January 29, 2010


Today is Addie's 3rd Birthday!

(my second grand baby)


We had a fun little party for her

and got to play her new Candyland game!



I am thankful to have shared so many special times with Addie.


Birth day


Blessing day








Addie L-O-V-E-S cats!


going to the park


Mc Donald's


train rides



. . . . . from Meema and Papa

We love you!

January 27, 2010


This is pretty close to my idea of Heaven:

oil painting on a Saturday
with 2 of my girls
70 degree breeze flowing in the window
in January


painting is a gift in my life
with the power to literally transport me
to a peaceful place, where time has no significance

I imagine the real heaven is a lot like that.


I spend so much of my time in rote, repetitive, things,
like filling the dishwasher, changing beds, vacuuming, and feeding the dogs

. . . which I don't really mind. . .
those activities bring order and security to my life
. . . . . and I can't sell short the necessity of order and security.

But, beyond that,
there are some activities that serve to lighten my burdens and uplift my soul,
turning my here and now into the only place I ever want to be

. . . . a couple of those things are:


my family, gathered in conversation and laughter


oil painting.


having both at the same time, was just

well . . . . . it was just



life's not easy.

life. is. not. easy.

but being able to find respite, take cover, hole up, and insulate myself occasionally,
with a couple of surefire remedies,
replenishes my energy and attitude,
to be up for the challenge
when life calls me out.

Isn't one of the tricks to successful living, liking your life?
. . . . not just enduring it,
but actually liking . . . even, loving it?

I am far from loving it all the time,
but I can say:
I like it.
I am extremely blessed

and sometimes

I really love it.

. . . . . and if I can pass on the pleasures of oil painting to my children,
I will have shared one of the best gifts I was ever given.

I was bitten by the painting bug a long time ago and I am an extremely contagious carrier
today, I watched as both of my girls became seriously infected

. . . . . and can I just say this . . . .

those girls exhibit amazing ability

(I'll show you, when we are done)


January 25, 2010

Makeover Night at the Freeman House


Chrissy stayed overnight with us while her hubby, Zach, was out of town.

She asked Chloe to do a makeover on her.

Chloe LOVES make-up

and doing hair.

So they laughed and chatted and bonded, like only sisters can do

while Chloe worked for an hour and a half.


Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Chrissy:

done Chloe style.



January 22, 2010


My mother always said,

"remember who you are, my girl,

remember who you are."

This was prescribed right after I burst into unladylike laughter . . . . guffaws, if you will.

(a practice I still haven't overcome)

or if my skirt was too short

or if I committed the cardinal sin of criticizing myself. . .
(something young women can be very good at)

. . . . and, while raising 4 daughters, mom heard it often:

"My feet are too big"

"I'm stupid"

"My legs are too skinny"

"I'm uncoordinated"

"This makes me look fat"

"My eyelashes are too short"

"I'm such a dork"

"I'll never get married"

"I am too flat chested"

"I'm too shy"

"no one likes me"

"I just wish I was . . . . . . different"

( we sound like the ugly stepsisters, for heaven sake)

I ran into this today, in my folder of favorite quotes I keep in the desk

I think it is powerful:

There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening, an energy that is translated through you into action. And because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique and if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is, nor how valuable, nor how it compares with other expressions. It's your business to keep it yours, clearly and directly and to keep the channel open. You are unique. And if that is not fulfilled, then something precious is forever lost.

thank you, Martha Graham, teacher & choreographer, 1894-1991

and thank you, Momma

because I can still hear your voice in my head

and sometimes, even still,

I need to be reminded of the full value of who I really am.


January 21, 2010

Serve your community

You'll be glad you did :)

January 20, 2010

Guess Who came to Visit?

The Blues Brothers


It's really my brother in law, David and his friend Walt.

Here they are out of their disguises


In August, when Steve's band played for a dance in Fresno,

The Blues Brothers did a couple of numbers for us

. . . . it was hilarious.

Dave and Walt are passing through San Antonio on business;

I am so glad they stayed a couple of nights with us.

We had lots of fun cooking, eating, talking, and laughing.

We missed having the rest of the family along . . .

promise me you'll come next visit?

OK, then

it's settled.


good times.

January 18, 2010

Service With A Smile


Last October,
I started looking for a way for our family to serve our Community during the Christmas break.

All the shelters I called had more help than they could use
because that is the time of year everyone gets into the spirit of giving.

Which is a good thing.

I had a couple of other leads that didn't pan out either,
so Christmas came and went and we never helped out.

Service is like that,
sometimes I pat myself on the back for just wanting and trying to serve.
But, making it actually happen, is the true test.

Being an active member of the LDS Church provides constant opportunities to serve,
but even with that, I feel the desire to contribute more service to my Community.

Then along came "Give a Day, Get a Disney Day". You've probably seen the commercials.

Yes, if you serve a day in your community, you get a free ticket to,
my favorite place in the world,
But that isn't the only reason I signed up. I promise.

In the process, I learned about many, local opportunities to serve in all kinds of ways.
Really cool stuff, like doing yard work for deployed troops, or walking and socializing puppies.


I signed up our family to help an organization called Hill Country Cares.

One of their many projects is providing a very nice discount shop in the little town of Kerrville.


Families in the local homeless and battered women shelters are given vouchers

to purchase much needed clothing and household items in the shop.


We worked in the warehouse, helping with a clearance sale in the morning

and after lunch, we boxed unsold items to be donated to Habitat For Humanity.


We had a good time and felt like we made a little difference.
It was a chance to put things in perspective and appreciate the bounty we enjoy
while helping others who are in need.
It was a fun and rewarding day and we want to sign up to help again.


Diane Freeman, you've just spent a day helping others, what are going to do now?

"I'm going to Disneyland!"

January 17, 2010

Today I witnessed a sight

rarely, if ever, seen in my life.

I was thankful to have a camera nearby to record it

in the event no one believes me.

It was 4:40 in the afternoon, and this was in my bed:

Chloe, napping.


I have known Chloe 12 years and she never naps.

not ever.

not even as an infant.

she needs less sleep than any human being I know, which is a bad match up with me, her mom,

who needs more than most people I know.


She likes Steve and I to stay up until she goes to sleep; it makes her feel comforted and safe.

Many a night, I am dying to go to bed and have to wait for her to get tired. I barely outlast her.

I truly wish I had her energy!


this is one rare photo.

January 15, 2010

All Purpose Miracle Bread Dough


I've told you about our Italian restaurant in Fresno, DiCCo's.

And I told you about Michele's bread recipe that is just as good as DiCCo's.

But wait 'till you hear this.

The entree we always get at DiCCo's is Calzone.
Basically, it is a pizza, folded in half and deep fried

I know what you are thinking . . . . . . . super healthy.

Well, when we ate there in August,
we asked the waitress if they used the same dough for the Calzone as they use for the bread.

When the answer came . . . yes . . .
we knew it was time to try our bread recipe on a calzone.


Roll out dough the size of a personal pizza.

Fill with sauted mushrooms, onions, bell pepper, olives, Italian sausage, pepperoni, and mozzarella cheese.
Fold in half, pinch edges, deep fry.

al forno style: top with mozzerella, melt under the broiler.

Serve with marinara sauce.


It was soooo good, Steve took a bite and giggled for a solid minute.



. . . . . if that isn't enough, use the left over dough to make cinnamon rolls.

Anyone who has ever been to the Big Fresno Fair

knows one of the main reasons we go:
cinnamon rolls


or top with pecans


I have been trying to duplicate these rolls for years and with this bread dough,
sugar and cinnamon and a frosting glaze on top,


these taste identical to the Fair's


Michelle recommends making garlic bread:
microwave a whole head of garlic for 30 seconds, peel and add all cloves,
plus 2 tsp of garlic powder, to the bread dough. Yum.


My cousin Lynne recommends using unbleached flour;
she's right, it's better :)


I truly believe

This dough would make any bread based recipe into something fabulous . . .

so, that is why I dub this the "All Purpose Miracle Bread Dough"


Do you realize how dangerous these new found discoveries are?

I will definitely have to exercise more

January 13, 2010

New Year, New Decade, New Living Room


When we moved to Texas,
I decided to decorate our, first ever, brand new house

with the popular Tuscan / Texas / Old World look.

The walls were already painted a color called pecan . . . translation: light golden brown.
It looked OK and I didn't have the heart or energy to repaint over brand new paint.
So I worked with it, putting in a new brown couch, 2 brown chairs, brown and gold drapes

....you getting the picture?: BROWN

Steve installed several can lights overhead, helping make up for the lack of natural light,
which is very important to my psyche.

It looked stylish, I guess, but all the brown was a little depressing

As it turned out, in my effort to be trendy, I lost my personal style.

. . . . I like lots of natural light, neutrals and classic lines, with splashes of color and shine, mixed with a few trendy accessories.

Come to think of it, that's how I like to dress too.

So, after 2 1/2 years of feeling like my living room just wasn't right, it was time for a change.

I have 2 red couches that have been in my office and bedroom.
Steve helped me exchange them with the brown couch and one brown chair.

I am still playing with accessories, but this is what I have so far



For the first time since we moved into this house, it feels like it is MY living room

I love my home. I love the change. . . . . and it didn't cost a thing!

January 12, 2010

Last night


We were moving some furniture around

So we had the furniture skateboard in the house.

Chloe sat on it and hitched the dog up to pull her.

I cracked up when they went flying by.

funny girl


she will be 13 on her next birthday and become, along with 2 year olds, my favorite age for kids.

I know, it's unusual.

In fact, I have known only one other self proclaimed teenager lover,
my old friend and Visiting Teacher, Janice Wiseman.
. . . . . an interesting aside: her son, Len, is married to Kate Beckensale.

Loving my teens didn't lead to any rich and famous in-laws, but I got some great ones.

The two main reasons I love my teenagers:

1 -They make me laugh hard

2 - They are finally old enough to carry on a relevant conversation and become my friend

One of my parent strategies was to make our house a place where teens were comfortable,
that way, they would hang out there and I would know exactly what my own teens were up to.

. . . . . and the house was crazy and fun and alive with chatter

My strategy is still paying dividends;

I grew to love those teenage friends, who are now married, with families of their own.

It is really precious to receive their Christmas cards and see their children grow up

I hope they enjoy their teenagers as much as I enjoy mine.


Tomorrow, I'll show you the new furniture arrangement

I've got to get this mess cleaned up first.



About Me

My photo
I married my high school sweetheart 34 years ago in the LDS Temple. I have 4 children (3 married, and a 14 year old) and 6 grandchildren. I lived my entire life in California, until 6 years ago. I now reside in San Antonio, Texas. The most important thing to me is my family; I have invested the most in them and it has paid great dividends. I love doing anything creative that beautifies my surroundings and I love nature. I minored in Art and majored in Interior Design at BYU, yet, my profession is a Tax Preparer.

Steve and I

Steve and I

Steve and I

Steve and I
Pismo Beach

Our Family

Our Family

Mike, Marci & Family

Mike, Marci & Family

Brittany & Ili

Brittany & Ili

Zach & Chrissy

Zach & Chrissy