Friday, December 17, 2010

Christmas Memories

Growing up, our family always celebrated the Holidays to the fullest extents. Mom and Dad always went all out to make things fun and festive. Camping was a favorite past time for our family and on some holidays that is what we chose to do. But Thanksgiving and Christmas was always spent at home.

My memories of the holidays always include feelings of warmth, coziness, music, wonderful smells from the kitchen and always hearing my Granddaddy's spoon stirring his coffee when I first wake in the mornings. Where ever we happened to have been stationed, our grandparents always made a point of being there with us (except for our three years in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba). One of the greatest parts of the holidays was the anticipation of the arrival of Grand momma and Granddaddy. They would always stay at least a month or two and since our mom was an only child, we were lucky enough to not have to share them with anyone else.

Mom and Dad made Christmas so special and fun that Sissie and I were 13 and 14 before we found out there was no Santa. (yes we were snooping and found the dolls hidden under the cabinet in the master bath. ) It didn't take away any of the joy though. Our family lived to play board games and construct puzzles. So we knew there would be plenty of those under the tree. Monopoly was our favorite and Dad would take no prisoners. We always got dolls, , a lot of arts and crafts, clothes (from the grandparents of course) and stockings full of goodies.

Christmas Eve before bed mom always made chips and dip (she only made it on special occasions) and hot dogs or sandwiches. Grandmomma could always be counted on for Hot Cocoa. (the homemade kind and the only kind I fix for my kids now). Dad would always get us up around 2 or 3am and that is when we would have our Christmas. Dad always felt that waiting for the morning would take away from enjoying the lights of Christmas in the daytime. So nighttime it has always been.

Christmas morning we would all drag out slowly except Mom and Grandmomma who would be in the kitchen early. Tradition has dictated that we have the same meal for Christmas dinner every year with only a few slight variations. Turkey and Dressing at Thanksgiving, the same for Christmas only with a baked ham added. Pickled Beet Eggs, Moldy Salad, Green Beans, Cranberry sauce, Giblet Gravy and Sweet Potato Souffle. (One year Grandmomma tried to ramp it up by doing an Oyster dressing. By the end of the meal all of the oysters had been dug out and eaten and all the dressing was still in the dish. So scrap that one. Another year she decided to add Duck to the dinner. When the duck came out of the oven he was the most beautiful golden brown roasted duck you ever saw. Moments later, that duck gave up on us and collapsed flatter than a fritter. Poor thing looked like it had been run over by a steam roller. Another year she fancied it up with a cheese ball and crackers.) It makes for good memories now.

I have such nostalgic memories of the toys that we got over the years and look back on now. Some of them were pretty dangerous. Like the year mom bought us the Klackers. Remember them? They were later taken off the market because of injuries. mom took them away from us when she heard about some kids getting hit in the temples.

One game we had that always caused a lot of fun and arguments was Hands Down. Boy could we get rough with that one.

I loved the Fuzzy Wuzzy Bear soap we got. Of course after you wet it the first time the fuzz was all gone. Also I loved getting the Dinosaur soap from Sinclair Oil.

One of the stranger but most loved outdoor toys we got was called the Red Eye Ball. I don't remember us ever using it as a weapon but I'm quite sure that it might have been thrown in anger a time or two.

Red Eye Ball – This was a ball with six long protrusions that were used as handles or as weapons. It could never be sold in today’s litigious environment but we children of the 60’s had no problem playing with it. Dodge ball was great! You could throw the ball a lot harder with one of the handles and it caused a lot more pain when it hit someone.

My favorite toy of all time was my Talky Crissy Doll. Her hair would grow and she would say 12 different phrases. She was also the last doll I received. Of course in all the moves over the year I have lost her but she has lived on in my most favorite memories.

Always loved hearing dad playing his favorite Christmas album (yes I said album) of the Beach Boys. Songs like "The Man With All The Toys" , "Little Saint Nick", and "Santa's Beard"

Other favorites of the season include never missing a showing of Charlie Brown's Christmas and of course Rudolph and Frosty.

Over the years the Christmas tree has changed in our family. Some years we would go to the lot and pick out a live one, some were big, some small, some were artificial. But of course in the 60's it was all about keeping up with the Joneses. Enter the Aluminum Christmas tree with the revolving colored light behind it. Not only did it look like it would draw lightening strikes, anytime you walked near it you would get a cut. Sure kept us kids away from it.

Of course there are a million other memories that live on and tons of things I still remember. Like Hippity Hop, play dough, Tinker toys, Kerplunk, and so on.

But no matter how many memories I still have and cherish, my mission now is to make sure that some day, my children and grandchildren will look back on their childhoods and love and cherish the memories that they will have. To enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of the season. To take comfort in how blessed they are and to really know the reason for the season.

Monday, December 13, 2010

We are still here. I do have a couple of blog posts in the works and also a cute video to share as soon as we are through editing it. Sissie and Mimi are sick again. Seems like we can just not get rid of this stuff. Tonight the coldest air of the year is moving in and we are supposed to bottom out at 18 with a wind chill of 12. Good weather to stay in bed and catch up on all of our DVR programs! With 4 different DVR's in this house we are all free to watch what we want and still be comfy in our own rooms.

The guys are all doing good. Johnny has just been hanging around the house doing nothing. He started taking his insulin again and hasn't drank any in the last few days so maybe things are looking up. Frank and Frankie are both working hard. They went hunting last weekend. Saw but didn't get anything.

Getting Christmas ready. We aren't planning anything big just a large dinner of course hoping mom and dad will be able to make it. (providing no one is sick here).

So that is the update for now. Will finish up my other posts and get them up as quickly as I can.

Until then of course something a little fun...

Odd Christmas Traditions

In Italy they have no Christmas trees - instead they decorate small wooden pyramids with fruit.

Sending red Christmas cards to anyone in Japan constitutes bad etiquette, since funeral notices there are customarily printed in red.

In Caracas, the capital city of Venezuela, it is customary for the streets to be blocked off on Christmas eve so that the people can roller-skate to church.

An artificial spider and web are often included in the decorations on Ukrainian Christmas trees. A spider web found on Christmas morning is believed to bring good luck.

It is a British Christmas tradition that a wish made while mixing the Christmas pudding will come true only if the ingredients are stirred in a clockwise direction.

A traditional Christmas dinner in early England was the head of a pig prepared with mustard.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. Ours was pretty good except that Sissie and I are still a little under the weather. Luckily, Shelby jumped in and did most of the cooking. (the one good thing about being sick is you don't have an appetite to stuff yourself with LOL) Other than a couple of incidents, things are going ok right now. Johnny has been good the last 2 days but we know that this is normal.

Sissie talked to his dr. yesterday morning and she assured Sissie that Johnny's heart has healed from 15% to 60% on both sides. She said that she has seen this before and that if he doesn't stop the drinking then it will occur again. She said that in a couple of weeks we will begin to notice the coughing, tiredness and other symptoms again. He refused to talk to the dr. himself and that is because if he hears it from her then he can't use the excuse of being told that the drinking could be the problem. He claims he is drinking because he doesn't believe his heart is healed and that he wants a second opinion. The dr says she has seen this numerous time with other patients who drink. She also said that the heart will not continue to heal itself and each time this happens could be the last. He has an appt on Jan. 11th so we will be able to see how well he is doing unless he doesn't stop drinking then it will be to see how bad. His choice to make.

He still has not started taking his stats again and no longer taking his insulin shots. Of course he has great excuses for that also, but whatever excuse he can come up with, it all ends the same.

So for a lighthearted ending. I once again have found some products that we may all be glad are no longer available.

Pepsi Kona

Pepsi Kona was an innovative creation by Pepsi, being a mix of Pepsi and Coffee. In 1994, when this soda came out, Pepsi began to limit production of the lines that were just released; only selling 20oz and 2 liters


"Marketed as the diet-friendly cure to the "something sweet" craving, this sassy new product delivers a mouthful of fine chocolate powder from a canister that looks like a tube of lipstick — function and fashion — but contributes less than one measly calorie per sweet whiff.

The Kumato is a standard size variety of tomato weighing between 80 and 120 grams. It is a green to reddish brown, and sweeter than typical tomatoes due to a higher fructose content.

Pickle Sickle

Pickle Sickles: popsicles made with pickle juice.

Egg Roll

No info found.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

WARNING! The words you are about to read..

~ We must accept finite disappointment,
but we must never lose infinite hope. ~
Dr Martin Luther King Jr.

So here we are only four days into a new chance for Johnny to do things differently. To get his life back on track. To accept the miracle that God has given him. Only four days, and right now he is standing on my front porch DRUNK! He has already drank two days of the four he has been granted. On top of all that, he has been driving drunk and hunting in the woods drunk. Drunk!

I am so tired of holding my tongue. I am so tired of watching my sister fight a battle that she lost years ago. I am so tired of trying to keep Frank from knowing the truth of how bad the drinking has been lately that I am compromising my own marriage. Why? Am I so desperate to keep Sissie here with me that I am willing to be a part of the problem? How do I kick my own sister out? I can't! She literally has nothing in this world. They have no home to call their own. They have a truck that is barely running. She has no clothes to speak of . She has nothing! She doesn't even have a dime to her name! But by golly! Every time he wants a beer, he gets it, Every time he needs gas he manages to get it. He makes sure his needs are met. And I don't want to hear how he is just upset because he can't work or how she treats him like a child or any other excuse he has had lately. He hasn't been on disability or out of work all that long. What about all the years he worked and still drank. There are a million and one reasons, excuses, and answers to why he would want to drink. But there is only one reason to not drink. That is to live. There are no other ifs, ands, or buts about it.

He has literally thrown everything back into the face of God. I don't believe I have ever been so angry in my life. And though you may not think that I have any rights to be angry about anything he does, I do have a right to protect my sister. She deserves better. That's right, She deserves better. And I know that he can do better. He has done it before. He has given 32 years of his life to the beer. When does he start giving his life to Sissie. He has been offered help. Lots of help. He has refused it everytime. So he chooses drinking over Sissie, Life, God, and everything good life can offer him.

So in the end here, should we keep trying knowing he doesn't want help or care about anything but where the next beer is coming from? No I don't want to keep trying, but the sister part of me says I must. Like Dr. King says, we must never lose infinite hope while at the same time accepting finite disappointment, but I say can't enough disappointments negate any hope at all?

Right now, he is the bedroom with Sissie, served dinner first so he will go on to bed, keeping her in there with him honestly believing that we don't know that he has been drinking and schmoozing and loving up on her trying to keep her from being mad at him. It's a vicious cycle. He will sleep for a few hours, and by morning he will once again be in his recliner, watching TV acting as though nothing happened. By mid-afternoon the excuses to leave the house will begin and by evening... Well "second verse, same as the first".

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thankful for Each Other

Dear Lord,
As we gather together around this table
laden with your plentiful gifts to us,
we thank You for always providing
what we really need
and for sometimes granting wishes
for things we don’t really need.
Today, let us be especially thankful
for each other--for family and friends
who enrich our lives in wonderful ways,
even when they present us with challenges.
Let us join together now
in peaceful, loving fellowship
to celebrate Your love for us
and our love for each other. Amen.

By Joanna Fuchs

Our family would like to especially give Thanks for the wonderful Thanksgiving Miracle we have received. God works in wonderful and mysterious ways. Not often a person gets a second chance in life and a chance to make a great a comeback with health as Johnny has. Yesterday began a brand new chapter in his life if he chooses to take it. We are all praying for you Johnny!

Happy Thanksgiving to all our Family and Friends!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Monday, November 22, 2010

Sick, Sick, Sick

Boy do I hate being sick. First Devan and Mikey and now Sissie and me. Sissie has been in bed for almost 4 days now and is only beginning to feel a little better. I guess I am getting it now. I had a sore throat the other day and now it seems to be getting worse. I honestly don't know which is worse, a sore throat or a cough. How about neither one. This will definitely keep Mom from coming to Thanksgiving dinner. Her lungs are always so susceptible to any germ that even though we want her to come over, it really is better for her if she doesn't.

Do hope I get to feeling better as I am planning to make the dinner with all the traditional trimmings this year since Sissie is home. I love cooking it but sure don't want to if I feel like this.

Everyone is doing ok other than us two. Frank is working everyday (Joyce, the wreck with the fatality over on 121 just out of Lake Butler was one of the drivers that work out there with Frank. The driver was hurt pretty bad and the pickup driver was killed.)

Frankie and Shelby are doing pretty good. Both still working. She finally felt the baby move the other night. Boy was she excited.

Johnny is Johnny of course. He sits around all morning watching tv and then goes out in the afternoon and messes around with the truck and other things just trying to keep busy.

Other than this, not much else is happening.

Today's Fun are 13 Interesting Facts:

13 Interesting Facts to Share:

13. Leonardo Da Vinci invented the scissors.

12. During the great fire of London in 1666, half of London was burnt down but only 6 people were injured.

11. Shakespeare invented the word "assassination" and "bump".

10. Apples, not caffeine, are more efficient at waking you up in the morning.

9. If the population of China walked past you single file, the line would never end because of the rate of reproduction.

8. A pack-a-day smoker will lose approximately 2 teeth every 10 yrs.

7. The first Harley Davidson motorcycle built in 1903 used a tomato can for a carburetor.

6. Dueling is legal in Paraguay as long as both parties are registered blood donors.

5. Stewardesses is the longest word typed with only the left hand.

4. The average computer user blinks 7 times a minute.

3. Eating breakfast cereals like "Fruity Pebbles" and "Cap'n Crunch" will cause your bowel movement to come out green.

2. When you sneeze, all bodily functions stop even your heart!

1. The first toilet ever seen on television was on "Leave it to Beaver".

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

It's Official!!

It is a BOY!

Yesterday, Tues. November 9, 2010 it was deemed 100% official that it is definitely a Boy!
As the ultrasound photo shows.

This is one of the 4D photos that was taken. He has his little arm and hand over his face.

Another 4D shot of the baby. He now is 6" long and weighs approx. 12 ounces.

So Hello -- Gregory Adam Osteen

Our Days in Pictures

Yes I am so ashamed to have ignored the blog like I have. Life interferes and things happen that make me not want to write about (if you know what I mean). But today I am feeling much better and I have some great pictures to share.

First of all, Johnny is ... well what can I say. He is no longer trying to not drink. Though he still tries to hide it, just not as hard now. He is making numerous trips a day. The tension between him and Sissie is continuing to escalate. I just don't know what is going to happen between the two of them. He is now no longer taking his insulin at all and refuses to do any of his stats everyday. His Medicaid was discontinued and now his insulin is an outrageous price and so instead of saving the money for that he is fussing about it and spending on "other" things.

The first two pictures here are of Devan. He and Mimi were decorating for Halloween and this is what they did for the front yard together. Unfortunately Devan is battling with pneumonia this week. Luckily they caught it in time to keep it from getting to bad. He will be going back for X-Rays tomorrow to see how well the medicine is working.


This picture is of Devan pretending to have races at the waters edge like the good old days at Daytona.


Mikey fell asleep in Poppa's lap and it appears by the look on Angel's face she is not too happy with sharing Johnny with him.


I walk out my back door and this is what I see. Should I be concerned? LOL!


Mimi and Mikey doing arts and crafts together. Mikey makes a cute little Pilgrim.


Mimi and Mikey carved a pumpkin together and Mimi wasn't bashful about letting Mikey jump right in and help. Here he is removing the top after I had cut it out.


I just love the look on his face on this one. He looks like he isn't sure whether he is going to get in trouble or not.


Here they are digging out all the goody.


He says "I can get it, Mimi"


This is the final product. They decided to carve a bat. I think they did a real good job.


Here is a nice load of Swamp Cabbage that we were lucky enough to get last week. Boy they sure were good!

"Somebody please make Uncle Johnny give me a "Treat"!!


"These puppy-dog eyes of mine work every time!"


"Singing in the Rain"


"Stomping in the Rain"


"I need a deeper water hole!"


I just love this picture, he looks so happy and I love the spike "do"!


"Come on Mimi! Let's play in the water!"


Father and Daughter


Loving that water hose


"I'll brush your hair Nanny"


"Two brushes are better than one"


"I even brush my own hair"


Multitasking = Jumping on Nanny's bed while eating Italian loaf bread and avoiding going to "night-night"