Monday, December 31, 2007

13 years

13 years ago it happened. We got married. Yes, on New Years Eve. Crazy. Looking back that wasn't so smart (New Years Eve is a terrible day to get married). But here we are 13 years into our marrage and still together. We've had our ups and we've had a major lows and we've stuck through it, and i'm glad we did. You're my best friend. I honestly can not see myself with anyone else. We've been through so much together. So much that i almost can't remember a time when you weren't there.
...and to keep myself from sounding so completely sappy, i'll stop here.
You know what we've been through and heaven only knows what we'll go through in the future, but always know this:
I Love You
I always have... I always will.

So, here's to 13 years... and so many more to come.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Inspire Me

Thursday, December 27, 2007


It was a Christmas to remember for us all. Huge milestones for most of us.

This is the first year we've had to deal with the "is Santa for real" issue. I find it almost annoying that it's already upon us. I like to blame DarRell for it though. I was wrapping presents with Daylon when he told me his dad told him that Santa wasn't real. Trying not to show that i was super annoyed by the fact that DarRell told him that, i asked him what his dad had said and then set out to do some major damage control. I spent the better of an hour talking to him, explaining that Christmas is about giving. That we need to remember "The Reason for the Season". Explaining that Santa was a real person and that that we are carrying on his tradition, and to PLEASE not ruin it for the two younger kids. When i finally confronted DarRell, he said that Daylon was starting to ask questions and that he was worried he was going to get teased in school for believing. My first thought... EVERY child has questions, that doesn't mean that you need to crush their belief in Santa. There are so many ways to get around the topic tactfully then to come right out and say that there isn't a Santa at all. With all the damage already done, and with me trying to put the pieces back together again, i guess i can say that I'm glad that it was Daylon. I think he got what i was trying to get across. I think he gets it more than a lot of adults.

I loved Christmas with Sam this year. He had a blast and I'm really loving Christmas at 19 months. It makes me sad that we'll never be able to do it like this again. Everything was "OOOHHH" or "WOW!" with him... LOVED IT! Nothing is more magical than Christmas through a child's eyes. I've tried to etch in my brain how special these times are but already things are starting to fade.

Another milestone... the addition of another Christmas tradition. Christmas Eve dinner went over very well. Instead of crown roast of lamb we had a lamb loin roast (just cause the butcher said the meat sent to them doesn't include a good crown roast). We ate in candle light and the kids thoroughly enjoyed it. I think every year we will try something new to eat though. I'm thinking of making a album that consists of a Christmas cookbook of true and tried recipes. It'll be a ongoing thing but i got a few good recipes to start with.

All in all it was a good Christmas. I got DarRell a REALLY good back massager along with some camping goodies. The two older kids got heelies. Rianne got a portable CD player. Daylon got a PS3 video game with a paddle. Sam got some really cute toys. DarRell and I pitched in together and got the family a new PS3. We had considered a Wii but we had all these PS games and our old system when out of commision a few months ago, so that helped in the decision. DarRell got me some good pots for my new pot rack. We all got a few other small odds and ends (although I got NOTHING scrappy, *SIGH* can you beleive it?)

So, from our family to yours... i hope you all had a wonderful holiday season.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Breakfast is served...

a bit more progress done than the other day. Whatever doesn't get done today is just going to have to wait though.

DONE - but will do another batch today maybe*finish up pretzels
DONE, expect for DarRell's which I'll do when i get off of here*wrap presents
DONE!*fold laundry and put it away (the kids are home to help me out this time)
Nope - they'll have to wait for some other day*work on that scrapbook page
KINDA, i didn't get the downstairs done yet*vacuum, especially downstairs
MOST of it!*box up the last of the stuff downstairs so we can get ready for the sheet rockers to come in anytime now... we hope

Today (more like before 5:00pm tonight):

clean up the kitchen from top to bottom
finish up a bit more of laundry
help the kids wrap each other's presents
Cook Cook Cook - tonight is our big Christmas Eve dinner by candle light. We'll see if it's worth doing a big dinner Christmas Eve every year or not after tonight. It just might end up being appetizers or take out from here on out.

This morning the kids woke DarRell and I up saying "breakfast is served". Turned out they made breakfast for us this morning. Granted it was cold cereal and milk, with a side of water... but it was all served in our fancy dishes (well, the fanciest we have). It was nice. What was even nicer was that they took Sam this morning when he woke up so that we could sleep in a bit longer.

Today is a big day for the kids. Not only are we having a big dinner (lamb loin chop roast with the whole fixings) but also the beginnings of a few family traditions. Cookies out for Santa. Opening one present, ALWAYS pajamas. This year we are going to let the kids open the socks full of pressies that my mom always gives them every year. And listening to the police scanner listening for Santa's progress... always a favorite. If we are lucky, the kids will be in bed by 9:00! I hope to get good pictures this year, but no guarantees on the good part.

I know it's all last minute but i think i need to find a good recipe for tomorrow morning... something that the kids will eat too. But something that doesn't take a lot of time to hands on time to cook. I'm thinking of maybe a breakfast casserole. Got lots of goodies waiting to be prepared for tomorrow. It'll be a big appetizer day. Bacon wrapped smokies, artichoke dip, stuffed mushrooms, cream cheese won tons and then tons of store bought appetizers like twice baked potato/skins, jalapeno poppers, moz sticks, chicken fingers. etc.

Just one of the few things i have loved this year. They are BIG glass (really they are plastic) ball ornaments hanging from the chandelier light in our kitchen right over our kitchen table. I absolutely LOVE them! i have some smaller ones hanging over my sink too. I think it's one of Daylon's favorite things too.

Well, signing off till probably Wednesday. I hope everyone has a VERY Merry Christmas. May we all enjoy the holidays and not forget it's meaning.


* going out shopping today. And even though it's so incredibly busy and crowded out there, everyone is so chipper and happy... love that! Made it worth it to go out today and brave the crowds
* Setting up my stereo in the living room and hooking it up to the surround speakers in the walls. LOVE playing Christmas music with music coming out of the walls!
* rearranging our living room... just because. Give me something to do that feels like i actually have something to show for all the time that seems to disappear on me.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

new years resolution??? Not much done in productivity and COOKIES!

My list from yesterday..... didn't get much done from it:
DONE*clean up the disaster area we call the kitchen after baking with the kids last night
FINISHED COOKIES, STILL GOTTA DO PRETZELS*finish up with cookies and pretzels
NOPE - NOT YET*wrap presents
NOT EVEN CLOSE*fold laundry and put it away
I LOOKED AT IT*i really want to finish up a page I've been working on
NOPE*vacuum, especially downstairs
NOPE*box up the last of the stuff downstairs so we can get ready for the sheet rockers to come in anytime now... we hope.
AND I'LL KEEP THE SAME LIST I GUESS* and so much more to do but I'll leave it at that so maybe i won't be so overwhelmed with so much on my list.

But now it'll look like this:
*finish up pretzels
*wrap presents
*fold laundry and put it away (the kids are home to help me out this time)
*work on that scrapbook page
*vacuum, expecially downstairs
*box up the last of the stuff downstairs so we can get ready for the sheet rockers to come in anytime now... we hope
*and again... so much more to do but that is still a full list so i'll keep it at that

Pretty sad that hardly anything was finished from my list. You'd think i just sit around all day long and do nothing. I honestly don't know where the time went yesterday, other than the kids were home from school early yesterday and i spent the day with them.

I've decided on a scrappy new years resolution! I'm so excited to start it!!! I was reading through the Jan/Feb issue of Simple Scrapbooks and ran across a article called 12 months of memories. I am so going to do this for the next year. Although i still have to narrow down which approch i want to go with. The "Hit the Highlights" or the "Take 12 on the 12th". I'm leaning more towards the "Take 12 on the 12th" but changing it to "Pick 12 for 12", just because i don't like the idea of taking a ton of pictures on one day and choosing from those ones. I want to pick from a month worth of pictures to get a better view into our lives. So a change in name was needed. I'm not sure i like the new name though. I guess i have a few weeks to let it simmer in my head and see if i can come up with something more clever. And i'm really likeing the idea of using a different format size. Maybe 8.5 x 11. Or find a cute mini album i have sitting around. OR... maybe finding a 18x12 watercolor pad. The possiblilities are endless! I love it! I figured that if i keep up with this i won't feel so guilty about not scrapping all my pictures throughout the year. I'll have hit the highlights which is more than what i've even done before... although this year will be a close 2nd if i finish up my mini album i did for TSoS.

Oh, and i got a great idea for Valentines too! Can't wait, just gotta get the goodies i need for it. It'll be super easy and super cute!

And as promiced, my super yummy cookies!

I actually got them from the
Becky Higgins Website. They are SO yummy!!!

Here's the recipe straight from her website:


3/4 c. butter
1 1/2 c. brown sugar
2 T. water
2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 1/2 c. flour
1 1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
bag of crumbled peppermint pieces

Melt butter, brown sugar, and water in a saucepan over medium heat until melted and then add the chocolate chips, stirring until completely melted. Cool for 10 minutes. Put this in a mixing bowl and beat in 2 eggs. Add the flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix together and chill for about 45 minutes.

Spoon onto cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. When cookies come out of oven, sprinkle peppermint crumbles on top of the cookie and do not spread. The pieces will get soft at first, but then keep their shape and re-solidify when cool.

*Added comment: No, peppermint crumbles are not the same as crushed peppermint candies or candy canes. The texture is more similar to chocolate chips/crumbles.

Friday, December 21, 2007

bath time!

We finally got the jets to our tub fixed and cleaned out really good. Whose ever idea to have a shower over a jetted tub sure had a stupid idea. Talk about a lot of work for upkeep. Definitely one of the first things we will change (get rid of) when we get a chance to redo our bedroom/bathroom. Hindsight is always humbling. The jets collect a lot of scum and yuckies and are a total pain to clean out. And looking at these pictures, it's VERY apparent it's time to strip out the caulk and caulk again. For some reason, this tub and neither of the other two have this problem. I'm really aggravated by the whole mold thing in our bathroom and funny thing... it's only on the caulk and nowhere else.

Sam absolutely loves the big tub. Throw a bit of shampoo in the tub and throw on the jets and you've got a bubble bath fit for a king. The two boys stayed in the tub for well over a hour just playing with the jets running and the bubbles getting bigger. I feel bad that the kids are growing up so fast that we just can't throw them all in the tub and bathe them all together in the big tub. It was a blast while it lasted though!

I've got lots to do today. Wrapping presents are on the top of my list but i have a feeling Sam isn't going to cooperate with me on that . And the kids get out of school early today. They are out till the new year. If i don't get presents wrapped today, it's going to be hard to steal anytime otherwise to do it. I gotta finish up my cookies too! Yesterdays turned out super good (minus the sugar cookies) and turns out I've got a winner on my hands. DarRell told me that they were keepers. Definitely a HUGE compliment from him considering he doesn't LOVE many that aren't his mom's. Will post pictures when i get a chance!

More to do:
*clean up the disaster area we call the kitchen after baking with the kids last night
*finish up with cookies and pretzels
*wrap presents
*fold laundry and put it away
*i really want to finish up a page I've been working on
*vacuum, especially downstairs
*box up the last of the stuff downstairs so we can get ready for the sheet rockers to come in anytime now... we hope.
* and so much more to do but I'll leave it at that so maybe i won't be so overwhelmed with so much on my list.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

i am... and Santa!

I believe i did this a LONG time ago... maybe perhaps when i first started this blog... not sure. I just know I've done it before. I might have to go look back and see. I'm really curious to see how my answers have changed.

i am: only a mother. Not necessarily bad though
i want: to be more productive
i have: way too much family around... although still not necessarily a bad thing
i wish: i had more motivation
i hate: self-righteous people
i miss: friends i can just hang out with
i hear: rock Christmas music playing
i wonder: if I'll ever get to a weight I'm comfortable with
i regret: my credit card bills
i am not: content with things as they are right now
i dance: with like a white boy
i sing: very loudly to anything i know the words to
i cry: when i get mad
i am not always: patient with my children
i make with my hands: memories put on paper
i journal: never unless you call this a journal?
i confuse: huh? not sure what i confuse....
i need: to wash and fold laundry... REALLY bad
i should: enjoy what i have
i start: the day with a list of what i want to do
i finish: the day ready to go finally

We visited Santa yesterday. Sam was much better with him than any of the other kids were with him at this age. LOVED it! I wished i got better pictures though. This camera of mine is just so confusing. I just don't understand it. For the life of me i can't get a decent picture out of it when everything isn't just perfect to start with. I REALLY want to get my old camera back from my SIL. At least that one i understood so much better. But, every time i mention getting it back, she blows me off. It's getting VERY aggravating! *And it's all such a long story.

Anyways, Santa was fun. He wasn't the best Santa but he's the best one they've had for quite some time. I love that he included some of the adults. He pulled me right up on his lap and asked me what i wanted for Christmas. I had Sam on my lap and it worked out great cause Sam ended up loving Santa, especially since I was OK with him.

We are getting ready for the big day coming up. I'm picking up the last of stocking stuffers. I've got to find some time when the kids (and possibly DarRell... but that isn't so serious) aren't around so i can spread out and wrap presents. I figured i could do them at night when the kids are asleep but most nights we are shooing them downstairs after the seven millionth time up them coming upstairs because "they just can't sleep" or some other life altering thing they forgot to tell us when they didn't have to go to bed. By 10:00 we've finally given up and go to bed ourselves. DarRell ordered us a crown of lamb rib roast today for our big Christmas Eve dinner (this will be a first for me cooking something like this). This weekend will be spent cleaning up the kitchen from top to bottom for our special Christmas Eve dinner. The kids are excited, DarRell is excited (maybe it's just because of the lamb roast???), and I'm super excited to start something new that isn't what his family has done for forever. I think it's time for us to have our own special family traditions and this is the year to begin!

. . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . .

*Really wanna know the long story? I wasn't going to bring it up, but maybe this way, I'll relieve a bit of frustration. So, OK... here it goes. We lent it to them nearly 3 years ago so that they could take some pictures of whatever until they found their old one. I sent the wires and the instruction booklet with it so that they could figure it out and whatever, and what do you know? We NEVER got it back. Last year i told her we needed it back... and she almost seemed offended that i actually was asking for it back! You'd figure that they'd either find their old one or they'd buy a new one, but apparently not! You know, there was a time that we had actually considered giving it to them if they would have come to us, but that never happened. And now, now... now I'm just so over it. I'm about at the point of not even worrying about being tactful at it anymore. I told DarRell that he'd better talk to them cause next time i wouldn't be so nice. *sigh* Do i feel better now? ya, maybe just a little bit.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Christmas pretzels

I'm finally getting into the Christmas season. Now that Rianne's birthday party is finally over with and most of the other big celebrations are behind us, i feel like i can finally relax a bit and enjoy it all.

I did a bit of "baking" this morning. It wasn't baking exactly but i did use the oven to melt the chocolate. This is the first year I've really done anything like this for Christmas. It was fun. I think I'll do it again next year. Daylon and Rianne both loved them. DarRell thought they were just OK. I guess I can't out do my mother's pretzels, at least not according to DarRell. Me... i loved them. Even more than my mom's.

My intention was to give them to people at work for Christmas but now I'm not so sure. I think I'll keep them and give them to family for Christmas instead... if they don't all get eaten first. I'll still give out chocolate covered pretzels for Christmas at work, but they'll be the ones i bought that are individually wrapped. That will be a first for me also. I always feel so guilty for not getting anyone at work anything for Christmas. It won't be much, but this year, it'll be something. It's just so hard to buy something for a bunch of men... grubby ol' cowboys at that. Although, the office ladies will like it, and i guess that is who i should be most concerned about.

UGHHH...... does this sound so bad or what? Feeling like i have to do something? It's not that really. I just feel like that since I'm able to, why not. It doesn't need to be something spectacular... just something to say Merry Christmas. I am going to enjoy it this year.

And next year, i'm going to be even more prepared.

~Christmas music constantly playing on my computer
~watching Christmas movies every night with the kids. I LOVE doing this! We've been through all three of the Santa Clause movies, Elf, It's a Beautiful Life was on the other night, The Grinch, and a few of the classic cartoons that they've been playing on tv. And then some not so Christmas movies: High School Musical 2, Pirates of the Carribean At Worlds End, and Harry Potter and the Order of the Pheniox. Up next? A Christmas Story. And i'm on the lookout for more to watch... any suggestions?
~knowing all my Christmas shopping is done. Now my favorite part: the wrapping!!!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Exhausting, THE tree, and snow...

The Christmas holidays are so exhausting!
I LOVE this picture. It's not often i get pictures like this... definately one to cherish.

A few tree pictures that i should probably update again cause now we have popcorn and cranberry garlands all over the tree

and our first snow storm... which was actually before Ali moved. The snow was all gone by the end of the weekend.
This is Sam's first snow that he can remember...... he LOVED it, cold and all!
Even with a big truck to push around.
~A Christmas card from a VERY dear friend. It's GREAT knowing that i am still in his thoughts. I really need more friends like him around.
~Christmas lights on in the house at all times. Nothing gives you the cozy feeling more than a house lit with Christmas lights.
~Our great neighbors, The Ericksons. I hope that we keep in touch. We coldn't have asked for better neighbors and we are crushed to have them gone.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

i'm lost... what day is it again?

My life has been a crazy mess lately. I have no idea where the time has gone. And SO much has happened in the last few weeks. Daylon's and Rianne's best friend (and the best neighbors anyone could have) moved away to Montana. Needless to say, that alone has made our life turn upside down. I think Rianne will pull through it ok. She has a ton of other little friends around to make the time away from Ali not so hard. We've kept her very busy on playdates and whatnots to pass the time away. And it has worked so far. It's Daylon that i'm most worried about. Not only was he best friends with Ali, he was best friends with Annie. Annie absolutely LOVED Daylon. She wouldn't go to many people, but Daylon was one of the few that she would go to. And Frank and Mary were his buddies. He would just go hang out with them when Ali just didn't want to play with Daylon. He's having such a rough time with them being gone. He told me the other day that he doesn't understand why he's so sad. He mopes around the house and is just plain sad. It's been hard saying goodbye to them and we have such a hole in our lives and now a empty house across the street (Lori, Kim... there is a emtpy house across the street... Hint Hint LOL).

In other news, the little princess turned 6 Tuesday. It was a great turnout and being so close to Christmas, she still made out like a bandit! I think her highlight of the night was being able to change earrings. I told her that on her birthday, she would be able to start wearing different kinds of earrings. All i heard all day long is if she could change them yet... drove me crazy! My parents came down to celebrate with her, and it was GREAT to have them down. We kept her party little or as little as we can with only family. It filled up the house but then again... we don't have the hugest house either. Maria and Justin called to wish her a happy birthday and so did Mike. He announced that Brayden will be a big brother come August! We are super excited for them!!! Sounds like 2008 will be the year of travels and i can't wait!!!!

Monday, December 3, 2007

The tree is up!!!

We've finially got the tree decorated. Actually we've had it decorated for over a week now. But now i've got all the christmas stuff up and most the boxes put away again. I do want to find a few more Christmas things to put up but otherwise we are done decorating (unless you count the outdoor lights. It got too windy, rainy, and snowy before we could hang them up). I can honestly say that i love this tree even more now. It's such a beautiful tree!

Sam even got into the spirit of decorting the tree. He was so careful. He's so into the lights and the pretty decorations on the tree. This is going to be such a magical year with him!

It has been a good month for scrapbooking. I got a ton done. Granted most of it was cards but, very productive never the less. A total of 34 cards and 11 layouts. WOW! I think that may be a new record! And i'm off to a great start this month. I've already finished 3, with a fourth almost done! I'm using a bunch of DT goodies left over while waiting for my new shipment to come. I'm hoping our new basement set-up will give me more time to work now that i've got a place for the kids to play nearby. We set up the tv so that they can watch movies if they want to. I'm REALLY hoping that comes to a end soon though. Hopefully the sheetrockers will be here soon to finish up our basement. I'd give up my scrapping space in a heartbeat if we could get this basement finished.

~Daylon, who turns on every christmas light we have when he first gets up in the morning. It's such a beautiful sight to get out of bed and be welcomed with the glow of little colored lights.
~the best neighbors a person could ever wish for. They are moving away to Montana this week and we will all miss them so very much.
~finially a normal morning after over a week of our world turned upside down due to lingering ickies. Makes you truely appreciate the well times.