Sunday, December 25, 2011

My Favorite Christmas Story

When my oldest daughter was 2 1/2 her Sunday school teacher gave her a storybook as a Christmas gift.  That storybook quickly became my favorite Christmas Story.  At one time I  could recite it from memory.   I hope you enjoy it, and have a blessed Christmas.  


Not quite two thousand years ago the emperor decreed
that all the world should be enrolled....

(The world was quite mixed up, you see, and no one seemed to know; 
how many people WERE there?  And what taxes did they owe?)

Throughout the earth the rich, the poor, the young, they very old, 
all traveled to their towns of birth so they could be enrolled.  

And so it was, to Bethlehem a man named Joseph went to list his name 
and see how much he owed the government.

Beside him Mary traveled, too.  Not once did she protest
 how long and hard the trip had been, how much she needed rest. 

In Bethlehem they found the inn and knocked upon the door.
"My rooms are filled!" the owner yelled, "I haven't any more!"
When Joseph told him quietly of gentle Mary's plight:
that she would have a baby soon, perhaps that very night, 
the owner stood in thought and rubbed his bushy bearded jaw.
"I'll let you have the stable, then.  You'll have to sleep on straw."

So Joseph and his wife unpacked and settled down to rest
not caring that they couldn't have the biggest and the best. 
They ate their supper slowly as they watched the sun go down,
and yawned as darkness fell at last upon the little town. 

The night was silent.  Everyone, it seemed, was fast asleep 
except for shepherds in the fields who had to watch their sheep.
They huddled close and whispered low to keep themselves awake. 

Then suddenly their eyes grew wide - their knees began to shake.
For there, above them in the sky, an angel did appear. 
The glory of the Lord shone down, and they were filled with fear.

The angel spoke: "Fear not!  Behold, I bring you news of joy!  
In Bethlehem this very night was born a baby boy 
who is the savior, Christ the Lord; He'll win over death and sin.  
Upon a manger bed He lies, behind a lowly inn."

And suddenly a multitude of angels filled the sky, 
their voices glorifying God and praising Him on high!
And "Peace on earth, good will to men!" resounded through the air - 
it seemed there must have been at least a million angels there!

No longer did the shepherds quake with anxious fear and dread, 
and when the angels disappeared the shepherds quickly said:
"Oh, let us go to Bethlehem and find the manger bed!" 
And off across the fields they ran - to Bethlehem they sped!

The manger wasn't hard to find, and there the shepherds' eyes 
fell on a sight that filled their hearts with wonder and surprise:
For there was Joseph, standing tall and gazing down with care
upon his blessed Mary and the baby lying there. 

"A wondrous Child!" the shepherds cried in voices of delight.
"See there - around him shines a strange and heav'nly light.
How warm and bright it seems against the coldness of this night!
He surely is the one we seek; the angel's words were right!"

To Mary and to Joseph and to everyone they saw 
the shepherds told the story that had filled them with such awe:
"This baby is the Promised Prince, the Mighty Lord, the King.
We know because tonight we heard the holy angels sing.
They told us that this blessed child of low and humble birth 
was truly Christ, the Son of God, The Savior of the earth!"

The news was spread from town to town. 
The whole world must be told
till every person, 
rich or poor
or young or very old, 
has heard about the coming of the Savior of all men, 
whom God has sent to earth because of His great love for them.

Written by Janice Kramer

Sunday, October 9, 2011

I would love year-round weather like...

...we've been having for the past few days.  Who wouldn't love 75-80 degrees during the day, and 40-50 at night.  You don't have to run the furnace or air conditioner.  Perfect.

Yesterday I went to a couple of craft shows and had lunch with a friend.  After lunch I came home and sat out on our deck for the afternoon and read my book. Yes, I had things that needed to be done inside the house, but they waited for me.  

Today I had a date with my husband to play golf.  We had purchased a Groupon recently for 2 Rounds of Golf at the Honeywell Golf Course in Wabash, Indiana.  So, after church today we headed west to Wabash.

We couldn't have ask for a day any more perfect for golf than today.  We had a wonderful day.   The ride there and back was filled with the lovely autumn colors on the trees.  

This is a picture of the 14th fairway.  We looked and looked for my ball for quite awhile.  It didn't go into a hazard or out-of-bounds.  It was in the fairway among the fallen leaves.  

The weather forecast for the next few days looks much like today.  I will try to spend as much time as I can outside.   

Monday, August 29, 2011

Small Town Living - Pros and Cons

I've never lived outside of Wells County Indiana.  I grew up on a farm about 20 miles from where I live now. 

Bluffton is a town of about 10,000 people.  I suppose our town is very similar to other towns our size.   And, I suppose people have mixed feelings about living in a small town.  You may not like the feeling of living in a fishbowl.  

You could make a list of pros and cons regarding small town living. Each side could get pretty long.  However, in my opinion, the one thing that would go to the top of the list on the "pros" side would be community support. 

It doesn't matter if it is an illness, injury, or death; you can see "pray for" signs throughout the county.  The name on the sign could be a family member, neighbor,  or a complete stranger.     

Unfortunately, there have been too many opportunities to see that in our community lately.  

The death of a three month old baby due to SMA (Spinal Muscular Atrophy) a neo-muscular genetic disorder. 

Then there was the tragic shooting of a 4-year old little boy who was fishing for catfish one night with his daddy.  

And the death of a 20-year old middle school football coach in a single car accident.  

Each circumstance is different.  But the outcome is the same.  A community stepping out and holding up those that are hurting.  Doing whatever they can to ease their burden. 

I may not like that "I live in a fishbowl" feeling, but if I had to move from Bluffton, I think I would look for another small town....just like Bluffton.  

Friday, August 26, 2011

I'm still here.....

I haven't stopped blogging!  

I'm working on a new entry that I will post soon, 
so please stop back later next week.  

SMILE and make it a great day!!  

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


Today I was able to take the 4-C's to the splash pad. 

Now, let me introduce them to you, C by C!  

This is Cooper.  He is 8 years old.  He is officially a third grader now.  

This is Cayah, Cooper's sister.  She is 5 1/2 years old and will be going to kindergarten in August.  

Collin entered the world seven weeks after his cousin Cayah.  He will also be attending kindergarten this year. 

And this is Charli, Collin's sister.  She is 2 1/2 years old.  Hopefully, she will stay little for awhile.  

They ab-C-lutely bring joy to my heart!  I tell everyone they make my heart smile!  I am so blessed!!!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Oh my, it's July!!

I can't believe it is July already!  It seems like yesterday was the first of June and school was letting out for the summer.  The weather has been gorgeous, great for outdoor activities. Bill and I have been riding our bikes quite often.  Sunday we took them to Fort Wayne and rode the River Greenway there from New Haven, downtown to Headwaters Park.  It was a nice ride and I'm sure we will take our bikes again and ride a different part of the trail. 

Yesterday was the 4th of July.  Bill played golf in the morning, I frosted cupcakes and baked some cookies that later were turned into ice cream sandwiches.  

Late afternoon, my daughter Ashlee and her two children came over for a cookout.  She brought her boyfriend Casey and his two children along with her.  After dinner Ashlee and Casey beat Bill and me in a game of bean bag toss, and I beat Ashlee 2 out of 3 games of Wii Bowling.  The kids played with water shooters and stayed busy outside.  

Later in the evening we all went over to some friends' house to watch Bluffton's firework display from their front yard.  I was happy that my daughter Brooke and her family were able to join us for that part of the evening.  Watching the fireworks from the Coleman's front yard is becoming a tradition for us.  The fireworks were great and the kids had a wonderful time.  At first, Charli, my 2 1/2 year old granddaughter, watched the fireworks with her hands over her ears - just too cute! (I really should learn to take pictures of the things that happen in my life so I could share them with you.)      

There are some things I'd like to do with the grandkids this summer, so I guess I had better get busy and plan them or summer will be gone.  Some friends of ours have a pool and I want to take them over there for an afternoon of swimming, and I want to take them to the splash pad.  That's something I can do even if I don't have a lot of time - even if I have an extra hour that is plenty of time.  Maybe tomorrow I can do that.  The kids will love it! 

I'll be sure and take my camera - the above photo is from last year.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

My Husband Bought Me a New Bike!

I had a bike.  In fact, I just got it last year.  It was like brand new.  I barely rode it.  So why in the world did I agree to get a new bike?  A better bike.  I don't know, but I did. 

Bill was recently diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes.  I'm really proud of him for the way he has changed his eating habits.  He's cut sweets and and a lot of carbs out of his diet - better than I probably could if I had to.  This really breaks my heart, because if you know Bill, you know he enjoyed his food so much.  He dislikes exercise as much as I do, but he likes to ride his bike.   He had a bike.  He wanted a new bike.  A better bike.  
Some friends of ours bought new bikes last year.  Schwinn Trail Way 28" bikes.  They're a hybrid bike.  I don't even know what that means!  They really liked them.  We went shopping.  Target carries them, so I called around.  This Target had the Men's, that Target had the Ladies.   It was an adventure just buying them!

Well, in the past I rarely visited the River Greenway, but in the past two weeks I've been there more than I was there all last year. 

 We love to go to the Greenway and ride out to Oubache State Park. 

 Who would have thought that a better bike would be so much more enjoyable to ride.  I didn't.  We are enjoying our new bikes immensely.  

I'm curious...what would a really expensive bike ride like? 

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Fabric Flower Brooches

I've been putting off posting pictures of my fabric flower brooches, but since you asked...

I have others, but you get the idea.
I'll be posting them on - soon!  

Friday, June 3, 2011

Today Was A Rough Day.....or so I thought

The day started out normal enough.  I got up and got ready for work and everything seemed fine.  I got to work and things were going along okay for a little while.  Then one of our salespeople was having problems printing to the network printer.  I spent the next 30 minutes trying to figure that out.  I don't even think that problem really got resolved today.  He left at 1:00pm and by that time I was deep into another printer problem.  

For some unknown reason I have not been able to print to my printer this week.  I had done everything I had known how to do without any luck.  Today it dawned on me that it could be my printer cable, so I went into Bill's office to see if I could borrow his.  Once I pulled the cable out of the back of his printer, I looked down and the mass of tangled cables and decided against it.  REALLY!!  That's all I did!  Bill came back into his office and tried to print something and he couldn't get it to print.  What?  Are you KIDDING me!!??  I spent the next 3 hours trying to figure that out.  I spent a long, long time on the phone with tech support trying all they could think of.  I uninstalled and reinstalled the print driver at least twice.  Finally, through a series of events, it is now working.  Bill's laptop can once again communicate with his printer.  

If I had had an ax with me today...

I then went to the grocery to get cream cheese.  I'm supposed to bake 2 cheesecakes for Bill's great-niece's graduation party tomorrow.  I headed to the cream cheese and what do you think I saw when I got there?  NOTHING!!  That's right, they were completely out of cream cheese.  I thought for sure this must be wrong.  They must have it in another cooler somewhere.  I looked around and didn't see any.  I found a clerk and asked.  She scanned the bar code.  "No, I'm sorry.  We are out and I don't know when we will get any"  Seriously?  Just my luck.  I called Bill and sent him to Scott's -- surely they will have some.  It is graduation weekend.  Lots of people are having parties.  What if everyone is out of cream cheese?  Since I didn't have any cream cheese in my cart, I didn't have very many items.  I went through the self checkout lane.  I scanned my first 3 items -- no problem.  I sat my apples down on the scanner so they could be weighed and the thing told me I had put something in the bag that was unauthorized.  I looked on my screen and it had 3 items listed.  I looked into the bag and it had 3 items in it.  So I had to wait until the clerk to come and help me out so I could continue my purchase.  I finally finished and was ready to pay, but it wasn't meant to be.  The machine now told said "approval needed".  What?  I wasn't buying any alcohol, spray paint, or cold medicine.  Why did I need approval?  Only the machine knows for sure.  The clerk is a very nice gentleman -- I'm a regular there -- and I was on my way in a jiffy.  Whew!!  

I was in luck!  Bill found what I needed at the other end of town.  He is my hero!!  Now one of my cheesecakes is in the oven.  It was only in the oven for 2 minutes when I realized I had forgotten to put the strawberry filling in it.  I was afraid of something like that.  I'm so glad I caught it in time.  Brittney had wanted something strawberry.  If I had baked a plain cheesecake I would have had to come up with some kind of strawberry topping.  I don't think my brain could take the extra pressure tonight.  

I said all of this to say, my day wasn't so bad really.  It seemed like there were a lot of things that didn't go right.  However, this morning Bill woke me up with the news that a couple in our community had lost their son in a horrible traffic accident last night.  My heart has been breaking for them all day. Every time I felt my frustration growing, I would put things in perspective.   My family is safe, happy, and healthy. I am blessed.  R.I.P. Jordan

Hug your kids every day.   

Friday, May 27, 2011

This is what I made!

I went to the Polymer Clay Jewelry making class last night at the Wells County Public Library.  I had never worked with polymer clay and thought it would be fun to try it.  

I made a cupcake pin and the beads for a pair of earrings.  I don't know if it is something I will do very often, but it was actually much easier than I anticipated.   I think it will be fun to get some clay and let the grandkids make something.  Polymer clay will be much more durable than the little bowl Cooper made in school this year, which broke before it ever made it home.  The main drawback from working with it is whatever you use to bake your clay creations on, can NEVER be used again for food preparation.  You also need to have a well ventilated space.  I baked the beads last night when I got home and I opened a couple of windows, but I never actually smelled anything.  

The most enjoyable part of the evening was chatting with a friend from high school.  I had invited Lee Ann Garrett from Encouragement is Contagious to attend the class with me and she did.  As the name of her blog suggests she is a very encouraging lady.  I really enjoyed being able to visit with her during the class.   If I hadn't been willing to step  out of my comfort zone, I would have missed out on a very pleasant evening.  

I was telling Lee Ann that I've been making some fabric flower brooches.  She encouraged me to show them to others.  So, after I get a few made up, I'll let you see them.  

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

CAUTION Comfort Zone Ahead

I signed up to take a class at the Wells County Public Library - Polymer Clay Jewelry Class.  I don't do things like this very often.  Even though I would love to.  Why?  Because, to me, it means stepping outside my comfort zone.  Sadly, I've missed a lot of things I wish I hadn't due to my confining comfort zone.

Everyone has a comfort zone.  Some are very narrow and small in size.  Others are almost without boundaries.  If you would ask me to define mine, I would say it is "the familiar".  I am most comfortable with what I am familiar.  Familiar people, familiar food, familiar places, etc. 

As a REALTOR, I am probably perceived as an extrovert.  It's my job.  I'm comfortable with it.  I'm good at it.  Even though, at times, I work with people I am not familiar with, I am doing something I'm very familiar with.  With that said, I am a borderline introvert/extrovert.  Which probably would surprise those that know me well.  Those that know me well are those "familiar people" that are within my comfort zone.  They would most likely describe me as an extrovert.  With them, I am always laughing, joking, sarcastic...myself.  If I am going to a function where I know there will be a lot of familiar faces, I won't stress over having to attend.  I will go willingly, knowing I will have a good time.

However, my introverted side is present when I am surrounded by unfamiliar people.  It's then that I have to stretch the boundaries of my comfort zone.   

Extending my hand and introducing myself to a stranger is something I've had to force myself to do through the years.  Learning to smile at people as I pass them in the grocery or other public spaces is necessary so I don't appear to be a snob.  Years ago, I attended a women's retreat where I learned that the  majority of the women in attendance thought of me as stuck-up.  A snob.  WOW!  That was my wakeup call and I decided I had to stretch the boundaries of my comfort zone. 

So, unless I can recruit a friend to attend the polymer clay class with me, I will have butterflies in my stomach before I get there.  I will walk in with a smile (a nervous one) on my face.  I will chose a seat next to a friendly looking face.  I will say "Hi, I'm Dianna McBride".  Then, maybe, I can relax and enjoy myself.  

On the other hand, this is a small town and chances are good that I will know someone there.   

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

I know you are probably saying "a soup recipe in May?".  Well, that is what this weather is reminiscent of.  We all do the chili or the vegetable soup on a cold evening, but how about some good old creamy chicken and wild rice soup. This recipe, that I got from my daughter in-law Brett, reminds me of Panera Bread's version ~ only this is better!

Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

1/3 c. uncooked wild rice
1 T. veg. oil
1 quart water

1 med. onion finely chopped
1 rib celery finely chopped
1 carrot peeled, finely chopped
1/2 c. butter (stick)
1/2 c. all purpose flour
3 c. chicken broth
2 c. half and half cream (I use skim milk to cut the fat and it's still good!)
1/2 t. dried crushed rosemary
dash of nutmeg
1 t. salt
fresh cracked pepper
cooked shredded chicken breast

In med. saucepan combine rice, oil, and water; bring to boil.  Reduce heat; cover and simmer for about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, in large pot, Dutch oven or soup kettle, cook onion, celery, and carrots in butter until almost tender.  Blend in flour; cook and stir for two minutes.  Add broth and un-drained rice.  Bring to a boil; cook and stir till slightly thickened.  Stir in cream, rosemary, chicken, nutmeg, salt and pepper.

Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for about 20 minutes or until rice is tender.  (About 8 servings or 2 quarts).

Note:  I've added more flour to make it a little thicker, and I've also added more rice.  Tweek it and make it how you like it.


Maybe soon warm weather will be upon us and I will be talking about cookouts on the deck!   I'm looking forward to that!!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

It Won't Be Long....

until the sun will be shining and people will want to be outside doing something.  I don't care if I'm just sitting on my deck, I can't wait to have the sun warming my skin.  My husband will be playing golf.  

There are two golf courses here in Wells county.  Timber Ridge Golf Course is located at 2330 E 250 North, and Green Valley Golf Course is located at 2635 E 150 North.  If Bill plays in Wells county you will most likely find him at Timber Ridge.  HOWEVER, I would venture to say that there are at least 100 golf courses within a 50 mile radius of Bluffton, and he will visit quite a lot of them over the course of the golfing season. If you like to play golf you can probably find a course within 15 - 20 minutes of your home.  

One place that will be a hub of activity is the River Greenway.  It is accessible all year long to pedestrians and bicycles, but only the true fitness enthusiasts use it in the winter months.  When nice weather arrives you will see all the fair weather people (which I am a part of) walking or riding their bikes.  The Greenway begins at Wabash River Park (located just a block north of City Hall) and goes out to  Ouabache State Park.  The Greenway is a great way to commune with nature while getting some exercise.

Ouabache State Park is another great place, and Bluffton is very fortunate to have it close by.  For family fun you can't beat a day at the park.   You can picnic, hike, fish, swim, camp, or much more.  

To see all the wonderful parks that Bluffton offers, click on this link for the Bluffton Parks and Recreation's page.  Bluffton has a park for just about everyone....even the dogs!  For me, I love to take my grandchildren to the Splash Pad.  

Whatever you like to do outdoors, I'm sure Bluffton/Wells County has something for you!! 

Come on Mr. Sun, We're waiting for you!!!! 

Thursday, March 31, 2011

This is my first Blog post!

What am I doing here?

Today I had continuing ed.    

I'm a REALTOR.  Every two years REALTORS have to take 16 hours of continuing education before being able to renew our Real Estate licenses.  Brokers renew their licenses in the odd years, and Agents renew their's in the even years.  I have a Broker's license so this is my year. 

This year's classes were held at the Bluffton Wells County Public Library.  What a great facility we have in our library (I'll save more info about the Library for another post).  There were about 40 real estate professionals in attendance.  I was fortunate that I only needed four additional hours to complete the 16 hour requirement.  I attended yesterday from 8 a.m. until 10 a.m. and then again today for the same hours.  Yesterday's class was on Indiana License Law - very boring.  Today's topic was Social here I am!  Socializing through media.  

The instructor was Allie Hostetter from IAR (Indiana Association of REALTORS).  She is young and very tech savvy. I don't know how many of the participants in the class will do anything with the things she talked about.  She talked about Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other things,  I have a Facebook page for myself and a business page for our real estate firm Facebook/McBride & Associates Real Estate. Allie also talked about blogging. I thought it sounded like fun and one thing that I could have in addition to our Facebook page.  So, here I am.    

From time to time I will come here and talk about the things that are going on in my life and our community.  So, please stop by and visit me!