Thanks for checking in. I would love to hear from you.

Have a wonderful day my friends!

Thursday, February 28, 2013

More Chocolate Cake, Please.

Some days simply require chocolate cake.
That's all there is to it.
Make your favorite treats.
Call your parents.
Call your grandparents!
Make a special dinner for no reason.
Celebrate the small stuff.
Drink in the moments of your day to day life.
Take notice of the little things.
Be thankful for the blessings you have been given.
Today I am reminded of our many blessings and how quickly they can be taken away.
Hug your families.
Life is too short.
Make sure to savor every delicious bite.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Exceeding Expectations

This simple red carnation was taken from a floral arrangement from my grandma's funeral.
There were 3 other flowers in the vase--2 roses and 1 other carnation.
They were taken from the "Grandma" and "Great Grandma" arrangements.
I held the 4 flowers on my lap for  our 2 1/2 hour drive home.
(no wet paper towels, no water....just my plain lap)
I held them to my nose occasionally and breathed in their delicate fragrance
and remembered Grandma's rose bushes and flower gardens from my childhood.

I took a picture of this carnation today because it has been in this vase for 3 weeks.
It has exceeded its life expectancy.
It, like Grandma, has not played by the rules.
You see....during the last year of her life, Grandma  continued to hold on to life
 despite the doctor's reports of her failing liver, kidneys and heart.

This little carnation reminds me that Grandma is still with us.
We'll see it in flowers that don't spoil as early as we would anticipate.
We'll smell her in the kitchen when we make her recipes.
We'll feel her presence when we dig in the garden dirt.
Memories are worth the world to me.

I'm so happy to see this flower thriving past my expectations for it.
I love it when life treats me with something that exceeds my expectations.

Remember to take time to smell the flowers--even the proverbial ones.
Aren't they delicious?.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Life Lessons from Volleyball

Volleyball season is in full swing!
We've been on the road the past 2 weekends.
Here are a few images.
Girls played so great at Hollister!!!
Look at that score!
It was neck and neck during the entire match.

Having a little fun before the next match.
(And...I mean they should have already been on the floor getting ready,
but they were too busy posing for silly pictures)
Warming up.
Stretch Courtney!!!

Celebrating an Ace.

Celebrating a winning point!

I love their huddles when they come together like this.
It's what it's all about.
They are learning so much about the game.
They are learning more about each other.
Believe it or not...
They are even learning more about themselves.
Life lessons...right there on the volleyball court.
Working with others.
Being coached.
Being coachable.
Encouraging others.
Lifting others up when they are down.
Awareness of strengths and weaknesses.
Being silly together.
Knowing when it's time to be serious.
Celebrating the little successes together.
Celebrating the victories together.
Talking it through when they don't come out victorious.
High Fives.
Knuckle bumps.
Grins and giggles.
Life lessons from Volleyball...
I believe everyone could benefit from the lessons which this sport has to offer.
Even volleyball is delicious.

Spoons under our Pillows

I can just imagine my students' faces as they received the phone call
 or saw our school name scrolling across the TV screen.
It is a wintry wonderland this morning.
Everything is covered with fresh, fluffy, perfect-for-snowmen SNOW!
Schools are out for the day.
The roads are "treacherous."
No need to go anywhere.
(except that orthdentist appt at 5:20 this evening.....)
Cinnamon rolls were baked and ready to be enjoyed at 6:30. 
What was I thinking? 
My kids didn't get up for that.
Isn't the snowfall pretty at 5 am?

This is a neighbor's house, but I love that tree. 

Going back to the 5 o'clock hour....
This morning one of our neighbors cleared our driveway with his 4 wheeler and blade.
I love that our neighbors still help each other.
We very quickly whipped up a batch of spicy pretzels to repay him.
We'll have to bake something yummy to share later.
the spoons under the pillows,
the pennies taped to the doors,
the pajamas worn inside out AND backwards
all proved to work
THIS time.
I love snow days.
They are peaceful and quiet.
They are full of movies, games, and giggles.
Mr. Incredible rented a couple movies for us to enjoy today.
Isn't he the best????
I'm such a lucky girl.
Snow days are delicious!
Now, I believe I'll go make a batch of snow ice cream
and a batch of brownies.
Enjoy the day friends!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Snow is on the Way.

So, my first graders were extremely happy about the weather forecast.
We are expecting 1-6 inches of snow overnight.
I giggle because their parents are posting pictures of their families
Wearing their pajamas inside out and backwards.
I've seen spoons ready to be tucked under pillows and pennies taped to the door. 
My kids are totally doing snow dances to get the Snowpocolypse to land on C.J.  
(go first grade families!)
I love that they are taking advantage of a weather forecast to have some family fun and make some fun memories.  

My own kids?
PJs are on inside out.
Spoons are ready to be tucked in.
Kids are helping each other study for class tomorrow.
....just in case.
One says we will go to school.  One thinks out snow day shenanigans will work tonight and we will have a snow day.
Only time will tell now.   
I know that I always enjoy a snow day.
I also know that I have a LOT of grade card assessments to begin at school tomorrow.
I will keep you posted!
The anticipation is as delicious as that of Christmas Eve.
(giggle  wink)

Friday, February 22, 2013


I used to pray for patience daily.
As a mom of young children and a teacher of 5 and 6 year old students, patience is important!
One day I decided I could not ask God for patience any more.
I felt like I was being tested.
Like I was being handed frustrating situations in order to practice using patience.
And so it was.
I continued to thank God for the good things, the bad things,
to ask Him for comfort, to support those who are sick or hurting,
to protect my family and friends from harm,
to guide us through our day,
to remind us to act in ways that others would see His love through us.....
The list goes on and on, but notice the lack of  the word "patience?"
It's true. 
I quit praying for patience.
This year has given me some pretty big challenges in my classroom.
When I say pretty big, I mean
Nine days ago, I began asking God for patience again.
While driving to school having our normal morning prayer time, I finally did it.
I FINALLY gave in and gave the challenges to God. 
I laid them at His feet and said He could do better than I could.
I asked Him to PLEASE give me patience to get through the day.
And guess what??????
One of my challenging students was absent.
(I didn't know whether to feel guilty or relieved!)
At any rate, I had a terrific day with those who were in attendance.
That night, I said my normal prayers,
and also added "thanks" for blessing me with such a terrific day at school.
Then I asked for more patience.
On the way to school the next morning,
I again asked for patience.
We had perfect attendance.
We had a fabulous morning....all smiles, grins and giggles, with a LOT of hard work!
Our afternoon went down the toilet. 
I have to say that we made it through,
 and at the end of the day,
I was thankful for the terrific morning,
and the opportunity to get so much work accomplished.
This week brought back the old challelnges
...the ones that we had before I began praying for patience.
Tuesday they seemed even BIGGER than before.
It was a tough day.
And when I say tough,
I mean "go home and cook and clean and bake til you feel better" tough.
I cooked and cleaned and baked til my heart was singing again.
I took dessert to my peeps at school on Wednesday.
I haven't had to make lunch or an evening meal since Tuesday,
and I'm pretty sure that I will be throwing out a LOT of food tonight.
I continued to ask for patience.
(beleive it or not.)
Wednesday was a much better day.
Then we were blessed with 2 snow days.
I guess what I am trying to say is....
this past week has proven to be a challenge
despite the fact that I have specifically asked for patience.
God heard my prayers.
He knew what was on my heart.
Looking back at the week,
He provide the opportunities to practice patience in small doses.
At the same time,
He removed some of the things that require the most patience.
How cool is that?
Shaking of head.
WHY don't I just let go and Let GOD handle it more often?
God IS in control,
and isnt' that Delicious?
"I Can Do All Things Through Christ Who Strengthens Me"
Philippians 4:13


Friday, February 15, 2013

Lessons from Facebook

I read this little story on Facebook.  It touched my heart.  I thought I would share it with you.
Burned Biscuits - A lesson we all should learn.

When I was a kid, my Mom liked to make breakfast food for dinner every now and then. I remember one night in particular when she had made breakfast after a long, hard day at work. On that evening so long ago, my Mom placed a plate of eggs, sausage and extremely burned biscuits in front of my dad. I remember waiting to see if anyone noticed!
All my did was reach for his biscuit, smile at my Mom and ask me how my day was at school. I don't remember what I told him that night, but I do remember watching him smear butter and jelly on that ugly burned biscuit. He ate every bite of that thing...never made a face nor uttered a word about it!

When I got up from the table that evening, I remember hearing my Mom apologize to my dad for burning the biscuits. And I'll never forget what he said, "Honey, I love burned biscuits every now and then."

Later that night, I went to kiss Daddy good night and I asked him if he really liked his biscuits burned. He wrapped me in his arms and said, "Your Mom put in a hard day at work today and she's real tired. And besides--a little burned biscuit never hurt anyone!"
As I've grown older, I've thought about that many times. Life is full of imperfect things and imperfect people.
I'm not the best at hardly anything, and I forget birthdays and anniversaries just like everyone else. But what I've learned over the years is that learning to accept each other's faults and choosing to celebrate each other’s differences is one of the most important keys to creating a healthy, growing, and lasting relationship.

And that's my hope for you today...that you will learn to take the good, the bad, and the ugly parts of your life and lay them at the feet of God. Because in the end, He's the only One who will be able to give you a relationship where a burnt biscuit isn't a deal-breaker!

So, please pass me a biscuit, and yes, the burned one will do just fine.  It will be delicious.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Ash Wednesday...A Day Late

Here it is again.
The Season of Lent.
A time when some people choose to sacrifice something that will draw them nearer to God.
I've participated in Lent for several years.
I've given up chocolates.
I've given up all sweets.
I've even given up soda pop.
One of the best sacrifices was the year I gave up selfishness.
(Isn't that terribly sad?  I had to give up being selfish.)
This year, I knew Lent was coming. 
I knew the day was drawing near.
I knew that I had no idea what I would sacrifice this year.
Mardi Gras was being celebrated, and I STILL had not made a commitment to give anything up!
What was wrong?
How could I not commit to making a sacrifice for my God and Savior?
I am weak and broken.
That's why.
I am human.
I am a sinner.
Ash Wednesday came and went.
Before the day began, though...
I prayed about Lent.
I prayed about our family, the sick, the hurting, the grieving.
I prayed for my students, my own children, my school family.
I prayed for guidance.
I prayed for answers.
it came to me.
I will give up time.
I have finally committed to giving more time to walking and talking with God.
 Time for myself is not something that I have a lot of, so it will be a sacrifice.
Though you are dust, and will return to dust,
though everything you know might be burnt to ashes,
There is a GOD who can recollect you--
remake you--
and resurrect you for eternity.
His Grace.
His Mercy.
His Love.
A better, stronger relationship with Him.
Those are the things I'm seeking during this season of Lent.
Do you participate in Lent?
What is your sacrifice this year?
Are you ready for a 40 day transformation?
39 days until Easter Sunday...the resurrection of Jesus.
Jesus sacrificed his life for ours.
I believe that 40 days is not too much to participate in.
Here's the Bonus...after 40 days of mindfully making time for prayer,
it will have become a habit!
I can't think of a better habit to have.
Goodnight Friends.
Knee's delicious.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Chocolates from Daddy

Today at work, there was a lot of talk about Valelntine's treats.
"What will you get Mr?"
"What will Mr. get for your Valentine treat?"
I honestly have to say that at one point in the conversation, I finally said,
"When I was a little girl, our Daddy used to give us balloons and chocolates for Valentine's Day."
I didn't mean to say anything profound.
I didn't mean to stop the conversation.
I was simply remembering how much he spoiled us on a day that was intended for him to spoil his bride--his Love--his best friend and partner for life.
You see...our story is long, somewhat painful, and worthy of its own post.
In a nutshell, though...
My sister and I were part of the proverbial baggage.
He met my momma when I was 5 years old, and my sister was 3.
Long story short...he chose us.
All three of us.
We were his girls.
On their wedding day, my sister stood up on the seat of the car, stuck her head out the window,
and yelled, "We're getting married!!!"
And that's how it was.
They took us on their honeymoon.
They took us everywhere they went.
We were never left with a sitter unless they were at work.
They took one vacation alone in their 30 years.
The point I am trying to make is this...
We were LOVED by our Daddy.
He spoiled us just as much as he spoiled our momma.
I can't think of a childhood gift that ever meant more to me than those Valentine's Day chocolates.
Each of us got our own box.
We were never told to share.
It was our little token to show how much he loved us.
Isn't that just one of the sweetest things?
Today, Mr. treats our kids to a Valentine treat.
I hope that they will have as fond of memories of the little token as I do.
Seriously....those chocolates....and all the ones I've enjoyed since then are truly delicious.
Maybe the memories of those sweet gifts are what make the chocolate so delicious today.
I know I say it often, but remember to enjoy the little things.
It really IS the little things that become the big things.
Enjoy Valentine's Day, my friends!
I hope you get to enjoy your very own box of chocolates!!

Monday, February 11, 2013

There is Joy...

In Heaven. 
Today we celebrated my grandma's life. 
Last night our family and friends gathered to visit and catch up. 
This morning we gathered again to say our final good byes to our sweet grandma. 
The service was very nice.
The message was about the importance if family.
Her minister commended all of us for having such a loving family.
She left a legacy.
She left happy, responsible, hard working kids, grand kids, and great grand kids.  
We were reminded that our children's children will learn from us.
They will learn by watching and listening to us.
What an awesome challenge!
She worked hard at their home.
She also devoted several years to working outside the home.
She made the best of what she had.
She worked a garden to stretch a minimal grocery budget.
She loved animals, and much like my daddy, fed all the critters that came to her porch.

We enjoyed seeing relatives from far away.
Unfortunately, a tummy bug hit the family.
Of 17 in my uncles family, only 6 made it to the service this morning.
One of them probably did not make it through the day.
Every one of the children was sick all night and morning.
Poor babies!!!
I have used more Germ X this weekend that I have in weeks.  
My little family has taken precautionary medicine.
I am encouraging an early bedtime tonight.
It's been a very emotionally and physically draining weekend.

I hope all the relatives feel better tomorrow.
I hope we avoid the wrath.

I'm glad we could celebrate my grandmas life today.
I really am sure that she was greeted at Heavens gate by my daddy, my grandpa, my great grandparents, and even some other aunts and uncles.  I'm sure that the reunion has been delicious!

Cherish those little things friends.
The little things are what I remembered this weekend about Grandma.
Looking at all the old pictures of our family...well...let's just say they were not very planned pictures.
Life really is all about the little things.

Have a wonderful evening.

Friday, February 8, 2013

My Beautiful Girl and her Butterfly Friend

ShowMe the Ozarks Magazine has had photo contests before.
I've entered pictures before.
This one is by far, my favorite entry from any of their contests.
Yes...I took the picture.
Yes....I AM biased.
But seriously...
Isn't she precious?
Our family went to Branson for a Spring Break getaway.
While visiting the butterfly place, this very beautiful, very large butterfly landed on her hat.
We told her to hold still so we could take pictures.
Isn't she just precious???
She had no idea where the butterfly was sitting.
I love her sweet little girl face.
...the freckles
...the cute little almost chapped lips
...her hair tucked behind her tiny little ears
...the baby face cheeks that are visibly disappearing with each passing day.
Where does time go?
How did she get to be so big???
Back to the contest....
She didn't win.
It's okay, though.
She won something similar to a "People's Choice"
by being "Liked" on Facebook by nearly 150 people.
(Thanks again to everyone who Liked it and then Shared it!!!)
Her picture will be inside the magazine...
on a 2 page spread.
They are calling next week for an interview.
She is so excited!
The joys of losing.
We can't win them all.
Isn't Life Delicious?

One Lucky Lady!

25 (and a half) years.
That's how long I've dated my Mr. Incredible.
We've been married for 17 1/2 years.
Each and every year, he asks me to be his Valentine.
(How cute is that???)
This morning, I found a special little treat.
(Yes, he calls me Boo.)
Once I finish drinking my coffee, I might have to open that little red box.
Who am I kidding? 
I'll have opened it and devoured the chocolate before the coffee is cold.
Little tokens of love.
They are meant to be cherished.
Mmm.  These chocolates ARE delicious.
Maybe because I am not sharing?
How can I say no?
He spoils me rotten.
He leaves chocolates and Crush pop on the counter for me!
Seriously friends!
I'm possibly the luckiest lady on the planet.
Enjoy the day.
Enjoy the sunshine
...or the rain
...or ...if you're in the Northeast...the Blizzard.
Enjoy the little things.
They really ARE the big things.
And maybe one day (even 20 years from now) you'll look back
and remember how wonderful the little things were.


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Life Changes

My Grandma passed away last night.
She was a very sweet loving lady.
She was my daddy's momma.
This is her with some of her grandkids.
(and her ornery daughter putting ears on the boys in the back....)
She was a hard working lady.
She made the best fried pies.
Hamburger pies for dinner and cherry pies for dessert.
She was called "Dorky" by my grandpa.
She had the softest skin.
She had the sweetest smile.
She had the most loving eyes.

She will be deeply missed.
Heavenly hugs, Grandma!
Our memories of you are delicious.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Super Bowl Sunday has arrived!

I don't follow many sports.
(unless my own kids are participating)
Mr. Incredible watches Monday Night Football with his brother and friends.
They meet at a bachelor pad or at a "Sports establishment."
Super Bowl Sunday is different, though.
I don't know who is playing in the game today.
I don't know what city in which the game will be played.
I do not know who the half time entertainment will be.
I have not seen any commercials online.
Basically, friends....
I really don't care much about the game.
With all that being said, though.....
The beans are baked.
The chips are purchased.
Warm, gooey, Mozzarella Cheese Pullapart Rolls are freshly taken from the oven.
Deviled eggs are prepped, plated, and ready to go.
A yummy, mouth watering S'mores pie is in the carrier ready to go to the car.
Margarita ingredients are ready to go as well.
I love the opportunity to gather at my inlaws for a SB FEAST! 
It doesn't matter which team wins.
It doesn't matter who performs at half time.
I might watch a few commercials.
I really won't konw the player who gets MVP.
I DO know that everyone will have happy, full bellies by the end of the evening.
Don't forget...
it's the little things that we remember.
I won't remember the details of the game,
but I certainly will remember a fun afternoon and evening spent with my family.
Go Team Schmidt!!
Super Bowl Sunday is DELICIOUS, my friends

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Coffee, Coffee, Coffee!!!!!

I drink too much coffee. 
(I'll admit it.)
When my feet hit the floor in the morning,
I head straight to the kitchen.
I immediately turn on the coffee maker.
For the past 17 1/2 years,
 I have been the proud owner of a Bunn coffee maker
because it made a full pot of coffee in 3 minutes flat.
No Brainer on why I loved that coffee maker!
Well, after having 3 Bunns break down on me,
I decided it was time to try a different brand of coffee maker.
I've tried Mr. Coffee and a few other cheap models
only to find that they were ALL JUNK.
 But...take that with a grain of salt, because Mr. Incredible says I am a coffee snob.
Just sayin'.
Just before Christmas, I bought myself a Keurig coffee maker!
I decided it would be a fast brewed cup of coffee, and the varieties are endless.
Wanna know the best part?
Sam's Club had an incredible special on them.
It included a special edition machine,
36 K-Cups
a My K-Cup
(to brew my own favorite flavors and brands of coffee)
2 water filters.
I got all that for $129.
(and isn't it pretty???)
I paid less at Sam's than I could have with the sale price at Kohl's
WITH my coupon.
I got this beauty for less than what I could have bought another Bunn.
I was so excited to get home and brew a cup --or two.
My family knows how coffee crazy I am.

so you can imagine what I got for Christmas........
Lots and lots ...and LOTS of coffee.
I'm a lucky girl.
Coffee isn't the best thing I could be putting in my body.
It could be something a whole lot worse.
Besides...what goes better with a chocolate chip cookie
or a piece of chocolate cake,
or a rich piece of pecan pie????
(I could go on and on here people.)
It keeps me warm.
It wakes me up.
It is great to share coffee and conversation with a friend!
I chug mug after mug on weekday mornings as if my life depends on it.
I sip it slowly as I visit with my Granny over the phone for our Saturday morning coffee.
Just holding a hot, fresh brewed cup is soothing to this coffee junkie.
There's something about having that first cup of the day
 as I sit in my big comfy chair
before anyone else is awake. 
It's quiet. 
It's calm. 
I know that my whole day is ahead of me. 
 The possibilities are endless. 
It's delicious.
Have a fabulous evening friends.
May you enjoy each and every sip of your next cup of coffee!
My coffee cup runneth over.

Living the Dream

Living the Dream
I love Christmas Eve when the house is quiet and there is nothing left to do but wait for Santa and Christmas morning to arrive!