31 October 2007

Happy Halloween!

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I thought I would share some Halloween memories with you! These are Ashley's costumes when she was a wee babe.

The first three pictures are of our Governor's Mansion at Halloween. I thought you would enjoy seeing how much fun they have there!

30 October 2007

29 October 2007

Halloween Memories

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I grew up in a household that loved Halloween about as much as we loved Christmas. We'd start planning our costumes just about when school started. We were very creative and often used things around the house. We didn't have the money to buy store costumes but I remember one time that we did and how we hated the masks and the itchy costume.

One year I was "everything but the kitchen sink". I wore a black sweatshirt and black tights and pinned all kinds of kitchen utensils on me. I think I won my class award for that one. I was also a bunch of grapes once, blowing up purple balloons and pinning them all over.

Tuesday night is the showing of The Great Pumpkin. I LOVE THIS SHOW. I remember my dad making popcorn and letting us have pop even though we'd go to bed right after the show. I don't think I have missed a year of watching it!

Tomorrow is Round 2 of Parent Teacher conferences at my school so I will have to tivo it. I will stay up to watch it, or maybe I will save it for Halloween night. Whatever I decide to do, I will be perfectly contended to sit on the sofa with my sweetie with some popcorn and pop and watch Linus try to convince his friends of the Great Pumpkin.

I can't wait.

28 October 2007

Mom's Potato Soup

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My mother makes a unique potato soup that she and I adore. Every year I must make this soup at least twice.... once in the fall and once in the winter. We both love it with buttered toast but my mom also loves it cold. I would rather reheat mine!

It's easy to make. You need



2-3 baking potatoes peeled and cubed
1 medium onion chopped
6 c whole milk
1 c flour
2 eggs

Place the potatoes and onions in a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook until vegetables are tender. Drain the water, add the milk. Bring to a boil again. While milk is heating, combine the flour and eggs. You will get a sticky dough. Drop teaspoonfuls of dough into the hot milk, repeating until all the dough is used. Cook until dumplings are cooked through. Before serving, salt and pepper generously.





 Found out that my Grandmother Holt made it this way but we are not sure if it was any farther back. My Grandmother Holt used to make it when her kids were sick. It was a comfort food for all of us!

27 October 2007

Kappa Delta Dad's Weekend

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It's Kappa Delta Dad's Weekend and Ashley wanted us to do a tailgate party for her favorite sorority sisters and their dads. We set up early again but this time on the grass as the University decided last weekend that they were not going to allow tailgate parties to be set up in the parking lots. Since grass is at a premium right now, we got there early to ensure we'd have a place!

We served Pasta Fagoli Soup and Chili, along with homemade hummus, carrot and celery sticks and saltines. I had 20 cups of each soup and none was left! I also made pumpkin bread and bought some brownie bites to finish off our meal.

I stayed with the tailgate and read the book Brothers, since our Book Club meeting is on Monday. I finished it in one afternoon!

Only one more Mizzou home game!

25 October 2007

Fall's Bounty

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Bob and I spent Sunday doing a lot of yard work. All the trees were trimmed, the bushes were trimmed, the grass cut and edged, the flower beds weeded and the evergreen trees shaped. We made four trips to the place in our subdivision where we dump these kinds of things.

Our gardens look fabulous.

We also cleaned the vegetable garden, otherwise known as my salsa garden. We pulled the rotting tomato vines and gave it a good plowing. As we were completing the clean up of the garden, we came across a couple of pepper bushes that we must have missed earlier. Here is what I was able to harvest from those pepper plants.

I love having a garden. Its hard work but so deeply satisfying to pick your own tomatoes and peppers. If you haven't worked a garden yet, promise yourself that next spring you'll either plant a tomato bush in a pot or work a piece of ground to put a plant in. You will never regret your time in a vegetable garden!

Halloween Personality!

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I was waiting for the concert to start here at school so I thought I would meander around Blog World and I saw this cute quiz....

What Your Halloween Habits Say About You

You're a friendly person, but not the life of the party. You like making someone else's day - and you'll dress up if you think of a really fun costume.

You definitely think of yourself as someone who has a dark side. And part of having that dark side means not showing it.

Your inner child is stubborn and a bit bossy.

You truly fear the dark side of humanity. You are a true misanthrope.

You're logical, rational, and not easily effected. Not a lot scares you... especially when it comes to the paranormal.

You are a traditionalist with most aspects of your life. You like your Halloween costume to be basic, well made, and conventional enough to wear another year.


Hmph. I'll show you whose the life of the party. Just come by my house on Halloween and see!

Colors of Fall

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I have been inspired by Pat at Back Porch Musings and Betty Jo at Digi Scribbles to try my hand at fall photography. I have a simple Kodak Easy Share which is just that, simple.

I think that the object of my photography was already so beautiful that I couldn't help but take a few good shots. With God as the artist, who could be a bad photographer?

Pea's Halloween Swap

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I participated in Pea's Halloween Swap and my partner was Dora at PeppyLady. Thank you Dora, I loved my swap!

She sent these adorable cuties: a ceramic scarecrow, a scarecrow towel, a bobblehead ghost with a pumpkin body, a pumpkin sign, a cookbook and a door decoration of spiders. These are perfect for my office and I cannot wait to set them up where the students can see them.

Thank you Pea, for getting us connected. Dora is from Indiana. You can visit her blog at Peppy Lady .

24 October 2007

Happy Birthday, Ashley!

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Today is Ashley's 22nd birthday!

Ashley was three weeks early (how about that EE?) and has continued to be like her dad and early to everything henceforth. I had a fairly easy time of delivery, other than the high blood pressure which made everyone think I was going to stroke (250 over 150). I fainted in the shower when some dumb nurse left me alone only 40 minutes after delivery. My pediatrician arrived early so he witnessed the whole birth (along with several nurses and interns since she was born during the lunch hour!). Dr. Chuck says he was never the same after that!

Let me tell you a bit about this daugher of mine....

She is a picky eater. How did I get a picky eater??? I don't know but I am glad its her and not me! She does not like "white" food, including vanilla ice cream (she prefers chocolate). Whipped cream, mashed potatoes, marshmallows.... nada.

She is a great student, graduating in the top 10% of her graduating class of 600 and achieving high academic honors at her college. She majored in Fashion Management and Marketing but will be getting a masters in counseling. She takes her studies seriously, again taking after her father.

She's a classic beauty. She wears very little makeup and what she does wear looks so natural you aren't sure if she really is wearing any. In this regard she takes after her Grandmother Oliver. She has a natural sense of style and grace.

She loves God and has worked at the Newman Center as a Youth Director while in college. She loves children and dotes on her two little cousins, Kassie and Tristan.

I suspect she drives too fast and hasn't yet been caught (that would be like her mother!)

She's loyal to a fault. She works at My Secret Garden which is a floral shop which has been difficult with her college schedule. She finds time to work there. This semester she's working from 8-10 a.m. If you knew that her first college class didn't start til 11, aren't you impressed that she gets up early to go to work?

She's a fan of CSI (all of them), movies and Grey's Anatomy. Considering she gets two channels at school, this is quite the deal.

She is a miser with money, finding a way to spend YOURS rather than HERS.

Ashley was born on her Grandpa Steffes' birthday. The only granddaughter on one side and the baby on the other AND sharing her grandpa's birthday made her a very special baby. She is still our special baby today.

Happy Birthday, sweet girl.

22 October 2007

Fall Comfort

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Bob called me on the way home from work saying he really would like to do chili for dinner tonight. He said he'd stop at the store on the way home from work to pick up some chili ground beef from our favorite butcher.



While he was gone, I made some cornbread to go along with our chili. I love this little mix, Jiffy. It makes just enough for the two of us. The cornbread is a little sweet, which I like, too.

Our chili is very simple:

Brown 1 pound of chili-ground beef. Salt and pepper beef during the cooking. Dice 1 medium onion and add the beef, saute until onion is transparent. Add 1 can of chili beans and 1 can of chili ready diced tomatoes. Heat through.

We like to top our chili with shredded cheddar and chopped green onions. Yummy!

21 October 2007

New Banner and some Autumn beauty!

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I am working on a new banner and trying this one on for awhile. I adjusted the colors so it would work a bit better and now my signature looks funky. Its like rearranging a house, isn't it? Move one thing then another thing would look better if you moved it.... The banner was designed by Amy's Banners. I'll try to find a link for those who are interested.



I borrowed this idea from Cherry Hill Cottage, a simple wreath, a lovely pumpkin and wa la.... a gorgeous fall decoration! The pumpkin is sitting in front of my herb garden which did very well this year. It is right in front of the spearmint we planted.

20 October 2007

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Today I have so many plans. I have a school carnival tonight from 4-9 so I really only have part of a day to do so many things! I am going to the post office to mail some packages and Ashley's Save the Date cards. She wanted them mailed in September but we did our best!

I also want to do some fall decorating. So many people have posted their lovely fall decor and I want to join them! I really want to get outside and plant the lovely purple mum I received and do some lovely fall decorating around my garden like Cherry Hill Cottage. If you haven't see her outdoor decs, go check her out!

Then I have my regular chores... grocery shopping, laundry, cleaning... but those are coming last today!

Hope all of you have plans that you are anxious to do, too!

This is a photo I took of our state capitol building...

19 October 2007

It's Friday!

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UPDATE The California Pintos lost their last home game of the season 34-24.

Tonight is the last home game of the HS football team. Things have not gone well with them this year. The team is 1-6 with a win over a team who has not won a game yet. Since this is my first year here, I have gone to all the home games as a supervisor which has been fun, getting to learn about their traditions.

One of the things I do is sponsor an elementary kids section. We do cheers, make up funny games and start the wave. I have gotten to know my fifth graders really well. It amazes me how much food these kids consume!

Tonight is a perfect HS football night. It will be rather cool and a bit breezy. I brought my black corduroy jacket with the denim collar so I will be all snug inside my coat.

Here's to hoping the boys pull off another victory at home!

18 October 2007

Thankful Thursday

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I am thankful for the people I work with. Tuesday was Bosses Day and boy, my two secretaries just spoiled me! I received a huge mum and a gift certificate to Sonic. Yesterday I got wonderful homemade chips and salsa and today they ordered pizza for us and we sat together and just talked.

Sarah is my main secretary. Boy, that girl can multitask like I have never seen! It is an amazing thing to watch! And, she figures out a way to do the crazy things I ask even if they seem a bit outrageous.

Carol is the receptionist and she cannot stay busy enough. She likes it when there is work to do and a timeline to meet.

I couldn't run the office the way I wanted to without the two of them. Their effectiveness in the office frees me to be in the classroom or working in the office fully confident that things are getting done. What a great thing for a supervisor!

Pumpkin Carving Contest

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Ok, I want to participate in the Pumpkin Carving Contest at Spiltmilkblog.com but I am really having trouble getting the picture to my blog. I will keep trying, though! If you'd like to participate, too, go to her blog and sign up!

16 October 2007

Jeanette Walls

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I was fortunate to be able to be a guest of Jeanette Walls when she spoke to our book club at the River City Regional Library tonight. She is as wonderful as the book she wrote, Glass Castles. Her story takes us on her journey growing up. She had many experiences that many of us would be ashamed of having. She said that she was worried that people who knew her would no longer want to be around her, would not be her friends any longer. She said her biggest lesson was that people were more good than she imagined. She said she received support from unexpected places.

I wish I could write her speech here. She made many profound points. She told us about her family and how they coped with their story being published. She updated us on her mom's situation. She told us about being on Oprah.

I was impressed that she was impressed by us! She seemed humbled by her experience as a published author. She seemed in awe that all of us had read, and loved, her book. Not a snobbish bone in her body!

She mentioned she has another idea for a book. She has quit her job as a celebrity news reporter to focus on the next book. She told us that Brad Pitt's production company has bought the movie rights to her book and that a script is being written for it.

I felt like I had a nice visit with a good friend. I know all of you would have loved her, too. Read her book! And then, come join Brit on her blog, My Messy Thrilling Life in October to discuss it with her!