Happy Birthday Dad

Today is our dad’s birthday and to celebrate, we thought it would be fun to reminisce about our favorite dad moments. Happy Birthday Dad…we hope you enjoy it!

Dad and Emily on her wedding day

Our dad was a typical dad of daughters.  He nurtured our love for sports and dug his heels in while being dragged to our “girlie” activities where he was a grown man cheering on teenage girls jumping around and high kicking.  I think by the time I started cheerleading in high school, he realized that these girlie activities were not going to stop any time soon.  We always knew dad enjoyed attending basketball games more than cheerleading competitions because there was something for him to watch.  Of course, he would watch with a careful eye and smile on his face as we performed but he sure was glad when the game play started again.

Sometime around my junior year of high school, my mom and I were watching a cheerleading competition on ESPN.  My dad enters the room and, of course, makes a snide comment about how there must be some football on TV somewhere.  Mom and I pay no attention and keep discussing the routines.  About 10 minutes later, an amazing squad is performing some really cool stunt sequences.  My mom and I discuss what ideas we could take from it and still be legal in the state of Missouri.  We start talking about a specific move and in chimes my dad “That stunt is illegal due to the flyers feet leaving her bases hands”.  My mom and I were stunned!  After all of those years being exposed to something that we thought he knew nothing about and he surprised us.  Somewhere along the way he gained the knowledge to officially be called a “Cheer Dad!” and never have I been so proud to have him be MY dad!

God chose our dad to be the father of four girls, and he couldn’t have picked a more perfect guy.  He always knew exactly what to say when our hearts got broken and knew when the topic of our worry would be better suited for mom. 🙂  He was protective, yet allowed us to grow and make mistakes.  He is still the most wonder father and grandfather and I can’t wait to see him with his first grandaughter!

Wow!  When you’re asked to put into words a memory of your parent that you cherish, you think “where do I start?”  Once you get started you begin to think “where do I stop?”  So, because I couldn’t sit down and focus on only one memory that I have of my father, I’m going to share a couple of memories with you!

Dad and Tory playing in the snow

Since this post is so close to Valentine’s Day, the first thing that popped into my head was how much of a romantic, caring man my father is to this day.  I remember, starting in middle school and continuing through high school, all of us girls receiving roses on Valentine’s Day from our father so that we felt special and loved even though we might not have had a special someone at the time.  I remember dad handing us girls $50 dollars and telling us all to go to the movies so that he could spend an evening alone with my Mom.  I remember him always calling Mom and us girls beautiful, even when we didn’t feel that way.  Through all these memories and many more, my dad has taught me and my sisters through example, how every man should treat the women in his life–with love and respect.

Then I started to remember some of the more amusing memories I have of my father.  Once, while riding in the car with my father on Thanksgiving morning, he accidentally hitting a quail that had flown onto the road.  Now most people would keep on driving and hope that the car wasn’t damaged, but my father decides to stop the car and check on the bird.  He determined that while it was definitely dead, it was still in decent enough shape for human consumption.  So he throws the bird in the back of the truck and proceeds to take it home so that we can enjoy a meal of quail on Thanksgiving.  My mom threw a fit when he brought that home!  She absolutely refused to prepare the bird for dinner.  Determined to have his quail on the dinner table, my father cleans the bird himself and pops it in the oven to cook.  Come dinner time, the quail had its own serving dish right next to the turkey!  I can’t remember all the details, but I believe he and I were the only ones to actually eat that particular dish.  Even though it may have looked and smelled delicious, that fact that is was roadkill prevented the rest of my family from trying the dish.

While there are too many wonderful memories to share in one post, there is always a consistent theme of love, acceptance, and laughter in all of them.  Happy birthday dad, we love you!

Our father is amazing and just picking one memory to talk about is extremely hard to do!  I can say that when I needed my father, whether I knew it or not, he has always been there for me.  When I started singing in front of the church, I was so nervous about every song that I shared, but he was always in the back and in my line of vision with a giant smile on his face.  I sometimes couldn’t look at him because I would either start laughing or crying based on the song and his expression.

Katie and Dad at the bowling alley

Most of my favorite memories always happened at his office.  My father owns his own veterinarian office and, when I was growing up, I would spend a lot of my time with him there.  He taught me to tie my shoes on a stack of chairs while he was waiting for an emergency to come in.  I was his little helper at work and I loved just spending time with him.  While the animals were under anesthesia during surgery, he would let me hold the tail of the dog or cat so it wouldn’t get in the way.  I was young and I didn’t know what anesthesia was, but I was right there standing still, holding that tail like it was the most important part of the surgery.

Throughout the past couple years I have had many struggles that, at times, made me want to give up.  When I thought I was at my end, daddy would send me a letter, card or a simple text telling me how proud he is of me and how I am so strong because of all my troubles.  He would say that I am beautiful and that no matter what would happen he would always be there for me.  His uplifting words kept me going, because with him just saying how proud he is of me, I would want to try even harder to be the women he knows that I can be.

Daddy,

You are my encourager and my support system. God has blessed me so much with two amazing parents that would do anything for anybody.  I don’t know how you both do it, but I know that I would not be the person I am today because of you!  I love you both with all my heart!

One of my favorite memories of my dad is also one of my earliest. When I was little, about 3 years old, I got hungry one day and decided to make myself a snack. I laugh because as a mother of 2 boys, I know that no good can come of a 3-year-old making themselves a snack. Anyway, I went to the kitchen to make my favorite snack, applesauce and bread (hey, don’t knock it till you

Hilary and Dad

tried it). I gathered the bread and jar of applesauce, and gracefully placed it all on the coffee table in the living room (I wanted to eat my snack and watch my cartoons at the same time). Well, needless to say, a few minutes later, my mom comes in, sees the mess and immediately sends me to my room….WITHOUT my favorite applesauce and bread. Sitting on my top bunk, I sat and cried and cried, “I’m so hungry. My tummy hurts!” I don’t know how long I cried, but as I lay facedown on my bed, crying into my pillow, I heard someone come in my room. Looking up, it was my Daddy. He gently whispered, “Don’t tell Mommy”, placed something in my hand and snuck out of my room. Surprised, I looked at my hand to discover the holy grail of snacks…Vienna Sausages. Quickly, I opened the can and gobbled them all up. I don’t remember what happened next, but I’m sure I fell asleep, dreaming of my knight and shining armor, who saved the beautiful princess with a can of Vienna Sausages. From then on, I always knew that no matter what, my Daddy would take care of me.

Dad, as I write this, I can’t help but think about all the times you came to my rescue. Thanks for always being there for me. I love you.

Grandma’s Meatballs

My Grandma

Since my grandma passed away this past December, I’ve been reminiscing about our time together. I had so much fun visiting her house every summer. We would go to the movies, eat pizza, play dominos, visit Aunt Edith’s farm…all sorts of fun stuff. Grandma would let me stay up late and never fussed when I slept in the next morning. When I got older, we would take day trips and explore nearby sites. I remember when she met my husband (then boyfriend) for the first time, and years later, her holding my little babies in her arms. She was such a wonderful person, truly a blessing to those who knew her.

My boys, cooking away

About 15-20 years ago, my beautiful grandma was featured in her local paper. The title of the article, “Watermelons are a treat for Good Cook”, made everyone in the family giggle, including grandma. You see, my grandmother enjoyed a lot of things, and cooking just wasn’t one of them. Her dinners usually consisted of an easy main dish, mashed potatoes/rice, my Aunt Edith’s bread and butter pickles, cottage cheese and peaches. Nothing too elaborate, but very satisfying. One of my favorite dishes, was a meatball dish she made every time I would visit. It’s very good and so easy to make. For dinner tonight, I thought it would be fun to recreate a “Grandma” dinner.  As I watched my boys make these in our kitchen, I couldn’t help thinking of a time not so long ago when I was the one squashing the meatballs together with my tiny hands. Grandma… this one’s for you.

Grandma’s Meatballs (serves 8-10)

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs 90% lean ground beef
  • 1 cup quick cooking oats (or bread crumbs)
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onions
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp chili power

Sauce

  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp liquid smoke
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onions

Directions:

Preheat oven 350 degrees. To make meatballs, mix first 9 ingredients together and shape into balls (about golf ball size). This will make about 32 meatballs. Evenly place meatballs in greased 9×13 baking dish. Combine sauce ingredients and pour over meatballs. Cover and cook for 1 hour.

Finished product!

My boys LOVED these meatballs and I hope you enjoy them as much as we do.

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