Thursday, January 29, 2009

Deeply Saddened Today...

I am deeply saddened today.

We had one of our faithful, young church members to pass away suddenly and unexpectedly last night . I can't even put into words how sad this is so I will just post a short e-mail that our Pastor sent out to the congregation today. PLEASE pray for this precious family and especially the husband as he prepares to tell their four year old son the news today.

"It is with extreme sorrow that I inform you that last night we lost one of our most beloved church members, Paige Snelgrove. Over the weekend she became ill, and over the last few days her condition worsened. She went to be with the Lord last night. Her husband Scott, a mighty man of God, fought courageously for her as he was by her side every moment. At this point, the medical reasons why she died are unclear, but what is very clear is that she is with Jesus at this moment. Scripture tells us, "to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord." We have great hope and assurance of eternal life because of the work that was done on the cross. Although our hearts are broken and there are many unanswered questions, we choose to trust our Heavenly Father. I fully anticipate that God will use this trial to strengthen our walk with him. Please be in prayer for Scott today as he will be telling his four year old son, Cayden, that his mommy went to be with Jesus."

As the tears flow down my face as I type this, I am very numb and very confused over this. Yet, I will continue to trust that the Lord will use this for good.

Please also pray for my Pastor, Steve, and his wife, Lisa, as they prepare to minister to the body during this difficult, difficult time. The memorial service is Monday, February 2nd.

Please understand that I may not be up to reading and commenting for the next few days, but know that I will be missing you all.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Hangin' with Wonderful Friends...

This past weekend, we were able to spend a wonderful time with friends who we hadn't seen in about three years.

We've been friends with Carlos and Rosie for almost eight years. Morgan (our oldest) and Andre' (their oldest) were in the same Girl Scout Troop for several years together. Morgan and Andre' were the best of friends and it was a very sad day for them both when we switched Morgan to another Troop. They spent many hours on the phone in the beginning, but over time their friendship kind of took a backseat. However, I kept in contact with Rosie either over the phone or by email over the years. We just never had the time to get our families together. I know...pretty sad, huh?

Well, for many reasons, God has brought Andre' and Morgan back together again. Almost two weeks ago now, Andre' became a new student at Morgan's school and they have instantly become friends again. To spare you all the details, we invited Rosie and Carlos over for dinner last Saturday night so we could reconnect with their family.

Of course, I had to grab the camera and take some pictures of our night.

Aren't they just a beautiful family?

Carlos, Maya, Paloma, Rosie and Andre'

Morgan and Andre' Jae and Maya was nice enough to pose for a picture while playing Pac-Man. Yep, I have an arcade Pac-Man game that steals the show everytime new visitors come over. lol!
Rosie and me!

The only regret that I have is that we didn't make it a priority over the years to fellowship with each other more in person. We had forgotten just how much fun we always have when we take the time out to get together.

Do you have friends who live close by or within 20-30 miles of you that you just don't take the time out to fellowship with? Are we just that busy in life? As I was typing all of this up, I realize how sad this sounds that we have literally lived within miles (about 15 ) of each other and haven't seen each other in three years. Hmmmmm......

Okay, make me feel better about this. Am I the only one????

Sunday, January 25, 2009

A Man in the Ladies' Restroom!!!

We were eating at Chili's not too long ago and, unfortunately, had a bit of a scare there.

After placing our order, Jae (my youngest) and I went to the ladies' restroom to wash our hands. We try HARD not use public restrooms normally, but on this particular day, I felt that our hands needed more than my hand sanitizer. lol!

As we were washing our hands, a MAN came out of the last stall. What?!?!?!?! Yes, a man came out of the last stall in the ladies' restroom as big as day!!!!!

With total shock, and a bit frightened, I turned around and asked him why he was in the ladies' restroom. Okay, I like to give everyone the benefit of the doubt, but this man knew as well as I did that his response was a LIE!!! He looks around and says, "Oh, I thought this was the men's restroom." "Okay????", I said. I thought that Jae was going to take off running from the fright on her face. I kind of pushed Jae behind me and then proceeded to the door to show this man that it clearly stated on the door, "Ladies' Restroom." After I showed him the door on his way out, he kept saying, "Oh, I am so sorry, I had no idea. I really thought this was the men's restroom." Yep, WHATEVER!!!!!

I should have followed him to his table (that's if he even had a tbale), but I was so shook up that I went back into the restroom to wash my hands all over again. Apparently, there was another lady in there who had heard the whole thing. She came out shaking all over. She said she had no idea that she was in there alone with this man. It's was a bit scary.

I was walking back to our table when I realized that this man's response was an obvious lie since there are no urinals in the ladies' restrooms. Before I could even tell Dirk and Morgan what had happened, the manager came to our table to apologize. Apparently, the other lady who was in there rushed to advise the manager. I'm glad that she did as, at this point, I had not even thought about advising a manager.

I have never let my girls go to the restroom alone at a young age because of fear of them being abducted or getting lost. It never even entered my mind that I needed to protect them from some moron man being in the ladies' restroom at any time.

Talk about scary! I bet this man was waiting for some young girl to come into the restroom alone. This is probably something that he does frequently. My biggest regret is not following him to see if he was actually eating at Chili's or if he just happened to walk in. Gosh!!!

In years past, I've seen many times when there have been young girls in the restroom alone. We need to be very careful about allowing this.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Freeeeeeeeeeee Makeup....


I don't know if any of you had heard of this news this week, but this past Tuesday, there were major department stores giving away brand-name makeup due to some sort of lawsuit. Yep! They had to give away $175 million in free makeup. They were supposed to give away the makeup for 7 days or until supplies ran out (whichever came first). Stores included; Macy's, Dillard's, Bloomingdale's, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom's, Lord & Taylor and Saks Fifth Avenue.

Well, they sure ran out fast!!!! I went to Macy's and Dillard's on Wednesday and they were supposedly done with the free handouts!!! I could tell that the makeup consultants were tired of explaining this to all the customers - or shall I say all the beggars like me. lol!

Anyhoo, if you're at one of these stores over the weekend, it won't hurt to ask about it.

The temperature is finally dropping here in Dallas. Today we were in the 80's. Tonight it drops into the low 30's with a high of 42 degrees tomorrow. Okay, I know that many of you have a lot colder weather than this. I just thought I'd let you know that we're finally getting some of it, too. The way the weather is here in Texas, though, we'll probably be back in the 80's by Sunday. lol!

Have a great weekend, friends!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Costco or Sam's???

Okay, don't laugh at us!

After allllllllllllllllllllll these years we finally started off the new year with getting a Costco card. lol! We have many friends and family members who have one of these cards (or one for Sam's). We always thought that you had to buy EVERYTHING in bulk and that it would only be a waste of money for us to invest into getting one.

A friend bought me a brisket from Costco not too long ago. It was excellent. It was pre-cooked so it took just 30 minutes to warm up! After having it, we were SOLD! Soooooooooooooooo, we signed up for a Costco card not too long ago.

We LOVED the store! The only thing is it's so big and you really need a lot time to look through the entire store. I felt a little overwhelmed walking around and seeing all the bargains. Sounds strange, huh? Why would someone get overwhelmed over bargains? lol! We bought some great things on our first visit. Their fruit was splendid and their vegetables lasted us almost 2 weeks without going bad!!! That's my kind of deal!!

Anyhow, now that we have shared with friends that we finally got the Costco card after all these years, some have suggested that we also get the Sam's card.

Do most people really have both Costco and Sam's? Do you?

Okay, I also shop off of friends' and family members' suggestions. If a friend would not have bought us this brisket, I would have never tried it. Better yet, we'd probably never have signed up for the Costco card.

Soooooooo, that being said, what are some of your favorite items from either store that you can share with us?

Saturday, January 17, 2009

My Visit...

First let me THANK all of you for your prayers and for your sincere words of encouragement in regards to my grandfather.

We were able to visit with him last night. As previously mentioned in my last post, I really wasn't looking forward to this visit due to issues among extended family members. Well, during a conversation with my oldest sister, I asked if anyone knew if he was saved. To be quite honest, I am ashamed that I didn't already know the answer to this question.

My deceased grandmother never missed attending church and I know without a doubt where she is spending eternity. However, I've never actually seen my grandfather in a church until my grandmother's funeral many years ago. In any case, I learned that no one knew for sure if he had been saved. Pretty sad, huh? This sounds awful, but now I dreaded the visit even more. It wasn't that I dreaded what I knew needed to take place during the course of our visit, but I dreaded the potential obstacles that stood in our way.

To spare you all the details;
My grandfather was awake during the time we visited. He seemed like he knew who we were. He attempted to carry on a conversation with us. However, it was very difficult to understand what he was saying. After we spent about an hour visiting him, we closed his bedroom door, shutting us off from the rest of the family. Dirk reminded him how much we loved him, but how God loved him more. Dirk talked a few minutes about Jesus. Eventually, Dirk was able to lead him in the salvation prayer and my grandfather accepted Christ as his Lord and Savior.

Though this visit was a little uncomfortable and the tension seemed to be somewhat heavy in the main sitting room, I am thankful that the Lord still used us.

There's not much more to add to this post, as it would only be thoughts I probably shouldn't share at this time and that I will continue to be in prayer about.

God truly is GOOD and we praise Him for He is worthy to be praised.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Unsettling Thoughts Tonight...

A few weeks ago, I posted about my grandfather being very sick and that he was in the hospital.

Well since that time, he's been in and out of the hospital several more times. Last week, he was released with the news that there's nothing more that can be done for him. My grandfather is 83 years old and has struggled with cancer for the last couple of years now. He stopped eating a few days ago and sleeps most of the day now.

My mom is having a very difficult time with this. I am okay with him passing, but I've had a lot of unsettling thoughts tonight (and most of the day) that I haven't been able to shake. My mom comes from a big family with 11 siblings. Unfortunately, my grandfather's failed health has taken a toll on my extended family members . There are too many opinions, too many people wanting to make decisions, too many people getting upset, too many people causing drama...need I say more? You get the picture, right?

So, my unsettling thoughts are why does this happen with families when death is near and it's so obvious that during a time like this that family should be closer than ever? This is so disturbing to me. I plan on visiting with my grandfather and mom tomorrow. I must admit that I am somewhat dreading the visit since there are so many family members there and all of these issues going on. Believe me, I'll stick out like a sore thumb!

I ask a favor of you to say a prayer on my grandfather's behalf. Pray that he is able to pass this life in peace and also pray that my extended family members can also have peace and patience with one another. Pray that they will be drawn closer together instead of farther apart.

As always, THANKS!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

It Finally Happened!!!

I am several posts behind, but for now I thought this would be the perfect one to share with you tonight.

To those of you who are new readers and who are not aware of my past fear with animals, I have allllllllllllllllllllllmost conquered this fear completely. We got a puppy back in December and as I write this post and look back on the first night that he came home...

I remember the pictures I posted of me wearing gloves because I didn't want to touch him with my bare hands. I remember at times sitting high up because I didn't want Gooch to jump up and touch me. I quickly (later the same night we brought him home) adapted to touching him without the gloves! lol! Unfortunately at times, I have the personality of, "get it all over with at one time." Meaning, once I knew that it was destined for me to be over this fear, I wanted to jump in deep! I wanted to be an instant dog lover! I wanted to be able to walk down the street with my puppy in my bag. Uh...not really! Anyhow, I wanted to be able to sit, hold, and walk our puppy. Right before Christmas, I'd mastered all of these wants except for holding Gooch. I just couldn't get up the nerve to hold him until the day after Christmas! God is sooooooooooooo good! I NEVER dreamed that I would even like a dog ... much less love one.

Hooooooooooooowwwwwwwwwever, I have come to love my Gooch! And guess what? I think that he may like me more than anyone else in our family. LOL! He's at my feet all the time. As I am typing this post, he is lying here on the floor at my feet. It's happening just like some of you said it would. And no, he's still not allowed to lick me. That ain't gonna happen! And that I know!I might eat these words one day, but I don't see it happening in the present, near and far future.

Okay, I wanted to show you proof of me holding him. However, I DO NOT like this picture at all! I am wearing an old granny robe that was given to me by Dirk's grandmother like when we got married (almost 18 years ago). It goes all the way to the floor. I usually wear it in the winter ALOT to keep warm! Jae asked me earlier tonight when I was wearing it if it was one of those cover up blankets that they sell on tv? Yep, it's big, old, covers every part of my body, and keeps me warm. I can totally see why Jae would ask the question!

I have no idea why I feel the need to explain to you why I look so horrible in this picture. lol! I know all you cared about was actually seeing me hold my Gooch. goes!

See how excited Gooch looks?

Saturday, January 10, 2009

A Careless Mishap!

A couple of days before Christmas, I did something so careless that it was by the grace of God that I didn't have to face a potential crisis and especially right before Christmas.

I'd planned on making my Italian cream cake for a Christmas lunch. I stopped at the grocery store to buy pecans and a couple of other items. Unfortunately, when I got to the baking aisle, I quickly realized that they were completely sold out of pecans. So, my thinking was if I'm going to have to go another store to buy pecans...just do all my shopping at one store and at one time. Sooooooo, I pushed my buggy to the side and proceeded to walk out the store.

I got to the exit door and then thought that there may be pecans in the produce section. So, I walked over that department. Sure enough, they had a whole pallet of pecans. More expensive than I wanted but, to save time and to keep from making another stop, I took a few minutes to pick out just the right package of pecans. Yep, they all looked the same. lol!

After grabbing a package of the pecans, I walked back to find my buggy that I just casually pushed aside. Not only did I find my buggy, I also found my PURSE that I'd left in the buggy!!! I could not believe that I had done this! Needless to say, this shook me up a bit. I just wanted to sit in the middle of the floor and cry right then. I kept asking myself, "Are you kidding me? Did this really just happen? What was I thinking?" I knew that it was just another way of slowing me down. And believe me, it did! I slowly continued my shopping filled with numbness and confusion.

Looking back, and as I type this, I am thankful again that the Lord had my back, as it really could have been a disaster.

See, I told you that I had a mishap, too! I just had to tell you about Dirk's first. lol!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

It's Been Fun!!!

I've been dreading this post for a few days now, but like they say..."All good things must come to an end."

Stella will be leaving us tomorrow morning. It's been an awesome week with her and we really do hate to see her go. I've gotten really attached to Stitching Stella and I really am beginning to think that I have serious issues. lol!

Thank you Lindsay-ann and Lorrie for creating such a wonderful idea that so many of us have enjoyed. And thank you April for choosing me to show Stella a bit of Texas. You ladies are truly amazing and it's been such a blessing to me getting to know each of you.

Part of the rules of having Stella involved us adding something to her.

We have added a pair of cowgirl boots. Yee haw! Hmmm...Yee haw? That doesn't sound quite right coming from an African American woman. lol! Oh well! Anyhow, we thought it would be great if Stella left Texas kicking up her heels in a pair of boots.

Okay, I spent like wayyyyyyyyyyyyyy too much time trying to get the perfect picture. It never happened! Unfortunately, the photographer of the family (Morgan) is already in bed and this is the best I could do.

Stella will be all packed up before Jae wakes up in the morning. She wanted to visit with Jae just one last time before leaving. When I took this picture, Jae never even moved. That's a scary thought if someone broke in or if we had a fire. I asked myself the question, "Would she really just sleep through it?"

Morgan was a little bummed that we never got any pictures of her with Stella. She was either not here or when she was, and we remembered it, she had already taken her makeup off. I begged her earlier tonight to just take a picture with no makeup tonight, but she just wouldn't do it. Teenagers!!!!

Stella will be traveling to Maryland to visit my friend, Heather for a few days. I can't wait to read and see pictures of her adventures with Heather. Please be sure to visit Heather's blog next week to keep track of Stella's journey.

Thank you all for reading and keeping up with Stella while she was visiting Texas. It's been fun!

Oh...THANK YOU so very much for praying for Dirk (us) last night. He's still battling what seems to be a cold for sure, but he feels a whole lot better than last night. Praise the Lord!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Prayer Request Please...

It's been an extremely busy night at our house tonight. I've been a single parent with ALL the cooking, ALL the cleaning, ALL the homework, ALL the laundry, ALL the questions from the girls, and I am a bit tired about now and will be going to bed early. I know...stop whining and deal with it, huh? And I heard you....welcome to the real world, huh?

Truth be known....
My sweet Dirk is sick this evening. He started feeling bad last night. He did go to work today, but he came home feeling pretty rough. We think it's just a cold, but he has been in bed all evening. I can't hardly keep my thoughts together to even post what I wanted to post about. I know...I'm a real mess.

Please pray for him to feel better... like overnight.

Stella will be leaving us on Friday morning. My next post will let you know what I've added to her and where she's going.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Who Shot Stella...I Mean J.R.?

We had our last outing with Stella over the weekend and let me tell ya, I truly believe that this was the best outing we could have given her while visiting Texas.

We asked ourselves, "What place says 'Dallas' more than any other? Where can we take Stella that could not be essentially re-created in any other locale?"

We took Stella to visit Southfork Ranch! For those of you who are not familiar with this place, it's where the famous TV show, "Dallas" was filmed for thirteen years. We live about nine or ten miles from it. We were hoping to run into J.R. or Sue Ellen, but no such luck.

I have to share with you that the idea of taking Stella to Southfork Ranch was Dirk's idea.

It gets better. At Southfork Ranch, they have daily tours and since this is a famous place, you actually have to pay to be on the property and, of course, to take any pictures close up. We didn't really want a tour, we just wanted to take a few pictures of the place with Stella.

Well, Dirk came up with this grand idea of me going inside and telling them about Stella and how this was for a blog project, right? Wrong! He felt that by me explaining who Stella was and what we were doing that perhaps they would allow us to go on the Southfork property for free.

I, of all people...Ms. confident, calm, brave and ALWAYS telling other people to just ask for what they want and also saying all they can do is say "yes" or "no" COMPLETELY CHICKENED OUT! LOL!!!

Dirk said, "Give me Stella. I'll go in and ask them for you." I about fainted. lol! Isn't he just the coolest husband?

Anyhow, he comes back to the car with a big smile on his face. He said the lady behind the counter got all excited when he explained it to her and that she understood what blogging was all about. She told him that we could park and walk the property without a tour person and take as many pictures as we wanted for FREE! Stella and I were tripping out!

I wanted to take more pictures than we did, but I also didn't want to act like I didn't know any better any other words, I didn't want to take advantage of this FREE opportunity!

So, see in the pictures below Stella's visit to Southfork Ranch where the famous J.R. Ewing lived (on the show that is) for many years!

Look at the smile on Stella's face. It was almost as big as mine.
Or maybe Stella's smile wasn't even close to mine. LOL!
This pic below was actually taken from the street.
This one was taken right slap dab in the middle of J.R. 's front yard. You can hardly see us or Stella at all in the picture. But, hey....we tried!
The picture below is out on the deck where the Ewings gathered many times. I remember many fights in this pool.

Here's a very short clip that I found off Youtube that I enjoyed looking at. This little visit sure brought back a lot of TV memories for me. I am so not a TV person these days...but I did love me some "Dallas".

Stella's visit with our family has been a lot of fun. I think she has enjoyed her stay as well, but all good things must come to an end.

I still have something special to add to Stella's dress before she leaves us and will be adding it and of course, sharing with you in the next couple of days what I added. I will also let you know where Stella is headed to.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Six Flags Over Stella!

Dirk and I were off work yesterday and it was also the girls' last weekday off from school for the holiday.

The weather was perfect. We had a high of 70 degrees. So, we ventured out to Six Flags Over Texas! Stella could hardly contain her excitement!! In fact, she was more excited than our girls. Stella was also a lot braver than me. The family was able to get me on one kiddie roller coaster and one small adult coaster, but that was about it.

We still had my niece MacKenzie with us since my sister was taking care of Matt after his surgery and all. Jae and MacKenzie started getting very possessive of Stella. Jae sat next to me on the roller coaster and when the ride took off, she kept reminding me to hold on to Stella very tight so we wouldn't lose her. I must admit that I did have thoughts of her flying off in the wind and landing only God knows where. I quickly had to focus on a more positive thought as my stomach was getting upset at just the thought of losing Stella.

Let me tell ya, we are having a BALL with Stella. I am already dreading the thought of her leaving next week. I think that she's really enjoying her stay, but will be exhausted after she leaves Texas.

Check out a few of our pictures that we took while visiting Six Flags! I lost my oldest daughter, Morgan to her boyfriend, Todd all day. Once we checked in, we saw Morgan once every hour or two, but that was about it. lol!

Here's Stella just arriving at Six Flags. I wish you all could have seen the people looking at us. They were entertained. lol!

We stopped at this store to try on hats. They didn't have Stella's size. This guy from behind the counter was all into us trying on hats. He kept saying, " I have some Daffy Duck hats behind the counter if you want to try them on." After he kept insisting to help, I wanted to tell him that it was only for picture taking....leave us alone. Don't worry, I didn't.

I have the best little helpers that anyone could ask for while Stella is visiting. I think that MacKenzie and Jae will be sad when Stella leaves too.
Stella went for a ride on the Teacup ride too. I do not like this ride at all. So, guess who took her? Dirk! He was even nice enough to take pictures while they were riding. Isn't this a trip?

Okay, this was one of two roller coasters I rode and I screamed most of the forty seconds that I was on it. lol!
This is before we took off on the other coaster. This would also explain why I am totally sitting and smiling very calmly.
Jae had her moments too! See the look on her face?
This was taken on a nice quiet boat ride.
Hmmmmm...this was an interesting setup!

Morgan and her boyfriend, Todd.

And you thought Stella had fun yesterday??? You won't believe where she visited today!

I will try to post it early tomorrow afternoon. I wanted to post this earlier today, but after our outing, I had to get my Christmas decorations down ! Goodness!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Stella Pays a Visit to the Hospital

On New Year's Eve, my nephew, Matthew, was rushed to the hospital due to severe pain in his side. Unfortunately, he had to have emergency appendectomy surgery. After several tests done and a cat scan performed, the doctor had warned my sister and her husband that it looked like Matt's appendix had ruptured which was not good at all. But, praise be to our God that while Matt was in surgery, that was clearly not the case.

We visited Matt at the hospital yesterday and he was completely alert and feeling much better. He was up walking from hall to hall for exercise. I filled Matt in on Stella visiting me from England and how I would really like to get some pictures of Stella with him. He gave me this BIG smile and was happy to do it.

I later warned Stella that there's no telling what she might get into while visiting us. lol!

We did have a pretty awesome outing today that I can hardly wait to share with you, but because Matt was such a sport in agreeing to take a few pictures with Stella, I have to post this first.

What a sport, huh?
Matt is reading the back of Stella to learn more about her. There's not too much writing, he was just curious to read what it said.
Stella is relaxing on a windowsill while Matt was getting some exercise walking down the hall. The hospital still had all their Christmas decorations up. This gingerbread house actually looked better in person than it does in the photo.

Again, Matt is doing much better, but would you say a prayer for him to have a complete and speedy recovery so that he can return to school?

Stay tuned to read all about Stella's big outing today in my next post!

My family is having a ball with her! Morgan even complained and asked why I didn't have any pictures of her and Stella. Who would have ever thought that a teenager would want to be part of this? lol!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Stella Arrives Texas Just in Time...

to bring in the New Year with us.

Some of you already know about Stella, but many of you who read my blog might not. The idea of Stitching Stella was created by Lindsay-ann and Lorrie. Stella is to visit as many locations around the world as possible in exactly one year. It's a really neat idea and I am so happy to be a part of this and show Stella just a tad bit here in Texas.

Stella started her journey with Lindsay-ann in England. She then travelled on to North Carolina to meet Lorrie and spend a few days there. During the Christmas holiday, she was visiting April in Georgia. These wonderful ladies have really shown Stella a great time so far. I hope that she doesn't get too bored during her visit with us. lol!

I had mentioned to my family a few days ago that we would be having a visitor. Dirk thought this was a neat idea. However, my girls thought that I had fallen off my rocker. lol! They totally don't understand how I can be having this much fun in "blogland". However, when Dirk brought the package in to me yesterday, Jae was right by my side with excitement (like me) as I was opening up the package.

We filled Stella in on our plans for New Year's Eve, which, by the way, weren't big plans. We didn't know anyone who was having a New Year's party. Or maybe they were and we just weren't invited. lol! Anyhow, we just planned on staying home and having our own little party....just the four of us (Morgan was invited to a friend's house for a party, so the four of us included Dirk, myself, Jae and my niece, Mackenzie).

We had a BIG menu for our party. We had Rotel dip, chips, Lil' Smokies and soft drinks. Later, we tried out our new fondue machine, which turned out to be a bit of a disaster. During the Christmas holidays, we attended a couple of parties where they had the chocolate fondue fountain. I soooooooo fell in love with dipping strawberries, bananas and marshmallows into chocolate. So, we bought an electric fondue pot. We figured that we would get more use out of ours if we just bought the pot instead of the big ole' fountain machine. Anyhow, I didn't think that melting a bag of chocolate would be so complicated. I am guessing at this point, since our bag of chocolate turned into a big slab of thick mess, that there's a certain type of chocolate you must use for a fondue pot. I'm telling ya, it was melted alright....but it was not the same smooth, rich-looking chocolate that anyone could just dip their whatever in. It was thick and almost dough-like. In fact, we had to use a spoon to pick up each bite. Meaning....take a bite of strawberry then a spoon of chocolate. After doing this about three times, I lost interest. I plan on asking my expert friends today, who have their own machine, what kind of chocolate we're supposed to use. If you know, please let me know.

Sorry, I tend to ramble once I get started on something. Now back to Stella's arrival.

I do believe that Stella was happy that we weren't going out for the evening. She hung out with us a little while in the kitchen and checked out the few decorations that we had.

I told you it was just a few!

Anyhow, she tried taking Gucci's bed for the night, but Gucci (in a nice way) told her that he didn't think so. Look at the expression on his face.

Stella finally took a seat in the living room where Dirk gladly showed her the remote in order to relax.

This is fun! Well, it is for me so far. We'll see how much fun Stella has while visiting us. Don't forget to go check out the other blogs, Lindsay-ann, Lorrie and April to read up on Stella's travelling adventure.

I pray that you all are enjoying this new day of the year. May God continue to bless each of you in 2009!