Thursday, December 31, 2009

Troysie Tamales Part 2

Troysie Tamales part 2
Assembling the Tamales

I like the masa to be flavorful so I add a can of green enchilada sauce to it, I will be using the same masa for both kinds of tamales I am making tonight.

Cut the whole Ortega chilies into one inch strips and slice the cheese into generous portions about 3/4inch wide

You need a corn husk that is about 12inches wide, since there are not many husks this size you usually have to put two together, when you do this, overlap the husks two inches or so.
Spread about 1/4 cup masa in the center of the husk leaving about three inches on the bottom

Add the filling which in the case of the cheese was a piece of cheese and a chili, for the meat it is about 1/4 cup.

Roll the husk around the filling and fold up the end forming a pocket.

Put about 3 inches of water in the pot (mine has a water line) and place the tamales in the pot standing up. Soon your pot is filled and you are ready to steam for at least an hour on medium high heat.

You Can do it!!! Tamales!!!

My husband LOVES the chili and cheese tamales and is in pure heaven that he can eat all he wants... It is the ultimate make him feel special thing.

I have tried making Tamales to sell and it was way too much work for me, I have also tried making tamales with red sauce but I have not been able to duplicate Aunt Delia's so I gave up and make the Chili Verde version shown here.

Happy New Year and enjoy!

Troysie Tamales part 1

Troysie Tamales part 1

First of all remember:
#1 I am only 1/2 Mexican.

#2 My mother was not a tamale maker so I am completely self taught.

#3 I do not like spicy food.

(I feel like I am living on the wild side when I select "Medium" salsa.
I do however,like a lot of flavor and make my tamales with as much spice as I can handle, but slather them with your liquid lava if that is your cup of tea, I will not be hurt.)


Let us begin...

Now, all of this stuff can be made from scratch but that is not how I fly, I am more of a Semi-Home-Made kind of gal so I use packages and cans whenever possible.

Ingredients- I am making two kinds of tamales, cheese and meat. The batch is relatively small just for us and not intending to sell or share. Larger quantities require many more hands much more ingredients and a much larger pot.

Prepared Masa- 6 lbs made by the little ladies at the Mexican store and purchased warm. I tried making Masa once, slaved over it, almost blew out my mixer and my arm, threw it out, went to the Mexican store and bought it.

Meat- 5 lbs-For my meat tamale I am using pork, normally I buy a picnic roast but Winco had this really cool boneless Pork loin pieces on sale to that is what I got.

Tamale Pot, I got a new one cause my other one is so huge I could put a blanket over it and use it as an ottoman. This is the smallest one they make and it was only $10!!
Pepper Jack Cheese 1lb
Ortega Chilies 4 small cans cause they didn't have larger cans
Green Enchilada sauce 3 large cans
Minced Garlic 4 cloves
Onion 1/2 large
Dried Corn Husks 2 packages
Seasoning for meat, I want to try to mimic this really great meat my mom used to make, all she used was pickling spice, garlic and season salt and boiled it all day. I got this cool spice mix at the Mexican store that has tons of stuff in it and a big dried chili which scares me to death. It is called "Para Tamales Centro Americanos"

Put all the meat onion, garlic and spices in the crock pot on high with a cup of water.(I only used 1/3 of the big scary chili)

Put the Corn Husks in the sink to soak

Phase 1 is over, this meat should cook for awhile 4-6 hours until it can easily shred.

On to the cheese tamales.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

I Celebrate The Day

I Celebrate the Day

Isn't it funny how you "listen" to music then one day you "Hear" the lyrics?
I have enjoyed the Relient K Christmas CD "Let it Snow Baby" for a couple of years but this year the song "I Celebrate The Day" has entered my heart. I wonder when Jesus knew he would be the savior? Was it right away? I hope he got to be a little kid and experience the joy of childhood. I celebrate this day, and I am grateful for my savior who knows my name and loves me.

And the first time
That You opened Your eyes
did You realize that You would be my Savior
And the first breath that left Your lips
Did You know that it would change this world forever

To look back and think that
This baby would one day save me
That you were born so I might live

And I, I celebrate the day
That You were born to die so I could one day pray for You to save my life

Pray for you to save my life.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Cookie Memories Lost and Found

I haven't made them since before Cameron was born but I can still remember the little recipe folder we kept in the can of dried Shields Date Crystals. I also remember Chip loved them so I decided yesterday I would make Dream Bars. They are a chewy Date cookie with a shortbread crust. I had bought some dates awhile ago and thought I was ready to go. I was sure the recipe card was in my cookbook but alas it was not. No worry, I called my go to girl Penny thinking the recipe was on her famous "Yellow Tablet" of mom's recipes but she didn't have it. My other go to gal Sydney didn't have it either so the search was on... I thought the Internet was supposed to have EVERYTHING! Well, no recipe site has this recipe posted and I became so sad thinking a little bit of my Mom was lost.

I tried to re-create the recipe from memory but it was not right so I scrapped that idea really quick.

I baked away but my heart was sad, I wouldn't have special cookies for my brother Friday and I can't make Dream Bars again... It was a really sad and strangely final feeling that weighed heavy on my heart. (This is where Gloria stepped in with my ribbon tree and brightened my day)

Pen suggested I contact the Shields Date Company directly and sure enough on their website was an email so I sent a request for the vintage recipe, not thinking anything of it. I even forgot to pray for it.

But God knows the desires of his Troysies heart and sure enough FIRST THING this morning in my email box was the recipe. Thank you Ann from Shields for restoring a little piece of my heart, and for the yummy cookie recipe.

"There's just one wish on this Christmas Eve (Actually Christmas eve,eve)
I wish I were with you...
Merry Merry Merry Christmas... Darling"

****************DATE CRYSTAL DREAM BARS*************

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Some Crafty Lovies

Years ago our friend Lucy took us with her to an ornament exchange that she had been attending for years in the hopes that our excellent craftiness (you know it) would inspire the other women to improve on their ornaments.

One year we got 20 amazing (you don't see me making the gag symbol sticking my finger in my mouth) ornaments including...

Strawberry basket snowflakes plastic covered with glitter!
Popsicle stick sleds (broken)
pine cone skiers (mine was missing an eye)
handmade sleds which were also hand painted by Junior. (Funny how the handmade sleds were the same ones our friend Jane got at Michael's)
But my favorite was the eyeglass lens (shaped like and eyeglass lens) with a Christmas card cut out glued to the back.

You know how ladies are, of course we made all over Juniors wonderful painting skills (refer to above gag symbol) and how easy it would be to glue the broken ornaments back together. We LOVED EVERYTHING!!!

Until we got back in the car and Dusty piped up... "Do you like ANY of this stuff?" We laughed so hard all the way home...

Then we decided to start our own craft exchange where we would give nice crafts to each other. We did it for a couple of years and really did bless each other with wonderful handmade items for our homes that we all still treasure. You can tell who was in the group cause we all have the same decorations in our homes, that craft group is a special memory in my life that makes me smile.

One year as a joke Lucy tied pipe cleaners to her old broken watches just to see our reactions, of course we were polite and accepted the watches, I took the one with the abalone heart band until she could finally stand it no longer and spilled the beans. That watch ornament has become our Christmas Pickle and is always one of the first to go on our tree.

Tuesday I went to Leigh Ann's for a little Christmas coffee, I walked in and admired her always lovely home (do you have a friend like that?) and I quickly noticed a beautiful ribbon tree on top of her fridge behind figurines. It was like I had craft radar. She said her mom had made it for her, my reaction was "What? She didn't tell us" (cause we always share craft ideas) Lucy walked in and had the same immediate reaction to the tree I did and we all decided we will go shopping for after Christmas sale ribbon to make the trees next year.

This morning I was in the middle of baking when my doorbell rang and it was my dear friend Gloria (Leigh Ann's mom) and SHE BROUGHT ME A TREE!!!! EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!
I was so excited and kissed her so hard I almost nibbled her ear.

Funny, cause I was a little teary missing my mommy today and this was just the thing to get me out of my funk. I Love so much when I get an unexpected lovie, I will always treasure it and doesn't it just look wonderful next to my Mary Engelbreit Nativity.

Thanks Leigh Ann, Susan, and Dusty for sharing your mommies. You bless me so.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

New and Improved

My 15 year old Eric has always had a little curl in his hair, but his gift from the puberty gods a year ago was what we call "A White Man Fro"

This is what I look at every day. He loves his long hair but we colored it black back in his "goth" stage and it was ruined, he had about four inches of black and the rest was his natural brown... Lovely, but he still loved his giant hair and I just kept purchasing every dry/damaged hair product I could find...

Sunday he said he was ready and wanted a hair cut. YOU BET I jumped on that wagon, called our friend Cindy and quickly made an appointment... He was excited to shock his friends, so he decided his haircut would be a secret.

Here we go!!!

First went the black ends


The pile was so huge you could have stuffed a pillow with it. Eric actually thought about it then decided that would be gross...

almost done, real men sit under hair dryers

Ta Da!!! The new and improved Eric... He said "I feel fifteen!"

Thanks Cindy!!!

He revealed his new haircut at school to rave reviews. It was a big step and we are really proud of him. He thinks he may grow it out again but this time no color. He really wants to donate his hair to Locks of Love...

Eric you rock!!!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Just when you think you're good...

This June Mom and will be gone 14 years and Dad will be gone 7. I will never get over how much it Stinks (really it sucks)to not have them here anymore but like God promised me so many years ago, my heart has grown stronger and I can face the days that used to bring me total heartache with joy and hope for the future.

I have reached the point where I can talk about the experience of losing them without crying and also like God promised, I have helped others through this especially tough time in their lives and I am grateful.

So, for the most part I would say I am good, I go along living my life thinking all is well, I am strong,then suddenly something like today comes out of left field and knocked me off my feet.

Ours is a very musical church and today we were going to have a guest male quartet. I was really looking forward to it, I love listening to male quartets because it reminds me of the music Dad loved to listen to. His music was not gospel but country western but the harmonies were still the same. The gentlemen were so handsome in their matching suits, they got up to the stage and began singing in harmony just like I expected but what I didn't expect was for one of the singers to look just like my dad, white haired with glasses and I would bet he even used Brylcream.

Without warning,I completely lost it, I was crying so hard and it was just their first song. Steve tried to comfort me but suggested I step out of the sanctuary to collect myself and I agreed so I left teetering on the brink of hysteria, I ran into my friend Carol in the lobby and pleaded for a hug "RIGHT NOW" Of course she obliged. I then ran into my dear friend Judy who was having a cup of coffee and collecting herself because she has just this week lost her own sister. We consoled each other and listened to the music and talked about days gone by and I hope did each other a world of good.

God is so good that he blesses us with wonderful memories and good friends to get you through the bumps that being a parentless grown up present.

Dad,I am glad you loved Sons of the Pioneers and Roy Rogers, I am glad you introduced us to the world of musical harmony, I am so glad you loved playing the guitar and making up your own lyrics to entertain your loved ones.

"Because You're mine... I walk the line..."

Love you Daddy, and I love that your picture smiles at me every day.

Friday, December 11, 2009

When I come back

When I come back I want to be a Miller pet...

They make sleeping an art form...


Yogi with his head on the table

Yogi and Papa Cheek to Cheek

Seriously, He loves to sleep wrapped in a blanket

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Christmas Me Me Me Me

I received this one via Facebook and a girlfriend so I decided to take her lead and post this here

Here we go!

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags?
Wrapping Paper with real ribbon bows. I love getting the giant rolls at Costco. But my favorite tie is really thick yarn, it is really hard to find though.

2. Real or Fake Tree?
Fake. We get it put up with much less arguing than a real tree.Got some great "tree scented spray from Jane" love it

3. When do you put up the tree?
As soon as possible, but sometimes it is later than sooner.This was our best year ever! We were fully decorated by the first week in Dec. We rock!

4. When do you take the tree down?
Again, as soon as possible but usually sometime early January because I love my decorations so much.

5. Do you like eggnog?
Yep, I even like it with a little "Nog" in it but not like my Dad's I think it was mostly Nog.

6. Favorite gift received as a child?
I really loved my pretty doll and stroller I walked her around the block with pride.

7. Do you have a nativity scene?
I have a beautiful Costco one Dad got me but this year we have a new one The Little Drummer Boy Nativity. That and my Mary Engelbreit one. Love it!.

8. Hardest person to buy for?
My Brother. But this year I love what I got him.

9. Easiest person to buy for?
Me. Just kidding... I Love buying for the women in my family.

10. Worst Christmas gift you ever got?
Don't want to go there.

11. Mail or email Christmas cards?
I have good intentions but don't always get them mailed. I Love getting them though. MAIL ONLY.

12. Favorite Christmas Movie?
Muppet Christmas Carol and A Christmas Story

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas?
August or September.

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?
Not sure but probably did.

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?
Cookies and tamales.

16. Colored or clear lights on the tree?
Clear and Colored.

17. Favorite Christmas song?
This year I am a Johnny Mathis fan.

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home?
Both depending on who's year it is to host.

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer? Let's see... Yep
Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen, Rudolph

20. Angel on the tree top or a star?
My Handmade Angel but this year we have Cameron's baby hat.

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning?
Christmas Eve with family.

22. Most annoying thing about this time of year?
"Happy Holidays" We say Merry Christmas! and Elementary Schools with no decorations

23. What do you enjoy most about Christmas?

24. How did you find out about Santa?
It was just an evolution, no big reveal.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Memoirs of A Kitchen Lady

Comments from the line...

I don't know if it is the season, my holly jolly apron, the cold weather or what but the kids these days are just plain cute...

"You silly silly Tawni, I know your name, it's Tawni"

Troy- "Sounds good to me".

"And that's how Zombies are made... By Chemicals"

Troy- "Is that so?"

My I wish I had a Camera Moment...

Important items in a little boys lunch box... Apple, Crackers, and of course... Blue Vampire teeth...

Gotta love em...

Ten On Tuesday in the World of the Kitchen Lady

Memoirs of a Kitchen Lady

Ten things I LOVE about being a Kitchen Lady at Christmas time...

1. 1st graders singing warped Christmas Carols with the pride that they just invented the song themselves...

2. I just say the word "Rudolph" and the line begins singing

3. Kids love giving me advise on what games to buy for my sons

4. I get to wear my Holly Jolly Apron

5. We actually got cold weather for a change and I LOVE seeing the girls in all their cute hats, scarves, and gloves...

6. Little girl fur coats SOOOOO cute

7. The little Fahrenheit girl who always knows what the temperature is... God I Love her.

8. When Christmas falls on a Friday then we get off on vacation an entire week before and I get plenty of Cookie baking time...

9. Watching the kids practice their performances. Last year they learned every verse of several Carols and I was greatly impressed.

10. But Most of all, I love when I over a child correcting another child that Christmas isn't about presents because Jesus Is The Reason For The Season... Amen...

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

I Love These Girls

Just got back from our annual Bunco Christmas party and I realized

We forgot to take a Christmas picture...

Isn't this a great bunch of gals. I sure do love them

Merry Christmas

Debbie, Lucy, Leigh Ann, Eve,Shirley, Barbara,Jane,Carol,Rhonda,Jackie,Carmen and Sue.

Love, your Troysie

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Ten On Tuesday December Week 1

December is HERE!!!!and I am already busy YIKES!!!

10 Wonderful fun things going on this week

1. Christmas Decorating- I love our decorations and all the wonderful memories that go with them.

2. Christmas BUNCO party!!!! Yippee!!! We get to reveal our secret pals!!! Bunco and getting together with these gals always refuels my happiness levels.

3. Cookie Baking- I feel the need, the need to knead...(not a very good rhyme but it'll do)

4. Baby Shower preparations- Gotta put 60 pacifiers on 60 necklaces... who has more fun than me Hee Hee Hee (you know I love doing the games!!!)

5. Shopping for gifts- Gonna hit the dollar store for this

6. Cooking for a crowd- Looking for just the right recipes...Easy but yummy

7. Game Night Christmas Party- BINGO!!! It will be so much fun and I am so very blessed by my friend Sylvia who gave me all the goodies

8. Sewing- Baby shower gift and costume YIKES!!!

9. Baby shower for a great couple... Excited!!!

10.Fezziwigs Christmas Party!!! Steve and I will look so 19th century

And this is just week one!!!!


The Advent Calendar starts tomorrow. We keep it in the house separate from the Christmas decorations because we never decorate this early, but this year we are so excited to already have the lights and tree done.

Lights on Sunday and tree tonight, Eric put up with all my pickiness and I have to tell you he did an excellent job on the tree.

With one exception, instead of the beaded handmade angel I made a long time ago we placed Cameron's baby hat he wore home from the hospital on the top of the tree, it looks cute and is especially memorable because this year our baby turns 21.

Time flies when you are having fun.

Blessings everyone.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Passing the torch

Dear Eric,
Happy 15th birthday! One of the exciting things about turning 15 and growing 6 inches in a year is that you now will become our official Christmas light putter- upper (Troy word). Your job is a simple one, perfected by your brother and I over the years so all you have to do is put the lights on the hooks and plug them in...Sounds easy enough?

Forgot to tell you, Daddy will be supervising, He was SOOOOO excited to hand this job over to you... Are you having fun? Say you LOVE putting up Christmas lights!Say it! Say it!Or mommy will be sad...

And you didn't even gripe when you reached the hard part of hanging the lights over the rose bushes.

Great Job Eric!!!

Love, Dad and Mom

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Lover of the Clog

As most of you know, I am a lover of the slip on shoe otherwise knows as The Clog. I think it is my way of pretending to be cool and still wearing slippers at the same time, I call them business in the front and lazy in the back. That's my kind of shoe.

I own several pairs in all colors and styles

But my dream shoe and quite possibly on the top of my Christmas wish list is the Ugg Outdoor slipper, I have owned them in a fake version but the fur always pulls away and they just dont cut it.

Sometimes I have to realize I am worth it and just go for it.

I think I will leave it up to the Christmas gift buyer... Oh Steve...

Friday, November 27, 2009

A Beautiful day

Today was a beautiful day, very warm and clear, perfect California weather.

Tonight while I was watching TV I heard a strange noise outside, opened the door and sure enough, my ears did not fail me... Rain...

Soon we were all cozy listening to the rain and loving every minute of it.

Eric looked outside and said

"The rain looks so great I really want to go jump on the trampoline"

"Go for it" I said and he did...

Reminds me of a little boy I once knew and one of my first stories, can't believe it was five years ago...

Running Down the Hill

My 10 year old son Eric and I went to my other sons late night baseball game at a park we have never been to before. This park was very hilly and beautiful. It was a really cold evening and we could bear it no longer on the bleachers so Eric and I went to warm up in the car. I was watching the game and Eric grew tired. He said he was going to sleep and lay down. He perked up and looked out like he saw something and said before I go to sleep I just have to run over the hills without my shoes on and with that he got out and ran down the hill. He came back up winded, and said he had to do it again. After a few more runs he needed to roll down the hill. He rolled and rolled until he was dizzy. He was so elated with his rolling he forgot he was tired.
It just makes me praise God so much when my kids do stuff like this. I was so concentrating on my being cold I forgot to notice the beautiful hills in the park. Eric opened my eyes and man they really were irresistible hills. I know you know just what I am talking about. Remember the hill you couldn't resist rolling down? I sure do, it was the hill in our neighbors The Bullocks front yard.
Remember to roll down the hills in life…Better yet, take your shoes off and feel the cool grass between your toes. Love life!

Thursday, November 26, 2009


I can't believe it has been 15 years since our little Eric was born. 15 years ago when I was just about nine months pregnant I developed a hernia in my belly button that was incredibly painful. I am so thankful Penny was with me when I had my surgery, she cared for me and made me feel like mom was there holding my hand because our mother was too ill to actually be there with me.

I woke up from my surgery feeling like I had a c-section but I was still pregnant I wanted to die but I am thankful my doctor called me and re-assured me that I would still be able to try for a v-bac delivery I wanted so badly.

I am thankful for the amazing Thanksgiving dinner my sister prepared, she seriously makes the best dinner, she has a way with seasonings that makes you groan with yumminess it really perked up my spirits...

I am thankful that the next morning (not two weeks later) when my water broke it was no big deal, I didnt need a new mattress or use that jar of pickles people told me to carry around and smash on the ground if my water broke in public. I definitely knew what was going on and soon we were in the hospital getting going on the long haul of an adventure that was ahead for us.

I am thankful that my doctor understood my fear and stayed over on her shift to care for me and get me started on my labor when other doctors just wanted to schedule a c-section.

I am thankful for Steve's calmness, he was a trooper and helped to calm me down when those pangs started.

One of the things I am seriously most thankful for is that God put it on my friend Susan's heart to come visit me in the labor room, I ended up needing more support and she was there for me. I will never be more grateful to anyone than I am to her for that amazing act of friendship.

I am thankful for epidurals, once I finally got mine we all were able to rest and gear up for the home stretch of our adventure.

I will never be as excited as when the doctor checked me and said I was fully dilated, I never got past 4 with Cam so the thought that my body was working and we were going to do this was so wonderful.

Sorry, but I am NOT thankful I had to push for two hours... that part stank.

But I am thankful that I was able to concentrate when I needed to and rest when I needed to. I was a baby birthing machine and it was awesome.

I am so thankful my baby was so perfect when he was born he was a 10 and so beautiful.

I am thankful they hospital kept Eric in the room with us the entire time cause we would have wondered if he was ours cause he was such a brown little bean.

I am thankful Lord that you made Eric brown, because without that Mom would have never gotten to see one "Her Color"

I am so thankful for the experience a vaginal birth after c-section because I get to share this testimony and encourage others to go for it if they want or don't if they want, either way is fine.

And I thank Carol and Susan for bring me Turkey left overs and making me feel so lovied.

I am thankful my Eric is having his birthday on Thanksgiving, my heart could not be more full and happy. Today we get to share the love of our family and the blessings this child has brought all of us.

We are thankful indeed.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Time After Time...

The most wonderful boy turns 15 tomorrow...

I see your true colors shining through...

I see your true colors, that's why I love you...

So don't be afraid, to let them show

your true colors are beautiful

like a rainbow...

Love you Erickey...

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

too much

Too much driving and TOO much Dramamine...
Must sleep...

Monday, November 23, 2009


Today when we got in the car to drive home I noticed I had two text messages. Eric opened my phone, read me the messages and asked what I wanted him to text back...

Troy- "No, I will do the texts myself, I hate Text lingo"

Eric- "Don't worry Mom I will use proper english just for you"

Oh what a world...

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Make me a CD

I will never forget the hours I spent going over the cover of Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, memorizing all of the words and listening to my beloved Elton John's music. Actually it was Sterling's record and thankfully he shared otherwise our choice was Glen Campbell or Jesus Christ Superstar (I know all the words to those too)

Sterling had "cool" music and whatever he loved, we loved.

Flash forward several years past cassettes and records to CD's, I built a lovely collection and stored them in my cute little house shaped cabinet.


Cam asked for his first Ipod. I hate technology and I hate buying technology that will go out of date in a few months and costs a fortune so I resisted and I did research on Mp3 players and decided to get him an Ipod.

He was thrilled and I was amazed that I could actually use the system, I imported all of my music onto our computer and before I knew it, our stereo was a dinosaur sitting on our shelf collecting dust.

I love mixing my own CD's for my car, It is so cool to not worry about a thing when your CD gets scratched or broken cause it can easily be replaced.

I also like making CD's for friends and I LOVE when they make me CD's

My friend recently gave me a CD of all fun songs from High School, when I first played it in my car I seriously felt myself "Sailing" back in time to the music of Christopher Cross... That CD was a total hit with my girlfriends who begged for their own copies. We decided we would exchange CD's and that was when I found out my cousin is a closed Biker Chick. Her CD was all oldie rock and roll and so much fun.

Last week my friend who is a dancer gave me a CD of such beautiful music I could just envision her dancing to the beautiful melodies. Thanks pal.

Ster, it's been a long time since you have sent me some "Cool" music.

Hey anyone...Send me a CD... I would LOVE it!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Somebody's Watchin' Me

Just like that Geico Money With Eyes...

I always feel like somebody's watching me...

Dear Lord, Please send Steve a Risk Playing friend...

Friday, November 20, 2009

For the love of Mustard

I'll bet you think this post will be about the condiment... Nope... The color.

My friends teenage daughter has the perfect Mustard colored purse, not too big, not too small and fits over her shoulder perfectly... Secretly,(I guess not too secretly cause I tell her all the time I love her purse} I was wishing she would ease my pain and give me the purse but it is not to be, she still wears it and I still love it.

To try to ease my pain I have purchased a couple mustard colored purses, the first was a cheap one that once I got it home I realized my mistake because it was French's and not the desired Grey Poupon color, so it went to straight to the donation pile (cause the store was too far away for me to return it plus it was super duper cheap).
The second was a better buy, the right color but a little too large for me and was described by some as "My suitcase". The suitcase has served me well for the past few months and the plan was to replace it as soon as I can find an animal print that suits my fancy... Until today.

I have done it before, and I did it again today, someone admired my purse and I got a bag, put my stuff in it and gave the purse away there on the spot.

This is the fourth time I have done this and today's recipient was a perfect stranger, the receptionist at my doctors office. She admired the purse, went on to tell me how she has been looking for one just that color and that was all it took. I went to my car which was parked really far away and got one of my trusty grocery bags (my love of the recyclable grocery bag will be another blog)put my stuff in it and went back into the office and gave it to her.

It took some nerve on my part because I was going to bless a stranger and wasn't sure how it would go over but I asked God "If this is what you want me to do I will, but you better give me a good parking spot near the door so I can run in and out". Sure enough a spot was open right in front and that was all the pushing I needed.I went in and had to wait in line for her for a minute then I told her "Please don't think this is strange, I have done this before and I just wanted to bless you with this purse, I hope you enjoy it" She was thrilled and said this was such a God thing. I agreed and ran out of there as fast as I could.

THEN I remembered I had to go to the grocery store and all my stuff was in a bag, I was a total bag lady!!! I dug around and found the most purse like of my bags, went in the store and made no excuses when I pulled my wallet out of my Trader Joe's leather looking grocery bag. (It does look like leather)

Like I have said before, don't compliment my purse unless you want to take it home...

Sorry, this does not apply to my Brighton purses so don't even try...

Thursday, November 19, 2009

What Do You Want???

What Do You Want?

This session of the Bible Study I attend was on the book of John. John was one of Jesus' first disciples. John the Baptist told John and his brother that Jesus was "The Lamb Of God" so they left to follow him...

John35 The next day John was there again with two of his disciples. 36When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, "Look, the Lamb of God!"
37When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus. 38Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, "What do you want?" They said, "Rabbi" (which means Teacher), "where are you staying?" 39"Come," he replied, "and you will see"

I can only imagine Jesus walking down the street with that creepy feeling he is being watched, (don't you hate that) he turned around and "Busted" John and his brother.

"What Do You Want?" The first question Jesus asked his first disciples was the question this Bible Study presented to us.

"What do I want?" This is actually a super tough question for me.
Because We have chosen to live a simple life without a lot of frills, I have learned over to years to keep my needs VS wants in check which is difficult for me to do especially when I am in the Dollar Tree or Brighton stores.

So I began the journey to answer the question. Besides the obvious "World Peace"
I looked to myself and asked. "What do you want Troy?".

I came up with two things I "Want" (Now remember... TROY is writing this blog")

#1. I want cute hair...Cute hair is something that always seems to elude me. I will get what I think is a cute hair cut and it always turns out to be the same thing I had before only shorter. I want cute hair.

#2. I want to be done having periods. I am 40-great, the baby factory has been closed 15 years and I am simply DONE with this whole "monthly visitor" thing. When my friends share about how they are "Done" I cringe because I am still regular like clockwork Ugh!!!.

So this was my prayer, "Lord I want cute hair and I want to be done having periods"

I began praying for want #1. One day after work I had to go to the bank which is right next to a Fantastic Sams haircutting salon. I went in with my lovely kitchen lady do of bangs slicked back into a clip and pony tail and told the gal "Honestly, I love doing my hair" I could just hear her thinking "Yeah right I have my work cut out for me". We looked through books and came up with a cute layered bob design. I don't usually like a lot of layers cause my hair has a tendency to look like a helmet if they are too short. I left the salon with cute hair that within minutes flipped out of the stylists design into its own design. But the cut was different, easy to manage and "cute enough" so I was good to go.

#2 Now I wasn't expecting to suddenly stop having periods so I was not sure where this prayer would lead me. I went to work at my new morning job and my new boss and I were chatting over our weekends. She shared that she had a difficult weekend and that she has been suffering for five years with menopause symptoms, she has extreme mood swings and difficulty sleeping. Her words to me were (And I also believe Gods words as well)"Be grateful you are still a whole woman"
Her words hit hard, but they really encouraged me and I made a vow. "OK Jesus, if you want me to be the bleeding woman until the day I get to touch your robe then so be it and I will be grateful". So with that, I went shopping for the latest mega maxi pads with wings and I was on my way, no more complaining for me.

So I thought my wants were answered, but for some reason I still felt a nagging at my heart, they one morning God gave me a scripture.

1 Corinthians 13:13 And now these three remain, Faith, Hope and Love. But the greatest of these is Love...

The scripture kept popping up over the course of the week in conversation, church and bible study messages and even on TV and I realized what I truly want is LOVE.

"Lord, I want LOVE"

First of all, I want the Love of my immediate family. My heart has been so broken in this area I feel like I can actually die from it. "Lord, please heal my heart and help our family to have Godly Love for each other".

Second,I want Love in my extended family, we have differences that make our relationship strained so "Lord help me to be a constant and true reflection of your Love, please shine through me and onto my family".

Thirdly, I want to Love my friends, I don't want to be selfish, I want to help when it is needed, be lovingly honest in conversation like Jesus was and be a real, true "Friend Of God".

"...The greatest of these is Love"

So I got what I wanted and and even more, I recently went took Eric to a girlfriend that I have known for years for a haircut, she had extra time and I needed a trim and I got the best hair cut of my life. It is amazingly cute and different, (imagine that!)but most of all, she made me feel like a princess and so pampered. I felt so loved.

I have come to understand and embrace my ongoing womanhood and although sometimes I say "Ugh" I put on my monthly "armour" and I no longer dread.

I had a wonderful birthday last week and was shown amazing Love from my friends, my extended and immediate families. I must be doing something right after all...

"...The Greatest of these is LOVE, Lord thank you for hearing and answering your humble servants prayers"

Now how about that World Peace?...

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Art of Sleeping

Our Pets Papa and Yogi make and artform out of sleep.

Hope this makes you smile...

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


I Swear Steve I do get dressed while I am on vacation

"Bye honey have a great day"

"Hi Honey how was your day?"

Monday, November 16, 2009


My husband is the worlds sweetest man BUT he is also the world's most competitive man when it comes to board games.

Ask anyone in our family or at our church and they will back me up on that one. This guy agonizes (and you should see his agony) over making the simplest of decisions. (like in liars dice)

Needless to say he is a bad loser. We went to couples Bunco which is to me just a fun night out. After we finished I was chatting with my girlfriends and he was all in a huff and wanted to leave NOW!!!. When we got in the car I asked if he was sick cause he made us leave so quickly and his response was..." I DIDN'T WIN!!!" Come on!!!IT WAS BUNCO!!! I have played for years and I hardly ever win!!!

On the other hand,He is a bad gloater when it comes to winning and after awhile his hearty laugh turns into something you hear from a Batman Villain. Hee Hee Hee Hee Hee Hee Hee Hee Hee

For "Quality time" We tried to do the "Family game night" thing but it would always end up with a boy leaving the table in tears, and FORGET Monopoly, The dude has memorized EVERY (and I mean Every) property value amount up to hotel on the board.

Steve recently got a new game... Star Wars Risk, he has mulled over the directions for days and days, he knows every rule, all he talks about is Star Wars Risk. He is DYING to play and I simply refuse...

He then turns his attentions to poor helpless Eric and has now become someone kind of like Patrick Swayze in Ghost when he sings "I'm Henry the Eighth I am" over and over to Whoopi Goldberg. This is what conversation in our house is like... Troy "Steve would you like a cup of coffee?" Steve- "A cup of coffee would go great with a game of Star Wars Risk"

Eric "I am taking the dog for a walk" Steve "Great and afterwards we can play Star Wars Risk"

Arrrrrrggggg!!! I can't take it anymore!!! I do feel like a monster but I know I can not give him the dream game of Risk he longs for because frankly I play Risk to die and be done and if we let him win... well, then he did not get the true victory of the kill and world domination so actually, we are doing him a favor...

PLEEEESSSEEEE Have Mercy on us and play Risk with Steve.

Eric and Troy (Yogi doesn't care)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Ode to slippers

Slippers, Slippers,
Oh how I love thee.
You keep my tootsies
So Tosteeee
Fleece lined, Terry
I don't care
As long as my feet
Are never bare...

My new discovery, the best of all
The Mary Jane slipper sock
That come in styles for
Winter, Spring, Summer, or Fall.

Buried in slippers I must be
So My feet will be cozy
For Eternity

Saturday, November 14, 2009

I Farm, therefore... I am...

"You Farm?"
What is farming you may ask, it is a game you play on Facebook.
"What is Facebook?"
Facebook is an online location you go to and catch up with friends, they post stuff about what they are doing and it is a really fun way to keep in touch.
Why you may ask? Well... Because...

I enjoy keeping in touch with my friends and family and this is a way to do it when I am free. I post when I can and they read when they can. It is fun.

One night when we were out Cameron and Beka told me I have to farm. I noticed I had been getting little notices on facebook telling me I had "gifts" from my friends for my farm.

I started my farm with a few plantings which turned into plots, animals were added which turned into pens, trees were added which became orchards.

I was a farmer.

My friends asked me about farming and soon they were also farming. We all caught the bug.

We are official addicts and have even gone on utube to learn to create advanced landscapes like waterfalls and elevations... Our farms rock!

Now I have a new farm on another game, this farm is done in all pink in tribute for my love of all things pinkness.

Tried to add a third farming game but realized I was at maximum capacity farming and gave it up.

I laugh at myself when I am out and check my watch and think how much more time I have before my grapes are going to be ready.

I was sad when I failed and my pumpkins withered.

Anyways, it is fun, I love it, and I farm...

Friday, November 13, 2009

The love of a dog...

I have two friends who recently have lost their beloved dogs. They are grieving horribly and my heart completely aches for them. Because I am a real pet lover,I have never been one to say those harsh words "it was just a dog" but I know people who think like that.

I still can cry when I think about Sydney and I taking our family dog Bandit to be put down and that was like 30 years ago. Just of that car ride and remembering how much I loved the softness of her ears and I lose it.

But on the other hand, that experience made me grateful that we can ease the misery of our beloved pets. If you have ever watched a loved one suffer before death you know what I mean.

Over the course of our marriage we have other had dogs and a million cats, but none have had our heart like our Yogi.

He is just two and full of life and love, the thought of one day reaching that milestone makes my heart already ache, but like someone said, pets help us to realized that our hearts can heal and life goes on.

But not yet...

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Sassy Shoe Thursday Disneyland version

One thing I LOVE to do when I go to an amusement park or county fair is to play a little game I call "Who is wearing the most inappropriate shoes"

Aside from the obvious spike heels (there is always someone wearing spike heels) the winners for this year are

Sea World winner - A little girl wearing those hard plastic princess shoes with high heels. She was complaining and I was thinking "Mom, that is a battle I would have fought" Come on, she was little, why make her suffer for fashion already

Disneyland- Overall, most do well here wearing flip flops, flats or tennis shoes but I did see someone walking on the sides of her feet wearing boots with her jeans stuck in them.

Remember... Comfort it key...But I still love playing this game.

PS. Today I was giggling as I drove away from Eric's school and saw a group of 5 girls all wearing shorts and calf high ugg boots. Do you think they called each other... Hee Hee Hee

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

It's all about Me

For years I believed everyone was off of school because it was my birthday. That's what my mom said and it made perfect sense to me.

I don't know if it is because it is so late in the year but I get really excited about my birthday. My family and friends know this and always make me feel so special.

My girlfriends Dee Dee and Kathy love to do new things for our birthdays so this time we went to go see the taping of the Bonnie Hunt show (don't tell, Dee Dee called in sick) and I was reminded, it isn't about me, sure it's my birthday but more important, it is Veteran's day, a day to salute our soldiers.

The show made me cry, I am so proud of our soldiers and vets. They are proud to serve and I am proud to salute them.

With a piece of birthday cake of course...

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Ten on the Tenth

Today was a great day in the life of Troysie. My actual birthday is tomorrow but the celebrating began last Friday.

1.A good hair day starts a great day

2.Drove to Covina in only 32 minutes no traffic is Sweet!

3.Loved a little alone time with Dee Dee talking about blood clots... Who has more fun than us.

4.Gifts!!!! I actually got a Princess Cheese grater! Love it!!!

5.Easy drive to the Bonnie Hunt show with Kathy navigating.

6.The parking lot guy flirted with me...Dee Dee said I was Ooh La la Hee Hee Hee

7.We came up my new describing word. I am not 48 I am FORTY_GREAT!!!

8.To honor Veterans and Servicemen we got GOODIES at the Bonnie Hunt show!!!
#1 $100 Sears gift card!!!
#2 20th DVD of Christmas Vacation collector edition and I got to see CHEVY CHASE!!! #3 Pixar came and gave us DVD Blue Ray editions of Cars, Monsters Inc and UP!!!

9.Amazing desserts at the hippest old town Pasadena joint Houstons

10.Spending time with two other forty-greaters! Priceless...

Monday, November 9, 2009

Yeah, I read that...

Sometimes I wonder if Blogging online ruins conversations in the "Real" world.

Troy-"I had so much fun with you at the wedding Saturday, man I just hate how pushy downhill drivers can be"

Friend-"I know, I read on your blog that you got car sick when you were driving"

Troy- " I hate these Velcro shoes"

Friend-"I know, I read your blog"

Friend- "Still baking?"

Friend- "I have a cookie recipe for you, everyone says mine are the best"

I almost wonder if I should keep a reader list so I know who I can "actually" talk to...

But then I am reminded why I blog...

Friend- "Troy, I am having a biopsy and second mammogram and I wanted to talk to you about your experience"

Later when friend turns out to be fine- "Troy, you helped me so much"

Glad they are reading...

Love you bunches...

Sunday, November 8, 2009


My mind is blank so I thought I would write a funny post about using white out then I remembered my blog is in pink. This made me giggle.

Random thoughts about the stuff on my desk,...

I like the mini red cup I put on top of my computer it reminds me of my special San Diego girlfriends and how much they all mean to me.

Ronald Mc Donald beanie from Mc Donalds, Rachel got it for me when my hunt turned up empty. I love Ronald McDonalds cause they remind me of Eric's Afro. There was a boy at his school with bright orange hair and one day I just started laughing at the thought of Eric's hair that color and all I could think of was Ronald McDonald.

Kind of creepy New Orleans jester doll. Wouldn'T want it on a chair in my bedroom cause it would give me a Poltergeist kind of feeling but I love it because my brover got it for me.

Plastic owl, discovered on a Cub Scout camping trip and saved from my married sons trash pile when he cleaned out his room.

Sleeping kitty- Awwwwwww

I just like having sweet stuff around me.


White out...

I wrote an amazing blog today, but used white out on the errors and this was all that was left...

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Motion Emotion

Let's face it, I am Plagued by Motion sickness, always have. I know, my brothers and sisters just thought I was being a drama princess (I was too young to be a queen yet)because I always HAD to have a window seat in the giant 1970 Pontiac Safari, I remember DYING (partly drama princess) on our long drives to San Jose because I had to have AIRRRRRRR...

Really, I was being tortured by horrible motion sickness.

Now I have gotten so bad I must take Dramamine any time I go to an amusement park or even on a short 45 minute drive. My friends and family are so good to me and always give me the front seat but for the most part, I drive.

Today we went to Crestline for a wedding, Crestline is a short 40 minute drive into the mountains and is normally quick enough to get through without pulling over to hurl.

The wedding was lovely but I was dreading the drive home. This has never happened before but even with my driving I was still seriously ill when I got home. I thought driving was supposed to keep you from getting ill so I wonder if this is a new chapter in my motion sickness life.

Oh the joy

Please don't ask me to sit on that swing with you...

Friday, November 6, 2009

Dear Thanksgiving

Dear Thanksgiving,

Today is November 6th and since you are still a few weeks away I thought I would go shopping and pick up a few reminders of you.

I looked all over and you were not there... Where have you gone?

I asked the clerk and she said that you have been forgotten, everyone has just moved on to Christmas.

This made me really sad, you are my favorite holiday. Not just because of the food but because of the family. To me, you are the most relaxing and fun day, our family keeps you really casual and fun, we laugh and play games and celebrate what you are all about...


Dear Thanksgiving, I promise that while others may have forgotten you, I will not!... To quote the words of one Mr. Scrooge

"I will honor Thanksgiving with all my heart and try to keep it all the year."

Your beloved Troysie

Thursday, November 5, 2009

A Day In the Life...

I have realized that my vacation is seriously cramping our dogs style...

A Day in the life of Yogi Miller

Good Morning!!!

Finish your shower so we can play. I love our morning wrestling even if you involve the cat...

Next person finish your shower so I can get my second dose of morning attention.

Black Cat!!!

Everyone gets a good cold nose greeting just to let you know I love ya...

Excuse me! My breakfast has not been made yet! Do I have to honestly ask you??

Don't forget to put my favorite moist food packet on top and don't break it up too much. Yes kitty you may take a drink from my water bowl.

White Cat!!!

Excuse me while I go outside for some unmentionables... Be right back.

Ok...Now how about some more attention before you go to work

Love you daddy, I want to cry but I will hold it in cause I'm a big boy now... Bye!!!

Bye Eric love you...

What's up Mom you haven't gotten your goodbyes yet! Oh well on to my day

Grey Cat!!!

Ahhhhh Who's forbidden bed will I sleep in first... Yes.. Moms side is always the best. Hmmm she's here so I will pass on that one.

Eric's bottom bunk Ahhhh I love this spot cause I can stick my nose out of the curtain and see what is going on. I am the guardian of this house...

Now to Dad's bed Ahhhhh

Mom isn't looking her bed is the best Ahhhhh

What's that noise? The Vacuum? I have to check this out

Why are you home!!! Don't you realize this is MY time???

Well if you insist I will take a bone, What? I have to take it outside!!

Bone VS Outside? The desire for the bone outweighs my desire for moms bed...

Striped Cat!!!!

The new couch is getting broken in just fine and smells good, I have decided on my spot and my arm rests nicely on the side.

What get down?? Why are you here anyways???

OK, I will sleep on my bed... Not as nice as yours but it will do.

Where you going? Don't leave me I will cry... NOT!!

Eric's home!!! Come on say the W word, come on, come on, come on, come on, come on, come on, come on...

"Mom, gonna take Yogi for a walk"

"Yogi want to go for a walkie???"

Walkie walkie walkie walkie...

OK I won't pull you but you know I have places to go and things to do.

Man, I am tired... Oh where to sleep...


Wrestling, playing, walking, dinner... Life is sweet...

Wait, why is everyone going to bed? I was just getting started.

The all night barking chain awaits...Commander Chihuahua who can see the street report.

All is well...

Orange Cat!!!

I will relay the message...

Sargent down the street how is it on your end?

Great, I will relay the message...

What? another message Commander, I will relay

Nice calm night I have only had to relay 40 or so messages

Hi daddy you want me to come? OK want to play?

NOOOOOOOOO Don't lock me in I have important work to do!!!

I am going to cry and see if that works for a release... No good

Oh well, I think I will defy gravity and climb on the kitchen table to see if I can somehow reach that cat food... Crash!!! Oops!!! No, you don't see a Basset Hound on top of the table... Must be a cat.

Another busy day...Now, Which bed to sleep in...

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Saying No

Ok Ok I admit it... Our Children are spoiled, because of their age gap and since there is just two of them, Steve and I have rarely had to say no to our children's desires.

We always seem to be able to find a way to say yes... Until now...

My 14 year old LOVES Japan, Anime and everything that is Japanese. He is trying so hard to learn the language off of the Internet, He really needs the Japanese version of Rosetta stone you see on TV...

He got a letter in the mail saying he was selected to be a student ambassador to Japan. I know a lot of kids get this letter, but the thought of sending him on the trip was so exciting for us, he is the perfect age and since Steve and I truly have NO DESIRE to ever travel to Japan, this just might be his ticket to the Orient. So we applied, and we speculated on the cost. $1500, $3000, we even thought we could find $3500 if necessary who knows...

We got the bad news Sunday, the trip would run right around $10,000!!! When we saw the figures our hearts sank, that is simply and out of the question amount. That is what we still own on Cams Car!!

He knew it too and although he was sad, he was glad we even explored the possibility.

But then, all things are not impossible with God, so we are praying that one day Eric will get to Japan, maybe not this way, but in God's way.

I think I will get him the Language tapes... Just in case

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Ten on Tuesday

Ten things I just don't get...(In no particular order except for #10)

1. The cat has left you alone all day but as soon as you open a book or magazine they sit right on top of it.

2. How do cats know exactly which one key to press that closes down your computer. (I think babies know which key to push too)

3. Why does my dog look at me like I should understand him?

4. Why is the quiet different in your house when your kids are at school than when they are away at camp. One quiet is great and the other lonely

5. Why does something as simple as a Red Starbucks cup completely change my attitude?

6. How listening to politics and people arguing (I mean discussing) can be so entertaining to my husband

7. Why are lunches made by mom better tasting than the same lunch made while the mom gets to sleep in?

8. Why is the coffee made by mom better tasting than the same coffee made by the hubby while the mom sleeps in?

9. I can never be cured from my love of purses, even if I got the most expensive diamond encrusted purse, my eyes would still stray.

10. And something I will NEVER truly get... Why in the world would my mother allow her daughter to be named Troy!!! Did she not know pouting always gets you what you want?

Monday, November 2, 2009

Va-kay day one...To Snooze or Not to Snooze?

Today is the first weekday of my November vacation Woo Hoo!!! So I asked the guys for a sleep in day and guess what? I got it!!! I woke up at 6:40am and realized the guys quietly got themselves off to work and school, I was simply amazed. Not a single "mom where is this?", or a yelled "Eric get up"

I planned for this sleep in day so last week I got Eric an alarm clock. I know, I know, he is 14 and totally capable of getting himself up but Steve and I are up anyways up so why not wake my wonderful baby up with my love and kisses, greet him with a warm breakfast and make the start of his day a good one. Together we set the alarm clock then came the question To snooze or Not to Snooze? . Eric's eyes lit up with the thought of extra moments of sleep but then I warned him those minutes come at a price... You actually have to wake up EARLIER to get the extra minutes to snooze...He decided against the snooze which I think is a good choice because Steve and I are not snoozers either.

We had a discussion about snoozing at my ladies bible study and the consensus was that most of the women snooze with the exception of one who was a "mega snoozer" and had to have her 45 minutes of snoozing minimum...

So today I used no alarm clock except for my internal one which is still set on standard time so I got a nice early start on my day.Oh yes I also forgot to mention that when I did get up every light was on in the house and the front door was wide open...I was glad for that standard time change.

I'm on vacation, I'm on vacation, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah!!!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

The subject for the month...

Since everyone enjoyed my adventures with the Gopher (which is gone if you didn't know) This month's subject... Mice diaries...

First of all... Our FIVE cats will immediately be going on an all liquid diet! How dare they allow vermin to enter our house! But just as I was doing dishes one ran right across my sink and behind the stove...Scream you may ask... Yes I did thank you very much... Heart attack you may ask... Yes I did thank you very much.

First call
Troy "Cameron what mouse trap works best?"
Cameron- "Cats"
Troy- " I guess I am off to the hardware store"

Second call
Troy " Lucy,I have a mouse!!!"
Lucy " Well, how will you get the mouse to figure out to get out of the house?"
Troy" Didn't think the mouse would go out of the house by any other way than funeral"
Lucy "Good luck with that one Ewwww"

Off to the hardware store... New LAW in the Millers house... No Screen door open at night EVER!!!!!

The Saga continues...

Well Here I go...

Today is November 1st the first day of my annual blogging month called NaBloPoMo (National Blogging Posting Month) This is my fourth year posting and it is a challenge but so much fun. Luckily for me, I am also on vacation so this comes at a great time for me. Hope you enjoy this months journey.

Halloween Parade

Because I work part time I am not always in the loop of things going on at the school sites and Friday I missed out on some extra fun because of it.

At my breakfast school I noticed my boss was wearing a silky shirt over her work clothes, I thought "That's a funny jacket" Then I realized it was Pajama day! Oh I get it! What fun for the kids to come to school in jammies. (although for some teens jammies are daily wear, don't get that fashion trend)I so would have worn a jammie shirt, wahhh.

When I got to my lunch school I saw costumes EVERYWHERE!!! What school is this? We used to have a wonderful Halloween parade every year, the kids would be so happy and even little Eric got to join in on big brothers fun day. Cams teacher and I still recall baby Eric completely in love with the girls in Cams class and how he followed them around during the parade.

For me, that day and that parade had special meaning, it was the day I realized I was indeed a homemaker. The most popular day to request off from my employer was not Christmas or Thanksgiving... It was Halloween. Of course the ones with the most seniority got the day off so I was always scrambling to get the boys in their costumes and on their way, we had to cram pumpkin carving and baking pumpkin seeds into little bits of "quality" time and a great time would be when I could make popcorn balls as well.If by miracle I did get the day off there would always be a stack of people who had been inconvenienced by my absence so was a day off really worth it? oh well...

That day I was with my boys at the Halloween Carnival, while watching the kids so happy and helping out at the class party I realized it, I was off of work! I was home, the pumpkins had been carved, the seeds roasted, the cookies baked and the popcorn balls made, no one was going to be angry because I was not available... I was a homemaker. There on the playground at Hemlock school I started crying, my dream had come true, I was home with my boys... It was a wonderful day...

I know all about the origins of the holiday yada yada yada. We have to live in this world, not be OF it. We dissected this moral issue, discussed it with our sons and realized this day to our family is all about fun, costumes, and candy. Our home is always open on Halloween and always will. We are a Trick Or Treating Halloween loving family.

The happiness level at both schools today was increased and I had to thank the principal, it was a good, fun and Blessed Halloween. I just wish I knew so I could have worn my Top Chef costume... I was so cute!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Oh Yeah.....

Ever since I got the letter telling me I was hired to work at a second school and that I would start on August 20th I have had a strange feeling.

I am very happy to finally take the leap and add more hours to my working schedule, I am excited the school is just around the corner from my house and I am glad that Eric's friend is giving him a ride to school so basically the addition of this new job to my schedule will not interfere too much with my daily routine and gives me confirmation that it is Gods gift and a blessing.

But still... August 20th...It is nagging at me...

Today was the day and I started my new job, it went well, I have been doing this kitchen lady thing for eight years so I feel pretty confident that I know my stuff so it is all good.

Then it hit me while I was washing dishes... August 20th

Happy Birthday to my Daddy in Heaven, I miss you so, personally I miss just hanging around in the back yard visiting and I miss taking you to Costco. I remember how you supported me in my decision to leave my career to stay home with the boys and how much you loved when I would make you and Eric spam and eggs for breakfast although I hated it. I remember once Eric and I were in the store and he saw the can and said he wanted some "Grandpa Ham"

As a family I miss our birthday get togethers at the house. I loved how you stepped up and cared for your kids when we needed. But my fondest memories of your later life was our trips on the Mexican Senior Citizen busses to Laughlin. My 40th birthday was the best with all of us together at the baby boomer buffet.

When you lose a loved one, different dates effect people differently, for me I have a difficult time missing my parents on my birthday, I guess cause it was the day my parents made me feel so special. I miss Mom bad on Mother's day, but Dad, I just miss you all the time...

Happy Birthday Daddy

Love, Your Troyie Troysie Puddin' and Poisie, who kissed the boys and made them noisie

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Measure of A Man...

Today Eric came home from school very upset. It seems he was yelled at by the locker room attendant who told him to get his S___T! out of here.

He is a new kid in a new place and was unsure of where to put his backpack, after the lovely comment he still needed his help to find out where to properly store his belongings.

"Mom, no one has ever spoken like that to me before" My heart sank and all I could say was "I am sorry"

It kills me but I had to tell him that this was probably not the last time someone will speak harshly to him. I remember when Cameron and I had this same conversation, Cam was a youth Umpire for Little League and he could not believe how horribly the coaches would speak to him in front of their own children and he was a kid too!

We talked more about life and the people that you will encounter and I became more grateful for my Steve in that he has only been a supportive and uplifting father.

After awhile Eric came to me and said "You know what mom, he is probably frustrated by the kids who are disrespectful to him so I decided that tomorrow I will go up to him, shake his hand and introduce myself to him. I am going to show him that I will never be disrespectful to him. I know it might not work, but I hope we can become friends since I have to talk to him every day for the next four years."

What a wonderful young man, that boy of mine...

"I say the measure of a man
Is not how tall you stand
How wealthy or intelligent you are
'Cause I've found out the measure of a man
God knows and understands
For He looks inside to the bottom of your heart
And what's in the heart defines
The measure of a man

Open Doors

When the transfer denial letter arrived we were ready for it and reminded ourselves that God knows best for us.We relucantly accepted this as fact.

My son was sad, I was sad for him then I remembered what God had told me so many yeas ago, "Eric is Exceptional and I gave him to you because you are his Champion"

He was right, I am his Champion, although the thought of me squeezed into shining armor would be pretty hysterical I then began the quest, to offer my son the best start to High School mentally and educationally which meant a transfer to the new school in town.

Months before Eric had begun the transformation from a Gothic middle schooler to a young man deserving of all that can be provided for him. Gone was the attitude and unhappiness he had worked and gotten his best grades ever, he deserved this, he desired this, and I desired it for him.

Communication began with the principal of his school, who agreed the new school would be a great for Eric, I was then put in touch with the director of Special Education who informed me the school was at maximum capacity. my thought was he is only one child, he deserved this and I put my faith in her to see understand my passion about this.

Our faith was tested when he received his "Welcome to High School" packet from the other school he was mentally ready to attend the other school and we were patiently waiting for an answer...

One evening, Eric's friends brother got in the car, I had never met him before so I began my normal interview process where he mentioned he had been in ROTC. I then said "Oh you must know my son Cameron?" He gave me a look that sealed the deal, he gave me the look I never wanted Eric to see, the " You mean Eric is CAMERON MILLER'S brother?"

Cameron's shoes would be hard to fill, he had a great reputation in school where he was the shining star. Eric has always been completely different than Cam, besides my own brothers I don't know of two brothers more opposite.

"Eric has put forth so much effort Lord he deserves this transfer..."

Finally I could stand it no more and I asked, God opened the door and Eric was transferred, he was given a stern talking to by the director, excellent attendance, grades, and behavior are required for him to keep this transfer, he gleefully accepted the challenge. I knew by my sons joy that this was indeed the right thing for him.

The minute we walked into the school, doors began to swing open in confirmation.

Eric got his enrollment the day before freshman orientation so he didn't miss a thing.

Eric's friends parents have offered to drive the boys to school which is great because I was blessed with a second job which starts early and now Eric won't have to be at school early.

School began and when I got home Eric could not control his excitement about the day, he LOVED all of his classes and LOVED all of his teachers, he could not choose a favorite. How great is that!

He is taking Art!

Even little things like his friend shares his last class of the day so they don't have to find each other to carpool home. How cool is that?

Eric instantly came home and started his homework, this has always been our rule but a chore and Eric said the words I never thought I would hear from him "I don't want to fall behind".

"Eric is Exceptional, and I gave him to you because you are his Champion"

Thank you God for opening doors, for Eric's maturity and obedience as a wonderful son. Again all I can say is Thank You...Amen

Monday, August 10, 2009

How can she be a Senior? She's only Eight!!!

People have been shocked this week when I have told them Eric is starting High School.

For me I remember most of my friends kids at the same age they were when I met them.

So I was very shocked when my friend Susan told me her daughter was going to be a senior.

But Maddy is only eight!

I know she is older, I have watched her grow into a beautiful and wonderful young woman but with my loving soft eyes I still see her as the shy little girl hiding behind her mom at Cub Scouts.

I was discussing this subject with another girlfriend and mentioned Eric starting High School and she said.

But Eric is still in his stroller with a pacifier!!!

Guess I am not the only one...

Lord, please bless all of our children as they grow into the wonderful young adults that you have planned, please help and guide them to make excellent decisions in difficult situations and bless them with terrific friends. Amen...

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The perfect cup of coffee... And Thou

Each morning I start my day with a devotional from a little book I get at church called "Our Daily Bread". I think this book has been around for a really long time cause I remember seeing them in relatives homes as a child. I thought the name odd because I did not know that devotion to God sustains life just as does bread (it's a metaphor).

Now I get it!

In a past posting I told you of my NEED to have all my ducks in a row when I finally sit down to do my bible study with a cup of Tea.

Here is my silly but important list,

Coffee version.

I must have my favorite coffee cup of the day, I have several depending on my mood.
#1 Starbucks mermaid cup (if you are specal, I will let you borrow it)
#2 Pink matching friendship cup with Leighann (no borrowing)
#3 My Mother's day Anthropologie initial cup (I FREAK cause Steve likes this cup too, but come on it has a giant T on it with flowers all over!!! MINE!!!)
#4 My newest Anthropologie cup I got to have matching cups with my daughter in love Beka.
#5 Now if it is near Christmas, this list starts over with my favorite Christmas cups, but lets not go there (for now...)

I also must have my favorite Brighton pen, My groovy red Bible that looks like a wallet ( in case you are wondering it didn't come in pink) Journa,l and just in case I cry I have my tissues in the beautiful embroidered case Carmen made for me, and now... Reading glasses Yikes!...

Ahhh Ready...

Troys Perfect cup of coffee...
Steve may have just made a pot but I still make my own individual cup using my coffee press. It makes a pretty strong cup of coffee but I learned from my brother Sterling and I like it this way...

Favorite coffee... Seattle's Best Cinnabon 1 1/2 scoops into the press
Luckily for me, I have a hot water dispenser but if you don't then boil about two cups of water and add it to the press. Four minutes later (potty break) press down the handle and you are ready to decorate your coffee (Troy is writing this remember)
Coffee embellishments (decorations)
1 Tablespoon Vanilla Caramel creamer
4 pumps Caramel coffee syrup ( I like sugar free decorations)

Ahhhh Coffee perfection Troy version, all is right with my world and ready to begin my daily bread...

Amen sister friend...

In case you are saying "I remember those little books and would love to read one" here you go...

Our Daily Bread

Same but Different

Be prepared because I will be writing something that may shock you...

Eric (baby Eric) will be starting High School next week!!!

If we had talked about this step when he was in 6th or 7th grade I would have expressed my great fear for him, but the strange thing is... Maturity does wonders, he is totally ready to go.

Last year he went through a "Gothic" phase, he was wearing all black and looking very odd ( but I thought cute). Steve and I thought we were letting him show his individualism but then we had a wake up call and realized that his mood and the mood of our home and family was darkened by his taking part in this "Goth" lifestyle. We as parents took action, explained to our son that we had made a mistake in letting him enter the world of paranormal and darkness, he was feeling uncomfortable as well so it took little persuasion to bring him back to the world of color. I am proud Steve and I can admit when we are wrong, I have no problem saying "I was wrong, I am sorry" I will even say "You were right" when necessary.

So off to the store for school clothes we went, he had a great time choosing his clothes and hats needed to tame his "White Man Fro".

I remember when Cam started High School, we got him all set and the first week his backpack broke, within a month he had gone through three backpacks so it was time for research, I found the best backpack, bought it and he still has it. Got Eric a good backpack at the start of 6th grade and it is tired and missing zipper pulls so I told him we would invest in a new High School back pack and he could get any one he wants.

At the backpack store I am expecting him to get one of the super cool new ones they have that cost more than an arm and a leg but have features galore...He came up to me with the same back pack he has been using for the past three years.

"Mom, do you mind if I get a replacement one like the one I have, I really like it and I know all the pockets"

Starting the new world of High School with a trusty old friend....Perfect Choice!

God Bless You Eric, my wonderful, amazing, exceptional son.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Craft Nazi

This week is Vacation Bible School at our church. They asked, and since I am on vacation I took on the role of teaching the crafts. I love teaching crafts and have done it several times before but this week has been so busy with all I have to do in my home life, I feel like I am living in a blur of glue, paint, and paper and driving.

Sunday night we set up and went back to my helpers house to prepare for Monday, we finished and my helper crashed, then her mom and I got into one of those amazing heart to heart talks neither of us wanted to end. We realized we were in trouble when Steve had Eric call me at 2:00 am. I finally got to bed at 4:00am.

Monday- Walking and driving around like a zombie, I had tons of errands to do and never had time to rest. I realized the foil, newspaper hats for Tuesday were just not working out so at 8:30 pm I had to go shop for a replacement craft. I prayed...

"Lord, please provide a solution for this problem in one store!" He took pity on the poor sleep deprived heart in the right place craft teacher and provided the perfect silver paper and I went to my helpers cause I was in dire need for her assistance and this time made sure I avoided her mom. (Just kidding)...

I got home and decided the best way for the kids to do the craft in the time allowed was for them to be pre-made to a certain point so I got to bed at midnight.

Tuesday- still no time for napping but I was able to figure Wednesdays craft after VBS so I was feeling good about myself... UNTIL... I remembered at 8:00pm that we had switched Wed and Thurs crafts. Wahhhhhhh Origami boats! Thank you Lord for video origami lessons cause this gal could not follow diagrams with crossed eyes for nothing. The foam boats for the babies were just plain dumb and again God provided an alternative WITH COLORED TEMPLATES. God loves the sleepy craft teacher. In bed by 12:00

Wednesday- "Eric, we must get to bed earlier!

I love doing crafts and teaching them but there are some things I will not release control of and you can call me a Craft Nazi if you want.

#1 Cutting- I have mad cutting skills and get all OCD when my helpers can't cut. I catch myself saying "I will do it" as sweetly as possible without GRABBING the project out of their hands.

#2 Folding- I love my Martha Stewart bone folder and the crisp lines and corners it creates. "Here let me fold that for you" when really I am saying "Yikes! your corner has a kink in it"!!!

#3 Glitter glue- It should be illegal for anyone under 10 to use a tube of glitter glue or puffy paint for that matter.

#4 Sharpie pens- They are mine... All mine... And put them, the tape, and the adult scissors back in the basket or I will give you my smile with no teeth.

Tomorrows craft is done and Fridays is a kit so I can only hope to get to bed before midnight.

I have received confirmation in this ordeal this week, I realized I am a no nonsense Mom Of Dudes, God didn't give me girls for a reason. I can't be bothered with drama in the high speed world of crafts on a tight schedule "I am sorry you spelled Jesus wrong! get over it!!!"

But really folks, Vacation Bible School is a blast, the kids are wonderful and the memories of three year olds humming while they color, the hugs, and the word "Origami" make it all worth while.

We need a Sunday School teacher Troy will you do it?... I will have to pray about that one...

Sunday, July 5, 2009

What's on my heart

Heart of Hearts

I remember when I was in my last year of High School and in my late teens, I was so bummed because all my friends were paired up in serious relationships and I had never had a boyfriend.

I felt like an outsider looking in to their world. I just didn't fit in with them because I was alone. I desperately wanted a someone but no one seemed to want me in return. I had crush after crush but that was all they were unreciprocated crushes. It was a sad time for me and very depressing. I was in school and working so I was busy, but I had plenty of room for more. For me it took the friendship of a special girl who was in the same boat I was, we enjoyed the same things and hanging out so it easier to forget my "pitiful" loneliness.

When I read about that time in my life in my old journals (OK Dear Diaries) I tell 19 year old Troy, "you should have lived it up more!" I should have really enjoyed myself, gotten a sports car, learned Spanish, travelled to Hawaii because in In no time at all, my life took a turn, I met Steve and the rest is history...

My heart has been sad lately for a few girls I know, All of our friends have children the same age so they are getting married and in our church the youth are pairing up and getting married like crazy. My friends say I attend more weddings than anyone. It's true! But as much as I LOVE Weddings, what I love seeing even more are couples truly in love with the right ones for them.

Desperation does strange things to us and if we serve a loving God who only wants us to be happy, why would he let us be lonely? I have been praying alot about this and God told me, He is not sending the right ones because he wants his gift of a loving spouse to be appreciated so he asks, "What are YOU doing to prepare for the love of your life?" are you crabby, eating junk food and ice cream galore? sitting home feeling sorry for yourself in your baggy sweats? These are very selfish things and selfishness is not what a relationship is all about. You want to prepare your heart for sharing. You are wonderfully made, accept this and relish in it and smile. Go to school & work with a happy heart, go out with friends married and single, let everyone set you up, go on E-harmony, Why not? the worst that can happen is you will sleep less cause you have had too much coffee on your Starbucks dates, Just because you meet him doesn't mean you have to touch him!

Lift your head...make yourself lovely inside and out, get a new, current hair style and put effort into your look, learn new make-up tips, try wearing lip gloss regularly, step out of your comfort zone. You say this is not your style, well, is your current style working for you? Switch it up! Become an excellent cook or at least master one really good easy recipe. You should become so busy getting ready for your bridegroom you have no time for desperation.

God wants you to be happy, do you want to prepare a place for the one He has for you, or do you want to settle for the one desperation provides.

I think not...

I have attended the weddings of nine terrific young couples in the past year and will attend at least two more before this year is out, but even more wonderful is my knowledge of or participation in just as many 25th anniversaries including my own.

"But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives, he will produce this kind of fruit in us: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-Control" Gal 5:22 (NLT)

Now that sounds like a great wife, that's the good stuff that makes God Smile.