Wednesday, December 27, 2006


We are leaving tomorrow for South Dakota. We are spending a few post-Christmas days with my brother Clint and his wife Mary and their two great kids, Kelsey and Tristan.

Since Clint's birthday was a week ago, I decided to make some of my pineapple carrot bread that he loves and take it up to him as a post-birthday treat. But to do that, I had to enter my recipe basket. Now on the outside, my recipe basket is beautiful. It is the Longaberger recipe basket. On the inside, it's a mess. That's the way my life feels sometimes but that's another post. Some of the recipes are still on the torn out magazine page. Some are scribbled on an envelope. Some are actually just the label to the food product on which I found them. But I always figured if this way was good enough for Great Grandma Hale, it's good enough for me.

But after finding my bread recipe I decided to sort the recipes and "neaten things up a bit." That lead me to look on the web for some recipe card templates that would allow me to type the recipes in and print them out and have them all on uniform cards. But I couldn't find one I liked so I started hand writing them on 4x6 cards.

Now I am a woman possessed. And as I hand write each one, I am glad I am doing it this way. Some of the recipes in my basket are handwritten. In my grandmother's writing or in a good friend's writing. Those I will keep as they are. They are history. They are the touch of a loved one.

Some of my grandmother's are typed (she typed a lot of things - even her daily prayer list) but each of them has a handwritten note on them. Like "I use pecans" or "freeze up to 2 months." So there is that piece of her on those little faded cards.

Someday, Kayla will be looking at these cards and recognize my writing. Someday I will be looking at them and recognize her writing, as she is helping me. I will read the recipe and remember the week after Christmas, when she was 12, and she sat at the counter with me and copied recipes off of ragged magazine pages.

Ah, memories...

Monday, December 25, 2006


So here it is 6:21 on Christmas morning and my children, ages 12 and 15 are still sleeping soundly. We allowed them to open their gifts last night. I told them that since they were old enough to realize the consequences of doing so, that there'd be no gifts in the morning, then sure they could open their gifts. They also wanted me to open mine (Really) so I did. Paul, however saved his for this morning and we toyed with the idea of revenge by making the children get up at 5 this morning and sit around while Dad opened his presents. But I love sleeping in so we decided against that. But here I am up anyway. Why? Because my husband's snoring is raising the roof. Poor baby has a cold, and his normal irritating snoring has reached a level that has made me consider separate bedrooms and perhaps even bodily harm. It has made me think of the days when my babies had colds and could not sleep at night. You know, those times when they were only comfortable and able to breathe easily when held upright. So I'd sit and rock them and pat their back and wonder if the night would ever end. With Kayla, my second, it was easier. I knew that YES the night would end, and YES I would sleep again and that this phase would be over soon enough.
I am not feeling so compassionate with my sweet husband. Several times before I got out of bed, I shot him THE LOOK. Yes, he was asleep and oblivious to it, but it gave me some degree of juvenile satisfaction. It was when I started thinking about putting the pillow over his face, FOR JUST A VERY BRIEF MOMENT, that I decided to get out of bed. It is Christmas after all.

And speaking of Chrismas, we, or actually I, caved in and bought our son an XBOX 360. Even though we had said in no uncertain terms that we would not buy ONE MORE GAME SYSTEM. Here's the clincher, though. He was certain that he was going to sell his old system and games and buy games for his new system. So we decided that yes, he would sell his old system and games but he would give the money to his mother and father because the new system was more expensive then the old one. So in essence we are making him pay for part of his Christmas gift. But we think this is fair and he is old enough to understand that. Also, it is the XBOX 360 that has proven to me that a teenager's peers have more influence on him than his teachers. Every time Blake would ask for it (or shamelessly beg) he would do so beautifully in French. The trouble is Blake is taking Spanish. His friends are taking French, though. My apologies to the teachers at MFHS. For so many things....

Kayla got the digital camera she has been hoping for. She is doing a major clean up on her room and has already shot some "before" photos in anticipation of the "after." She loves to take pictures, especially when she is with her friends. She can do some pretty clever things with these pictures on the computer. She also got a really neat hair system, with a straightener/blow dryer combo. And she got a Celine Dion perfume set and several items of softball and basketball clothing from a great new catalog I discovered. And she got two pair of flannel pajama pants. It just about killed me NOT to buy the tops that matched these pants, but teens (and preteens) simply DO NOT wear matching tops with their flannel pajama pants. I think it is actually agains some slumber party fashion law or something and since it is Christmas I did not want to be responsible for that.

I remember my first Christmas with both children. I commented to my mother "I am so blessed. I get to buy firetrucks AND baby dolls..." No more fire trucks and baby dolls. But also no more staying up until midnight playing Santa...

So I guess I will start making the peanut butter pie my kids requested for Christmas. We will be having that after our taco bar for lunch, which they also requested. I know it is not a traditional Christmas meal but it is what they wanted. And who can say no to children at Christmas?

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


Every now and then somebody does something that I simply cannot get my mind around, no matter how hard I try. 3 years ago when a mother allowed her children to drown in a car just 20 miles up the road from us, allegedly to be rid of them so she could have a better relationship with her boyfriend, I just could not comprehend what she had done. Recently, when her trial was moved to our city, I never even considered the possibility that she might be found not guilty of murdering those three precious babies. Well, yesterday she was. Found not guilty that is. She was instead found guilty of a lesser charge of child endangerment. That means, if you or I left our toddler home alone for a couple of hours, that would result in the same punishment that this lady could be facing for ALLOWING HER THREE BABIES TO DROWN IN A LAKE. I cannot for the life of me figure out what might have lead to this verdict. Granted, I do not know all the evidence that the jury heard but in all the news reports there is one thing that seems to be consistent. This mother did not try to save her babies. I could understand if perhaps there was evidence that she had tried to save those children, then maybe you could consider a lesser charge. But that does not seem to be the case. Reports say her clothes were not even wet when authorities arrived. HER CLOTHES WERE NOT EVEN WET. She did not even TRY to save those children. You can read about this on and search for Amanda Hamm - if you can stomach it.
This was the topic on talk radio today as I drove to work. One caller made an interesting comment. I'll paraphrase:
"In our society, where a woman has a 'constitutional right' to kill her child before birth, why are we shocked that killing a child AFTER birth brings such a slight punishment? Why are we shocked that the lives of these children meant so little?"
Well, I am shocked. And I am sad. And I am tired. I am so tired of a mind set that says our children our disposable.