Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Last Day of May!

I can't believe that May is just about over. The year is just flying by...time seems to do that lately...don't they say that when you get older the faster time flies? Oops...guess I'm getting older...hate to admit it...but I definitely feel like I am getting older!

Tonight's picture serves two purposes...well, maybe three. This is the ulu (knife like the native Alaskans use) that Nathan brought back to us when he spent the summer there as a Baptist Student Union missionary...many, many years ago (1992). Every time that I use it I mean to tell Nathan how much I enjoy it...especially for chopping up fresh herbs...so since he isn't usually around when I am using it, I usually forget to tell him the next time that I see him...so thought that this would be a time to let him know how much I do enjoy the gift that he brought us back from Alaska! And, I thought that it was appropriate as it is also a reminder (seeing Alaska on the blade) of where our daughter and son-in-law are as I type this blog! Today I used it chop fresh oregano for our pasta sauce that Erin and I made for tonight's supper and Erin has used it several times this week to chop up various fresh herbs from our garden. You just rock the blade over the herbs and change directions a couple of times and you have fresh herbs chopped perfectly. We tried a new recipe and it was voted as a keeper by all (well, not Alex...he didn't even try it...he just had some linguine with some fresh Parmesan cheese on it and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich!). He missed out on some yummy eating! The sauce had sweet Italian sausage in it and some interesting herbs and spices along with a bit of orange zest...as Erin judged it a sweet sauce by what we put in it...nutmeg, cinnamon, and a pinch of sugar...it also had the fresh oregano and ground fennel. Interesting mix of flavors that really blended well in this tomato sauce. Our other cooking adventure of the day was making infused basil oil...let's just say "messy"...hope that it was worth the mess and that it tastes good drizzled on tomato slices and also in some of our cooking. We have an abundance of basil in one of our beds...so we decided to try using some of it in this infused oil.

Woody got up earlier than all the rest of us (not surprising). He did his four to five mile walk. Alex picked up sticks and mowed a section of our back yard. It's another very warm day...probably reached 95F again today. After lunch, Erin, Alex, Graham, Goosey, and I went to the library. Everyone got a book or two and Erin and Alex got several DVDs. We came home and Alex went upstairs and took a nap, Erin and I started making messes in the kitchen, Graham played on Erin's computer, and Woody read and napped. I did manage to lie down for about an hour to start a new book and dozed a bit. (I will admit to being tired!) Then Erin and I made supper. Woody has walked to the prayer room. When he gets back several of us are planning to have watermelon. A pretty packed last day of May!

Monday, May 30, 2011


Memorial Day 2011

It's another time that Picasa/Blogspot won't let me align left...or right...so guess I will just have let it center the lines! We have had a nice day. We finished up the food preparations over here this morning and Nathan fired up the grill over at their house and Kathy got the condiments ready and set the tables. All totaled we had 12 celebrate with a Memorial Day lunch with all the traditional trimmings...hamburgers, hot dogs, potato salad, baked beans, corn on the cob, macaroni and cheese, potato chips, watermelon, s'mores. Nathan and Kathy had an extra added to their brood...their niece from Knoxville who is Abigail's age. And, we numbered four since Erin and Alex are here. We ended up eating inside as Memorial Day ushered in summer-like temperatures...mid 90's before the end of the day and quite humid. The children did eat watermelon outside as witnessed by the above pictures. Esther got the largest piece (though several went back for another to try to match her amount!) and she really enjoyed it! Nathan made s'mores in the microwave (easier to do them in quantity in the microwave!). The top left picture shows the lineup for s'mores. Elijah at first just had a graham cracker and a marshmallow...but before the end of the feast he also experienced his first s'more...he found it messy and was almost more concerned over the mess than over the taste! Everyone enjoyed watermelon except for Alex so I put a picture of him enjoying his corn on the cob. We all came back home and had a lazy afternoon...I think all but Alex had a nap (Erin slept waaaaay too long...she probably won't sleep tonight. Alex finished a long book that he checked out of the library on Saturday. Woody went to Monday night prayer meeting at church. At the moment Woody, Erin and Alex are downstairs...Erin probably working on her computer and Woody and Alex probably watching a DVD. Erin is trying to transfer information from her laptop over to her new Mac plus she has several games that she has enjoyed playing on it (that is if Graham lets her! He loves one of the games on it!). It is an electronic age!!!! Was just downstairs and it's Alex on Erin's computer and Goosey and Erin watching the DVD...well, Alex is multi-tasking as he got up and turned up the TV because he couldn't hear when I was down there talking! The reason I went downstairs was because there was a secret knock on the front door (Graham). He had come over to get a cookie for his mother, father and himself as the others were heading to bed! Ahhhhhhhh to be the oldest!!! Good thing that they asked for some cookies when they did...I'm not sure that there would still be any tomorrow...the batch made the other day is about gone...food (especially the goodies) disappears more quickly when one has two teeneagers in the house!

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Sunday, May 29, 2011


Here's the first day lily to open this season. Soon there will be a sea of orange at one end of this flower bed. I took this lone lily two days ago and already many more have opened.

We were all four up and out of the house by 8am. We went to the 8:30 church service. Then all went to their respective Sunday School class. Woody and I both taught our classes. We came home and Erin and I got lunch ready...well, Woody did steam the asparagus. We had talapia fillets. Erin created a flavorful marinade with some of our fresh herbs and fresh lemon juice and olive oil to brush on the fillets. Alex chose to have barbeque sauce on his! We had chocolate chip cookies for dessert...the neighbors did too...we delivered them some while they were still at church. Mid afternoon Erin and I made the potato salad for tomorrow's Memorial Day picnic.

This evening we all headed back to church. To see the Christian comedian, Dennis Swanberg, "The Swan"...VERY funny. He does great impressions! If laughter is good for our health...then we should be quite healthy! We're now back home. Woody is reading and watching TV. Erin and Alex are here in my sewing room playing Nintendo as I write the blog...guess we have once again had a full day.

Saturday, May 28, 2011


Look "what" strolled into my kitchen today with a big grin on his face! Woody and I are trying to decide if we are going to claim him! The Crazy Tie Guy has gone crazy in the head...ummmm I mean hair! He is gearing up for the Vacation Bible School emphasis: Big Apple Adventure. Ummmmmmmm I think that I am speechless...don't know what to say OR think!!!!!

Lots has been going on today. Woody and Alex went to the library. Erin decided to stay home (she slept in late due to staying up late...teenagers!). Woody at some point stopped at a store and bought me the other kind of cheese for the macaroni and cheese recipe (the recipe that I didn't find till he left for the store yesterday). Erin and I made lunch...pita sandwiches with yesterday's leftover London Broil and caramelized onions, broccoli (Woody fixed that), and lightly fried (in olive oil) the left-over potatoes from yesterday's supper. After I got the mess cleaned up after our lunch...putting dishes in the dish washer and then washing the ones that don't go in the dishwasher...Erin and I made the macaroni and cheese for tomorrow's lunch. Someone leaked to the little ones next door that we planned to make cookies so they kept showing up to see if they were made (I didn't catch on for a while why they kept coming over...I just thought that they were coming to see their cousins! Elijah made it very plain that he wanted a cookie...oops...guess we are falling down on our job!) Erin is now making the cookies (with a bit of Alex's help)...a recipe that one of my best childhood friends shared with me at the time of Mother's funeral...her grandmother's chocolate chip cookies...I can only dream that they will taste as good!!!!!!!!! We'll slip some over to their house after they are baked so they can have some as dessert with their lunch tomorrow. Woody did take a snooze this afternoon...he got away from the fray and sat down in the recliner in our bedroom...to read, but...I don't think that he got very far in his book. He cleaned up our macaroni and cheese cooking dishes and also the supper dishes. We took the easy route for supper...frozen pizza. While the pizzas cooked, Alex mowed the side of the yard between Nathan and Kathy's house and ours. On top of all of the above, off and on today I have been preparing to teach my ladies' Sunday School class tomorrow. A bit of a jumbled up day (at least in my head)!

We have talked to Melany a couple of times...once from their hotel room...once from the balcony off their room on the cruise ship...once from the deck when they set sail for Juneau. Bon Voyage, Wade and Melany! Enjoy your 20th anniversary celebration!

Friday, May 27, 2011

We've Come Up In The World!

We now have our own yard boy and personal chef! Woody worked Alex pretty hard in the yard today and then Erin put in her time in the kitchen this evening. The front yard looks great...all sticks picked up and it's now newly mowed. After Alex got finished with picking up all the sticks...a big job after all the winds that we had the other night...he, Erin, and Goosey walked to Geeks to check on their game system they had left there yesterday. It was a free consultation..."the geek" checking it out had enjoyed playing games on it today! They now have it hooked up to the little TV in my sewing room and are playing on an old fashioned Nintendo...guess they are renewing their youth!

Abigail came over a little after 8 this morning to find that her older cousins weren't up and about yet...so we said that she could go wake them up. As she was heading up the stairs, Alex was coming down. So next was Erin in her room...she must have been waking up as she woke up very quickly and took her thyroid medication that she has to take in the mornings 1/2 hour before she eats. Alex made Erin and himself waffles for breakfast and then the morning began! Woody was trying to get the grocery list together. I'm struggling this time as I usually have menus all planned out well ahead of time and this time I don't...and it just isn't my mind set to work this way...but so far we have had food on the table for all meals! We were deciding on several recipes so we could put items needed on the list and I decided on something that I wanted Erin to make while she was here...macaroni and cheese...a recipe that I had tried when we took care of the three littlest neighbors earlier in the year. Well...do you think that I could find the recipe?! Of course not...I found another that I decided to try and told Woody that I would probably find the one that I wanted as soon as he left for the store (which I did!). Anyway, I came back downstairs, after searching in my Martha Stewart Living magazines and in the computer for recipes I have copied there, and walked into the kitchen and out popped a little neighbor who I hadn't known was over here...and then another...and another...it was funny...sort of like clowns piling out of the tiny car at the circus. They had come in quietly while I was looking for the recipe. At one point we had all the neighbors over here. I knew that Erin's new Apple computer would be a big draw...especially for Graham and Erin's Uncle Nathan (aka Graham's daddy)! This afternoon after Graham had watched Erin and Alex play a game on the computer for quite a while and asked them a million questions about it, Erin let Graham play the game all by himself...a very special privilege that he loved! I think that he may dream about game strategies tonight!

We tried a new recipe this evening...that should have set off the smoke alarms...but we got the doors opened quickly enough and a fan started to blow out the smoke. The recipe said to sear the meat on high in a cast iron skillet...well, high was a bit much...for the second piece of meat a little lower temperature was used and it worked very well. Alex stuck his head in the door and asked "What's Erin done!" We said..."just followed a recipe!" The meat was delicious...enjoyed by all and there is some left over to have in sandwiches.

In our leisure, brought on by our newly acquired help, Woody and I sat on the front porch in our glider love seat. Woody directed the yard work and I got out my tripod and took some close up pictures of a moth that posed very nicely on one of the porch rockers. He wasn't all that beautiful, but he allowed me to try out several different settings and several different lenses...let me see how close I could get to an object, etc. After taking probably more pictures than I will ever need of a little brown moth, I went out into our garden and took some close-ups capturing the beautiful colors of some of our flowers.

Melany called several hours ago on their layover in Chicago. They should be winging their way to Seattle as I type this. Tomorrow they will board their ship and start heading Alaska way.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

They've Arrived!

Looks like Erin and Alex are settling in! I'm so glad that the love to read! Their summer vacation has officially begun. The cousins were here to greet them when they arrived. Abigail had been anxiously waiting all afternoon inside our house...but the cousins who were outside saw them first! Erin and Alex had lots of help getting their things to their rooms. Goosey (Woody) put Alex to work pretty fast. We had some London broil that needed to be ground. Alex found out that it is hard work with our hand meat grinder...Woody was glad to hand that job over to someone else this time! Erin helped me get the rest of our supper ready while the boys were grinding. So the first meal of their Grammy and Goosey vacation is under their belts. The kitchen is cleaned up...both the supper dishes AND the meat grinding mess. Woody did the dishes and the preliminary clean up of the meat grinding mess...and, then, I did the mopping...second mopping of the day...I mopped the floor this afternoon just before they got here.

Graham came over this morning and was a great help...he vacuumed the stairs, went and got the steam mop (we share this item between our two houses), took batteries to his house to test to see if they were good or bad (we had all these loose batteries laying around that we didn't know if they still had any "juice" left in them and they have a tester next door). This afternoon Abigail came over and she helped me put away some dish towels and a few dishes and then swept the kitchen floor for me. After supper, Goosey took Erin and Alex to Geeks (a computer game store and a computer repair store). They had a game system that they wanted to know if Geeks could repair. They looked around and talked with someone about the repair and also traded in some of their old games for cash (to spend on more games...or the repair), while Goosey went to deliver a couple more graduation gifts. After they got back, they got Erin's computer hooked up and she is now in front of it and Alex is playing games on whatever electronic hand-held "game player" he now has (Grammy can't keep up with all the names of such items!). So they have arrived and are settling in quite well I would say. I'll bet that their mommy and daddy are frantically getting things ready for their Alaska trip! Things are more laid back here! Woody and Erin are going to prepare a marinade for some meat that we plan to have tomorrow. So far...no boredom...we're keeping them too busy for them to get bored! And, they know that if they say that they are bored...that Grammy or Goosey will fix that...always plenty to do to keep them from being bored...we will find something for them to do when and if they get bored...and they know it (I have reminded them many times over the years that they had best not tell me that they are bored!!!!!).

We had some pretty strong thunderstorms pass through in the night. Shortly after midnight the wind really picked up...enough that I woke Woody up and shortly after that the tornado storm warning siren went off. It went off again this morning. We got 1.13 inches of rain since midnight last night...so our plants should be happy. Melany did walk around the front flower gardens inspecting to see how the plants she and Wade helped us plant were doing...so far we have a thumbs up from her on how things are looking and growing.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Verses, Songs, & Awards

Tonight was our church's annual children's ministry awards night for choirs and Awana. We had four participating...so, of course, we went...and, of course, Grammy took lots of pictures.

We have had a busy day...still getting ready for Erin and Alex's visit. We're getting closer...at least they both have rooms to sleep in that are fairly clean. The neighbors again helped us clean...along with doing several other projects while over here. Woody went for a six-mile walk, worked in the yard and ran an errand for me. He also delivered a couple more graduation gifts.
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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Fluttering Around!

I think that you could say that Woody and I have been fluttering around today much like this butterfly. This butterfly is a bit tattered (sometimes the way I feel!) Woody went to the library and then picked up some graduation presents that we had ordered last week. Then he came home and wrapped the gifts. He delivered one of them this morning. He just left a few minutes ago with several more in hand...hoping to deliver them and then go to the prayer room at church. I continued to work on the house today. I do have the fabric all back in the proper bins and stored away. Abigail and Esther came over after lunch with the mindset to help me clean. They put toys back in the toy closet and then came upstairs to straighten up the dolls' tea party and then went into the school room and cleaned up the scraps of paper that had gotten left after an art project. They were great helpers! When they left, I sent Abigail home with one of Joy's dresses that needed buttons sewn on. Abigail learned how to sew buttons on with the sewing machine at her last sewing lesson so she is going to attempt to do these all by herself. She may become the official button sewer for our two households! Graham and Joy came over a little after Abigail and Esther went home. They continued to straighten up the K'nex area in the living room. Elijah also came over with them...he took out several of the toys that Abigail and Esther had picked up! Graham ended up last man standing of the children and he and I ended up getting a cross stitch project together for him. He headed off with the project in hand to work on while he waited at gymnastics for the girls to have their turn tumbling. I did a bit of vacuuming before putting back some of the fabric tubs (since they don't get moved very often). Then I headed down and made our supper. So it has been a day of fluttering from one project/job to another...but looking around...the house is definitely starting to look better! Now, to go watch the finals for Dancing With the Stars!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Coming and Going!

I sort of feel like these birds...always either coming or going! I was pleased to be able to get one of the blue birds sitting on top of their house and the other flying away.

This morning, Woody went on about a four-mile walk, then he did some weeding and planting. Abigail and Graham both read to him. He has read and watched a DVD this afternoon. This evening we ate supper at the neighbors before Woody headed off to Monday night prayer meeting. I spent a good part of the morning trouble-shooting for a new piece of photography equipment...I have computer live-chatted with someone in New York City and then have been emailing with someone in Ireland (where the equipment was made). Isn't technology amazing...but so far the trouble-shooting hasn't totally worked in solving the problem that I am having...ready for that part of the technology to work! I have been trying to get caught up here in our house after so much time spent at church the last two weeks in the library. I am working on getting to the bottom of some of the stacks of things that have accumulated...especially in the sewing room. This evening while I watch Dancing with the Stars I am going to put fabric back in the bins that I dumped in our upstairs hallway so I could take the tubs to the library to put things in for the move. Graham, his mommy, and two of his sisters helped pick up K'nex so we can once again walk through the living room. Slowly but surely we are getting ready for our two guests at the end of the week...perhaps Erin will have a bed...it has fabric that was supposed to become Easter dresses, but my sewing plans got interrupted by an unexpected trip to AZ. And, since coming back there just doesn't seem to have been any time to sew. I hope to get back to sewing soon! Maybe I will be able to IF I can stop meeting myself coming and going!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Our Graduate!

We are so proud of our granddaugther, Erin Elizabeth! We had a wonderful time celebrating her high school graduation with her and her family last evening. Woody and I drove to Wade and Melany's home. Then we all piled into their vehicle and headed out to eat. We met up with Wade's brother and his family. We enjoyed eating food cooked right in front of us...quite a show...and delicious food a plenty! After we ate, we headed to Murphy Center...the basketball arena at Middle TN State University. We never did count...but there were lots in Erin's class...close to 500! The ceremony took about an hour and a half...and we were all rather warm! We watched Erin process in, we listened to the national anthem and pledged the flag, then we listened to a speech or two or three or four from the students...then diplomas...then the alma mater was sung and hats were thrown in the air! After the ceremony we all went back to Wade and Melany's so Erin could open her gifts and then we had cake...yummy! We headed home around 10pm and got home a little before 11pm...definitely a late evening for us!

Today we got up and went to the 8:30am church service and then to Sunday School. Woody taught his boy's class and then we came home and ate lunch. After lunch, we walked around checking out how our gardens are growing...so far they are still doing well...our black thumbs haven't seemed to harm them! We had a short thunderstorm that did give the plants a bit of a drink. Woody has been reading and watching a bit of TV. This evening he went to the evening church service. We have sort of taken it easy today after such a busy last two weeks. Now I'm gearing up to get ready for two special visitors later in the week...Erin and Alex will be spending some time with us while their parents go on an Alaskan cruise to celebrate their 20th anniversary. Erin loves to cook...so we started making a few cooking plans last night...Alex's only request was that when he makes waffles (his specialty) to please let him use regular (white) flour...Woody and I use a lot of whole wheat flour (especially for waffles!)...not Alex's favorite!
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Saturday, May 21, 2011

Graduation Day!

All four baby birds have graduated (been pushed out of the nest)! This morning when I was "trying" to sleep in because it was Saturday, Woody comes up and tells me to wake up that there is something "cute" that I need to see. So I pull on jeans and a t-shirt and head out to take pictures of one of the baby birds that he has spotted. By the time that I got outside this baby bird had hopped across the street and into our neighbor's yard. I used my new little point-and-shoot camera and got some really good pictures. As Graham said, "baby birds are easy to get close to!" I also was able to get a movie (new camera takes movies) of him hopping and spreading his wings...trying to get stronger. He didn't choose the best yard to hop into...they have a cat...but we were glad to see their cat go prowling off in another direction...so maybe baby bird will get into a safe place.

This baby bird and its siblings (no birdies in the nest any more) aren't the only graduates. Our oldest granddaughter is graduating from high school in Murfreesboro this evening...my how time flies...seems like we just got home from seeing her at the hospital for the very first time. We will be heading Murfreesboro way in a little while to celebrate with her and her family...the reason that I'm posting early today.

Woody got up even earlier than the birds and went on about a five-mile walk. He has read, done a little weeding and a little mowing, gone to the library, and run several errands. He is now finished with his mowing and going to get ready to go to Erin's graduation. More details on graduation tomorrow!

Friday, May 20, 2011

A Swingin' Good Day!

At 8am Woody and I headed next door to take care of our five neighbor grandchildren for the day. We had a good day. I think that everyone had fun. This afternoon after Elijah went down for his nap, Woody took Graham and Joy to the grocery store to pick up a couple of things that we needed for supper. I sat down to read to Abigail and Esther...well, I was pretty sure what would happen if they chose a long book...and it did...I kept drifting off to sleep while reading to them! I finally finished the book and then they decided to do a craft and let me rest for a bit! When the store folk came home, I got busy and got taco fixings ready for our supper. Shortly after supper Nathan and Kathy returned...they had been at a homeschooling conference.
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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Phase 3...COMPLETE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This morning the rest of the shelves got put together and the long line of getting the books back on them began. A little after 4pm the last of the books was put on the shelves, all boxes that had been out in the halls had been brought back in and attempted to be hidden till we can get to them! A good day's work done by lots of willing helpers. A big THANK YOU to all the volunteers. The library's lookin' wonderful after all the hard work we've put in the last several weeks!

The computer is very slow tonight...I think it is because I am trying to send a video clip next door to the neighbors...and I think that the computer/email is stuck. Things are taking so long that I lean back in my chair and then fall asleep and wake up realizing that it is time to do the next thing! I am very tired after our day's activities and Woody says that he is sleepy. I think that he may have been dozing downstairs while I have been dozing up here in front of the computer, but I can't prove it!

Today was another big day...it is Nathan's birthday. I won't tell which one...but, I will give you a hint...I may be feeling tired tonight, I am feeling much better than I did back in 1972. That many years ago yesterday I was put in the hospital with a temperature of 105 degrees...guess it was too hot in the oven for Nathan and he decided to be born three-weeks early. He was considered immature (rather than premature)...but none the less, they kept him in the baby ICU for six-days...and in those days they didn't let parents hold their little tiny ones. We just looked at him through the nursery window. They were watching him to make sure that he wasn't sick. I had an acute kidney infection...he was fine...except for being a little scrawny at 5 lbs., 12 oz. and only 18 inches long...not an ounce of fat on him...just skin and bones! It didn't take long for him to thrive. And, we were very glad to get our hands on him when he was 6-days old...though I did let the nurses dress him in his going home outfit! "Funny" how things have changed over the years as to rules about being with your tiny new born. It was hard not to get to hold him for so long...as a matter of fact I went home several days before he did. We would go once a day to look at him through the nursery window till he got to go home. The night before he came home, Woody and I went to watch the St. Louis Cardinals play the San Francisco Giants at Candlestick Park! Mother had arrived to help us and we left Melany with her and we went to the ball game! Guess I was feeling better! So all that to say..."HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Nathan!" We went over to their house for cake and ice cream this evening. Then Nathan, Kathy and I went upstairs to get some more baby birdie pictures...this time I was using my new point-and-shoot camera and Nathan ended up getting a good movie of the mommy bird feeding her babies. Nathan climbed up on Graham's top bunk and used my camera...that is the movie clip that I am attempting to send over to them via email...but without success...think that my computer is spinning its wheels...it hasn't gotten used to the new things that I added to it yesterday!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Full House!

Birdies are getting much bigger and there is hardly room for the four of them in the nest...definitely not much room for mama bird to sit on top of them! I took this through the screen opening that Graham created...definitely better color where there is no screen!

We have had a busy day. Woody went for a walk early this morning. Then he spent quite a bit of time in the gardens weeding and mulching. He also spent time with Elijah this morning...Elijah even talked to me on the phone when I called home from the library. Elijah is getting so big...he is in the midst of potty training! I went to the library this morning and started wiping/washing off the individual shelves for the library shelving...VERY dirty! Things are looking great in there. At a point I came home for a quick bite to eat and then went back for a little while to do a little more. Then I came home and made Shrimp Creole...the shrimp had thawed and it was time to make it...it was an effort to do it after working a good part of the day down at the church...but the effort was worth it...very tasty! Woody went to his Experiencing God class this evening. I had ordered a point-and-shoot digital camera and it arrived today...one that will slip into my purse or pocket so I will have a camera when it isn't convenient to take the larger one. I have been downloading software and it took a while...reason that I was a bit later posting tonight. Woody is downstairs reading and watching TV...and he says that he can't multitask!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Phase 2...COMPLETE!!!!!!!!

Carpet in the library is in and phase 3 has begun...painting. I went to the library this morning to check out the progress on the carpet and they were out cutting it...so not long after that they were coming in with it and then putting it down. Woody and I stopped back this afternoon to see the carpet in place...and phase 3 had already begun...painting the walls...new blinds were out in the hall too! I also went into the sanctuary to take a picture of all the books on the pews...not an easy picture to get...but I think that the picture gets the idea across...all the pews that you can see have books in them. Tomorrow phase 3 will continue...getting things prepared to have things brought back into the library. Then Thursday we will get things back in. I'm tired just thinking about it!

Woody and I both did some weeding today...everything is damp due to the rains that we have had the last couple of days...plus the cooler temps made it nice to work in the gardens for a while. It was a bit cool today...only got into the low 50's. Funny that I took all my warmer clothes out of my closet this past Saturday...ever since I have been having to go to the other closet to get out warm things to wear! After lunch, was an afternoon of meetings and errands...we managed to go six places in two hours and have a meeting. Then when we got home we ran another errand with Nathan. So the afternoon was busy. Woody left a while ago to walk to church for his time in the prayer room. And, now I'm heading down to watch Dancing With the Stars! Oh, I did finish my book last night...one of our errands was to return it because it was due today.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Phase 1...COMPLETE!!!!!!!!!!!

The library is empty...awaiting new carpet in the morning. I was overwhelmed when Woody and I got to church this morning. Almost all the large furniture was already out...our very special "jacks-of-all-trades" who work at our church had already been at work...thanks, Otis and Johnny! The next thing that overwhelmed me was the number of volunteers who turned out to help us...it took a bit to get everyone on the same track...but once they saw the mission...it was onward ho!!!!!!!! Once an area was cleared then Johnny started ripping up the carpet. We didn't have enough carts for everyone...so then the books went out by the armfuls. We put all the boxes, shelving, etc. out in the hallways...and the books now have a seat on the pews in the sanctuary. I had helpers helping to direct getting the books in the correct order on the pews...very easy to reverse the order of the books when moving them! Folk were amazed at how many pews it took to put them on...one half of the sanctuary seating now has books on it! I don't think that most realize how many volumes we have on our shelves! This is giving a visual as just how many! We were through between 10 and 10:30am. Woody helped direct inside the library (that's what the library director's husband gets to do!) and I sort of ran around trying to direct in other areas!

We were home by 11am after leaving the house a little before 8am. We had Caprese salads for lunch...slices of fresh tomatoes, cucumber and fresh mozzarella cheese with homegrown basil sprinkled over that and then drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar reduction. We had that a couple of weeks ago right after we came back from Maryland...tasted almost as good as the first time! After lunch, Woody and I both settled in for a reading session. We are both attempting to finish books. Mine is due tomorrow and most of the times lately that I have sat down to read I have dozed off...but today I managed to stay awake and have made good progress. I think that I may be able to get it finished by tomorrow evening. Woody just has a few pages left in his book. Nathan and Kathy invited us for supper tonight to try out a new recipe that they made when they did their once-a-month cooking last week. It was vegetable lasagna...very good! Good cooks, neighbors! Woody is at Monday night prayer meeting and I'm about to go back to reading my book and watching Dancing With the Stars at the same time! Let's see if I can multi-task those two! The TV reception is going in and out so there probably won't be much to watch anyway!

Sunday, May 15, 2011


Today was baby/child dedication at our church. Elijah missed the dedication day last year because he and his family were on the road for their ministry. I think that Nathan found that it is harder to stand up there with an almost two-year-old...Elijah got rather squirmy! Woody and I went to the 8:30am service and then to Sunday School. Woody taught his class. After Sunday School we went back to church for the dedication part of the 11am service. Woody and I sat up in the balcony so I could take pictures. After the dedication, Woody and I slipped out and went back into the church so I could unlock a couple of doors so the tech person could get in to unhook the library computers. Then we headed home. We ate lunch. Then I decided that I would make muffins to take in the morning...thought that the work crew might need something to keep up their strength! This afternoon, Woody read and watched a library DVD and a bit of basketball on TV, and helped me keep up with the mess in the kitchen. After my muffin marathon, I tried to do a bit of reading...trying to get through this 7-day loan book...but had trouble staying awake whenever I sat still for any length of time! I did manage to read a little while Woody was at the evening church service. Tomorrow is the big day that we prepared for all last week...something that has been in the works for a while...getting ready for new carpet in the church library...lots of moving going to go on tomorrow!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Fun! Fun! Fun! Fun!

Fun, fun, fun, fun is what you get when you combine friends, family, food, and festivities! We were invited by dear friends to participate in First Choice Pregnancy Counseling Center's Sixth Annual Fish Fry and Auction near Shelbyville, TN. And, as can be seen, fun was had by all. The food was great and the family and friends even better! The weather was a tad bit chilly, breezy, and overcast and a few rain drops fell, but it didn't dampen the overall festive spirit of all who were participating...a lot of folk! The children enjoyed face painting, zip-lining, bubble blowing, bouncing, and riding a pony or two.

This morning Woody read and took advantage of the overnight rain and did some more weeding. He and Joy went to the library and ran a couple of errands. Graham came over and built with K'nex. Abigail came over a little after Graham and Joy and helped me for a while and then she decided to do some art projects. When Joy got back she decided to join Abigail and did a couple of art projects and then did some school work...funny their school year ended yesterday and now today they were doing school on their own just for fun! My job of the morning was to change my closet from winter clothes to spring/summer clothes...I'm probably the reason that the day turned so chilly! It had been right around 90F earlier this week and today it only made it into the lower 60's. Weather can't make up its mind at the moment! We'll be wishing for these cooler days before long!
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Friday, May 13, 2011

Enough is ENOUGH!!!!!!!

There are cicadas everywhere in every shape and form in the phases of their lives...not a pretty sight whatever stage/phase! AND, there are so many that they are attaching onto about every plant that we have...the above is nothing. Some of the plants have lots and lots on them. About the last straw happened yesterday morning when I went out to our front flower garden...one of the cicadas attached itself to my leg...not for long! Later when I went to the church and walked through a covered area on my way in, there were cicadas all over and they were flying everywhere (I didn't realize this before I chose my path!)...and one hit me in the head. I'm not liking this "year of the cicada." I don't ever remember them being this bad before. The above pictures are of the light pole that is at the corner of our front flower garden...there are dozens and dozens (I think that I'm understating!) climbing or crawling out of their skins, or their shed skins stuck to the pole. At the base of the pole are dozens and dozens of the shells and a live one or two. Graham, Abigail, Joy, Esther, and Elijah have quite a collection of the shells in a container.

Woody got up early this morning and walked to Kroger and back...about eight miles total. Then he attacked the tomato/green pepper garden trying to get as much weeding and mulching as he could get done before it rained. It didn't rain on him till a little after noon and then it only sprinkled for a little while. We haven't gotten much rain out of this latest system. After he came in from the garden, we went to the church library to pack up the last things and finish organizing for Monday. I "say" that we are ready to undertake the big exodus from the library on Monday morning. After we finished at the library, we headed to do our weekly grocery shopping...Woody gave me a compliment when he told me that I was almost as much help as Joy is when she comes with him...we both push the cart! We came home and put away the groceries and then rested for a bit. Then Woody headed out the door for a youth Sunday School worker cookout/planning meeting. He is still there. A little while ago I got an invitation to go next door for Joy's graduation from kindergarten. I can't believe that already three of their five are finished with kindergarten (that means that we only have two preschoolers left out of our seven grandchildren)! Congratulations to Joy!

Looks like Blogspot has fixed whatever they were fixing and the post of two days ago is back and I was able to finally blog late this morning for yesterday. I had one phone call from a blog follower concerned that something was wrong since I hadn't blogged! We appreciate all our faithful followers!
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Thursday, May 12, 2011

Blogspot.com has been down for maintenance so I didn't get to blog yesterday (Thursday) and Wednesday's has disappeared for the moment...Blogspot said that they had to remove all of Wednesday's posts and that they were putting them back...but not so at the present.

We had another busy day. I left Woody at home to weed and I met up with another library worker and we tried to get organized for Monday...hopefully! I came home to cook our supper a little before noon...a New England boiled dinner (corned beef, potatoes, carrots, onions, and cabbage). That cooked for most of the afternoon. Then in the evening we went over and babysat so Nathan and Kathy could have a date night. I sat in Nathan and Kathy's front yard with my camera on a tripod to get this picture. It was cute to see the little heads pop up. They have four baby birds...one didn't make it. Note the rectangle cut in the screen...Graham decided that he couldn't see the birds in the right color so he cut a little window! He didn't get into trouble because there was already a hole in the screen! And, Graham's mommy is taking pictures through the "window" in the screen!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Busy Wednesday

I started to title tonight's blog..."take time to smell the sweet peas!" I just love sweet peas and I have never been successful in growing them. One of my dear friend's (a loyal blog follower's) mother used to grow the most wonderful sweetpeas. I always think of her when I see and smell them. I took the picture of these when I was in AZ on the day that we went on Julianna's field trip to "the farm." Just looking at the picture brings to mind their sweet smell.

Woody weeded and mulched his tomato and green pepper garden this morning until I pulled him away to go to the library again. We worked in the library till after noon. We came home and had lunch. Graham came over to work some more on his roller coaster. Abigail made her way over with a pair of Nathan's shorts that needed a button sewn...so we had a refresher course in sewing on buttons...she was sure that sewing on a four-hole button was much different than sewing on a two-hole button which I used the other day to show her how. Woody went out to mow for a while. He came back in when I went back to the library around 4pm. I worked in the library till 7:30pm or so. Woody went to church at 6pm for his Experiencing God class. When we both got home we had a quick/light supper. The library is all topsy-turvy...guess that is a good sign that things are getting ready to be moved...maybe there is a light at the end of the tunnel...that makes me think that preliminary things that have to be done prior to Monday are getting done.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Take Time to Smell the Roses!

Today has been what seems like an extra busy day...but this evening I managed to take time to stop and smell the roses...well, water the gardens!

Woody worked out in the yard this morning until I was ready to head to the church library. We worked on throwing away and packing up things so we will be able to get them our as easily as possible come Monday morning. Woody came up with a plan today for the way to keep the books on the shelves organized and in order to be put back in...one of the major things about a library move...don't get the books on the shelves out of order! We worked today close to four hours. We were joined by another library worker and we all worked hard. We came home and had lunch. While we were eating lunch, Graham came in to work on the K'nex roller coaster that he is working on at the moment. Woody went out and did some more weeding in the tomato/green pepper garden. I read for a little while as I was called this morning by the public library to pick up a book that I had requested. Not the best week to have a book that needs to be read in a week...especially one that is over 400 pages long...but I will give it my best try...if I don't get it finished I'll write down the page number that I get to and turn it in and get back on the request list for it. I sat on the front porch with a glass of ice water and my book and my camera for a while this afternoon. It has been a hot day today...upper 80's if not hotter. This evening I have deadheaded flowers and watered the flower garden. Elijah came over and helped me hold the hose! While I was out working on the flower gardens, Woody headed off for his walk to the church for his time in the prayer room.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Feed Me!

Kathy managed to get one of the little birds with its mouth opened wide (I stole the picture from her Facebook pictures...thanks, Kathy!) Today there is another little robin trying to make its way out into the world. This one hasn't hatched as quickly as the others.

Woody and I headed out to the church library around 8:30am. We're trying to get a handle on things that are going to have to be moved out next Monday. The library is going to get new carpet and EVERYTHING has to be moved out. We packed up a lot of stuff...and threw away more than we packed up. We spent around three hours there...I guess we made some progress. We came home and made a salad from a new recipe...Caprece Salad...very yummy...tomatoes, cucumbers, fresh mozzarella cheese and fresh basil drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar reduction. After lunch, Kathy called to say that the mommy bird was away from her nest and that a new little one was trying to peck its way out of the shell. I came back with Abigail. She read to me a story about honey bees...a really long story...told lots of facts and I got out my Walt Disney "Secrets of Life" book from my childhood and showed her pictures of bees that is in the chapter about bees. Graham came over while she was reading and worked on the K'nex roller coaster that he is making. Joy came over for a while and we went outside and discovered a LOT of cicada shells...so she and Graham started running all over the yard on a hunt for them and putting them in a pail. They found a LOT. We had dinner over at Nathan and Kathy's. Woody has gone to Monday night prayer meeting at church.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day 2011

Great excitement at our neighbors (Nathan and Kathy and family) this morning...one of the robin's eggs hatched and then later in the day another hatched. This poor mama bird (really a silly mama to have chosen this spot) built her nest on the window ledge outside of Graham and Elijah's room...well, it is of great interest to all the children...and each time that one of them peeks out mama bird flies away. I was beginning to wonder if the eggs were going to get enough time with her sitting on them to hatch! I'm afraid that mama bird will need psychiatric help by the time that she finishes raising this brood! There are still three eggs to hatch.

It has been a very nice...very quiet day. Woody and I went to the 8:30am church service. Then we both went to Sunday School where we both taught our classes. We came home and fixed an easy but very good lunch...Maryland style crab cakes (Woody happened upon these at the grocery store yesterday) and broccoli and asparagus and then watermelon for dessert. After lunch Woody went on a walk and I came up to my sewing room. I had plans to do some machine embroidery. I had a bit of a problem with my first effort...but I refined the way I was doing it and the second effort is coming out well...so guess that it was operator error that caused the problems with my first effort! Woody went to church this evening and has just returned. While he (and the neighbors) were at church, I went next door and attempted to take pictures of the baby birds. It was hard to get them due to the glare on the glass and to the screen...but I think that you can get an idea of how ugly these little babies are at the moment. It will be great fun for the grandchildren to watch as the babies get feathers and then learn to fly and eventually leave the nest. I have talked to Melany and my sister today and have seen Nathan and most of his family...strange not to be able to call and wish my mother a Happy Mother's Day.
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Saturday, May 7, 2011


Here's a sampling of the pictures that I took yesterday when we drove through the VA countryside...away from interstate traffic.

Today, I guess we have been once again settling back into a routine. Woody got up early read for a while and then went to WalMart, Kroger, and the Credit Union before most folk are up and going on a Saturday morning. I slept in and woke up cold...I'm wondering what winter this is...blackberry? I talked to Melany for a while on the phone...they are planning a 20th anniversary (can it really be?) trip and were checking about our availability for Erin and Alex to come here while they are gone. Woody went to the library and then stopped on his way home at the fruit and veggie market for fresh tomatoes. Kathy and Nathan were having a yardsale so Elijah came over and played for a while. I remembered my sewing machine and was able to go pick it up before they closed. I have sewn a little this afternoon. Late this afternoon, Woody and I decided to go on a walk. When we went outside, Elijah spotted us so we decided to take him with us on our walk. We got his stroller and off we went. He is talking so much more now...starting to make sentences...so fun to hear him repeat just about everything that he hears. He had fun looking at flowers, cars and trucks, squirrels, robins, and dogs, and looking to see if there was water in the ditches. Woody has worked in the yard some today. I deadheaded flowers and did some watering of the plants that we put out several weeks ago. When we get home from trips like this, I just seem to spin my wheels for a while...by the time that I am really back in routine...it seems that it is time to go somewhere again!
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Friday, May 6, 2011

Sighting of the Day!

On our trip home today we veered off the path a bit and got off the interstate for quite a few miles and rode through some absolutely beautiful Virginia countryside. Looked down into unbelievable valleys and...saw quite a bit of wildlife. Woody said to report that I missed two deer, two chipmunks, and two groundhogs...but I'm pretty pleased with capturing a new bird for us...an indigo bunting. There was a bird and wildlife trail very near where Woody spotted this indigo bunting...next time we plan to walk the trail and see what else we might spot. We had a very pleasant ride home and enjoyed our time off the beaten path (the interstate). Virginia is a beautiful state...that we need to explore further...one of these days. It is good to be home...once again!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

National Day of Prayer/Cinco De Mayo Again!

Last year we were at NIH on Cinco de Mayo and the National Day of Prayer (last year they weren't on the same day). Woody had the first melanoma tumor removed last year on the National Day of Prayer. National Day of prayer this year (today) he was meeting with his research team to find out how his TIL (Tumor Infiltrating Leukocytes) cells are doing...whether they continue to destroy the melanoma in his body. AND...drum roll...they do continue to do what they are supposed to be doing! At this point, since last August when the procedure was done, the tumors that they are measuring continue to shrink. The doctor said that over all they have shrunk 45%!!!!!!!!! (Two months ago...it was 35-40%) The spot of melanoma in his liver is gone...as is a spot in his lung (which we guess now probably was melanoma since it has disappeared). We and the doctors are very, very pleased with the fact that "things" are still shrinking! Giving God the glory! LOTS has happened since last May 5th and 6th.

We stopped for the night in Troutville, VA, after a very long day that consisted mostly of waiting. We got to NIH at 10am. We put in the voucher request and then it was wait for the 1:00 clinic appointment. Woody read and I played around with settings on my camera. We went up to sign in for the clinic appointment at 11:45. And then sat, and sat, and sat, and sat. Woody ended up being the next to the last patient to be called back...and supposedly they call you in the order you sign in and we were about the third ones in the waiting room...unless all the others came in and signed in and then went for lunch or something. Anyway...we didn't get away from the clinic till 4pm. One nice event that happened during our wait was that we saw one of Woody's nurses from his three-week stay for TIL last summer. She is now one of the research nurses. Since it was so late and we wanted to get underway on the first leg of our trip home, they will be mailing him his antibiotic that he will continue to take...he's been taking an antibiotic three times a week since last August.

The clinic time lasting so long threw us into the midst of rush hour traffic on the Beltway...as Woody just said, no one was rushing, though! You can see that fact by the picture tonight. Tomorrow...the good Lord willin' I will be blogging from home.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Beautiful End to a Long Day!

As I went to close the curtains in our room this evening...the above sight bade me to find my camera...a beautiful sunset to end our day!

We got to NIH at 7:30am and left around 2pm. Woody headed first to the lab and he was called back rather quickly and it didn't take too long for them to collect 11 vials of blood. Then we headed upstairs to see if any of "his" nurses were around (when he left last year they told him to check back in...they like to know how their patients are doing months after their treatments.). We saw a couple of them, but they were busy so we found a quiet place with comfy chairs and Woody worked on a crossword puzzle and I read. As we were heading to his next appointment, we walked back through the cancer unit and again all his nurses were busy. We got him signed in a wee bit early for him to get his CT contrast and amazingly enough they gave him his contrast to drink a bit early. This time they changed what he had to drink...it was clear and was "water" flavor...supposedly...but with a bit of an after taste according to the person who gave it to him. He had to drink 1/3 of it then wait 10 minutes and drink another 1/3 and then take the rest of it back with him and drink it just prior to his CT scans. That all went very quickly and he was finished with the CT 10 min. after his appointment time. So at that point he was very much on schedule...as a matter of fact a bit ahead of schedule. We sat in that waiting room and read for a while and then headed to the MRI waiting room...at 11am for his 11:30am appointment. They told us that we could go eat as they were very behind...but Woody didn't want to parade around in his paper outfit so we sat there. They finally took him back around 12:15pm and he came out at 1:40pm! That was a long wait. We did stop and got a bowl of soup at Au Bon Pain...then we headed out. We stopped at our favorite speciality grocery store and bought a salad dressing that Woody has become very fond of...a raspberry zero calorie dressing. Then we headed to Giant Foods and bought some whole wheat pasta that we can't get at home. Then we went back to the hotel. I ended up taking a nap...the day had tired me out. But Woody said that it hadn't worn him out as about all he had done was lie around! Woody invited me out for dinner...so after my nap we headed out again. We went to a little Italian restaurant, Geppetto's...real wooden puppets adorned a glass display case on one wall. We both enjoyed our dinner. We are now back at the hotel settling in for the night. We'll get up in the morning and pack up and head over to NIH. Tomorrow we go to the voucher office and then wait around till the docs show up after lunch for our clinic time with them. As soon as we see them, we will head out toward Tullahoma. So tomorrow night...the good Lord willin' I'll be blogging somewhere between MD and Tullahoma.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Safe and Sound!

It took us 12 hours...almost an hour of that was in stop and go traffic for the last six or seven miles. We added 22 miles onto our trip as we went by way of Chattanooga today. Woody was trying to avoid the rain. The rain started just as we got up this morning...about the time we got on interstate 24 heading to Chattanooga it stopped and we drove on dry roads the rest of the way. On our way to Chattanooga we did see a couple of areas that had tornado damage due to one of last Wednesday's tornadoes. Tonight's blog pictures were taken in VA...again more tornado damage...I assume that happened in that 24 hour period of the terrible tornado outbreak. I had to shoot through Woody's window so it was a bit hard to get a good picture, plus Woody had to awaken me from one of my many naps of the day to show me the tornado damage...so it took me a minute to grab the camera and shoot a couple of pictures before we had driven by. These pictures were taken near Abingdon, VA.

Tomorrow his first appointment is at 9:20am and his last is at 11:30am...so perhaps we will have a free afternoon. We do have to be at NIH an hour or so before the first appointment for him to have lab work. He can't eat anything four hours prior to his 9:20 appt. So tomorrow morning will be filled with waiting and scans and MRI's.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Should Be Packing!

Tonight's picture shows why this is called a "Wishbone Flower." The stamen grow in a wishbone shape.

Woody got up early this morning and went for a six-mile walk...trying to get his walk in before the rain...it hasn't rained yet! When he got back from his walk he woke me up rattling pills...he was getting his week's supply out for the trip. I rolled over and went back to sleep for another hour! Then I got up and started gathering things for packing...but never got very far...kept getting distracted by one thing or another. Woody has done some yard work...mainly weeding and then he washed the car since the rain never came to do the job for him! After lunch, Woody and I went to run errands. We dropped my sewing machine off as the parts that had been ordered for it had come in and they plan to install them while I am gone. Then we headed off to the Credit Union to make a couple of deposits. Then a quick run to WalMart to get me some liquid tears eye drops. We stopped at Penney's on the way home to buy Woody a pair of khakis. Then came on home. I remembered about a half an hour ago that we forgot to stop at the drugstore to pick up the prescriptions that I had phoned in this morning. It will be ok...as I have enough of most of my meds and it won't hurt to miss a day of the one that I will run out of...I'll try to remember to have Woody stop at the pharmacy as we get back into town on Friday. We ate supper over at Nathan and Kathy's tonight...spaghetti and homemade fettuccine noodles. Good cooks! Woody has just returned from Monday night prayer meeting.

Woody was good and got everything out this morning that he wanted me to pack. And, I am just now putting things into the suitcase. We hope to hit the road dark and early...hoping that we won't have too much rain...but predictions along our route say "rain and thunderstorms." The good Lord willin' I'll be blogging from Bethesda, MD tomorrow night.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

May Day 2011

We headed off to church this morning just after a short rain shower. We went to the 8:30 service and then to Sunday School. Woody taught his boys class. We came home and fixed lunch and then after lunch we went on a walk. We walked over to the pond that is just off one our walking routes. We heard these geese before we saw them. I was hoping to capture them in a picture before we scared them away. I was pretty tired by the time that we got back from our walk, so I took a nap in the recliner in our bedroom. While I was sleeping Joy and Esther came over (I vaguely heard them as I was dozing off.) and played downstairs for a while with Goosey. Woody later went outside and vacuumed out the car for our trip on Tuesday (It's supposed to rain tomorrow so this was the day to get it done if it was going to be done.) Woody walked down the street and met a new family who had moved into our neighborhood. After I woke up I read for a while. Woody watched some TV and read later in the afternoon. He is now at the evening church service. I'm starting to think about gearing up to pack...tomorrow's main task as we will be leaving dark and early on Tuesday! The good Lord willin'.

As an aside...a year ago we were also getting ready to head to NIH...going there for surgery to remove the first tumor...my how much has happened in a year!!!!!!! AND...how much BETTER Woody is feeling now than a year ago!!!!!!! We're praising God for all He has done in that year!