Days of Thanks: I Love My Dishwasher

For many of the 38 years since this house was built I have not had a working dishwasher. The original “builder grade” Magic Chef dishwasher gave up within the first 5 or 6 years. We were without for awhile and then Terry found a second hand replacement “builder grade” (also Magic Chef) which lasted a couple of more years. In about 1990 or so I convinced him to buy a new dishwasher and I picked out a Maytag dishwasher which worked wonderfully and lasted about 10 years. I hand-washed dishes for another few years until, at my request, I got a new Maytag for Mother’s Day 2004. It had all the bells and whistles including three racks. It had to be worked on while still in warranty twice and didn’t last nearly as long as my previous Maytag. By then it was just Terry and me and I was back to hand-washing our dishes. When Kristie and Jordan lived in Arlington their rentals never came with appliances so they bought am amazing Whirlpool Gold dishwasher in late 2010. When they moved to Kyle in 2011 their rental had a new dishwasher so we struck upon a deal to buy their Whirlpool Gold. I had only had it a few months when a rodent ate a wire inside it. Yes, we have mice from time to time. We live behind a wooded area and in rain or cold weather they come to visit. YUCK! Thankfully, I have a husband who is an expert at trapping/killing rodents.

It took a few months to get the motivation to fix the dishwasher but once fixed it worked beautifully…for about 2 months. That time Terry couldn’t find the bad wire. It was inside something he couldn’t get into and so the dishwasher sat empty while I went back two washing dishes by hand.

After the burglary in January we had to get new flooring since the “They” had flooded the house on their way out the door. Terry removed the dishwasher while I was gone in March since the flooring was being  installed. He took it to Thompson’s Appliance and told them to find the problem and fix it. When they called to say they had found the issue and had fixed it he further instructed them to go over the dishwasher with a “fine tooth comb” and run it several times to make sure it was A Okay before he picked it up.

I cannot explain how much I love this dishwasher. It’s now 6 years old and has less than a year’s use on it. It’s quiet, it works like it should, it cleans hardened on food without my pre-washing the dishes, and it has a variety of configurations so I can get in an amazing amount to dishes at the same time or as few as I need to put in. With its variety of settings I can do everything from rinse to pot scrub. Colton used to walk by and push buttons on Katie’s dishwasher which would then turn off the dishwasher so I really like the buttons of this dishwasher being on the top of it.

I realize this might not be a big deal to others but for me, who has washed dishes by hand roughly half on my adult life and 3 of my teenage life, it’s a very big deal.


I am so thankful for this dishwasher, especially on weeks like this where I am cooking so much and washing so many dishes.

Days of Thanks: November 25: Chris

I have a son, who is my heart. A wonderful young man, daring and loving and strong and kind.
~ Maya Angelou

Build me a son, O Lord, who will be strong enough to know when he is weak, and brave enough to face himself when he is afraid, one who will be proud and unbending in honest defeat, and humble and gentle in victory.
~ Douglas MacArthur

These quotes sum up our Christopher. Well, these two quotes and the nickname given to him by a cousin…Walking Wiki. Just like Wikipedia, he seems to know everything and when he doesn’t know the answer we are convinced he makes stuff up and still sounds like he knows everything, again, like some people do on Wikipedia.

He is our first 2 college diploma kid, although his oldest sister will catch up with him in May.


Chris is only 14 1/2 months younger than his sister Kristie. Even now I have people ask me if they were “planned”. My answer remains the same today as it was 30 years ago…”God planned, not Terry and Kathy planned and His plans are always better than ours.” Terry thought 2 children was plenty and he wasn’t unhappy with two daughters and no sons. I wasn’t unhappy with the make up of our family either but, on the other hand, I love kids and wasn’t dedicated to “just two” but went along with Terry’s idea since he was the breadwinner in our family and kids are expensive.

I am thankful God knew better than us.  I was very ill about 10 days after Chris was born and ended up in the ICU. I spent a week in the hospital, during which time, both doctor and husband declared “no more babies”. I suspect they thought I would be upset but that wasn’t really the case.  When I looked at Christopher the first time I had a real sense of peace that he was just what our family needed to be complete.

As a young child he was, without a doubt, the most challenging of our three but as he grew and as a teen he became the easiest to raise. He wasn’t a fan of very many people when he was an infant or toddler. One of my favorite photos of him was taken at the State Fair when he was not yet two. He is scowling at the world and it was a scowl we saw often. I am so glad to have gotten that photo. His wife loves it, too.

At State Fair (2)

Since Kristie was so young when Chris was born we called him Christopher so as not to confuse her into thinking we were saying her name. She called him Baby at first then he was Kis-fer-fer and then later he became Chris-fer-fer until she was able to say Christopher. Her mispronouncing his name until he was going on 4 may be why he was so very particular about his name. Anyone, other than my dad, who called him Chris got a scowl and an admonition…”My name is Christopher.”. Daddy always called him Chris and Christopher never corrected him. When Chris figured out how long of a time it took to write his name he broached the subject with us of just writing “Chris”. We asked him if we could call him “Chris” and he said no. In that case, sonno, write it all out. When he moved to a new school in 2nd grade he changed names and he became Chris to the whole world. The habit of his first 7 years hasn’t gone away in the past 23 as his sisters, dad, and I call him by both names.

When he was young Chris told me everything. He outgrew that at about 19. I’m okay with that since I think that’s probably the way it should be. Although I miss those long talks it’s a bit of serendipity to have him show up on the doorstep to visit with me. He and Terry share many long conversations and spend He is smart and thoughtful and works hard in everything he does. He is, however, by no means perfect. He has bad habits/traits as well as good and his passive-aggressive way of handling some things drives me nuts. Oh well, one takes the frustrating with the non-frustrating.

God knew we needed a son and the relationship Chris shares with his dad is something special. Terry was blessed to have a son he didn’t even know he needed.

Chris and Sarah didn’t get to go to Florida with us this summer but we have been lucky enough to travel with “just” them in the past giving us the chance to get to know her.

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We also took a trip to Colorado with “just” Chris in 2006. We met other Fuller Family members there and spent lots of time with them and lots of time with each other.

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Chris spent one day during the 2006 trip with his Grandpa Joe and cousin. Daddy showed them his hunting spots and much of the elk hunting area in general. Chris’ take on it? “Grandpa Joe doesn’t elk hunt. He elk HIKES!”.

TinCup Pass

I am thankful for the son we were given,


or the child he was,


The first of Many football teams, age 7 (2)

Banged Up


and for the adult he has become and continues to be.

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and his taste in New Orleans native brides is excellent!


Days of Thanks: November 24: Those Extra Kids God Gave Us

Before our children were born, while they were still in womb, I began praying over them. Terry did the same thing. Once they arrived we continued praying over our children and I began to pray about/for the one God would put into their lives as a future spouse.

We’ve known Brian since the summer of 2000, that’s 15 years, we met Jordan 9 years ago at Katie’s and Brian’s wedding and he was a fixture in our world within weeks, and Sarah only came to us on Father’s Day 2012.  I thank God each day for the blessing he has given us in these 3 extra children…our bonus offspring, I call them.


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Katie and Brian

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Badlands (6)

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Two thirds of our kids and half of our Grands on the Wedding Cruise last Christmas while Jordan and Kristie and Elisabeth were overseas.

I hope to get a photo of all 6 children and both Grands this Christmas

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Days of Thanks: November 23: Grands are Grand

Most of my cousins have at least 3 grandchildren, in fact, one cousin counts his Grands by using double digits. My brothers each have 5 Grands but for a very many years I didn’t think Terry and I would have any grandchildren at all. Katie and Brian didn’t think they wanted children and Kristie and Jordan knew it would be tricky for Kristie to get have children, and Chris, well, he didn’t seem interested in little ones. God knew what was best for Katie and Brian and helped Kristie and Jordan so we have 2 grandchildren. God has also seen fit to send Chris someone who makes him think of babies of his own. I rejoice to have Colton and Elisabeth in our lives and, although I hope we have more grands, I am content as well.

I don’t know that I agree with those who say “If I’d known grandchildren were so much fun, I’d have had them first!” but I agree they are fun. I also don’t agree with friends who press their own children for grandchildren/more grandchildren. It’s not a contest but I know some people who seem to think it is.

I love Camp HavinsNest with Colton and Elisabeth and I love spending time one on one as well. Colton has been so busy this fall with soccer, football, and school we’ve barely seen him. I’m looking forward to spending Thanksgiving with him and his cousin as well as their parents. It’s not all fun and games with Grands and Mutti, though. When Colton was a baby and was so sick I gave up my lunch break every day for weeks/months to give him a breathing treatment at his preschool. Last Monday I took a day of from school because Lizzy was ill. We went to the doctor and to the pharmacy as well as rocking and talking. After her living in Austin for the first 2 years of her life and overseas and in Florida for the next year of her life Terry and I feel so blessed to have spent 10 weeks with Elisabeth (and her parents) right here in our home while they were getting settled here in the Metroplex.

I am so thankful for our Grands and the joy they have brought our family.

July 2012

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October 2012

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July 2013



April 2014


July 2014

After Breakfast Day 1

July 2015











November 2015


Days of Thanks: November 22: Those Who Aren’t Afraid to Be Silly


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