Saturday, October 23, 2010


The past few weeks have been difficult, I'm sorry I've been neglecting you.  Along with the rest of my family, I have been spending a lot of time at the inpatient Hospice Unit in good ole' Atown keeping my Grammy company.  Lucky for me it's not out of the way at all, so I've been stopping nightly after work.  I've also been lucky to be able to spend so much time with her.
My Grammy raised 8 children, WOW.  And also helped to raise about 6 of my cousins, while my aunts worked.  She has 19 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren, if I'm counting correctly.  My Pappy died about 25 years ago from cancer.  My Grammy has stayed extremely active and loves to travel.  If I were to describe her in two words it would be STRONG and INDEPENDENT.
Last night I visited with my Mom, we passed around a word search and each took turns finding a word, Grammy ate some of her dinner and all of her lemon lime sherbet, and she talked about her cookie making business.
You see, raising 8 kids is expensive, even if your mortgage at the time was $17.  Yes, $17.00.  During the holidays my Grammy would make hundreds of pounds of cookies and sell them.  When I asked her how many, "oh about 500-800lbs", she said it like it was nothing.  That is a lot of cookies!  She had everyone enlisted of course in helping, and would make huge batches of dough for it to all be ready to bake when she had a free minute.  She informed me one person in particular was notorious for burning them, or leaving out the baking soda, which in a normal batch is no big deal but in 8lbs of cookie dough, that's a lot of dough wasted.  Well, never wasted because they would bake it off anyway and make the kids eat them. haha.
Now these cookies that she made where not drop cookies, they were the roll out super thin cut out cookies with a little sprinkle of colored sugar on top. 500-800lbs of super thin crisp butter cookies is a lot of cookies.  Yum, I can taste them now.
Many have tried to carry on her cookie making tradition.  My sister in high school, started her own business by making them.  She sold them around the neighborhood and at my Mom's work.  I have never tried to make them, but this seems like a good time to try.  I'll let you know how it goes.
My Grammy is giving one heck of a fight right now.  The past week there were many close calls before she was transported to hospice.  Many prayers, tears and hugs.  The Dr. met with the family a few days ago, and expressed his amazement that she is doing well considering her health status and the disease process.  Very few actually get better while at Hospice.
Next week the plan is for her to return to her home, with Hospice and 24/7 family and friend support.  Since I work in the field I know that a difficult road is ahead for everyone.  We will all transition from visitors to caregivers.  Although it will be difficult, I trust that the traits we have inherited from my Grammy will make us strong and determined to ensure she has the very best quality of life in her last days.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Teal and Black Wedding: We're Married!!!

As the boys took their spots up front
As I watched my girls walk down the aisle one by one
As my Dad and I got closer to the aisle
And as my brother started playing ‘somewhere over the rainbow’

I couldn’t help but get choked up. Thinking of all the time and energy spent in making this day a reality. And thinking of all the love that was in the room. The smiling faces looking back at me, just melted my heart.

Yes I told everyone I wasn’t going to cry on my wedding day. I thought I would be so stressed and almost numb to really feel the day. Who was I kidding? I balled down the aisle. The minute I saw my groom, my heart melted… again.

We stood in front of our family and friends and said our vows , exchanged rings, played in the sand and sealed our love with a kiss

Our ceremony ended with Dr. Suess “Oh the places WE will go” so nicely spoken by Josh’s sister.
I would not have changed a thing.

Happy Anniversary to my best friend and forever love.

*all pictures were taken by Jenae

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Life keeps giving me reminders to slow down.

Remember what is important

Cherish relationships

Love is powerful

And so is a hug

Or a gentle hand squeeze for reassurance

That everything will be okay

In a world of chaos and unjust.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Teal and Black Wedding : Getting Ready…opps I forgot to sleep.

**caution lots of pictures :-)

The night before I didn’t sleep. Okay I lie, I fell asleep right away for about 20 minutes, then I was up ALL NIGHT. I had some sort of stomach bug or it was nerves. Not sure, whatever it was kept me up. Good thing I had adrenaline to run on all day! All the girls got up and ate breakfast together that was so nicely displayed by my Mom.

wake up sleepy heads ;-)
  Jenae, our photographer got there just in the nick of time for us to start getting ready.
While the boys went to the club and did some finishing touches on setting up, all us girls had our hair done one by one by our awesome hairstylist!

a close up of my hair, I loved it

After we got our hair did it was time to get dressed!  The girls looked lovely, didn't they?

And my sweet parents are all ready for a fun night.

Next was my turn, piece by piece I slowly became the bride.  I was a little impatient ;-)

by Jenae
by Jenae

by Jenae

by Jenae

by Jenae

by Jenae

by Jenae

by Jenae

by Jenae

it wasn't until I had my veil on did I really feel like a bride. That's when it hit me, and the tears started.
by Jenae

by Jenae

by Jenae
by Jenae
Quickly my Dad went to the rescue and surprised everyone with his awesome wig. It was hilarious!

by Jenae
In the meantime, Jenae’s sister was able to capture the boys and get some pictures of them getting ready and also some of Josh’s family. I am so thankful she was able to do it, she got some great shots.

The time flew by and it was soon time to make our way to the Venue. When we called to get information on the limo, they told us we had to rent it for 3 hours. So we just rented one, since all we needed them to do was drive the boys to the venue and then drive the girls. Worked out great, and we saved a lot of $$ in the end. Since my parents live in the middle of nowhere down a long windy stone road, my Dad had to shuttle all the girls out to the end of the driveway to meet the limo. So not once but twice did I have to get into and out of the limo like a huge puff ball of tulle…in the rain.

Finally through the rain and traffic we made it to the venue and quietly hid in the kitchen waiting for the special moment to arrive.

Next up...Wedding!!!!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Pumpkin Apple Muffins- UF style

I love to read recipe books, well mostly I like looking at the pictures.  If a recipe book doesn't have pictures, forget it.  The seasons are changing here in eastern PA and the comfort food is calling.   As I'm trying my hardest to continue my UF challenge, it has been just that...a challenge.  I love fall food, it's just so warm and tasty and cinnamony. yum.
While looking through my weight watchers recipe book I came across pumpkin apple bread.  Since there are only two of us in the house, a loaf of pumpkin apple bread could be deadly or go to waste, so I opted to make these into muffins.  And instead of using grated apple as the recipe ordered, I used some diced dehydrated apple bits that I got from the local dry goods Amish store.
Unfortunately I don't have pictures, but you can imagine and fluffy pumpkin apple muffin.  These muffins come in at around 80 calories a peice.
Pumpkin Apple Muffins
Adapted from WW
2 cups AP Flour
1/4 cup sugar
1t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1 t pumpkin pie spice
1 large egg
1 cup low-fat buttermilk skim milk
1 apple, peeled, cored, grated 1 cup dehydrated diced apples
1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree
1 t confectioner's sugar

1.Preheat oven to 350; line muffin pan.
2. In large bowl, compine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pumpkin pie spice.  In a small bowl, beat the egg; add milk, apple, and pumpkin.  Pour over the flour mixture; stir until just blended.
3. Fill muffin tins approx. 3/4 full, bake for 15 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  Dust with confectioners sugar.
I made a double batch and had about 36 muffins to munch on and share.  Enjoy!