We Had Hoped The Easter Bunny Would Deliver Baby Holli In The Carrot Patch Today...

Today is Easter and I miss home.  I missed going to my church this Easter, I miss the warm weather, the blooming flowers, my bed, my overstuffed chair, my doxies, my other family who got together for Easter...I just miss being there; I really, really miss the south.  I thought that perhaps the Easter Bunny would surprise us by delivering Baby Holli in the carrot patch today...but so far, it's a no go.

For the past two days I have had some sort of stomach thing, so I have been laying low a little bit.  I need to get over this stuff before Caitlin delivers.  And speaking of delivering...she has been having some back pain but nothing that seems to be progressing.  Her next doctor's appointment is Tuesday.  Caitlin's great-grandmother and great-grandfather are set to arrive here that day and David and Codi will be here Wednesday.  Everyone is either calling or texting daily to see if there is any news yet.  I guess Holli is going to be just like her mommy.  All of my boys arrived two weeks early and Caitlin came only one day early.  And that was after I had attempted to get my labor going sooner by riding our four-wheeler around the yard!  HEY...If we had one here, I would have her riding it right now too!

When I woke up this morning, I found myself missing Parker Ann and getting to watch her hunt for Easter eggs this year, so I got her on face time!  She showed me all of the goodies the Easter Bunny had brought her and then later they sent me some pictures of her in her Easter dress...

             She went to visit Mam-Maw after church and got a little surprise from her too!

                                                             YAY!!!  More Candy...

                                  Such a SWEET GIRL!  I can't WAIT for her to get here...

I do miss home and everything about the south,  but I wouldn't miss being here with Caitlin, waiting for my next sweet little grand daughter to be born.  Happy Easter to all... I hope you all remember the reason for this special day; the day when God showed us more love, grace and mercy than anyone ever will by sending His son to die on the cross for our sins so that we can live...


I've Decided I LIKE Humidity...(And STILL Waiting On A Baby)

Last night I decided I like humidity.  Please feel free to remind me that I said this in a couple of months when I am back in Louisiana complaining about it.  But, you see, I was sitting here and the inside of my nose was so dry it hurt, my knuckles had begun to split and bleed, my lips were chapped and my face had become so red that it looked as though someone had been slapping me.  And that was WITH using lotions, lip balm and a sunscreen of 35!  I was really longing for those warm, balmy days where the sweat beads up on your forehead...I feel pretty crazy, myself just saying that.

There was no baby born last night so we decided to carry on with another ordinary day here.  I got up and went to yoga; surprisingly it didn't kick my butt as bad as it did the day before.  Ryan sent me a text of him and Allison having a picnic lunch in the park in New Orleans.  It read:  "Blue skies, 70 degrees and sunny; wish you were here with us."  I send one back the said, "Well, the sun is actually out here today and the sky is also blue...45 degrees and still wearing a coat."  HEY!  I told him you can't have EVERYTHING.   When Robby picked me up, we decided to start looking for Caitlin, Kevin and Holli a bigger place to rent.  Kevin works so much that he doesn't have much time to help Caitlin search for a new place so we picked her up and began our search.  We found several cute places but by around 4 pm, Robby told us that he hated to admit that we had just done him in.  He started driving back over to Crocker Park where he and Caitlin decided they wanted another peanut butter, banana and honey wrap from Liquid Planet.  They have the yummiest wraps and smoothies!  I got a smoothie.  Then he decided we should go to a movie to kill some more time.  Caitlin had to have a bag of popcorn...and a blue Icee.  As we sat there in the movie, I looked over and thought, "She looks like she is going to POP any minute now"!  She leaned forward and I rubbed her back; I knew she had to be miserable.  As soon as we left the movie, she told us that she had been having pains the whole time we were there.  She said, "I think I might go into labor tonight."  Hmmm...I wasn't going to get my hopes up too much, but I would definitely take a Good Friday Baby.

We dropped her off at her apartment so she could spend a little time with Kevin before he left for yet ANOTHER shift that begins at 10 pm tonight (ugh...see what I mean?!).  Robby and I came back to our place and I looked at him and said, "I really need to get a shower and wash my hair."  He said, "Well, go ahead.  The baby isn't going to come in the next hour IF she is in labor."  OK...I did it.  I took my contacts out, got a shower and am sitting here with wet hair and my red fluffy robe on;  this would be a perfect time for Holli to come.  For her, of course, not me.

Caitlin is planning on coming over to stay with us again tonight and she just sent me a text to say that she is still having pretty steady pains.  She also asked if her dad would make fresh guacamole for her (sigh...).  I think she is going to eat herself into labor.  AND I told Robby that IF this is the "real thing" and she waits too late to go to the hospital...I DON'T KNOW NOTHIN' BOUT BIRTHIN' NO BABIES!!!  He assured me he could deliver a baby.  THAT'S what I'm worried about...

Oh well, I suppose within the next few hours we will either head to the hospital...or wait another day.

P.S.  Still waiting for you to come out and rock, Holli!

A Finished (Almost...) Nursery But No Sign Of A Baby...

Well, the full moon thing didn't bring on a baby last night.  Although I did wake up a couple of times thinking Caitlin was standing at the foot of my bed telling me, "It's time"!  And I believe I know WHY the full moon thing didn't work; the sky here is so overcast every day that the poor old moon couldn't find its way to shine down on us here in Ohio.  And I also have this theory that Holli has heard us complain so much about the weather and how cold and miserable it is that she just wants to stay inside her mommy's tummy where it is nice and warm. 

Oh, Caitlin has had some more pains today and we have walked but I am so over all of those false labor pains that I just came home tonight, poured myself a glass of red wine, soaked in a hot bath and put my pajamas on before 7 O'clock (secretly hoping that I will have to quickly throw some clothes back on and head to the hospital...).  Robby is cooking some of that delicious food that we purchased at the fresh food market yesterday and Caitlin will come stay with us again tonight after Kevin leaves for another shift beginning at 10 pm.

I promised pictures of the nursery and although she has not finished the pinwheel wall that will be above the crib (I will post pictures when finished...), I will show you all the rest of the nursery...

Caitlin took the closet doors off and placed the chest of drawers inside of it.  She made the garland that you see hanging above it.  Hanging on the wall is Holli's growth chart.

                                                                      Dressing Table...

The book shelf  is sitting next to the window.  The cute painting that sits on top of it was made by a long time friend from junior high and high school.  A soft pink curtain hangs over the window and the garland from her baby shower hangs across it.

The ecru and cream bedding that Caitlin chose from Pottery Barn Kids goes beautifully with the white baby bed...

The last time I saw this lamp it was red!  Caitlin refinished it in a gray and made the flowers that are on it.  She covered the little side table with a soft pink cloth and framed her shower invitation.

I just LOVE the rug that sits in the middle of the room.  Caitlin crocheted this out of cut pieces of jersey sheets!

Another unique idea was this old window frame that Caitlin backed with burlap to use as a hair bow holder for Holli.  WOW...Look at all of those bows she already has!

                           These are also two cute canvases that Caitlin made for the nursery.

This mommy has put in a lot of love and work in preparation for our sweet Holli's arrival...Now, we just need to get her here!  HEY...maybe she will be an "Easter Baby"...

And speaking of Easter, this a picture that Justin sent me this morning...it really brightened my day!

                                                                    PARKER ANN!

She was getting dressed for her Easter party at school today.  Justin said she went to her closet to get dressed and said, "Here's my Easter dress!"  He asked her if it was pretty and she said, "No...It's BEAUTIFUL!"  Oh, how I love that girl!  I can't wait for her to get here to see Baby Holli!

Well, we are settled in for the evening and it looks like we will be waiting another day for a baby (sigh...).


A Watched Pot Never Boils...

Apparently, my mother was right; a watched pot never boils!  I have been sitting around for a week now watching and waiting for this baby to be born and all I've seen is a bunch of snow (ugh...).  Today was Caitlin's 39 week check-up, so we (Caitlin, Robby and I...) all got up early and got dressed to head to it...hoping that the doctor would say she had miraculously dilated to about 4 cm. and was ready to be admitted to the hospital...

Her doctor was actually on vacation this week and she had to see another partner in the practice.  We saw her approximately 45 seconds and left knowing only that she was still pregnant and not dilated enough to go to the hospital yet (sigh...).  After coming to the realization that we were not going to be having a baby today, we all decided to head to the fresh food market in Cleveland.  Robby and I had rented a long term stay suite close to Caitlin's apartment since some of the family would be arriving soon and we needed extra room.  We needed food and the fresh market was such a neat place to shop...so, off we went...

We bought all kinds of goodies to take back with us.  Of course, Caitlin wanted mangoes and fresh ingredients to make guacamole!

Poor Kevin had to go in to work at 10 tonight, so Caitlin decided to come back to our place to sleep tonight. She brought her bag and the baby's bag...just in case...

It IS a Full Moon tonight...and you KNOW what they say about Full Moons and having babies!...Even IF a watched pot never boils...

P.S.  I know that it's cold outside, Holli, but I PROMISE to bundle you up to keep you warm and rock you as much as you like!


Poppi Arrived With The Baby Furniture!

This afternoon around 5:30, Robby arrived with the baby furniture!  He crated it and drove it all the way from Louisiana...

NOW, Caitlin can start decorating the nursery...

She started out by putting all of the clothes in the drawers and organizing diapers and then hanging pictures and decorations on the walls.  She didn't get quite finished yet and we still have to buy a mattress for the bed and a top cushion for the changing table.  Therefore, I will wait to post a picture of the completed nursery until tomorrow.

And speaking of tomorrow, Caitlin has a doctor's appointment tomorrow morning to see how Holli is progressing...I hope they say she needs to go straight to the hospital!  On another note, I think that this cold weather has finally taken a pretty hard blow to me; my asthma seems to be kicking up a little bit and tonight I have a scratchy throat.  Yea, great, huh?!  My luck, tonight will be the night that Caitlin goes into labor.  I'm hoping that a couple of Tylenol, and a good night's sleep next to my hubby will make everything better by the morning. 

So...I will let you all know what the doctor says tomorrow and hopefully post pictures of the nursery! 

P.S.  You know that tomorrow night is a FULL MOON!

Teaching An Old Dog New Tricks...

Well, the winter storm blew in but sadly it did not blow a baby in with it.  I woke up again this morning and realized that I had slept through the night without being woken up and told it was time to go to the hospital.  The first thing I did was to reach over and pull the curtain aside to see if the winter storm had indeed come through as predicted; it had...

This snowing at the end of March was getting a little bit ridiculous.  Down south we usually have a cold snap just before Easter and then we're good to go with warm temperatures until October.  This definitely was no cold snap; the snow was coming down hard and the biggest flakes I had ever seen.  I was determined, however, to make it to my yoga class this morning.  The only problem was that Caitlin had decided that I needed to start driving myself there so she didn't have to shuttle me back and forth.  Although I thought this was reasonable, I thought of all those carpool days...and dance class days...and cheerleading days...hmmm.  Oh well, she grabbed some sort of snow brush to get all of the snow off of her car windshield and gave me strict instructions of how to drive in the snow without wrecking her car.  As we walked to the car, I remembered once again why I hate snow skiing.  I can barely walk in the snow without slipping down...why would I ever want to strap two slick sticks to the bottom of my feet and slide down the side of a mountain at neck speed?!  Anyway, Caitlin got the windshield cleaned off, set the GPS for me and sent me on my way.  As I pulled off, I glanced back and could see her standing there watching me like a teenager driving off on their own for the first time...I told her I would text her when I arrived and also if I ended up in a ditch...

I'm not gonna lie, I was a bit nervous at first since the roads in her apartment complex had not been cleared off.  But once I got to the main road and highway, the roads were OK.  There was just the problem of those big snowflakes coming down so quickly.  I began to wonder if I had done the smart thing by getting out in this mess.  What if I had to just stay at the yoga studio all day long?!

Thankfully, by the time my class was over, the snow had slowed down and I set the GPS for "Home".  I made it back in one piece, without getting lost OR ending up in a ditch!  This southern girl felt accomplished.  HEY!  I figured that if people around here had to drive in this stuff every day, I could learn to do it too.  I guess you really CAN teach an old dog (not saying I'm old...or a dog...) new tricks!

P.S.  No signs of any baby being blown in yet (sigh...)

Maybe This Winter Storm Will Blow A Baby Our Way!

Caitlin and I slept in this morning.  I must admit that it felt good.  She had been having some pains on and off the day before and didn't think she could sit in church for a long period of time.  I thought we might just to just laze around but I could hear her talking to someone on the telephone as I got my first cup of coffee.  It was the realtor calling about a rental that she and I had looked at the day before.  He wanted to show us another one in the same area...in 30 minutes (sigh...).  Well, I took one look at myself in the mirror and KNEW I had to do something quick.  OK...so, Caitlin only gave me enough time to wash my face and brush my teeth.  I made her grab me a second cup of coffee and a banana and then I was ready to hit the door.  OH MY GOSH!  Apparently I was NOT ready for the freezing temperatures that met me outside.  It seemed that yet ANOTHER winter storm was on the way...which meant more snow for us (Oh, joy...).

Thankfully, Caitlin agreed to come back home so I could put some make-up on and fix my hair.  I told her to do the same so we could go out for lunch and get manis and pedis.  I was hoping that getting out again today would bring her labor on.  We ate again at Cheesecake Bistro.  That made twice in five days; HEY!...Don't judge, we like that place.  It was almost too cold to walk from the car to the restaurant and definitely too cold to walk around the corner to the nail salon.  So, we hopped in the car and drove around to the salon.  I told Caitlin that this would be the "perfect" day to go into labor; our nails were done and we had both worn make-up!  As we left the salon, Caitlin began to have some labor pains (yay!).  Now, if only they would produce a baby...

              No need to worry, I ate healthy; Chicken and mushroom lettuce wraps (yummy!).
                           If it couldn't FEEL like spring, at least our toes could LOOK like it!
After our outing, we decided to head back home for a little warmer activity.  If it was gloomy and cold outside, we needed to make our own warmness.  Caitlin got out her 3-D dvd of "Tangled" and the 3-D glasses.  I wrapped up in a blanket and poured myself a hot cup of coffee and snuggled down to a movie that would take us both to our "happy place"...

               I've either stayed wrapped up in a blanket or my robe since I've been here...Brrr!
All during the movie, Caitlin continued to have contractions and I continued to smile, give her the thumbs up sign and say, "Come on Holli, it's time to come out and play"!  I also started knitting Baby Beckette's (David and Codi's baby, due in July...) blanket while I waited...

                                                      YaYa's gotta get ready for a BOY!
As of present, the contractions continue but are not strong enough to consider going to the hospital.  I'm sure that will happen after I take off all of my make-up, put my pajamas on and the snow begins to fall.  Oh well, I can't complain...I WAS the one who wished for this winter storm to blow a baby our way!

Keeping Busy While Waiting On Baby Holli...

Since I am here for a while, I decided I might as well find some things to keep me busy until Baby Holli arrives.  The first thing I decided to do was to find a yoga studio so that I could keep in shape; HEY!  I can't look fluffy for Ryan and Allison's wedding pictures.  You know what they say..."Pictures live on forever".  So, the day before,  I got Caitlin to take me by a yoga studio that I had found and researched on the Internet before ever arriving here; Inner Bliss.  Now, I'll admit that I was a little scared about going into a class that I knew nothing about or no one.  But I signed up, paid my money and showed up.  There was about 30 people scattered all over the room and I put my little mat down and waited for the class to start.  This was obviously a "warm" yoga class because I could feel the heat on.  I was happy for the moment; this was the first time I hadn't been freezing since landing in Cleveland.  The class started and boy was I happy that I had been taking some power yoga classes at home before I came.  That class was tough but I made it through and felt great when it was over.  Caitlin had dropped me off and was waiting outside for me when I was finished.  No baby pains yet (sigh...).  We headed home for lunch.

Kevin had to be at work by 4, so when he left, Caitlin and I left too.  I was going to attempt to walk this baby out again this afternoon.  We went to Crocker Park, where Caitlin decided we should visit the Mac Store and have our eye make-up done; SURELY Baby Holli would come now that we were all pretty and made up!  Well, we left the Mac Store with a bag full of pretty new make-up...but no baby pains yet...

After a while, Caitlin said that she was getting tired and I thought I might have possibly walked her to the point of labor.  I told her we would go home and I would cook us a stir fry and I would have a glass of red wine.  The wine was what would do it...you know, make Baby Holli come tonight.  You see, whenever I have a glass (or two...) of wine, generally something happens and someone needs me to make some sort of important decision.  Yep!  The wine should do it.

After dinner, we both got our baths, knitted for a while and...still no signs of labor pains.  Well, I though, there's still the possibility that Caitlin will show up in my room in the middle of the night and tell me, "It's time!"  As a matter of fact, when Kevin left for work today, I told him we would see him at the hospital some time tonight.
                             I finished her hospital hat and bootees...NOW, she can come!

This Is NOT Spring (aka: Cold In Cleveland...)

When I arrived in Cleveland it was snowing.  I do not like snow or cold weather.  It makes me miserable; especially when I had already been wearing shorts and flip-flops back home.  I do, however, like being here with my daughter...and THAT trumps being cold.

When I woke up this morning it was 18 degrees with a chill factor of 5 degrees (ugh...)

Yea...This white stuff might look picturesque, but it is really not that fun to be out in.

It pretty much snowed on and off all day long but that didn't keep us indoors; we headed out to a few places.  First we ate lunch at Panera Bread and then we went in search of a yarn shop.  We found this great shop, where we spent a good deal of time...

                                           And YES...We left with a bag full of yarn!...

It was so cold that I never could warm up and we eventually headed home...where I got some warm coffee...and bundled up in my red, fluffy, warm robe.  While Caitlin sat around in a short sleeved shirt, complaining about how hot she was (Wow...preggo hormones obviously!).  We had walked and walked and walked some more and I laid my hands on Caitlin's belly on and off all day begging Holli to come out and play.  But, alas, it was just not to be yet...

                                              STILL impatiently waiting...YaYa!

                        OH, P.S.  Cleveland did not get the memo about it being spring!

Early Morning Flights...Not My Favorite Thing (sigh...)

I woke up at 3:30 this morning.  Yea...I had to get ready for my 6:00 flight to Cleveland;  early morning flights are not my favorite thing, but I needed to get to Caitlin's house...Baby Holli could be here any day now (Caitlin is 38 weeks pregnant)!

All I wanted to do when I got on my first flight was to sleep. And all the steward wanted to do was chat and sing (yes, you heard me correctly...) cheerily; all at 6 a.m. (Ugh...)!  We took off and I snuggled down into my seat, pulled my coat around me and dozed off in anticipation of takeoff (and a 50 minute nap...).  Just about the time I was giving over to sleep, the "singing steward" woke me up to see if my seatbelt was buckled...SERIOUSLY?! I pulled my coat back to show that indeed it was buckled and dozed back off.

On the long leg of my trip, from Dallas to Cleveland, I watched a movie on my new I Pad 3...Did I forget to tell you about that?! Robby bought me another surprise for my birthday last Saturday!  He hooked it all up and gave me a wireless keyboard so I could stay technologically connected the whole  time I was away (BIG smile here...).  Well, the batteries in the keyboard need to be changed so I am typing this post out with two fingers (Sad face here...).  But I wanted everybody to know I made it here safe and sound...and NOW Baby Holli can arrive!  Caitlin went for her doctor's appointment today and she is 1 1/2 cm. dilated and 75 percent effaced; maybe a baby this weekend?!

When I left Louisiana this morning at 6, it was raining, hopefully washing away some of the thick, green layer of pollen. As my plane was landing, I looked out the window and...OH MY GOSH! It was snowing!  Wasn't today the first day of spring?!  Didn't they get the memo here?? I had literally gone from 80 degree temperatures, shorts and flip-flops to 28 degrees, snow, hat, gloves, boots and a coat (sigh...).  Upon checking the weather channel, I found that lots more of the white stuff is on the way, therefore, I just better bundle up, drink hot coffee, hunker down and wait for my second granddaughter to be born.

Books I Am Reading Or Have Read: "The Thorn Birds"

I became very ambitious with my reading list for the year by starting out with a book that has been on my list for a while:  "The Thorn Birds".

I knew that this had been a television mini series many years ago (when I was too young to watch such a mini series...), that was originally a novel by Colleen McCullough.  I knew that is was a sort of classic love story AND that it was a terribly long book...672 pages on my Kindle!  Well, I set my mind to reading it and began right after the first of the year.  Because I never have too much time to just sit down and read every day, it took me about a month to complete.  But all I can say after reading it is...WOW!

Have you ever read one of those "WOW" books?  Long after I turned the last page, I was still wishing the story wasn't over.  It begins in New Zealand, with the Cleary family who move to Australia around 1915 and spans the decades through post WW II.  Upon arriving in Australia, the Cleary's meet a priest, Ralph de Briccasart.  He is immediately drawn to the only daughter in the family, a young girl named Meggie.  What begins as a caretaker role (for he recognizes how insignificant this female child is to her family members...) between the two, eventually ends up in a tragic love story.

This novel revisits the age old subject of the marriage of priests to the Catholic church and their temptations regarding this issue.  Although this theme can be found throughout the entire novel, there is also a theme regarding the relationships between parents and children and basically the circle of life.  As the reader delves further into the novel, it becomes clear that there are often times reasons why parents behave as they do toward their children and without knowing why or sometimes even realizing it, the child perpetuates that circle by making the same decisions the generation before made.

McCullough's descriptive passages of the landscape of Australia are breathtaking.  She describes not only the vegetation, but the animals that inhabit the area and one can even feel the misery of the hot summers there.  This novel draws the reader in quickly and keeps them there.  And although one hopes for a happy ending, it is inevitable that this will be a tragic love story on all accounts.

I am really glad that I finally tackled this novel.  Yes, it was an ambitious undertaking for a busy mom and YaYa but I believe it is of utmost importance to free our minds daily by escaping to a world of words and reading.  Books take us on journeys we otherwise would never embark on.  If you have the time and inclination I would definitely suggest you read this book; it is well worth sitting down with for a little while each day.

                                                                HAPPY READING!!!


Going "Green" on St. Patty's Day with a Healthy Home Made Pizza!

I'm all about getting healthy and staying that way.  Since December, I have lost 17 pounds, with 20 being my goal (Yay!  Almost there!).  I started out by following the South Beach diet and eliminating sugar from my diet.  Gradually, I have reintroduced "good" carbs (no whites;  only browns:  rice, pasta, bread, sweet potatoes...) back into my diet, therefore,  I think more about my food choices these days.  And that is exactly why I decided on a "healthy" pizza for dinner this evening.

I know that one rarely puts those two words in the same sentence:  healthy and pizza.  But, it CAN be done and is quite tasty!  It so happens that my sweet hubby (and personal chef...), chose to use all "green" ingredients for our pizza on this St. Patty's Day...But first, it all begins with a "healthy", whole wheat crust...

To make the crust, simply use the recipe on the back of this yeast package, but instead of using white flour, use whole wheat flour.

Then, hubby used a "green" pesto instead of a tomato sauce for the base of our pizza, followed by our "green" veggie pizza, topped with fresh mozzarella...

"Green" pesto, roasted "green" peppers, artichokes and spinach made for a YUMMY ST. PATTY'S DAY PIZZA!

                                          MAY THE LUCK OF THE IRISH BE WITH YA!


I Now Know Why Goldilocks Liked Porridge: The Tale of How I Became an Oatmeal Convert

I'm a southern girl, through and through.  And being a southern girl had certain implications, such as growing up drinking sweet tea in the summer time, eating fish caught straight from the lake and fried and eaten under a shade tree and, of course, eating hot,  buttered grits for breakfast.  And, I must say that I have very fond memories of eating those buttered grits for breakfast; alone in a bowl or cut up with a runny egg and home made biscuits.  There's just nothing like that hot breakfast cereal to get you going in the morning.  However, when I started this new healthy life style diet I am on, I realized that grits were no longer going to be in the picture often and my only other option for a hot breakfast  cereal would be oatmeal...or porridge, as I like to refer to it.  Seriously, I did NOT see what Goldilocks (or those 3 bears...) saw in the stuff.

I think, as kids, we either grew up eating grits or oatmeal, never both.  So, when it came time for me to join the ranks of oatmeal eaters, I pondered how I could even enjoy such a thing.  Then, I asked my hubby (who is a wonderful cook and can make ANYTHING taste good...) to find a way to make oatmeal tasty so I would eat more of it; and he did JUST THAT!

Here's the way he originally prepared my oatmeal for me:

* Prepare 1 cup boiling water in a small pot
* Add 1/2 cup oats (NOT instant) to the boiling water and a pinch of salt.  Stir for about 6 mins.
* Remove from heat and place a lid on top of the pot to steep.
* While the oatmeal is boiling, take a small skillet and add about 1/2 cup water.  Peel and slice an
    apple and bring to a boil.  Turn heat down a little and continue to stir apples until they soften a
* When the water is almost evaporated, add some I Can't Believe It's Not Butter and a little bit of
   Splenda Brown Sugar.  Stir this together and pour into the oatmeal mixture.
* Pour entire apple, oatmeal mixture into a bowl and top with a handful of walnuts.

Now, THAT bowl of oatmeal was SO DELICIOUS that I found myself wanting to eat it every day!  And then, I decided to try my oatmeal with another fruit to see how it would taste too...

                                               Prepare the actual oatmeal the same as before...

Next, I decided to try using bananas.  I start with a little I Can't Believe It's Not Butter melting in the skillet and then slice up one banana and stir it around a little. Next, I add some Splenda Brown Sugar and a handful of walnuts and stir for about a minute, with the heat reduced.  As soon as I remove this mixture from the burner, it is ready to add to the oatmeal that is steeping in the pot.

Place in in a bowl and ...VOILA!  NOW, I know why Goldilocks and those bears liked porridge so much!  This is not only a deliciously warm breakfast choice, but also a healthy one.

When I decided to become an "Oatmeal Convert", I did so for health reasons.  All of the older people (not that I'm getting older, mind you!) ate oatmeal for breakfast every morning and they all appeared to be in such good health.  I googled the benefits of oatmeal and here are some of the things I found:

*  Oatmeal is full of soluble fiber and can lower your cholesterol.
*  Eating oatmeal can reduce the risk of high blood pressure.
*  It stabilizes blood sugar.
*  Oatmeal has antioxidants and boosts the immune system.
*  Eating oatmeal can prevent weight gain.

I really couldn't find any reason why I shouldn't be eating oatmeal.  HEY!  If it was good enough for Goldilocks and those 3 bears, then it is  definitely good enough for me!


Poppi's New Project...

Perhaps it was Parker Ann's weekend visit or maybe just that I had looked longingly at this play set for quite some time now,  but Poppi finally decided that this would indeed be "Just the Thing" to put in our back yard for all the grands...
For the longest time, I have wanted one of these and stopped to look at it EVERY time I walked into Sam's Club.

When Robby got all of the boxes home and started working on this play set, I thought he was determined to get it done in a day...
WHOA!!! That sure is a LOT of screws!  I wonder if there will be any left over at the end of this project?
     I sure was glad to see Pa-Paw had stopped by to help out; at least he reads the instructions!

Robby worked on that thing until the sun went down.  I asked him if he would like me to put a spotlight up for him.  The next morning I didn't need an alarm clock to wake me up.  I could hear the sound of his drill working again at 6:45!  6:45?!  This was a man on a mission.  When I got home from the gym around 12:30, he had finished it!...
                      WOW!  It looks AWESOME.  What kid wouldn't LOVE to play on this?!