Archive | December, 2018

Friday:) Firsts, Seconds, and Those Traditions

22 Dec

“Firsts are best because they are beginnings.”

― Jenny Han

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I’m not a first-time Grandma, this is my second time around. I’ll be honest with you, it’s just as exciting, rewarding,scary, and fantastic as r first time. You other grandmas out there know what I’m talking about. When you hold your child’s child, it’s like magic multiplied in your arms.

Today was Sophie’s first bath. Crying and red faced screaming was expected, but she did a great job, and not that much crying. She’s such a good baby. She’s one week old already. I’ll blink and I’ll be dancing at her wedding. (My mom always used to say things like that.)

Firsts….

Seconds… treasuring every second.

Besides being blessed, being able to hold Baby Sophie an hour here or there, I also get a chance to play with Belle. I just melt when she cups her little hand towards herself in a wave and says, “Gamma come?” She’s such a cutie. I always reply, “Gamma’s coming.”

Maybe she will teach Gamma how to play the piano in a few years.

All is quiet here. The children all nestled and snug in their beds…. and it’s Friday. Now, for my traditional Black Russian Friday. All is well with the world.

Thursday With Thoreau:) Friends

21 Dec

“Friends… they cherish one another’s hopes. They are kind to one another’s dreams.”

~Henry David Thoreau

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“There are friends who come and in and out of your life, and then there are friends who come in and just stay in forever.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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Poets and writers have a wonderful way of expressing what you’d like to say, but you just can’t find the right words. That’s why I borrow quotes every day. I write a few of my own, but it’s just not the same.

I chose Henry David Thoreau to talk about friends. Friends cherish your hopes and dreams because they want only the best for you, and you feel the same way.

I had dinner with some old friends last night. Well, some of us are older than others, but we are all getting older. Not much, just a tiny bit older. We’ve been friends since our kids were little and in grade school. I think I met Viv when our sons were in third grade together. They are in their 30’s now. Then, I met Lin and Vicky, who were friends of Viv’s shortly there after. We started bowling on the same team every Wednesday for over a dozen years. I met Diane at bowling. We’ve remained good friends all these years. That’s a beautiful thing.

When I’m in town, we try and get together for a nice dinner. If it’s Christmas time, we have a holiday dinner and exchange gifts. We cherish each other’s holes and dreams.

Last night, we all met at D and J Bistro in Lake Zurich. The food was wonderful and the friendship even better. At first, when I found out where we were having dinner, I was disappointed and nervous. It triggered some memories from the past. It was the place that the EX and I used to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, and special occasions for many years. It was “our place.” They didn’t know that when they made reservations. It’s just one of the nicest restaurants around. Instead of asking to change locations, I decided to add this special dinner to my list of turning a sad memory into a joyous celebration. Guess what? It worked. Now, this is the place that my best old friends from back home gathered for a wonderful Christmas celebration. A fine fun new memory.

Then, to top it off, we ran into some other old friends who just happened to be having dinner at the same time. What are the odd?

Kris and Lori have been friends for ages too. Haven’t seen them in ages. Yay! Nice surprise.

Thank you my dear friends for all the shared hopes and dreams.

Wednesday:) What Ya Been Up To, Miss Toni?

19 Dec

“Make something special for the ones you love. That Amazon box at the door just can’t say, ‘Look what I made for you!’ ”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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I stayed up late last night to paint the letters for the new baby’s room. Everyone was up to bed, so the perfect time to watch the Hallmark Channel and paint pink roses. I finally finished around 1 a.m. They turned out pretty nice. They will go up in the baby’s room when Daddy has a minute to put them up. That might be in June. They have their hands full.

Here’s how they turned out. They should look nice on the pink walls. I’m glad that I had time to make something special for Sophie.

Tuesday:) Toni’s Tasty Chocolate Snack Mix

19 Dec

“You don’t have to settle for what life has mixed up for you. Make your own mix.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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I’m not a huge fan of the pre-made Chex Mix Snacks. They’re kind of salty and make you thirsty. And the biggest drawback is… there’s no chocolate. What kind of snack has no chocolate? I think Chex makes one, but I’m sure it’s pretty pricey. So, I decided to just make a mix with the things I like, including lots of chocolate.

I bought a big box of chocolate Chex cereal. It wasn’t all chocolate, but also had some regular plain squares. Plus, the box said gluten free. I was excited to get free gluten in my box, but, as hard as I looked, I couldn’t find the free gluten as promised. I thought it would be like a little package of gluten, like the toy in Cracker Jacks. What is gluten, anyway? And why are they always giving it away for free! (OK! You know I’m just joking here, right?)

I melted some semi-sweet chocolate chips with about 1/2 tsp. Of oil in the microwave, stirred then drizzled over the Chex, mini pretzels, and peanuts. I was going to add some popcorn, but I ran out of room. I baked this in the oven at 350 for about 10 minutes, not long.

I put the mixture in a big bowl and mixed it up. The warm chocolate coated well. It made a huge amount. Enough for sharing.

Then, I had a little left over melted chocolate. Well, we couldn’t have that. So, I dipped a few pretzel rods, just for fun. A tasty treat for watching “Murder She Wrote” re-runs or non stop Hallmark Christmas movies.

I had a pan of brownies baking at the same time, but that’s old hat and not worthy of mentioning. It was one of those chocolate kinda days.

So, if you can’t find exactly what you like in life, make it yourself.

Montage Monday:)A Week In A Wittle Peek

18 Dec

“A baby is God’s opinion that the world should go on.”

*Carl Sandburg

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A very exciting week with new grand-daughter arriving, and family and friends.

A week in a Peek…

Single Word Sunday:) GAMMA

17 Dec

“Better than a thousand hollow words, is one word that brings peace.”

~Buddha

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Just one word to describe this beautiful Sunday…GAMMA.

Gamma got to hold Baby Sophie today for the first time. If you think the second time around is not as special, we’ll, you’d be wrong. Love has no limits, but rather grows exponentially.

“Love is lovelier the second time around.” (A show tune, for those up for the challenge.”

Here’s a challenge for you. Can you describe your day with just one word?

Saturday:) Sophie Anne Arrived Safe and Sound

16 Dec

“Babies are bits of stardust, blown from the hand of God.” Barretto

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Baby watch is over and Sophie Anne arrived last night at 9:23 p.m. Weighing in at 6lbs 7 oz, and 18 1/2 in. long. This Gamma is very blessed and thankful for all the prayers from friends and family for her safe, healthy and beautiful arrival.

Welcome to the world Sophie Anne.

Friday:) Gamma on Baby Watch

15 Dec

A new baby is like the beginning of all things—wonder, hope, a dream of possibilities.     

Eda J. Le Shan

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I’m sitting here anxiously waiting for grand-daughter #2 to arrive. #1 and I have been bonding and I think Gamma is finally is getting the hang of things. I even put on the diaper forwards instead of backwards this time. Yay!

It should be any time soon, but if you’re reading this now, prayers and good thoughts will be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

I guess you’ll find out tomorrow on the next installment of “WHERE’S BABY?”

In the meantime, a little giggling from Gamma and her #1 girl.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gh7mA4c3P5w

Throwback Theme Song Thursday:) Frosty the Snow Man

14 Dec

Snowmen fall from heaven unassembled.     

unknown

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I thought I’d share a throwback craft project from last year, and add a little theme Song music for the holidays.

https://youtu.be/PIpXwY6FV3k

Last year around this time, I was at Mom’s place, painting ornaments, boxes, notecards, and making snowmen craft projects with mini and regular size Hershey bars. It’s a fun and easy project. Mom loved passing them out to her friends. I sure do miss my mom. It’s hard to believe that she’s not here. This is our first Christmas without her. But, she’s a crafting, painting, singing, dancing, and playing piano in heaven. That’s my Angel Mother.

Here’s the snowman project…

The little ones are cute too, aren’t they?

Just measure the width of the candy bar and add an inch. I just used white copy paper. The hats and eyes were made with black construction paper. The orange nose with construction paper too. A glue stick and tape are the easiest for securing. I used ribbon for the scarves and frayed the edges, twisting together with some wired star ribbon. A little pink chalk for the cheeks. You can improvise with materials you have at hand. You can use real buttons or felt for the hats. I just happened to have some cool things. You can also just use markers for the eyes and nose. Even the scarf could be drawn on with markers. Just use you imagination. One thing to be careful of… don’t eat all the candy before you get a chance to make the snowmen. (It’s been known to happen.)

Wednesday:) What’s Cookin’ Miss Toni and What Day Is It?

13 Dec

“All cooking is a matter of time. In general, the more time the better.”

John Erskine

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While I’m visiting my sister, I decided to to some major cooking, and healthy cooking, for that matter.

I love to cook and she hates to cook, so right there, that’s a great combination. We went to the store and bought tons of fresh fruit and vegetables,

My first big project was some vegetable soup. What kind you ask? I call it, “Everything but the kitchen sink soup.” First, I gathered all her vegetables that were neglected in the fridge, then added the fresh ones from the store, Because the contents of the one large pot started to get too full, a second big pot was employed.

At the very end, I added some small thin egg noodles. My poor sister has been eating this for a few days and still had enough to freeze a few containers.

There’s a new project in the oven now, as we speak, but I’ll save that for another day. It’s still roasting. Yum! I can smell the wonderful aroma from the kitchen.

NOW! FOR WHAT DAY IT IS… 12-12 is the Feast of Our Lady Of Guadalupe. It’s a good day.

About Our Lady of Guadalupe Day

It is believed that a man named Juan Diego encountered the Virgin Mary twice in Mexico City, on December 9 and December 12 in 1531. According to legend, Mary told Juan to ask the bishop to build a church on Tepeyac Hill. However, the bishop needed proof of Juan’s encounter and asked for a miracle. Juan returned to the hill to see roses in a spot where there were previously cacti. When Juan Diego returned, he showed the roses to the archbishop and also revealed an image on his cloak of the Lady of Guadalupe. The bishop was convinced of the miracle and built a church in honor of the event.

Did You Know?

According to the story of the Lady of Guadalupe, Mary spoke in the Nahuatl language when she appeared to Diego. It is said that millions of indigenous people in Mexico were converted to Catholicism as a result of her appearance and miracle.