Sunday, September 7, 2014


Wow. I had no idea how long it would take to upload a mere percentage of the photos taken of Blake and Heather's wedding by my sister, Joan, a professional photographer (and home chef). Add to those the ones taken by the semi-neverwillbeprofessional photographer, me, of the reception. I gave up two days to post this blog. But, oh, it's so worth it.

I want you to feel like you were there with me or if you were there with me, I want you to re-live July 25th, 2014. What an amazing day of love, of marriage, of wonderful new family, of friends dear to my heart, of #family. Having my precious family, the people I love the most in the world, all together - absolutely priceless! My amazing U.B.,  my precious PAJ, my most wonderful sister, my heart - my cousin, Melinda, my sweetest little cousin, Marti LJ & precious Vince, my Annette, Uncle John, the boys, Frank, my most wonderful SIL, Eileen & my darling niece, Meghan, my nephew, Tyler, and his sweet family. And everyone else that I've forgotten to list. (I'm sorry) The entire day was such a blessing. My son, Blake, married the love of his life, Heather, my new daughter. She is such a great DIL - I knew she would be before they even got married.

I have Jana, my first DIL whom I adore and Clay, Craig & Morgan, Clay's precious girlfriend. Adding Frank to that equation and I would call myself the most blessed person I know. Ya know what I mean? So, here's the day in photos. Just a small number considering over 1,000 were taken by Joan (999) and myself (not 999).

Our new family, David and Barbara Hosler, Heather's folks. Precious people.
Oh, and the second row, our Craig and Sammy, our "new son".

I want to show you some of the decorations at the reception...

The Couple's Table

 What a big smile! A Michigan groom's cake.
Happy, happy Michigan fan!

Heather and Blake invited guests to highlight their favorite
passage in their Bible. Lovely!

 First Dance

 Father Daughter Dance

Mother Son Dance

That family #I LOVE.
Meghan, Marti, Melinda, me, Frank, PAJ, Eileen
and Joan!

I learned something new during the reception.
My precious son, Clay, breaks it out whenever The Wobble
is played. Evidently our new Sam does, too!

 Seriously?? What a hoot! I had no idea!!

 Line dancing took over.

 A selfie of Blake and two of the women with whom he teaches. 
So many of the staff at his school came to the wedding - they really love
this sweet boy and he loves them. It was a lot of fun visiting with them all!

Heather with Clay's girlfriend, Morgan, a bridesmaid.

A re-inactment of a photo taken at Blake, Hannah (Jones Brown) and Brat's 
8th grade graduation.
I just love this picture. Brittany (Stone Ishmael) was a bridesmaid 
and Blake's best friend since elementary school.

The End to a wonderful experience
and the beginning of a God centered marriage.

I hope you enjoyed the photos
and I want to thank you for reading my blog!
Sweet comments always welcome!!

Saturday, August 30, 2014


I feel horrible. I got home from Germany on Thursday w/ acute bronchitis.
Yep, home, doctor, bed. 
I told my sister just a few minutes ago that I had to write this blog post right now 
even while I'm feeling icky because it's so important.
No pictures to attach - I don't feel well enough to search my photos 
for ones that would work. So, this time you just get my words.

Here's my question.
What the heck is going on people??
When did we stop showing our love, our gratitude, our blessings, 
when did we stop care giving, when did we stop saying thank you, 
making our family more important than our job, our gym, our phone, our hobbies??
And, of course, my rant comes from a couple of things that have happened recently. 
...And running with it on the phone with Joan!

There are many qualities of etiquette that have changed over the last 45 years when I was a teen and taking etiquette classes. Things that have changed from 25 years ago when I was raising my boys and passing on what I believed in from my upbringing. 
But, there are some things that should never change. #Never

We have become so busy, I think, that we've lost sight of what's important.
When we get God first, family second and job third out of order, we quickly begin the snowball that becomes the size of Frosty; rolling rolling rolling. 
So busy, busy, busy. No time to think about anything but work. 
Too tired to think about anything but work.

There's many examples and they don't all include work, but a lot do.
I'm 61 this year and didn't realize my age to the extent I do now, not until I saw 
a particular wedding picture that had my two daughter-in-laws being hugged from the side by me, their mother-in-law. Oh, how I hate that term. The photo showed me looking like I look to everyone but me. In reality, I'm 61 years old. #61 And, I have the etiquette standards of someone "old".
So be it. I'm old. I look old in the wedding picture. So embarrassing when you have no idea you look old. But, I have etiquette values that I try (sometimes unsuccessfully) to hold as a standard in the way I live my life. And, those values are a good thing.

Putting God first has never been an issue. My problem has been not letting my physical adventures get in the way of keeping my family first. Not really an issue for me unless it involves getting a birthday present or Christmas presents in the mail on time!

When you are the one that is aware and believes in certain points of etiquette and those around you don't practice the same, it can be very hard not to be in a state of disappointment. That's where prayer saves my life. Well, most times. Sometimes one just can't help but be in a state of disappointment for a few moments.

So, what are those points of etiquette that I think are so vitally important and that have, for the most part, been pushed to the wayside?

1. If you receive a card or handwritten letter in the mail, you need to acknowledge that. A simple text message thanking the sender is adequate according to the Etiquette Book of Jan (though I seriously abhor text messaging as a way of communication). It works here and let's the sender know that it not only arrived, but that you appreciate the time it took the sender to "think of you".

2. If you receive a package in the mail - a birthday present, Christmas presents, a "just because" present, any "gift" - you simply must acknowledge receipt of it along with a heartfelt thank you. It's so hard in this day and age to find time for extras (isn't that basically what this post is about??) that getting a present put in the mail is a bit of a chore. All of the time involved, the $$'s a sincere act of love. And, it deserves a thank you. It deserves more than a text message. Try a phone call, an email, a written note. Do something (but, please don't send a text).

3. After God, make sure you're putting your family first. That begins with you and your partner, your children and your extended family. And, may I say something here that will no doubt make some of you roll your eyes??

When you, my child, "fly the coop" and start becoming your own person and then roll into being your own person? Don't forget your parents. Don't forget your mom. God made you whom you are through the efforts of your parents. And, speaking as a mom, I am still your mom. And, though no longer #1 in your life, I'm your biggest supporter, your biggest fan and, even if you've forgotten, your first love. So, just because you're now an adult, don't make the mistake of cutting your mom/your parents out of your life. Seriously? Not going to be around forever and speaking from experience, don't waste the time you have now to get to know me/us as people, not just as your parents. We're more awesome than you even realize. But to know that, you have to get to know us. (Do you know your mom's favorite dessert? Her favorite movie? Her favorite scripture? Her favorite outside pastime? Stories of great adventure and fun from her past? Her college days? Etc., etc., etc......)

So, there, I've said all I came to say. Maybe I said too much. But, I stand by what I said. 
I hope I said it clearly enough that it makes sense.
I would love your feedback. Disagreement said in a kind way is welcome.
The End.

Be blessed. Be a blessing. 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014


If your mind works like mine does,
and I'm sure there are millions that do,
then you couldn't have had serious surgery
this past Monday, 2 days ago,
until the invitations to the shower
you were making
were complete.
And, in the mail.

That's how our minds work.
That and the fact that if the invitations 
weren't posted until yesterday
or any day after, they would be late.
So, they had to be finished
and in the mail 
bright and early on this past Monday
morning as I was driven to
the hospital in SAtown.

Knowing that I had a lot to do, 
not that I had a surgery - that news came later,
I never should have chosen 
such a time consuming design.
But, that's who I am.
That's who God made and
who's to argue with God?

So, last Tuesday when an unscheduled
surgery was scheduled for this past Monday,
one thought entered my mind.


You probably know that my middle son, Blake,
is getting married to a most 
delightful young lady whom I adore,
this summer.
Her mom, who has become a fast friend
and whom I call Babs,
along with my precious DIL, Jana, are 
giving those two a couple's shower.

I had the invitations started before the surgery
news but they weren't far enough along.
Oh, no, not nearly!

I've covered the front of the invitation with 
patterned paper. 
Then I made little bitty envelopes
from which hand cut hearts
of all sizes spring!
And, of course, glitter.

A tag with "You're invited" 
was adhered to the front of the envelope
and the actual invitation was

glued to the inside after
I scalloped one edge.

The envelopes had their own tag
for addressing. 
Adhered with wash tape - I love washi tape!

 I love them!

Cute invitations
were complete and in the mail
on the way to surgery.

And surgery??
Went quite well, thanks. 
Post and pics to come.

God bless you for reading!
God bless you for
your input.
I love your spirits of support.

Saturday, April 12, 2014


It could.
Always be worse.
But every so often I have a 'moment'.
A moment where I sob.
I don't get mad at God.
I just feel sorry for myself.
But, only for a moment and then I move on!

I am so blessed.
No matter what physical challenges I face,

And, this week has been challenging.
Let's start with January 13th - right knee replacement.
Because of Rheumatoid Arthritis.
As you age, RA changes.
It becomes degenerative in a horrid way.

On March 21st I had outpatient surgery
to clean up the area around my torn meniscus in my left knee.
RA again.

If you don't know, I've been going to a podiatrist, 
two different ones actually, for about 8 or 9 years
because I snapped the inside tendons on the inside of both feet.
I finally came to my senses after so, so many years of
the wrong treatments prescribed by my podiatrist(s).
I've come to the conclusion, and this is just my thought,
that podiatrists should only be allowed to work on the toe nails
of prisoners on death row. 
Just sayin'.

And, to save you from having to listen to me go on and on,
which I have no desire to do,
let me simply tell you that I made an appointment with
one of the top foot and ankle orthopedic surgeons in Texas.
I met with him this past Tuesday.
After Dr. Castillas looked at the x-rays, MRI and Cat Scan
of my left foot and ankle 
(it's in the biggest mess - right foot and ankle will be next)
A treatment decision was made.

I have surgery this Monday.
It was urgent to have the surgery as soon as possible. 
And, without going into all of the details,
Dr. C. said I would have lost my foot if things continued
the way they were..

So, surgery on my left foot and ankle is this Monday - one more day.
It's a major surgery says Dr. C., but one he's performed regularly.

The recuperation time??
This is the best part, of course!

 I have a trip I've very much looked forward to
with my sorority sisters that is not going to happen for me.
(hoping I can get my airline ticket $$ back)
I have wedding invitations to my son, Blake's, wedding to finish 
and get mailed. And, I have a honkin' reception hall to decorate.
The wedding is July 25th.
Oh, and then I leave for an art retreat (still a couple of seats open:)
in the South of France and then to Germany to see my
"little girl" and her family.

Let's get it done!! Time's wasting and I have things to do!

Please pray for the surgery and for the resulting pain and my recovery.
I do need those prayers.
And, if you want to come and visit I've got some fun
things to make for the wedding reception AND
a great art studio for playing!

 P.S. What would I do without my family? My boys and girls and little girls are great support. 

But, my sister, Joan, is my biggest support. 
 She is my heart.
 And, I couldn't get through this upcoming procedure or any in the past, without the Tank.
He takes amazing care of me.
 My cousin, Melinda, is so caring and loving. She is my rock.

I want to end with thanking you for putting up with me.
You read my sporadic blog posts.
Some of you lurk and some leave comments on Facebook
instead of my post, but you read me and I think you "get" me.
And, I love all of you dearly - lurkers, too. *wink*


Saturday, October 12, 2013


Do you have a mother?
Do you have a mother that you love?
Call her.
Call her a couple of times a week.
Send her a card.
Heck, set up a schedule, have the cards in hand,
and make it simple for you.
Just. do. it.
Love her and let her know that you do.
Bless her with the things she loves.
mom with my niece, Carly, and my sister, Joan

Do you live close to your mom?
Lunch out.
Take her chocolates (please, not generic).
Go spend the afternoon with her and play cards.
Take her out to her favorite restaurant.
Do it all and more.
The time you spend with her will not only bless
her, but it will also bless you.

She's going to die someday.


And, I think that there is nothing more dear
than knowing that when she does, she will be going to heaven.
To have her come to love Jesus if she doesn't already.
I want to leave you with one last thought.
My mom died one year ago today.
I loved her dearly.
I miss her so badly.
Every day.
mom's 80th birthday trip....sitting with the Tank

But, I am at peace knowing that I did all I could all of my adult years,
especially the last year of her life,
so that there was never any doubt that she knew i adored her.
That I loved her.

I have a mother that I love.


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