Friday, January 30, 2009

Leo's is now Marli's

No pineapple malts; no more crunchy french fries dipped in ranch dressing; no more fried pickles - dipped in ranch dressing; no more 1/3 lb. burgers; the place formerly known as Leo's has gone Caribbean. Now it is called Marli's - named after either the wife or mother-in-law. Hopefully named after the wife. I can't imagine naming your restuarant after your mother-in-law. I can't believe it!!!!!!!!!! I give them 6 months ---- tops.

Now the cuisine ( and I use that word loosely here) is: 3rd world sandwiches with a gamey taste. ugh :(

Now I am forced to seek out a suitable replacement for my refined tastes. Such as some place that has greasy burgers with pineapple malts. Crunchy fries dipped in ranch dressing - well, I digress here. But you get the point.

Look What's Ahead For You!

Katie, this is a mature man pit. It has evolved through the years and has become this. The basket really helps to corral things And THIS is about as bad as it gets now...somethings improve with age. Umm, I likey! Mom

Thursday, January 29, 2009


"There's always room for Jell-O."
That is a motto my Mom lived by.
Almost every Sunday after church Mom would fix fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, some kind of vegetable & J-E-L-L-O. She rotated two versions of Jell-O:

JELL-O with fruit cocktail and banana's sliced on top
JELL-O with fruit cocktail and marshmallows on top

I wasn't particularly fond of Jell-O, but after "starving to death" for an eternity while Mom cooked dinner...well...Jell-O seemed more delicious then it really was. I guess I had my fill of it growing up and now more often then not I will pass it by at any meal.

BUT, today is cold, rainy and blustery and the day is crying out for some good comfort food. So, I have meat loaf baking in the oven along with some sweet potatoes and green beans simmering on the stove. I was asking myself what else can I fix? And of all things Jell-O with fruit cocktail and marshmallows on top seemed perfect!

Shane might eat a bite of it or maybe not. Mutt will get a nice portion on her plate. And me...I'll eat some... not because I love Jell-O, but because I was thinking of Mom today and her Jell-O motto came to mind. "There's always room for Jell-O." And you know what? There is...maybe.

Jell-O Trivia:
Kraft Foods sells over a million boxes of Jell-O every day!

There have been 36 flavors of Jell-O produced so far. Consumers gave a "thumbs down" to Apple, Celery (yuck!), Chocolate (nice try), Coffee and Cola flavored Jell-O. And, you can only find Cranberry Jell-O during the months of November and December.


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A Father Helps His Daughter Get a Drink of Water

On Saturday we met Scott and Lori and the kids at the Knoxville Museum to see Emma's painting she did of Van Gogh's Starry Night. While we were there, Lydia became thirsty so her kind and loving father helped her get a drink. For some reason he wanted me to video tape it.

Now I know why.

I don't know where Scott get's his teasing personality........

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Art Museum of Knoxville

Last Saturday we went to the Art Museum of Knoxville with Scott, Lori and the kids to see a painting of Emma's that was on display. Her painting was selected from all of the Third Grade students at Rocky Hill Elementary School. It was very exciting indeed! It was one of those nice times, a very pleasant, rewarding time. Way to go Emma!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Real Trouble

these things are trouble...
chocolate covered praline pecans...
real trouble.

just looking at them makes my mouth water with pleasant anticipation and I promise myself i'll just eat 3...i promise.

with the first heavenly one my resolve begins to weaken.

the simply divine second one melts away any doubt that i will eat just 3.

by the third one my mind is insistent that I eat, "just one more." so i do.

...and then one more, and one more, and...
o.k. this is the last one, seriously...i'm in trouble, real trouble.

Quick Pic


Thursday, January 22, 2009

a 53 year old and a baby

When I was a young mother I would call my Mom and talk to her about what a long day I had with the kids and she would say tenderly, Kay Marie enjoy this time, they will be grown and gone before you know it."

She was right.

For now, with my yesterday's, today's and tomorrow's, I am caring for Thomas. We have been through the tender newborn days, hold me all the time days and right now we are in the maybe I can play by myself for a minute days. He has been napping with one eye open and one eye closed. He isn't missing anything that I know of.

Some where along the way I have stopped ironing Shane's clothes and find myself vowing each morning I am going to iron them the day before. Shane's "other drawer" use to mean the dryer, then it became the washer, now it is the hamper. Just now he is asking me if I will wash the gray shirt his mother gave him for Christmas so he can wear it tomorrow. SURPRISE, it is clean and hanging in the closet. I haven't vacuumed or dusted since Christmas and have repeatedly broken my "wash the dishes every night" rule. The list really is quite long!

But, I have watched a baby bloom from a sleeping beauty into a moving, vibrant, bundle of love. How could I pass up all the hours I have spent holding and rocking and singing to him while he breathes those sweet little baby sighs. Or when the moment came that he became aware of me. I traded a sparkling, gleaming house for his first smile, his first laugh and his almost first kiss. My heart is so tender when he puts his little hands on my cheeks and pulls his face close to mine and we share a soft moment of love. I love how he turns his little head and looks up at me with a great big smile when he is sitting on my lap. I love that he loves me.

Some days are long and he is cranky and cries not knowing what he wants and neither do I. Some days I do miss my freedom to come and go or do whatever I want...the laundry, clean the house, read a book, have lunch with Shane...all those things. Some days I find myself thinking about Mom and her wisdom because I too know this time will be over to quickly, this sweet gift...this moment in time for Thomas and me. On the day I fed Thomas squash for the first time Rachel called so excited to hear if he liked it and it tugged at my heart because I know she would give anything to be discovering the world with Thomas every single hour of every day and so I am loving Thomas for her.

This 53 year old and a baby live in our own little world discovering hands and feet and a mouth that can blow raspberries and make sweet baby sounds. Sharing long knowing stares into each others eyes where the depth of love is shown. And I know how precious he is. I appreciate what I didn't understand when my children were can't rush love, it takes time.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Comfort Food for a Bitter Cold Day

It is so cold here today! Bitter cold. I was bone cold after spending most of the day outside. This is what we had for supper. I promise, this food will warm your soul when you are cold from the inside out. Just ask Shane, he loves this meal.

Creamy Tomato Soup

1 medium onion, chopped
2 Tablespoons butter
2 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) diced tomatoes, undrained
2 cans (10-3/4 ounces each) condensed tomato soup, undiluted
1-1/2 cups milk
1 teaspoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon dried basil
3/4 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon garlic garlic powder
5 ounces of cream cheese, cubed

In a saucepan, saute onion in butter until tender. Stir in tomatoes, soup, milk, sugar, basil, paprika and garlic powder. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in cream cheese until melted. Serve immediately. Yield: 8 servings.

The Ultimate Grilled Cheese

1 package (3 ounces) cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese
Scant 1/8 teaspoon garlic
1//8 teaspoon seasoned salt
10 slices of Italian Bread (1/2 inch thick)
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened

In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and mayonnaise until smooth. Add garlic powder and seasoned salt and stir to mix. Stir in cheeses. Spread five slices of bread with the cheese mixture. Top with remaining bread. Butter outsides of sandwiches; cook in a large skillet over medium heat until golden brown on both sides. Yield: 5 servings

Blogging on a Freezing Day

This is a new experience for me... to write on a regular basis in a blog. For me writing is painful. I an envious of my brother Kevin, my wife Kay and my daughters-in-law and daughters who are very talented that way. For them the words just come sooo easily. I have tried to write in a journal for several years - starting and stopping - starting a stopping. Every year around January 10th I go buy another blank journal. I fuss over whether or not it has lined pages or not - whether or not it is brown or black - whether or not it is large or small - as if all of these things were the reason why I never write in them! Of course the real reason is that I don't have the discipline. There, I said it. I have faced the truth.

So, once again I start the process. But this time I think I actually has a good chance of suceeding with this blog. Here's why:

1. I want to share with my family and friends my testimony and beliefs.
2. I want to post articles, talks and things I learn from my interaction with mission presidents and generall authorities. Real Words of Wisdom.
3. I want to really learn how to do this stuff and make a difference in a world of shifting values.
4. My sons have given me 6 months and then I will be over this hobby just like the rest.

Those guys are asking for it! I love a challenge! I may just surprise them!

Kay and I bought a camera today so we could post pictures. We went over to Circuit City and found a good deal on a Sony Cybershot W300. It looks like it's going to do the trick.

I started back exercising today. It felt good to get back on the wagon. Conan called me the other day and invited me to join him and his brother-in-law in a triathlon. That is exciting! I haven't swam in a million years but surely I can dog paddle for a few yards. I have learned that I need a goal to help me stay on track.

I have got the bike and jogging part down so barring any injury issues, I am going to plan for that.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


My sister said I "thrive" on all the cooking I do for my family. THRIVE! Ruffle my feathers she did. What did she know? It's a lot of work to plan, prepare and pull off even the most casual meal for our large family!

I made a New Year's resolution: Come January One, I was not going to "thrive" anymore on Sunday...we would be having sandwiches every Sunday for supper.

First Sunday it worked like a charm...crock pot Sloppy Joe's, Chips and Chocolate Chip Cookies (oops, I "thrived" and made the cookies after church) hmmm...

Second Saturday: I looked at Cally's Blog and somehow found myself calling her to see if SHE would make Melissa's Mexican Fiesta Biscuit Bake for Sunday night dinner. She enthusiastically said YES! She didn't have everything to make it, but I was going to the store so no prob...the sandwich thing vaguely floated through my did Fried Apples, Green Beans and Cherry Chocolate Chipper Cake...YIKES! Saturday evening I cooked the chicken and grated the cheese for the FIESTA stuff we were going to have on Sunday.

Second Sunday: Sunday morning I started with the Cherry Chocolate Chipper Cake and lovingly daydreamed about how much Shane would go on about the cake because he loves Chocolate Covered Cherries and the recipe said if you love Chocolate Covered Cherries you will love this cake! As I peeled and sliced the apples I fondly remembered how Cally ENTHUSIASTICALLY went on about the Fried Apples at our Christmas dinner, and I was all warm and fuzzy inside with anticipation for her to enjoy them again. No thriving here!

I looked up the definition for thrive. It is: to prosper, be fortunate or successful, to grow or develop, vigorously flourish, advance. All of those words describe how I feel about my family. Hmmm, wonder why I thought thriving was bad?

So maybe, after all, I do thrive on bringing pleasure to my family, at least, I thought I saute' apples 15 to 20 minutes or until my heart, oh, I mean the apples are tender.

Mandy said, "Wow, look at all this food, I thought we were just going to have SANDWICHES." Shane said the cake was O.K., but Mandy said several times, "This cake is really good!" She LOVED be successful...

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Introducing Thomas Alexander Cornell

Why am I here and where is my mommy?

Bad horse day

I'm thankful I am not a horse today. It is a dreary, cold, rainy winter day and Trey's horses are standing with lowered heads and laid back ears soaking wet. Even if a horse does have hair to keep them comfortable in any weather condition, I'm sure it is not working today. Poor horses! Maybe I'll bring them in the house for a cup of hot chocolate with marshmellows - warm them up real good and send them back outside. What I would really like to do is give them my hot flashes! Yup, that would work. mom

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

A late night post

This is a quick post.

I love you, Mom

The First Article for the Blog

Well, guess what! Yep, it's us! The Original Cruze's. We thought it was about time that we started keeping up with the rest of the world. Actually, I wanted to use this to provide articles, talks and information for my family that they could use to live the Gospel more fully. The first thing I am going to try to do is attach a talk by Elder David A. Bednar on Families. It was sent to me by Elder Devn Cornish of the 6th Quorum of Seventy. After you read it let's talk about it!