Wednesday, December 20, 2017


This will be my final post for 2017. 
I do have some interesting ideas for my blog for the new year, but in the meantime,
click HERE to join the other Hodgepodge bloggers.

From this Side of the Pond

1. Where have you found unexpected magic or delight this holiday season?

Simply in listening to Christmas music.
A Sunday School study of "The Journey to Bethlehem"
Gathering with special friends to celebrate the birth of our Savior
Spectacular music at my church

2. What's your favorite type of holiday gathering? Will you/have you gathered in your favorite way this month?

It is always with family.  We were with our daughter and her family for Thanksgiving and again a couple weekends ago.  We will be with family for Christmas.  How the time is spent is not as important as our just being together, but it always ends up being such fun.

3. Time has named 'The Silence Breakers' (women who came forward with stories of harassment)  'person of the year' for 2017. Would you agree? If not, who do you think deserves the title?

I do not agree.  If the stories these women tell are true, and who am I to say they aren't, why have they waited so long to tell their stories?  Did some of them knowingly continue to associate and possibly benefit professionally from their relationship with these men?  Some of these accusations have been proven to be false; however, not only is their reputation called into question, but lives of the accused have been ruined.  This is certainly not something to applaud and reward.  We can only hope there is a moral revival as a result.

I have a problem with singling out any one person as "person of the year," so have no suggestions. 

4. How did you spend your time this year? Are you happy about that? Elaborate

I'm really not sure how I spent this year except to have spent as much time as possible with family; in which case, I am very happy about that.  Unfortunately, I cannot look back and recount some great accomplishment or contribution either.  I guess my activity this year can only be described as time just spent loving those around me and trying to make sure they know it.  That being the case, it was not a wasted year, but one well spent in my estimation.

5. Bid farewell to 2017 in ten words or less.

From the Cotton Bowl to Indiana family time - it's been good!  (11?)

6. Insert your own random thought here.

We leave on Thursday for Christmas in Northern Indiana with our son and his family.  On the day after Christmas, three of our Texas Grands will join us up there.  We are all so excited to have a whole week together.  There will be much to tell about, I'm sure.

At a Sunday School party earlier this week, Dick did an amazing job singing "My Adult Christmas Wish."  I will close this final post for 2017 with the words from that song as a prayer for this coming new year.

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year
to you and yours
from us

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Being Grandparents to a Little Actress

The greatest joy of being a grandparent is having grandchildren!

I know that sounds redundant.

So, I will clarify.

The greatest joy of being a grandparent is enjoying your grandchildren.

And that we do!

The latest enjoyment was watching our youngest, Ava Grace, play Michael in the
North Dallas Performing Arts performance of Elf Jr.

They didn't have ennough little boys to play that role, so guess who was assigned and played the part to perfection.

In case you aren't familiar with the story of Elf, I will just let the pictures tell the story.

 On this particular weekend, the play was held in downtown Carrollton, Texas, in an old converted movie theater.  A perfect place for a small theater.

 This adorable little 11 year old girl made the cutest little boy.

Getting her mike adjusted.

Santa and his elves at the North Pole

Buddy finding out he isn't an elf after all.

Michael and Mom

Buddy and Michael finding out they are brothers

I wish I had a video of the song Micheal and Mom sang.  It was so good.

The family trying to decide what to do with an elf member of the family.

Such good dynamics between these two.

Cassidy finished her final finals at the University of Texas Austin in order to make the final performance.

These two young actors made the show so much fun and they loved acting together. 

And Michael was glad to wrap up her final performance after a busy, busy two weeks.

Until next time our little actress.  Break a leg!

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

A Purple, Grateful Hodgepodge

Tis the season to be busy, happy, and with family.  We attended our youngest granddaughter's play, Elf Jr. last weekend and had a bit of family time as well.  She was adorable and all the kids did such a good job.  I will do another post with more pics later, but these will do for now.  She played the part of Michael, Elf's younger brother.

Joining Joyce for this week's Wednesday Hodgepodge
From this Side of the Pond

1. 'Hurry less, worry less'...what's your strategy for making that happen this holiday season? How's it going so far?

I started thinking about what to give a little earlier this year, and also planned to be very simple with gift-giving.  With eight Grands and all of them adults except one, we are giving money.  I've personalized each a bit, but this way no one has to return anything or act pleased when they can't stand what I thought they would love.

As I've said before, since we spend Christmas with our son and his family in Northern Indiana, I don't fret about my own decorations.  We don't attend a lot of Christmas parties, so finding that just-right outfit isn't an issue either.

Keeping our focus on the true meaning of Christmas is the key, I think.  It's all about Him!

2. Do you have a list of to-dos that need accomplishing in order to prepare your home and/or property for the winter season? What are some of the jobs on your list? Are you a do-it-yourselfer or do you hire someone to accomplish these tasks?

The only thing that is required maintenance wise around our house is cutting off the sprinkler system.  Dick takes care of that with a simple tool and it takes all of a minute.  We do turn off the water fountain in a back flower bed before we leave for our Christmas trip.  That too is a very simple task.

3. According to dietitians surveyed, the most popular health foods for 2018 will be -turmeric, sprouted foods (bean sprouts, breads with sprouted grains, etc), veggies in place of grains, dairy free milk, and pulses (lentils, chickpeas, etc).  What's the first thought that ran through your head when you read this list? Of the foods listed which one might you add to your regular diet? Also, can milk really be dairy free? Is it still milk?

We already try to eat pretty healthy, but since Dick's scare last week and a resulting stent being placed into a blocked bypass vessel, we are even more determined.  We have drunk non-dairy Almond Milk for several years and can't imagine going back to dairy milk.  Dick drinks an apple cider vinegar/tumeric/cayenne/lemon juice concoction every morning.  AWFUL!   We don't eat the sprouted foods so maybe will look into that.

4. The Pantone Color of the Year for 2018 is Ultra Violet. According to the Pantone site 'Ultra Violet communicates originality, ingenuity, and visionary thinking pointing us to the future.' 

Let me just say, if this runway sampling is an example of the future of 2018, heaven help us all.

What say you? Do you like the color purple? 

Yes, I do like purple and have a few items that I like to wear in this color.  Am thinking seriously of adding this outfit to my summer wardrobe.

Did you see the movie or read the book-ha!?
Is purple a color you wear often?

Not really, but plan to change that this summer. 

Describe for us one purple item in your home without using the word purple.

Will a picture do?

If you were in charge of such things what color would you select for 2018?

5. Favorite book read this year?

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

Thank you to those of you who expressed concern for my husband's recent heart cath.  He did very well and now with his new stent, should do well for a long time.

Our nephew who is a physician, told Dick that he was given another ten years.  To which Dick replied, "Does God know that?"

Nephew replied, "If He believes in science, He does!"

So, we are Hoping, Faithing, and Trusting that we have at least another ten years together.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Wednesday Hodgepodge

From this Side of the Pond

1. What title would you give this current chapter of your life?

"Faith, Hope & Trust"

2. December 6 is National Microwave Oven Day. Who knew? Besides popcorn and coffee reheats, what's the most common thing you microwave? Could you get along without a microwave?

To answer the last first, No, I would not want to.  Could I?  Probably for a day or two.
We most often heat pre-cooked bacon, oatmeal, frozen rice, and bags of steamable veggies.

3. If you could insert yourself into any Christmas carol and experience the lyrics in real life, which Christmas carol lyric would you choose and why?

"Angels, from the Realms of Glory"
This hymn encompasses the whole story and life of our Lord and Saviour from the glorious appearance of the angels announcing His birth, to His Second Coming and reigning forever in His temple. 

4. Describe the most beautiful drive you've ever taken.

The most beautiful would have to be Hwy 1 along the coast of California.  The most amazing would be the ride toward Jerusalem.

5. What's something on your Christmas list this year? (an actual list or figuratively speaking, either one)

I don't have a list as there is really nothing I want or need.  But, this song sung by Amy Grant would be as close to one as I could come.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

As you read this, Dick will have already had his heart cath scheduled for today, Tuesday.
He had a triple by-pass 17 years ago and this is the first issue he has had in all that time.  His doc told him he wishes all his heart patients had his record.  But, it is time to see what's going on and do something about it.

Thus the title for my life.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Final Sports Tribute to Jackson

This post should wound up our early November trip to Indiana.

As you know, if you have been reading my blogs for any length of time, our Indiana family has been pretty wrapped up into sports.  At least with two of the three kids any way.

Jackson received a full-ride scholarship to play for the Western Michigan University Broncos football team that broke all sorts of records last year.  It was indeed a great way to close out his fourth and final year as a football player.

However, he had another year of school before finishing his double major in Business Administration and Supply Chain Management.  So, how might he spend that year other than attending class and making outstanding grades?

He joined the Rugby team!

While we were there, we saw the WMU Rugby team play and defeat Notre Dame and then our last weekend we were privileged to be able to see them play in the MAC Conference playoffs in Cincinnati.

This post will include a ton of pictures that show how tough the game is, how big and tough he is, but also what a handsome guy is my only grandson.

The first game on Saturday was against a tough Louisville, KY team, and we won.

Jackson made two tries (touchdowns) and almost a third.  Actually, we thought he made it, but what do we know.

In football, Jackson played left guard on the offensive line, so he never touched the ball.  One reason he enjoys Rugby so much besides the sheer toughness of the game, is that he gets to carry the ball a lot.  Who would want to take him down?

This formation is called a "SCRUM", and that is about all I know about it.  It occurs evidently when one of the teams has a penalty?  Any way, Jackson seen in the middle here is the anchor and really uses those massively strong hips, legs and upper body as they push against each other to move the ball beneath them.

He is a scrapper!

And soooo cute!

The final game on Sunday was against the #1 team, Bowling Green.  We lost but we didn't give it away by any means.

I was able to capture this sign of affection between him and his dad.  Since high school, before Jackson took the field, he would always make eye contact with John and they would point to each other.  I have no idea what goes through their minds when they do this, except I have a feeling there is more love and confidence communicated between those fingers than words might could express.  I am so glad I was able to get this picture at the last game I will ever see him play.

This is another formation that occurs when a ball has gone out of bounds, I think.  Any way, Jackson is the only one on any team we've watched who does this all by himself and as you can see lifts the guy over his head.  I love the way the boy on the right is looking up as if he can't believe what he's seeing.

This is a perfect example of the brutality of the game called Rugby.  Thankfully neither was hurt seriously.

 I love this picture because it shows that although Jackson is tough and plays with every thing he has, he still has fun.

And he is a good sport and supports his team.

These pictures speak to the man and person Jackson Day is at heart.  He is like my own dad, his great grandfather, a gentle giant with a heart as big as he is.

 Jackson, it has been our honor and privilege to watch you grow and develop into not only an outstanding athlete, but a man of character and strength.

We continue to pray God's will for your life as you finish your final semester at WMU and go out into the "real" world.  He will use you in a mighty way to bring Glory and Honor to Him.

"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you;
Jeremiah 1:5

We love you Big Boy!
Da and Bibby