Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Year in Review - picture style

I was going to limit this year to a "top 10" in pics...yeah right. Thousands of images on my computer. No way. But here are some favorites to tell the story.

I now have a 10 year old in the house. Smart, sassy and growing up constantly. He left home for real for the first time, to Vegas with his grandparents.

My baby is 3. Going on 9. Yeah, she is amazing to me and I feel so connected to her.

We tore down a half wall to make room for railings and get a tile floor

I learned how to make hair clips

My baby had surgery for a hernia

My best job continues to be "MOM". Mothers Day is one of my favorite days of the year.

My little boy turned 6 and is a soccer star

We recieved the wonderful blessing of finding out we were pregnant over the summer

The kids are learning and acheiving

12 years - WOW. And I've loved every one of them

I did some canning, which was so satisfying!

I've continued to grow closer and closer to my best friends; my sisters

My second son is 9 years old. I can hardly believe it.

And literally amost everything in the house broke, most of it in the last month of the year. A partial list: the water heater, the microwave, 2 dvd players, both cars, the oven heating element, the main smoke detector, the thermostat and more.

And as a family we find joy in the everyday. And once in a while everyone gets along, and there is bliss.

Happy New Year everybody! I hope 2009 is even better and more memorable.

Bye 2008

What a year. So many ups and downs. I always get sentimental on the last day of the year. Am I better than I was 12 months ago? Where have I slipped? Have I learned anything?

If nothing else, we are ending the year on a productive note! Having Strider home for two weeks has been amazing. He has been Mr. Project.

I am not bad at day-to-day keeping things rolling and routines, etc. But he is a master at tackling big things. In the past week he has mudded and painted two colors in the family room, reorganized and switched all the family room furniture (putting the entertainment center on the other side of the room and moving all the connections and cords), shoveled the driveway about 10 times, put away mountains of Christmas stuff, helped organize game and toy closet, and every other bizarre job and request I have thrown his way. I'm a slow mover these days, and he has willingly picked up all the slack and more.

I have enjoyed redecorating a bit, making the new family room couch fit in by putting up new curtains and pillows:

I got the fabric at Ikea, and it's just funky enough to be fun but not over the top. I don't sew, so the bottom is finished with iron-on hem tape and the top is just folded over and hung with curtain clips. Easy-peasy.

I also took the chance to spruce up the living room with the Christmas stuff now out of the way. I bought this wine box at a thrift store for $1 and loved it, but knew I wanted to change the label... Hello Mod Podge and scrapbook paper.

And yes, I know the candlesticks don't match. But I love them. And when you're picking up almost every item for $1 it's just fine to live with a little mismatch.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas giving in review

Coolest toy my kids got (in my opinion): Batmobile with Batpod

Most meaningful gift: Hubby fixing the rocking chair that has been broken for years, so now I will have a chair to rock the baby

Biggest loser: the insane twisties and wire holding every toy in every package. Why oh why do they do that?

Most hours used so far: Lego Batman for PS2

Best deals for gifts:

Most watched movie so far: Kung Fu Panda

My favorite little thing: Doing neighbor gifts - I love love love doing them. I like getting them ready, wrapping, delivering. Love them.

Biggest headache: the Nerf Darts lost in every nook and cranny of the house

Best tree ever this year! We have loved it! $25 at the new lot they had just up the street. Fresh, green, and kept its needles.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Hope you all had a blessed holiday. I know we did!

Friday, December 19, 2008


I received more help from more people yesterday than I think I ever have in one day.

When my van broke down and I was stranded, I got out my church directory I keep in the car and I realized that I was holding the names of so many people who would be willing to help. It didn't make it "easy" for me to ask, because I'm just prideful that way. But it was truly a day of humility for me and my family.

Our good friends, or better known as our Christmas Angels, even diagnosed the problem, fixed it for us, and brought it home last night (and all I thought they were doing is towing it for us). My tears are flowing freely. How do express gratitude for service of that kind?

I only hope we can "pay it forward" when the opportunity comes our way. Blessings rain down from heaven when charity and broken hearts abound.

And speaking of raining...when it rains it pours, right?

Hubby's car broke this morning on the way to work. I know. I couldn't make this stuff up.

Well, he has a soft-top 4WD and the top broke, flipping wide open on the freeway and he and my oldest son got to drive 20 miles to school in 20 degree weather in a convertible. And even more fun; we are expecting several inches of snow before they get home! Oh, the joys. Could be worse, I suppose. This is the last school day before Christmas, so after a tough trip home, he will be home for quite a while with plenty of time to fix things.

Not given more than we can handle, right? I hope that time is soon.

Music downloads

Free music for the next 24 hours or so.

Oprah's Favorite Things

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas baking

Making my kitchen smell yummy this week:

One word only

Here is the rule: you have to answer all of these with one word (except on the list 4 things).

1. Where is your cell phone? kitchen
2. Your significant other? Strider
3. Your hair? blah
4. Your mother? working
5. Your father? busy
6. Your favorite thing? babies
7. Your dream last night? baby boy
8. Your favorite drink? Dew
9. Your dream/goal? organization
10. The room you're in? family
11. Your fear? failing
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? happy
13. Where were you last night? caroling
14. What you're not? rich
15. Muffins? blueberry
16. One of your wish list items? rug
17. Where you grew up? PA/UT
18. The last thing you did? bake
19. What are you wearing? hoodie
20. Your TV? on
21. Your pet? gone
22. Your computer? new-ish
23. Your Life? blessed
24. Your mood? relaxed
25. Missing someone? Strider
26. Your car? ancient
27. Something you're not wearing? earrings
28. Your favorite store? Roberts
29. Your summer? over
30. Your favorite color? BLUE
31. When is the last time you laughed? this afternoon
32. Last time you cried? this afternoon
33. Four places you go often? school, Smith's, church, Mom's
34. Four of your favorite foods? chicken, pasta, chocolate, peanut butter
35. Four Places you would rather be right now? bed, shopping, Disneyland, Jamaica
36. Four people you tag? Sonja, Danika, Rachael, Kodelle

Holiday Etiquette

Have you ever had any questions about tipping or gift buying at Christmas? My sister is a really wonderful resource for this type of thing. I can always ask her about what is appropriate in certain situations, etc.

Well, she has a great post on her blog.

Check out "Ashley Adventures" on my sidebar under "Family and Friends". She has a link to etiquette guru Emily Post and your questions just may be solved.

I'm glad a took a few minutes to read it!