Monday, January 31, 2011

Minus 2 More Pounds!!

Still working the diet -- and I've lost two more pounds this week, even after celebrating KT's birthday by chowing down on a Chocolate/Chocolate Chip cupcake at her party.  But, that's why WW gives you the extra points every week, right?  Anyway, I'm very happy at -18 pounds!!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

One year ago today....

we got the most beautiful gift! A granddaughter!  She's exactly what we ordered (and much more!)  Happy first  birthday, KT.  We love you!

Happy Birthday, Dan

My brother's birthday is today. He would have been 57.  Gone way too soon.  We miss you and think of you every day, Dan. You would have loved the little girl who was born on your birthday last year -- KT is a year old today!  I wish you could have met her.  

Friday, January 28, 2011

Sci-Fi writers....

The best one's know better then to throw in a bunch of wildly made up language and crazy names of entire families that have a lot of X, Ys and Zs in them, of people that the reader has no way of remembering from chapter to chapter to make themselves sound so futuristic or other-worldly.  Honestly ... just stop it, okay?

Parker's two already? No way!

Good grief, where does the time go?  My nephews son, Parker, is two years old today.  He's such a darling little boy - and he reminds me so much of my brother, Danny.  Happy Birthday, Parker! Don't grow up too fast!
I love this picture of Parker.  He's looking out of the window and watching the dogs.
Parker and his older brother, Noah.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Happy Birthday, Colleen!

I'm guessing she won't mind me sharing that my baby is 31 years old, since she put it up on her own blog.  I don't know where the years have gone, but they've flown by.  She has grown into an amazing woman, and an even more amazing mother.  Her dad and I have been so impressed with how she nurtures and cares for KT, along with Jeff.  Beautiful, capable, and creative.  Everything and more!
Happy Birthday, Colleen!

PS: I never see you in those little ponytails with the matching colored plastic balls on them anymore...why did you stop wearing those?  They were so cute!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Happy Birthday, Sis!

My sister-in-law, Cindy, had a birthday yesterday!  She's such a fun person -- go, go, go, all the time!  This picture was from a trip we made to Disney World two Octobers ago.  I can't wait for them to meet the newest members of the family - KT and Ashley - someday. Hope you had a good birthday, Cin!
Cindy Horner - 50 something?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Speaking of Cute Babies...

Just got this today from a glowing Grandma that I know...
Ms. Ella, Striking a Pose!

Monday, January 24, 2011

What I'm Reading....

I finished Patient Zero, and it was F-A-N-T-A-S-T-I-C!!!  Can't wait to start the next in the series. If you are a zombie fan (and who isn't?!!) I recommend it HIGHLY!

Meanwhile I've begun Stephen King's Full Dark, No Stars.  First in the series of four stories is "1922".  Don't think that these are short short stories, because they're a long read. 
A farmer, with farming in his blood, with a wife who's had visions of selling up and moving to the big city of Omaha in 1922.  The story of this man's life just seems to be rolling and rolling, down hill, on a slow, slow slide into hell.  I'm enjoying it, but to be truthful, I'm wondering what in the world would make a good man make such bad decisions.  The trouble with bad decisions like he made is, you can't ever go back.  So, in some ways, it's been sad to listen to.  I fear it won't end well.

PS: I think Stephen King has a thing for rats...I'm just sayin'.

Happy Birthday, Angie Wren!

Our God-daughter, Angie, turns 30 today!  It's been quite a year for her, married, new job, new house, and now a new (and beautiful) baby girl! Whew!  You're making our heads spin, Angie!!  Enjoy your 30s - they are really the best years! 
Little Angie on Grandpa Schwencke's knee!  All dressed up for Easter!

Slowin' Down.....

Okay, I knew it wouldn't last, but I just wished!!!!! Two pounds down this week, but the key word there is DOWN.  So I'm happy!!  16 pounds outa-here!!!

We found the best recipe this week - really good and John even enjoyed it.  Not a WW recipe, but when I plugged it all into WW it came up to 8 points, but oh,so good on one of those drippy, dreary cold evenings!   

Veg-Head Chili


1 tablespoons (2 turns around the pan) olive or vegetable oil
1 medium yellow skinned onion, chopped
1  large red pepper, seeded and chopped
1 large green pepper, seeded and chopped
1  large jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
1 cup pale beer or vegetable stock/broth (I used chicken broth, reduced sodium) 
1 (32- ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 (14-ounce) can black beans
1 (12-ounce) can dark red kidney beans
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons chili powder

1 tablespoon cayenne hot pepper sauce, several drops

1 teaspoon coarse salt

1 cup spicy vegetarian refried beans

Over moderate heat, add oil to a deep pot and combine onion, peppers, and garlic. Saute for 3 to 5 minutes to soften vegetables. Deglaze pan with beer or broth, add tomatoes, black beans, red kidney beans, and stirring to combine.

Season chili with cumin, chili powder, hot sauce, and salt. Thicken chili by stirring in refried beans. Simmer over low heat about 5 to 10 minutes longer, then serve up bowls of chili and top with shredded cheese, scallions, and tomatoes. Place bowls on charger plates piled with assorted tortilla chips. (needless to say, I only used a small amount of fat free shredded cheese - but it was delicious!)

4 servings

Monday, January 17, 2011


Are you a Castle fan?  We're loving this series, a cop series with a twist!  A murder mystery writer, Rick Castle, is assigned to follow Detective Kate Beckett around as she works the latest crime.  Rick is played by one of my favorite actors, Nathan Fillion.  You brown-coats in the audience will know just who I mean.
Smart, smart writing - the banter and conversation between the characters is out-of-the-world.  Funny, and sharp! 
If you haven't been watching, start with season 1 on Netflix - it will bring you up to date.  You can get both seasons 1 and 2 now, season 3 is coming soon.  Trust me, you'll love it!

New Points System seems to work....

Another 7 pounds this week.  That makes 14 in two weeks.  Geeeeezz....this is working!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Movie Review --- Tron Legacy

I think this might have been a really good movie, although I wasn't a huge fan of the original back in the 80s.  I was expecting a really wonderful 3-D experience and I didn't get it.  There was either something really wrong with the film, or the 3D glasses that we had to wear were seriously defective.  The film itself was almost too fuzzy to watch without the glasses, and when we put on the glasses it was a greenish yellow and even fuzzier.  Very irritating.
I've seen GREAT 3D and this wasn't it.  
As far as the film itself, I'd love to see it again, but not in 3D.

John really liked the story, they had a great young actor playing the son, Sam Flynn.  He was very good. Jeff Bridges was good, too, and the young Kevin Flynn cgi character was very good.  Eerie, even.

I guess I'll wait and see it on DVD.  Hopefully I'll be able to concentrate on the story and not on trying to see the screen.  Sigh. Oh, and they charge you $10.50 for the honor of watching a fuzzy movie.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Someone needs a hairbrush!

I love this little girl!

What I'm Reading....

Finished Boneshaker (a must read, by the way!  L - O - V - E - D it!!) and am now on to Jonathan Maberry's new series, book one, Patient Zero.  The man who reads this one, Ray Porter, has the perfect voice to portray the hero of the series, Joe Ledger.  This one has military tones and has been terrific so far, and of course, there are the zombies.   From the book:

"When you have to kill the same terrorist twice in one week, then there’s either something wrong with your skills or something wrong with your world, and there’s nothing wrong with my skills."

Baltimore detective, Joe Ledger is assigned to a counterterrorism task force, recruited by an ultra-secret rapid response group called the Department of Military Science (DMS) to help stop a group of terrorists from releasing a dreadful bioweapon that can turn ordinary people into zombies.

Can't wait to hear how this turns out -- because it's got to lead on to books 2 and 3, since this has been billed as book 1 in a trio.  Yeah!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

My Aunt Helen

This is my Aunt Helen Schwencke McElvy.  When I found this picture, on the back is says "Patty Girl Legs, eh?" and it's dated July 4th, with a "57" stamped on the bottom.
I was totally prepared to be offended by the "Patty Girl Legs" comment, except that I think she looks quite pretty here, so I decided to be flattered instead.

Aunt Helen died of cancer many years ago.  I wish we had kept better records somewhere.  Does anyone remember when?  I wonder if Mom kept any notes anywhere. 

Helen lived in Montgomery, Alabama, and we visited several times as I was growing up. She called everyone "Honey" in a deep, rich southern accent.  I can remember trying to mimic her when we got back to Texas.  I also remember their home being right next to a golf course, which was really a neat thing for a child to be near.  We would look for lost golf balls in the evenings after the course workers were gone, so we wouldn't get caught on the greens.
I have two cousins somewhere over there.  We've lost touch. 
I wonder if we can find them again.

Cute couple!

With the whole world in front of them!
Mom looks soooooo young here, doesn't she?
Nothing written on the back, so I have no idea of the year.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Happy Birthday, Dad!

He would have been 88 years old today (again, math is not my strong suite, so 1923 to 2011 = 88, right?)  Anyway, I wish he was here to celebrate with!  Love you, Dad!
Dad with Mike and his Dad, Bruno.  This would have been taken over on Marquette Drive at Mom and Dad's first house.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Zombie Survival Guide....

Colleen, Jeff & KT got me a perfect gift for Christmas - the Zombie Survival Guide 365 Day Desk Calendar!  I already know much of what each day has revealed, but it's always good to review the basics, just in case of a zombie outbreak and attack.  You can never be too careful.

Today's tip advises that in order to destroy a zombie, its brain must be obliterated, by any means possible. 

I knew that.

PS: I tagged this post with "Literature."  Can you call a desk calendar literature? Obviously I think you can.
PPS: If you haven't read or listened to World War Z yet, what are you waiting for?  I have it on audio disc if any of my family would like to borrow it. Not that I'm being pushy or anything.  Read that other boring stuff if you must.

All Dressed Up....

Funny picture - we're off to the side and poor Mary is half in and half out of the picture.  The pic of Danny is just the best!  This must have been after church or something, everyone is so dressed up.  Must have been an Easter picture.

Monday, January 3, 2011

The time has come....

to take control of my diet again.  I've just been having a great time living life like "regular" people the last year, and the weight has crept back up and up and up.  I can't stand it another minute.  It's time to get myself and my routine and my health under control.  It's so bad, I'm afraid to go to my doctor for my annual check up again until I lose some weight -- I know I'd be in for quite a lecture!
Anyway, it's started today.  I've logged back on Weight Watchers and I'm following the PLAN 100%.

Yesterday I went through the fridge and got rid of all of the holiday stuff, old stuff, full-calorie stuff, and just plain bad stuff.  Today I go to the store and stock up on good-for-you food, for both John and for myself, and I'm dedicated to seeing where this can take me by December 31, 2010.  I'd like to say, on that date, that I've lost at least 70 pounds. 

I have some serious traveling that I'd like us to do in the next few years...and I'd like to be able to hike across a few fiords, some moss covered hills and some hot sand beaches. Right now, I'd have to be carried!


JR and Ashley's wedding in The KNOT!!

I'm so proud of how the article looked in the print magazine! Their wedding was chosen to be featured as one of the "Real Weddings" in the latest issue of The Knot!
The link to the on-line version is here.

I'm one proud Mom!!