made for someone's lunch tomorrow.  I'm thinking that a Cinnamon Apple Pound Cake might be good also on this blustery Winter day.  Just something one must do for their special people.  It's rough, especially for the waistline, but oh so tasty.



12 February 2015

In loving memory...

August 1921 - February 2015

     Our family has been through a rough time the past two weeks.  It all started with a phone call that my father-in-law was back in the hospital.  Something just started nagging me that this was it and he didn't have much time left.  So once my husband got home from work we started preparing everything to get him back to his Dad as soon as possible.  There was no time to delay.  It had to be now.  Dad was so worried that he would never see his son again.  So with that my husband made it back to his Dad and had a few wonderful days with him before things took a drastic turn.  There were many calls from here and there with updates on Dad.  Phone calls that included everyone telling Dad how much we loved him and how much we all missed not being there with him.  Every time the phone rang here we all thought this might be the call, with our hearts in our throats.  Then there was the call, so very late at night, with the news we were all dreading.  Why else would there be a call this late.  My husband was calling to tell us all that his Dad had passed minutes before and that he was done suffering.  It was so very tough to try to keep it together for my husband.  Memories of a similar call about my very own Dad flooded my head.  After the phone was hung up, tears fell for the longest time and there was just no way going back to sleep was an option.

     To say that I'm proud of my husband for his strength and courage he has had the past two weeks is an understatement.  From the time he walked through his parents front door, he never left his Dad's side.  There were hugs, tears, good talks, hands being held and many more memorable moments that the two of them shared together.  It was bitter sweet, but all good none the less.  Moments that can never be taken from either of them.  A son taking care of his Dad till the very end and a Dad knowing that he was loved and cared for no matter what.  And the wish they both had of seeing each other one last time was accomplished.  That alone is beyond priceless.

~ * ~

     My father-in-law was truly a one of a kind.  There will be no other like him ever on this Earth.  He was a humble man.  Never thinking he was better than anyone else.  He had a work ethic like no other I have ever seen, besides in my husband and my own Dad.  He always had a smile on his face no matter what situation was staring him in the face.  

      He served in the US Navy during WWII in the Pacific and went through some horrific times that he never boasted about.  He always had the attitude that it was just something that had to be done for our country and by God you just did it.  He never talked about these times.  It was still painful even to the end.  He was a true hero with 4 bronze stars awarded to him and many more accommodations for all he did in the US Navy.  Honors that everyone in the family would never let him forget about how proud we were of him for what he did to be given such honors.  He would just wave his hand and nod his head at us.  He was a patriot through and through.  A man from a great generation of this country that will never be matched.

     He was a man that always had such a wonderful humor and quick wit that just couldn't be matched by anyone, even to the end.  The day my husband arrived home, everyone went to breakfast with Dad. The restaurant was filled with family and friends.  Someone commented on how funny it was that with eight children (two passed when they were babies), Mom and Dad had picked the right son to name Jr.(my husband) even though he was the 6th child born.  Someone else commented about how the two of them looked like twins years apart and then asked my husband how old he was and he answered back.  Immediately Dad replied "I look pretty good at that age."  He was sharp.  He could make you laugh without trying.

     He loved his family dearly.  He always thought he didn't do enough for them.  Which was far from the truth.  He loved his wife like no other could.  He was married to her for 66 1/2 years at the time of his passing.  And he could not stand being away from her for one minute.  It was complete torture for him when he had to spend the night at the hospital away from her.  Such love there was between the two of them.

     He was proud of all his boys.  No matter that they probably drove him nuts during their younger years.  I for one do not know how he made it through all their crazy shenanigans that I have been told about while they still lived at home.  Tough man indeed.  He only had praise and warm words for them when speaking to someone about them.

     He was so proud of all his grandchildren and great grandchildren.  I will never forget each time he met our children for the first time.  Holding them in his strong arms and walking around with them, talking and showing them things with such pride.  The same thing he did with all of his grandchildren.  Beyond beautiful.

     It has taken me all evening to put these words down.  So many memories of this wonderful man come back into my head of the past 28 years that I have been lucky enough to know him.  Memories that make me smile.  Memories that are making me cry at the same time because my heart breaks because he is not physically with us any longer.  I only hope that he knew how loved and appreciated he was by everyone.  Family and friends.  There will always be a special place in my heart for my father-in-law, just as with my own Dad.  And a never ending gratitude for sharing his son with me so that I can be with a man as wonderful as he was.

Thank you for everything Dad.



09 February 2015

Valentine Sweet Chex...

     The girls have been invited over to their friends house for a get together right before Valentines.  Nothing stirs up an idea for treats like a get together that can brought along to share with everyone.  And the girls will use any excuse to get in the kitchen and make yummy, simple things to eat, especially sweet treats.

So let's get all the ingredients needed and get started to show how easy this is to make.

We doubled everything you see here (plus a box of powdered sugar)  for the number of people we have on our list. (about 12 people if doubled)

1 box of Rice Chex mix

1/2 box of powdered sugar

1 bag of white chocolate chips

1 bag of Wilton Red Candy melts

1 or 2 containers of decorative Valentine themed sprinkles

1 box Strawberry flavored cake mix

treat bags 

First you want to find a microwave safe bowl to melt the chocolate in.

Pour the entire bag of white chocolate chips into the bowl and microwave for 1 minute at a time until all is melted.  We did 1 1/2 minutes total.  Remove bowl from the microwave, get a good metal spoon to stir the Chex (about half the box) into the white chocolate.  (We have found that spatulas just don't get under the Chex well enough to coat with the chocolate without having a lot of broken bits of the cereal in the bowl from using the spatulas).  Pour the desired amount of sprinkles into the mixture and stir again to make sure they are distributed well.

Then start sprinkling the mixture with the powdered sugar and stir to make sure that all the pieces are coated as well as possible.  If done right there shouldn't be big clumps of chocolate covered Chex.  You should start to see individuals pieces being coated.  Add more powdered sugar as needed until you feel there is good coverage over all the pieces.

I transferred this mixture to another bowl and used the plastic bowl for the next batch and melted the Red Candy Melts just as the white chocolate chips were melted.  Toss in the remaining Chex mix as you did with the first batch.  We did not put sprinkles in with the second batch just because you can't see them as well with the red melted candy.  Toss this batch with the Strawberry Cake Mix just as you did with the powdered sugar in the first batch, until all the pieces are coated well.  When finished coating both batches, add 1/2 bag of M&M's to each batch, toss well and places equal amounts into each of treat bags.

Since we have an abundance of yarn around our house, each bag was tied off with Red, White and Pink yarn to keep all the yummy treats safe and sound until they reach their recipients.  Plus it keeps me from eating it all.

This whole project is super simple to make and takes no time at all.  It's fun for the kids to help with.  And it's pretty great to look at with all the holiday colors mingling around in each bag.  It won't disappoint.