November 29, 2007

Christmas Music Memories

Today we were busy baking 23 mini loaves of pumpkin bread to give as gifts and my daughter got tired of hearing the Anthony Burger Christmas CD playing after about 10 hours. (Imagine that!) She said,"Do you mind if I put on that Dennis record"? I was delighted! That is my VERY favorite Christmas record-has been since I was a little girl. A few years ago we visited the Brass Armidillo in Tri-County area (it was an Antique Mall - they closed a couple years ago). As we were browsing the stalls, I found a stall that had a bunch of old records. I LOVE good old records so was going through them when what to my wondering eyes should appear but this record! I was SOOOOOOOO excited. $2.50 and several Christmases later, it made my heart glad to know that my daughter also enjoys my record!
My favorite song from the album reminds us that "Christmas is for the Family" and Dennis reminds us at the end of Side 2, "we're not getting any younger". So, be sure to cherish your family this Christmas season and don't forget to "laugh and pray together" like the song says!
Merry Christmas!

November 27, 2007

Creative Christmas Gift

Today I put together these meaningful gifts for a $1.00 and an afternoon/ evening of labor.

Tired of the same-old-same-old, I was excited when I read about this neat idea in one of the homeschool enewsletters I get. Michaels has these mousepad calendars in a variety of themes for $1.00. I chose the Front Porch theme for mine and used Mircosoft Works label program to make my labels. The most time consuming part was entering each name and year for each person in my immediate family (mom, dad, sisters, brother-in-laws, nieces and nephews) and my mom and dads parents and siblings' anniversarys and birthdates. Next year, though, all I'll have to do is print them off and put them on the proper date.
The result is a clutter-free useful gift for some special family members:
a mousepad and a calendar with everyone's special dates on it.

November 24, 2007

Decorating our Church for Christmas

This morning DJ, Lorna and I went out and decorated our church for Christmas. There wasn't too much to it - just carrying everything upstairs, unbagging and fluffing everything out and putting it in place. We did a couple new things this year. We put lighted garland and bows on the railings out front and we used gold lame' on the bulletin boards for the background. It was fun to decorate God's House for this time of year when we celebrate the birth of His Son.

November 23, 2007

Christmas! THE Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

Today officially begins the Christmas Season. At our house, we already have three trees up and over 5000 lights decorating the outside! Some gifts are wrapped and the calendar is filling up. DJ is like his Mommy - we LOVE Christmas! Not the gifts but the season of Joy celebrating the coming of OUR Messiah, and all the fun things there are to do.

Last year we weren't able to visit this awesome house because of Benji's dangerous health situation. We wanted to make sure we got it in this year so tonight we bundled everyone in the van, turned on the Christmas music and headed to Mason's Heritage Park. The show is old time drive-in movie theatre style and is it ever AWESOME! They played one of DJ's favorites, "The Mad Russian's Christmas" by the Trans Siberian Orchestra, a Christmas Hymn Medley by the Mason Public High School Band and other selections. Now the hard part is going to be to keep DJ from doing it to our house! If you live in the greater Cincinnati area, be sure to bundle every one in the car and Monday- Thursday, you can get your whole car load in for $10.00 if you print off a coupon from:

A wonderful Christmas Memory!

November 22, 2007

Thanksgivings Remembered

Happy Thanksgiving!

We celebrated at home this year as we spent last week in Michigan with Dan's parents. His dad had two heart surgeries and thankfully is all better now. The kids mentioned that we ALMOST made it a year without a hospital visit! Last Thanksgiving, we spent the week at Cincinnati Children's Hospital with Benji. He had lived in pain but no other outward evidence (like fever or seepage) after a surgery on October 23 to lengthen his rods. Well, the Monday before Thanksgiving, we were going down Route 4 and I went over a LITTLE bump. He cried out and kept crying for about an hour. We stopped at a Walgreens and I got him some Motrin and chocolate milk. By the time we got home he was doing okay. That evening, Dan took his brace off to help him get ready for bed and immediately called me over. The bandage that ran from his neck to his waist had infection on it! I took a look and a whiff and knew we were in BIG trouble. I called the orthopedic resident on call at Children's and told him what was going on. He said to come as quickly as we safely could and be prepared to stay. Later, that resident about passed out when he removed Benji's bandage and found the rod protruding out of Benji's back and DEEPLY infected. Dr. Crawford did emergency surgery the next morning and determined that Benji had staph infection in his bone. Benji was close to heaven that week, but God intervened. He came home with a pic line and we administered very potent antibiotics every six hours through December and most of January. Visiting nurses came out three times a week and with LOTS prayer, antiobiotics and TLC, a year later, Benji is doing AWESOME. We had a checkup with Dr. Crawford a month ago and Benji doesn't have to go back until next June! PRAISE THE LORD!

Benji and DJ playing with the helicopter the Junior Church got him.
Last Thanksgiving, we spent the day putting a gingerbread house together. We set it all up on Benji's bed table and he, Grammy, Lorna and I put it together and decorated it. Our dear friends, Don and Melinda Shirk let us borrow a bowl and spoon to make our frosting and even sent over a pumpkin pie and some rolls. I had bought a rotisserie chicken at Sam's the day before so that was our Thanksgiving Dinner! We were so thankful to have wonderful doctors, nurses and one of the best hospitals in the world. God is so good!

I thought of Melinda alot today. Wednesday she buried her mom. It was so sudden and such a brief illness. She was so young. Melinda is such a blessing to so many - such a giver with a servant heart. I pray God carries her through these difficult days. Moms are so important - I can't imagine losing mine.

Two years ago, we spent our last Thanksgiving with my brother-in-law, Dean. Dan's folks came down from Michigan for the day and Dean and Ona came over. I fixed a smoked turkey from Sam's, mashed potatoes, stuffing and all the other trimmings. I have the neatest picture of Dan, his dad and Dean all asleep in the living room while Mom, Ona, the kids and I looked at the ads at the dining room table. We talked alot about that Thanksgiving and those memories today. I'm so glad for the memories - no regrets there.

Well, this posting seems a little blue - I didn't mean it that way. Just giving thanks for all God's Blessings I'm still enjoying, all the wonderful answers to prayer and VERY thankful for the Grace that carries us through difficult seasons. Have a Blessed Christmas Season! Don't forget to "rest beside the weary road and hear the angels sing"!

November 17, 2007

Happy 17th Birthday, DJ!

Seventeen years ago today, God blessed our home with a beautiful healthy baby boy. We named him Daniel James Truesdale II - "DJ" for short. What a wonderful blessing he has been!
Here is Aunt Amy and Grampsy playing with him the day he was born.

I can't believe it was 17 years ago that God blessed our home with this incredible bundle of joy! What a wonderful blessing he has been - especially with his Daddy's decreased abilities in health. DJ is most importantly a devoted Christian. He's a wonderful worker and blesses so many with his abilities and helpful ways. This past week, he put up almost 5000 lights on his paternal grandparents house decorating it for Christmas. He also did numerous tasks for his "G-pa T-dale" - changing 7 tires out for starters!

November 8, 2007

Apple Pie

Homemade apple pie on a cool Fall day! It doesn’t get much better than this! DJ’s been busy putting up Christmas lights and decorating his room for Christmas. With all the festivities, I decided to join in and bake his favorite - homemade apple pie. Lorna’s also been hinting that she would really enjoy one of the cinnamon rolls that I make with the leftover pie dough so Tuesday was the day! It’s Thursday and DJ had the last piece for breakfast this morning. :)
Betty Truesdale’s Pie Crust
(10” Double Crust)
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup cold shortening
5 tablespoons ice cold water
Mix flour and salt together. Cut in shortening until size of peas. Sprinkle in water one tablespoon at a time. Mix just until ball forms - not smooth. Divide dough in half and roll into 10” circle with a rolling pin. The cold water and shortening and not overmixing is what gives you a wonderful flaky crust.
Lorna’s Favorite Cinnamon Roll
Roll leftover pie dough into a rectangle, spread with butter, sprinkle brown sugar to cover then sprinkle with cinnamon. Roll up and place in greased pie plate. Bake at 350 until golden brown. A delicious treat compliments of my Grandma Fair. I didn’t used to be a pie fan but always looked forward to this treat, too.

November 5, 2007

An Afternoon at Comargo Camp

Last Friday, Dan, Benji and I went out to Comargo Camp and winterized our camper. Bro. Eisenhart gave us permission to leave it out there for now. Benji found a rake and had a wonderful time raking leaves and then jumping in the pile or riding his bike through them.

The camp is so beautiful and I thought of all the encouragement I've received there through the years. God's Presence blesses the camp all the time and I'm thankful to have been a recipient of His Blessing.

Later, we hauled Phyllis Youman's camper over to Grandma Becker's place and winterized it. Phyllis showed me the nice Four Season room she had built on and the flower bed she added beside it. I'm so glad she's joined our church family. She's a real blessing to me.