Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Giving Thanks!

I've been on a little "blogger vacation" but will attempt in the next few days to catch you up on November happenings.

Our Thanksgiving was a very nice quiet day with Brett, Esther, Moira, Audrey, Isabel, and Maeve.

I think this photo of Isabel and Maeve sitting in front of the oven watching the turkey roast is my favorite! Such anticipation!

Actually Brett and Mo joined me in the kitchen on Wednesday for food prep and pie making. Loved their help! Then Thursday morning Brett, Mo, and Audrey came early. Everyone had jobs to do! I put Brett on the turkey. It was great to have him do the lifting! We made a compound butter with fresh herbs, salt and pepper that he rubbed on the skin, then stuffed the cavity with more fresh herbs, whole carrots, celery and onion. Layed it on a "rack" of whole carrots, celery and onion, poured a couple of cans of broth around and put it in oven at 500 degrees for 15 minutes. Then took it out to tent with foil and roast at 325 until timer said it was at 166 internal temp. Didn't open the oven until the last 30 minutes or so to remove foil. Juicy and moist. Perfect!

Mo was eager to learn some knife skills with my sharp chef's knife. She did a great job making a veggie plate and trimming the fresh green beans. Audrey was a little sous chef too! I don't know who enjoys these times more, the girls or me. They are so eager to learn to cook!

Ah, we're ready to eat!

Faces of contentment.

We played lots of games. In the kitchen we could hear Papa and Isabel downstairs, hoopin' and hollerin' over their games of Sorry and Crazy Eights. The adults wrapped up the evening playing Contract Gin. Rich won!

It was a great two days (actually, three days, if you count Friday Left-overs!) to enjoy each other's company and remember all the things we are thankful for.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Maddie Is Here!

Madelyn Rose Dewey arrived Monday, November 22 at 4:45 pm!! She weighed 8 lbs and is 19.5 inches long.  Jeremy was really great at texting us updates throughout the day and then this one word message, "Awesome".

All are doing well!

So far Maddie seems like a very calm baby, or as Jeremy says, a "chill" little baby! :) When he was with her in the nursery she started to fuss a bit so he put his hand on her chest and she quieted down. Hope that is a sign of things to come! :)

And a message arrived today, Day 2, with this photo!  What a sweet, healthy baby!

Our new little family!

We are so blessed - and grateful!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Happy Third Anniversary!

Today is Jeremy and Renee's third wedding anniversary! Everytime I'm with them it seems like they've been married forever! One thing I love to observe is how they work together in their kitchen! They are a dynamite duo!

They are eagerly anticipating the birth of their first little baby, a little girl. The entire family can hardly wait to meet her!

Congratulations kiddos! Keep working on a marriage God's way!

Love you!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Happy Birthday Jordyn!

Today is Jordyn's 15 birthday! She is the first of our nine granddaughters! Seems just like yesterday that she was born!

The thing she's most excited about right now is that she recently had her braces removed. This photo was taken in the car on her phone but it certainly shows her bright new smile!

Jordyn is a freshman at Oaks Christian School. She was homeschooled since first grade and is loving this new experience. She is working really hard in all of her classes and is enjoying the fruit of her labors with good grades. She quickly acclimated with a group of about 10 really sweet girls who took her in and made her part of the group.

Her freshman class of 250 kids recently returned from a four-day trip to the Colorado River. They slept in two-man (or two-girl!) tents, canoed the river and had great times of bonding as a class.

Jordyn plays soccer and this year has been on a travelling team. She's loved the challenge and looks forward to playing on her school's team as well.

Jordyn is a really sweet young woman who is great with litle kids, loves to bake and has a very infectious laugh.

Have a great birthday, Sweetie! Papa and I love you bunches!

"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving."
Colossians 3:23-24

Thursday, November 11, 2010


Rich was asked to speak to a lovely Community Life group at our church today. This sweet group meets for a potluck lunch and invites a speaker to share with the group. Rich was asked to share how his faith sustained him through his surgeries and the recuperation process.

These sweet people are some of the "saints" at Grace Community Church!

Before lunch Rich, Willard, and Jim were talking about the recent time change. Here Rich is explaining to them how the time on his cell phone automatically changes when we travel from one time zone to another. They were quite amazed! :)

Can hardly believe it will be two years in April that Rich found himself in emergency and it was there his cancer journey began. As he said today, the kidney surgeries were a "piece of cake". It's been the removal of his cancerous thyroid that has caused the most difficulty. It has been a very tediously slow process to get meds regulated but he is now in a normal range for his TSH count. TSH comes from the pituitary gland and it tries to tell the thyroid to "get with it". Well, without a thyroid this is problematic! Even he's now in the normal range, his doctors want him at the bottom of the range because the TSH is a breeding ground for cancer cells, so the meds are being tweaked again.

Before he went to Oregon last month, he had checkups at KU Medical Center with kidney and thyroid surgeons. Both gave him a "thumbs up". He doesn't have to return there until April! Good news! His lab reports here continue to remain stable - or improve, so we are grateful. That little partial kidney is hanging in there!

The last month he has had more energy, which is encouraging for him. He has worked very hard at staying positive and he's been determined that this wouldn't stop him from going and doing. It's just that sometimes he can't go as far or do as much as he would like.

As Rich shared today, he is grateful for the Lord's healing and continues to seek just what it is that God wants him to do in this life.

Rich and his dear friend Larry, used sing a duet to the wonderful hymn "Day by Day". Rich had us sing it today.

Day by Day
Day by day, and with each passing moment,
Strength I find, to meet my trials here;
Trusting in my Father's wise bestowment,
I've no cause for worry or for fear.
He Whose heart is kind beyond all measure
Gives unto each day what He deems best -
Lovingly, its part of pain and pleasure,
Mingling toil with peace and rest.

Every day, the Lord Himself is near me
With a special mercy for each hour;
All my cares He fain would bear, and cheer me,
He Whose name is Counselor and Power;
The protection of His child and treasure
Is a charge that on Himself He laid;
"As thy days, thy strength shall be in measure,"
This the pledge to me He made.

Help me then in every tribulation
So to trust Thy promises, O Lord,
That I lose not faith's sweet consolation
Offered me within Thy holy Word.
Help me, Lord, when toil and trouble meeting,
Ever to take, as from a father's hand,
One by one, the days, the moments fleeting,
Till I reach the promised land.

And so it has been, day by day, we journey on! We continue to thank the Lord for our many family and friends who have prayed for both of us. Your prayers have sustained and encouraged us. We know that God created us and knows the number of our days. Our faith and trust are in Him!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Recent Travels - Part 3


My sisters and I had some precious times together on my last trip to California. Much of our time was spent in caring for and being with our Mom and giving her all the love we could. It had been three years since Cheryl and I were able to coordinate our trips, so this was very special time, indeed!

Mom asked us to divide her jewelry and that gave us some sweet moments of trying things on, reminiscing and making thoughtful decisions. We all came home with some precious, old pieces as well as newer. Several years ago, when Mom's vision was still somewhat good, she wrote notes on many things, jewelry included. Things such as dates received, who it originally belonged too, etc. These notes are precious parts of our family history! Something that was also very special was that we also gave some of Mom's things to our precious sister-in-law, Nancy. Mom calls Nan her little angel - her 4th daughter. She's been so good to Mom and we love her SOO much! It was a time we three will always remember, I'm sure.

That prompted more cleaning and sorting with lots of memories and laughter. My brother-in-law John tackled the garage. He was our hero as he cleaned and organized. One of the items he uncovered was our childhood cookie jar!

Cheryl, Kathy and I all remembered that as little girls we loved putting our little fingers in the indentations of the painted design as it circled the jar. All three of us would have loved to take it home, but Cheryl and I were flying home with no room in our bags so we agreed Kathy should take it. It will grace her patio table. Ah, sweet memories!

And yes, I was as exhausted as I look! It was quite a grueling trip and yet I wouldn't have exchanged a single moment! We all worked very hard but we laughed a lot too! My brothers, sisters and I had wonderful times sitting at the kitchen table, laughing and sharing memories from years past.

The last day we three girls went to the Rose Tea Garden in Pasadena for a marvelous afternoon tea. Cucumber with mint, egg salad with watercress and chicken salad sandwiches - all so yummy. Scones and sweets were delicious. We had considerably more than we could eat and so we took some home to Mom for her enjoyment.

The tea shop is in a lovely old building in Old Pasadena. It is also a flower shop so the aromas were delightful. It was a great "Sista Day" and just what we all NEEDED!

To have a sister to love is to have a relationship unlike any other! To my sisters - I love you loads - and treasure our times together!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Recent Travel - Part 2

Renee's Baby Shower

Renee's sister Janelle hosted a lovely baby shower for Renee and baby girl, Madelyn Rose. Weather had been really "iffy", but the day dawned bright and beautiful, a perfect California day for an event that was going to be outside.

I made a diaper cake - various sizes of diapers - each one rolled and secured with a clear elastic band. The layer dividers were children's books.

When we moved to Kansas I divided books between our three boys and gave Jeff and Brett theirs for their children to read, but kept the ones for Jeremy, thinking I would give them as a baby gift whenever that time came. Some were his books, others were shared with his brothers and some were mine that I've read to our other grandchildren. Prior to the shower, I mailed a box of books to myself at Jeremy and Renee's and put it together when I arrived at my Mom's house. I also took the sweater and cap that Jeremy wore when he was an infant. I bought a doll for my "model" and wrote a little poem about the books and sweater and cap. The doll was propped up on a stack of Beginning Readers' Series books, also from  time past. I also saved the receiving blanket that Jeremy was wrapped up in when he came home from the hospital and draped it over the doll. Turned out pretty cute.

Renee with Maddie's two Grandmas

Janelle set gorgeous tables - in a "diva" theme

I shared some thoughts on the meanings of the Jeremy and Renee Dewey family names:
Jeremy – God will uplift
Shane – God is gracious
Renee – Reborn
Michelle – Who is like God
Madelyn – Woman of Magdala
Rose – Rose

Jeremy - God did hold him up and was gracious when he brought Renee into his life.

Renee – was born into the Jim and Gina Lord family and reborn into God’s family and in an imperfect world strives to live her life to be like God

Madelyn – the most well-known person from Magdala was Mary Magdalene. While her reputation and that of the town wasn’t the most “sterling” she met Jesus in a powerful way. He became her friend, forgave her of her past, and she became one of his most trusted and closest friends.

Rose – we all love the rose flower for its various colors and wonderful fragrances. In my California rose garden, my favorite rose was the Double Delight.  Its fragrance was delectable! Sweet and a little bit spicy. I pray Madelyn Rose grows up to take Jesus as her closest and best Friend and that her life is sweet and a little bit spicy! Rose is also a Dewey family name. Rich's Mother was Rose Maxine. Jeff & Caroline named their first daughter Jordyn Rose, in honor of Jeff's grandma. Now we will have two granddaughters with the name of Rose. Very precious!

Ty, Lauren, Nan (my lovely sister-in-law - whom Mom calls her 4th daugher!)

Jordyn and Lauren loved seeing their cousins Baylee and Ty (above).

My "California Girls"

My sister Cheryl flew out from Virginia. Sister Kathy is on right, next to her is her granddaughter Ty.

The women in my family - but there are 15 MORE - 12 of whom are out of state! Madelyn Rose will be #29! That's a lot of Girl-Power!
It was a lovely day with a great mix of both Jeremy's and Renee's families, work colleagues and friends. Food was delicious. Renee was blessed with SOOOO many cute outfits for her new little girl. Weather was perfect and just as we began to clean up, the gray clouds and chilly temp returned. Couldn't have been better!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Recent Travels - Part 1

We've recently returned from our mostly simultaneous trips. Rich went to Oregon for ten days or so to visit his dear friend Larry and I went to California to see our kids, be part of a baby shower for Renee and spend time with Mom and my siblings.  Rich loved the fall foliage in Oregon! I enjoyed the mild California weather.

As it turned out, Mom fell before I left Kansas and ended up in the hospital. It was a tough time for her and we five kids but she is home now with 24/7 care. She's able to get about some with her walker and spends most of her days resting in her recliner.

I always welcome a great big hug from Cole!

Katelyn and Allison were so excited to show me their guinea pigs. This is two of the three, Nutmeg and April (I think!)

Kate, Allie and I made one of the appetizers for Renee's shower, Cheese Crispies, a recipe from my sister, Cheryl. Kate is especially good in the kitchen! She made the two appetizers that Caroline planned, an Artichoke Wonton, and a Tortilla Wrap with cream cheese, sour cream and black olives. Caroline also made chocolate dipped strawberries! Yummy!

Caroline, Lauren, Jordyn and I joined Gina (Renee's Mom on the left) and her sister Janelle (on the right)  for lots of food prep for the shower. Janelle made two delicious salads, one pasta, the other green, both with chicken and lots of wonderful veggies. More photos from the shower later.

Here's the recipe for the Cheese Crispies:

1 stick butter (at room temperature)
1 cup sharp grated cheese
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup rice krispies
Dash Tabasco

Blend butter and cheese - hands work best for this! Add Tabasco, mix well and then add rest of ingredients. Shape in small balls and put on ungreased cookie sheet. Press tops with a fork to flatten. Bake 15-20 minutes at 325-350 degrees. Makes about 20, although balls about the size of a quarter may yield more. A great recipe for kids to make! Enjoy!

We're back in the swing of things at home, although it took several days of rest! It's supposed to hit 31 degrees in Newton tonight so we've taken in all the outside furniture, yard art and stepping stones (all 40 of them!) Weather is changing!

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Characters Next Door!

Do you recognize any of these characters???

Sherlock Holmes

Dora the Explorer (resisting arrest as an illegal immigrant at the Arizona Border)

Nancy Drew

Disney Diamond Castle Princess Liana

The cutest Little Bo Peep and lamb that you've ever seen!