Update on my Dad’s Parents

My grandfather died yesterday. This man gave me a camera when I was 12. He’d give me film and develop it for me. He showed me how to make a picture from a slide. I loved learning how to manipulate the pictures to put different special effects on it. Much harder than it is now with things digitized, but it was fun.

My grandma isn’t doing well. Last night, my aunt made the decision to hospitalize her. She’s not eating much and losing weight quickly.

I’m not sure when the Memorial service for my grandfather will be yet.

Continue praying for my grandma and my Dad’s family.

Thanksgiving 2010

This year was different in how we spent our holiday weekend.

Our plans a month ago: Don’t go anywhere, have just us and maybe somebody from church for Thanksgiving dinner, relax the rest of the weekend, maybe get a bit more Christmas shopping done, but not during Black Friday.

A week ago, my aunt sent out an e-mail that my Grandma (Dad’s mom) wasn’t doing well, so plans got changed.

Our plans a week ago: Have my sister and her kids come up on Wednesday and spend the night on their way to my aunt’s house, Thanksgiving with just the seven of us, relax on Friday, go to my aunt’s house on Saturday and see my parents and whoever else would be there.

Then on Monday, my grandfather (Dad’s dad) was hospitalized for a major heart attack he’d had on Saturday. Tests were done this last week to determine how bad he was. He’s got a lot of blockages, but his health is not well enough to be able to do surgery.

Also, as we were getting shoes and coats ready so we could go out one day, we found some kids with shoes too small and I need a new winter coat.

How this holiday weekend turned out: My sister and kids came up on Wednesday and spent the night before leaving for my aunt’s house on Thursday. We had Thanksgiving dinner just the seven of us (with a fire roasted turkey… there was a small grease fire in our oven. It was taken care of quickly and easily and didn’t hurt any of our food or our oven.) We went to my aunt’s house on Friday because more people were there to visit with on that day. Some we only saw for a few minutes or a couple hours, but it was nice to see them. Today will be spent going shopping for shoes, a coat for me, and maybe some Christmas presents.

Please pray for my grandparents and for my Dad’s family.

Chocoloholic’s No-Bake Chocolate Cheesecake

*This is a repost, but I thought some of my new readers might like to try this recipe that I came up with, modified from a no-bake chocolate cheesecake recipe I found. It’s one of my favorites.*

Pour most of a 12 oz bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips into a microwave safe bowl. Leave about an inch or so in the bottom of the bag. Take two chips out and eat them. Mix up in a seperate bowl 12 oz of softened cream cheese, a full stick of softened butter, half a cup of sugar, and 2 tsp of vanilla. Eat two chips. Melt chocolate chips in bowl, stirring often. Eat two chips. Pour melted chocolate into cream cheese mixture. Thoroughly stir in chocolate, when resting hands grab a chip or two to help with your energy. Mix 8 oz of whipped cream into the bowl. Thoroughly mix in cream, doing as before when hands are sore. Pour into two 8 in circular graham cracker crusts in pie pans. Lick bowl. Put cheesecakes in refrigerator to chill. Check chocolate chip bag. Pull out last little chip in bottom corner. Throw bag away. Wait three hours. Eat one full cheesecake. Wait a day. Eat the other.

*Since writing this, I have also found that this tastes good with a shortbread or chocolate crumb crust and now I usually add a bit more whipped cream to the mixture than specified to make it a bit creamier. I hope you enjoy my recipe.*

Let’s Give Daddy Some Quiet, We’ll have Chaos

Jeremy’s been seeming a bit overwhelmed lately and I left him with the kids twice. Once to go on my Mommy Vacation and once to go down and help my sister and brother-in-law when they had the baby. I talked to him and we decided he needed some time to himself. So… the kids and I headed off to visit my friends in South Dakota. Why them? Because I love it there and they have 5 kids whom my children were eager to meet.

So… Thursday came and we packed up the van and took off that afternoon. We drove halfway there and stopped for the night in a hotel and then drove the rest of the way on Friday morning, arriving at their house just after noon. Since most of the kids were in school, my children got to meet Michelle and little Bina first. Noelle and Bina seemed to get along fairly well and played with little princess dolls for most of the afternoon. Once the kids came home, it was crazy. Michelle kicked them out of the house because the weather was awesome for October and they could make all the noise they wanted there. After a little bit, Patrick came home also and the kids came inside. Poor guy, Michelle and I left him with all 10 kids by himself. We went out to do some grocery shopping. It was good to walk around and talk while filling up two grocery carts.

On Saturday, we took the kids to the Nature Center. They had a class for the little kids in the morning and a class for the older kids in the afternoon. In between the two times, we went over to where Patrick works and had lunch and he showed them some medical stuff that he uses to teach his students. Christine loved that part the most. She really wants to be a doctor when she grows up.

On Sunday, they went to Mass, but my kids and I stayed at their home and had our own little Bible Study and singing time. After lunch, the kids put on their costumes. We had Tinkerbell, Spidergirl, a Fairy Princess, Anakin Skywalker (I think), a Doctor, Iron Man’s sidekick or whatever he is, a Mad Scientist, an Egyptian Princess, and a Baroque Princess. First, Michelle and I took the kids and headed to the Courthouse Museum for their free activity stuff. Then we came back and had a little rest before we took the kids trick or treating around the neighborhood. After dinner, Patrick and I took the kids (minus Noelle who was worn out and decided to stay with Michelle) over to his parents’ house and we joined up with his family to go trick or treating in that neighborhood. I think there were 16 kids in all in that group. After a quick stop at his parents’ house for drinks for the kids and a little rest, we headed home and put kids to bed.

On Monday, their children had school. We stayed around the house during the morning while Michelle did some running around. After lunch, we took my kids and Bina over to the Falls and let them run around and play on the rocks and roll down the hills. I hope that one of my pics that I took of the kids while there came out well enough to use for my Christmas cards. They seemed to really enjoy the time out there. After school was out, the kids all ran around playing with each other under my supervision while Michelle and Patrick went to Parent/Teacher conferences. They did really well and I didn’t have anything to really worry about except for cleaning up the mess they made with candy wrappers after a small raid they made on the Halloween supply.

On Tuesday, we all got up early and they headed to school while we headed out to travel home. We got home around supper time and we were very glad to see Jeremy again. I think he was glad to see us as well and have a noisy house once more. They all enjoyed telling him about their weekend. I think he enjoyed his quiet time, working from home, but missed us a lot. It’s good to be all together.

So, that was what happened to us for our last weekend in November. It was crazy and chaotic and fun for the kids and me. It was quiet and calm and relaxing for Jeremy.