Thursday, December 21, 2017

Winter Bucket List 2018

Autumn is over and winter is upon us. Warm days and cool, crisp nights have given way to colder temperatures and the possibility of snow is in the forecast. I have been thinking about some of the things that I'd like to experience and accomplish over the winter months ahead. I know that, in reality, I probably won't get to all of them, but having a list will certainly help me to focus on the season and remind me to enjoy it to the fullest! 

“While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease" (Genesis 8:22).

My Winter Bucket List 2018

1. Write my winter bucket list
2. Plan my winter menus (have done this week by week and may be viewed in my weekly 'Happy Homemaker Monday' posts)
3. Celebrate the Christmas season with family and friends

Our Christmas Tree 2018
4. Ring in the New Year with family and friends
5. Attend winter interpretive training (decided not to go this year as classes were irrelevant to my job position)
6. Celebrate Burns Night
7. Invite family and friends for soup and bread
8. Celebrate Valentine's Day 
9. Celebrate John and I's 30th wedding anniversary (The girls planned a surprise anniversary party for us and, even though we had had an ice storm AND a new granddaughter born during the night before, it turned out absolutely lovely! 💗)

John and I at Our 30th Wedding Anniversary Party
10. Taste a snowflake on my tongue 
11. Drink hot cocoa
12. Make peanut butter pinecones for the birds
13. Play in the snow

Taken at Gayfeather Trailhead at Prairie State Park
Winter of 2018
14. Celebrate winter birthdays with the grandlittles

15. Build a snowman with treats for the birds (never got enough snow to really build a snowman)
16. Plan and complete winter programs at work -

      A) Birds of a Feather (Library)

Making Peanut Butter Pinecone Bird Feeders
      B) Winter Wildflowers (Public)

Winter Wildflowers
          C) Owl Pellets (Library)

Dissecting Owl Pellets
      D) Wild Dogs of the Prairie (HS)

Supplies to Make Plaster-Cast
Footprints of Coyote and Fox
17. Make snow ice cream (never got enough snow to pull this one off either)
19. Make chili
20. Watch the winter birds at the feeders
21. Drink hot tea
22. View frosty-breathed bison with snow on their backs
23. Take a winter hike
24. Enjoy a full moon on a snowy night
25. Hold baby shower for d-i-l
26. Throw a snowball
27. Break icicles off the edge of the roof
28. Finish current unit in Rhema
29. Start going through totes in storage (didn't happen, but spring's on its way!) 
30. Celebrate St. Patrick's Day with family and friends

That's what's on my winter bucket list. What's on yours? 

Until next time...

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Autumn Bucket List Update -'s the last day of autumn and that means that it's time to update and see how I did at fulfilling my plans for the autumn of 2017. 

“While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease" (Genesis 8:22).

My Autumn Bucket List 2017

1. Write my autumn bucket list
2. Plan my fall menus
3. Visit the 42nd Annual Missouri Town 1855 Arts, Crafts, and Music Festival with my cousin, Sara

Sara and I at Missouri Town 1855's Annual Fall Festival
4. Visit Burr Oak Woods and hike the Bethany Falls Trail

I actually pulled this one off twice this year! Once with
my two daughters and the grandlittles...

...and a second time with my beautiful friend from
Brazil. It was a real treat both times! 
5. Make a batch of Pumpkin Streusel Muffins 

Pumpkin Streusel Muffins
6. Do a good old-fashioned fall cleaning before the holidays arrive
7. Make a batch of Mini Baked Pumpkin Cake Doughnuts

Mini Baked Pumpkin Cake Doughnuts
8. Celebrate National Bison Day at Prairie State Park

Celebrating National Bison Day @ Prairie State Park
Note: This is NOT a live animal. Never ever approach a live bison.
They weigh 2,000 lbs and run 35 mph. You can't outrun them!

9. Hike all six trails at Prairie State Park to experience the tall grasses at their peak:

        a) Drovers
        b) Gayfeather
        c) Path of the Sky People
        d) Path of the Earth People
        e) Coyote
        f) Sandstone

Do a leaf rubbing
11. Celebrate autumn birthdays with the grandlittles
12. Make my own pumpkin spice coffee creamer to use in tea
13. Visit a pumpkin patch and find the largest pumpkin possible

We visited the pumpkin patch at the Louisburg Cider Mill
with our daughter and son-in-law and their five children. Here
the grandlittles are in front of the pumpkin patch sign.

I think that Miss Mercy gets the grand prize for
finding the largest pumpkin.
14. Purchase some mums

Found these HUGE potted mums at a garden center in
early October for half off! I bought to give
away and one to keep. We planted ours not too long after
purchasing. I noticed the other day that there are still
have straggling blooms here and there on mine. 
15. Visit a corn maze

We actually pulled this one off twice this year, too! We  went
through the corn maze at Louisburg Cider Mill the first time around.

Then went through Pathways Corn Maze the second time.

The whole clan (or most of it anyway) joined us at Pathways and we
had a great time! The corn was much taller here than at Louisburg.

16. Plan and complete autumn programs at work -

      A) Fun With Fungi (HS)

Here the children were working on their
notebooks about mushrooms.
      B) Spider Web Wonders (Library)

This little girl proudly displays the pretzel and icing spider web that she made.

      C) Terrific Turkeys (HS)

A turkey feather and a real turkey egg.

      D) Terrific Turkeys (Library)

The children not only enjoyed learning about turkeys,
but getting their picture taken by the mounted turkey
lent to us by the Missouri Department of Conservation.
17. Go camping with my husband
18. Build a bonfire
Family and friends joined us for a backyard bonfire.
19. Carve a pumpkin

The Pumpkin That I Carved
20. Visit the Louisburg Cider Mill

That there is a whole lotta apples!!! 😲
21. Bake a pumpkin pie
22. Go on a hayride

We actually got in on three hay rides this year. The first one
was at the Louisburg Cider Mill, the second one was at Missouri Town 1855,
and the third one was at the Pathways Corn Maze.
Our family pretty much filled up the wagon on this ride!
23. Drink apple cider
24. Study cattails
25. Enjoy a juicy red apple
26. Pick up pecans from the trees growing in our backyard
28. Lead an impromptu hike on a very frosty morning and observe frost flowers in the field

All these folks turned out after being notified pretty
much last minute after discovering that proper weather
 conditions for frost flowers was on its way.

They were not disappointed!
29. Prepare a Native American meal for my cousin, Dave
30. Celebrate Thanksgiving with family and friends

We had a lovely Thanksgiving with friends and family
at our youngest daughter and son-in-law's!

Welp...that's it! I didn't get to everything on my list, but I did get to most of it...and that made for a lot of sweet memories!

Until next time...

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Nathan Andrew - 12/19/82

I first shared this post back in 2011. I have published it several times since, updating the number of years since it happened each time. For those that have been around a while, my apologies. You're probably sick of reading it, but, for me, it's all I, yes, I am sharing the story again.

It was 35 years ago at this very time that Nathan Andrew was born. Something had been wrong for a very long time. I had been bleeding off and on since my second month of times very heavily.

On the 18th of December I was out Christmas shopping with my mother, my aunt, my 1 1/2-year-old daughter, and my three little cousins. All of a sudden I went into labor. My aunt took my daughter home with her and her children, and my mother rushed me to the hospital. Next thing I knew I was being strapped to a gurney and was being shipped by ambulance to a bigger that was attached by a walkway to Children's Mercy in Kansas City. Even though I had been given a lot of medication and was pretty much out of it, I could hear the doctors and nurses talking. If they didn't get me to the other, better equipped hospital soon, they were going to lose me AND the baby. It was one of the most frightening experiences I've ever had. All I could think about was what would happen to my little daughter at home if I died.

I arrived at the other hospital in record time and was immediately surrounded by all sorts of doctors and nurses. I was plugged into every kind of equipment they had...which wasn't nearly as good as the equipment that they have now, but, at the time, it was state-of-the-art. Immediately, the head doctor wanted to know who my doctor was and how long I had been bleeding. She said that the placenta had torn away from the uterus wall and that this baby should have been "taken" months ago. What was she talking about? I would never have allowed my baby to be "taken!"

Long story short...27 hours of intense labor later (I had been given every kind of pain medicine available and nothing seemed to be helping) Nathan Andrew was the hallway on the way to delivery. He was immediately rushed across the walkway to Children's Mercy and I was taken on into delivery where a DNC was performed. A few hours later the doctor came into my room with a nurse who was carrying my baby. Nathan had fought hard and lived for two hours, but his lungs were just too little. Now days they probably could have saved him, but, back then...there was nothing they could do. There was just nothing that they could do. 😢

Nathan was perfectly formed. He had long, black hair, perfectly formed features, perfect, tiny, little fingers and fingernails...toes and toenails...on the outside he was just that...perfect! Tiny, yes (he was 10 inches long and he only weighed a pound)! But still...perfect.

Not having money for a funeral left me with few choices. I would not be allowed to leave the hospital without signing papers for Nathan's body to, either, be donated to scientific research, or be cremated in the hospital crematory. Not wanting to do either I chose the lesser of the two evils...the hospital crematory. To this day I regret that, but I don't know what else I could have done under the circumstances. It still hurts me beyond anything that I could ever express and there's never been anywhere to mourn Nathan's loss. I came home on Christmas Eve with two very blurry pictures, a set of tiny footprints on a piece of paper, and a poem that the hospital chaplain had given me.

I've never written about all this before, but, tonight, I felt a need to do so. Perhaps there is someone else out there who has been through a similar experience...someone who needs a word of encouragement. Even though all that I went through was, and still is, very sad...there are two things that have ministered to me over the years since Nathan's death...

#1 - The poem that the chaplain shared with me. It was entitled FOOTPRINTS IN THE SAND, and I had never read it until the night that she gave it to me there in the hospital. It is still very special to me.

#2 - There's a verse of scripture that the Lord gave to me many, many years later, and it is still the verse that comes to mind whenever I think of Nathan. The verse is found in Psalm 30...verse 5...and it says, "...weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning." I know beyond the shadow of any doubt that Nathan is with Jesus and that someday I will see him again! Not as a premature baby, but as the spirit man that God created him to be!

If you've suffered the loss of a child...whether it be at birth or beyond...know that, if you are a born-again, Bible-believing, follower of Christ, and child of God, then you, too, will see that child again and be reunited with them in days to come!

And as you remember that trial that you've gone through...perhaps you're asking (or have asked), "Why God? Where were You when I was going through all that? Why weren't you there for me?" I leave you now with that beautiful poem that was shared with me by that wonderful, old chaplain so many years ago...


One night a man had a dream. He dreamed He was walking along the beach with the LORD. Across the sky flashed scenes from His life. For each scene He noticed two sets of footprints in the sand. One belonging to Him and the other to the LORD.

When the last scene of His life flashed before Him, he looked back at the footprints in the sand. He noticed that many times along the path of His life there was only one set of footprints. He also noticed that it happened at the very lowest and saddest times of His life.

This really bothered Him and He questioned the LORD about it. LORD you said that once I decided to follow you, you'd walk with me all the way. But I have noticed that during the most troublesome times in my life there is only one set of footprints. I don't understand why when I needed you most you would leave me.

The LORD replied, my precious, precious child, I Love you and I would never leave you! During your times of trial and suffering when you see only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you.

Until next time...

Recent posts that you might be interested in reading...

Monday, December 18, 2017

Happy Homemaker Monday - December 18, 2017

Today I'm joining Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom
and all the sweet ladies of 
Happy Homemaking Monday!
Greetings, Sweet Ladies!

Here it is...the final Monday before Christmas! I pray that this post finds you and yours well and joyfully anticipating the celebration of Christ's birth. As we move through the week, day by day, my prayer is that the worldly, superficial, and mundane will fade away, and that the true meaning of Christmas will come shining forth abundantly in every area of our lives. May the wonder of Christmas be shed abroad in our hearts, filling them to the full, and overflowing into rivers of life that will carry us into the New Year and beyond. Amen!

Let's get straight to this week...shall we?

Right now I am...

Finishing up my breakfast, having a cup of tea, and listening to the dryer as it finishes up the last load of laundry. 👚

On the breakfast plate...

Chocolate chip/oat bran muffins that my dh made and hot tea 

The weather...

Cloudy, windy, and 45 degrees. The high today is supposed to be 56 and the ten-day shows highs in the 50's and 60's with lows in the 40's through Friday. After that there will be a drop in temperatures with highs in the 30's and lows in the teens and 20's. There's a chance of snow on Christmas Eve. ⛄

On my reading pile...

It's slow going but I continue to make progress in all of them.
Stress, Anxiety, & Depression by Kenneth and Gloria Copeland.
 I've had it for a long time, but never really looked at it. With the
health issues I've been battling I decided that enough was enough and that
it was time to tackle it based on the Word of God. This Lifeline package
is an action book. It's a workbook that includes morning and 
evening readings, journaling and note-taking areas, a music CD, a DVD 
of daily teaching applications, a scripture CD, and action cards that 
you can tear out and carry with you. I'm on Day 3 of 10 and am already
getting a handle on the stress that has assailed me for months (years). I am very thankful!
And, by the way, I got the product free through Kenneth and Gloria's site. They
are running stuff for free on their site all the time just for the asking. Check it out.

We did switch gears on our Advent reading. The other
book was okay, but it just wasn't cutting it. With just John and I,
we wanted something a little more meaty, so we went back to
The Greatest Gift by Ann Voskamp. We've went through it
several times, but, somehow, it remains fresh and new with each new

reading. Every time I end up being blown away by the depth and insight and
end up bawling through almost every single chapter. Ann is amazing!
On the menu this week...

- Monday - potato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches
- Tuesday - Christmas party at work - potluck
- Wednesday - homemade pizza
- Thursday - roasted chicken, brown rice, and asperagus
- Friday - salmon, baked potatoes, and brussel sprouts
- Saturday - turkey Italian sausage, roasted potato wedges, and sauteed green peppers
- Sunday - Christmas Eve lasagna, homemade French bread, and cannoli

On my 'to-do' list...

- Monday - plan week ahead, make lists, do weekly "home blessing", laundryfinal shopping before Christmas, doctor appointment
- Tuesday - tea and lunch with two oldest granddaughters (one is mine; the other inherited...both are much loved), Christmas potluck at work
- Wednesday - breakfast out with oldest daughter-in-law, "Oh, Deer!" library programs
- Thursday - make cannoli shells and filling for Christmas Eve, Christmas get-together with my best friend
- Friday - work
- Saturday - work
- Sunday - church, celebrate Christmas Eve with family and friends

In the craft basket...

Made a "herd" of these candy cane "deer" for the
children who attend this week's library programs.

Looking forward to this week...

Savoring every moment of the last week before Christmas!

From the camera...

My Mother and I - Christmas 1966
Scripture passage...

Well, Ladies, that's it for this week! Have a great week ahead and, since next Monday is Christmas and the following Monday is New Year's Day, in the event that I don't get a chance to post, have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! May many blessings be yours! 

Until next time...

Recent posts that you might enjoy reading...

Christmas Bucket List

Happy Homemaker Monday - December 11, 2017

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Christmas Bucket List 2017

I was inspired by my friend, Laura, at Harvest Lane Cottage, to create a Christmas bucket list. As she says...not a regular to do list, but a list of things that bring me joy. goes!   

My Christmas 2017 Bucket List

1. Write my Christmas bucket list
2. Decorate the house inside and out
3. Work Christmas on the Farm at Watkins Woolen Mill
4. Put up the tree (or should I say "trees"...big one, little one, vintage one, and Jesse tree) 🎄
5. Find and purchase vintage ornaments for Mom's vintage tree
6. Spend family Christmas with all six of our children, their spouses, and the grands
7. Watch Christmas movies
8. Go caroling
9. Attend grandlittle's Christmas play and concert
10. Drive around and look at Christmas lights
11. Drink hot cocoa
12. Eat Christmas fudge
13. Celebrate Advent (wreath, candles, and devotional)
14. Send and receive Christmas cards
15. Wrap Christmas gifts 🎁
16. Have tea and lunch with my two oldest granddaughters (one of them is my granddaughter by birth, the other by default through friendship) 😉
17. Burn holiday scented candles 
18. Have breakfast at Mary's with my oldest daughter-in-law 
19. Make candy cane reindeer
20. Make a special treat and deliver it to the neighbors
21. Spend an evening with the cousins
22. Bake Christmas cookies 🍪
23. Listen to Christmas music
24. Start a gingerbread man collection in my kitchen
25. Sip eggnog
26. Make Christmas cannoli
27. Drink wassail
28. Have Christmas Eve lasagna (it's been a tradition for nearly 30 years!)
29. Read the Christmas story from the Bible (Luke 2:1-20)
30. Spend Christmas Day at home with family and friends

That's what's on my Christmas 2017 bucket list. What's on yours? 

Until next time...