Archive for the ‘Baseball’ Category

Fleeting February

February 28, 2017

How can this be the last day of February? Yes, it’s a short month, but so much of significance happened during this month. It has been a roller coaster ride with happy times, disappointing times and times of serious decisions.

At the beginning of the month, I spent a few days making 20 various Valentines for my etsy shop. Spending time in my studio is one of my happy places. It was invigorating to sell more than half of those hearts. Thank you to those who purchased my creations of love.

hearts

Created 20 Hearts

Decorating our house for the different seasons brings lots of joy to me and to those who enter our home.

table

Our Kitchen Table

Valentines

Vintage Valentines

Round Robin

Round Robin Heart

The incentive for decorating for February was hosting a sit-down dinner party for 32 Sunday school class members. We provided the house, and the kind members provided the pot luck dinner. Then they cleaned-up everything before they went home. The class members are so caring and supportive of the health issues I have been facing. They are a meaningful part of our lives.

loving

Loving Class Members

party

Sunday School Party at Our Home

Another happy time is spending time with our children and their children. Tyler Murrah made the Varsity baseball team for Jesuit in Dallas. We joined his family this past weekend in Austin for a round-robin. Madison came from College Station with her precious boyfriend, Jack. It’s the first time we met him. So much fun to be with all of them for a couple of days.

Murrah

Murrah Family

Back in Houston we support the Huebner kids in their selected sports. Sydney’s competitive cheer team won National Champions in Dallas this past weekend. Her bigger sister, Lindsey, is playing tennis and softball. Here we are supporting Ashton at his basketball game.

basketball

With Sydney and Lindsey at Ashton’s Basketball Game

My husband spends much time with Ashton and Lindsey at their practices. He coached our boys when they were in school.

coach

Granddaddy Still Loves to Coach

Our 21 month old grandson in California loves playing sports, too. His daddy is his coach unless he’s with us. Then his bigger cousins love to teach him how to play anything that includes a ball. He thinks he’s a big boy, too.

Our Three Grandsons

Our Three Grandsons

So you ask what are the disappointments and big decisions.

Today was the last day for Shannon McGaw at Quilts, Inc. She has taken on a dream job for her as manager of a new quilt shop to open in April. I came to depend on her for many aspects in the Education Department and innovative ideas for the company. I will miss her every day, but wish her well. Thank goodness we still have Barbara, Jill and Marcia to carry-on.

Shannon

Shannon McGaw (in white shirt) Moves On

 

And yesterday was a huge decision-making day. I was released from my oncologist, Dr. Guillermo Garcia-Manero, at MD Anderson Hospital. For two years he has tried to get me into remission. At one time I lived without any transfusions for seven months. That hasn’t been the case for over a year now. So all that is left for me is to try stem cell transplant.

I will be moving to Methodist Hospital because my insurance will not pay for stem cell transplant at MD Anderson. Next week I will go through two days of heart, lung and viral testing to determine if I am well enough to go through with a stem cell transplant. So our prayer is that I will pass these tests so I can move forward.

It was hard to tell Dr. Garcia-Manero goodbye. He has been a hard-working, intelligent, and caring presence in our lives. Our daughter-in-law, Julie, Tommy, me, Holly, and Kelly Yeger, my PA, have been present at so many of my MDA visits. They have been such a great support system. I can’t thank them enough.

dr

Dr. Garcia-Manero in center

And thanks go to you, my friends, for all your love, support, interest and prayers. I’ll keep you posted. Much love to you all, Judy

 

 

Saturday’s Simple Recipe Page 5 Cocoa Cake

August 22, 2015

Tonight we are going to a Sunday school party at the home of two of our members. We have a fun group of about 25 who gather together to socialize once a month. Our lessons on Sunday mornings are Bible based. Right now, we are studying You Will Get Through This by Max Lucado. Tommy and I always enjoy his books, our class for study and socializing.

Sunday school

Sunday School Party in Our Back Yard

The parties are pot luck. We are taking a dessert, which I will make after I finish this blog post. Even though it’s a Greek theme, I have chosen to make my Chocolate Sheet Cake. This has been a favorite with this group, and it’s easy to make.

My sister, Joanie, gave me this recipe. In San Antonio in the 1960’s, people called  it “Sheath” cake. Did we not understand? No matter. I’m glad I received the recipe from my kind sister, Joanie Olafson McDonald, before she died in a car accident on June 1, 1989. Try not to eat too much of the icing before it’s on the cake. It tastes like yummy fudge.

ingredients

Ingredients for Cake and Frosting

Cake

Sift together in mixing bowl 

2 cups flour

2 cups sugar

Put in sauce pan  

4 rounded T cocoa

1 cup water

2 sticks margarine or butter (1 cup)

Bring this to a boil. Pour over sugar mixture. Stir well.

Add  

2 eggs, slightly beaten

1 heaping teaspoon cinnamon

1 tsp. vanilla

½ cup butter milk to which has been added ½ tsp baking soda

Mix well. Pour into well greased and floured 8” X 12” cake pan.

Bake at 350 degrees 30 to 35 minutes.

Ice cake in pan while it is still hot.

Icing

Melt and bring to boil 

1 stick margarine (1/2 cup)

3 rounded tablespoons cocoa

6 tablespoons sweet milk or butter milk (scant ½ cup)

Remove from heat, beat and add

1 box powdered sugar (16 oz.)

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup broken (not chopped) pecans

Mix well. Pour over center of cake in pan. It will melt to the sides.

cake

Chocolate Sheet Cake

And now for a lagniappe…a little something extra.

This week was Tommy’s birthday. We celebrated Thursday night by going to a Skeeters game with our daughter and her three children. They came to our house after the game for birthday cake, singing and lots of laughs.

For many years Tommy requested a cake mix for Boston Cream Pie for his birthday. It’s a cake, so I’m not sure why it was called a pie. The cake mix hasn’t been available for a long time. Recently I found a recipe on Pinterest for Boston Cream Poke Cake. It taste just like his old favorite. So I made it for his birthday cake. So here’s your lagniappe…the recipe I used.

Boston Cream Poke Cake

Ingredients

1 box Betty Crocker Super Moist Cake Mix (plus ingredients on box)

2 small boxes (3.4 oz.) Jello Instant Vanilla Pudding Mix

4 cups whole milk

1 container Duncan Hines Classic Chocolate Creamy frosting

Instructions

Prepare cake in 13″ X 9″ pan according to box directions. Let cool in pan.

Use wooden spoon handle to poke many holes evenly across the cake.

Combine milk and pudding mix and whisk until well blended.

Pour pudding over cake making sure it gets down into the holes.

Refrigerate cake for an hour to allow pudding to settle and set up.

Open frosting container and remove foil seal.

Microwave for 15 seconds and stir. Repeat this until frosting is pourable.

Pour over pudding layer and spread with spatula to cover completely.

Refrigerate for at least another hour.

happy

Happy Birthday, Dear Husband

And a Happy Birthday to all of you, my dear friends, whenever your special day arrives. I hope someone makes you a cake. Have a good week until we meet again. Hugs, Judy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And Baby T. Murrah Makes Fourteen

June 13, 2015

Family gatherings have always been important to Tommy and me. Our parents were fortunate that all of their children chose to live in Texas after they married and started their own families. Until my mother went into an assisted living facility she always had Thanksgiving at her home in San Antonio. We had as many as 38 people sit down to dinner in her home. We spent every Christmas Eve with my mother and Christmas Day was spent at Tommy’s parents’ home with his sister and family. It was a family tradition.

Christmas Day at Murrah's Home

Christmas Day at Murrah’s Home

We try to get our children and their families together at Christmas time at least for a few days. Most years, like the last two, we have had everyone in our home together for our family Christmas. We play card games, look at old family photos, have traditional turkey dinner lunch, tamales and chili another night,  put together the Christmas toys, play baseball in the backyard, reminisce about years gone by, etc. These are my happiest days all year-long. Last year was especially exciting with the anticipation of a new baby in the family. Troy and Michelle were expecting their first child in late May 2015. Ashton was our last baby, and he was soon to be 7 years old. So we were all ready for another baby.

Murrah Family 13 Strong

Murrah Family 13 Strong

Troy and Michelle live in Long Beach, California, so we had to rely on pictures, texts and emails letting us know about their baby to come. We started a group text with our family members when Troy was ready to take Michelle to the hospital on her due date.

Michelle Ready for Hospital

Michelle Ready for Hospital

We all waited for any kind of word or any pictures of Baby T. It was difficult not to be there as Tommy and I have been present at the birth of all of our other five grandchildren. Finally the word came that Michelle had delivered an 8 lb. 4 oz., 20″ long baby boy on June 1. She is only 5 feet tall so this was a big baby for her to carry and deliver.

Baby T. Is Here

Baby T. Is Here

Soon more pictures started coming in. We all wished we could actually be there in California and share in the joy of Troy’s first-born. He’s 40 years old so he’s waited a long time to hold a son in his arms. Thank you, Michelle.

Our First Glimpse of the New Murrah Family

Our First Glimpse of the New Murrah Family

It seemed like an impossibility for me to travel to California at this time as I was in my second cycle of chemo treatment for MDS. I was taking chemo by tablet, but under the supervision of hospital staff. I thought I’d have to be at MD Anderson for six days straight as I had been for the first cycle. Surprisingly, on day 3 I found out that the last three days of the cycle I could take the tablets on my own. I was free from the hospital Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. I started scheming. Holly, our daughter, said to count her in. So Tommy made hotel reservations and Holly flight reservations so we could fly to LA on Saturday morning, June 6, and get back home again at midnight on Monday, June 8. It was our little window of time. It wasn’t much time, but we wanted to be with our son, Michelle and Baby.

Our First Picture of Troy with Baby T.

Our First Picture of Troy with His Son

We thought we’d get to see the little family at their home in Long Beach, but then learned the baby wasn’t going to be released from the hospital for 5 days. Michelle had a fever during labor and as a precaution, they wanted to keep the baby in the hospital and give him antibiotics. He wouldn’t come home from the hospital until the day we were leaving. Troy asked us to please come out any way. So we did. How could we not see this little guy as a new-born?

Sweet Little Features

Sweet Little Features

T. was in ICU so only one of us could go in to see him at a time with either Troy or Michelle. Troy took me in first. I held him for an hour taking in all his precious features. Life was so good. Such happiness and love overwhelmed me. I wanted to take that feeling back to Texas with me. Our time with him was so short.

Such a Precious Time

Such a Precious Time

We set-up our own little area in the waiting room near a wall of windows anxiously waiting for the next chance to see and hold the baby. We played cards, read, talked, ate, walked around one at a time, etc. We didn’t want to miss any opportunity to have our turn with Baby T.

Waiting

Waiting Our Turn

Over those two days we each got a couple of turns to hold the baby.

Tommy

Tommy Gets a Turn

holly

Holly’s Turn

Our third and last day to be in California was the day T. was to go home. As the time went by, we didn’t think we would be able to see Troy and Michelle take their baby home. We had to be at the airport at 6:00 that evening. As we waited in the waiting room, Michelle and Troy did what was necessary to get their baby checked out of the hospital. It was 3:30. We’d just have a little bit of time to be with them at their home. It was an exciting time bringing baby home, and we were there.

Michelle, Troy, and T. in front of their Long Beach House

Michelle, Troy, and T. in front of their Long Beach House

Michelle and Troy could hold their baby without any monitors or IV’s attached. Michelle was so happy to have her baby home. Sweet Mommy and baby.

home

Michelle and Baby T at Home

Shortly after we got home, Michelle’s mom and dad and brothers, sister-in-laws and nephews arrived. It was a busy welcome home for T.

grandparents

Grandparents with the 3 Family Murrahs

I held T. until the last possible second. With tears and good-byes, I had to hand him off to Michelle’s mom. I will hold his precious face and gentle soul in my heart until we meet again.

bye

Bye-bye Baby

We hope they will come to our home in Houston for Christmas 2015. Then we will have 14 Murrah family. Oh, happiest of days for Grammy and Granddaddy.

 

 

Put Me In Coach

May 3, 2015

“God has given me this day to use as I will. I can waste it or use it for good. What I do today is very important because I am exchanging a day of my life for it.” This is a quote from Bear Bryant (1913-1983) who was an American college football player and coach. He was best known as the longtime head coach of University of Alabama’s football team.

Team sports have always been a part of my life. Growing up in the 60’s, girls were not encouraged to play sports so I was never on a team, but attended  my brothers’ football and baseball games. Their games were always a family occasion. My high school sweetheart, Tommy Murrah, whom I married, played high school and college football. He didn’t stop there, but played softball on adult recreational teams for many years. Once our children were old enough to play team sports, he coached their teams.

Now, all five of our grandchildren have tried their hand at playing baseball or softball including our three granddaughters. Two of those girls have chosen their teams on stages rather than on the field. We have spent a great part of the spring attending activities that involved our grandchildren.

Lindsey Huebner turned 12 years old the end of March. Our three grandchildren who live near-by traditionally get a day of shopping and over-night at Grammy and Granddaddy’s house without their siblings for their birthday. After we attended one of her softball games, she came to our house for the Easter week-end.

Lindsey on Jaguar softball team

Lindsey ready for a game on the Jaguars

After our day of mall shopping and a chair massage, we began cooking for ten family members coming for Easter lunch.

Lindsey loved the chair massage

Lindsey’s first chair massage

I hadn’t set the table or decorated it for Easter, so Lindsey did most of it. I love teaching our granddaughters the things Grammy does. I hope they will remember when they have their own homes. What a precious time it was to have her with us for fun, work, and church service.

Easter Table Set

Easter Table Set

After lunch it was Easter egg hunt time in our backyard. Our egg hunters ranged from 7-17 years old.

Easter Baskets Full

Easter Baskets Full

Our younger son and his wife, Michelle, live in Long Beach, California. She is expecting their first baby this month. Baby “T” will make six grandchildren for us. We are so blessed. Since they could not come to us, we went to see them for four days of loving them and fun. We attended a baby shower on a gorgeous California Saturday in the park. The hostesses outdid themselves with a beautiful array of all kinds of Tea Party treats for the “T” party.

Beautiful Table

Beautiful Table

We know Troy and Michelle’s baby boy’s name will start with a T, but Troy says he has to meet him and shake his hand before he’s sure what his first name will be. We know he will play sports because Troy has already checked-out the ice skating rink in Long Beach where they can play hockey. Troy has played one sport or another all his life. So the quilt I made for the baby is just that…all kinds of sports. I found a long arm quilter, Karen Shively, in my neighborhood,  who quilted it for me.

quilt

Quilt for “T” Murrah

When Troy and my husband are together you can be sure there will be a ballgame involved. We spent one afternoon at Dodgers Stadium which was a first for Tommy. Michelle did not grow-up going to ballgames, like our family, but she has adapted beautifully and seems to enjoy them.

game

Baby “T” at his First Game

Late last month we made a trip to Dallas to see our older son’s family. Madison Murrah played Alice in “You Can’t Take It With You” for her senior play. We loved seeing her perform one last time as a student of Ursuline Academy at Jesuit Theater.

Madison

Encore Madison

It was great to be with our older son, Todd, and his family for a couple of days.

todd

Todd Murrah and family

Tyler Murrah was supposed to play a baseball game while we were there, but it was rained-out. We’re so proud of him. He has played on the freshman baseball team at Jesuit in Dallas this year. The Freshman season is over, but he along with two other Freshmen, were pulled up to Varsity for the playoffs. He won’t get in any games but will get to keep practicing with them.

Tyler

Tyler Gets a Single

We spent much of yesterday with our daughter, Holly, and her family. Ashton, who is seven years old, is playing machine-pitch baseball. His coach is quite a motivator. The kids love his antics and team spirit.

Ash

Ashton & Coach Ron

Sydney joined us later in the day, after attending a birthday party. She tried baseball several years ago, but decided she likes the stage better. She is in competitive cheer and choir. Her spring choir program was this past week. I loved watching her moves. She has lots of fun singing and performing. She’s in the center with the sunglasses.

Sydney

Sydney Huebner

Yesterday, I also gave Holly a quilt I started for her after she graduated from Texas A & M in 1995. It’s made from her sorority t-shirts. Michelle Henson did a great job long arm quilting it for me. Aw, come on. I know you have lots of quilts that marinate before they are completely cooked.

holly

Holly’s Quilt

Tomorrow will be a red-letter day for me. I will start chemo therapy at MD Anderson Hospital. I was diagnosed with Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS) eight years ago. Luckily, I have not needed any treatment for my low hemoglobin until this past month. At that time I was given two pints of blood and had another bone marrow aspiration and biopsy. If the MDS goes untreated research shows that I’ll have AML in a year.

My oncologist, Dr. Guillermo Garcia-Manero, is a Professor in the Department of Leukemia at MD Anderson University of Texas. His main academic and clinical objective is to contribute to significantly better outcomes for patients with Myelodysplastic Syndrome. Dr. Garcia-Manero is the Chief of the Section of MDS in the Department of Leukemia at MD Anderson Cancer Center. One hundred percent of his research and clinical efforts are devoted to patients with MDS. So when he suggested I start a clinical trial taking Dacogen by capsule, my family and I agreed.

Tommy and I will be at MD Anderson very early tomorrow morning for at least eight hours. We’ll do the same each day through Saturday this week. The trial will last for three months and I will be closely monitored. I feel I’m in the best hands possible.

My blessings have been overwhelming as you can see by the joy our family brings to us. My prayer is that I’ll continue to see the growth of our loving children, their spouses, and children. If you could offer the same prayers for me, I’d be ever so grateful. Much love, Judy

coach

Put Me In Coach. I’m ready to play today.

 

 

 


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