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Grandma Taus

January 15, 2018

If you’ve been around the blog for a while, you’ve probably read a time or two about my grandma.  She turned 100 years old this past August.  We were saddened to get the news that she had passed away last Thursday.  Her health had been rapidly declining the past few months and when we saw her at Thanksgiving I really expected a call soon after saying that she had passed.  We were amazed that she made it through Christmas and even had a brief visit with her during our family Christmas celebrations and she gave us one of the funniest memories we’ll have of her.  She was a wonderful person and we’ll miss her greatly.

Mother's Day

TAUS, Marjorie B. 100, formerly of New Lebanon, Ohio passed away Thursday, January 11, 2018. She was born August 30, 1917 in Osgood, Ohio the daughter of the late Thomas & Ermal Burns. She was the former owner of the Gettysburg Cafe, Dayton, was a member of the American Legion, New Lebanon and played Euchre with friends throughout the area. She is survived by her daughter, Jean (Doug) Windham; grandchildren, Tracy (Brian) Starr, Steven (Jean) Windham; great grandchildren, Nick & Taylor Starr, Brady & Ethan Windham. Per Marjorie’s request there will be no services. 

Published in Dayton Daily News on Jan. 14, 2018

Can you even imagine the things she saw in 100 years of life?  Wow!

Many friends have sent texts & messages expressing their sympathy and prayers.  I loved the one that asked if this was the fun grandma with the fun shoes.  :)  And the one that said she seemed like one cool lady.  I hope I’m as fun & cool as she was when I’m an old lady!

She loved playing cards (and Bunko), McDonald’s strawberry sundaes (I once claimed she loved their hot fudge sundaes and she was quick to tell me it was strawberry), Dr. Pepper, and Cassano’s pizza (me too!).  She loved fancy clothes & big jewelry.  One time after a family gathering at our house we couldn’t figure out why there was glitter all over the furniture.  It was from her belt!  She left a little sparkle wherever she went.  She also loved watching the Game Show Network and snuggling up with her little dog, Rowdy.  She’s always been one of the nicest people I know.  She was always making food for old people (who were probably younger than she was) and would give gifts to everyone – from the staff at her doctor’s office to EVERYONE attending a family party (for any and every event!).  Often times you’d come away with a pair (or three!) of crocheted slippers.  :)  Boy how she loved to crochet and she did so every day until her eyes got too bad.

She also kept us laughing.  Like the year she bought me leather pants for Christmas.  I wasn’t a leather pants kind of girl (I wonder if my parents remember that!).  Or the Christmas a few years back when she wrapped all the gifts and put a little tag on the outside to remind her what was in the gift, but then she didn’t remove those tags so we all knew what we were unwrapping (I’m not so sure she saw the humor in it like we did).  Christmas time was always interesting when she’d do all her own shopping.  We never knew what she’d pick out for us and the gifts were always very entertaining!

We gathered at her house on December 23 for our family Christmas.  She was not able to join us for most of the day but felt okay for us to gather in her room for a brief visit.  We all piled in and were talking to her.  She was wide awake and seemed happy.  She asked what we were doing that day.  She told us we all looked good.  And then she told us we could go!  Ha!  We were cracking up!  I love that this is the final memory my family & my brother’s family will have of her.

I spent a few days at her house with my mom at the beginning of this year so I got to spend a little more time with her.  I got a little peek at the life my mother has had taking care of her this past year and especially the past few months.  It’s been around the clock, hard work and my mother did an amazing job caring for her.  I had to laugh when I could hear my grandma telling my mom to put on a pot of coffee – at 4:30 in the morning (my mom told her we didn’t need a pot of coffee at 4:30 in the morning!).  My mom should have written down all the funny things she’s said the past few months.  In the midst of all the hard days, there was still laughter.

I’m so thankful for ALL these years with her.  She was the last my my kids’ great grandparents – they were blessed to know five of their great grands!

She didn’t want a funeral so my parents are honoring that.  I’m guessing she wouldn’t mind if we all got together for some Cassano’s pizza & McDonald’s sundaes.  I think I’ll have to arrange that.  :)



Fine Dining in New Carlisle

November 15, 2017

I spent Monday in New Carlisle visiting my grandma and hanging out with my parents. My mom had texted me on Sunday to see what I would like for lunch while I was there.  I texted back that anything was fine.

I got there on Monday and visited with my grandma for a bit and my mom asks if I want lunch from Speedway, Marathon, or the new pizza place.


Did she just offer me lunch from their local gas stations?

We decided on pizza but after several phone calls determined that they must not be opened.  Apparently they sometimes run out of things and randomly close.  The last time my dad picked up a pizza the man had to run to three other local businesses to try and find change.  Clearly it’s a well-run establishment.  But they say the pizza is fantastic (and cheap)!

Since we couldn’t get pizza we decided to get food from the new (to me) Greek restaurant in town.  This restaurant happens to be here…


Yes, that is a Marathon station.


With a drive-thru.

We went in to pick up our order so I could get the whole experience.  IMG_0596

I’m not gonna lie.  I was a bit nervous eating a Greek salad made in the back of a Marathon station.



It was good!  (I covered his face because I’m not a fan of posting pictures of strangers on line without their permission.  He might not want his face shown on a blog read by three people.)

And check this out…


A TACO TRUCK!  (In the Marathon parking lot.)

I know what I’m getting next time I visit.

Who knew that New Carlisle had such fine dining options?  Where were these when I was growing up?



September 11, 2017

This little princess…


is 19 today.



We had a fun time celebrating yesterday.


Nick & Maggie came and we had a late lunch/early dinner at Chili’s.  We came home and gave Tay her presents.


Check out this painting Maggie had made for her.  So cute!


Corbin liked it too! :)


We played a couple rounds of Dutch Blitz (most of us had never played before and it quickly became a new favorite – even if I ended up with a negative score each time).   It really is  a Vonderful Goot Game!  :)

Then we had caramel apple birthday pie & ice cream (the girl hates cake!).

Here are 19 things you may or may not know about Taylor…

  1.   She loves Jesus and shines for Him in all she does.
  2.   She’s a talented musician.  We love hearing her play the guitar & piano.
  3.   She owns a VW Bug (her dream car :)) and is a great driver.
  4.   She’s so BRAVE.  She’s faced some tough stuff over the past couple of years.  I know she’s going to use those though things to help others.
  5.   She’s so funny and often cracks me up.
  6.   She’s a hard worker and LOVES her job as a barista.
  7.   She loves coffee and visiting different coffee shops.
  8.   She loves hammocking (yes, that’s a word).
  9.   She’s very compassionate & giving and loves serving others.
  10.   She’s taking a GAP year.
  11.   She loves reading & studying her Bible.
  12.   She loves crocheting.
  13.   She loves coloring & drawing.
  14.   She loves her dog and ALL dogs.
  15.   She loves make up & nail polish.
  16.   She loves worship music, country music, and Broadway musicals.
  17.   She has an amazing, encouraging Twitter account (you should follow her).
  18.   She has great friends and loves spending time with them.  She also loves quiet time at home.
  19.   She loves “healthy stuff” – healthy eating, exercise, essential oils, etc.

Happy Birthday, Taylor!  We love you so much!

100 – She Did It!

August 30, 2017

When she was close to turning 93, she told my mom that she wanted to live 5 more years and have fun every day.  I was hoping she’d go ahead and tack on 2 more years and shoot for 100.


(Nick’s grad party in 2014.)

She did it!  Woohoo!

My grandma is 100 years old today!


The last year and a half have been hard for her.  She moved to a new house, fell a couple times, broke her hips and went through all the rehab and things involved with that.  But she keeps on going and I think she usually has a pretty good attitude about it all!


She’s having a lunch party with my mom’s Bunko friends today and then some of her card friends (she loves playing cards) are going to stop by and see her this afternoon.  I called her this morning but she didn’t have her hearing aids in so I’m not sure she heard much of what I said.  LOL!  We’ll see her and celebrate on Saturday.  What do you buy someone who’s 100 years old for their birthday?!

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I don’t have any recent pictures so these are just a random assortment of some of my favorites.  Isn’t she cute?

Grandma 002

She loves playing cards (and Bunko), McDonald’s strawberry sundaes (I once claimed she loved their hot fudge sundaes and she was quick to tell me it was strawberry), Dr. Pepper, and Cassano’s pizza (me too!).  She loves fancy clothes & big jewelry but spends most of her days now in cute pj’s (which is probably what I’ll give her – don’t tell).  She also loves watching the Game Show Network and my parents got her these awesome headphones to wear so she can hear the t.v. better.  She’s always been one of the nicest people I know.  She was always making food for old people (who were probably younger than she was) and would give gifts to everyone – from the staff at her doctor’s office to EVERYONE attending a family party (for any and every event!).  Often times you’d come away with a pair (or three!) of crocheted slippers.  :)  Boy how she loved to crochet and she did so every day until her eyes got too bad.  I think she still has my mom get gifts for the doctor’s office whenever they need to go.

Mother's Day

People are always amazed that she lived alone (and drove!) for as long as she did.  Other than some issues with her eyes (and the fact that she’s 100 YEARS OLD!), she really doesn’t have any major health issues!  Amazing!  I hope if I live to 100 that I’m as fabulous as she is!


(One of my very FAVORITE pictures!)

Happy 100th Birthday, Grandma!  We hope you had a fun day celebrating!  We love you so much!




Weekend Wrap-Up

August 1, 2017

I know it’s Tuesday but I’m trying to be a better blogger and wanted to make sure to post about our weekend.  I planned on writing yesterday but ended up taking a nap in the afternoon!  I didn’t mean to.  Sometimes it just happens.  :)

Anyhoo…we had a weekend that was jam-packed with good things.

Friday night we headed to our favorite coffee shop for worship night.  A southern gospel sister duo was singing.  We met one half of this group many years ago when our kids were at CCS.  Brian coached her son in basketball when he was in first grade and Nick was in kindergarten (and all these years later, her daughter & Taylor work at the same coffee shop).  Our friend, Jen joined us and we had a nice evening listening to the ladies sing.


Saturday we took a LONG trip down to the Museum Center (thank you Cincinnati traffic – what should have taken 30 minutes, took almost an HOUR AND 30 MINUTES!).  Nick got Brian tickets to a special exhibit for Father’s Day.


Star Wars costumes!

I haven’t seen all the Star Wars movies so there were some costumes that I couldn’t connect to a certain film but I totally enjoyed it anyways.

The evolution of the Stormtroopers…

Fun fact about Chewbacca…


And my favorite Star Wars characters…

Darth Vader…

There was a sign showing the process for getting into the Darth Vader costume.  All I could think was I hope he didn’t have to use the restroom once he got in that thing!  LOL!

And finally, another favorite…


Yoda!  Love him.

The detail on these costumes is amazing to see up close.  They’re beautiful.  And some of them look so heavy and they all look HOT!

(I once had to wear a bunny costume during a Kidstuf opening so I know how hot costumes can be.  Ha!).

Another fun part of the exhibit was the concept art for the characters.

My DFF’s daughter is heading off to art school in a few weeks and Brian & I kept talking about how we could totally see her doing this type of art.  So cool!

If you’re local and love Star Wars, you should totally go see this.

Sunday was great day at church — our annual backpack give-away.  This year we added a clothing give-away as well and it was a fantastic event!

(I didn’t take a single picture so I stole these from Facebook.)

Taylor and I helped with the kids during the morning and then after church I helped with the clothing give-away.

What a weekend!  And now we’ve moved into a busy week with VBS.  We kicked off last night with a local high school marching band.


Loved it!  That’s how you start VBS!

What a great weekend!  The countdown is on now as both our kids prepare to head off to college!  The summer has gone WAY too fast!


Friday Favorites

July 28, 2017

Happy Friday!

Here’s a random assortment of some of my recent favorite things.

(Warning:  Lots of Pictures Ahead)

Snap Chat

Are you on Snap Chat?  So much fun!

These were from Tay’s account and I thought they were so cute.

Family Fun

In just a few short weeks, Brian and I are going to be empty nesters.  *GASP*  We’ve been taking advantage of family time as much as possible.  One night we did make your own pizzas (buy mini pizza crusts and tons of different toppings and let everyone go crazy – easy family fun night).

I had made Brian’s favorite salad to take to a pool party and we had plenty left for this night too.


I guess I forgot to take pictures of our sundae creations.

We also played this hilarious game.


Have you played?  It’s like the old “telephone” game but involves drawing (one person writes the clue – the next person draws – the next person writes their guess based on the drawing – the next person draws based on the previous person’s drawing – and so on until the little tablets make their way around the circle).  (Did that make any sense at all?)  Anyhoo…it was HILARIOUS.  I’ll be asking for this game for Christmas.

We were supposed to go to Kings Island last weekend but the weather was iffy on the day we chose so we switched things up.  We all went to lunch together and then to The Web.  We had a blast playing laser tag, putt putt and a few video games.

We came home and spent the rest of the afternoon playing dominos.  We realized that there are MANY different ways to play dominos and we weren’t real clear on what rules we were following (and changed them several times).  We decided we’d find a set of rules to follow for the next time.  Anyone have a version you follow?  Send me a link!

Dog Paintings

My DFF gave me this adorable painting of Corbin that her daughter did (I may have shared it before).


Isn’t it the cutest?

My neighbors just lost their dog so I hired Hailey to paint his picture.

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Doesn’t she do amazing work?  Love. Love. Love.


I’ve been spending the last few Thursday evenings at the bowling alley for our Women’s Ministry Bowling League.  What fun we have!

Last week my friend, Allie, got FOUR strikes in a row and the highest game of the night! Love her!  And that’s my SUPER friend, Jen, in the cape.  Love her too!  :)


I love crazy text messages with typos & weird autocorrected words.

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Have a great weekend!  Hope it’s filled with lots of favorite things!  :)

I’m Not Good with Flowers

July 26, 2017

I’m not good with flowers.  Or any plant really.  I try.  I want to garden.  I want to have nice, beautiful flowers.  But I struggle.  I start out strong but eventually fizzle out.  And by fizzle out I mean I forget to water.

(And let’s not even talk about my efforts at growing veggies.)

I was doing great this year.  In the spring my Bible study leader had given us all a small thing of flowers.  I came home and planted them in a pot and took great care of them. They flourished.


Seriously.  Have you ever seen such a beautiful pot of flowers?  (I have no idea what kind of flowers they are so don’t ask.)

We have a large pot in the backyard that we usually add a mixed arrangement to and we also planted three new bushes and moved another plant (and by “we”, I mean Brian).  We don’t usually have luck with flowers out front but decided to try some this year, along with the fern we always get for a large pot out there.  I decided I would water the things in the back of the house and Brian could take care of the front (mainly because the hose in the back is easier to get to — and since I’m already plant challenged I figured easier was, well…easier).

Things were going well until we discovered that the flowers out front got WAY too much sun.  They looked good for about 2 1/2 days and then they were awful.  So awful that Brian just ended up digging them up and declaring he would NEVER plant flowers in the front again.  Dramatic much?  

I continued to plug along with the backyard plants and was extra thankful for the rain we’ve had this summer which made my job easier.  Until I began to rely so much on the rain that I may have forgotten to water a day or two.  Or five.

Are you aware of what happens to flowers in July when you don’t water?

My once beautiful pot of flowers was now looking rather droopy.


Brian tried to revive them.


And guess what?  Some faithful watering and some pruning worked (several years ago I watched a youtube video on pruning some flowers we had at the time and I’m not sure if that same method is supposed to be used on all plants but it’s all I know so I go for it).

They perked right back up.


Isn’t that amazing how that happens?  I’m back to faithfully watering.  For now.  (And by faithfully watering I mean I watered them last night & this morning.  We’ll see what happens later.)

Full disclosure:  They perked right back up after that first watering by Brian.   But I did prune them and have continued the watering so that counts for something, right?

Now, I wonder if I can get these flowers to perk back up?


Might be a lost cause.  I’ll keep you posted.

Conversation when Brian saw me taking that last picture…

B – What are you taking that for?

Me – My blog.  A post on gardening.  A gardening how-to.

B – You’ve got some mad skills.  Or you’re just mad.