(How do you guys like that all-caps title? Looks important, no?)

Ok, here’s the deal. I’ve got a post percolating in me re: being with my dad and family over Thanksgiving, but apparently I’m still processing it all– just isn’t ready to come out yet, I guess. So I decided to do a quickie review of some of the more noteworthy moments of the past week and invite you to do the same, because you guys know I’m like a big ol’ voyeur, right? Other people’s lives are endlessly fascinating to me, which is either the true hallmark of a writer OR a character defect, you decide.

At any rate, here’s a round-up of  highlights from Chez Taff this week:

***** We stayed over an extra day in Arkansas to be with Daddy and my family, coming home on Monday instead of Sunday. I love having all of my siblings together at the same time so very much. We are a smart-mouthed bunch, and I literally laugh until I cry at least once a day. My favorite moment this holiday had to be when my brother Joel (remember those pictures last year of the brother that lugged his own fancy coffee bean roaster AND his own fancy selection of coffee beans from some remote mountain village in Guatemala/some remote women’s cooperative coffee farm in Africa all the way from LA? Yeah, that guy.) accidently ate an entire mouthful of dry dog food that *I* lugged all the way from Nashville! OK, granted it was late at night, and it was kinda dark in the kitchen… {I swear, I almost wet my pants just now reliving that loud crunching sound followed by Joel’s voice quietly saying, “Did. I. Just. Eat.  DOGFOOD??” BWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!} The best comment came from my brother Matt the next day when he casually asked Joel, “So, at exactly what point did your famous gourmet palate recognize the fact that what you were eating was indeed, NOT pistachio nuts…?”

***** Picking Madi up from school and having her tell me once again how very much she loves her new-this-year school. Thank God. Parents never get tired of hearing that kind of stuff.

***** Meeting Pastor David and Nicole Crank, from St. Louis was definitely a high point this week. Russ hosted a TBN Christmas music show that taped Tuesday, and he invited David to be one of his guests (also had Mike English and Wes Hampton– think it airs Dec. 11.) Several months ago Nicole had Russ flown in to surprise David at his 40th birthday party, and apparently it was a giant lovefest at first sight which is not really all that surprising since David and Nicole are also good friends with our friends-and-pastors Danny and Jillian Chambers. Anyway, David, Nicole and I all been following each other on Twitter ever since, and we planned on having dinner together Wednesday night because David was preaching at our church later that evening. Due to a navigational glitch that David blamed entirely on his GPS, Russ and I ate alone until the dessert course, but David graciously and unexpectedly insisted on picking up the tab anyway, which you gotta love in a preacher, right? We did manage enough time together for me to totally develop a crush on both of them, and David’s sermon at Oasis was great fun– should be showing up on Oasis podcast schedule soon, watch for it. And yes, the irony of the fact that many of the favorite people in my life these days also happen to be PREACHERS is not lost on me, either.

***** Delivered a gorgeous live wreath next door to say ‘thank you’ to my sweet neighbor Joyce, who not only came over every day and loved up on two of our dogs while we were out of town (we took Pip to Arkansas with us for Thanksgiving, but left Phoebe and Thea here– those girls can get kinda rowdy and I was a little concerned about the fact that with a houseful of people to fire them up they might  make Daddy trip) but also showed up early on the morning we left in her fuzzy pink bathrobe bearing a hot pan of homemade cornbread dressing AND another one full of fragrant, savory whole caramelized onions AND a gorgeous holiday candle– all for me to take home to Mom and Dad. Seriously, how nice is that?

***** Every time I pull into my driveway and look up and see this:

new roof


This is a big hairy deal because the old one was reeeeeeally looking ratty– kind of dalmation-ish, because it kept losing shingles and then we would have it patched and then we would have a storm and it would lose some more shingles, blah blah blah. FYI, here’s an interesting bit of trivia: roofs are expensive, ya’ll! But the enterprising guys at Fessler Home Improvements not only left their card in my mailbox (as did about 30 other companies) BUT followed through with dealing with our insurance company and helping us wade through the paperwork until voila! New roof, that cost us nothing but the deductible. I fully expect to start receiving anonymous thank-you notes from every person who had to drive past our house this last year. We are now no longer the White Trash Neighbors, at least as far as roofs are concerned. (And yes, I do realize our gutters need painting. Baby-steps, people.)

***** The Gaither Homecoming Christmas concert was in Nashville last night at the Sommet Center and I had about as much fun as the law allows. The girls and I went over early to have dinner with everybody backstage, and over the course of the evening I saw about a frillion people I have not seen in decades– specifically fellow artists who live in town but we never cross paths with anymore, and people who worked at Word during the decades that Russ was signed with them, which was wonderful. I also got to hug and kiss a bunch of  Homecoming artists’ kids and family members that I don’t see often enough and admire the latest crop of babies– dang, they are a fertile bunch (yes, I’m looking at YOU, Wes and Andrea Hampton.) And to top it off, Danny and Jillian were able to be there for the second half of the concert and I thoroughly enjoyed being able to flaunt the fact that we did indeed know people who were not afraid to be called our pastors in public. I also repeatedly acknowledged that yes, shepherding the Taff family obviously requires a pastoral tag-team– because if I didn’t point that out, doubtlessly someone else would have. Anyway, the whole thing was fabulous, even if we did manage to somehow misplace Charlotte when it was all over and we were about to leave. After a frantic fifteen minutes during which I became hyper-aware of just how many arena dock workers look disturbingly like carny-folk, and just how many dark corners and corridors there are deep in the bowels of the Sommet, we located her right before poor Russ completely freaked out and issued an Amber Alert. She was safely waaaaaaay upstairs at Lynda Randle’s booth hanging out with Joy. Thank God for security people with walkie-talkies. Charlotte was horrified that she had scared us so, and apologized all the way home, bless her. The girls and I finally fell into bed around midnight, and Russ and the gang headed off to Indiana. Catch a concert if you can, you will definitely walk out feeling Christmas-y.

OK, that’s the Week in Review at the ‘bloomr! So… tell me the highlights of yours!

52 Responses

  1. rachelbaker

    Awww, what a great week Tori. Sounds fairly exhausting though.

    Brief highlights of mine – my brother and his wife and little boy coming to see us. Joseph and my Daniel hadn’t seen each other since they have both become crawler/cruisers and it was fun watching them interact. I am not exaggerating to say my son and my nephew are the cutest baby boys in the world – seriously Tori – you need to send little Perri over here in about 20 years time and we’ll do some match making!

    Beth pulling a grumpy face when she found out she was going to be an angel in the nativity play and complaining ‘I just have to stand there and do nuffin’. However, when she realised she could wear tinsel and wings it suddenly became a much more exciting prospect.

    Another Beth highlight of the week is that now she wants to be a singer when she grows up – as well as a firefighter, lorry driver and tree feller. She wants to sing ‘Jesus is the best thing’ just like Russ – he has made a lasting impression on her 3 year old mind!

    Hannah has been learning the words to all the songs in her nativity play and the house is full of semi-tuneful music constantly. She will be a star on Tuesday and in true Hannah fashion will be taking it very seriously.

    Today we got the Christmas tree and the kids were suitably enchanted. Hannah chose the gold/red colour scheme and Beth hung the baubles with care.

    Oh, I also got an ipod touch which I am enjoying playing with. I am so out of touch with technology. Now I just need someone to teach me to tweet. (Another highlight of the week – annoying my brother by calling it twitting not tweeting).

    I’m tired and have a cold, but ‘its beginning to look a lot like Christmas’.

  2. bettyrwoodward

    Sounds like a good week Tori and Rachel. I would love to come to one of the Homecoming concerts but it’s a bit far to travel. Rachel I would have loved to have been with you all last Saturday and seen Daniel and Joseph together.
    The highlight of my week was last Sunday when we baptised 8 people and another 4 gave their lives to the Lord. God is good.
    Christmas is coming. The card are written and the presents wrapped still have the decorations to put up. I really need to do some cleaning first though!

  3. delightedabroad

    Sounds like a great time, Tori, rachelbaker & bettyrwoodward ! I’m glad you’re feeling evermore ‘Christmas-y’…
    My highlight this week after 3 tests came via email from a mate of my French class: she said they were willing to re-do the G-F translation to “provide a bailout for me” if I should have failed (still don’t know the result). How sweet is that ?
    Sorry, I have to make it short now because I have to prepare a presentation (hotel business in France…meaning all in French) for Tuesday.

  4. themema

    Well, for once, I believe that I can top all of these so far. But I am NOT suggesting anyone else try it.

    Wednesday morning, I got up at 4:00 am., took a complete bath in antiseptic soap with no fragrance, no moisturizer, and headed to the Heart Pavilion for scheduled Open Heart Surgery. They took me up to the OR at 8:30 for an 8 to 10 hour procedure. When I roused, I realized it was still light outside, and knew something was amiss. Yeah, it was. Going in to put the big port in my side, they knicked the lining of the lung, (which had dropped to fill in the space that my spleen once occupied)and I bled like a stuck pig. Well, so much for the surgery. After 4 hours under deep anesthesia the heart surgery had to be aborted.

    I spent one night in intensive care, and then was moved to the heart recover floor where I continued to sleep off my anesthesia induced coma. During the night I aroused and flipped on the TV and began surfing. And low and behold, as I flicked on one channel, there appeared the famous most exciting voice in gospel music. Just for a moment, and he was gone. But I decided to wait and see if he reappeared. My wait was rewarded. Russ reappeared in my room in an elaborate angel costume, and sang to me….just to me for the next 1 1/2 hours! I was so sure that someone would accuse me of hallucinating that I called my nurse and “bless her heart” she knew who Russ Taff was and confirmed that he was indeed on the screen in full angel gear and singing to me.

    Unfortunately, they wil attempt the heart surgery again in January. I’m counting on Russ appearing in his angel costume to sing to me again.

  5. tori

    OK, show of hands: Who thinks themema TOTALLY WINS in the “Most Interesting Week” category?! Yep, me too!

  6. rockin robyn

    themema totally wins… I won’t even enter mine-just that I had the family over to my house and we had a great time of togetherness…

    That was incredible and so unbelievable. I’m so sorry that happened to you themema! Were’s Dr. Bracket when you need him? ***sorry big ’70’s Emergency fan***

    My prayers are with you in this healing and recovery time. Russ is truly your angel! God is so amazing isn’t He???

  7. themema

    By the way. I love the textured shingles. They are a lot more expensive, but sure look great on a house.

  8. rachelbaker

    themema wins hands down. I am so sorry that after all the preparation that it couldn’t happen this time, but so pleased that God used Russ to show you that He is still in control of it all. You’ll have a story to tell for years to come!

  9. swerchon

    Totally agree that themema wins hands down – wow

    For me the week was work work and then more work so to break the boredom what did I do….Ladies….I went shopping over the weekend. We drove to Frankenmeuth Michigan (ever been??) if NOT you must check it out, especially this time of the year. It is a Bavarian-type town and known for CHRISTMASY things like their huge store BRONNERS which states CHRISTmas – LOVE THAT !!! My Canadian eyes were going blind with all of the Christmas decorations, that store is amazing, you also must see it at night with all their CHRISTMAS lights.

    We drove from Toronto area (Brampton) and headed NORTH to Frankenmeuth (I find it funny that a Canadian had to drive North to get the the US. We had fun – wow there were bargains galore there. Love JoAnnes store, I bought a 4ft tree – it was listed at $69 and then a reduction of 50% — WOW are you kidding me, home it came with me. I also checked out Meijer (not sure if this store is all over the US) but it is a WalMart-like store with; groceries, home things and pharamacy items. Loved all of the different frozen foods, especially the variety in ice cream. They had the tiny little Hagen Daaz ice creams (love in a tiny cup).

    So my week was ok but my weekend ROCKED!!!!
    p.s. enjoyed tweeting with you Tori, I was glad you loved the movie. Have you ever seen NOW VOYAGER with Bette Davis or the HEIRESS with Montgomery Cliff both excellent movies – sorry I went off topic!!

    This week is starting off great, arrived home safely from Frankenmeuth and today I am working from home.

    LOVED the roof – wow they did an amazing job

    Have a great week everyone

  10. MostlySunny

    themema – hands down!

    Great roof! So glad the T family won’t be getting wet this winter.

    The week started out last Sunday leaving church. I’m following my son up a hill…then he’s not going up anymore. Transmission went out! We’ve had this poor Toyota for 13 years and it finally pooped out. It only had 249,184 miles on it. Dang – we soooo wanted to get to 250,000! He’s now the proud owner of a new-to-him Subaru something-or-other. He loves it! It is such a truly wonderful thing when your kids have to buy their own cars and insurance.

    The rest of the week – work, Christmas choir stuff, work, Wednesday night Bible study (I’m teaching Hebrews), work, work, work, Saturday wedding (P.S. Mothers of the bride can be “not very nice people”), Sunday – ahhh! Wonderful worship and hearing the Word. What a great day! Afternoon nap. I whole heartedly support the Sabbath (Sunday) rest thing.


  11. LindaB

    Tori, I love the story of your brother Joel and the dog food! You’re gonna have to keep him away from fire hydrants now! That was so funny!

    As for highlight of my week?? Well, there was none. None that I’d call a “highlight”. It was just a week. Your roof looks nice. There’s a family down the road that recently put on a metal roof! Bright red! I’d love to be in that house when it rains now. Cool!

    OMG, Swerchon! You were about 15 minutes from my house when you were in Frankenmuth!!!! If I’d known you were there, I could have met up with you and had coffee or something! We LOVE Frankenmuth, especially at Christmas time! It’s delightful! My youngest daughter used to work at the Bavarian Inn! We try to go there every holiday and have their famous family-style chicken dinner—–all you can eat! And it’s incredibly delicious! I think my husband may hold the record for the most chicken pieces eaten at one sitting. The waitress made the mistake of telling him some other guy held the record of 21 pieces. He couldn’t let a challenge like that go unanswered! He ate his way to a new record of 22 pieces, PLUS the sides of mashed potatoes, homemade cottage cheese (the BOMB), cranberry relish, celery and giblet dressing, fruit breads, fried apples, homemade butter crumb noodles, coleslaw, etc.! We were with a group of friends and I was embarrassed and proud at the same time! He was awesome! When the wisecrackin’ waitress came to take our dessert order, we all ordered one scoop of ice cream. When she came to my husband, she said, “Will a gallon be enough to start with, Sir?” LOL

    Next time you’re in Frankenmuth, tell me and I’ll meet you there! I won’t bring my hubby—–wouldn’t want to embarrass you! He can’t do that kind of eating anymore though.

  12. swerchon

    Hey LindaB – wow you are right if we only knew. Next time for sure – I go to Frankenmeuth frequently and I would LOVE to meet ya.

    Your hubby sounds like a hoot…22 pieces, what a champ. That chicken is amazing, we couldn’t get in on Saturday TOOOOOOO many people and we decided to go to DEVINCI’s you must know it, GREAT BAKED SPAGHETTI Yummy !!!! No line up there. We stay away from TONY’s that place is lethal but fun.

    Pretty country in that neck of the woods – LindaB we usually come up twice a year, so I will let ya know and that coffee sounds good to me.

  13. LindaB

    WONDERFUL! It’s a date!

    Yes, we’ve eaten at Devinci’s many times. And yes, the Bavarian Inn and Zender’s is always busy at the holidays and you need to make a reservation way ahead of time! There’s a more casual cafeteria style eating place in the basement of Zender’s that’s very good and isn’t as crowded! Same great chicken though! There’s a bakery and gourmet food shop down there too. There’s also a wonderful family run Chinese restaurant in town that I love to go to! I’ll show you where when we meet for coffee!

    When you come to visit Frankenmuth, do you ever get to the Birch Run Factory Outlet Mall just down the road——-the largest outlet mall in the country I’ve been told. It is huge! And there’s some good eating places around there too, and a few very nice motels. Lots of Canadians come there to shop!

    Oh, and yes, Themema, you certainly did have the most dramatic, eventful week of all! Can’t wait for your next installment of the surgery saga.

    BTW, does anyone know the difference between a “hotel” and a “motel”? I’ve always meant to ask someone but then forget to do it.

  14. swerchon

    Yes I know Birch Run we always go there – a lot of stores are gone :-( . This time we actually stayed at the Country Inn and Suites across from it. We usually hit the Dairy Queen as well, but this time it was FREEZING and I believe it was closed for the season.

    I went to the Christian store (little disappointing) however, I managed to pick up the Christmas CD from Ernie Haas and Signature Sound and the DVD from Mark Lowry – The Last Word. Both are great.

  15. LindaB

    Birch Run is five minutes from my house!!! You were so close!

    Yes, a lot of the stores have gone out of business, but it seems that there’s always one that takes it’s place eventually. The Christian book store is sparsely stocked to say the least. But you can find a bargain there once in a while.

    My youngest daughter works at the Pottery Barn! That store is ALWAYS busy! It has some cool stuff too.

  16. themema

    Linda, I know the answer to your question. One is spelled with an “H”, and the other is spelled with an “M”.

    Ok, motel came from Motor Hotel and refers to a building where the doors face the outside, and a car can be parked close to your door for unloading from your “Motor” vehicle.

    A hotel has doors that open into an inner hallway, and cars are parked in lots but without direct convenience to the door of the room.

    Linda, when you and Swerchon get together for coffee and Haagen Daaz, please don’t forget your camera. And Swerchon, I gotta wanr you, Linda can hold her own when it comes to little cups of Haagen Daaz.

  17. LindaB

    You got that right! And I’ve bought probably hundreds of them at that same Meijer’s store you were in, Swerchon!!!! Ben and Jerry’s too! I guess I don’t feel as guilty eating a little cup of ice cream………..but every hour on the hour! LOL

  18. auburn60

    I definitely agree that theMema had the most dramatic week, HOWEVER: Tori had you not recovered Charlotte it could have gotten pretty dramatic here in TN what with us having to organize search and rescue parties,shake down every suspicious-looking person and comb the hills and vallies to find her! That is so scary when one of your chidren is unaccounted for–all kind of things go through your head. You need to microchip her or put a bell around her neck.

    We didn’t have any major highlights either. Decorating this dang house is taking me forever. You’d think that all the tall people I live with would be willing to help me reach all the high places to ‘be-deck’, but NOOOOO…they are never here. Serve’em right to come home and find I broke my neck falling off a ladder. Oh wait,I guess that’s not such a good idea.

    And my MIL is bugging the hooey out of us about when she can come visit over the next three weeks and ‘Never’ does not seem to be an acceptable response.

    And the baseball coach wants to meet with me Wed. and since I’m rea-son-ably sure that Matthew hasn’t done anything bad (lately) I’m afraid it might involve another committee–and I don’t like committees.

    Linda, we’ve got to schedule an eating contest with Terry and Harris. Mine always does the ‘steak challenges’–you know, if you eat the whole Black Angus with a potato you get to carve your name on the wall or something.

  19. delightedabroad

    themema, I hope you already feel better ?

    Uuuhhh, I have sad news: I totally failed the French test ! You can perhaps imagine that I was profoundly disappointed when reading the mail… well, anyway, in February I will do the exam in English then and continue French classes until summer. It will need a little research to find out where I can possibly do the exam AND get state approval. Why can’t things go straight and easy ? (guess it’s a more rhetorical question…)

  20. tori

    Aw, delightedabroad– I’m SO sorry! It is finals week around here at the girls’ schools– Madi had one today and Char has her first one tomorrow– so tests are very much on everybody’s mind. I’m glad you can re-take it, but I hate that it will add some stress to your life. All of us here at the ‘bloomr are rooting for you!

  21. bettyrwoodward

    Sorry delighted. Your English is so good at least that shouldn’t be a problem. I must admit I find languages extremely hard and you I much much better than me. God Bless with the retake.

  22. delightedabroad

    The biggest relief is that God will lead me through. It is also a relief that I know I have the ability needed so I just have to cope with the “health factor”… btw, this would further improve my English marks as well.

  23. rachelbaker

    I’m really sorry for your disappointment Delighted, I know how hard you worked. I shall keep praying for your health so that you can perform to your full potential.

  24. MostlySunny

    Delighted – I’m so sorry. But we’re with you no matter what.

    Tori – I forgot to comment on your episode with “misplacing” Char. Oh my gosh! That’s like the worst, sickest feeling in the world. And trying NOT to panic; your mind reeling and thinking the worst of all things. I’m “together” through the crisis then fall completely apart when it’s all over and everything is fine. So glad all is well.

  25. jonny

    OK, the theme of this week seems to be, “Be strong,” “Don’t give up” and “Keep going!” This has come from three different sources from three different parts of the world. So, delighted, hang tight, girl!!

    Themema, really glad your still with us and that you are a little more aware of the quarden angels Chirst has all over you!!

    Well done with the roof, Tori! Yes, baby steps, also a theme for me the last couple weeks!! = ) And, doesn’t Char have a fully charged mobile with her for situations such as these??? Modern technology! There’s probably good reason God has given it to us = )

    OK, baby steps. Last week I FINALLY got a light up in the kitchen area. I’ve had the light for nearly a year and a half. Got a bit of extra money, so decided to go for it!! Went out and bought five energy saving bulbs, much more expensive than expected, but went for it! Also bought a piece that one should screw into their ceiling so the new, modern fixture could be easily attached to it amd there would then be no need to directly, and possibly dangerously, attach lamp wires to ceiling wires. Well, my ceiling is nearly a hundred years old with a neat 3D decorative piece as part of the ceiling where the lamp is wired to and hangs from. Basically, no attaching new modern adapting piece, has to go back to the store and get me some money back on that one.

    Next two days spent trying to figure out how to best convert, or de-convert, new modern lamp set up to a straight old-fashioned two wires from being hooked together to two exposed wires from ceiling set up. Also, wiring in an apartment so old, the wires coming out of the ceiling are not color coded! Also, switch set up for the lamp so old not sure if the red button pressed in is the “off” position, or is it the black one??? Make a couple phones calls to a friend in the know. He tells me to leave it alone because I’ll probably kill myself. Well, after three days of figuring out how to make it all work, I wasn’t giving up that easily!! Death, or no death, I will at least try something! Well, I shut all the fuses down, figured out how to best attach all the wires together, plus find something tall enough for me to stand on to reach my extremely high ceilings, and then flip the main fuse box switch up! Well, good thing I turned all the power off because I guessed wrong with the little red and balck buttons!! Oh, and remember the expensive energy saving bulbs?? Well, the lamp is set up to look like five antiqued bronze stems coming out of medium brown wood base that looks like an old pepper ‘shaker.’ The kind you manually twist to girnd down the pepper you will soon be shaking out! At the end of these five lovely faux bronzed stems are white, milk glass looking flower pedals, with the light bulb coming up out from the center. Well, it was obviously designed to have these lovely, non-energy saving, spearhead shaped 40 watt bulbs protuding out of the center of the ‘flower,’ NOT these bulky, twisty engergy saving things that make the flowers look like something aliens from another planet would create to give their earth captives the feeling of home, but in reality only reminding them even more so how far they truly are from it look!! But, it is a blessing to actually have the kitchen all lit up so I can work around in there in the afternoons and evenings as well now!! = )

    OK, I guess that’s enough catching up for now! Good to read everyone’s posts, and still have you in my prayers delighted!! = )

  26. jonny

    Something a friend told me about yesterday. Don’t know how “pop”ular, or well known it is, but here goes…

    Please join me in remembering a great icon. Veteran Pillsbury spokesperson, Pop N. Fresh, aka The Pillsbury Doughboy, died yesterday of a severe yeast infection and complications from repeated pokes to the belly. He was 71. Doughboy was buried in a slightly greased coffin. Dozens of celebrities turned out, including Mrs. Butterworth, the California Raisins, Hungry Jack, Betty Crocker, the Hostess Twinkies, Captain Crunch and many others.

    The graveside was piled high with flours as long-time friend, Aunt Jemima, delivered the eulogy, describing Doughboy as a man who “never knew how much he was kneaded.”

    Doughboy rose quickly in show business, but his later life was filled with many turnovers. He was not considered a very smart cookie, wasting much of his dough on half-baked schemes. Despite being a little flaky at times, and even as a crusty old man, he was still considered a roll model for millions.

    Toward the end it was thought he’d raise once again, but alas, he was no tart.

    Doughboy is survived by his second wife, Play Dough; two children, John Dough and Jane Dough; plus they had one in the oven. He was also survived by his elderly father, Pop Tart. The funeral was held at 3:50 for about 20 minutes.

  27. auburn60

    Why do I feel like I should go put a pan of crescent rolls in the oven?

  28. carsmith

    Both hands are in the air….voting for themema. I’m praying for the doctors to be more careful at your next surgery.

    Thanksgiving is a time to spend with family and friends and that’s exactly what we did. I cooked for my family Thanksgiving Day and was happy my 90 yr old aunt was able to attend.
    The following day was spent with the family of dear friends. Jim and I happen to be the only folks not “kin” except for a boy or girl friend of the young’ens. One of the Adult kids happens to be a famous gospel singer. I tagged along with other family members on Sunday to hear that wonderful guy sing and present the Word of God at a local church. It was great seeing your Mom and meeting the dog food eating…… coffee bean expert brother and other family members.
    I almost had a panic attach reading about Char. Scary.

    Tori, we love you and your family so much. I know that I’m preaching to the choir when I tell you that it is such a blessing to hear Russ sing. Do you get tired of folks telling you that? I just love his big heart and he knows why.
    You have a special family and we just love you all a bushel and a peck.

  29. carsmith

    Panic attack…..I need to proof.

    Thanks to Jonny I added crescent rolls and twinkies to my grocery list.

  30. jonny

    You’re welcome = )

  31. jonny

    Oh, and my pleasure. Of course.

  32. LindaB

    First of all, Alyson…..who is “Harris”? Is that your hubby’s name? Do you think he can whip my husband in an eating contest? ROFLOL Not in this lifetime! Well, actually, he could now because my hubby’s on a heart healthy diet by necessity. So the contest is out…………UNLESS, we could conduct a celery eating contest! Then he might have a chance of winning……..and LIVING! lol

    Jonny, you have given me a brilliant idea for a diet plan——I’m gonna take out all the lightbulbs and sources of light in my kitchen! I will eat just about anything that doesn’t eat me first, BUT, I do have to SEE IT first!!! I don’t think I’ve ever eaten anything in the dark……especially something from MY fridge! It could have stuff growning on it, for Pete’s sake! And you’ve given me another idea…..a money saving idea! Can I get those energy saving bulbs for the fridge……ya know, the bulb that lights up when you open the door? Mine gets a real workout! I’m getting a tan from it!

    Delighted, I’m so sorry you didn’t pass your test……….THIS TIME! But I’m sure you will the next time! And your English test should be a breeze—-you are so good with English! I am amazed! And we’re all praying for you!

    Okay, I have to tell you good folks that I am so stressed right now! This time of year I always feel like this: like the Christmas train has left the station and I am running behind it trying to catch up…………and CAN’T QUITE MAKE IT! I am so unorganized, and it’s never more apparent than the Christmas season! I’m never ready! I never met my limited goals! And I feel like if I was an elf in Santa’s workshop, I’d be fired! And involved in a nasty lawsuit! What is wrong with me? (You don’t want to hurt my feelings, do ya?) This year I had good intentions——-since my most time consuming problem is thinking of what to get everyone, I kept a little notebook on my desk and when someone mentioned something they’d like, I’d write it down so I could eliminate that whole-thinking-up-something stuff when Christmas rolled around! And…….I lost it. Looked everywhere. Can’t find it. I don’t know why I felt led to say this, I guess I just thought it would make me feel better. It didn’t. Goodnight everyone.

  33. jonny

    Thanks for sharing. Hope it helped. Seriously.

    And I did have, do have, a little helper light in the kitchen, but now have the mother of all kitchen ceiling lights as well!! = ) And now that you mention it, LindaB, I don’t think my fridge light’s ever been working = / You can tell how often I use mine! I guess that may have to be one of my many next few baby steps!

  34. delightedabroad

    LindaB, you’re really not alone with this running-behind-the-train thing… this year the gap is sooo big and I absolutely know how this thinking-up-something feels. Especially for folks who don’t tell much of their wishes. Moreover a great deal of my Christmas holidays will be spent with learning/preparing for the exam.
    jonny, those energy-saving light bulbs are weired: they look (as you said) alien-like, give an uncomfortable light and the most weired thing is that they are to be given to hasardous waste site !

  35. jonny

    Oh, I don’t find the light they give off themselves uncomfortable, or weird. Just how they look coming out of there glass white ‘flowers.’ Like I wrote, makes the flowers look very sci-fi, things from another world like! Oh, & I also noticed in the new indoor waste area recently renovated, put together for those of us living in this apartment ‘complex,’ there’s a place for the energy saving bulbs. Well, thanks to delighted, I now know why = )

  36. jonny

    OK delighted, you’re right. The light that they give off is kinda weird = /

  37. delightedabroad

    There’s another thing I’ve already experienced: they give a louder bang when they implode (or whatever these bulbs do when breaking down) !

  38. jonny

    Wow!! If I knew when it would happen, I could invite some unsuspecting guest over at that time = )

  39. delightedabroad

    So you’re not jumpy I guess ???

  40. jonny

    I guess we’ll find out = )

  41. auburn60

    Yes, Linda that’s my husband. I’ve never–in all this time–even told you his name? I didn’t realize that. So,meet the fam: Harris, Megan, Meredith and Matthew. And me. And the dogs. But I don’t count them.

    Harris used to have a boss who would ONLY dine at places that had some kind of eating contest.We always had to go out with him and their clients when he would come to town. I spent many evenings surrounded by sweaty, yelling men chanting “GO,GO GO” as they all tried to eat a couple of pounds of cow or some giant burger or something. Who knew we could have had a reality TV show? Fun times. (NOT)

  42. LindaB

    Well, Alyson—–nice to meet your family! And no, I don’t think I’ve ever heard your husband’s name before. I try not to mention my hubby’s name anywhere on the internet ’cause he told me not too. (He’s read some of the things I’ve written about. He wants to be left out of it! LOL over and over!!! OF course, sometimes I forget and say it! He’ll get over it.)

    Hey, and I hear ya about sitting in a restaurant for long periods of time while the hubby tries to “eat ’til he drops”!!! I eat fast and am done quickly. And I HATE waiting for him to finish eating! He takes so long. I need to take a book next time. I like to go to Cracker Barrel because I can do that little triangular puzzle thing while he lingers over his meal.

  43. Barbara M. Lloyd

    Are you kidding? Maybe if I had been the first one here I wouldn’t have been intimidated….but as it is I would qualify for an emmy if the title of this blog was “Most Relaxed Week” or “How to Perfect the Art of Boredom.”

    I’ve been busy baking and entertaining my little great-grands….not at the same time however. Therefore, the most exciting time of my day was going to bed. (lol)

  44. Barbara M. Lloyd

    Gracious, in a effort to say something lighthearted, I completely forgot something that happened to me last week that is better than ice cream. My older son has to work Christmas Day and he lives about 3 hours from where I live, so we weren’t going to be able to have our Family Christmas Dinner on Christmas Eve as usual. Then my granddaughter asked how I would like her, her husband and two children to stay overnight on Christmas Eve…with santa coming at my house the next morning. Well, I am thrilled. It has been a long time since santa came to my house on Christmas morning…and ate cookies off the plate near the tree and drank the milk. Besides that, Alexis, who is 5, says she is going to sleep with grandma…and Alexis is a real snuggler. Trent is 7…if he doesn’t believe, he isn’t saying so. Now there you are…I haven’t yet read every one of y’all’s replies…but I bet I’m right up there under themema’s for the bestus one of all. Merry Christmas…y’all.

  45. jonny

    Wow, Barbara, that sounds truly wonderful!! Don’t think I’ll ever great-grandkids, or even grandkids for that matter, so I can only be extra blessed by, through those who have them and are in good relations with their children, grandchildren, and mercy, even GREAT grandchildren!! I don’t know if you had the week of weeks as themema did, but you may be up there for most thoroughly blessed Christmas!! = )


  46. rachelbaker

    Momma Lloyd, that is so lovely. Its amazing how children can build the excitement about Christmas in all around them. We’re counting down the sleeps over here.

    We are going to Mum and Dad’s for Christmas and will have the joy of having my Mum’s Mum there on Christmas day and visiting my Dad’s parents on boxing day. I think m children are very privileged to know so many of their great-grandparents (5 in all) and like them to see them as much as possible.

  47. delightedabroad

    rachelbaker, yesterday we have learned all about the most important traditions of British Christmas in school – like Chritmas cards, pudding, eating & drinking, having fun and our (British)teacher even mentioned boxing day…there are some differences to the traditions in Germany.


    Am surprised that I remembered the password – its been so long…..
    BUT! I have successfully moved & gotten settled in to my wonderful new home, & have gotten my daughter settled in, too! She moved home after finding out she was pregnant. Graduates from college 5/8/10, and baby due date is 5/24/10. (Thank you, Jesus, for that order!) She will complete final 2 courses on line. Glad she is under my wing -& eternally grateful I have a wing worth getting under! (Thank you, Jesus, again!)

    Is everyone out there ready for Christmas? I have really missed this place, & still haven’t read all the back logs, yet. Will do that after school lets out for the holidays, which is tomorrow – THE LAST DAY!!!!!

    I did scan, though – Gosh- Themema! – how are you these days? And, Grits – will be traveling your way soon to visit my mother in Winston-Salem. Are you even there since I haven’t seen your name up there anywhere.

    Was blessed w/ a beautiful piano last week – had 7 years of lessons as a child, have not touched one in 30 years, but am having a great time playing Christmas carols out of a Baptist Hymnal, & getting re-aquanited w/ my first love – those ivory keys. Am also re-learning how to crochet. Grandma taught me 40 years ago, haven’t done it in 30 years either – but am now over halfway through a baby afghan. God really has brought things back to my remembrance that I thought I’d never get a chance to do again!
    Jonny – howzit goin all the way on the other side of the world? Will read & catch up on you next week – by then you’ll have written a whole book to read! =) (still using the phone to do this?)

    Merry Christmas, guys! Have a safe holidays!

  49. jonny

    Wow, really nice hearing from you again D!! And yes, unfortunatelty we have not heard from Gritz in some time either. Hopefully we hear from her some time soon, though! And thanks so much for the update!! = )

  50. rachelbaker

    Delivered!! Welcome back!

  51. ShowMeStGirl

    Being from St. Louis, I remember the old days of “Singings”. We would go and be there until late at night…. they would have little jam sessions afterwards. Nothing like some good gospel music and especially Christmas music to get you going. Sounds like a blast. Let me know next time you are in “StL” would love to bring my children too meet you.
    Merry Christmas

  52. GRITSinNC

    Tori, I enjoyed the highlights of your week…but then I enjoy everything you write about. Love, love, love the new roof…real classy looking…and what a deal!

    That reminds me, would you consider taking pictures of your interior & exterior Christmas decorations to share with us?

    I’ve been AWOL for a while and it was nice as I was reading the responses to see that I was actually missed. I,like the memma, have been in the hospital, though Russ didn’t come see me as an angel, darn it. Got sick about two weeks before Thanksgving and ended up in the hospital for 10 days, getting out two days before Thanksgiving. As many of you know, I have emphysema, on oxygen 24/7, and it appears I caught a bug that caused a COPD exacerbation that about did me in. Still have a cough & tire easily so I don’t always cover all my bases on the computer.

    So Delighted,I’ve missed what all’s been going on in your life. You moved? I loved the pictures you sent one time of where you were living with all those wonderful antiques. Tell me about the new place. Still close to the library? Wave if you come anywhere near Pittsboro on the way to W-S.

    Hope everyone has a safe and meaningful Christmas. Would comment to each individually but it would take up too much of Tori’s blog space. Just have to say “Hi Jonny” though. :o)

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