Tag Archives: daughters

Les Celébrations d’Anniversaire & etc

Whew!  We made it.

In 3 months (the less-than-90 days between March 23 and June 19), we’ve had Dave-the-husband’s birthday, Amelie’s first birthday, Stormie’s quarter-of-a-century birthday (plus moving her into her first house-she is a homeowner!!), Tara’s super-early-30sbirthday and Mother’s Day.  We had Stephanie’s birthday, Gemma’s birthday followed closely by Gavin’s lava’d birthday, Guini and Hunter’s Kindergarten graduations, Wrex’s birthday, Tredessa (28) and DP’s  (30th) birthdays and Father’s Day.  There have been 2 major Heaven Fest dinners and a couple of big-HF-family-meetings with all the trimmings and even Luka had a bday


Gavin’s Volcano “cake” at his breakfast party


The first grandson turned 8 and we all gathered for a happy-Saturday-morning breakfast-party.  I used strawberry Jello for the “lava,” but even though in the trial run the actual liquid didn’t ooze out, but rather just red Jello-bubbles travelled slowly over the sides, no one wanted me to put more Jello in, afraid the donuts would be drenched in it, ruined for consumption. PLUS my dry ice melted down to 2 tiny slivers overnight.  Guess I need a lesson in dry ice!!?  Gav and I will have to try it again sometimes when there is no Jello-sogginess-concern.  With LOTS of dry ice.  A red explosion!!


Gavin’s dinosaur cake when he turned 4, I think, was sort of the beginning of my “cake adventures.”  He keeps making life fun.  Love that boy!


DP turned the big 3-0


Wrote about his birthday:: H E R E. We did a double-celebration for him and Tredessa with a big Rhoades-family-Mexican meal.  Cilantro rice and carne-asada steak tacos plus pulled pork green chile tacos and all the things that go with those.  Dave wanted strawberry shortcake for his birthday.  Tredessa had Lazy Peach Dessert (see below) for hers.  Naturally Wrex performed a song for Dave and noted all his “famous” phraseologies (i.e. o-my-hinkin’-harry, bro-ham-and-cheese, etc) and even mentioned his penchant for v-neck tees.  Stef is a master lyricist!  Dave got the blessings and encouragements from the fam and Tara played him a most appropriate Brad Paisley song, “It Did.”  [see here]


Tredessa was serenaded by her lover-boy for her birthday

And she had a lovely birthday with him.  I wrote her b-day blog:: H E R E.  Then the double-celebration with DP.  She got a song from Wrex and it was a little on the ornery side, which Wrex believes brothers should do.  It was hilarious.  It fit right into the tune of “Take Me Home, Country Rhoades,” if you can imagine.  She is an amazing woman and in love, which we like.

Lazy Peach Dessert by Jane Hagelstein

From the October 1988 issue of Family Ties (the monthly newsletter of New Life Church of God in Norfolk, NE).  But I actually have the handwritten recipe card Jane wrote it on.  Beloved and quite in shambles.

My best advice for this in Colorado:  wait until the western slope peaches are ripe and juicy and cause you car to drive itself to a roadside market where the scent and taste literally scream: DELICIOUS!  Yeah.  They just aren’t quite right, yet, these California peaches.  Huh-uh.  Nope.

Shortbread crust:

Combine 1 cup oleo*
1 3/4 cups flour
2 tablespoons sugar
dash of salt

Lightly pat into glass cake pan (if you push it in hard, it will be tougher and less light and pastry-ish and amazingly wonderful).  Bake it for 15-18 minutes in a 350-degree oven.  Cool.

Peach sauce topping:

2 cups sugar
2 cups water
2 tablespoons corn starch
2 3 oz packages peach Jello
1 tablespoon oleo*

In a saucepan, blend and cook water, sugar and cornstarch until thickened and clear.  remove from heat.  Stir in Jello and oleo until dissolved.  Cool.


Slice or chop 7-8 ripe peaches (sometimes I make them all beautiful and perfectly uniform.  Unless they aren’t great peaches anyway…like this batch).  Distribute over the top of the crust.  Pour over the sauce.  Put in the fridge for at least 2 hours (overnight is best).  Cut into 12 servings.  Top with whipped cream.

You may also make this dessert with canned peaches, Jane Hagelstien noted (so Nebraska) or use fresh strawberries and strawberry Jello.

*Oleo, for my dear children, was another name for “margarine” back in the day.  Just use REAL butter instead and all will be well!



WREX had a birthday, too.

Complete wih a custom song for him by Dave and the girls to the “Wolfcreek Pass” soundtrack.  Love this guy.  There is not a more genuine, giving and generous man than Wrex.  His parents did a great job, but if he were ever in the market for new parents, we’d apply for the job.  He is just a cool guy.  That is why God blessed him with the gorgeous Stefane and the two of them with the loveable kiss-kiss, Princess Sawyer.  LOVE them all!


Dave’s Father’s Day Worship set


Dave chose his fav worship songs. We sang along to guitar accompaniment, all the current favs, but it morphed in to pulling out all those old songs from the years the kids were growing up.  Pretty hilarious.  Songs you never really want to sing ever agin, but in this context were pretty fun.  “Lord, I lift Your name on high.  I’m so glad to sing your praises…”  Haha.



Artwork by the grandbebes, found the next morning.  Mixed media:: chalk and stickers on concrete.  Intrigued by the block that say, “Aim for the head,” and the stick figure identified as “dad,” albeit backwards, with a huge bunch of snot coming out of his nose.  Haha.

E t c . . .

NEXT UP:  Summer starts June 21!  Today! YEAH!!

Time to relax a bit with some lollygagging in the garden and floating in the pool and you know, a little thing called Heaven Fest.  www.heavenfest.com

We made it!


Good Songs with Suggestions for Living

A list of good tunes that offer tips for life.

Songs can make you feel energized and happy or melancholy and sad.  They can remind you of your best times in life or where you were when you got your first heartbreak.  There are songs for everything, for every mood and emotion, for every season and reason.  And then there are songs that are just jam-packed with good advice for living.  I jotted these titles in my notebook today while I waited parked in the driveway as Averi was snoozing in her car seat.

The Cat’s in the Cradle by Harry Chapin

You WILL reap what you sow, so – spend time with your kids.  As they say, “They’ll be picking your nursing home for you someday.”

And the cat’s in the cradle and the silver spoon
Little boy blue and the man on the moon
When you comin’ home dad?
I don’t know when, but we’ll get together then son
You know we’ll have a good time then…


Maybe this song isn’t so much good advice as it is a great reminder about how not to waste your life.

Daughters by John Mayer

On behalf of every man looking out for every girl
You are the guide and the weight of her world
So fathers, be good to your daughters
Daughters will love like you do
Girls become lovers who turn into mothers
So mothers, be good to your daughters too


Totally true!  A girl’s choices in love are so shaped by her dad.  Even when she doesn’t realize how much, a dad’s approval and acceptance, his loving and wise words mean everything!

Teach Your Children Well by Crosby, Stills and Nash

Can you hear and do you care and
Cant you see we must be free to
Teach your children what you believe in.
Make a world that we can live in.

Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman by Bryan Adams

LINK TO VIDEO http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zeEFHJFUbEg

When you love a woman you tell her that she’s really wanted
When you love a woman you tell her that she’s the one
She needs somebody to tell her that it’s gonna last forever
So tell me have you ever really, really really ever loved a woman?
To really love a woman
Let her hold you –
‘Til you know how she needs to be touched
You’ve gotta breathe her – really taste her
Til you can feel her in your blood
And when you can see your unborn children in her eyes
You know you really love a woman

I love every lyric of this song (even though I couldn’t put them all here) and believe this song should be sung during Promise Keepers meetings.  Seriously.  They wouldn’t let me embed but there are a couple of great videos, the live version I have put the link to above, and the actual video in a Spanish Casino when the song was used for Johnny Depp’s movie, “Don Juan DiMarco.”  Click here, but be warned, it is probably a PG-13 rating http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hq2KgzKETBw

I Hope You Dance by Lee Ann Womak

And this one may be some of the best advice of all, especially for me, a girl who was forbidden the dance, but always knew deep down the Creator loved to see her twirl and dance with joy.  I need this reminder constantly to break the unholy chains wrongly attributed to the Holy One.  {NOTE:  Please pardon LeAnn’s extraneous use of the newly acquired  mammilla, which frankly, in my humble-o, seem a little out of place for the sentiment and style of this video. }

I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance
Never settle for the path of least resistance
Living might mean taking chances
But they’re worth taking
Lovin’ might be a mistake
But it’s worth making
I hope you still feel small
When you stand by the ocean
Whenever one door closes, I hope one more opens
Give the heavens above
More than just a passing glance
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance
I hope you dance

What other songs have great advice for me to sing to myself?  List, please.

And please, brother Joe – do NOT say “Put Another Log on the Fire.”  Or else.

never take one breath for granted…

Buttery-Sugary Goodness just 11 Days before Christmas

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Baking Day @ Our House

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We scaled way back this year.  We have been scaling back yearly, it seems.  But we still mananged to get some of our favorites made and even a new thing or two, keeping that oven hot  and hopping for hours.  There are the wildly popular “Thin Mints,” a shameless and absolutely amazing rip-off of the Girl Scout cookies.  The sugar cookies for decorating are made and await a coating of royal icing in delightful Christmas colors.  Jovan used her new Pampered Chef cookie press to make the lightest most buttery press-cookies, dusted in colored sugars.

Stephanie has perfected peanut brittle.  There are Mexican Wedding Cakes and Gingerbread Men, along with Peanut-Butter Kisses-Cookies and Chocolate-Covered Peanut Butter Balls heaped next to our chocolate-dipped pretzels and “Strawberry” cookies (which have no relation whatsoever to strawberries, other than how they look, but really are made from dates and pecans and coconut and Rice Krispies and fashioned to look like a strawberry – a Rhoades family fav from the 1950s and 60s).  And more, yes, there is more.

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Things change.

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One interesting thing this year was computers.  Looking around the kitchen and seeing 3 laptops (2 Macs and a PC) open to recipe sites – that was funny.  So much for cute recipe cards, huh?  It was also quieter and we missed Elise-the-Niece…Well, it was quieter, that is, until the boys and daddies joined us and a chaotic-Christmas-cheer ruckus ensued, fueled, undoubtedly by the pure sweetness of the ‘cane hitting the bloodstream.

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The girls swarmed poor Santa

The guys show up for dinner at 6:30

The boys played cards with Aunt Dessa while the girls took our “food orders” for chicken nuggets and muffins, coffee and salad (their imaginary menus were limited and they are sort of pushy as waitresses, these granddaughters of mine).  The ‘bebes chased each other, snuck sweets from piled-high trays of goodies and pushed Rudolph’s paw,  making him sing the Rudolph song veeeeeery loudly, at least 172 times (that Rudolph nose was flashing like a traffic light, non-stop for hours!).  I seriously wished for some one to decapitate Rudolph.  But the grandbebes?  Find him delightful.

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Gemma was particularly artistic in her interpretive dancing, inspired by her viewing of “Frosty the Snowman.”  Averi’s great joys were bringing handfuls of cookies to everyone, or unrolling toilet paper into the, shall we say, “bath bowl”, and I just hope there was no criss-crossing of these activities.

And at one point, so warmed by both this season of good will and by the way they’d been running like banchees, all five grandbebes ripped off their shirts and flung them like confetti into the air, thrilled to be set free from the confines of clothing so they could fully enjoy the twinkling lights and the Christmas music.  “We’re nakey!  We’re nakey!” Averi exclaimed with glee and they laughed as if it were the funniest thing they’d ever experienced.

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Rocky and Tredessa interact with Santa as well.

Ah.  It is the little things.

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It took awhile to find every shoe and sock and coat amd mitten (and shirt) when it came time to go home with their large trays of cookies and candies.  {Sigh}.   But we did it…almost.  I still have to make the marvelous butter-cookie dough from which will emerge Raspberry Ribbons and melt-in-your mouth Candy Cane Cookies, among other delights, and the Peppermint Bark awaits me this morning.  But most of the holiday baking is complete for another year and it is way too much and more than enough and truly not as sweet as the time I got with my girls.  And the whole bunch.

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With Love from the Gingerbread House….Jeanie

NOTE TO SELF:  Prep more next year.

Tea Veneration


Two of my sweet, wildly-creative daughters have invited me to tea.  The above invitation was mounted on deep purple cardstock and tucked into an envelope and hand-delivered when I returned from Puerto Rico.  They’d been devising their festivities.  So polite and formal.

Lisa Bierer and I, when we had a little shop in a small city in Nebraska, used to be called upon to lecture on the Victorian custom of Tea and were a resource for those seeking the “finer things.”  It may have had some impact upon my young and impressionable daughters for they have been at work collecting vintage linens and old China and planning a lovely tea for a few of us.

I love my girls.  I love tea.  With great pleasure I accept this invitation.  A delightful time is in store, I think.

One Day in Denver

Me and my girls Saturday.  Me, Jovan, Tredessa, Stefane (back row), Tara (in front), Stormie, Stephanie, Elise-the-Niece, and Katie from the Springs


Cherry Creek for Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters, Sur La Table, and Restoration Hardware.  Stormie got her vintage-inspired bowls – lots.  Alright, already with the bowls! :)  The girl is a bowl nut!

South Broadway for Decade (inspiring, old/vintage and new-I got the best alphabet flash cards I have ever seen there!), and True Love Shoes (great accessories) where the 9 of us just sort of filled every square inch of space.  Delicious spinach pizza-by-the-slice at the world-famous Famous Pizza.  Elise was heard to exclaim, based on the fact that her teeth remained leafy-green free, “We are so good at eating spinach!”  She is gleeful by nature!

We braced ourselves and went into a house in Denver where the “Thriftonista”  was liquidating her vintage clothing.  We arrived there with the Channel 4 newswoman who taped a segment for the 5 o’clock news about ways people are saving money.  That place was packed, due to a notice via e-blast to the  Denver fashion-scene types, which includes 2nd daughter, Stephanie.  Wall-to-wall people were madly digging through clothes whose year’s I could name between 1964-1989.  Some of it was questionable as far as fashion the first time around.  Nonetheless, it was a fun run around the memory block for me and Tara’s arms can be seen earnestly flipping through the rack of tightly packed, hung clothing on the news segment.  During the interview with the Thriftonista herself, I am visible with my back to the camera as I just mainly try to avoid being stampeded by all the 20-somethings intent on buying my mother’s 1970s wardrobe.  We were on TV!

On East Colfax we soaked up Fabric Lab ambience (I really was NOT cool enough to be in there) and then splurged for a couple of coffees, a couple of waters and 12 cupcakes at The Shoppe which set us back more than lunch had.  Yikes!  Well, you only go around once and we can now say we have had very, very amazingly delicious cupcakes at the trendy hole-in-the-wall cupcake store for 40-some-bucks, nevermind that I could have achieved the same for about $4.  That is not an insult to them, nor their not-entirely catchy slogan which is something like: Don’t be a hater, eat a cupcake (?) – it is just that I can make really good cake, when I want to.  I am sure if the people at Westword and The Denver Post and all those other places that have given them “Best of” awards had one of mine, well, you know…

Tallulah Jones was defnitely a favorite.  We like stores that are full of ideas as well as merch.  Mod Living wasn’t the thrill wed hoped and Urban Living’s best part was the cool dog that met us at the door.

Two cars, nine women, all of Denver’s best in one day.  Sore legs.  Thinking ahead to our next outing…maybe a movie in our jammies?  Whew!  I am so older than the rest!

LOVE these girls!  So blessed!…Jeanie

NOTE TO SELF:  Oh, I know-next time I take the girls to MY favorite: Djuna!

A Thankful Tree, the Flu, a Light Snow and a “Blogoversary”



Can I just say the sooner the leftovers are gone, the better (except for Stormie’s pumpkin pies)?  But all delish.

We did a “thankful” tree on Thanksgiving, everyone filling out little “leaves” and hanging them with things for which we are grateful written.

Thumbnails (click for larger image):

  • The Thankful Tree
  • Wrex, whose medium was colored pencils, wanted his art on the “family art wall.”  The picture was drawn by Amy Jo Becker and includes the lyrics to a little turkey ditty (Five Fat Turkeys are We) to the tune of a song from The Mikado.
  • Turkey-bread by Stefane (who, as a devoted Texan, also introduced us to “Armadillo Eggs”-which are fabulous!)
  • Fake Thanksgiving-food cupcakes by Tredessa and Stormie for Jovan, who does not like one thing  – not one  Thanksgiving-related food (not turkey, not dressing, not mashed potatoes, nor gravy…not green bean casserole, not cranberries, not even pumpkin pie!)!  So the girls made cupcakes (which she loves) that LOOKED like Thanksgiving food using icing, white chocolate, Starburst candies and melted caramel.

    The Flu.

    In the middle of the night following Thanksgiving, I got hit with a full-on, horrid stomach flu, complete with fever, chills, and wrenching.  I won’t say more.  If it hadn’t been for the entire Kelley family having contracted and suffered through it just before Thanksgiving (Gavin does go to public school now – germ breeding grounds!), I’d have been thinking food poisoning.  But no, just a very untimely stomach bug!  So I spent Friday, while my husband and daughters were all shopping madly, in bed – when I wasn’t running to the bathroom.  Truly a “Black Friday” for me!

    I wish the google image above really did reflect my 3 a.m. view Friday morning!

    Snow at Last.

    At about 11 o’clock last night, we looked outside to see the most beautiful snow.  My nephew Zach from Montana, living with us while he completes a ministerial internship here, had just asked 2 days ago, “Yeah-so when do you guys get snow here?”  I am not a huge fan, but since it has so politely remained largely at bay this year so far, it was a welcome sight.  This morning the grass is almost covered and every branch has a puffy white coating and it is lovely and makes you want to watch Christmas movies and wrap presents.

    This is the snow-on-the-branches view out the back door this morning at 7:15 a.m., just after the bunny rabbit, who’d been looking in at me, hopped away.


    Teena from Toronto left me a “Happy Blogoversary” message this morning and I realized that, yes, it is indeed my “blogoversary.”  How did she know that?

    Two years ago today, I started blogging.  The kids found and bequeathed the image that adorns my blog banner to get me started.  They all said she looks just like me, and I am happy they understand the inner me, for surely that is what they see. 

    To blog was both exhilerating and trepidatious for me.  I was so afraid to hit the “post” button back in those days, fearful of what my words would reveal of me, but also needing a place to tell some truth and speak some words I was struggling to communicate, especially to my children.  I was so cautious and agonized over how much to say, carefully wondering how much I could really tell truthfully, lest my truth hurt some one else.  You can read my very first blog here. (from 11.29.06)

    Now I blather on with both spiritual epiphanies as they come (they are for me, anyway) and the torrid, word-filled minutia of my life (like telling you about my stomach flu, for crying out loud!!).  This is my 398th post and I have 30 drafts in the folder waiting for me to finish off and publish – there is no end in sight, people!  And I always wonder about when I am gone – if my offspring should really ever begin to read this stuff, investigating it as they look for meaning and understanding of their past and their own lives – how really weird will they think I was? 

    It all remains to be seen…from the ever-graphomaniacal Jeanie

    NOTE TO FAMILY:  To all the Rhoadeses in every direction-hope Thanksgiving was warm and wonderful for you.  To the whole Moslander bunch, far and wide, always think of you and miss you on these days. 1991 was our last everyone-together Thanksgiving, and that does not seem right!