Tested, tried and STILL here…. Happy Anniversary Baby!

Yesterday, February 22, marked our 10th anniversary!  We didn’t think it was possible for EITHER of us to make it to 10 years.  Actually, we’ve been together for 12.  Like I’ve mentioned before, this isn’t our FIRST rodeo!  For me, I never seem to make it past the 7 year itch.  lol  I’m feeling accomplished and SO happy that I lived to see this day.

I wasn’t predicted to live another 6 months in 2008.  In fact, every year that passes, my team of doctors are amazed that I’m still here.  Now, with an upcoming intestine transplant, they’re giving me even less time.  Life is precious and we try to celebrate every chance we get.  The hubby wants SO BADLY to take me on another cruise before we undergo more medical procedures.  I’m not very sure that I’ll be able to go on a cruise because once you’re put on a transplant list, you have to stay close to home in order to wait for that call.  The call that tells you to jump on a plane and get there immediately.  We can’t get a call like that if we’re in another country or on the ocean.

For now we’ll celebrate close to home and with little things.Image

Note from Ben that says:  10 years!  Are you freaking KIDDING me?

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I was not expecting more flowers!  He’d already given me 2 beautiful bouquets this month!  I have the most romantic husband in the world, I think.

Our wedding song turned out to be prophetic.  It makes me cry every time!

Love Is All by Marc Anthony

When you hold me like this
so many memories fill my eyes
the first time we kissed
the times we nearly said good-bye
but still here we are
tested and tried and still true
and stronger than we ever knew

Chorus:

Love is all
the laughter and the tears that fall
the mundane and the magical
love is all
all is love
the careless word, the healing touch
the getting and the giving of
all is love
there’s a me you’ve always known
the me that’s a stranger still
the you that feels like home
and the you that never will
but still here we lie
tender and trusting and true
with everything that we’ve been through

Repeat Chorus

All the glory
all the pain
all the passion
that turns to ashes
only to rise again

Love is all
the laughter and the tears that fall
the mundane and the miracle
love is all
all is love
the careless word, the healing touch
the getting and the giving of
all is love

True Believer (Nicholas Sparks)…Julia’s reading project, a book review

After reading 1984, and 3 other books that I’ve chosen for her, it was time to let Julia choose her own book.  She’s been bribed (paid $25 so far) to read the 4 books that I’ve had her read.  To date, she’s only liked 1 of those books.  I’m a little sad about this BUT the main thing is that she’s LEARNED and opened her mind to different subjects.  MUCH discussion about exploited women and children (Half the Sky), in fact, we’re STILL talking about that, even though she had a hard time getting through the book.  She’s developed more empathy for the early struggles of African American men, women and children after reading Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry.  After reading Call of the Wild, Julia gave a little thought to treating our pets even better than she already did because she saw through the eyes of a dog.  1984 made her open her eyes to what’s going on in America RIGHT NOW, even though she REALLY didn’t like the book.  That’s the idea, right?

Well, as promised, it was time to allow her to choose her own reading material.  I didn’t want to lose her and even though I’m PAYING her for each book report, I want her to enjoy reading.

Here’s what she choose:

True Believer by Nicholas Sparks (Time Warner Book Group) 318 pages

Description from the inside sleeve:

“One day you’re going to love something that can’t be explained with science.  And when that happens, your life’s going to change in ways you can’t imagine…”

Jeremy Marsh is the ultimate New Yorker:  handsome, almost always dressed in black, and part of the media elite.  An expert on debunking the supernatural with a regular column in Scientific American, he’s made his first appearance on national TV.  When he receives a letter from the tiny town of Boone Creek, North Carolina, about ghostly lights that appear in a legend-shrouded cemetery, he can’t resist driving down to investigate.

Here in this tightly knit community, Lexie Darnell runs the towns library, just as her mother did before the accident left Lexie an orphan.  Disappointed by past relationships, including one that lured her away from home, she is sure of one thing:  her future is in Boone Creek, close to her grandmother and all the people she loves.

Jeremy expects to spend a quick week in “the sticks” before speeding back to the city.  But from the moment he sets eyes on Lexie, he is intrigued and attracted to this beautiful woman who speaks with a soft drawl and confounding honesty.  And Lexie, while hesitating to trust this outsider, finds herself thinking of Jeremy more times than she cares to admit.

Now, if they are to be together, Jeremy Marsh must make a difficult choice:  return to the life he knows, or do something he’s never done before-take a giant leap of faith.

A story about taking chances and following your heart.  True Believer will make you too believe in the miracle of love.

Ok, here’s what Julia thought of Mr. Sparks book:  She didn’t like it!  lol  He’s her favorite author and I expected that she would fall for the romance, once again, like in ALL the Nicholas Spark books.  Not so much and I’m encouraged about the mind of THIS 14 year old!  lol

In the last paragraph of Julia’s book report she tells me:

“I didn’t like this book as much as I did the other Nicholas Sparks books because there was nothing special about it.  It was a traditional love story and VERY predictable!  Girl had been hurt in previous relationships.  Boy was opposite of what girl was used to and was willing to do anything to make things work between them.  Honestly, I was bored.”

And I owe her $5!  lol  I wonder what  kind of book she choose for herself NEXT time?  I’m encouraged that she didn’t fall for the typical love story.  I’m still thinking about which book I’ll choose for her now that she’s done with this one 😉

Best CREAM of Potato with Bacon and Ham Soup EVER!!!!!

It’s still snowy and kind of yucky out.  ALTHOUGH that winter storm they tried to call a weather state of emergency?  Yeah… NOT SO MUCH!  I swear, the weather people had us prepared for the storm of the century and although it WAS more snow than St. Louis is used to having (in these past few years), the temperature rose to 37 F today and pretty much melted all that ice and snow they wanted to call the national guard about!  lol

what Julia’s lips look like after Hannah brutalized her

That’s okay.  We still had fun.  Julia (teenage munchkin) and her friend went to shovel driveways for the elderly people in the “hood”.  That was a blast in itself because Hannah (friend) knocked Julia (who’s a beast so please don’t feel sorry for her) in the mouth with a shovel.  NOW my little munchkin closely resembles Angelina Jolie!  One fat and bloody lip later, they came walking through the door, cold and hungry.  BTW…  These girls are like boys.  This is the way they play.  Earlier, Julia busted Hannah in the nose and they SWORE it was broken.  WHY did she do this?  Good question.  She says it was because Hannah scared her so she tackled Hannah to make her stop.  IDK.  I don’t get it.  lol  ANYHOO…  Hannah’s mama called to ask me about it. The sad thing is that I hadn’t heard a word about a broken nose (exaggeration)!  It happened in my house, granted it was in the basement but still!  The only way I found out about it is because Hannah “texted” her mother to tell her about it!  lol  Wow, I’m still not going to get that mother of the year award, huh?  Thank GOODNESS Hannah’s mom was okay and we’ve known each other ever since the girls were 7.

what Hannah looked like after Julia brutalized HER nose

Broken nose and busted lip deserves something special on this cold day, I think.  SOooooo…. I whipped up my favorite batch of potato soup.  Actually, this is EVERYONE’S favorite potato soup.  I have people telling me that it’s all they want for Christmas, as in for a Christmas present!  I’ve made half gallon sized mason jars full for family and friends to take home.  It’s THAT good.

Michelle’s Cream of Potato Soup

Ingredients:

1 lb bacon, cut up

4 cups potatoes, peeled and diced

1 large, sweet onion, diced

4 chicken bouillon cubes

2 tsp ground thyme (dried)

bacon grease

1 cup chopped ham

4 cups heavy whipping cream

2 cups milk

2 TBSP parsley flakes

2 TBSP cornstarch mixed in 1/4 cup water

Directions

Fry bacon in a Dutch oven or large soup pot until crisp.  Don’t drain bacon grease.  In the same pan, add potatoes, ham, onion, bouillon cubes and thyme.  Add just enough water to cover potatoes.  Bring mixture to a boil and then turn down heat, cover pot and simmer until potatoes are tender.  Drain potatoes in colander to remove water and return to pot.  Add cream, milk and parsley flakes to potatoes, bacon and ham.  Stir in cornstarch and water mixture for thickening.  Heat through and serve.

This is awesome with a little cheddar cheese added to your bowl!  If you don’t THINK you like potato soup, PLEASE try this one because chances are you’ll love it 🙂