Sunday, November 30, 2014

Reasons to be Thankful

Some of my favorite shots from this past week...
 Althea Grey!

Loving Cousins

Favorite Uncles

Not Quite Normal Family

Gorgeous GG and Grace

What did I say about not quite normal?

Granny, Grace, and Althea

Stephen (Tommy) as Judas in "The Jewish Wedding. On campus at CFNI tomorrow.
My Mom, Me, five of my seven kids, eight of ten grandkids Thanksgiving 2014



Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Little Peach!

At the moment I have no way to get the pictures off either my camera or Becky's... so it will be a bit before photos are forthcoming.
(Oh, perhaps that sentence belonged later in this post)
Monday, Paula had an appointment with the midwife. I got to go along. It appeared little Peaches could either come soon... or keep us waiting into December. The Braxton-Hicks contractions were sporadic... but doing their job.
After supper, we left Ben and Paula to their evening, and headed out to Becky's where we have been sleeping in her in-laws camper. Meanwhile, Paula went to bed. She woke about midnight for a drink, and shortly after going back to bed, was awakened with WOW! contractions. They were strong and insistent... so she wasted no time in waking Ben and calling those who were to attend the birth.
Baby made its debut a few moments before 4 am!

Oh, keeping you waiting am I? OK... 6 lbs. 8 oz. 19.5 inches tall. Looks very much like the Schroeder clan. Light brown hair with red highlights.

Peaches is a girl!
She was named Althea Grey Coder. Althea means "healing"... very appropriate.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Off the Grid?...

Tomorrow afternoon, I pick up Connor and Alana. We head to Texas for an entire week, wherein we shall partake of at least TWO enormous Thanksgiving get togethers, back to back. Extended family and friends, lots of food. and hopefully, we will have a new baby by then.
So far, Peaches hasn't put in an appearance.
Dan and Sam have to work all week, so we get to leave Jaffa behind with them.
This dog is so funny. He loves to burrow, and just can't sleep without a blanket. Since the colder weather has set in, we have needed to be extra diligent in making sure all the clean laundry gets put away, or we find our clean garments have been borrowed. Or burrowed. Or both.
This morning when Mr C got up, Jaffa was in a pickle. He had burrowed into one of Sam's clean long sleeved dress shirts that had been left across the back of the couch. He had wriggled his head deep into the sleeve, and couldn't get backed out. He was wandering around looking like some bizarre mutated anteater, bumping into furniture as he tried to give Tom his morning greeting. He had to give up any appearances of innocence regarding his venture into the clean clothes.
Still no call backs from Staffmark. :(
I had big ideas about dragging out the sewing machine and catching up on some projects. I dragged out the machine. And three totes of fabric and craft supplies. And swept the corner where they were stored. Rearranged items stored in the area. Did laundry. Dug through the totes.... and put it all back without sewing a stitch. The laundry room does look better. :)
With all the guys gone to work, I decided on baking something. But then decided not to do that either. I settled for a big batch of caramel corn... I don't know where my motivation has gone lately.

Anyway, I don't know if I will get a chance to blog anything about little Peaches arrival until we return home. I am hoping to take the laptop and will update if I can!
 Be blessed!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Good Morning, all!

I am still not back to work after my Ohio adventure. And by the end of next week, we should be on the road to our Texas fall adventure. (Again, leaving the Individuals at home...)
So far Baby Peaches  hasn't arrived. It is still a few days until the actual due date, and Jasher went beyond his! Dakota turned THREE yesterday... so looks like she isn't sharing her birthday.

Everyone here is in good health.
This past weekend, I was surprised and blessed to hear from Tom's mom's cousin Joan! I mentioned her book in my post regarding our Ohio trip. She was so much fun to talk to, a completely amazing person. I learned a few things about modern publishing that I absolutely did not know. I always imagined that places like Amazon have big warehouses full of books just waiting to be purchased. They don't!
Like Shutterfly (You all know how much I  LOVE  Shutterfly!), books are stored on disks- or maybe even in computer memory- and then printed when you order it! Whoa! That's pretty awesome. (I am sure some of the big authors who write best sellers DO have their books printed and stocked and ready to go out... but for the small time writer- it's nice to know we still have a chance to be read.)
Dan and Sam are on a countdown to the Appalachian Trail hike. Meanwhile, their Ouchita (Wash it aw) Trail hike looms closer- they are working on menu plans for that. Since there is no viable resupply point along that trail- especially in the winter- they are faced with carrying ALL the food they will need for their 16 day journey.
Sam got a refurbished tablet that arrived yesterday. It has been fun playing with it today while he and Daniel are at work!

Today I have a pot of chili cooking in the crockpot. Yesterday, I cooked up a pot of pinto beans- they are in the chili now! A warm, welcome meal to the BRRRRRR weather we are having. When I was talking to Becky earlier, it was 22* here! (Becky got an 8 point buck last night! Remember back three years and a couple of days ago, she got a deer? Then had Dakota the next day.) Too bad I don't have any venison for the chili... but it should taste like summer- with jars of home canned tomatoes and jalapeños in it.

I suppose I'd best get back to working on the house- not sitting at the computer all day.
Be blessed!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

The ChangingTapestry

About five years ago, I wrote about how our lives are like a tapestry. Along with those we love, our lives intertwine to make the design we leave behind us.  People are added and new designs are formed. Weddings, births, new friends... all add to the richness of our life tapestry.

Threads break- the loose ends left behind to be woven in to the picture to keep it complete. Holes may be formed in our life tapestry, as in one woven of real thread. The ones formed in cloth may be knotted off. The holes formed in our lives, they are eventually closed up as family and friends move closer to fill the void. I know sometimes the hole remains, it becomes part of the design.

In the time since I last wrote about my life tapestry, so much has happened. Chris going to prison seemed a discordant thread- a blotch, if you will. God has used his time there to change him in many ways. It is no longer a blotch, but is becoming in itself part of the masterpiece of our tapestry. His wife filed for divorce just a few weeks ago. She was ready to knot the threads that bound our tapestries to one another. I know it was hard for her- it was a decision five years in coming. Her pattern stays in our lives- to try to eradicate even a single thread from the woven pattern is futile.
Bill Joe passed on. Roger. Granny. My friend since grade school, Robin. Grandbaby Ellie. The past couple years would be such a painful part to look back on that I would think perhaps, after all, a section of the tapestry should just be removed... But I see that would take away the good parts as well.

Paula became part of our family. Jasher, Grace, and any day now, "Peaches" will join us. In the glaringly painful endings, there were the beautiful beginnings as well.

Yesterday, Bill Joe's wife remarried. I am glad she is happy. I hope that she and the husband will prove to be good parents for granddaughter Nickole.
I am grateful that Jennifer continues to stay interwoven into our family, making sure we have opportunities to see and visit our grandkids.

Thank you for reading.

Friday, October 31, 2014


About  a year and a half ago- perhaps slightly longer... I broke a molar. Eating a grilled cheese sandwich. Once my mouth got used to the new shape and sharp edge of the broken tooth, it really didn't bother me for quite awhile. Occasionally, I would get a twinge of pain, but nothing serious. This fall, once 'allergy season' hit, I started having toothaches. (Would it be teethaches when referring to multiple teeth?) They would hit suddenly- usually in the evening of days I forgot to take allergy medication- and involve the top and bottom teeth on the right side. I figured it had to be sinus related... how can you get six+ teeth hurting all at the same time?
A week or so before we went to Ohio, I was getting an ache in the broken tooth. Noticed it when I'd eat hot or cold foods, sugary food, or brush my teeth. I relentlessly scrubbed the tooth any time it would happen... and with aid of ibuprofen, the pain would eventually subside. One occasion, mere days before our trip... I was in severe pain. Swished with peroxide, took a generous helping of ibuprofen, and slept it off.
The same things happened in Ohio- the night before we left I was in dire pain. So, upon our return, I made the dreaded dental appointment.
The dentist got me in quickly. I expected to have the molar pulled. The dentist was persuasive about saving it if at all possible. I agreed.
So she got in, had a look, routed out the old filling and bits of cracked tooth... and said that an extraction was the only answer. The next hour and 20 minutes were intense. I had to have numbing stuff injected three times. Saws, pliers, drills, and mallets... My tooth had been with me 54 years and wasn't giving up without a fight.
It had also been infected. So, I am on antibiotics and painkillers. As of yesterday, I can add yet another painkiller to my list of allergies. Codeine and hydrocodone we knew about. Now, Percocet/ oxycodone is on the list. They all make me ITCH terribly. A prescription for non-narcotic Tramadol was given today. And even that has knocked me on my hiney. I am trying to be careful and not dislodge the clot, which would result in "dry socket"... very painful!

Tomorrow we have friends coming for dinner.
Yes! I invited people over, and Mr C didn't object. Back when I invited them, I felt much better than I do now. But the boys did a decent job on cleaning house while we were in Ohio, so a good family effort tomorrow ought to make us presentable enough for guests. Planning on a cookout: stuffed burgers, hot dogs, tater salad, veggie tray. Appetizer of jalapeño jelly over cream cheese. We may also do stuffed jalapeños, as a hard freeze is expected tonight, and all our peppers will need picked this evening. Iced tea and lemonade to drink. Dan is making a berry trifle. (Abbots Special Abbey Trifle  from the Redwall Cookbook) . The potato salad is made and chilling in the fridge.
Today is my turn on the kitchen, so I need to get enough oomph to go get it done. My face hurts and I just want to sleep!
Have a blessed day!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Why yes, This has been a busy month....

Tom and I just returned from our first ever vacation without kids. We spent 9 days in Ohio... or 7 days plus travel. We drove up the usual I44 to I70 route, averaging 68 mph despite stops. We ate lunch in Eureka, MO, at a really good BBQ spot. Apparently it is somewhat famous. The food was good. (Super Smokers BBQ). We arrived early- apparently they had JUST opened the doors- perhaps for a delivery truck we walked around? We got our meal to go... I was surprised Mr C wanted to "go", as he had just ordered a BBQ sandwich with sides of slaw and baked beans. Not exactly easy to eat while driving... through St. Louis! He managed nicely.
I asked to stop at the Warm Glow Candle store, which we did. It has been re-arranged in the years since I was last there, opening a section with micro brewed beers and local wines for sale. I was quick- chose a birthday gift for Tom's sister, grabbed ONE package of votives, a bottle of Peach Chardonnay... and we were on the road again. The Peach Chardonnay was excellent!

We arrived at well after 9:00pm-  Mom Arlene had soup waiting us. She makes fantastic soup! Tom's brother Bob, and one of their sisters, Joyce were camping out back by the woods. I visited outside and in for a short time, then slept inside! Tom and the others camped outside... in the rain.

During the week, Tom and I did quite a bit of hiking through the Hocking Hills. It was very pretty- though overcast/ rainy most of the time we were there. I got a lot of ragging about the number of pictures I take- so tried not to do too many of people this year. I will post some of the shots to the family site . (You are welcome to look- just don't repost peopled pics to public sites.)

I got to read/ borrow a book of Memoirs of Joan Cook, who is my MIL's first cousin. I was surprised to learn that another of Arlene's cousins, one of Joan's sisters, lived many years in Jay, OK. We are close enough to Jay that I have worked with people at the airport here (XNA) who live in Jay. (The book is "COOKIE 7th from the top, 4th from the bottom").

On the drive home, we went south out of Ohio, and stopped to see Serpent's Mound . I have been interested in visiting the site since I first heard of it in school so many years ago. I did have to wonder how much they present as "fact" is instead supposition. What if this was really some ancient guy building a nice flower berm for his Mrs.?

Crossing into Kentucky, we drove mostly on the Parkways. When on the lesser highways, we did see some awesome horse farms and just beautiful country. Most of the daylight was in Kentucky, though we did get across the small part of Tennessee and cross the Mississippi as darkness fell. This was our shortest travel ever across Missouri- just into the 'foot' of the SE bit of the state, and onto HWY 412.
This was the route we traveled the rest of the way home, in the dark. We did stop and sleep in a roadside rest area several hours... and arrived home at almost 5:30 in the morning. I saw several very interesting towns that would be so fun to explore... all closed up for the night. Maybe another trip someday?

Have a blessed day! hope to see as many of my friends and family as possible when we travel to Texas next month. New baby "Peaches" Coder should be arriving before we do. ("Peaches" is the name until gender is known, then s/he will get a real name!)