Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Christmas Vacation

This Christmas was just like the good old days. There were lots of cousins. There was chaos. There was constant noise. There were gifts that were "forgotten" until the last minutes. Santa showed up in the wee hours of the morning. Nothing was formal. Everything seemed rushed. We only had 4 1/2 days with my family.

We left our home Saturday morning at 7:50 am. Yup, I said am. Danny is a tyrant when it comes to hittin' the road. He wanted to leave at 8 am. We beat him. Yay us!!!! We drove to Atlanta and checked into a Courtyard by Marriott. It had an indoor pool for the girls. It would have been for us too if we hadn't forgotten our swimsuits. :( I used my Marriott reward points for the stay, because I could. Can't beat that deal now, can ya!

The next day we ate at the hotel restaurant and were on the road by 8:25am. (He was shooting for 9am, so we beat him again.) We arrived at my parents house around 1:30ish. The dog, Bessie Lulu was barking up a storm inside the house. My parents weren't home. They weren't expecting us until 2:30ish. They were out shopping for groceries. We helped them tote the TONS of food into the house. There were to be 16 of us for Christmas Eve and Christmas dinners. Not to mention the meals in leading to those feasts. There were 2 turkeys, 2 hams, 4 pounds of butter, 4 beef roasts, a 17 pound prime rib and ALL the side dish ingredients. YUM-O.
Renee, Billy and Aaron showed up and the fun really started. I really miss not seeing them more often. It is just so far away and so expensive to fly.

My nephews are men now. How in the world did time fly so quickly. They are gorgeous men. The girls are after them too. Aaron is in LOVE with his girl friend, so sorry girls, he is taken. Ryan is busy planning for his future. Which right now is the Coast Guard. (I am not so secretly hoping they turn him down. I want him to go straight to college.)

More later...

Monday, December 29, 2008

Hoppy 12th Birthday Morgan

Before you were conceived I wanted you
Before you were born I loved you
Before you were here an hour I would give my life for you.
This is the miracle of life.
Maureen Hawkins

Morgan, You are one of the most amazing people I know. I am so very proud of the young woman you are blossoming into. Your sense of caring and justice is admirable in someone so young. I am the luckiest mom on the planet. Happy Birthday sweetheart.

(No, that is not a typo. I meant Hoppy. Morgan loves frogs. I love her, so... it is Hoppy Birthday.)

Friday, December 19, 2008

Here's what I have been up to for the last few...

Can you tell I have Christmas vacation fever.
I can't wanna work right now.

Bah Humbug & Crappy Cheese Pics

I don't feel like I have gotten much done for Christmas this year. I still haven't sent out Christmas cards, there is a box of ornaments sitting under the tree, I have completely forgotten to get the package together for Kathy in IL, I dropped the ball for gifts for people in the office. I did manage to throw together some cheesy little gifts for the girls' friends and teachers. Here is a crappy picture of these cheesy little gifts. I took it LATE last night with my phone in a dark family room. I don't have a flash on my phone camera, so it looks really bad. I think it is that evil Christmas Tree vortex that Rosemary warned me about.

You really can't tell, but they are little baggies filled with either m&m's or hard candies. I cut 3x3 squares of scrap paper and folded them in half and stapled them onto the baggies. Then to "decorate", I printed out return address labels:

Merry Christmas
From: girls' name here

There is a clip are ornament next to the wording on each label. Then slapped those tacky little suckers on each bag. The little green tube looking things are lip glosses that I wrapped up for Melissa's BFF's. Megan gave her BFF's some bath gel, lipbalm, candy, a crazy straw and a bookmark. Morgan gave hers some nail polish, lip gloss, candy, a crazy straw and a bookmark. The straws you see here didn't quite make it to Melissa's BFF's. Oops. (I will take them with us to my parents.)

Yup. I went low class this year. Teachers and friends alike received these little eye sores.

I didn't do much better for my co-workers. Forgot about getting something together for them until, oh, uh, THIS MORNING. So I quickly dug out some CandyCane Cocoa and threw together some cute little labels. If I had more fore-thought I probably would have made them a little cuter. But, here they are. Well, here is one. I gave them out when I got in this morning. It's Friday in a government office. You can't expect people will be here all day now, can you!?!?!?!
I myself will be leaving at my regularly scheduled time. I have to go home, feed my family, pack for the week, wrap presents, clean out the fridge, review my Christmas album scrap supply stash that I am taking with me, finish making a gift for my sister. I would tell you what it is, but she reads this so, sorry Renee, you are going to have to wait. But only until Sunday. It is a Christmas gift that pertains to Christmas, so you will get it when we get there so you can put it up now. But it is turning out really cute. We plan on hitting the road early in the am. I will take my daughters laptop. Hopefully to surf a bit while we are out there. And to manage photos. Oops. I have said too much again. (Now you are really curious aren't you Renee???)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


My baby is 14 today. HOW DID THIS HAPPEN!

I can't believe that time has flown by so quickly. She was just a little girl.

I am so proud of the young lady she has become. She is smart, she is a very loyal friend, she is helpful around the house, she LIKES spending time with me, she is my first born and will always be my introduction to motherhood.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Didn't get tagged, but I'm going to play anyway.

I recently saw on someone's blog where they were tagged to show the fourth photo in their fourth file. Well, I wasn't tagged, but curiousity got the better of me. What is the fourth photo in my fourth file? So, I took a look and was reminded of how really blessed I am.

This is Morgan the day she was born. 16 weeks early. Yes, that is one of those handheld thermometers. (about the size of a paperback book)

I won't go into the story right now. I don't have the time. But, suffice it to say she is a fighter. God gave me this little miracle and I intend to continue to take the best care of her I can. Including staying home with her today. She has a fever and sore throat and her head is stuffy and she is hungry but can't eat and she is bored and she wants to watch a movie and she wants me to make her some tea and she wants me to get her more tissues and she just plain WANTS ME. I can do that. I am here for her every whim today. After all, she is my little miracle. And I am here to take care of her.

It's part of the promise I made to GOD the day she was born.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Christmas Daily Album

I have seen numerous Albums created/being created for December. With a page for each days activities/events. I really LOVE Christmas and initially thought I would make one of these little albums. But I am having a hard time with making a page for everyday. My life, like most of yours, is pretty routine Monday thru Friday. But what is a girl to do. I have already made the album. What will I do with an album that has christmas pages numbered 1 - 25????

I decided (mere minutes ago) that my album will be a listing of 25 Christmas Essentials. I can't see having one of the daily albums every year. I'll post pics when I get some of the pages done.
I hope to start tonight.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Have you ever...

1. Started your own blog - well yeah!
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to DisneyWorld
8. Held a praying mantis

9.Climbed a mountain
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you're not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelos David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone's life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Read an entire book in one day

Lisa has this list on her blog, and I thought it would be interesting to see how many things I have done. Oddly enough, I haven't done 44 of these items. (remember I just turned 44 - freaky isn't it?????) Some of the ones I haven't done I will pursue. Some I won't. I don't have a desire to be stung by a bee or get involved in a law suit and I certainly will NOT jump out of a plane or off of a cliff tied to a rubber band. But, I would like to see more of the USA. And I really want to go on a photo safari in Africa. Let me know how your list turns out.

“Have a good day sweetheart, and don’t hit anyone.”

This is the send off we used EVERY DAY for about two years with Melissa (when she was 3-4).
I am pretty sure I don’t need to explain further.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Tie One On with Me

I am challenging anyone who reads this to participate with me, and a bunch of others, in National Tie One on Day.

Your participation in National Tie One On Day™ is simple - on the day before Thanksgiving, pause in the preparation of your own bounty, wrap a loaf of bread or other baked good in an apron, tuck a prayer or note of encouragement in the pocket, and tie one on... an apron, of course! and deliver the wrapped bundle to someone in need of spiritual or physical sustenance.

There is will be a drawing on The Apronista's website.

Let me know if you are participating. We all know someone who could use a little boost.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Mr Happy Twins

It's official. I married a goof. And so did Carolyn.

Danny and Brannon (BIL) were both wearing the same shirt for my Birthday celebration. Neither one knew the other even owned it. Only one is really the Happy guy. The other is aka Grumpy. You decide.
How goofy they really are. Love you guys.

Family Reading, Messes, Bento Box Source

Tonight was one of those moments that you have to look around and sigh a HUGH sigh of contentment. All of us finished dinner and went into our family room and READ books. We read for about a hour and a half. 90 minutes. Everyone engrossed in their own fantasy. I was deep in the middle of the earth with fairies, trolls, goblins and a couple of MUD MEN (we know them as humans). Artemis Fowl is indeed a foul little boy. (Morgan turned me onto this series - duh.) Melissa was under trash in a dump with the Littles. Morgan was deep into INKDEATH and Megan is in her drama series. (I just can't "get" those.) Danny was infiltrating a gun running organization.
We are quite a diverse family.
The only reason it came to an end was bed time for the girls. I was so thrilled that we were all reading. It made my little heart swell with hope for the perfect family. Hey, stop laughing. It could happen. Maybe. In a book. Somewhere.
Anyway, all the girls are tucked in. The TV is on and I am blogging. SIGH.
Here are a couple tidbits for you:
This is the mess I made while making my Beautiful little album pictured here. This was one of the most enjoyable times I have had scrapping alone. You can see the paints, watercolor crayons, raw chipboard shapes, shapes in progress. All sorts of fun things. I loved it.

I have been asked where I got my Bento boxes. Go here. If you scroll down there are different categories listed on the left hand side. This is the least expensive site I have found. They also have a large collection from which to choose your toys. There are stores on ebay, but the bento stuff costs more. And who doesn't like to save a few pennies.

If you are interested in checking out a couple of sites that talk about or exhibit their "art" work in bento boxes, go here OR here for many tips on packing bentos, OR here if you want to look at bentos and cupcakes. There are thousands of blogs and flikr groups. Have fun.

Let me know if you find someplace interesting. I would love to see it too.

Also let me know if you get into this weird obsession.
Weirdness likes company too.

P.S. Rosemary - check your mail box.

Sunday, November 9, 2008


Just a couple of Bentos I made in the last couple of days.

I am really enjoying making these for my girls, and they are enjoying eating them. Lucky us.
A reminder. My photography sucks. These look way better in person.

December Album ready

The gauntlet was thrown at me. Okay, okay, it was thrown down. Rosemary threw down the scrap gauntlet Saturday morning. Here are the results of my weekend. I won't add any embellishments or stamp anything until I start putting the pages together. I think the album looks a bit awkward with the bigger rings, but I anticipate needing them bigger.

Okay now Rosemary, show me yours...

Friday, November 7, 2008

Dinner and a show...

We ended up going to OTANI for dinner. A local Japanese Steakhouse. It was very, very YUMMY. We were sat at a table with another family. One of the girls was celebrating her B-Day too. Morgan noticed that we also have the same cell phone. And the girls mother noticed that we ordered the exact same thing. Birds of a feather...

After dinner, we came home and watched the recorded SURVIVOR from last night. Friday nights are usually pizza and Survivor. It really was what I wanted to do. I had one of the best days today.

Now I am off to play for a little bit before I go to bed.

B-Day Lunch

My co-workers took me out for lunch today. We went to a local restaurant that has specials. Today's was Fish and Chips. Really good. I also got these beautiful flowers.

I really am playing up my special day, aren't I?!?!?!?!?!

Donna, Megan and Me

Because I won't post them, go here.

Plans for MY DAY

I am working today. I like the people I work with and don't mind working today.
As a matter of fact, some of them are taking me to lunch today. Yeah me.

I will be celebrating tonight with my family. We are going to dinner somewhere. I still have to decide. What I want to do is have a light meal somewhere and then head over to THE MELTING POT for dessert. I haven't decided on the meal part though. I don't want to have the entire meal there. I will let you know what I end up deciding.

My 44th Birthday

It's my 44th birthday today. And to celebrate, I am sharing 44 of my loves. With the exception of the first 5, they are in no particular order. This list is not necessarily my top 44.
But they are the first 44 that came to mind this wonderful morning.
My Husband
My Children
My Mom and Dad
My Sister
My Friends
My Job
Mike and Ike’s
My pillow
My alarm clock
My car
Nail polish
Thick socks
Chocolate covered Pretzels
Bento boxes
Chinese food
Mexican food
Italian food
Beaded lanyards
Green things
Red things
My coffee mugs
My water glass at work
Walking in the forest
Walking on the beach
Diet Soda
Fall Halloween
Valentines Day

I also LOVE that the local radio station is playing Christmas music today.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Bento Crazy

I have recently been re-exposed, via surfing, to Bento boxes.

I have fallen into an obsession with them. Go ahead check out flikr. They are so cool. So after a few days of drooling over them online. I placed a big order from Ichibankan. I am so thrilled with the bentos and bento accessories, that I just placed another order. Yes, I ordered more before the girls even used their new Bento boxes for the first time.

Okay, enough "talk". Here is the eye candy.

This one is Megan's Bento. Most of the contents are self explanatory. The leaf shapes are cut out fruit leather and the white ones are Vermont cheddar cheese. Underneath the ham and scattered throughout are grapes to help keep things in place. She also will take a juice box.

Morgan has pretty much the same, except that she wanted both Vermont cheddar and sharp cheddar and a few Triscuits. Same deal with the grapes for stability.

Melissa's has American cheese, Annie's bunny crackers and salami added.

I would love to show you a picture of all the goodies that we ordered, but my girls tore through the box way too fast. LOL. Maybe I can get a pic of the next order...

Christmas Album Prep

Here is a sneak peek at the Ali-esque Christmas album I am putting together. I have a few weeks, so I am not stressing about it. Yet. I will continue to add things and take things away. It is a 6x6, mostly Making Memories Fa la la line. Stay tuned...