Monday, December 31, 2012

Reflecting on New Year's Eve


1. What did you do in 2012 that you’d never done before?
There are so many things that I have done that I have NEVER done before since my husband had a stroke in November 2011. I did gather up all the tax papers and visited the tax man all by myself this past year. 

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I don't make New Year's resolutions cause I am just terrible at keeping them.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
I cannot think of a single person that is close to me that gave birth this year.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
I cannot think of anyone that was very close to me that died. However; we have come very close a couple of times of losing my beloved husband Richard this past year.

5. What countries did you visit?
No different countries this past year.

6. What would you like to have in 2013 that you lacked in 2012?
I would like to feel more financially secure this year. I hate this worrying all the time about money.

7. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
My biggest achievement this year was being successful at managing to live on our very small fixed income and keeping all of my bills current and up to date. 

8. What was your biggest failure?
My biggest failure has been with not managing my weight. I just keep getting fatter and fatter. And I am not even sure that I really care anymore. Does that make me a bad person?

9. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Thank God, no! I do not know what would happen to my family if I became ill or injured. This is my biggest fear. 

10. What was the best thing you bought?
The best thing that I bought this year were two new tires for my car. How sad is that?

11. Where did most of your money go?
Most of my money goes for bills and groceries and a fair amount at the gas station.

12. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
This is stupid! I got really, really, really excited when I only paid $1.16 a gallon for gas because I got 4X Fuel points for buying gift cards as Christmas presents. I was able to fill both my car and my son's car for a grand total of $35.00.

13. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? 
b) thinner or fatter? 
c) richer or poorer?
I think I am sadder, fatter, and poorer!

14. What do you wish you’d done more of?
I wish I had spent more time with my family.

15. What do you wish you’d done less of?
I wish I had spent less time bitching. I bitch a lot, especially when I am stressed. 

16. What was the best book you read?
I have no idea. I read a lot but none of them really stick out as being that great of a book.

17. What did you want and get?
I wanted a smart phone and I got a HTZ Rhyme.

18. What did you want and not get?
I wanted an iphone but I just cannot afford one of those.

19. What kept you sane?
Now this is hard. Who says that I am sane? My blog, Facebook, my family (sometimes) and friends.
20. Who did you miss?
My husband.....since his stroke he is not the same and I miss him!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

2012 Our Year in Review


We started out the year with birthdays.
Papa turned 79!
Darian turned 14!
Harley turned 12!
Darian went with the church group skiing in Colorado.
Piper turned 10 and Grandma got to take her to get her ears pierced.
Bad storms plagued us in the spring.
A tornado hit Wichita and Justin had to do some rescue work.
Justin and Trina boxed in St. Louis, Missouri.
I got my hair cut really short.
My best friend's husband, Doug was really sick; but recovered.
Grandma turned 61.
We spent Easter with the Schlatter Family.
Summer camps and mission trips along with swimming and gardening kept us busy
in the summer.
Tucker turned 5!
Meadow turned 2!
Grandma planted her first garden all by herself and grew awesome tomatoes.
September found Papa to be really, really ill; but he recovered.
Darian became a high school kid.
Harley and Paige entered Junior high (they call it middle school now)
Had Thanksgiving with all the family.
Well, almost all of them!
December brought Christmas and Papa being really, really sick again.
We are working on him recovering again.
Hope everyone finds happiness and health in 2013. 

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Sunday Stealing

The Mixed Bag Meme

1. How Many Songs are in your Library?

A lot! They aren't numbered. And I am not counting them today :)

2. Do you like Christmas music?

Most of it. But a month of it is enough. And it is time to move on to something else.

3. What magazines do you have subscriptions to?

None. Since I can read everything online, I no longer subscribe to any.

4. What is your favorite scent?

I have many favorites. It depends upon my mood. I love the smell of baking bread. I love the smell of anything vanilla. And I adore the smell of oranges and lemons.

5. Do you give money to charity?

Rarely. I don't like the ones that have paid administrators like Red Cross and United Way.
Usually I like to find someone on my own that needs help and this is how I help.

6.  What is your theme song?


7.  What is in your wallet?

The normal stuff...licenses, debit cards and bank cards. Very little cash, as it is Christmas and the stores have robbed me. But I did just get a new Vera Bradley wrist let that is like a wallet and a cell phone case. Bought it for myself for Christmas. I love it. So I just cleaned out my wallet.

8. Do you generally act before you think, or think before you act?

I usually think before I act. And sometimes I think for a long time. And I keep thinking and thinking. And sometimes I just don't act. Now speaking....that is entirely another matter. Most of the time I don't think before I speak. I say what I am thinking.

9.  Is there anything that has made you unhappy these days?

Not quite sure what this question is asking. But yes, I am unhappy with my grandson and the fact that he doesn't think before he speaks. Is there a bit of double standard there? And I am unhappy with the shape that this world is in. And I am unhappy with how people treat Christmas. I hate the commercialism of it. And sometimes I hate people and that makes me unhappy.

10.  Do you have a good body image?

Ha! Ha! This one made me laugh out loud. Who does have? Mine is okay and I don't stress about it. But I am old and overweight and neither of those things are very well accepted in our society.

11. How are you spending your holidays?

At home!

12. What have you been seriously addicted to lately?

Hmmmm....bitching I would say. This is not my favorite time of the year and I spend a lot of time bitching.

13. Tell us a secret


14. What is the last song that got stuck in your head?

We Wish you A Merry Christmas

15. What is your favorite item of clothing?

What kind of question is this? In fact, I don't much like any of these questions today.

16. Do you think Rice Krispies are yummy?

No, if you mean the cereal. Gets too soggy in milk.
If you mean the treats...they are okay. Can't much eat anything like that anymore.

17. Is Santa real?

The idea of Santa is real. And I wish there was a fat man in a red suit that would take care of all the presents for me. But alas, there is not.

18. What should you be doing right now?

Wrapping presents......bah humbug!

Want to play along?
Go here

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

I am Still Searching for a Norman Rockwell Christmas

I published this post last year at Christmas and it has received the most visits of any of my blog posts so I thought it would be good to re-visit it. My family all know that this is what I have been searching for. But I have learned that the 'perfect' Christmas does not exist. And what we have IS perfect. I have just had to learn to accept that. Because the real reason behind the season is that God sent down his only son to die for my sins. Because he accepts me the way that I am. And he forgives me for all of my sins. And I wish all of you a very MERRY CHRISTMAS!
I have spent my entire adult life searching for a Norman Rockwell Christmas.
And I have never found it.
I want everything to be perfect.
I want a huge, real pine tree. Decorated with perfect lights.
Garland perfectly wrapped around and around.
Perfect Christmas ornaments hung perfectly spaced.
Perfectly wrapped presents with perfect ribbon and bows.
The smells of Christmas waft through the house.
Cinnamon, wassail, pine and cookies.
Perfectly dressed children sitting patiently under the tree waiting
to take turns unwrapping those perfectly wrapped gifts.
Then they scream and oh and ah that it is the perfect present.
"Just what I wanted"
Then the family gathers around the piano and sings Christmas Carols
while the snow falls outside. And the stars twinkle.
And the carolers sing.
And everyone is happy.
And in the oven is baking the perfect turkey.
To be served with all the perfect side dishes.
And everyone is happy.
that has never, ever happened at my house.
In fact one year my son so aptly pointed out
"Mom, we don't even own a piano."
So I am not looking anymore.
Cause my artificial tree with a string of lights that don't work
is perfect.
And the presents that are unevenly wrapped and have no ribbons and bow
are perfect.
And the kids that will sit under our tree, while not perfect,
are happy.
And they will oh and ah and be happy with what they get.
And hopefully there won't be any snow.
And we are having ham and not turkey.
And I might try to make some wassail.
How hard can that be.
Because I know that this is the reason
We celebrate Christmas.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Menu Planning December 13-December 28

I have to get back to meal planning, less fast food trips and less wondering 'What's for dinner?"

Thursday December 13, 2012

Paige and Harley's vocal music program
Darian has a wrestling dual in Buhler


Friday, December 14, 2012


Saturday, December 15, 2012


Sunday, December 16, 2012


Monday, December 17, 2012

Harley has a BB game at PHMS
Darian has Scouts


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Wednesday December 19, 2012

Church night
Papa and Granny eat out

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Darian has wrestling at MchPherson


Friday, December 21, 2012

Christmas Breaks starts

Saturday, December 22, 2012
Luminaries in Hyde Park

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Monday, December 24, 2012
Christmas Eve


Tuesday, December 25, 2012

(also known as Thanksgiving casserole at Pinterest)

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Mashed potatoes
Cream cheese corn
Watergate salad
Candied yams

Friday, December 28, 2012

Leftovers, I am sure

Saturday, December 29, 2012


* find recipes

Saturday, December 8, 2012

A December Daybook Entry

FOR TODAY December 8, 2012

Outside my window...

Today is cloudy and beginning to look like Christmas. We have had such unseasonably warm weather that it is just not like Christmas around here at all. But I haven't minded. Really, I haven't. Today they are saying that we have a cold front moving in and it will be in the teens tonight. What a difference from a high in the 60's in the daytime. But it is winter! So I guess....BRING IT ON.

I am thinking...

I have been thinking quite a bit about my husband lately. His Parkinson's disease is progressing rapidly. I don't know if this is normal, as I have not really looked into it yet. My years as a hospital nurse has NOT prepared me for his disease, as I would only see a patient for a short period of time before they would be discharged home. During my time working in the nursing home we only has one gentleman with Parkinson's and his was pretty far advanced when I started working there. The one thing I most remember about him is how he became so stiff we could hardly turn him. And he STOPPED talking altogether. My husband is still walking but it is getting really bad. A lot of, what I call stutter-steps. He is using the walker all the time now.

I am thankful...

I am incredibly thankful that we still have Papa with us. We all know that his days are numbered. We try to enjoy him everyday. Some days it is just really hard to find anything good at all about his condition.  

In the kitchen...
I just sliced some cheese and salami and we are enjoying an afternoon snack. This is a snack we really enjoy in the wintertime. 

I am wearing...
Believe it or not I am wearing shorts and a tee shirt. This is really what I wear most of the time while indoors. Papa likes it warmer in the house than I do. And this is how I cope.

I am creating...
I am creating a cheerful, Christmasy house. The decorating continues. But I am almost done.

I am going...
I am going to do a research on tires for my car. I am very thankful that I finally have enough money to buy two new front tires. I will feel safer when on the highway.

I am wondering...
As always, at this time of the year, I am wondering if this will be the year that I find my Norman Rockwell Christmas. Read about that here. It has become a laugh at our house. I really have ceased trying to find it. Maybe once I quick looking, it will come. 
I am reading...

I just finished the book on my Nook Color and it will be time to look into my Nook Library to start another one. I have so many. It is awesome that Barnes and Noble has so many Free Friday Books that I just may never buy another book.

I am hoping...
I am hoping for a wonderful Christmas Season for all of my family and friends.

I am looking forward to...
I am looking forward to a possible trip to Lawrence to see my cousin after Christmas. It will all depend on Papa's health at that time.

I am learning...
I am learning (no I am not) that someday's I just need MORE patience.

Around the house...
Around the house we are definitely looking more and more like Christmas.

I am pondering...
I am pondering on whether to put up the 'blow-ups' this year in the front yard. The kids really like them. And Papa always liked them. I think they are kind of 'white-trashy'.

A favorite quote for today...

Christmas is a time when you get homesick - even when you're home.  ~Carol Nelson

One of my favorite things...
Today one of my favorite things is having the pantry full. Thank goodness for the nice retirement check that arrived in the mail I was able to really fill the cupboards.

A few plans for the rest of the week:
On Monday, Harley has a basketball game and Darian has a Scout meeting....the rest of the week is just practices and school and Papa and I at home.

A peek into my day...

If you would like to read other daybook entries like this one please go here
to The Simple Woman's Daybook site