Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 in review...

Hello gang,
Just thought I'd share my year in pictures with you.
January brought snow.....
 In February the winter storms wouldn't stop

March brought St. Paddy's Day fun...

and Tornadic destruction!
Elections were the rage
 and Baseball took the stage.
 April showers....

...brought us May flowers, 

 and Camping Trips!
June brought Wedding announcements,
and new Family members.
 In July...
We said Goodbyes. 

We said Hellos.

We Roasted Hogs...
and planted Banana Groves!
In August
momma was given

a Backyard Makeover!
 September found a TeePee full of fun...
and treasured family time took over.

 October geared up with Pumpkin Parties, 
 wedding preparations,

the arrival of Iron Man,and the cutest Mickey Mouse ever!
It snuck in a hip replacement

and a rare photo of a treasured Senior Prom Moment!

November refused to be outdone! 
and on the same day, we celebrated a 3rd Birthday...and then rushed to the ER with a Dislocated Hip!
There were announcements of a new baby
to come next July.

 Scares of Cancer touched us all and Drs. removed an Ovary and a Tumor before they told us we could sigh a breath of relief!
(acutal tumor!)
 By the end of the month, with a clean bill of health for all, we had much to celebrate that Thanksgiving  and spent the day and night laughing, loving and joyfully crying!
 December was nuts, with a Wedding, Christmas and the prayer of no more traumas!

We shared Special Moments,

Treasured Memories, 

And we
for all of the BLESSINGS bestowed upon our family this  year!

May you all have a safe and wonderful New Year!


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The days after...

Hope you all had a terrific Christmas.

Everyone got into the action at my house, even the dog!

From the Christmas Eve candle light service

to the snowy, foggy Christmas Eve goodnights, it made for a wonderful and peaceful holiday at the Balliett homestead.

Jaden literally spent the entire DAY opening presents!

I love having my immediate family around me. Watching my grandson enjoy his Christmas day made me yearn for the times we spent growing up. We would spend Christmas Eve at my Granny’s house and Christmas Day and my Grandma Kay and Grandpa Jr.’s farm. I loved that place and them. I spent a LOT of time there, as child-it was my own Terabithia.

Grandpa was like a dad to me when I was very young, I think of him often. Grandma Kay is spending her last days not recognizing anyone and Gran, well we have the same conversation every week and I’m sure she forgets that I’ve called as soon as she hangs up. During our talks though, there are nano-moments of clarity when she knows everything, including that she doesn’t know anymore.

Everyone’s days of youth disappear, so I believe we should grasp those rare moments of recollection with our future generations every moment we can. And those are the moments, like this Christmas with Jaden that I cherish most. And, I hope you are all able to, somehow, do the same.

We are gearing up for the annual New Year’s celebration now.

Christmas decorations won’t come down until after the first and we pull a wingding of an all-nighter at our house.

Every kid has his or her own bottle of Welch’s sparkling grape juice, white or red, their choice. Plates of hoity-toity appetizers such as lil’ smokey’s, cheese cubes, grapes, pickles, stuff Ivana Trump’s mouth would water for. We play rough and tumble games like Yatzee, Poker, Catch Phrase, Wii, Hand & Foot (you think I’m kidding about the rough and tumble-one hasn’t lived until they’ve survived game night at the Balliett’s-it’s cutthroat). We count down the old and in the new with shouts, fireworks, lots of I love you, hugs and kisses. Yes, we Ballietts do it up right.

It seems we do it so right, that this year, my teenager’s friends have decided that we are the house to be at when they ring in their new year. I love it! Even my recently married daughter and her husband are coming over to celebrate the New Year with their family. Even Meg has a long time friend who has decided to bring her fiancĂ© and spend the evening with us. Who’d have thought the newlyweds would chose to celebrate the New Year’s party at the ‘parents’ house?

You won’t catch me complaining, I’m just grateful.

May your new year be overfilled with blessings!


Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas to all

Sorry I have been so out of touch. I have really missed everyone on here. Let me do a quick update on what has happened in the last few months....

I am now running the newspaper. Yep, that means I'm the person in charge.... good, bad and otherwise! This has meant a LOT of changes both at home and at work. And even more hours being worked in the beginning of things.

Then, Rob had an unplanned hip revision surgery Oct 10th. Four weeks later, Nov 14th, we had to rush him to NKC with a dislocated hip (it happened during grandson's third birthday party). After the doctors could not reduce the hip back into the socket, Rob was placed into traction for 20+hrs and when that did not work, Drs took him to OR and spent about 2 1/2 hours maneuvering his hip back into the socket. (It took 11 people working on him to get it back in place!) He then stayed in the hospital for a week or so.

During the month between Rob's surgery and hip dislocation, doctors discovered a rather large tumor had overtaken my daughter's left ovary. After multiple tests and exams we were told that it was non cancerous but that it likely involved her bowels because of its size and her obgyn wanted a general surgeon in the surgery to handle any bowl or other organ surgery that might have to be undertaken during the removal of the tumor.

The day Rob is scheduled to FINALLY come home from his dislocation hospital stay...I get a frantic call from Becca, my 19 year old daughter. She had to be rushed to the ER at a second hospital with complications from her tumor. Long story short the tumor had turned on itself and cut off it's blood supply and was causing great pain. We thought they would go ahead and admit her to the hospital since surgery was already scheduled three days later. But, she had not consulted with the general surgeon yet so they treated her and sent her home.

The very next day we met with the general surgeon. After being told for weeks there was nothing other than the major surgery and potential bowel involvement to worry about, the surgeon walks into the room, informs us of the high chance that it IS cancer because of what the CT found.

The ride home was not easy. And we spent the next couple of days and into surgery in an emotional agony.

Her tumor was removed- it was the size of an extremely large cantaloupe- and finally last week they told us there was absolutely no cancer. God was watching over our family.

Rob has been off work due to his hip dislocation injury. Becca is still recovering from her surgery but went back to work and college two weeks ago and finished her semester.

Oh yeah, during all that, we found out that my oldest daughter and her at the time fiancé are expecting. WOO HOO another grandchild in July. For insurance purposes, their wedding was moved up from next June.

You guessed it.

We had a wedding. It was last Saturday. It was beautiful. AND, it just gave us one more thing to be thankful for this year.

I hope everyone of you have a wonderful Christmas and Happy New Year and have as many wonderful blessings as we have found to be thankful for.

Blessings to you all!


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Who in the world is Amy James?

As I was out driving the other day, I saw a miss Amy James' name in large vibrant colors...

See? Now wouldn't that catch your attention?

But like a good informercial there is always more.....

To help appreciate why it was such an attention grabber, we have this view....

Keep in mind, this is a fairly decent neighborhood. and this house is surrounded by individually family owned homes in a smaller community.

But honestly, I think one has to see the entire picture to appreciate the art....

Doesn't it make you wonder, just who in the world is Amy James?

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Winner, Winner....Chicken Dinner!

We have a winner!

After careful and scientific calculation I am proud to announce the winner of the Mini-Tropical Makeover is Pat from K9friend.

Congratulations Pat!

Just email me (
and let me know which prize you prefer,
the make-over kit or the $10 Wal-Mart gift card.

I want to thank everyone for their comments and hope you stop by again soon. I enjoyed making some new friends and keep an eye out for future contests.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Contest Give-A-Way!!

Okay, the other day I was talking about having a contest while I was bragging on my new banana grove (see disclaimer on using the word grove in previous post). It means a lot to me to have a private, soothing and relaxing place that I can retreat to when life is nuts, phone won't stop ringing, work is crazy and house, laundry, chores, errands are looming like a big rain cloud waiting to burst and kids are hanging from the ceiling (or about to be hung from the ceiling, but whatever).

I don't care if it is because I need a quiet moment, need to do some deep thinking, need to yoga in the privacy of my own tropical retreat or that my kids have placed me in the chaise lounge because I've finally gone off the deep end and I hear the words from somewhere in a deep trance:

Voice 1:
"Gee, I think mom has gone comatose."

Voice 2:
"What do we do? She is staring off into space, she won't speak and we can't keep up with the drool that keeps running down her chin."

Voice 3:
"We better plant her in the backyard because she always loved it there."

Voice 4:
"Yeah, and there's no one else to make dinner so we need her to rest for like five minutes."

My backyard does something to regenerate me. I asked the other day, what places do you seek out for regeneration? (And I must say that in that post I apparently had horrible moments of weaknesses because there were atrocious misplaced prepositions and dangling participles was a massacre, but I digress...)

So here is the skinny.

Post a comment not this blog that describes where you find your place of solace and maybe even what drives you there. It can be funny, sad, matter of fact or still pending on your wish list.

The contest will go until 10 a.m. on Monday, August 2nd.

I will print all of the comments and have Jaden pick one at random. (Yes, this contest is so official we are having results compiled, tallied, hermetically sealed and delivered to my doorstep by the firm of Robberson, Cheatum and Steal.)

The winner will be posted later that day.

Because my private get-a-way has a tropical theme, you will win a Mini-Tropical Makeover kit for your own get-a-way or a $10 gift certificate to Wal-Mart. YOUR CHOICE!

I can't wait to read your comments....GOOD LUCK!

Smile of the day

How can you just not have a great day when you get little treasures like this...
I haven't forgotten about the contest posting. That will still be posted later today. I just had to stop and share my smile of the day.

I was trudging through the day, just working a way when a little buzz caught my attention.

I picked up my phone, opened the new message and was greeted by the cutest darn faces I know.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Banana Grove...Score!

Now I don't know that six whole banana trees constitutes a grove, heck I don't even know if you call a forest of them a grove. I do know that I am one happy camper since, not only did I get my full size banana trees Saturday, but that I got them PLANTED the same day!
Last weekend I planted over 120 Rose-of-Sharon's that will make an incredible privacy fence next year.

Now, it's simply a matter of time before I am sipping my coffee, tea or amaretto (depends on the moment and mood of the day) in a floral sanctuary, under giant leaves of banana trees while surrounded by my burning Tiki's,

listening to the running water of my ponds and fountains,

and enjoying the various gardens

and potted plants arranged along the deck in my back yard.

my own little piece of heaven on earth..

Even the lizards are happy....


Now it all may be a just parts of my little backyard in the community where I live....but I love it! It's my private little get-a-way when I can't get anywhere else.

Where is your someplace private or special that you like to just sit and relax? Maybe it's a place you travel to. Or maybe, it is a place that you have created for yourself.

Oh, and that contest....I've got my idea. So surf on over tomorrow and I'll post the details.