My Favorite People Call Me Nana (MFPCMN)

At the request of a few friends and family, I've decided to do a weekly post on
some of my activities, adventures and just plain fun that I have with my favorite people.  
My favorite people are generally my grandkids but can also include nieces, nephews 
and other little ones.

I always find it interesting how others fill Easter Baskets so I thought I share what I did this year.
For my first post, I'm going to show you what I put in my grandkids
basket/buckets and list where I found the items.
Although I still make my grown children Easter Baskets, lets face it.
There just not as fun.

I'll begin with my Illinois grand babies.

Their's will not be in a basket because I try to ship their things in one box and their
mom will place them in their basket bucket that I have for them up there.

I always try to add a few practical things to their baskets as well as some 
fun surprises.  Neither sets of parents really like for there to be 
a lot of candy so I "try" to honor that.  Some years better than others.

For Brody, I got the Disney Storybook collection of Bedtime Favorites
with a couple of Autographs from characters that were on our Disney Cruise.
They thought that was pretty neat.  
Amazon offers the best deals on the Disney Story Book Collections.
The pajamas and bathing suit are from Target as well as the Peeps Bubbles,
the Peeps Lollipop and Peez Easter Egg set.
The little Ty Doggie whose name is Duke is adorable.  Those eyes!!!
Brody is renaming him Fluffy though.
And also, the Peep lollipop is disgusting.  An FYI for next year.
I was assured by several different children who will remain nameless that
it had a bad after taste. 

Makenzie's bucket had the Disney Storybook collection of Princess Adventure Stories.
She really into mermaids now so I got her a mermaid looking bathing suit from Justice.
It matches the mermaid tail she has.
Now can we just take a minute to feast our eyes on the cuteness that is this bunny gown.
I would definitely wear it, even at my advanced age it they only made it in my size.
She got the same peeps lollipop, bubbles and peez egg set from Target.
Her Ty cat, Patches, is just precious.  I found this cutie at Barnes and Noble.

Dylan lives near me and I have recently purchased both pajamas and a bathing suit
to live at my house for swimming and sleepovers so I omitted them from his Easter bucket.
I did get him a Disney Storybook Collection that seemed to have a few more 
boy stories such as Peter Pan and Aladin.  It still has some 
princess stories but  he doesn't seem to mind.
He has several buddies in his neighborhood and they like running around 
outdoors so I thought I would get a few items that he could share with friends.
I got the water guns were from Target last summer on clearance.  The rainbow of bubble wands
were from Walmart.  I think it was like $3.88.  Great deal.
He had a few requests that he wanted to receive the Easter bunny and
 one was gum so I found a small carton
of egg shaped gum, a peeps lollipop and egg peez set just like the others.
I also made homemade bunny trail mix and put that and cheetos in icing bags to look like 
carrots.  He also got a sheet of star wars tattoos from the dollar spot at Target.

And finally, my first born granddaughter Taylor.  It's a little different for her because she's
actually a young lady in college.  Whatever candy or edibles I put in her basket, I doubled so
that she could share with her sweet boyfriend.

We went shopping together last month and we happened into Pottery Barn Kids.  In the
nursery section we came across the beautiful Emily & Meritt gold sequin letters
and she fell in love with them.
She wanted to get the word SPARKLE spelled out for her room.
I convinced her to wait to see if they might go on sale and instantly went home and ordered
them.  I knew they'd be perfect for her basket.
(They sell the individual letters and two different pre-made banners.  I ordered
myself one of the banners for my grandkids room that I'm will be redoing this summer)
I also got her a Lush easter egg bath bomb  that smells like vanilla cotton candy,
 a Bath and Bodyworks Candle  called Paris Lavender Macaron,
an Essie nail polish (In The Cabana) from Kohls and a cute note card set
from the dollar spot at Target.

And there you have it, what I put in my grandkids baskets this year.
I love to hear ideas of what your family does for Easter Baskets.

Thanks for joining me for my first post of "My Favorite People Call Me Nana"


Six Months…...

Today it has been six months since Ryan left this earth and began
his eternity in heaven.

Six months…
it seems like yesterday….
it seems like forever…..

I have a large group of friends, neighbors and my social media
friends who touch base from time to time to see "where I am with
my grief".  I know it is meant with true concern for me.
I'm sharing some things that were helpful to me.

There are days when I make it throughout the day without tears.  Well most of the day
anyway.  Then there are days like today when tears flow freely.
I wish I had better control.  At this point it seems beyond my ability.

Some of our immediate family are handling it well and some are having a much
harder time.  I don't want to speak for anyone else because as I have learned, grief
is so different for everyone.

I have had times when I have actually smiled and laughed in this last month
without immediately being overcome with guilt for "having a good time without him".
But I also can not bring myself to enjoy things I know he would of loved.

It is hurtful to me when I see everyone going on with their lives yet I know
that is the way life is and should be.  

Family gatherings are very hard for me.  We have a large family with lots of boy cousins 
his age so when I'm with them, I'm thinking about Ryan not being there.  I love my
family and I'm looking forward to a time when that's not the case.  

Holidays…. well you can imagine.
I'm not sure how I will handle it in the future.  This Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas
I opted out.  It was still too fresh.  Easter I choose to try to do some of our traditions.
I'm not sure I did a good job of being present but I did try.
I still have a husband, 3 girls, 4 grandkids and two son-in-laws.
Trying to decide if we should celebrate the same way of come up with new traditions.
I'm not sure if it would be better or worse.

I visit Ryan at the cemetery quite often.  I'm usually there 3 times 
a week, give or take.  It comforts me.

I understand thats not the same for everyone and I know that has nothing
to do with how much you miss him or loved him.  

I still haven't ordered Ryan's headstone but hope to have that remedied very soon.
I've finally made a decision of what I want.  I had to be very sure and I
changed my mind several times so I just put it off until I could be sure.
I think I felt that once I had the headstone, there would be nothing else to do for him.
Like putting up his headstone made his death final.
The things you think about don't always make sense and that's okay.

After traveling down this road of  grieving the loss a child I have learned a few things.

Everyone handles it different and there is no wrong or right way.

I have realized that I may not have been there for others the way some have
been there for me and I want to be sure that doesn't happen again.
  Here are a few things that helped me that may be useful in the future when
 you're walking with someone through grief.

  My best friend dropped everything, jumped on a plane and spent
 2 weeks with me handling everything I couldn't deal with without being asked.
Most people will ask for you to call if they can do anything for you.  
That's not going to happen.  They're just trying to hang on.
Try to do something, anything without being asked.  Bring by dinner, bring coffee to chat
or just sit by her if she/he can't talk.  Clean their house.  Pick their kids up for a play date,
mow their yard, wash their car, take their dog for a walk... etc.
It will mean the world to them.

I was (and am) quick to tears when Ryan's name comes up.  I feel that
has led many to never bring him up.  Bring him up.  There may be tears but 
the person grieving wants to know their loved one isn't forgotten.  If your waiting
for the tears to end, that may never happen….

Grief may lead some of us to do and say things that they don't mean.
They are dealing with guilt and loss and sometimes that leads to lashing out.
You may find that they are not making an effort to call you or join in with
usual get togethers or activities.
 Forgive them and move on.

Send cards throughout the first year (or longer) on holidays just letting them know your thinking of
them during a time that must be hard and you're lifting them in prayer.  I have a friend
who has done that for me and it has meant so much.  It could also just be a Facebook message, text or
email.  I received many, many of those the first few months and it was truly a blessing at 
a time when I couldn't bring myself to speak to anyone.

I received a few books on grief that was very helpful to me.  On this one, I would keep the person 
in mind.    I have a very dear friend who definitely did not appreciate books.  
Like I said before, everyone is so different in grief so that is why I think it is
 difficult and uncomfortable for us to reach out.

I received a special cross from my dear sister-in-law with Ryan's name engraved
on it.  I can't begin to tell you what that means to me and I plan to pass that kindness 
forward in the future.  I think jewelry is a special way to memorialize a love one.

If you have any photos of the deceased, please send it to the grieving family.
Especially if it's one they may not have.  It's like being given another precious moment.
Something they can never get back.  Time….
This would have to be the most important to me.

Going along with pictures are stories about them that the grieving family
my never have heard.  Especially happy times.

Don't assume because you've lost someone that you know how they feel.  None
of us knows how others deal with loss and comparing losses don't always help.
  They have their own story and histories that we can't begin to know.  Just be there.
Don't give up on them.

I hope the tips above are helpful should you find yourself in the position
of helping a friend or loved one with grief in the future.  I wish I had known.


Friday Family Fun

Dylan's "spend the night with Nana" fell on Good Friday
so we decided we would do an Easter Theme Night.

We decorated eggs by using tissue paper/modge podge and painting

we built domino trails and knocked them over and over again
(not that this is an Easter theme but, well you know…..boys…...

we colored Easter pictures for his Mom

we built an Easter puzzles

and we watched movies and read books

I've found with little ones, especially little boys…
transitioning often to shorter activities keeps them motivated

Now if I had Makenzie with me, we would have probably spent the night 
doing crafts and baking
painting our nails Easter colors
looking at Easter dresses

When it was bedtime we read the Jesus Calling Bible Storybook
by Sarah Young

We've been reading it  whenever he spends the night and I
worked it out that we would be at the exact spot for the Easter Story.
I absolutely love this book and if you have little ones (kids or grandkids)
it would be such a amazing addition to your collection.
The illustrations are beautiful.

It's so fun for us when our overnights happen on or around holidays.
I only wish Makenzie and Brody were here.  
That would of made it perfect.

Happy Easter


Quick, Easy and Healthy Chicken Fajita Salad

I'm joining Kelly from Kelly's Korner in SUYL Fridays for
"what your cooking now".
I'm looking forward to finding new things for my rotation.

When I want something that's quick, relatively healthy and I can
cook in one dish, I usually go for Chicken Fajita Salad.


Chicken Breast
Red onion
Fire roasted diced tomatos
Black Beans
Montreal Steak Seasoning
Cheese (optional)
Olive Oil
Spinach or Lettuce
Sour Cream

I sprayed the dish with cooking spray
cut up chicken breast into strips
 (I used two breasts but you can use as many as you want)
slice a large red onion into strips
slice a green, yellow and red pepper into strips
one can of fire roasted diced tomato
(I would drain most of the juice but that's optional, either way)

Add the ingredients together.
Drizzle olive oil on top and mix together
Sprinkle with Montreal Steak Seasoning
You can use more typical mexican seasonings
(ie: fajita mix, cumin, chili seasoning etc)
I didn't because of the afore mentioned "my man doesn't care for mexican food"
Bake 400 degrees for 25 minutes

I put it over a bed of lettuce sprinkled with some black beans and a little cheese
but it could easily go into a burrito, taco or quesadilla.

I made a quick dressing out of salsa and light sour cream.

It was really delicious and healthy.

Have a blessed day


St. Patrick's Day 2016

You'll have to excuse the picture.
 I took them with my cell phone which is not the greatest quality 
and I was too lazy to get out the camera.

Since it was just Mike and myself for St. Patrick's Day this year I
decided that quick and easy was the ticket.

Lucky Charms and Donuts for Breakfast

Panini corned beef, swiss cheese, cole slaw and deli mustard sammies for lunch

Shepard's Pie and Leprechaun Punch for dinner

And the most delicious ever…….
creme de menthe brownies

It's near the top of my list of all time favorites

recipe by Dixie Delights
check it out on her blog for the recipe and beautiful pictures

I made the grandkids little St. Patty's Day packages (forgot to take pictures)
 so I couldn't leave out Mike.

two of his favorite green treats

two of my lucky charms

I usually decorate but I'm taking a break from that for now.


Life While I'm Waiting…..

Today I'm joining Kelly of Kelly's Korner to reintroduce myself.
If you haven't visited her blog, you must.
She is an absolute sweetheart with a love of Jesus and her family.

My name is Deborah but I'll answer to Sweetie, Debbie, Deb, Mom, 
Momma, Nana and Aunt Debbie.

My husband is Mike.   He is one of a kind.  He's a retired Naval officer and a retired PA.
He also goes by "Sweetie" and Poppy.

I have four children.  (three on earth and one waiting in heaven)
Three girls and one boy.

Melissa, Ryan, Carrie and Kelly
(in order of picture below)
Kelly is older than Carrie

I have four (so far) grand babies.  Taylor (19), Makenzie (8), Dylan (7) and Brody (5).
To say my world revolves around them just might be an understatement.

I love Jesus first and then my family and friends.  After that in no particular order is decorating, parties for any reason, family get-togethers, traveling, all things Disney (especially Minnie Mouse), celebrating holidays, reading favorite blogs and Southern Living of course, Target, Lilly Pulitzer, Coke, being a southerner and most anything with peaches in it.  I like Brighton Jewelry but I'll admit I'm a new convert to being a  Pandora charm bracelet fan 
(they have Disney charms).

Last year I would of told you my life was pretty perfect.
Maybe not perfect in the world's view but I was content.
 Then my world came crashing down around me.
I lost my only son this past September.  The first few months I will admit were so completely overwhelming that I wasn't sure how I would go on.  My faith is in Jesus and I know I'll see
him one day.  My heart is divided in half.  Half  is here on earth with my family and
friends and the other  half is in heaven with Ryan.
I could feel myself pulling away from everyone and everything so I'm fighting
to get back.  I'm taking this opportunity to begin blogging again because documenting 
special occasions and memories and sharing ideas with others has alway given me
gladness and smiles.  God knows I can use that now.

The name of my blog is Life While I'm Waiting.  When I originally
came up with it my thought was a way to document our families
lives and activities (I'm terrible with photo albums) throughout my
life and our adventures while I'm waiting to be called home to glory.

Now it means so much more……

Thanks for reading and I am now going to spend a few hours getting to 
know all of you who have linked up.