Sunday, December 30, 2012

More Aunt and Uncle Time!

We stopped in St. Louis to see Xsenija and Michael. They both look so good. We saw their apartment that is very cute. It is small but it feels so homey. The Christmas tree was decorated so pretty.

We took them out to lunch at a little restaurant called Wild Flower. Such a good choice. It was quiet and the food was delicious. We didn't have to wait at all.

It was so nice to get a chance to catch up with them. They have some time off together for the holidays. It was a good time to visit them with no pressure on them to work.

This has been the best trip ever.

Aunt ME and Uncle Pat Time

Such a great visit with the Nobles. I have often said how much I love being an aunt. This time spent in Tulsa filled my heart to the brim with the chance to be an aunt.

Mary - when we went for all the Noble Baptisms Uncle Pat, Joanna, Caroline and I would come in the door and totally ignore the new baby. We would each take a child and wait until that child said there was a new baby and invite us to we go see the baby. Mary being the baby of the family never got a chance to do that. So, I stayed with Mary until she told me about her. (Although I think her Mom had to tell Mary to tell me about her!) Mary gave the best directions on our adventures. When we went to Goodwill every time she picked something out for herself her Mom would covet it and Mary would happily give it to her. She has a generous soul.

Sarah - is such a gentle mother. My favorite moment was watching her go through a cookbook trying to find the perfect cake recipe. (WHICH SHE DID!!) She had Ella next to her on the floor. Sarah had a difficult time paying attention to the book. Ella was kicking her feet and gurgling happily. Sarah just couldn't resist touching her tummy and lovingly murmuring sweet things to her daughter instead of reading.

Liz - went to the store with Uncle Pat. On the way back to the hotel he said he had so much fun with Liz on that trip. He said they were laughing and talking so much they almost missed two turns. Now you all know Pat - only Liz makes him that happy. I most enjoyed watching her rock Ella the last night we were there. It is fun watching my niece be an aunt!

David - the Godfather. As usual he made fabulous food for us to eat! He is a great chef and knows how important it is to have the food look like art and taste like heaven! Pizza with little red potatoes, ricotta cheese and rosemary! Oh goodness it was great. He also is so witty. You have to listen closely, he cracks me up.

Theresa - the Godmother that Skyped in from Boston. She alternated between smiling from ear to ear to wiping the tears away. I love reading her fabulous blog, she teaches this old aunt to think and pray more. The blessing she is to this family is immeasurable. She was present the whole time we were there.

Ella - I have never seen such a content and happy baby. I had lots of cuddling time. She laughs and smiles all the time. I had her sticking her tongue out at me before we left -  is there anything more fun than that?

The trip was so much fun. We went to Goodwill, Whole Foods, the Flea Market, Old School Bagel and Antoinette Baking Co.

Jane and Chris were the perfect hosts. We felt right at home in their lovely home. Chris loves to interact with his kids and you can tell they love it, too. We didn't get a gorilla story though, we will have to go back.

And I got to sit next to Jane and put my head on her shoulder - that was as close to feeling like I was with Mom ever. You know I loved that.

One time my cousin, Elise, told me "There is nothing like sharing memories with someone from your childhood." She was so right, the time spent with my sister was wonderful.

Oil Country

Yes, 2.86 a gallon!

Eleanor's Baptism

Oh what a great day! She looked like an angel. Godmother Sister Theresa Skyped in and Liz stood in for her. It was so nice. These pictures aren't the greatest, I will post more later.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Dress Rehearsal

It fits! The family Baptismal gown worn by the Shea's looks beautiful on Eleanor. I Can't wait for tomorrow.

December Flowers

Look at these gorgeous Oklahoma flowers outside our hotel!! They are almost as cute as Eleanor!

We had such a wonderful evening with the Nobles. I made Mary ask me about the baby before I got to cuddle with Ella! Mary being the youngest Noble never had a visit from us for a younger sibling's Baptism.

Jane made Mary Lynn's chicken, salad, wild rice, homemade foccocia and BUTTERBALLS for dessert!

We are going to Goodwill in a few minutes!

Thursday, December 27, 2012


I like this Heron!

It is at the Den of Metal Arts in Conway, Missouri. My sister, Jane, just asked me if I was going the right way!

Ft. Wayne Layover

We ran I to bad weather right away! So we stopped around 11:00 am yesterday. We have a long haul today - 12 hours.

I can't wait to see my sister and her family!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Ooohhh did you get gift cards for Christmas?

It's the perfect time to buy a book! Get all comfy under a blanket on the couch, go to Amazon and buy the Saginaw Series!

Each book is .99¢ - a great deal!

Spend the day with Jen and Katy in Saginaw, Michigan.

In Webber house they are chased from the scary mansion and then one of the girls is missing. Should secrets be kept?

In Bertie's Bakery Heaven Scent watch as Aunt Sarah moves to Saginaw to follow her dreams. Colleen joins Jen and Katy to form a trio of best friends.

The friends from St. Mary's high school get jobs at Anderson Pool for the summer before junior year. Aunt Sarah falls in love as she starts her business.

In Daniels Den follow Katy and her band the Lifeguards.  Will the friendship of the girls survive the summer of changes?

Click here to go to Amazon to start the adventures!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Great Present!

Look how happy this made Paco!

Christmas 2012

I am thankful for so many blessings this Christmas morning.

For a family that loves to get together and gets along when they do! Joanna, Robin, Sheala and Robbie; Caroline and Jesse, Javie, Ayva and Romeo.  Eleven of us in the living room last night laughing, tickling, drinking hot chocolate and eating snacks.  The best gift of all was present in the room, love.

For the best Christmas card ever from the Hinz Family!

SS. Peter and Paul
We had such a beautiful service last night. Fr. Jack healing from his hip surgery was at his best. He mentioned the 5:00 people sat in their seats just looking at him when he asked "How do you describe love!" Well, not the 9:00 people!  The last answer from the back of the church was, "Even if you are mad as hell, you still take care of the one you love."  Our friend Bill cantored which is always a treat. Something made me smile, I looked at Jack who was watching for my reaction and we both smiled at each other. I truly feel at home in this parish.

Keep on Truckin' Team Jayden
Following the goodwill brought about by the death of a small boy.  Jayden Lamb may have lost his fight with cancer, but the young boy and his family have changed us forever.  Keep on Truckin' Team Jayden is a facebook page that follows the world as it pays it forward Jayden style. From a diamond ring dropped in a Salvation Army bucket to a Starbuck's coffee paid for by a previous customer, everyone is finding different ways to connect with strangers with acts of kindness. I love reading so many heart warming stories. We have been inspired to do something to pay it forward, too.

The people you choose to have in your lives because they are so special. They make us laugh, they make us think, they bring us joy.

My Books
It is amazing to me that 419 of the Saginaw Series books have been downloaded! I love writing. As I work on the Holiday Series I am more than thankful that God continues to send inspiration my way.

So many blessings!.

Monday, December 24, 2012

On Our Way to Kay and Jerry's

So we met Andrew and James and sat for a little bit to talk with everyone. Julie and Sarah look so happy. I love those kids! Thank goodness they were teasing Kay about her blueberry pottery, it made me remember the two votive candle holders I found at an estate sale in her pattern! I've had them in the car for months - it is a miracle I didn't break them! Jerry made his yummy cinnamon bread - yeah! Now we are on our way back to Saginaw.

- - - - - - -

We are stopping by with quiche for their Christmas breakfast!  Julie and Andrew and Sarah and James are home for the holidays. 
We decided to bring their wedding gifts. One late and one early!  We know gift cards are the best so that is what we got them.
We are going to tell Pat's girl she can buy a silky nightgown!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Oh Goodness, Windows Open as Usual

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas, smoke circling the Christmas tree!

As usual, everything is smoking up the duplex, the windows are open and I'm shivering by the stove!

Tradition calls for Italian Sausage sandwiches on Christmas Eve. Lots of dips and appetizers. However, Caroline used to get sick to her stomach every year at Midnight Mass.  Finally one year I watched what she ate at Grandma Shea's. Cookies, candy, chips, pop! She didn't like any of the food!

So, meatballs are in the oven, too! It was a relief to know it wasn't the devil coming out of her!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Woohoo! The Best Present Ever!

Just received a message from Sue White that she wants to do a story about the books!  It will be after the holidays.

She is my favorite Saginaw News columnist. Last year she featured my dishes and knives for an article about the Andersen Enrichment Hollydays sale.  She was so easy to talk with over the phone. In just a short time she captured exactly how much I love creating the hostess gifts.

This really was a special gift!

Monday, December 17, 2012

It broke my heart!

We went to dinner tonight. Just before we left Javie came over to me and whispered, "Nana, did you see the news about those kids?"  I answered, "Yes, I did honey, wasn't it sad?" He answered with big eyes, "Yes."

I said to him, "I am so glad you go to such a good safe school, did you feel safe today?" He nodded his head. But the look was more like he wanted more affirmation.

He asked, "Wasn't that other school safe?" I told him that it wasn't as safe as his school. I told him he is very blessed to go to such a safe school.

God bless these little children all over the world.

Too Much Horror

I can't watch the news. I switch to stupid shows to stop thinking about the classmates, teachers, parents and families of those killed at Sandy Hook.

We don't have to feel sad for the dead, for they are in Heaven. I picture them getting hugs from the Holy Family.

But the survivors, I pray they find ways to go on. That they help each other through the horror. That they really understand the ones that died are happy and loved and filled with peace.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

A Christmas Gift

My 1st book in the Saginaw Series, Webber House, is Free for a special promotion December 15-19, 2012.


Merry Christmas from a most grateful author!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Mmmm Crab in Pastry Shells

I used weight watchers cream cheese for the first time. I loved it. It is soft and mushy and easy to mix.

Pteheat the oven to 350

1 8 oz ww cream cheese
1 can shredded crab drained
3/4 cup light miracle whip
1 bunch scallions chopped fine
2 tsp dill
2 splashes worchester sauce
2 sprinkles hot pepper flakes
Salt and pepper to taste

Fill pastry shells and sprinkle with smoked paprika. Bake 5-8 min.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas!

Thank you Robbie! The Jacklins came over last night and Robbie helped me decorate. The tree is up, the manger is beautiful. Thank you so much.

Now I have to start shopping and baking!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Grrrr. . .

Pat put his back out moving the last container into the booth on Saturday. He is walking like a crooked old man. So no Christmas decorations yet. We may not be putting anything up this year.

Sunday, December 9, 2012


Yeah! Shows are done! It was a beautiful day with the first snow, I think it put everyone in a Christmas mood.

I saw so many friends yesterday at Horizons. Just from work, Peggy, Chris and her boys, Richard and his wife, Diane and her daughter, Mary and her Mom, Marla, Gloria, and Jimmy O. It was so nice to see everyone!

But now I can put the tree up and work on some Pinterest crafts I haven't had time for at all.

We had a nice family dinner at Timbers last night. We gave Robbie a birthday gift from Hammacher Schlemmer! For years Sheala and Robbie have been looking at the catalog and putting their initial on each item they wanted. Some items in the catalog cost thousands of dollars! Some are affordable.

I put the box with the Hammacher Schlemmer name on the table and let Robbie think about what was in it! It was "The World's Brightest Pen Light!

We had fun and now I can't wait to decorate!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Last Show

Today at Horizon in Saginaw from 9 am - 3 pm is our last show for the year.

I found some great dishes tucked away in the basement to take today. It was like Christmas morning unwrapping the dishes. I have to admit I kept a couple for myself!

After washing the dishes, I wrapped knives for several hours.  I have lots of great hostess gifts for you to choose for your holiday gifts!

See you at Horizon!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Keep on Truckin' Team Jayden

A little boy died last week in Midland, Michigan. The whole community - all over the world - has been touched by him.

So many people are paying it forward Jayden style. Someone drives up to pick up a takeout order and finds the car in front has paid in Jayden's name. Layaways paid off, neighbors helping neighbors, and many more.

Go to facebook and find Keep on Truckin' Team Jayden. Then pay it forward for a sweet boy.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Andersen Enrichment Center

Wednesday, December 5, 2012
10:00 AM To 04:00 PM
Andersen Enrichment Center
120 Ezra Rust, Saginaw, Michigan

This is the 20th Annual Hollyday Art Fair, a holiday tradition in the heart of Saginaw's Celebration Square!

The day includes an art fair, luncheon, fresh holly sale, cookie sale and silent auction.

Admission to the Hollyday Art Fair is free, there is a charge for the luncheon.

I put a picture of the cover of the third book in the Saginaw Series, Andersen Pool, on my table.  It is fun selling my plates in the old changing house!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

A Christmas without Grandy Farm

Last year was the last year! When Deb asked me to be a part of her open house weekend a few years ago I was so happy.

She opened her farm home to several crafters. It was a tremendous amount of work. I don't know how she did it for 25 years.

This year we received a note saying she really was done.  This weekend was just not the same.  Missed you Grandy farm.