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A Vintage Christmas

In an attempt to get ALL my Christmas decorations up this year, I decided to start early.

Last year my health got in the way, but since I’m feeling so much better this year and I’ve learned to pace myself, I know I can accomplish what was my ‘normal’ Christmas celebrating.

This year I want to get back to…

Lots of decorations (my oldest daughter once said ‘it looks like the North Pole threw up at my house’…to which I just laughed).

Lots of Christmas cookies…to give away to neighbors and friends. Read more

Samantha…the Best Birthday Present EVER!

I don’t think I’ve written this story before.

I guess if I have you’ll just have to bear with me one more time.

Today is my birthday.

Age is just a number, right?  Well, I’m 49 today.

In my mind I’m in my 30’s.

My body wants to double that number…lol!

I do enjoy the freedom that age brings…the ‘Oh, what the hell!’ moments…the ‘I don’t care what others think’ moments…the ‘I choose to surround myself with caring, loving, supportive people’ moments…the ‘Life is short, eat the damn Caramello Candy Bar’ moments.  (I’ve had a few too many of those moments lately.)

But I digress…

Miss Samantha was set to be born during the 3rd week of November, 22 years ago.

This gorgeous smushy faced little girl had other plans.  (OK, in reality, my body had other plans, but it’s more fun to think of her wanting OUT!)

There was bed rest…there was more bed rest…and then there was 2 weeks in the hospital on bed rest.

Fun it was not, however, there are blessings that come from every situation…and what a blessing she has been.

A not so fun part of those two weeks was when she decided to completely turn around inside me (obviously) and go breech.  This was just a few days before she was born.

Let’s use a Sophia Petrillo saying (from Golden Girls):  ‘Picture this’:  An almost 7 pound baby completely turning around inside a mother’s stomach (ok…technically womb).

It looked like I had an alien trying to break out.


And not particularly comfortable, mind you, either.

Thankfully (for her delivery…not so thankfully for the fun experience), she turned back around before she decided to make her entrance to the world.

A cute part of the story is how the Doctor came in one day to discuss when I could be taken off the Tributaline (a lovely medication that you get put on to stop the contractions…imagine having to lay in bed while taking a medication that makes your body feel like you’ve just drank a couple 5 hour energy drinks).

Anyywayyyy….I digress again…

I had this wonderful older gentleman as my Doctor, and he came to tell me I could go off the medication as of 12:01 a.m. on November 15th.

I looked him in the eye and asked if I could go off the meds one day early, since the 14th was/is my birthday and I couldn’t ask for a better birthday present than to possibly have my baby that day.

At first he said no…but I argued a bit by reminding him that with the first ultrasound they wobbled between two different days as her due date.

He hesitated, looked me in the eye, and said “Don’t tell ANYONE I’m doing this, but ok”.

Standing behind him was his nurse, who was now wide-eyed and shaking her head.  As he left the room, she quick stopped by my bed and whispered “He NEVER does that!”

I wish I could take you back to that moment to actually witness it.  It was just such a sweet, funny, heart-warming moment.  He was such a sweet but serious Doctor.  God love him.

Well, the rest of the story…

I was taken off the meds at 12:01 a.m.

I was in labor by 5:45 a.m.

Samantha was born by 10:15 a.m.

Bing, Bam, Boom.


A sweet, adorable, albeit slimy, baby girl.

It just doesn’t get any better than that.


I love you baby girl.

You may be 22 now, graduating from college with honors, an amazing Artist, incredibly smart, and drop-dead gorgeous…

but you’ll always be my baby girl.

And my best birthday present ever.



(Patty O)

Pumpkin Carving: You Are a Work in Progress

Last week, Tim and I were in charge of Gabi’s Confirmation Class Pumpkin Carving and Potluck party.  It was a great time with not only the confirmands but also their parents.

Many of you know me and know that we couldn’t just do a potluck dinner and pumpkin carving…nooooooo.  We had to have more fun than that!

I gathered up a bunch of my Fall and Halloween decorations to add some ambiance to the Fellowship Hall and Library (where we ate).  Our local grocer gave me some dry ice which I put in a bucket with some bottled waters (which I put by a tall witch), and I put some dry ice in buckets by the doors of the church too.

We enjoyed a nice potluck dinner (even though my sloppy joe meat didn’t heat up enough…I’d made it the day before and had hoped to just heat it in a crock pot.  Yeah…note to self…you need more than an hour on high to do that.  Sigh.)

After dinner we went down to the Fellowship Hall to get started on the pumpkins.  The kids also had a choice of a ‘Make Your Own Caramel Apple Bar’ or Bobbing for Apples.  Needless to say, there were some very wet heads and filled tummies.  I’m sure the dentist loves us too. :)

Before we started all those festivities though, I did give a little talk, of sorts.  I didn’t want the evening to go by without acknowledging the reason we gather at the church.

I hesitated until now to share it with you.  But something kept after me to share it…call it my ‘inner voice’ or my ‘Jiminy Cricket’. :) (You’ll see the tongue-in-cheek reference below.)

Here’s the talk I had with the kids and their parents:

Let’s talk about these pumpkins for a minute.

Your pumpkin started out as a seed.

Someone, maybe you, nurtured it until the plant grew into beautiful flowers…then those flowers became a pumpkin that grew larger and larger until it was harvest time.  It was taken off the vine, brought to the store where you purchased it.  Then you brought it here tonight, where it will go through its final transformation into a fantastic jack-o-lantern.

Now your once seed, then flower, then pumpkin, now jack-o-lantern will bring joy to not only you, but your neighbors and the trick-or-treaters that will come to visit your house on Halloween.

That was God’s plan for that very pumpkin.

Now relate that story to yourself.

Even before you were born, God had a plan for you.

You were a beautiful baby – a miracle of God.  Then you became a toddler and when you fell, you were picked up.  Then you grew into a teenager…and now when you fall you pick yourself back up.  Your parents, grandparents, and others like Pastor Katie have nurtured you into the person you are today.  They all still guide you, but as you grow older you start to make your own choices.  Now we, as parents, encourage you to make good choices, but we’re not always with you.  So what happens when you’re not sure what to do?

How about listening to your inner voice.  That little voice that tells you what’s right and what’s wrong.

We call it many things…”your conscience, your parents’ voices, your Jiminy Cricket, or Jesus guiding you”.  I believe it’s the last one.

That inner voice will wiggle its way into your conscience and say ‘don’t do it – it’s wrong!’ Or ‘Go for it – talk to that person who’s all alone – they look like they need a friend!’

It will lead you to making good decisions.  If your peers are going to do something you’re not sure you should do, your inner voice might say ‘not a very good idea’…then stand strong and don’t join in!  Or…step outside the circle of friends and be a friend to someone who needs one.

You see, this is where you are different from the pumpkin.

God gave you free will.

You get to make choices.

And, as the pumpkin will become a fantastic jack-o-lantern, you are becoming a wonderful adult through your choices and with Jesus walking beside you along your path.

And He will continue to throughout the rest of your…our (motioning to the parents and myself) lives.

As the Pumpkin fulfilled it’s purpose…we will continue to grow and fulfill ours.

You…we …are a work in progress.

Each confirmand left with a small glass jar which held candy corn, candy pumpkins and a tag that said “You are a work in progress”.


I hope the message helps you realize that you, too, are a work in progress.

If we make mistakes…

or if we conquer the world…

we’re still a work in progress.

Some days bring challenges.

Some days bring joys.

Some days bring sorrow.

Each night, remember that God isn’t finished with you yet…

We can start anew each day.



a work in progress.

Patty O

One More Time…

One of my friends posted this inspirational saying on Facebook the other day and I thought ‘What a great post for a Monday morning!’.

There have been more than a few friends having a hard time lately.

This post is for you and for the ones who aren’t talking about it:

Some days are better than others.

Some days you feel inspired.

Some days you want to crawl under the covers and stay there.

Today…brush yourself off, pick yourself up and start all over again!

(What song is that from?)

Have a GREAT Monday everyone!

Be kind, be thankful and SMILE at others!

Patty O

Mom’s AMAZING Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

Today is your lucky day!

Mark it on your calendar!

You’ll want to remember this day forever…

And remember the anniversary…

Of the day you received a coveted gift!


Do you have your pen ready?


Get to your printer…

Get your paper ready…

Make sure you have enough ink…

Because you’re going to want to hold this in your hand, not  just look at it on your screen…

Have I dragged the anticipation out long enough?…

Are the …’s and !’s driving you crazy?


Trust me, when you make these you’ll understand why this needed such an intense build-up!

Here it is:

Mom’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

(Insert the crowd saying: OooooOOOOOOOOooooooo!) Read more

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