Sunday, August 31, 2014

Turning 50 Part 2

The plan was to go out to dinner with my husband for my birthday Friday evening. Katelyn volunteered to keep Cody at her house, which would work out perfectly, since we had to drive along that route to the restaurant anyway.  Chase let me know earlier in the week that he and his wife and kids would come over Saturday, instead of Friday. Casey texted me Thursday and said he and his girlfriend would come by the house sometime on my birthday. I replied back to him that his dad and I would be going out to dinner, so he should call first and make sure we're home.

I knew Katelyn worked until 6:00, so I fixed Cody some Kraft Mac and Cheese and plopped on the sofa with my laptop to leisurely peruse the internet. (Totally oblivious to the fact that nearly everyone in my life was scrambling and/or traveling to get to Katelyn's house before I arrived.) Don had been working on our baseboards and bathroom vanity (future blog post), when he came in the room and asked if I thought he should change clothes before we go. He was wearing old, faded denim shorts and a gray t-shirt, so of course I told him, "Um, yes. At least change your shirt, so you don't look so washed out." At the last minute, I decided I would go freshen up my make-up a bit (and thank goodness I did)! I was brushing through my hair when, at 6:12, I got a text from Katelyn that said, "Hey, I'm finally on my way home." 

Katelyn and her husband live in a nice, quiet subdivision near a golf course and when we arrived, nothing looked out of the ordinary. With Cody on my arm, his medication and some mail for Katelyn in my hand, and Don standing behind us, I quietly knocked on their door. As Matt opened it, I heard a loud "Surprise!!" and saw family and friends and co-workers staring back at me. I wish I had a picture of the overwhelming crowd of people I saw from my view point, but here are a couple that someone happened to snap of me...

Katelyn told me she knew the surprise was genuine because I jumped up and down. (I don't remember doing that.) The feeling I had as I noticed each and every person there, was awe-inspiring to say the least. Many family members had traveled long distances and the thought that everyone had taken time at the end of their work week and beginning of a holiday week-end to spend with me, made me feel exceptionally loved.

The kids went all out and had food and decorations galore (Katelyn later informed me that she had taken the day off and that we could have taken a trip with all the money she and Casey spent). I wish I had more pics to share, because it truly was an amazing evening. I am sooooo appreciative of my kids and the effort they put in to carrying out such a fun and successful event. 

Here are just a few of the cards and gifts that I received...

My sister, Teresa, and friend, Beverly, brought these lovely gifts. Neither of
them have hit 50 yet and should realize "What goes around, comes around". 

I love, love, LOVE this gift from my grandsons!

My daughter-in-law, Talitha, made this autumn wreath for me.

Because there were absolutely no cars on the street in front of Katelyn and Matt's house, one of the questions I had was, "Where did everyone park?" (Seriously, there were 35+ people in her house!) Katelyn had thought of everything and had all the guests park at the golf course parking lot and walk. Thank goodness it wasn't too far.

I'll write about Cody's reaction to my surprise party, as well as the game we played, in my next post, Turning 50 Part 3.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Turning 50 Part 1 (Yes. It Was THAT Good!)

I did it. I hit the dreaded, milestone 50th birthday yesterday and I've got to say, it wasn't at all bad. In fact, thanks to my awesome kids, fabulous extended family and amazing friends, it was the BEST birthday I've ever had!

The morning started off great with Cody giving me a C.O. My facebook friends know the story behind this gift. For those of you who don't, Cody has wanted to get me an electric can opener (C.O.) for my birthday for awhile now and not because I need one. Cody, in all his autistic glory, has WANTED me to want one.

When I arrived at the school, Mrs. B. had these sitting on my table, along with a cute card...

She and the children sang the birthday song to me and, when the Kindergarten students wanted to know my age, I responded, "I'm a grandma, so how old do you think I am?" One little girl shouted "18!", which was much kinder than Cody telling me I was almost 100.

After work, my husband treated me to lunch at Olive Garden and, when we got home, Casey had been at our house and left a card and this gift on the kitchen counter...

A 50 dollar iTunes card for my new iPhone! Hellzzyeah! :)


Throughout the entire day (week/month/?), I had NO idea THIS was going to happen...

I had to erase the address and phone number. Obviously. :)

You will want to stay tuned for Turning 50 Parts 2 and 3. I promise it gets even better!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Sticky Finger Salad

This is my knock off recipe for Sticky Finger Salad, a favorite when dining at Winger's. In fact, after eating my Sticky Finger Salad at home a few times this summer, my husband actually ordered one when we went to Winger's for lunch last week. As we left the restaurant, he told me he thought my version was better. 

Here are the simple, yet tasty ingredients needed:

Romaine Lettuce
Cherry tomatoes, Halved
Cheddar Cheese, Grated
Craisins (Do not leave these out. They make the salad!)
Red Onion- Thinly Sliced (optional, but so good)
Ranch Dressing (We like Hidden Valley, but use your favorite.)
Breaded, Frozen Chicken Strips
Frank's Hot Sauce
Brown Sugar

Follow Six Sisters' Stuff's 'Winger's Sticky Fingers Copycat Recipe'. (I only use about half the amount of hot sauce for my husband's and Cody's sake, otherwise, I follow their recipe to a T.)

While the chicken strips are baking, prepare salad on plates, then top with warm sticky finger's and ranch dressing. Yum. Yum.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Happy 30th Birthday Chase

Chase, my second son and #1 blog fan, turns 30 years old today. Last night, while still in his twenties, our family celebrated some of his final hours of youth. We had a grand time. 

Asher, Casey and Kelly

They are a crazy bunch, but I love them (despite the headache they gave me).

Chase and his Mini-Me

Casey actually WANTED to play games. It's crazy what a girlfriend will do. ;)

Monday, August 11, 2014

Back to School Teacher's Aide Gift

Mrs. B. spoils me! She is a wonderful person and I am blessed to be able to work with her again this 2014-2015 school year.

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