Sunday, November 30, 2008

Christmas tree hunting

It seems as though our weekends are filling up and the sooner we found our tree the better. And even though work is hard to find lately, it seems as though DarRell is so incredibly busy and is having a hard time keeping up. So him working as much as he possibly really cuts down on time we have to go out and do things as a family, especially during daylight hours. So we took advantage of the Thanksgiving holiday and spending time with his family to go out and find a tree.

We took off early Saturday morning and headed up to the old deer camp territory. This year, after last years success, we opted for a balsam tree rather than the reliable old pinion pine (gahhh... i think! All these tree names are confusing my poor tired turkey and stuffing bloated head). Anyways... we headed up flat canyon where we knew there were a bunch of little ones to choose from. It didn't take long to find the one we wanted. The pickings started looking better and better after the weather started getting colder and the storm started moving in. Fortunately we found the PERFECT tree before resorting to something just OK.

It didn't take us long to hurry and cut the thing down and get out of there. Good thing we got out when the getting was good because the storm started moving in along with lots of people coming up with the same ideas in mind. As we went down the mountain, we passed at least a half dozen, if not more, vehicles coming up. The ground had started defrosting and getting muddy and people were sliding and tearing up the roads to get up high. We were fortunate enough not to have to deal with the crazies up there. We pretty much kept ahead of the storm as it moved in and got home just after noon.

DarRell has got the tree set up in the tree stand now. Although it's still sitting out on the front porch. I think I'll spend the day today making a place in the living room for it so that we can bring it in tonight when he gets home from work, and then start decorating it tomorrow night as a family.

Tomorrow is the first day of December which means i get to start on THIS! I'm super excited to start filling mine up! I'm hoping to update every day here if i can. Look for it.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thanksgiving... we are blessed

Thanksgiving was a small affair this year. We hoped to keep it a little bit more low key this year than in the past. And low key was certainly what it ended up being.
We didn't necessarily expect to have Thanksgiving by ourselves but it ended up quite nice.

I was quite proud of myself. I make the whole meal by my lonesome... all from scratch and with mostly new recipes. I cooked the turkey (the whole 16lb turkey... what was i thinking when i picked that monster up???!), it didn't look the best but, WOW!, did it taste good. No mashed potatoes but i did compromise and i made some hot crash potatoes. Corn, asparagus, glazed carrots. Homemade stuffing/dressing. I had meant to make some rolls but forgot to defrost them (yes... they were store bought. I'm not brave enough to make them myself yet) so almost ended up forfeiting on the rolls until Dick saved us and came to the rescue with dinner rolls in hand.

We were lucky enough to have him share Thanksgiving dinner with us. It was a nice small intimate dinner with the 6 of us. As it turned out, there ended up being quite a bit of family down. We ended up donating a extra turkey to the other house and they spent their nice little Thanksgiving over at the inlaws. It was all quite a confused little mess but thankfully (i hope) no feelings were hurt.

However, our little Thanksgiving made me think of all those little things I'm so very thankful for.

*I'm super thankful for our health. There have been many years past when we were sick enough that i didn't even want to do anything, and the addition of company/family made it almost unbearable. This year it was the opposite.

*I'm thankful for family. This year it was REALLY nice to have so much family around. I regret that we have to pick and choose between my family and DarRell's family for holidays. It would be nicer if we could be more centralized to where we could visit more often then we do.

* I feel lucky knowing that my children are adored (or maybe just tolerated at times?). The kids talk endlessly about how much they loved hanging out with them.

*It's great peace of mind knowing how lucky we are to having so much family. That we still have that time with our loved ones.

*I'm SO glad that my father-in-law is doing much better. I absolutely adore the man and seeing him come back to his healthy self is great peace of mind. Seeing my mother-in-law healthy again is another great blessing. Another holiday gathering with them both is a blessing we know we can't take advantage of.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Practical tips for Productive living

I'm not even sure where i come across this place. Or even when. All i know, is that i sit and wait for the next post from them. Sometimes i wait so long that I almost give up hope and there they are there, posting the next pick-me-upper to pull me out of it again.

I don't know what it is about this place, it just speaks to me. Almost like they are sitting there giving me my own personal advice that i need so badly at times. After reading their last post, i decided i just can't sit and keep this goodness from myself. I've got to share it. In some instances, i'd love to literally make some people sit down and read it word for word, over and over again until they get it. But knowing that won't go over well at all, i'll share it here (and then maybe print some out ;-).

For your reading enjoyment and thoughful pick-me-ups... go HERE.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Fires on the homefront

It's not what you think... really.

It's a actual fire right across the street from us in the middle of the night.

It's a pretty scary thing when your husband gets called out in the middle of the night for a house fire.

Even scarier when the address they are called to, at first thought, is your address.

A bit more relieving when you find out its the house across the street and not your own.

Turns out all is OK.

Nobody is hurt.

A bit of house damage but i don't think a complete loss.

But scary nonetheless.

We are all exhausted with only a few hours of sleep last night. I can see it's going to be a lazy day for us all. Fortunately the two who really needed the sleep (Daylon and Rianne) slept through it all.

...and sorry about the pictures. It was 12:30-2:00am in the morning, pitch dark except for the police, ambulance and 3 firetruck lights. My camera isn't the best and i had a super hyper 2 year old wanting to be held. These are the best of maybe a dozen pictures i took and even these suck and are blurry.

It's kinda disappointing there wasn't more excitement but so glad that all is OK.


For someone who refuses to sleep at night, this is what i put up with today. I don't know what it is about not sleeping at night.

On the other hand, sleeping through the day is just as odd.

Which makes me think that maybe he might be coming down with something.

So far so good, knock on wood. He is sporting a bit of a runny nose but definately something i can handle.

I'm trying to brace myself for the flood of sickies coming this season. I'm sure it's just around the corner.

Monday, November 10, 2008

This little man...

slept through the night last night.
First time ever not waking up at some horrific hour of the night.
First time ever not crying out for a sippy of milk.
First time ever to have a peaceful night.

Our first good night of sleep in 2 1/2 years.
It was too good to be true.
Knock on wood.

Stories In Hand

The Stories In Hand class starts today. I'm super excited to get going on it. For those who still wanted to sign up, she's re-opened registration until midnight tonight, so you'd better hurry! Go here to register and sign up.

You don't have to be a scrapbooker to do this!

This is about learning how to documenting your life, how to document the stories and memories of others lives. I'm doing this for me. For my children. For my children's children. There are just so many things they should know that they may never know if it's not written down. If someone is there to teach me how to capture those memories, I'm up for the challenge. I know i won't regret it.

Feel free to jump in and join me.
Let me know if you are going to do it so that we can cheer each other on!
Heaven knows i need all encouragement and motivation i can get.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

a years difference

I was talking with one of my online buddies today about how i could almost see my kids growing up right in the pictures themselves. I'm amazed at how much a years difference makes. It's so much more painfully obvious with Daylon.

Take a look at the following picture side by sides. The first picture is of this year. The pictures next to them are from last year at this time.

Daylon. Double digits now at 10 years old.
It's only been a year, but look at him. In that year he's grown SO much. Not that he was ever anything but skinny but he's thinning out even more.... expecially in his face. He's lost all that baby-ness (can i call it that? It doesn't seem like the right word, expecially for him) he had last year. It's almost looking at a older brother or something. Only problem is that he doesn't have a older brother. I'm missing that little boy from last year.

Rianne. Almost 7!
It's crazy! Look at her! I'm sure the dramatic hair cut we had at the end of the school year last year contributes to her looking so much more grown up. But she's got that more mature look to her now. She's got so much more confidence in herself and it shows so much more now than it did last year. It looks like she's eating so much better now too... can you see it? My food bill shows it!

Sam. 2 1/2 years old.
Yup, i see it. It's amazing to look at the pictures side by side and see the change. Of course, i would expect a huge change with him being a baby. I notice the small things with him. His hair is getting a bit darker. His teeth are coming in more. I love his ears... they stayed the same! He's taking on more of the appearance of his dad now, mostly in the eyes. I'm just not sure i'm ready for my baby to grow up.

School Days

The kids brought home their school pictures the other day.
I thought they turned out pretty good considering that they are school pictures

Just a few thoughts as i was looking at them though.
*It must have been a rough week for all three kids. They all have some type of scratch (Sam), puncture wound (Daylon) or scab (Rianne) on their face.
*It's amazing how much these three look so much alike, but then look completely different.
*I'm in complete awe about their eyes. Always their eyes.
-Daylon has amazing green eyes (too bad his glasses take away from them). My heart melts for green eyes. I first fell in love with DarRell because of his green eyes. Daylon has those eyes. Nuff said!
-Rianne has the most beautiful blue eyes. Sparkly and ice blue. Thanks to my mom for that great contribution cause i'm not even close to having that trait.
-And Sam, just look at him. His eyes scream happy. And although he's got my yucky color of hazel, it's hard to see them through those happy squinty eyes... I love it.

This picture of Daylon cracks me up. Obviously he's in that awkward stage in life. The one that everyone has to go through, the one I've kinda been anxious to get through quickly. The stage where you have big front bugs bunny teeth. *sigh* it looks like he's hit it. The poor kid has had growth spurts every couple of months so he's either in clothes too big or clothes too small. This day it appears that it was clothes to big. I guess the glasses were a problem this time around (when aren't they though) and he ended up just having them smashed to his face. I'm so glad that news ones are waiting for us to go pick them up.

We spent 30 minutes working on Rianne's hair that morning. We finally compromised enough to both be happy enough with her hair to let her go to school. I was tickled pink to see that she had made it through pictures with her hair almost completely in tact! She was mad that i didn't let her change her earrings, thankfully she forgot about that part of it. She a rough and tumble little girl though, and did not come home from school looking like the little girl in the pictures. Cudos for those teachers keeping the kids looking their best before pictures are taken.

I'm amazed at this picture of Sam. He suddenly had stage fright from the moment we walked into the school and he saw all the people. He was so excited to go to Rianne's school that he was running ahead of me. Next thing i know he's trying to claw his way into my chest to get away from it all. It took a good 15 minutes or more to get him comfortable enough to just look in the general direction of the camera. What you can't see is me. He's sitting on my lap and I am litterally pushing him out away from me. Somehow we caught this huge smile when the camera man knocked himself over with his chicken prop. Yay for chicken man!!! You rule the babies!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


It's done.
I've cast my vote.
And in any case, that is all that's important.

DarRell and I tag teamed it. Sam was down for a nap and we really didn't want to wake him up. DarRell decided to go first and he let Rianne tag along with him. I drug (dragged?) Daylon along with me. He was too bored to be there and too cool and grown up to accept a sticker. But, surprisingly enough, he was still so full of questions. The more questions he asks the more i know he's learning, if only even a little bit. And, for me, i consider that a job well done.
And kudos to Rianne for telling how cool it actually was.


Yup, time to vote.
Have you voted yet?

Shhhh....... Truth be told, I haven't voted yet.
I have a great excuse.
Really... I do...

I want to take Daylon with me. He's got a new best friend who's REALLY into this presidential race and has put a little spark of interest into Daylon. This has started the flood of questions. Questions that, frankly, i don't even know how to answer. That really kinda stokes me up even more about it. So, when he gets home from school, I'm thinking I'll take him along with me so he can see our part of the process. I'm sure we'll be sitting around the TV quite a bit tonight watching the stats come in.

Thanks to my little man Day (and Kyle in a round-about way) to get me excited to go vote.
Who would've known?

Monday, November 3, 2008

Thinking of Christmas... and hair

Ali Edwards is (once again!!! ) doing her December daily album this year. She has invited anyone who wants to play around to join her. You can find what she's done so far here. She is incredibly talented at documenting the little things in life. I've been waiting to do this album since last year when she did it.

This is my bare bones album. My album is a D Reeve's (i think) 8x8 acrylic album. Just a front and back cover and that's it. From there i took all the Hambly transparencies i could find, both scraps and full sheets. Then i just pulled out any and all Christmas stuff i have and I've set it aside just for this album. I won't even come close to using it all but it'll be great to have it close by so i can rummage through it without having to spend all my time finding it at the last minute.

I put a number on each page. That page will be for each day of the month clear up to the 25th. I will elaborate on those pages day by day. Nothing fancy, just a picture (or two or whatever suits my fancy that day) and a embellishment or two and the rest will be journaling. Something super easy and fast for each day. I decorated the cover with just some stuff i had sitting around and called it good. Now that it's done I can't wait to fill it up!


I've decided it was time for a haircut. I know i mentioned that i was going to try to grow it out a little longer but i just couldn't do it. The good hair days were fine but when a bad hair day come to town, and that seemed more often then not, it was unbearable. So, i cut it. I went with my usual short cut. I like a little bit on top to play with but I don't want to fuss all morning long with it. I like how it turned out. It's kinda fun and it leaves a lot of playing room or i can just run my fingers through it and call it good. Then Halloween came around and i used some black gel in it... and LOVED it. So last night i went back to black. I have to admit that i really like it. Not really me but it's fun and i think that's what i like about it so much. I can let a little of that rebel out in me but in a acceptable way. And the kids love it and even more cool is that DarRell loves it too!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

MMMMMMM..... cake balls!

I found me a new guilty pleasure. Cake Balls. Yum. I got the recipe from here and then i got more ideas from here (both sites give you a step by step picture walkthrough. VERY COOL!). I made a bunch for RaDawn's Halloween party Friday night. I think they were a hit.

Look at the concentration on his face. I loved that he helped me decorate them. He did about 90% of the decorating!

Red Velvet Cake Balls:

1 box red velvet cake mix (cook as directed on box for 13 X 9 cake)
1 can cream cheese frosting (16 oz.)
melting chocolates - i used Wilton chocolates in orange, purple and green. I tried white chocolate chips and whit chocolate bark but they didn't melt very well.
sucker sticks
wax paper
decorating gel frosting

1. After cake is cooked and cooled completely, crumble into large bowl.
2. Mix thoroughly with 1 can cream cheese frosting. (It may be easier to use fingers to mix together, but be warned it will get messy.)
3. Roll mixture into quarter size balls and lay on cookie sheet. (Should make 45-50. You can get even more if you use a mini ice cream scooper, I used a cookie scooper and rolled them in my hand)
4. Chill for several hours. (I sped this up by putting in the freezer.)
5. Melt chocolate in microwave per directions on package.
6. Insert sucker stick.
7. Roll balls in chocolate and lay on wax paper until firm. (Use a spoon to dip and roll in chocolate and then tap off extra. I stuck my suckers in a foam sheet so i didn't have a flat side to the suckers).
8. Decorate as desired.

Monroe Elementary Halloween Costume Parade

It's been super crazy with Halloween here. It seems any holiday keeps me busy and away from the blog for longer than i hope.

I have to show off the kids Halloween costumes. This year the kids got to pick out their own costumes. They opted for scary costumes.

Daylon picked out a Grim Reaper like costume. Unfortunately Daylon ended up only wearing the robe part of his costume. Since he wasn't allowed to wear masks to school or have weaponry, we had to figure out some kind of makeup for him. I couldn't find a black hood anywhere so i went and bought a black pillowcase and cut out a face hole in it and then shredded the ends to make it look raggedy. We pulled down a Halloween cheese cloth drape we had hanging in the kitchen and draped it around his shoulders. I happened to find some horns and scary gross teeth to finish off his scary outfit. I spent most of Friday morning putting on his makeup and painting his fingernails black. He pulled off a pretty scary demon guy that day. What's even better, is that he loved this costume more than the store bought costume we already had for him to wear (which by the way was pretty scary anyways. Something about a no faced, glowing red eyed, black hooded thing scares the crap out of me!)

Rianne had a hard time picking out a costume. We finally narrowed it down by deciding if she wanted to be scary (the spider ghost costume) or cute (a rockstar Hannah Montana like costume). She opted for scary this year, so spider ghost it was. We bought a long witch wig (not realizing that there was a wig in the packaging, ugh) and a broom she found. I spent what was left of Friday morning doing her makeup and painting her fingernails black. Sadly, her costume didn't make it through the day. By the time the costume parade ended, her wig was in tangles, her broom broke, she had half her makeup wiped off and had skinned up both knees.

We dressed Sam up as a vampire. He loves the kids vampire teeth and he wears them EVERYWHERE so being a vampire was a no brainer. He got his fingernails painted black too, got a black hair do, a widows peak, and a gaunt looking makeup job. Not too shabby for a kid who doesn't sit still long enough to have his face cleaned usually.

And just for fun, I took Daylons fake piercings from his makeup kit and put on my best goth getup. It's pretty sad but I really kinda liked the black hair, dark makeup and piercing. But being the responsible adult I am, i guess I'll keep it to just Halloween (although the black hair might be in my near future?).

We stood out waiting for the kids too make their rounds to us. I almost didn't find Daylon. And Rianne ran past so fast.

Here are the rest of the pictures taken from the parade: