Friday, February 17, 2023

Catch-Up: Warning! Long Post

Hello, my friends!

I am going to attempt to backtrack a couple of weeks and get ya'll caught up. It will take awhile, but if you will read all the way to the end you'll understand why posting has been so sporadic. Thank you for bearing with me.

My wonderful husband was preparing to celebrate his birthday at the turn of the month, and my mother and sister invited us down for the weekend. It was the first time I was feeling decent in weeks, and he wanted to go. Since we were going to be going to southern Missouri on his birthday I decided to make him a birthday "cake" the day before (February 2nd) for his dinner before he went to work. 

Now my husband is diabetic, so while he can have sugar only in small amounts on occasion, he is a major carnivore. One of his favorite meals is meatloaf with mashed potatoes. So...I decided to make him a meatloaf cake. The filling between the layers was my special meatloaf sauce. The "cake" layers were meatloaf. The frosting was mashed potatoes and the ganache was brown gravy. He absolutely loved it!

Meatloaf Cake

On the morning of the 3rd (Aaron's actual birthday) Aaron had to go get his driver's license renewed, and then we headed to southern Missouri. We stopped on the way down to get lunch at our favorite Mexican Restaurant in Butler, Missouri. (See more about it here!) 

Lunch at Tu Casa Mexican Restaurant in Butler, Missouri

My mom and sister had decided to throw a small party for him. They made cheeseburgers and chips, and my sister had even decorated a Civil War themed cake with cannon sparklers. For those of you who know my husband, this was the perfect theme for him! Overall he had a great birthday!

Aaron's Birthday Cake

We made our way back home at the end of the weekend. The next few days passed with Aaron working and Alysia doing school. She had developed a bit of a cold...nothing too bad. I stayed busy trying to get some stuff caught up.

On the 8th of February our federal tax refund arrived. I was excited to be able to get my emergency fund put back, as well as get bills caught up. It was great to get the refund, but it only took a few days to use it all, as it was all earmarked for specific items. I was able to get one bill paid completely off, as well as a decent payment on a second bill. Yahoo on the progress towards financial freedom and debt payoff!

Debt Thermometer Pay Off

A few weeks ago I had gotten another call from Miss Bonnie with another catering job...this time a church Valentine's banquet for 32 people. I was super excited, and the date was set for the banquet on February 10th. 

On February 9th I started preparing by making a large sheet cake and some sugar cookies. It was the first time I had made frosting roses and I think it turned out ok for someone who is not a professional cake decorator. The two projects and school with Alysia took the entire day up.

Sheet Cake

Valentine's Day Sugar Cookies

On the 10th I catered the meal at Kearney Bible Church, and it went over swimmingly. I believe everyone at the church was happy with the meal. They had a choice between garlic cheddar chicken and pulled pork, along with mashed potatoes, tater tot casserole, green beans, salad, rolls and dessert. 

The next morning Aaron and I had an early morning class at church from 8:00 a.m. to noon. Afterwards we headed back to southern Missouri as my sister had decided to host a Valentine's party on Monday and we were trying to avoid the city during the Super Bowl commotion, so we decided we were leaving Saturday and going to stay a few days.

We arrived and went to my sister's. We stayed Saturday night with my sister Amber, her husband and their 5 kids. 

On Sunday I decided I was going to provide dinner for my family as they normally do the cooking while we are down there. When they left for their church service, which is an hour from where they live, Aaron and I went to the nearest grocery store (20 miles away) and got food for the evening. I then went back to my sister's and prepared the dessert, which was a new recipe and had to set for a few hours. Aaron and I listened to the service at our church online, and then I did some light cleaning and a few loads of laundry to help my sister out. I don't get to help her often, but you can imagine how busy she stays with 5 children. I enjoy being able to help when I can.

In the afternoon I started cooking dinner in order to have it ready when everyone arrived at my sister's at 5:00 p.m. I made garlic cheddar chicken (they had never tried it), parsley potatoes, green beans and my berry mousse dessert, which is a new favorite! My mom, my family, my sister's family and one of my brother's family was there...a total of 16 people. It was super fun.

Late that evening, I started feeling pretty cruddy. I just thought I was big deal. I went to bed, and woke up in the middle of the night sick...AGAIN! 

The next morning I felt bad because my sister was up prepping for her party, and I was in bed for awhile. I finally drug myself out of bed and into the shower just a few minutes before people started arriving. Pretty much the same crew from the night before, plus a cousin and another brother's family...a total of 25 people this time. I managed to hold out for awhile, but ended up laying down and falling asleep again.

I woke up and in the afternoon went over to my mom's house while the guys continued to hang out at my sister's for awhile longer playing with my brother James' 3D printer. We ended up staying up til late into the evening, and then I went to bed. 

The next morning we woke up to rain, and a few minutes later I realized it was raining at home, too. And I had curriculum ordered that said it had been delivered. Which meant that I had a cardboard box full of boxes of books sitting on my porch in the rain. Since we were to return that morning anyway (Tuesday), we went ahead and loaded up. We had to stop by my sister's on the way out of town to get a flash drive from my niece Audrey, and we headed for home.

When I got home the box was indeed sitting in the rain. We brought it inside where the box disintegrated. The boxes inside were wet too. I didn't have much hope for the books, but when I opened the boxes, for the first time ever, the books were wrapped in plastic and they were perfectly dry! God knew they needed protection!

This was the first Valentine's Day that my husband has been off work in the evening since we got together, so we had planned on going out, but since I was sick we ended up staying in. However, my husband went out to grab something, and came back with some beautiful roses for me. How sweet!

Valentine's Day Roses

The next day Aaron had to return to work, which brings us up to yesterday morning. When he got home at 6:30 a.m. he was ok. He went to bed. He got up at 3:30 p.m., and was VERY ill. He ended up having to call in, and as the evening progressed he kept getting worse. By 11:30 p.m. he was in severe pain and had a fever of 103° F. We loaded up and headed to the ER, with fear that with the location of the pain and the fever that he might have appendicitis. They ran some tests, and ruled anything bad out, but he DID test positive for COVID. They chalked all of his pain up to that, and sent him home. We got home at 4:00 a.m.

After we got home I got a cough drop...and I couldn't taste it. Earlier in the day I had taste and smell. And then all of a sudden it was gone. We slept for awhile and then I got up and took a home COVID test...and of course it was positive. 

So here we sit...not only sick again, but both of with COVID. I feel bad for those we were around this week and pray that God will protect them from getting it as well. I'm also praying for a quick recovery for Aaron and myself. Alysia seems to be back to normal, and I'm thinking what she had was actually just a cold and not COVID. I'm praying she doesn't get it from us.

In the meantime, Aaron and I have just been hanging out on the couch this afternoon watching John Wayne movies....apparently one of Alysia's new favorite actors. I introduced her to him in "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence" a few weeks ago. Today was "The Alamo", "El Dorado" and now we are a quarter of the way through "McClintock". 

So...that's where we are now. I'm sitting here thanking God for His provision and protection, and praying for strength and quick healing.

I hope and pray that you are all well. I love you all and will check back in with you all again soon!



  1. Enjoyed reading your blog. love to visit again and again. all the best. keep posting

  2. I know it's been a crazy few weeks and I'm sorry that you and Aaron are both sick. I'm pretty sure you got it from us though because we've all had something pretty cruddy now for weeks. I've been sick with this stuff for nigh a month and a half now. I start to feel better and think I'm about over it and down I do again. I keep pushing through, but, man! I'm tired of it! Feel better and get some rest, and keep me posted as to how you're feeling. I love reading about all the things you're doing and seeing the pictures! Your valentine cookies are lovely and the idea of a meatloaf "cake" is delightful! Congratulations on taking some major steps towards debt freedom! Keep going! You'll get there sooner than you think! Love you!

    ~ Mom


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