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Toby

My Toby crossed the rainbow bridge Thursday and I am sure into the loving arms of my father-in-law.

After I lost Butch (my huge Black Lab) who I had for 10 years to cancer, the kids thought Mom needed another dog.  Every time I would go outside and he wasn’t there under my hand, I would cry.  So one Sunday in November 2001, Tara and Greg wanted to meet in Columbia. They wanted me to come over and arranged for Jimmy to have something else to do.  I should have known they were up to something but not thinking anything about it, I drove over and met them.  They told me we were going to the Human Society just to look at dogs, not getting anything I promise, they said.

So we walked up and down the cages, puppies barking and jumping on the cages, older dogs shying away and then barking.  BUT one stood out, this yellow lab-Akita mix that just looked at me with those huge brown “I will love you forever” eyes. I stopped at his cage for some reason and he walked up and licked my hand.  I knelt down and he put his nose right up to mine and I knew I was going to have him as my buddy.

We talked to the employees there and because we didn’t live in Boone County, they didn’t want to let me adopt him.  We went home and I thought well, that was great, just got my heart broke again.  Not saying anything to anyone about how much I loved him.

I guess Greg could tell because he told Tara that they were going to adopt him and give him to me since they lived in Boone County at the time and had a fenced yard.  So one day, here they come with him.  When they let him out of the car, he walked right up and sat at my feet and gave me that “Elvis” smile only he could do.

That Thursday we had Jimmy’s family up for Thanksgiving and we put him in the garage because they like to shoot skeet after lunch and we didn’t know how he would react.  Well he chewed the insulation off the door in one spot.  See, he didn’t like being penned in, oh well, lesson learned.  We never penned him up, he was able to run free all of his days.

He never let anyone touch his ears except his momma, the vet learned because he would growl at her when she examined him.  He hated to ride in a car or truck and the only time he went was going to the vet.  I would have to physically carry him in their office.  He loved his home and didn’t want to go anywhere else.  When we would bring kittens home for the shed, he would love them to death, literally!  He would play with them and lick them and next thing you know they were dead.  He never understood that he couldn’t be their parent.

When I came out the door, he was usually there to be with me and slept on the patio even in the coldest weather unless we would make him go to the shed to sleep.

Every night about 9:30 he would look to the south and start barking, I am convinced there were deer there and he was barking at them.  Jimmy said it could be any thing.

He was gentle with our grandkids and Ryker could do anything to him even though he was getting old and a little grouchy with others.  If Ryker got too rough, he would go hide out somewhere.  Ryker called him my spikey dog because he wouldn’t let me brush his hair and it got really matted.

He didn’t like it when you got the gun out or fireworks, he was terrified of fire and I often wondered what he lived through before we got him.  He would not get in the water, crazy for a lab right?  Except on the very hottest of days.  Ironic that he died on the hottest day of the year so far. He loved the cooler fall days and would run around jumping and barking even this past fall when it was hard for him to walk.

He always wanted to put his head on my leg when I was sitting outside and would try to sit on my lap if I was on the ground.  He wanted to be the one nearest me and not have the other dogs as close.  I always had to pet him first when we came home or he would bark at me.  He was a huge comfort to me and I hope we provided him with a good life.

Toby, I miss you every second of every day and I hope you have met up with Grandpa Jim and are walking the fields of Heaven with him, chasing birds and maybe being a little gentler with the cats/kittens in heaven.

 

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About 4 years ago, Jimmy had his first joint replacement.  I am not sure if he enjoyed it or not, but about 15 months ago, he needed a knee replaced.  He has done wonderfully with both of them.  Followed therapy’s orders and listened to the doctor for the most part.  He has been limping along with his other knee for a while and we had to get him through Shawna’s wedding so tomorrow is the day!  Yikes, I think once again I am more nervous than he is.  I probably won’t sleep very much tonight and I can feel my stomach feeling queasy.

I don’t know why I get so nervous about this, he has had several surgeries and comes through them so much better than when he goes in.  Yes, I will probably cry when they take him back (like I always do) and now you know why I don’t really want anyone there with me.  I usually find my way to the chapel to say a prayer for the surgeon (Thanks for taking such good care of him Dr. Anz and your amazing team) and his team, a prayer for the recovery nurses and everyone that has a hand on my husband.  Then I turn everything over to God and work on whatever I brought with me to keep me occupied.  I periodically check the screen to see where he is at in the rotation.  Sometimes I see people I know and talk to them, sometimes I keep to my self but I always get to walk with him to his room.  Every time he has had a joint replacement, he is up walking the same day, bugging the doctor to allow him to come home early.

Please pray for him, the surgery team and the hospital staff as we prepare to do this one more time (and I hope the last one he has to go through!).  Will be posting after he gets home and hopefully I can get some pictures.

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Well, on one of the last blog posts I told you we are expecting our 4th grandchild.  About 3 weeks ago, our youngest daughter told us they were expecting as well and #4 and #5 will be just months (if not weeks) apart in age.  We are all beyond excited for this to occur next summer.  Tara’s actual due date is May 22 and Shawna’s date is July 23rd.  Do you all know anyone else that has that birthday??  Of course, it is our princess and she is so excited.  July 24th is Caleb’s brother’s birthday, so they have a number of birthdays they could deliver on.  Our family seems to be pretty good at doing this, but everyone says it is because there are so many of us (that may be true!).  So expect to see pictures of two little bundles of joy in the late spring and summer!

It is fun listening to them tell us at what stage the baby is developing and the grandkids telling us what size the baby is (pea, lemon, pear, apple, whatever they come up with!).

Now you know why I have been working so hard on baby blankets.  There are several friends in the community that are expecting babies but at the top of the list are those two that will belong to us.

Please pray for uneventful pregnancies for both daughters and easy delivery and quick recovery time.
And for those that are figuring up, no it wasn’t a honeymoon baby like Rachel Ross and I thought would happen.

 

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So the wedding happened on Saturday evening, everything was perfect and of course, Shawna looked beautiful!  We cried tears of joy and laughed a lot as well.  Lots of people were there, not sure of the exact number, I was a little busy doing other things.  Like finding everything the boys lost or just couldn’t find.  I will have to say Caleb was organized and had his stuff under control.

We literally live 2 minutes from our church and I can’t tell you how many trips we made back and forth but we finally found everything we needed and got it together and pictures went off like they needed to.

One thing, I don’t know who forgot to tell Mother Nature it was the end of September and is not 90 degrees.  Looking back at other years this day, we were talking about wearing sweat shirts and being cold, that was not the case this year for sure!

When Shawna walked down the aisle, I snuck a peak at Caleb’s face and the look on his face is one I hope stays there forever when he looks at her.  I have never seen anyone look at her with so much love in their eyes except her father and me.

They wrote their own vows and read them to each other, with tears in their eyes and voices.  She walked down the aisle to “One Thousand Years” and their unity sand ceremony had “Die a Happy Man”, then after they were pronounced man and wife, they walked out to “Signed, Sealed, Delivered”.  Such a variety of music but that is them, they like all music.

So the veil, if you all follow on facebook, I talked about the story behind the veil, so here it is for you all to have a laugh.  Many of you that know me, know I hate to shop at all.  Shawna kind of knew what she wanted in a veil and we talked about it, she showed me pictures on line and one day conned me into going into David’s Bridal.  Nothing against them but there were way too many women in one place for me to feel comfortable, all these girls trying on dresses and such, squealing and giggling, talking, being obnoxious in general.  So we find the veils and of course the one she wants to look at, we can’t reach (short girl problems, I know).  We finally get someone to help us get it down and try to find a place to try it on and lay it out.  She really had her heart set on this veil, UNTIL she saw the price tag.  It was $250.00, and if any of you know Shawna, that wasn’t going to happen, let’s just say, she is very frugal with her money.  So we go home without the veil but she is on a mission to find one reasonably priced (according to her).  We find a couple and they are around $50-75 dollars, too expensive for her still, after all it is just tulle and lace right?  So she finally finds this one for $26.00 14435259_10201816863179942_2500384300123250468_o-1

Granted, this is the same veil from David’s Bridal that she looked at so she is super excited and has tried this thing on I can’t tell you how many times.  Now if you look at her reception dress that a friend made her, the lace matches exactly the lace on the veil, we didn’t realize it until the dress was cut out.  That was strictly luck (or divine intervention) because we didn’t have the veil with us when we bought the lace for the dress.

The dress was a vision in her head and a picture she found with some modifications.  She went to our very dear friend Debbie and explained it to her.  Debbie said this is the first dress she made without a pattern and she did a beautiful job and was just perfect, exactly as Shawna had imagined it to be.  Her wedding dress was from her Grandma Moore who wore the dress on her 50th anniversary.  Look at the smile on her face, it was there all night!

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Everyone said the food was great (thanks, we started working on it about a month ago and did it all ourselves), everyone loved the pumpkin and apple butter that Tara’s company Fruit of the Spirit (check out her facebook page!) made and we had so many people take it home with them to enjoy.  Remember she has 2 events coming up in October, Hatton Craft Day on October 1st and an event in Centralia MO on October 15th.

We all had a wonderful time, my parents won the anniversary dance by being married the longest, 56 years!  Congrats Mom and Dad.  You all are amazing examples.

Bet you all would like to see a picture of the groom as well, right?  Well, not to disappoint, here he is as well.

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Jimmy and I are happy to have two sons now that love our daughters very much.  To Caleb and Shawna and Greg and Tara may you enjoy many years of happily ever after!

If you have pictures of the wedding, please post them and tag them #CSGetHitched.

Thanks.

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Today marks day 29 until the wedding of Shawna and Caleb.  So many things left to do, but the girls are taking a break this weekend and traveling to the Lake of the Ozarks!  I am sure I will be posting more about the private conversations we have had through messenger but that will have to wait until the weekend is over.

Shawna has no idea what we have planned and I think she is a little anxious.  You see, she is much like her father (way more than they will ever  admit), she doesn’t really like surprises and is a little worried about what her “girls” have planned for her.  It probably doesn’t help that every time I received a message last night I giggled and she had no idea.

We are leaving the boys at home to work on the house so we expect to see lots of progress without us there to interrupt them.  Prayers that they find something to eat this weekend.  They are not very good at remembering to eat without us there to feed them.

In other news about the wedding, the flowers are done and look amazing!!  Thanks Crystal Beamer.  Several of the dresses are done, Adrianna’s, Tara’s and Amanda’s (I think), Shawna’s reception dress, the flower girls dresses and they are gorgeous.  We love them Debbie Ludwig, as always, your work is beyond our actual vision.  Can’t wait to see it all come together. Most of the decorations are compete, thanks to Marlene Freels and Pat Stemme.  Brittany Bastian and Melinda Bastian, thanks for the use of some of the decorations.  More thanks to come later I am sure, but these things are in my living room right now and need to be put away so they are on my mind.  Thanks to my mom and dad and Jimmy’s mom, Margaret and Mangus Moore and Liz Dunn for allowing us to store things at your house since ours is overflowing!

Pray that our men survive without us this weekend.  Adrianna is being left behind to hold down the womanly responsibilities, pray for her that she survives and doesn’t pull the princess card on them! because she won’t hesitate and they will bow to her wishes.  Pray that the guys get lots completed on the house and have a good time doing it.

More after the weekend is over and we can reveal what all we had planned for her.

 

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So many times I started to post something and things kept getting in the way.  I am going to try to commit myself to at least one blog post a week.  Call me out if I don’t please!!

So many thing have been happening around here I don’t even know where to begin.

OK, so work has been crazy busy and I have taken on a few more things.  I started teaching a food dehydration class about 2 times a year and it has expanded and I have been to Centralia schools a couple of times to teach them about that.  They have always been a fun group of kids and love what I bring for them to test.  Dried watermelon is their favorite (and by far the hardest to dry!).  Thanks to everyone that has attended and taught me something new.  I have also taught a few classes on various things at the Fulton Library.  Sherri McBride contacts me several times a year and we plan something (usually food wise).  Last year’s “One Read” was a book called “Station Eleven” where most of the population is destroyed and how people survive (Have to read the book to learn more).  So we had a discussion about foods grown in the wild.  We had a great discussion about this and I hope many learned that Nature provides us with many blessings.

This started the search for elderberries, you see my oldest started her own jam/jelly business and wants mostly stuff grown locally.  Strawberries, rhubarb, peaches, blackberries, blueberries and lovely elderberries.  They are tiny but grow wild in so many places here in Mid Missouri.  We started picking them and they are TINY!!  But they are a great source of immune building nutrients.  We are closely watching them this summer so we know when we can start picking them again.

Last month, I did another presentation at the library and we talked about food to boost your brain power and I will be taking this program to the kids later this month.  We talked about how smoothies are easy and quick to make and make a great start to the day.  We used bananas, strawberries, blueberries and cherries.  Everyone had their favorite and no one was the clear winner so that shows how versatile smoothies are.  We used local honey as a sweetener and  I told them they could add spinach, kale or any “green” to make it more healthy.  They were excited to go home and try it.  Can’t wait to teach the kids how to make their own breakfast.

I am still quilting and late last fall, Jimmy bought me a quilting machine.  No not a long arm quilter but it does a wonderful job and I love it.  Just need more time to work on it and learn about it.  Joined a quilter’s guild recently and we have a wonderful time.  It is really just a group of local ladies that are interested in quilting and we get together once a month, usually make a block with a theme and we draw for the winner.  One of the best times we have is that monthly meeting.  If you are interested in joining, let me know and I will have them add you to the Facebook group.

So Tara started her Jam/Jelly business called Fruit of the Spirit (check her out on Facebook), and it has been a journey.  She is always checking my freezer for my summer harvest to see what she can get and has ventured into my garden to “steal” some of my jalapenos.  She has involved the whole family.  I can’t tell you how many bushels of apples they picked and Greg peeled, how many gallons of blackberries the kids picked (and ate!) or how much fun they had planting the 40 rhubarb plants and 50 strawberry plants I picked up for them at an auction.  Sometimes we make runs for supplies if everyone is busy and she has cleaned me out on pint and half pint jars from my stash.  Luckily my mother gave me a bunch of quart jars and I found some at a garage sale (and a friend has been watching auctions for me).

Greg decided to be baptized and chose July 3rd as the date.  We were a little concerned because the weather forecast was for heavy rain for the weekend and he was going to be baptized at their lake.  We got 5 inches of rain but because we had such a dry spring/summer it wasn’t too bad.  The rain stopped and we all stood by the lake while Scott baptized him and it was a wonderful ceremony.  Ryker was really afraid for his daddy, thinking something like a shark was going to bite him.

Shawna decided she had enough of living in Columbia so she and her fiancee (yes you read that right) are building a house on our property just south of where Jimmy’s grandparent’s house used to sit.  They are doing most of the work themselves and have been wiring it this week.  They are getting married in September  and the time is flying by.  We have most everything done except the food which will have to be done that week.  Her first shower is in a couple of weeks and it will really seem real then.

Thanks for staying with me through all this rambling, next time I won’t wait so long.  Blessings to everyone reading this.

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Well, it is the day after Thanksgiving, that day when so many people shop and refer to this holiday as Black Friday.  Me, I am not a shopper but did get out and go to my favorite shop in the world today.  Material Girl Quilt Shop in Centralia MO is a wonderful experience so I was excited to go there today.  I found some beautiful material that I just finished creating a pattern for that I saw a picture of and decided I could make a variation of.  Oh, my goodness, I am not sure I am going to be able to give this one away.  Sorry Shawna!  It is going to be made out of batik material and I can’t wait to finish it and post pictures pre-quilted and post quilted because Jan Forsee is amazing always with her quilting ideas for me.

And then because my husband doesn’t like leftovers and we cooked over 35 pounds of meat for his family’s thanksgiving dinner, I decided today to make some food and freeze it and take it to our local sheltered workshop that serves vulnerable adults in our community and gives them employment opportunities.  So we have turkey and noodles as well as turkey and stuffing frozen tonight for them.  I have almost a weeks worth of food for somewhere between 40-60 employees that eat at Kingdom Projects Inc.  We are trying to make our workshop more profitable and if I can help feed them for at least one meal, I am happy.  If you are interested in helping out, contact me and I can help you make contact with them.

This year instead of focusing on what I was thankful for, I decided to focus on the giving part.  I even talked to the children in our church about the importance of giving, even if it was just a hug to their parents.  So I have been trying to do more giving this month and it really makes me happy to see little things become so important to others.    I think I will continue to do this for the rest of the year and it may become my New Year’s Resolution.  I like it to be random and very few people to know about it.  Some times, it may just be as simple as a smile at someone who looks like they really need it, slipping a little present to someone or maybe making a meal for Kingdom Projects when I find myself with extra food.

So from our family, we are giving all of you a big hug today and may your life be a little brighter.

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