Sunday, December 21, 2008

My Week

I have finished my first full week at Bakers Square and started into my second. I think I'm going to really love it. During training I am putting in more hours than I will after training, but it is still less than I was working. Right now I am staying about an hour longer than the manager on duty, so I can tell where my hours will be. I was told that we would get tired of pie, but I don't think they know my family very well. There is quite a bit to learn, some of it easy because of my last position.
Tomorrow is my day off, so I need to start and finish my Christmas shopping! I hope it's quite a bit warmer than it was today. It was -16 at 6:30 this morning. I really like 6:30 - 3 better than 4:30 - 3!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Big News

The latest happenings at our house are very exciting. Bob has spent the last several weeks being the romantic suitor that I knew he was. He spent weeks putting together a video for his girlfriend leading up to his finale of asking her to marry him. She said "yes". I must admit to slight jealousy, but just slight. I suppose the roses that I once received and the gifts he would buy me will now go to his new love. (As they should.) No more beautiful hutches ........ Okay Jimmy and Billy it's time to get jobs and take over Bobs role here.
I was always told that since a relationship between a mother and son is so special, that nobody would be good enough. Even though I think Bob is an exceptional son, I don't have those feelings for Sarah. I love watching the two of them and even though I know they'll have struggles because everyone does .......... they'll weather the storms. I always teased Bob that I should pick out his wife and we'd chuckle, but I couldn't have picked better for him myself! I love you both!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


It's time to update everyone. I have decided to make a change in my job. I work entirely too many hours. I feel like I've been missing out on so many things. When kids and grandkids visit I'm too tired to do anything. I haven't been able to spend time with the ones that are still home. And my house isn't as clean as I'd like it to be. So, I have stepped down as the general manager at Panera Bread and accepted an assistant manager position at Bakers Square. Trading bread for pies.....hmmmm... Hopefully, I'll be able to keep everyone posted with things that are happening in our life.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Lessons From My Grand Dog

If a dog were your teacher you would learn stuff like...

- When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.

- Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride.

- Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure ecstasy.

- When it's in your best interest -- practice obedience.

- Let others know when they've invaded your territory.

- Take naps and stretch before rising.

- Run, romp, and play daily.

- Thrive on attention and let people touch you.

- Avoid biting, when a simple growl will do.

- On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass.

- On hot days, drink lots of water and lay under a shady tree.

- When you're happy, dance around and wag your entire body.

- No matter how often you're scolded, don't buy into the guilt thing and pout... run right back and make friends.

- Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.

- Eat with gusto and enthusiasm. Stop when you have had enough.

- Be loyal.

- Never pretend to be something you're not.

- If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.

- When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by and nuzzle them gently.

Saturday, October 11, 2008


In all of the words listed, if you take the first letter,
place it at the end of the word, and then spell the
word backwards, it will be the same word.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Brain Teaser

What do all these words have in common?


Saturday, September 27, 2008

I feel fall in the air! I have such mixed feelings about fall. So many people talk about it being their favorite season, but as pretty as it is and as comfortable as the weather is..... I have to say it's my least favorite season. Fall means that winter is almost here and even though God promises the continuation of the seasons, it seems like a LONG time until spring again.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

What a Good Looking Family

My dad sent me a picture of my brother and his family, so I thought I'd share it. My brother is the good looking one standing in the middle with his wife. Their son and his wife are standing on the left. The 2 girls are theirs. The couple on the right are my neice and her husband. I haven't seen them in a few years. I wish we were closer!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Monday, August 11, 2008

Sister's (in-law) Trip

What a week! I spent the last week in a mini van with 5 other women traveling somewhere around 2800 miles. I'm not sure what I was thinking going that far with in-laws! Just kidding. We had fun, mostly. We have decided that things are ........m...u...c...h..............s...l...o...w...e...r..

in the south. Two of the meals that weren't fast food, (were they the only two that weren't?), took between an hour and a half and two hours a piece. We didn't do much for shopping, it was a sight seeing trip, but in a Walmart somewhere down south we stood in line for 20 minutes. Nobody seemed to care and it appeared to be normal to everyone but us "northerners". After all the waiting I only spent $7, on hairspray and a book light. I do believe my sister in-laws are crazier than anybody's though. They brought Brenda along taped onto a paint stick and brought her in everywhere we went. It was "sister on a stick" for you Jeff Dunham fans. Her picture was taken doing everything everyone else did. They sang their order at one restaurant, sang like sheep in the car, each picked a different animal voice and sang like that animal, and all other sorts of crazy things. I figure I have enough information to get each and every one of them committed. Here are a couple pictures of the sisters in front of two of the mansions. The bottom one includes sister on a stick. I'll post more about the trip in a couple days. Right now I have to go pick up pizza and join our small group for miniature golf!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Bible Bowl Team

Jimmy and Billy got back from the National Bible Bowl Tournament last Saturday. They first went to Johnson Bible College and got 1st place in the invitational. From there they went and visited Smokey Mountain Park and Stone Mountain National Park. Then on to Atlanta Georgia where they stayed on the 41st floor of the Marriott Marquis. After 2 days of round robin and 2 days of playoffs, they took 5th place out of 112 teams. Jimmy is ready to be done and go to college this fall, but Billy is already practicing "Six Great Profits" for next year. This past year was "The Writings of John and Peter". Definitely boys to be proud of!!!

Is It Tomorrow Yet?

That was the longest day of my life! Just kidding. Here is the after picture of the bathroom.
Several things led to the delay of getting this picture posted. The biggest thing being I couldn't find the cord to download the picture. I had been cleaning closets and moving things around and couldn't remember where the final resting place for the cord was. Well, as it turns out it was mixed in with some blankets in my blanket chest. NOT where it was supposed to be.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Major projects

Why do all projects go from something that sounds easily managed into something HUGE?

I was going to paint some trim and change towel bars in the bathroom. Well, as we were taking the towel bars down, wallpaper ripped. I didn't like the wallpaper anyway, but I wasn't going to do a huge project. Anyway that's where I am, in the middle of a huge job. The wallpaper and paneling has been ripped off, the walls are painted (I'm not so sure about the color yet), the sink cabinet has been painted, and hopefully it will be finished tomorrow. I had a lot of help from daughters so that was wonderful. You can tell it was a quick job though and I don't like that. I keep telling myself it's a temporary fix. This is a before picture. I'll try to remember to get an after tomorrow.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Time Slips Away!

Where does the time go? Jimmy turns 16 today. I can hardly believe it. It doesn't seem that long ago when I made the trip to California to pick him up. He was such a cute baby, with lots of black very curly hair. Now he's a handsome teenager with hair he won't let get long enough to curl much. He has been a real joy and a son to be very proud of. He has decided that he wants to start his college education this fall. I'm sure he'll do well. He also is hoping for a job, licence and car..... in that order. If he can get over his shoe fetish so he has money left! Just kidding Jimmy!
I love you! Mom

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Carrie and Roger

Roger left for overseas yesterday for six months. Please pray for him and the family while he is away. It will be hard on Carrie being a "single mom" and worrying about her husband. I'm hoping they'll spend lots of time here. I really miss them. On a happier note, Carrie just found out she's expecting their 3rd baby in February. Joel called me while I was at work. When I answered, he asked if I was working I told him yes, so I couldn't talk long. He told me "Mommy has a baby in her tummy" then he told me goodbye and hung up. They evidently got more information out of him when he called home and talked to grandpa.

I was thinking about all the times I've been pregnant and whether I ever REALLY wanted one gender or the other. I suppose in the beginning of a pregnancy and through out, I had a desire for one or the other, but I have never wanted anything other than what God chose to give me. That said, I think I'd like another grandaughter to even things out slightly, but I'd take another grandson, too. Why not just have one of each for me Carrie? I'm thinking you shouldn't let either Becca or Brenda name them though.

Friday, May 30, 2008


It doesn't look like I have to "patiently wait" anymore!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Pollys Graduation

As most of you know, Polly will be getting her diploma in a couple weeks. It seems strange because she is so mature and has been going to college for 2 years already. As a matter of
fact if she hadn't reminded me, I might have forgotten. So now I'm in the middle of trying
to get several things on the house done, but also trying to be realistic. I need decide what
the most important things to me (and Polly) are. I also need to remind myself that none of it's important if I neglect everyone else. Polly,
I just want you to know I love you and I am extremely proud of you. Thank
you for spending the morning with me. I love our times together.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Self Cleaning Ovens

I have a love hate relationship with self cleaning ovens.
One would think, that if you had a self cleaning oven it
would always be clean, right? Well, not at my house.
Since I have a self cleaner, I think I'll wait until tomorrow,
or the next day, or the next day, or the next day etc......
This afternoon, the next day finally came. That floor in the
house is so smokey my eyes are burning. That's when I
remember the reason I don't like self cleaning ovens, but this
evening when I open the oven door and only have to wipe out
a few crumbs I'll remember the other half of the story. I really
do love them!

Monday, March 10, 2008

My Good Deals

I have read several blogs lately talking about good deals. I thought I'd share a couple of my good deals. First, we have a grocery store in Rochester "Cub Foods" that gives "cents off" gas coupons for shopping there. The more money you spend the more the coupon is worth. The coupons are good for 2 months and you can use up to 5 coupons at a time. The initial prices are less on most items than the other stores, even Walmart. I used several smaller coupons the other day and got 35 cents off per gallon, up to 15 gallons, paying only $1.65 per gallon. The other good deal I have gotten recently is new kitchen towels. Mine were looking pretty sad. Walmart had sets of 2 for 25 cents and sets of 3 for 50 cents.


Iam so tired of winter!! I want to get outside and walk, plant flowers,
sit in the sun (as if that ever happens), not have to put my coat on, not
have to start the car at 4:15 to leave at 4:25, get the idea.

I have started doing some sewing again. I'm making table runners and placemats. I love being able to change things around and redecorate, so
I'm making several different styles and colors. I'm also making one for my mother in-law. (By saying that, I'll have to finish it.) The first picture
is the the fabric I'm using for placemats, napkins, and table runner for the dining room table. The second picture is a piece in progress. It's going to
go on the center of the game table downstairs with a candle on it.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Legend of the Cherokee Indian

Do you know the legend of the Cherokee Indian
youth's rite of passage?

His father takes him into the forest,
blindfolds him and leaves him alone.

He is required to sit on a stump the whole
night and not remove the blindfold until the
rays of the morning sun shine through it.
He cannot cry out for help to anyone.

Once he survives the night, he is a MAN.
He cannot tell the other boys of this
experience because each lad must come
into manhood on his own.

The boy is naturally terrified. He can hear
all kinds of noises. Wild beasts must surely
be all around him. Maybe even some human
might do him harm. The wind blew the grass
and earth, and shook his stump, but he sat
stoically, never removing the blindfold.
It would be the only way he could become a man!

Finally, after a horrific night, the sun
appeared and he removed his blindfold....
it was then that he discovered his
father sitting on the stump next to him.

He had been at watch the entire night,
protecting his son from harm.

We, too, are never alone.
Even when we don't know it,
our Heavenly Father is watching over us,
sitting on the stump beside us.
When trouble comes, all we have
to do is reach out to Him.

Moral of the Story:
Just because you can't see God,
doesn't mean He is not there.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Something To Ponder

I received this forward and thought I'd share it!

“A good piece of chocolate has about 200 calories. As I enjoy two servings per night, and a few more on weekends, I consume 3,500 calories of chocolate in a week, which equals one pound of weight per week.
Therefore…In the last 3 1/2 years, I have had a chocolate caloric intake of about 185 pounds. I weigh 185 pounds, so without chocolate, I would have wasted away to nothing about three months ago!
I owe my life to chocolate.”

Monday, January 7, 2008

Food For Thought

I received this in an email from one of my favorite sister in-laws.

Five (5) lessons about the way we treat people.

1 - First Important Lesson - Cleaning Lady
During my second month of college, our professor gave us a pop quiz. I was a conscientious student and had breezed through the questions until I read the last one: "What is the first name of the woman who cleans the school?" Surely this was some kind of joke. I had seen the cleaning woman several times. She was tall, dark-haired and in her 50's, but how would I know her name? I handed in my paper, leaving the last question blank. Just before class ended, one student asked if the last question would count toward our quiz grade. "Absolutely, " said the professor. "In your careers, you will meet many people. All are significant. They deserve your attention and care, even if all you do is smile and say "hello." I've never forgotten that lesson. I also learned her name was Dorothy.

2. - Second Important Lesson - Pickup in the Rain
One night, at 11:30 p.m., an older African American woman was standing on the side of an Alabama highway trying to endure a lashing rain storm. Her car had broken down and she desperately needed a ride. Soaking wet, she decided to flag down the next car. A young white man stopped to help her, generally unheard of in those conflict-filled 1960's. The man took her to safety, helped her get assistance and put her into a taxicab. She seemed to be in a big hurry, but wrote down his address and thanked him. Seven days went by and a knock came on the man's door. To his surprise, a giant console color TV was delivered to his home. A special note was attached. It read: "Thank you so much for assisting me on the highway the other night. The rain drenched not only my clothes, but also my spirits. Then you came along. Because of you, I was able to make it to my dying husband's bedside just before he passed away... God bless you for helping me and unselfishly serving others." Sincerely, Mrs. Nat King Cole.

3 - Third Important Lesson - Always remember those who serve
In the days when an ice cream sundae cost much less, a 10-year-old boy entered a hotel coffee shop and sat at a table. A waitress put a glass of water infront of him. "How much is an ice cream sundae?" he asked. "Fifty cents," replied the waitress. The little boy pulled is hand out of his pocket and studied the coins in it. "Well, how much is a plain dish of ice cream?" he inquired. By now more people were waiting for a table and the waitress was growing impatient. "Thirty-five cents," she brusquely replied. The little boy again counted his coins. "I'll have the plain ice cream," he said. The waitress brought the ice cream, put the bill on the table and walked away The boy finished the ice cream, paid the cashier and left. When the waitress came back, she began to cry as she wiped down the table. There, placed neatly beside the empty dish, were two nickels and five pennies.. You see, he couldn't have the sundae, because he had to have enough left to leave her a tip.

4 - Fourth Important Lesson. - The obstacle in Our Path
In ancient times, a King had a boulder placed on a roadway. Then he hid himself and watched to see if anyone would remove the huge rock. Some of the king's wealthiest merchants and courtiers came by and simply walked around it. Many loudly blamed the King for not keeping the roads clear, but none did anything about getting the stone out of the way. Then a peasant came along carrying a load of vegetables. Upon approaching the boulder, the peasant laid down his burden and tried to move the stone to the side of the road. After much pushing and straining, he finally succeeded. After the peasant picked up his load of vegetables, he noticed a purse lying in the road where the boulder had been. The purse contained many gold coins and a note from the King indicating that the gold was for the person who removed the boulder from the roadway. The peasant learned what many of us never understand! Every obstacle presents an opportunity to improve our condition.

5 - Fifth Important Lesson - Giving When it Counts
Many years ago, when I worked as a volunteer at a hospital, I got to know a little girl named Liz who was suffering from a rare & serious disease. Her only chance of recovery appeared to be a blood transfusion from her 5-year old brother, who had miraculously survived the same disease and had developed the antibodies needed to combat the illness. The doctor explained the situation to her little brother, and asked the little boy if he would be willing to give his blood to his sister. I saw him hesitate for only a moment before taking a deep breath and saying, "Yes I'll do it if it will saveher." As the transfusion progressed, he lay in bed next to his sister and smiled, as we all did, seeing the color returning to her cheek. Then his face grew pale and his smile faded. He looked up at the doctor and asked with a trembling voice, "Will I start to die right away". Being young, the little boy had misunderstood the doctor; he thought he was going to have to give his sister all of his blood in order to save her.

Most importantly..................
"Work like you don't need the money, love like you've never been hurt, and dance like you do when nobody's watching." I wish I could be more like all 5 of these people Don't you?

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Merry Christmas from the Blanshans!

       In case you didn’t know, I (Dale) am the gentleman in the center in the green shirt, surrounded by a lively, intelligent, and, as you can see, very good looking family. If you thought you saw a bit of bewilderment in the expression on my face, stemming, no doubt, from the size and character of the familial crowd there represented, you would be correct. It still isn’t clear to me exactly how all this happened.
       But if you sensed a bit of pride in that look, you would be even more correct. Look at that bunch! Now, I ask you, where could you find anything as diverse, talented, active, and involved, from that good looking grandma right down to those good looking grandkids? Why, even the sons in law are above average.
       Actually, the family is growing up and out so much that I’m becoming increasingly irrelevant. Linda makes more money than I do, Bob is taller than I am, the girls are looking at other men, Billy and Jimmy are on schedule to be way ahead of me in guitar playing, and my grandsons are much more handsome.
       Here’s an update on the major players:
       Linda became the general manager of the Crossroads Panera Bread store, and loves all 60 hours a week of it. She took me on a trip to Charlotte, North Carolina, for the Panera annual meeting, where I got to do the sightseeing with the other trophy spouses while she attended to business. This summer Linda also got her new house in Rochester, and is happily decorating.
       Bob, included in this letter by virtue of frequent visits and close proximity, wowed Jamaica on his first trip to the island this summer. He works as an activities facilitator at a local care and assisted living center, where, he watches old movies, plays bingo, sings songs, and gets laughs with the same jokes over and over. “I haven’t figured out why they pay me,” he says.
       Polly, a high school senior, started her second year of college this fall. She is in the college choir, traveled with its elite smaller group, Adoration, works at the Family Christian Book and Gift store, and maintains a typical college girl’s social schedule. She had her first trip to Jamaica this summer with her father, and had a great time.
       Peggy, a high school junior, started college this year, the youngest student there. She sings in the choir and was recruited for the college women’s basketball team. She took her driver’s training, sang in the Meadow Park Church Easter musical, and sings with the youth group band.
       Jimmy’s social schedule has expanded greatly. He attended two game banquets, trying frog legs and alligator meat at one and winning the grand prize, a 30-30 rifle, at the other. He’s been pheasant hunting in southern Minnesota and prairie dog shooting in South Dakota. He plays the bass guitar in the youth group band, and was a member of the church’s Easter musical cast and the Bible Bowl team. He also added a muzzleloader to his armament.
       Billy, who says, “nothing really that exciting happened to me,” plays the guitar in the church’s youth group band, has had several trips to Iowa and one to Missouri as a member of the Bible Bowl team, is increasingly relied upon for video projection and lighting as a member of the church worship team, does the layout for the youth group’s page in church papers, and recently completed his second performance as a magician volunteer at the Hope Lodge, a cancer treatment residence in Rochester.
       Being the technologically up to date family that we are, you can, of course, keep track of all your favorite Blanshans at the “” website. You may follow individual members, with the exception of laggards Jimmy and I, by means of their respective blogs, as follows:


       We wish you and yours a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. If you haven’t sent us an account of your 2007, we wish you would. May our circles be unbroken!