I’ve been thinking lately, that I should touch base with some old frIend’s & catch up with the family, this is the best way for me to do that. I’m sorry it’s taken so long. I trust that you’ve got a lot of new things going on in your lives as well, getting out & about. Hopefully, you’ll all doing well.

We had a nasty bout with the virus, as I’m sure each of us have had it touch our lives in some fashIon. Praying it will end & soon. It’s under God’s control so I don’t want to dwell on it any further. Ever moving forward.

I love experiencing new things & trying to reach outsIde my comfort zone. We’ve moved around a few times in the last few years, you know how much I hate to move but I’m learned a lot about myself through the journey.

I started posting again on MeWe. I didn’t like it at first, the learning curve was a bit more that I cared for & the kids made us rejoin Facebook, not sure why, it seems like more of the same. I added Parler as well but not enough hours in the day for all these platforms.

I hope you’ll continue to comment & message me with your family updates. I’m trying to keep up. The Holiday’s were eventful. I enjoyed having family in, the parties & getting to hug people again. I’m sure you did as well.

I finally went clothes shopping with my daughter yesterday, I hadn’t felt like it in months, it seemed silly to shop if I wasn’t going anywhere. I’m really looking forward to traveling again. It’s still a beautiful country, I’d like to enjoy it as much as possible.

on that note… I’ll say, ”Thank you for your comments & welcome to the family.

Much love & Hugs,

Sheila Jean Adkins Metcalf

“There’s zero correlation between being the best talker and having the best ideas.” ~ Susan Cain, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking

Self-Evaluation. I love & hate reading and rereading old journal notes, Study Guides are the hardest; especially when you realize that 21 years has past, since you had made the note, things are still the same.

I’ve been taking a long look at how I’ve changed (or not) over the last few years; seemly not for the better either. I just read a line that I had written in an old study guide, under a section on “The Male Ego,” Q: What is an “unsafe subject” in your house? A: Religion. Only one word written, which in and of itself was odd for me. I tend to talk a subject to death.

I didn’t date the quiz, but the next page says, next to Q: #6… he would dress differently. A: “’92 He has greatly improved because I buy all of his clothes.” (Guessing here, that I should have said, I pick them out). Followed by 2 “buts,” yep, there’s always a “but” in every plan. I think that is what ultimately gets us.

The carrot was next to a list of things you’d want your spouse to change, next to #8 I had unlined “church.” …Pyrrhic victory. Any change a wife forces on her husband is at best temporary. Alexander Pope once said, “A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.”

So, love your husband as he is — faults and all — and trust God to deal with him as HE wills. I did notice that I had primarily noted his faults – not my own. Which in and of itself, says a lot about mine.

A question is then asked, “List here specific things God has shown you in this lesson. Pray about them.” I have two different responses. One immediate and one when we revisited this at the end of the study. My immediate response was: Realize many problems are my own fault. (Wow! I can’t even believe that I had written that.) Later after completing the study, I wrote, “I have to support Anthony in every aspect of his being to fulfill mine.

I know, I can hear every feminist on the planet screaming right now, but if you had taken this study, you’d know they were trying to instruct us on how to relate to one another equally and on an individual level. Understanding each other as an individual, then as a couple.
I think many marriages fail because we think that if we try hard enough, we can make them into whom we want them to be, not whom they really are. As we try and do with our children, but that’s an even deeper subject.

Lastly, I had written, “Respect his ever changing personality and include his differences, not as a joke, but as part of who he is. (Yes, I wrote that. In my own handwriting. I know right!)

I don’t know if I need to set some “New Goals,” or just try and live up to my old ones.

It’s very hard to change long term because circumstances change everyday. New problems – old problems; people!

Reality check: Do I need to change?

Just thinking out loud today.

Happy 10th Birthday Tron

As I sit here today, thinking about all the good things I’ve enjoyed this Holiday Season and eagerly looking forward to the New Year; mulling over the things I wanted to share with my family and friends, I got tickled.

When I went to my “Dashboard” here at the blog and I saw that yesterday more people checked the blog than most of the week. I guess, they were all wondering why I had stopped posting Cookie Exchange Party (*see below) recipes or maybe they just wanted to see if I was too sorry to post anything new? Whatever reason, I do hope the suspense was well worth the wait. I’ll try to toss a few things out there and go back and back post the other recipes. Sorry about that. Maybe just drop a few hints and I’ll get back to you.

The Metcalf Family Christmas Party

The party was held on Monday, December 13, 2010 from 6:30 pm – 8:00 p.m. at the Golden Corral in Franklin, Ohio. My family had a great time. The kids ate like there was no tomorrow, but let’s face it, at a Buffet what else can you do? I’ve decided not to plan the party for next year. If someone else, in the family, wants to plan the party, we’ll be more than happy to attend. No gift exchange, please.


This month, as a family we have been really blessed. Anthony and I got to spend some quality time with our family and friends. A few that we didn’t, strike me as odd, the people we try to avoid all year long; we suddenly feel compelled to visit at the Holiday’s? That’s what the Holidays are for I guess, so that no one is left out.

Last week, Christine and I went to see my cousin, whom somehow manages to avoid everyone all year, maybe not completely on purpose, just keeps to himself. We wanted to take him some cookies, from the *cookie exchange party. We knocked and he yelled, “What do you want?” I had to laugh, it didn’t even faze us, and we just yelled back, “In! We can’t stand out here in the cold, all day. It’s freezing out here!” Most people may have been a little put off by his response, but when it comes to family, you just have to laugh and roll with it.

We didn’t stay long, since we were unannounced and I didn’t think he’d be home this time either, just taking a chance. In our defense, we had been trying to call him for days, with no answer, his phone was messed up, and so Christine and I just stopped by (when I was already late for an appointment in Cincinnati). We sat there and chatted for a few, the phone rang and my hubby reminded me that he was in a major hurry (as usual) and I had forgotten to pick him up. So we jetted out the door, but I told him that we’d be back. So he has been warned and hopefully will great us with a warmer welcome next time. He isn’t feeling his best, so I’ll keep him in my prayers and ask you to do the same. We do love him and wish him all the best this Christmas Season and a very happy and prosperous New Year.

The Cookie Exchange Party

The party was held on Sunday, December 19th, 2010 from 2:30 – 5:30 p.m. in Party Central aka my front garage with 11 women in attendance. Steven asked to come, but somehow that just seemed odd. I guess in hindsight, I should have said, “Come on son, the more the merrier.”

I do love all the Holiday inspired parties, and games that we play like Christmas Bingo and The Nutcracker, seen on MINUTE TO WIN IT, just too much fun. That Mandy won of course, while talking on the phone.

One of my all time favorite parties has to be the Cookie Exchange Party. Where else can you an appetizer buffet, drink spiced cider and sample all those delicious cookies? I also learned that two of my friends Kathy Reamy and Sylvia Hess neither one had seen the classic Christmas movie, “The Christmas Story.” What? How can that be? It’s a movie marathon on Christmas Day. A must see for any family. No I’m not getting paid to plug it, just another one of those beyond belief moments that seemed fitting to mention in this post. Sorry peeps not meant to embarrass you here. I do hope you’ll still come again next year. I may even play the movie.

But as fate would have it, this year’s party didn’t go off without a hitch. Although for one of my parties, it was about par for the course. I feel like Mary Tyler Moore, when Mr. Grant tells her that her parties are the worst and it would be a mistake for her to have it, but of course, she goes ahead and has one anyway and he’s absolutely right; again. Her party is a virtual disaster. She should call me and we’ll compare notes. My husband, Anthony usually gives me the same speech right before each and every party, he’s a brat. Thanks’ Babe for having my back. NOT! This party was to be no exception; most of the invitees claimed to have had the flu and begged off, but for the faithful few that came, we had a great time. The cookies were plentiful and amazing. I can’t wait for next year’s party. I have a million new ideas. I’m going to look online this year for all kinds of red and green footed party plates to add to my collection and new ways to decorate the tables. I want to deck it out in a lot of red and green candles and sequence then surrounded it all with candy canes and Christmas wrapped kisses. Yummy!

PS: In their defense, my entire family and I had that the same flu that week and it really was a serious flu, so all if forgiven. Unless of course you try to use that same excuse next year. Then we’ll have a problem. Get your Flu shots. I know that I’m going to. I don’t ever want to repeat that again. I may even add it to my Cookie Exchange Party invitations for next year.

(It’s a good thing that my family knows when I’m joking – love you guys).

Gingerbread Party

Brandy & Mandy had schemed up a Gingerbread Party with sleep over, which I couldn’t have enjoyed more. Watching all the children create and make large messes in my home (well garage/party central) is always a treat. I try never to complain. All messes are cleaned up soon enough, but the memories will last a lifetime. The grandkids were so much fun this year, with only two calamities to speak of, but no one was hurt or nothing even worth mentioning broke, so it was an absolutely priceless experience. I will make a few notes so that next years party will go off without a hitch, and Tiger will have a softer mattress to sleep on. Poor fella, that couldn’t have been good. The yellow guest room, mattress is like sleeping on a rock. I know, I’ve endured it twice, when work was being done in my bedroom and I wouldn’t wish that on anybody. Please except my deepest apologies and I do hope you will find it on your heart to come back again next year and give it another try.

I wanted to do something totally different this year in the gift department and hopefully it will become a trend. As the Grandparents now, it doesn’t seem to be our jobs to fill up the tree and make everyone’s wishes come true. It’s just to have everyone together in one place and love them as much as possible.

I decided it would best, for me to buy everyone, the exact same gift this year, so that no one could complain they didn’t get the same or as much as, anyone else. Since the sleep-over was originally planned for Christmas Eve, it seemed like the perfect gift; just get each person a pair of pajama’s and house shoes. Then kids were to get a large candy cane and a little red & white sock monkey, but I went to 4 Wal-Mart’s, and could only get seven sock monkey’s. That wouldn’t work, not with 12 Grand’s total – that just wasn’t enough. So I eighty-sixed the monkeys and just bought all the kids Santa hats. I liked it. Plus they looked nice in the pictures.

That was all just going to be, too easy. We ended up having the Gingerbread Party on the 23rd instead of the 24th – I made Christmas Adam jokes, the day before Christmas Eve, is Christmas Adam, oh well, I get the joke. The date was changed which made my perfect gift ideas, a FOLD, in the children’s eyes anyway. Since Allie & Ave were leaving early Christmas Eve morning, Allie, now three years old, ask if they could open their gifts before they went home, and since we had already had the sleepover – no new pj’s, it didn’t make too much sense to them, why they didn’t get toys, or to Anthony either for that matter, since they didn’t all get them at the same time and would have all matched. The girls weren’t thrilled with their gifts. Oh well, I’ll try harder to make it up to them, next year.

Steven brought his girlfriend home with him for the break. We really enjoyed having them both here. Although, the big girls (Mandy, Brandy and Christine), may have sworn off playing Scattergories with Steven ever again. Steven decided that all answers had to be exact; it was like playing a game with Sheldon from the Big Bang Theory. Oh well, their used to it. He bought us a “Balderdash” game to play, and helpfully we’ll get “Minute To Win It,” for next year. The board games just keep mounding around here. I told my oldest sister Shirley we will have to have a game night next month, instead of Girl’s Night Out! Shouldn’t matter that much, we mostly just eat anyway! (Insert a little snicker here).

Ladies Secret Sister Dinner

Our church ladies “Secret Sister Dinner,” was a lot of fun last night. The party was held at the Olive Garden; it had been postponed earlier due to snow and ice. With most of the ladies there, except for Pastor Gary’s wife whom was home sick and Diane Calton, she was working, it was a small crowd, but again, we really had a lot of fun. Those that had participated in the “Secret Sister,” all year gifted and exposed themselves as the culprit that had been secretly gifting their Sister-in-Christ all year; for birthday’s, anniversaries and all Holiday’s; great and small. For those of us that chose not to participate for whatever the reason just brought our exchange gifts in and we played the “White Elephant” game aka Nasty Christmas to receive a small token (w/ $10 limit) of someone’s affection this Holiday Season. I got a lamp Christine had picked out, in which I’m sure she’ll find a way to trade me out of later.

New Year’s Eve Party

New Year’s Eve Party or not to party, that is the question. This year, may be the year I skip the New Year’s Party and just go to bed early. I may be all partied out; if that’s even possible. We’ll see what unfolds. No real plans as of yet. Who knows invite me and I just may show up.

Remembrances, Birthday’s, Anniversaries and Notables

To my friends Mike and Kathy O’Bradovic,
Please except my sincere congratulations on the adoption of your first Granddaughter. I know she will become all the things you’ll imagine her to be. She is a great blessing this Holiday Season; enjoy all the love she will bring to your family, both now and in the future. Best wishes to you and your family.

I also want to wish Matt and Diana Reeves a very hardy congratulations on the birth of their first child, a beautiful new baby girl, they’ve named her Addison Faith Reeves. She is a true gift from God.

To Jeff & Sophia,
Happy Birthday to Jeff and Congratulations are in order for the new Grandbabies in your life. I can’t wait to see them. I do hope you come down soon and show them off.

Happy Birthday this month to Chris’ daughters Cassidy and Chelsea Metcalf.

Happy Birthday to my Grandson Trey aka Alan Edward Whiteside III, Grandpa and Grandma loves you.

Happy Birthday to my brother’s only son, Justin Adkins. You’re a true treasure in our family and we are so fortunate to have you to love.

To my Cousin Sandy’s, daughter Cheyenne Comb’s,
I want to wish you a very happy birthday this Thursday. I hope life treats you kind and you’ll be blessed on your birthday.

As for me and my house, I just want to say,
“Enjoy each and every blessing this Holiday Season
and Welcome to the Family,”
Sheila Jean Adkins Metcalf

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The greatest way to live with honor in this world is to be what we pretend to be. ~ Socrates

Nothing sparks an argument faster or more heated than the two evils: Democrats and Republicans. Okay really now… seriously we all know that its religion and politics, so how do you keep the family talking when they collide over one or both of these subjects? Between the nasty elections, crooked politicians, corrupt media and various scandals all playing out before your eyes and commonly discussed over the dinner table or through various and diverse emails, it’s hard not to go to blows with one or two friends or our relatives over our moral differences.

How to settle it PEACEFULLY is the question?

I did read these instructions over how to deal with the confrontation:


    As with any volatile subject, it’s important to keep family members talking. Acknowledge that you have some differences of opinion regarding politics, but that you will always love and respect each other.


      No matter how heated a family debate might get, be sure never to get personal with negative comments. Understand that family members may identify closely with high-profile leaders of a particular political party. Stick to political ideals or specific actions, don’t attack individuals.


        Rather than restating what you may have heard or read from a member of the media, take time to sit together and listen to differing viewpoints. This enables you to judge for yourself what is often sensationalized. Agree to watch a TV program or read an article that represents another family member’s political views. If you are a democrat, sit down with republican members of your family and watch 30 minutes of Fox News. If you are a republican, sit down with democratic members of your family and watch 30 minutes of CNN. Make rules beforehand that you will not express negative views about the program and stick to the rules.


          After having completed Step 3, sit down together and watch a politically neutral program such as public TVs The NewsHour with Jim Leherer. This type of a program may help defuse many of the political tensions in the household.


            Sometimes it’s helpful for family members with differing political views to compare ideals. Try to find common ground. This will help to keep peace in a politically charged family.


              Take time to discuss events that have made us uniquely American. Topics might include The Bill of Rights, the Preamble to the Constitution (steer clear of Amendments at this stage), the American Civil War, our immigrant ancestry, or the esprit de corps after 9/11.


                Remember that our political system of checks and balances is built on the principle of preventing any party or individual from having too much power. Encourage your family to be proud of our political system and remind each other that non-personal, even-tempered discussion of the issues is healthy!

                By following these steps in your politically charged family, it should be easier to make and keep peace.

                Who wants to read about success? It is the early struggle which makes a good story. ~ Katherine Anne Porter

                To my oldest son, Craig and to my almost son-in-law, Tiger Zamora. May this be your Best Birthday, ever. We all love you both and want to wish you both an amazing day filled with lots of love, hope and cherished memories.

                God asks no man whether he will accept life. That is not the choice. You must take it. The only question is how. ~ HENRY WARD BEECHER

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