Saturday, May 10, 2014

What I want his mom to know.

I am trying my hardest to raise my two sons into sweet, thoughtful, polite gentlemen.  I want them to honor their elders and to cherish their women.  
Your son does.

In 19 years of marriage, your son has been a wonderful husband.  He is also one of the best fathers I've been around.  He works so hard, not just at his job, but at his business, and also at home.  He truly takes care of us well.  

I hope that he feels as loved by me as he has always made me feel.  

What I want you to know is that I thank you for that.  Sons don't raise themselves.  Wonderful men don't happen by accident.  You have done well by your children - all of us.

I will never forget that first vacation we took together to the beach.  I got an ear infection, and in typical Drema fashion, you nursed me back to health.  You played with my hair.  You loved on me, and you haven't stopped.  You just have a touch for fixing the broken things in this world.  When most people give up, you breathe life back into things.  I admire that.  

I have learned to make your special green bowl chicken, your hard candy, and hamburger stuff - but I'd still rather sit at your table.  Mine just never quite measures up.  You are an amazing cook.  Thank you for patiently teaching me some of your tricks.  When we cook together, it always makes me feel more like a daughter than a daughter-in-law.  That means a lot.

I love that you had all boys, because now you get excited to talk makeup and jewelry with us girls.  My mom had all girls, so she gets excited to have Mike take out her trash for her.  Thank you for raising a son that is not only good to me and our children, but good to my mommy.

For all the ways you have loved me through the last twenty years, I do sincerely thank you, and I love you.

Friday, May 9, 2014

What I want my mom to know.

I think you're the greatest.  I really do.

You look back on my childhood with regrets and "what if", but I look back with the fondest of memories.  I haven't forgotten the bad times, it's just that the good definitely out way those bad days.

You gave me stability and security, even when there wasn't.

You went to work outside our home, when everything in you wanted to stay home and "mommy" us.  I knew you would have rather been home cooking and cleaning for us, and that it ate at you that you weren't there.  That is why I took up those chores, hoping to help you do what you had to do with a little less guilt.  I took so much pride in having your kitchen clean for you when you came home, just like you would have.  I copied you in so many ways, and I still do.

I look back and laugh at some of our memories.  I'll never forget the first time we had to figure out the riding lawnmower on our own.  Two clueless gals, trying to cut grass.  You didn't weigh enough to keep the mower on, so I had to ride behind you.  We talked a lot while the two of us circled the yard.  Our hearts got closer and closer every week we circled together in the sunshine smelling freshly cut grass, feeling quite proud of ourselves for figuring it all out.  Sure, we ran into the fence once, and we never did quite get that weed eater going - but, we did what needed doing.  You and I.

Randi was too little to help a whole lot, and she just seemed so fragile.  You and I became partner mothers for her, for better or for worse.  And, we had both of those, the better and the worse - The Three Musketeers.   It was us three against the world!

But, it wasn't.  We had so many others supporting us, even when it felt like a lonely time.  I remember Grandma showing up with bags of goodies.  I remember Uncle Jasper coming for a late night emergency call.  Three hysterical females screeching and pointing at an upside down bucket covering a mousetrap containing a mouse, and loosing our minds every time that bucket scooted a bit.  We laughed and laughed.  How do people survive without family?

I guess that what I want you to know is that you did well.  It was the best of times and the worst of times all at once, and I remember the better days more.  You did that for us.  You made it ok.

What I have learned about motherhood, is that no one expects perfection from a mother but herself.  If you love your people, they cut you a lot of slack.  Just love your people well.

Was my childhood perfect?  Nope.
Were you a perfect mother?  Nope.
But, you were perfect for us, because you have always loved us well.

Oh, have you loved us well.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

March 1

March already?  Time, she is moving faster and faster these days.
I can remember Mom and Grandma saying that, and now I hear my own voice, ever so gradually, becoming more and more "them".

My habits, my demeanor, my thoughts - all echo touches of my mother and her mother.  One day, I suspect, my Emily shall hear more and more of me.
Curious really, that when you reach the age of being "your own woman" and "finding yourself", that what I am really finding is them.

As I prepare meals, I can see my mother in her kitchen preparing that same meal.  I can look down to my hands working at the cutting board, and more each day, they are becoming her hands.  
As I give newborn advice to my sister, it's my Grandma's words that pour out.  Her old-fashion ways that have circled time and become modern again, reminding us there is nothing new under the sun.  

I suppose that is family legacy.  The older they get, and the more of themselves they see slipping away, it is for me and my generation to pick up the pieces.

All that running away, all that "forging my own path", and when I look into my older eyes, I see theirs.  I see home.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Franklin Covey Boston Compact Size

A few people have asked about my planner, how I use it, what I have in it.  I thought a video would be the easiest way to answer your questions.  
I hope this is helpful to someone.  

Yes, I am fully aware that I am an organizational nerd.  I'm ok with it.
Yes, I know I have a very thick hillbilly accent.  Also ok with that.  :)

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Twice Baked Sw. Potato

This is my favorite way to have a sweet potato.  They are so yummy, and also pretty easy to make.  Make them, you'll be happy you did.  Just don't think about how many calories are in each one.  It has to be at least 1,000!  :)  Don't make them often, and you'll be fine.  Moderation.  Everything in moderation.  
(That's my 2014 word:  Moderation.  I'm not very good at it yet, but  I'm learning.)

twice baked sw potato
1.  Wash your sweet potato skin well.  Rub with oil (I like Olive Oil.) Wrap in aluminum foil.  Place directly onto oven rack, and bake @350 until fork goes in easily.  (about an hr)

2.  Cut a cross shape onto the top of your potato, push the ends of your potato towards the center to open it up.  Scrape out sweet potato inside into a bowl.  Take care not to tear up your skins.  If you leave a little potato in the skin this is better than tearing your skin to pieces.

3.  Mash the sweet potato in the bowl with a little milk and butter.  Season with Pumpkin Pie Spice and Brown Sugar - (and I like to add just a tiny bit of black pepper).  Mix and mash this well.  Spoon this filling back into your skin(s).
4.  Top with a drizzle of Maple Syrup (just a drizzle, don't loose your mind and go crazy with it.)  and Mini Marshmallows.  Sprinkle with Cinnamon.  Place under broiler just long enough to melt marshmallow and brown a bit.

5.  That's it!  Now you get to eat the best sweet potato ever.  

We had these for dinner last night.  So yummy!  If you try them, please let me know how they turned out.

I'm going to leave you with a view from my window this morning.  

Downy Woodpecker

I've had feeders out for a few days now, and the kids and I have really enjoyed birdwatching/ squirrel watching.  It's a very enjoyable hobby.  I've been trying to identify the birds that visit, but I'm not the best at identification yet.  Bear with me, and feel free to correct me, if I give them the wrong name.
Black Capped Chickadee

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Texture: Link for free download

My favorite fine art Photographer, Brooke Shaden, has a free download for a texture pack on her blog.
I love her work, I love texture, and I love free!

Just thought I'd pass the info along.  Enjoy!

Here is an example of the "snow" texture added to one of my photos.  Just showing how it changes the feel of it.

No overlay/texture:

With Brooke Shaden's snow1 texture (included in free download):
I added this at 100% opacity and used Soft Light.
I didn't adjust at all afterwards, as I wanted to show the texture as is.

I believe that you should give of your time, talents, and your treasure - and it makes me happy when people could sell something, but choose instead to give it freely.  May lots and lots of creative energy flow back to her for her generosity.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

More frogs, but not the dissected kind.

On Valentine's Day, all those flower delivery people had vans full of bouquets to deliver.  They got to enjoy the pretty arrangements for a brief time, and they certainly got to sniff the lovely fragrant flowers, but those were not their bouquets to keep.  The delivery guys and gals had to pass them along to their rightful owners who got to open the attached card and fully appreciate a gift that was just for them.
Sometimes, I am to deliver bouquets here on my blog - metaphorically, of course.
I was at a study recently, and heard something I had never thought about before.  It just hasn't left my mind for hardly a moment since hearing it, yet, it's from a bible passage I've read tons of times and somehow missed it all these years.

I want to pass this along to you, as I feel I've been given the pleasure of the beauty and the fragrance, but it wasn't my card with my name on it to open, per se.

So, to whom it may concern:  God sent this to you, with all His love.

In Exodus 8, there is an abundance of frogs.  If you aren't familiar with Exodus, the frogs are a plague brought upon Pharaoh and the Egyptian people because Moses went and asked Pharaoh to let his/God's people go free from the bondage and slavery they are being forced into in Egypt, and Pharaoh has said no.  The frogs aren't the only plague, but let's just deal with the plague of frogs, since that is the part I want to talk about.

Frogs swarming the Nile River, in the houses, in the bedrooms, in the beds, in the servant's houses, in the OVENS, in the KNEADING BOWLS.  (Ex 8:3-4)  The Bible is very clear that this wasn't a few frogs.  Frogs everywhere!  This isn't a nuisance, this is a plague.

Pharaoh wants this to end.  He sends for Moses, and he asks Moses to plead with God to make it stop.  In other words, the frogs have got to go!

Now, here is the part that I never really noticed.  (Ex 8:9) Moses agrees that if Pharaoh will let his people go, he will plead with God, and he asks Pharaoh a very interesting question:  When would you like for me to ask?

It's so peculiar a question, that I'm in awe that I skimmed over it so many times previously.  If it weren't for someone else pointing it out, I don't know if I would've noticed it.

Frogs are everywhere.  The people can't function the way things are.  Pharaoh is begging for the frogs to leave, and Moses says, "Ok, when?  When would you like them to leave?"

If Moses' question is peculiar, then Pharaoh's answer is just downright absurd.

(Ex 8:10)  And he said, "Tomorrow".

Seriously, tomorrow?  Why not, "ASAP", "Immediately", "Just as soon as you can get to it, Buddy, I got frogs in my oven here!"

But, no, he wanted one more night with the frogs.

As silly as it sounds, I've asked God to clean up some "frogs" in my life - but when the time came to give up whatever "frogs" needed given up I - like Pharaoh - said, "tomorrow".  Just one more night with the frogs.

Do you have some area of your life that needs cleaned up?  Don't spend one more night with your frogs.  Let God have it right now, ASAP, immediately.  

I'm telling you that with God, you have the power to clean house.  Don't think you'll clean up your act and then come to Him.  It doesn't work that way, and deep down, you know it doesn't.  You've tried before, haven't you?

If you are reading this, God wanted me to write it for you.  It's a big, beautiful Valentine's Day bouquet from your Father who used a silly 'ole Hillbilly girl to tell you a story about frogs.  That is how crazy He is about you.  

There's a better way.  

Ok, now you have to decide.  When would you like your frogs to leave?

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