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Friday, November 25, 2011

One year later

One year ago my grandpa passed away suddenly from this earth.

On Thanksgiving. 

His favorite holiday of the year.

It's been a year.

One. Year.

I really miss him.

When I call my grandma's house, and I get her answering machine, my heart stops as I hear my grandpa's voice telling me to leave a message.  "Grandpa ... I miss you.  I love you."  I want to say, hoping that he can hear me. 

Several weeks ago I had a pretty hard day.  We opened up a jar of apple butter that my grandparents made.  That afternoon, while cleaning, the Blue Angels were practicing formations outside -- my grandpa loved air shows and took me to my first and only air show when I was a little girl.  I remember his smile that day.  He was a pilot, and he loved his airplanes.  He took my brother & I up in his airplane one day, showing us tricks that airplane pilots love to do.  We did rolls and dips.  I was frantic, my brother became alive. 

I know that God has a plan for each and every one of us.  It brings me great comfort knowing that someday I will see my grandpa again.  That I will one day see all my loved ones that will eventually pass from this world.  I have had several dreams about my grandpa.  In one of my dreams, I ask him how he's doing, and he said "I'm happy!  I'm doing great!  I feel great!" 

I'm glad my grandpa is no longer in pain, no longer suffering from his injuries or health conditions. 

I saw this poem, and I immediately loved it:

Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there.  I do not sleep.

I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awake in the morning's hush
I am the swift upflinging rush
Of quiet birds in circling flight
I am the soft star-shine at night

Do not stand at my grave and weep.
I am not there.  I did not die.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

It's a double digit birthday!

My Miss Maddie Rose turns a double digit age today!!

That little spark she has in her eyes and her smile

Here she is at four.....

and six years later she is 10.

Here are my top 10 reasons why my Maddie Rose is special:

1)  She has a very contagious laughter -- everyone laughs when she laughs.
2)  She takes care of others -- helping all the time and putting others before her needs.
3)  She always strives to do what is right.
4)  She loves to bake!  I love people who bake!
5)  She's a snuggle bunny and loves to lay with me on the couch.
6)  She is an awesome dancer on Just Dance 2.
7)  She is stubborn as a mule.  That just means that she firmly stands for what she believes in.
8)  She has the funniest sense of humor!  Many times a laugh erupts from something this little girl says!
9)  She has the sweetest spirit.
10)  Maddie always jumps in and helps out at any time -- when asked. :)

Happy Birthday sweetie! 
Mommy loves you!
(yes, she reads my blog....)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Leatherneck BBQ rocks...

A few weeks ago my friend Shelly send me a package in the mail. It was a nice sized bottle of Leatherneck BBQ -- a BBQ sauce developed by Shelly's husband, Ryan. 

Now -- I come from Kansas City -- the land of all things BBQ.  We have major competitions in Kansas City on who holds the heavyweight championship of the best BBQ.  We have the best BBQ restaurants (don't even attempt to challenge me in this category with your city -- KC is the best.  Period!)  In Kansas City, the BBQ sauce is generally a sweeter sauce.  However, I love all things BBQ'd, so I couldn't wait to try this out!

I marinated my chicken with the sauce for a bit.  I used my George Foreman grill (bought it at a garage sale for $5 bucks!) to cook the chicken -- our grill was out of propane and my husband was nowhere to be found to change it out for me.


I served it to the family.  Katie immediately fell in love with the BBQ sauce.  "ooh!  Yummm!"  Maddie loved it as well.  Me?  It truly brought me back to the land of Kansas City -- a sweeter BBQ sauce that I fell in love with.  Even Mike gave a nod at it and said "not bad!!"  That's pretty high marks coming from him ... he never says he loves anything.  Except me.  He loves me.  Most of the time.

I can't wait for my friends to get this BBQ sauce bottled.  If you are interested in finding out more information, you can find them here on Facebook.  Like them while you're checking them out!  I hope more good things come from this place!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Mexican Foods I can't live without

I have two Mexican foods I can't live without.

Specifically, I'm not talking about things I can get in a Mexican restaurant.  (sidenote.... would you believe it's taken me almost 3 years to find a mexican restaurant that I love to eat at here in San Antonio?  Yep ....  pathetic!)

First ... is Mexican vanilla.  I love this stuff.  So much.  I use it in everything I bake with.  My mom had some when I was growing up.  Then, she & I went on a cruise with my grandma, and we bought a huge bottle each in Cancun.  That was 4 years ago!  This summer my parents came to visit, and we took a trip to the Mexican Market here in San Antonio -- and my dad bought me another huge bottle of Mexican vanilla, just in time because I used my last drop of my first bottle last week! 


My parents one morning in the winter of my younger days made a hot chocolate that just dazzled my taste buds!  "Make some more!" -- and I was led to believe it was a very time consuming process to make.  LIARS!!!  Fast forward to last year, when I find a bar of Abuelita -- and I melt it with milk.  Yummm!  Brought back that morning of my dazzled tastebuds!  I wanted to buy the big box of Abuelita, but I can't read Spanish.  Nothing is written in English on this box.  But knowing Katie is in her second year of Spanish I figured I couldn't go wrong in asking her to help me translate if Mike wasn't around (who does speak Spanish fluently).  I unwrapped a beautiful chocolate disc ... and there in English was the directions!  "Melt in four cups of skim milk one tablet" ... wait.   How many is one tablet?  One big disc of this thing?  Break it in 1/6?  Is that a tablet?  WHAT IS A TABLET ABUELITA COMPANY?!!!  cried my poor paranoid self.  I have to have the EXACT directions!!!  Finally, I just threw the entire disc of chocolate into my milk and watched it melt.

Absolute deliciousness.  Pure heaven.  Cinnamon in chocolate heaven.  Yummmm...

So there you have my two favorite things Mexican ... Mexican vanilla and Mexican hot chocolate.  Give it a shot if you find it in the grocery store. :)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

It's a Rock Star Party!

Maddie's party was last Friday night -- and she rocked out to a Rock Star Party.  It.Was.SO.much.FUN!

My friend Liza made her invitations .... she does amazing work itself, and hopefully will start a business up creating fun stuff/invitations for people!


The girls & I worked hard on the goody bags, the decorations .... everything!!


We placed duct tape around water bottles, complete with a monogrammed sticker on the top of the water bottle so everyone knew which one was theirs. 


We found guitars and microphones to complete the look at a nearby store that sells Oriental Trading toys.


For dinner, we had pizza, these veggies in a cup, grapes, and they had puppy chow to munch on later in the evening. 


The girls were all such a blast of fun!  They really partied hard!


I found girl tattoos and they all placed them on their face, hands and arms. 


I had two special helpers that night... Katie and her friend Madison came to help.


We had 9 girls show up for the party...  the more, the merrier!




Maddie's gift from us was Wii Sing It -- so they played that game for a bit.  Everyone had a blow up microphone to sing with.  That lasted about 10 minutes... because everyone was DYING to play Just Dance 2!! 


Let me tell you ... these girls can ROCK and DANCE!! 



To make it fair so everyone had a chance to dance, I drew two names at a time, and those two girls danced.  Everyone danced behind them ....

After the dancing game was over, we opened presents.  Maddie gave each of her friends a hug after opening their gift.


There's always this ONE present... that brings about the screams from all the girls. 

This year it was Jacob.  From Twilight. What a scene it was!   All the screams!


I made my traditional two layer cake my girls ask for each birthday.  Katie delivers the cake to Maddie so I can snap pictures.


Make a wish baby!!


The goody bags had a bracelet that had "GIRLS ROCK" on it, lip gloss, Pop Rocks candy, girly tattoos, Airheads...

I think from now on, Just Dance has to be a part of our birthday parties.  Made my life so much easier and it took care of all the entertaining for me!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

the nerd and the vampire

Halloween brought us a nerd and a Volturi vampire this year.

Katie was a nerd.  Complete with the snorts in her laugh, the lipstick stain on her teeth, her mismatched socks, pants that were yanked up as high as they could go, and a button down shirt that was not buttoned right.  Also completed the outfit were nerdy facts "did you know..... ::giggle::  snort"


Maddie was Jane.. the Volturi vampire in the Twilight movie.  Complete with an elegant bun in her hair, with a hooded dress (she rarely wore the hood up), and a choker for her neck ....  she was a beautiful vampire.

Momma this year choked on the pictures.  Nothing turned out, but this is what you get.....  However, in my defense I would like to say when you have two kids who are uncooperating to get their pictures taken, nothing turns out... 


Here is a picture of Maddie's friends who came to our neighborhood to go trick or treating with us....
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