Thursday, January 27, 2011

Baking & Cooking to celebrate F I V E

{I do solemnly swear that this IS the last of my babies birthday posts!}
She's by my side & excited to help dump and chop and pour and stir when cooking time rolls around! So a cooking centered party seemed appropriate for this 5 year of mine!
Our friends, Marcy and Robert Kelch {I went to high school with Robert}, own the best kitchen store where you can find ALL that your baking/cooking heart desires!
In the back of the store you can find a kitchen where they provide cooking classes & parties! PERFECT FOR THIS OCCASION!
We walked in to find rows of cakes screaming to be decorated along pizza dough longing to be pounded on & slathered in topping goodness!
Following a few simple instructions the kids got to work......
and delicious masterpieces were's food art!
While pizza's were baking we sang to the Lady of the Hour {s}
Followed by making frosting.......
and cake decorating!
It was truly a fun couple hours surrounded by friends AND family
.........appreciative of this little life we are blessed to have!
After the party was over we were attempting to get a family shot before leaving. Mom caught her in action.....dancing & bouncing to the beat of her own rhythm......which is her wrapped up in a small sentence!
We did sneak in a couple shots & it makes me beam from ear to ear to see that smile.....that smile that I don't want to ever take for granted....that smile that makes me smile even when I don't want to smile! You are loved!
Thanks Marcy and Robert for allowing a house full of people to overtake your store kitchen......a happy bunch of kids left that day!

Sabbath Birthday

"Happy Birthday Happy Birthday Happy Birthday to you.....Jesus loves you dear Emery, Happy Birthday to you."
{this is what is sung during Sabbath School at warms my heart, or really makes me tear up}
I've told you guys before that my mom is the best at making these little people feel extra special......especially on their "Sabbath Birthdays"! There are sooooo many little details she adds according to their likes....from food to decorations! Emery is really BIG into Oreo's {thanks to her daddy!} and Toy Story! She felt extra special & extra loved by her Aumie from the minute she walked through the front door!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Wrapping up the Birthdays

Birthday's around the holidays {we have many!} are indeed busy......BUT not forgotten even if blogged about 1 month later!!

Kayden's wish for celebrating her 7th year of life was a trip to Atlanta with only her mommy {insert me beaming}, to stay in a hotel & shop at American Girl! Booked!

We had brunch Sunday morning so that family could sneak in some celebrating
We arrived to Atlanta safely {sheesh that traffic????} & cleaned ourselves up
{this lasted all of 20 seconds! she loves the thought of getting fancied up but doesn't like the process in getting there!}
She dressed Kit Kitridge up in her finest
I hope & pray that she will ALWAYS be pleased & accept the beautiful person God created
We talked & laughed over a yummy dinner at Twist {thanks Kami & Carter}
ELATED that even though she insisted on wearing, out to dinner, the high heel "dress up" shoes Auntie had given her for her birthday.......she still is VERY child like!
Best part of our meal
A fun night just the 2 of us......
We headed back to the hotel for some lounging in bed and self-given pedicures
Breakfast in bed.....a 1st
Then on to shopping, perusing the store for hours! She had a certain amount given to her as birthday presents from family. It was fun to watch her fill her bag up, then sort through what she wanted & could afford!
She ended up with peircing Kit's ears.....
a "luggage" bag to hold kit & all of her belongings along with an outfit!
We then had lunch at the little Bistro in the store......every little detail is SOOOO GIRLY!

Little highchairs to hold the dolls, little cups & plates.....everything for a perfect lunch with Kit Kitridge!
I love THIS girl! Hopeful that this will not be the last time she wants to take an overnight trip with just her momma!
Happy 7th Birthday my love!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

2 years ago yesterday my grandmother passed away....quietly, peacefully, surrounded by 4 woman who ABSOLUTELY thought the WORLD of her & still do to this moment. I miss her so bad it hurts, yet I find comfort in knowing I WILL see her again! I probably bore a lot of you with all of my details in writing but these are one of those posts that I'm sooooo very grateful for every last detail I typed's special for me to read back on the last days we all had with her. Thought I'd repost it....mostly for you mom, if you're reading! I love you grandma with every part of me & you seem to living through me in a lot I do these makes me smile & it would make you smile too!

Elisabeth Oster
January 12, 1930- January 21, 2009

This is not an obituary...sorry, just wanting to share the last few days spent with my Grandma with you as we will always hold them very special in our hearts!!! I think I mentioned in a previous blog that Hospice was called in to admit her the Monday before she passed away. I sometimes can be very scheduled with my girls (sometimes I think it's more structure for me than them!!!) and that Monday after their dance class I wanted nothing more than to go home, feed, bathe, and put them to bed! But when my sister called to say that Hospice was at her house I felt a sense of urgency to let my girls have one more evening with their "Oma" (german for grandma) in case this was her last evening alert, able to talk, and enjoy them. We ate dinner together as a family and the evening was no different than any other time at her house! The girls were running through the house, laughing, screaming, and having a blast......she didn't care one single bit!!! I often wonder what goes through these precious little heads, they knew she was sick and I think in their own ways very sad. Kaydendecided that night she HAD to say a little special pray forOma sitting as close to her as she could. All the girls were able to hug her, say goodbye, and she kissed each of them....telling them with the little energy she had that she loved them. We tucked her into bed and while mom was calling Hospice back because Grandma's breathing was getting worseKayden got up by her ear and sang "You are my Sunshine"....(which I also previously blogged on) as this was a special song to all of us. With one big breath Gram was able to sing one sentence with her.......that memory will stay with me for ever!!!! Tuesday I went over and was able to spend the whole day with her. Mom, Marylin, and I gave her a good bed bath. We got her out to the couch, and just sat with her....telling her we loved her, holding her hand, laying our heads against her warm soft face, and just embracing the time we had....trying to soak up every single moment! Hospice came back that day and just reminded Mom that her time on this earth was short. We called Karlie (my youngest sister) to come to Chattanooga from Knoxville and she was able to find a bus ride that next day to be with Grandma. After Hospice leaving and giving her medications, Grandma was never conscious again, she was breathing but never really talked anymore. Tuesday evening we all ate dinner at her house. Chaotic as it seemed to be bringing the kids back again we knew our time was coming to an end. Wednesday morning Kristi and I went back to her house even though we both contemplated going home to get some house work done but reminded each other that we may not have another day with her. Once again, hate the laundry that I am dealing with today but thankful for that last day. We along with Mom and Marylin (gram's caretaker) just sat in her room ALL day. Reading poems that Grandma had written, going through pictures, and just talking in her ear even though she was not conscious. Kristi left early Wednesday afternoon to get Taylor from school and pick Karlie up from the bus stop. In that short time Grandma's breathing was getting slower and having longer periods of apnea (not breathing). Karlie and Kristi got back to Grandma's quickly and the 4 of us (being me, mom, Kristi, and Karlie) sat around her bed and just let her know we where there and when/if she was ready to go we were ok. We sang hymns and read from the Bible. We sang again "You are my Sunshine" and as Mom was reading the "Lord's Prayer" she took her last breath. It was peaceful for it just to be the 5 of us in her room with the door closed, yet we sat there and wept at the loss of a GREAT woman who will be tremendously missed. (let me mention that the time from Karlie getting to Gram's side until she passed was a matter of 15 minutes. We know she was holding on to allow Karlie to say good-bye) I will blog later on our time in Michigan (this is where we had the services and she was buried by her husband, daughter, son-in-law, son, and grandson).

I did want to share what I read at the funeral service:

I am not a writer so you'll have to forgive me if my words are not organized, I am speaking from my heart. I am privileged to say that I had the 2 most loving grandparents who were able to share in some of the greatest moments of my life. For many years I never put thought into my grandparents dying. I know that people get sick and grow old but I never dwelt on it. We are a very tight knit family and they were the foundation of that. When my grandfather died it shook our world up. I have come to see and trust God's hand in situations I "thought" I knew more about. One of the most recent being the death of my grandfather, because we have been able to have 2 1/2 wonderful years with my grandma whose life was overtaken by 4 active great grand-daughters whom she adored!!! Her house was filled with loud laughter, chaos, toys hanging from ceiling, juice spilt, sticky fingers rubbing clean glass, and more but she never got upset. She just relished in each moment she spent with them. God is good and I hope my girls can carry all the memories of "Oma" with them like I do!! My grandmother did nothing 1/2 way. She lived life to the fullest and loved with all her heart. She loved her family, friends, and church. She didn't just plant a couple flowers, she had flower beds that everyone enjoyed to see and smell. She had huge garden's that we ate from on into the cold winter months. She loved writing letters and poems. She loved to sew, knit, and crochet and we have beautiful things made by her hands to use for years to come. She loved to play games, especially scrabble and has been known to have worn 3 grand daughters out with wanting to play too much!!! Anything to learn and use her mind. She loved cooking and baking and loved watching us enjoy her food! When my grandma had her stroke 3 1/2 months ago we were doubtful she would eat by herself, talk well, let alone walk. Once again she showed us she does nothing 1/2 way and by the time she left rehab she was eating alone, talking, and walking. Maybe not as well but she gave it her all. We enjoyed a wonderful Christmas with her, reminded again that life is fragile and we were grateful to be together as a family. We celebrated her birthday and 3 out of 4 of her great grand daughters. She willed herself to be at each celebration as weak and tired as her body was. Then last Wednesday afternoon in the quiet safety of her home while taking her last breaths she lay in bed surrounded by 4 women who loved, respected, and thought the world of her. Were we crying and sad? Absolutely, but just as my grandmother did nothing 1/2 way she loved and served her God whole heartidly and we know we will see her again soon in Heaven. For those of you who visited my grandparents you know they followed you outside and waved good bye until they could no longer see you. So as the funeral home came to take my grandma away we felt it only appropriate to follow her outside and wave.....saying we will see you again soon! That night as my oldest daughter said her bedtime prayers she prayed "Jesus please bring my Oma back" and what a wonderful day that will be!! To be reunited in Heaven where life will be pure bliss!! I know my grandma would beg each of you to PLEASE be ready and meet her there!!! I love you grandma!

Sick ones and laundry soap

The girls have been nursing these in the last few days..........
......and their bodies have spent many hours here, for Influenza B has wiped their little bodies OUT! I have watched numerous video's over the last few months on children in Ethiopia {gut wrenching} & am SO very thankful for our health care here in America, {don't get me wrong....I've had many a complaint about the way medical practices are run} thankful for medicine to heal my babies.
Due to the germs flowing through this house and vomit spewing over blankets a LOT of laundry has taken place in the Hughes home over the last few days. WHICH left me laundry detergentless.....with sick kids......with a husband at work.......with no way to leave the house for more.
*Lets back up a couple weeks: purchased everything needed to make my own laundry and dishwasher detergent. Made the dishwasher detergent that next day cause we ran out of our normal detergent that next day! LOVE LOVE LOVE IT! I found the recipe through Kelley, a fellow Chattanoogan blogger! I will TOTALLY agree with her & will reinforce the use of white vinegar in the rinse aid dispenser! Makes a HUGE difference in getting all those granules off! It's equal portions of both the Borax and Super Washing Soda so I just filled up a Mason Jar full and have it ready at all times! SO CHEAP AND WORKS WELL!! I still had enough laundry detergent to get me through a couple weeks so I put that on hold. UNTIL the 1st vomit episode which sent me straight to the kitchen to get this SUPER EASY concoction whipped up! I found my recipe here from the much loved Amanda Soule~

She recommends using Dr Bonner's Soaps and since we've used it in the past & love it I followed suit
Next 3 ingredients are: Borax, regular baking soda {not pictured}, and Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda {after driving to several stores a friend recommended Ace Hardware & sure enough there it 1st cause not all stores carry're welcome for learning from my stupidity!}
Grate the soap {she says 1 1/2 bars of soap equals the 2 cups needed but I found both bars equalled 2 I could use a little help from anyone out there who has already done this: is it 2 cups grated or 2 cups post food processor?}
Dump in the processor {it looked like mozzarella cheese}
& VIOLA you're ready for some clothes washing!
{found this container at the thrift store for $1}
For now I just started with a single recipe to test it out, making sure I liked the way it cleaned but I foresee this jar getting filled to the brim with the next round!
My review thus far works! It cleaned the popsicle vomit {sorry for icky visual!} off the WHITE blanket so I'd say it's a keeper! Haven't yet had to try on on tough dirt stains so maybe I'll need to have a follow up review! I will also reinforce what Amanda says in giving the jar a shake here and there to get everything evenly distributed......the soaps wants to nestle down together!