Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Thanks for cheering me up!

Thank you for making me feel better about my sweet Maui.
The vet says he's okay...just a little "dopey" after the anesthetic.
I didn't tell them but...
he's always a little dopey:-)

Maui goes to the hospital

Today is the day and I am very sad and worried.
My sweet 10 month old puppy is getting neutered.
I know, I know, get over it. There are way too many dogs in the world.
But still, it's sad to think there will be no little Maui's down the road.
Truthfully, I would have done it sooner but my husband, who only agreed to let us get Maui because he was tired of the begging, I'm sure, didn't want him neutered.
Maybe it's just a guy thing (hahaha)
(he is now totally in love with Maui, I'm happy to say) He kept saying that maybe we could use him as a stud. Right.........
Well, we finally agreed that this was the right thing to do and he is getting older.
Some say that getting a dog neutered will settle him down, make him less crazy, dominant... They have never met my other little guy, Freddy.
Of course, that's probably because Freddy KNOWS he's the king of the castle!
Anyway, I take him in half an hour to the animal hospital.
He is so happy to get in the car but then he sees where we are and refuses to budge.
I can't carry him so Taylor is going to help me.
Together we will pull him in like Marmaduke, or something equally silly.
The worst part for me is he has to spend the night.
I asked if we could bring him home...I would gladly stay up all night with him,
but apparently this is best.
My poor, sweet, gentle, clumsy giant of a boy...
I'll be praying for you:-)
P.S. My boy got a haircut for the occasion. Now, my big goldendoodle looks more like a skinny, gangly colt...complete with long legs and a big head. :-)

Friday, March 27, 2009

12 Things I Love About My Daughter On Her 12th Birthday

To: Jordan Suzanne Dutcher...Happy 12th Birthday!
Before I list 12 things I love about my Jordie, let me say two things...first, I don't know of anyone who loves Christmas more than Jordie (which explains the song) and I kind of consider Jordie to be my "miracle" baby. When I was 5 months pregnant, the doctors found what they thought were signs of brain damage with Jordie. After going through an amniocentesis and "genetic counseling", which I later found out was done to help my husband and I make a "choice" as to what to do with the pregnancy, we were told that they could not rule out brain damage completely. In other words, they "thought" the problem would take care of itself but that there was also a chance that she would be born with problems. If the problem did not resolve itself, the best case scenario was Down's syndrome and worst case was severe brain damage. The counseling fell on deaf ears. Of course, we prayed and prayed for a healthy baby. But deep down, I prepared for the worst...and would have accepted it. I know the extra "work" involved with a down's syndrome child...and I know that there is FAR more extra "love" from those children than work so we would have been okay. I even planned her nursery more for a child who would need that extra stimulation. Then on March 28, 1997, Jordie was born and you couldn't find a happier and healthier baby if you tried! So Jordie, my little girl, this is for you...

1. Not only is Jordie a special gift from God, she has a special relationship with him. This little girl has a faith that is unshakeable and always has. I remember when she was 3 years old, almost 4 and came out to the kitchen one morning to tell me Jesus was in her room during the night. After my initial fear that someone had been in the house, I started to really listen to what she was saying. Jordie was always a little afraid of the dark and of shadows so she had a nightlight in her room and in the hallway. She says she was scared and Jesus sat on the bed and comforted her. I asked her what he looked like and she kept saying, "mommy, he had such beautiful eyes." She would often say she thought there was an angel in her room at night. I don't know what was happening but I know this little girl believed this with all her heart, even telling her Sunday School teachers and our pastor. My babysitter was a very spiritual older lady and she always said Jordie was "extra specially blessed". I decided I liked Sybil's explanation so that is the way we left it. I do remember thinking that if we were catholic, she would probably grow up to be a nun or something:-) I do know she is a blessing to us!

2. She loves her big sister. She will spend her last penny to buy Taylor a Starbucks or something else she thinks she would like. They are completely different but already, she appreciates her and has always been so grateful that she has such a good role model. They do fight...but they also have a lot of fun together and more and more, I am seeing special sisterly moments. Even though she has her moments with Taylor, she will defend her and protect her with everything she has. Sometimes I think she will be looking after her big sis later in life:-) For awhile she tried to be like her in every way. Eventually, she decided that being a ballerina like her sissy wasn't her thing but that's okay. She did look really cute in a tutu, though.

3. Jordie is so great at setting goals and going after them. If she wants to accomplish something, she will. She decided a year and a half ago that she wanted to learn to play tennis. She had to begin in classes with little kids but she kept at it and is doing great. This makes me think that her goal since she was 4 or 5 that she wanted to be a doctor...in particular, a neonatologist, might actually happen someday. She is also a gifted artist and paints beautiful pictures. I love everything she does but my favorite is a drawing she did of me when she was little...of course!:-)

4. She is a beautiful girl...and a strong, beautiful, generous person. Who would have thought that my adorable, chubby baby would grow to be this tall, blonde confident, charming beauty!!!:-) She loves people...family, friends...babies to the elderly. She is comfortable in almost every situation...what a gift!

5. She always roots for the underdog and is shattered if someone in a tv show, movie or real life is being teased or hurt. To this day, we cannot watch Hunchback of Notre Dame because of the cruel way he was treated. If she is in public and sees someone being teased, she wants to jump all over the person doing it.

6. She gets my whole obsession with Lilly Pulitzer and Shabby Chic. Her room is lime green and Lilly pink and she loved to wear Lilly clothes...still would. For Mother's day every year, we used to all wear matching Lilly dresses to church. She knows that you either like Lilly or you don't...and once you are a fan, you are always a fan.

7. She is my TV buddy. We love the same shows...cooking, cake challenges, decorating...and wife swap. Seriously! It isn't as bad as it sounds...the show almost always has a happy ending that we love. She even has the same favorite movie...Auntie Mame. And she loves the same treats...vanilla ice cream with chocolate syrup and once a year, potato chips dipped in slightly melted vanilla ice cream. No kidding! It sounds bad but it is addicting, which is why it's a once a year treat:-)

8. She's smart...and funny. She is not only book smart but she is common sense smart. I am embarrassed to admit how many times I ask her what I should do!:-) And she is blessed with a very quick wit. She can almost always think of something clever or funny to say or do. She just "gets it"...and she is not afraid to be silly.

9. She LOVES, LOVES, LOVES holidays and traditions. She starts planning for Christmas in July...seriously! And she remembers every single tradition we have ever done and you better believe, we have to do it again. I'm sure she will be the only 30 year old outside on Christmas Eve sprinkling reindeer food on the lawn. And she might never recover if we changed the menu for one of the big Holidays. Taylor and I suggested changing things up a bit and she was shocked that we would even think
of such a thing.

10. I probably shouldn't say that one of the things I love about Jordie is how much she loves me, but it is. She is my biggest fan. She just believes I can do anything I want to do, sticks up for me even when I tell her she doesn't need to and encourages me in whatever latest thing I am thinking of doing...and there are many. I hope I give her the same support and encouragement that she gives me! I remember when I was a consultant for Southern Living at Home, she sat on the front porch and handed out my business card to neighbors walking by on the sidewalk. I believe she genuinely likes to spend time with me ( I realize what a gift this is) and has promised me a pink cottage on her property someday so I can bake with her kids and teach them crafts:-) I love it!!!

11. Jordie has a great sense of style and I am seeing more and more of it every day. She can put together outfits better than me and has her own little sense of flair. Lately, she is in to scarves draped around her neck or her jeans. A few years ago, she was into wearing a bandanna. She's just one cool kid!

12. Jordie writes me notes...still. She used to write me notes teling me how much she loved me like the one here. She still leaves us notes...sometimes to tell me how she is feeling, to apologize for something or just because. Those are the best ones and i keep every one...the ones that simply say thank you for being my mom.

Thank you for being such a wonderful daughter, Jordie! I love you more than you will ever know. Happy 12th Birthday, my sweet girl!

21 Lessons To Live by...

My sister just sent me this list. I loved it and thought I would share it on my blog. Read on...

Give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully.

Marry a man/woman you love to talk to. As you get older, their conversational skills will be as important as any other.

Don't believe all you hear, spend all you have or sleep all you want.

When you say, 'I love you,' mean it.

When you say, 'I'm sorry,' look the person in the eye..

Be engaged at least six months before you get married.

Believe in love at first sight.

Never laugh at anyone's dreams. People who don't have dreams don't have much.

Love deeply and passionately. You might get hurt but it's the only way to live life completely..

In disagreements, fight fairly. No name calling.

Don't judge people by their relatives.

Talk slowly but think quickly.

When someone asks you a question you don't want to answer, smile and ask, 'Why do you want to know?'

Remember that great love and great achievements involve great risk.

Say 'bless you' when you hear someone sneeze.

When you lose, don't lose the lesson.

Remember the three R's: Respect for self; Respect for others; and Responsibility for all your actions.

Don't let a little dispute injure a great friendship.

When you realize you've made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.

TWENTY. Smile when picking up the phone. The caller will hear it in your voice.

Spend some time alone.

Friday favorites...

My favorites for this week are a bit on the shabby side...and I mean that in the BEST way possible. The first four things come from a fabulous catalog I got in the mail called Victorian Trading CO.
I don't know how I got on their mailing list but I'm glad I am!

First up is the chicest pop-up laundry hamper I've seen in a long time, priced at $19.95.

Next up is a beautiful vintagy key necklace (I love old keys). There is a huge assortment of jewelry, cameos and hat pins in the catalog.

Now for my favorite pieces...a shabby table fan and hanging paper lanterns. How adorable would these be in a bedroom or on a porch? The prices are great (the lanterns are only around $7.95)...so check out their website for so many more pretty things!:-)
Okay, the last thing I am in love with lately is a charm bracelet...or should I say "another" charm bracelet:-) This is one from the Betsey Johnson jewelry line and is called "Pearl Tea Party"charm bracelet. Her line is afforable costume jewelry, always fun and a litle bit funky. Look at this cute bracelet...

Guess that's it for now. Happy Friday everyone!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Cool Dessert Idea

Before I get to this yummy dessert idea, thank you to everyone who left such sweet comments on my mom's birthday post. She had a wonderful day and loved her tribute.

I thought I better get in a few more blog posts before this weekend, when I will be writing for my daughter's 12th birthday. I know, I know...as Steve Martin said in Father of the Bride 2...'What are we, the SCMALTZ family???" Yes, as a matter of fact, we are:-)

Okay, on to the fattening stuff! I don't know about you but I LOVE trifles. The point of them, I think, is they are easy to make, you make them ahead of time, they look pretty and taste great, right? Well, yesterday my new Taste of Home magazine came in the mail (thank you to my Aunt Margaret) and on the cover are 3 beautiful trifles. The whole idea is to have a "trifle bar", kind of like a make your own sundae bar, where guests create their own trifle. The dry ingredient of cake, brownie or whatever wouldn't soak overnight but otherwise it would look and taste the same as if you made it yourself. The good thing about this is each person can make the trifle they would love to eat. (And because this is my blog and I can say what I want...ladies, if you go to someone's house and they bothered to cook for you, please eat it...at least a little...and diet or work out harder tomorrow. I see this all the time and always feel so bad for the hostess. Okay, that's it for my rant...not too painful, huh?:-)

Anyway, you set out an assortment of trifle ingredients as well as small glass dishes, mugs or parfaits (mix and match) and let them have at it. Here are some suggested trifle ingredients or create your own.

Angel food, pound cake, quick breads (pumpkin, banana...),gingerbread, doughnut holes
Instant puddings, whipped cream, jello, mousse, pie filling
Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, kiwi, pineapple, mandarin oranges...
Plain or flavored whipped cream, syrups, caramel sauce, mini chocolate chips, coconut
Mini cookies or cookie crumbles, nuts, granola...

You don't have to include everything but these are just a few ideas. Almost makes me want to have a party!

Friday, March 20, 2009

To My Mom On Her Birthday...

...things I love about my Mom

Today is my Mom's birthday. She has completed 78 trips around the sun. Wow...pretty cool when you think of it that way. I had been planning on writing my list of "things I love about my Mom" but she also said something recently that really got me thinking. I posted a pretty pink house on my blog and referred to it as my "dream house". She excitedly wrote a comment saying that it looked like the house she dreamed of living in someday. She saw one like it when she was newly married on a main street in a small town near where we grew up and dreamed of living there one day. That simple comment really made me stop and think. All day long I felt a little sad. My mom had dreams? Other than being married to my dad and raising happy, healthy children? Why didn't I ever stop to ask her what her dreams were? I have dreams and my girls hear about them all the time:-) I'll be okay if they don't actually happen...as my mom was...but I still have dreams. Today, if you take one thing from my blog, please take a minute to ask your mom what her dreams were.

Now for just a few of the random things I love about my Mom, on her 78th birthday.

1. She loves God and raised her children to love God. I'm not sure where any of us would be without our faith and without the christian home she and my dad raised us in.

2. She loves my girls...and they love her

3. She loves my dogs...even Maui-Moose and little Freddy, who pee'd on her shoes the first time she met him.

4. She makes the best mashed potatoes and gravy in the world!

5. I loved how sometimes we had breakfast for dinner. French toast never tasted so good!

6. She is the best gift wrapper I have ever seen.

7. She was a big fan of Englebert Humperdink.

8. She was my favorite person to shop with when I was in high school. Wow...how many girls can say that?

9. She packed the best lunches. PB & J, a baggie of chips, fruit or a fruit cup and a treat. Always a treat!

10. She sang in the choir every Sunday.

11. She plays the piano by ear...much better than most people who take years of lessons, including me...especially me.

12. She made me take piano lessons.

13. She let me be a tomboy.

14. She loved to laugh at TV shows like Candid Camera and the Carol Burnett show.

15. She can be very witty and funny...and sometimes her emails are verrry funny:-) I don't know how she manages with that keyboard...but I'm glad she does!

16. When we needed extra money, she took a job in the school cafeteria and brought home those rectangular pizzas for us.

17. She always made me orange cake for my birthday.

18. She still buys lots of little gifts for birthdays and Christmas...and wraps everything separately so I have more to open. And, she still gives me Love's Baby Soft.

19. She must have known how bad my short hair cut looked years ago but never said anything.

20. She loved to iron...and helps me with this one when she visits.

21. She said washing the dishes was relaxing. Not sure if this was true but I find it that way...a little:-)

22. She got her ears double pierced when I did...and when it was cool...and still wears 2 earrings.

23. She watched Dynasty and The Thorn Birds with me...and liked Father Ralph DeBriccasart too:-)

24. Older boys who I had a crush on always liked my mom better than me. I'm okay with that...now:-)

25. She eats my cooking and pretends to like it even though I'm not a great cook. (Except okra...she won't eat it, no way...no how:-)

26. She let me put posters up on the wall in my bedroom...of Donny Osmond, The Jackson 5...yes, really...back when they were young and kind of cute...and every sports hero I was in love with at the time.

27. She loves a bargain.

28. She loves to look at magazines. Me too!

29. She can sew. And I can't so that is impressive to me.

30. There's an old legend that she once drove up a telephone pole.

31. She loves shabby chic.

32. She doesn't lay in the sun but still gets the most beautiful tan of anyone I know.

33. She likes to look for shells at the beach.

34. She still likes going for long bike rides.

35. She loves make-up and is still searching for the perfect eye cream, blush, lipstick and eye shadow that doesn't crease.

36. She always hummed when she was working on something.

37. She likes to drink tea.

38. She has a little bowl of ice cream at night...most nights, anyway...and is up for ice cream cones if we want them.

39. She doesn't think so but she always looks nice and pulled together..

40. She is still hoping for a great haircut.

41. She never made me eat salads or things I thought were really gross, like meatloaf...and now I love it all.

42. She loved to camp.

43. She is a great grandma...thanks to her my girls had a grandma (and grandpa) at grandparents day, even though it was a long drive. They learned how to knit and they learned how to cook things like lemon meringue pie.

44. She likes Christmas time and would come celebrate with us, always getting in the spirit, complete with red jammies...and her Christmas sweater.

45. She likes good-n-plenty candies.

46. She makes great spaghetti, pecan pie and strawberry shortcake.

47. She loves to look at cookbooks and mark recipes, even if she never tries them. I tend to do that, too.

48. She showed her children what it means to be married...and stay married.

49. She loves her family, no matter what.

50. She followed her dreams...some came true and some didn't...but she never cried about it and never made us feel that she was missing out.

Mom, on your birthday, I hope you still have dreams and they do come true. If I win a million dollars, I will buy you that pink house...and make you promise to leave it to me. hahaha (Hey...it's my dream, too:-)

Happy Birthday Mom!!!

I love you!

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