Thursday, December 31, 2009

Baring My Soul and A Prayer...

New Years is supposed to be a new beginning and a time to start again. It is an opportunity to reflect on our life and feel renewed hope for the future. But, in all honesty, New Years is my least favorite holiday. I become very melancholy this time of year.

The last few days I have spent a lot of time reflecting on 2009. I tend to expect a lot from myself, so I'm rarely satisfied with my accomplishments even though my efforts are strong. I just want to be an excellent woman, wife, mother, daughter, and friend. At this time of the year, especially, I feel disappointed and feel like I’ve never done enough. I always have regrets of things I didn’t do, people I didn’t keep in contact with, etc.

During the days leading up to New Years, I make lists in my head (and sometimes on paper) of things I’m going to do or ways I’m going to change (New Year’s resolutions). Most of the time I set my sights too high, and I find myself throwing in the towel when the New Year is only a few weeks old. By expecting too much, I set myself up to fail. Then I feel guilty!

Looking to 2010, I feel apprehensive about the future -- Who will die this year?, What medical issues will we have this year?, and the list goes on and on in my head. It’s all fresh and new and exciting, but I’m just not feeling it.

This morning I remembered that Sunday at church we sang, Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus:

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim.
In the light of His glory and grace.

I’m turning my eyes to You.
Forgive me for my shortcomings of 2009.
I trust You for 2010, knowing that You have always been faithful!!

Bless all my blogger friends and family!! May 2010 be a great year for them!


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Jesus Will Still Be There

In the midst of the wonderful Christmas season I shared with my family and friends, my thoughts and prayers were never too far away from some people who were going through some difficult times during this season. I guess that's one of the reasons I realized I have soooo much to be thankful for in spite of all my "little problems".

This morning as I was praying for these people, the song, Jesus Will Still Be There, by Point of Grace came to my mind. Take a moment and listen to the video. I know you will be blessed.

So, this blog is dedicated to those that are heavy on my heart today:

  • My dear friend, Sylvia, who has a rare lung disease. She recently spent a week in the hospital in San Francisco. The cost of her medicine is outrageous, and she is fighting with the insurance over it. Also the medicine has terrible side effects. My heart also goes out to her husband, Sam, and their son, Ben.
  • Linda Trostle and her kids as Mr. Trostle only has a few more days on this earth.
  • The Walpole Family that attend our church. Dave is losing his battle with cancer and now has hospice. My heart aches for Donna, and their three teenage sons Colby, Ryan, and Spencer.
  • My sister-in-law, Betsy, who is very, very lonely and has many struggles and heartaches in her life.

What an encouragement to know that Jesus Will Still Be There today...tomorrow...the next day...and all the days after!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Fun in the City

These three took off for some fun in the city (San Francisco). My brother asked Hilary and Lyle to go home with him for a few days. They left yesterday morning at 8:00 a.m. (an ungodly hour for Hilary), and he will bring them back on Thursday and spend another weekend with us. HURRAY!!! They have all kinds of plans including ice skating at Union Square, exploring S.F., eating out, etc. I'm sooooo excited for them!!

Today they went to work with Uncle Wesley for a couple of hours. They are going to undecorate the Christmas tree and put away other decorations at his office and do a few other miscellaneous things, then it's off to play, play, play!!!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

A Fun Christmas Week

We've had a very busy, but fun week. Hilary and I attended Denise Little's Annual Christmas Tea. She makes the most delicious and elegant goodies. It's a great time to visit with some people we haven't seen all year and others we see more often. This is something Hilary and I have been doing for years, and we always look forward to it soooo much!

We all went to the Shasta District Fairgrounds to the Christmas Extravangaza. What fun! We walked around all the buildings, watched the people ice skating, looked at all the beautiful lights, and took a fun horse-drawn carriage ride.

On Tuesday, we made Gingerbread Houses. I have always done this with my kids. Even though they are "grown up", they still wanted me to help them. We certainly missed Uncle Wes and Lee this year.

Lyle's House:

Hilary's House:

On Wednesday, I sang in the choir at the Christmas Eve Eve (yes because it was held on December 23rd) Service. It is always soooooooo much fun to sing in the choir at Redding Neighborhood Church. It's nice because I am getting to know some people through singing at Easter and Christmas. It was especially nice to sing in the choir with my friend, Kim!

On Christmas Eve morning, my friend Karen and I have a tradition of helping the Salvation Army. We rang bells at K Mart this year from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon. I so enjoy visiting with Karen and seeing people I know and helping out a good cause -- all at the same time!!!

We spent Christmas Eve at my Moma's house. Enjoyed delicious "snack food" and some presents. My Moma and brother came to our house yesterday for breakfast, Christmas dinner, presents, and lots of card games.

My prayer is that each of you had a Merry Christmas!! In spite of the economy and things happening in the world, we have so much to be thankful for this year. A special thank you to each and every one of you for your gift of friendship! That's better than any present I received under the tree.

P.S. Several of you have asked me to post a picture of my tree, but I got a little intimidated by everyone's theme trees and elegant trees. But, I do love my tree with all the sentimental ornaments on it.'s a picture:

Monday, December 21, 2009

Make New Friends, But Keep The Old!

Last week, I had lunch with Karen Grace to celebrate her birthday! We had such a great time visiting and "catching up" on each other's lives and our kids' lives! I met Karen in the late 70's when she moved to Redding to attend Northern California Bible Institute (now Shasta Bible College). I love making new friends, but there's nothing like those old friends who know us in and out and still love us!! Happy Birthday, Karen!! I love you!!

Friday, December 18, 2009

A Long, Long Time Ago...

This little baby boy was born...

Okay, so it was only 53 years ago and only in Wyandotte, Michigan!! :0) Happy Birthday to my wonderful husband! I love you bunches!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

I'm Getting Nuttin' For Christmas

Since no one is using the computer this afternoon, I thought I would get on and see what all this "blog" stuff is about. Moma used to have lots of time to snuggle on the couch with me, brush me, and pet me; but now, whatever free time she has, she's in here on the computer writing a post or looking at some of your blogs. So all that fun stuff was BB (before blog)!! :0(

Let me take a minute and introduce myself...I'm Kitty, and I'm a very good cat all year long!

But in December, I turn into:

I sit by the Christmas tree, waiting for my family to walk away. Then...I pull the tinsel off the tree (and sometimes try to eat it and then throw up in the hall), knock the flocking off the branches, jump off the couch onto the presents (and dent in the boxes), and mess with the bows. At night, while they are sleeping, I play with the ornaments and make them fall off. I just can't help myself!!

The other day, I messed up the wrapping paper while Mom was trying to wrap a gift! I even got in the box she was trying to pack to ship to someone.

I asked my friend, Virginia, and she said there really is a Kitty Claus. She even showed me a picture of him:

Today, I got freaked out because I heard this song on the radio. I didn't get all the words, but the chorus said:

I'm Getting Nuttin' for Christmas,

Mommy and Daddy are mad.

I'm Getting Nuttin' for Christmas,

'Cause I ain't been nuttin' but bad.

I WANT PRESENTS!! I WANT A KITTY TREAT IN MY STOCKING!! But...I just can't be good. Anyone fellow cats out there have any suggestions for me??

Saturday, December 12, 2009

One of My Pet Peeves

I was at Ross Dress for Less two days BEFORE Thanksgiving, and I saw this:

That's right!! They were stocking the shelves for Valentine's Day!!

I love holidays, but can we please just have one at a time?? Don't rush my life; let's take it slower! Christmas should begin AFTER Thanksgiving. Valentine's Day should begin AFTER Christmas. My life is rushed as it is, and I'm NOT going to let anything get in my way of enjoying each holiday.

"Merry Christmas" to you all, but let's wait until February to say "Happy Valentine's Day"!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

A Must Read!

Our pastor at Redding Neighborhood Church, Bill Giovannetti, wrote this article entitled, "Don't Let Your Inner Grinch Steal Another Christmas". You've got to read it!! Click on the website below, and check it out!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Check This Out!

Back in early September, Bob ordered this lazy susan to give me for my birthday. It's been backordered, but finally came today! :0)

What do you think? Doesn't it look great with my "Pepsi stuff" on it?

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Lyle on the Wild Side

Here's Lyle, Garrett Warren, and Ross Martin showing off their new tattoos:

Advantages to these tattoos:
  • Only cost 50 cents. :0)
  • Absolutely pain free.
  • When you're tired of them (or after several showers), they come off with no permanent marks left!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Boss of the Year

Whose boss pays them their day's wages AND sends home dinner with them that just needs to be heated up? Glad you asked -- IT'S MY BOSS, THAT'S WHO!!! Colleen, you are the "boss of the year"!! Thanks for all your kindnesses to me and my family. I love you bunches!!!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Holiday Eating Tips

Some of you have undoubtedly read this before, but we all need a reminder now that the holiday season is upon us, and the party invitations have started arriving!


Avoid carrot sticks. Anyone who puts carrots on a holiday buffet table knows nothing of the holiday spirit. In fact, if you see carrots, leave immediately! Go next door where they are serving rum balls.

Drink as much eggnog as you can. And quickly! It’s rare because you can’t find it any other time of the year but now. So drink up! Who cares that it has 10,000 calories in every sip? It’s not as if you’re going to turn into an eggnog-aholic or something. It’s a treat! Enjoy it! Have one for me. Have two. It’s later than you think.

If something comes with gravy, use it. That’s the whole point of gravy. Gravy does not stand alone. Pour it on. Make a volcano out of your mashed potatoes. Fill it with gravy. Eat the volcano. Repeat.

As for mashed potatoes, always ask if they’re made with skim milk or whole milk. If it’s skim, pass. Why bother? It’s like buying a sports car with an automatic transmission.

Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort to control your eating. The whole point of going to a holiday party is to eat other people’s food for free. Lots of it. Hello?

Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and New Year’s. You can do that in January when you have nothing else to do. This is the time for long naps, which you’ll need after circling the buffet table while carrying a 10-pound plate of food and that vat of eggnog.

If you come across something really good at a buffet table, like frosted cookies in the shape and size of Santa, position yourself near them and don’t budget. Have as many as you can before becoming the center of attention. They’re like a beautiful pair of shoes. If you leave them behind, you’re never going to see them again.

Same for pies. Apple. Pumpkin. Cherry. Mincemeat. Have a slice of each. Or, if you don’t like mincemeat, have a slice of apple, cherry, and pumpkin. Always have at least three. When else do you get to have more than one dessert? Labor Day?

Did someone mention fruitcake? Granted, its loaded with the mandatory celebratory calories, but avoid it at all cost. I mean, have some standards.

One final tip: If you don’t feel terrible when you leave the party or get up from the table, you haven’t been paying attention. Reread the tips. Start over; but hurry, January is just around the corner.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

An Attitude of Gratitude

In spite of everything going on in the world, the economy, health issues this year, and the everyday grind of life, we have SO MUCH to be thankful for. I have realized, in the last several months, that instead of dwelling on all our problems and the little things that drive you crazy, we need to dwell on all the things we have to be thankful for - develop an attitude of gratitude!! When we do, it makes life seem so much better!! I've been keeping a list of things I'm thankful for, and its getting soooo long!! Here's some of the things on my list:
  • I'm so thankful that God loves me, as imperfect as I am. I'm thankful for my church where I'm learning that it's not what I can do for God but what He has done for me!!

  • I'm thankful for my wonderful husband. He works hard to support our family, is a great father to our children, loves me (as imperfect as I am :0) ), and on top of all that, HE'S CUTE!!
  • I'm thankful for two healthy children who are my pride and joy. Hilary and Lyle bring much joy and fun into my life.

  • I'm thankful for my awesome friends! A few years ago I went through a very difficult thing, and I lost some of my most precious friends. I grieved and grieved for over a year (until God prompted me to "let it go"!). This year, on my birthday, God showed me that I still have many, many friends that love me! Thank you to each one of you that I am blessed to call "friend". You have supported and encouraged me through the years!!

We had a great Thanksgiving. We were invited to the Kinniers, and we always love going to their house. When Lyle was in third grade and in an All-School Musical, his teacher commented to him, "I saw your Mommy today with your grandparents." In childlike simplicity, he responded, "Oh, all my grandparents are dead except for my grandma. Those people are my pretend grandparents." After the teacher shared that with me, it just stuck!!! And oh what wonderful pretend grandparents they have been. They haven't missed a single school function, play, performance, graduation, etc. They have loved on my children, spent time with them, and had us over to their house 1,000,000 times (not much of an exaggeration). WE LOVE THE KINNIERS!!

We had such a wonderful dinner, great fellowship, a fun game of Bunco, and pies, pies, and more pies!! Two things I especially love about eating any meal anytime of the year at the Kinniers:

  • Mrs. Kinnier lets one of the kids ring the bell when dinner is ready. Lyle got to ring it this year.

  • After Mrs. Kinnier tells us where we are sitting, we stand in back of our chairs. We all join hands and sing the doxology together and then she prays!! It is sooooooooo awesome!!

My pictures didn't turn out very good, but I'll post them anyway (mostly for Jill - We missed you guys!!):

Sorry this post is so long!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Just Like the Energizer Bunny

My 50th birthday is just like the energizer bunny -- it keeps going, and going, and going. (Not that I'm complaining!) Our dear friends, Sam, Sylvia, and Ben Timmons, came for a visit this past weekend. We ate our way through the weekend. :o) On Friday night, we celebrated my birthday at Outback. Great food, great fellowship, and some "embarrassing" fun!

Sylvia gave me this cute little "tea for one" set:

Sam and Ben had been busy making me a 50th birthday present. Here it is:

Check out the details:

Training wheels

Spinners that turn (if I can walk fast enough)

a mirror and a horn (get out of my way or I'll blow it!!)

a bell

A can of marking paint (so I can mark the sidewalk and find my way home!)

and even fuzzy dice for a decoration!

Thank you, Timmons Family, for the wonderful gifts! Thank you, most of all, for the priceless gift of our friendship. Love you all!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thanksgiving Treats

It has been sooooo long since I've made some "fun, little treats" to send to school with one of my kids. (Those of you who have little children, enjoy those years 'cause you'll miss them!). Lyle came home yesterday with the announcement that they will have a Thanksgiving party in Science tomorrow (YOU ROCK, MRS. RHYNE!!). So...we looked through the holiday recipes and found one to make.

When my kids were little, I remember making the treats after they had gone to bed. What a nice change for Lyle and I to work together tonight. We made little Pilgrim hats out of Keebler Fudge Striped Cookies (turned upside down), Reeses Peanut Butter Cups, and frosting!

And, the end result:

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

New Year's Resolutions

I haven't been very faithful at getting my film developed this year (one of my New Year's Resolutions). Most of my resolutions die a slow and quiet death. As January winds down, so does my motivation. :( It's not the resolution that is at fault, it's the follow-through. Resolutions are easy to make but much harder to make real in the everyday busyness of life.

I need to stop beating myself up and congratulate myself on getting some rolls developed this year!! Something is better than nothing -- right??

I did get a roll developed this week! Check out this picture, and tell me if you don't agree this is one of the cutest pictures you have ever seen!!

Lyle and Hannah Hathcock were 5 years old in this picture. They were best buddies and truly loved each other. As they got older, kids teased them sometimes. It was hard for other children to understand their relationship. They had been inseparable since birth and were as close as a brother and sister (without all the fighting). Oh the many memories that flooded me when I looked at this picture.

I think I'll head to the store to drop off another roll of film!! :)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

I'm Back!





Whatever it was, it knocked me flat for 8 days!! Besides having pneumonia once, I never remember being that sick. All those days of staying home, and I didn't even feel like reading, watching TV, or reading and commenting on blogs. How sad is that!! Oh, and by the way, being the generous, loving, caring person I am -- I shared it with Bob!!

P.S. My brother told me how to tell the difference between swine flu and bird flu. Swine flu can be helped with "oink"ment. But, if you have the bird flu, you need "tweet"ment.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A BIG birthday surprise!!!

Please excuse me for "posting" once again about my 50th Birthday, but it still is my "birthday month". ;o) My boss and his wife (who are also our good friends) gave me quite a BIG birthday surprise - A NEW KITCHEN FLOOR!! I was speechless when I opened the present, and there was a black and white checkered floor sample. Yesterday, Design Time and Tile came and installed my new floor. Check out the before and after pictures:



My long-time dream of having a 50's diner kitchen has come true!!!

Women's Retreat

This last weekend I was part of a committee that put on a Women's Retreat at beautiful Lassen Pines. This retreat used to be sponsored by North Valley Baptist Church, and the purpose was to minister to small churches that were unable to have their own retreat. When NVBC decided not to do the retreat anymore, a group of six ladies (who had served on the retreat committee many times over the years) took it over. Shasta Bible College has now become our sponsor.

What a weekend we had!! It was exhausting for the committee and the Lassen Pines staff, but the end result was that women from 20 different churches felt spoiled, pampered and encouraged in the Lord. Our theme was, "Let's Take A Coffee Break!" We had spiritual workshops, skits, a fun craft time, lots of door prizes, a coffee mug exchange, Coffee Bean Bingo, a picture scavenger hunt, fantastic food (that we didn't have to cook or clean up), time to ride the go-karts, and a "Coffee For Dummies" workshop. Most importantly, we had lots and lots of time to fellowship with our sisters in the Lord.

Leslie Hall was the speaker, and she was AWESOME!!! I personally think she was the best speaker we have ever had at a retreat. At the four main sessions, she talked about taking a break from fear, worry, controlling, and doing - based on Psalm 23.

Here's some pictures from the weekend:

Alyssa Gorman and I doing the "Coffee For Dummies" Workshop
(She is a manager at Starbucks, so she was the coffee expert, and I was the dummie!) ;o)

Karen and Patty at the Registration Table

Carmen and I at registration (writing names on the name tags)

Our cute craft that Arla Breshears helped us with (A memo board with magnets made in a cookie sheet.)

Our speaker, Leslie Hall

Leslie, her friend Ruth, and the Retreat Committee