Wednesday, December 31, 2008

One Last Bit of Excitement for 2008

I really wanted to end 2008 with a bang, but I think I went too far!  Actually, though it wasn't as much a bang as it was a "THUNK"!!  I was preparing an awesome dinner (Rachael Ray's South by Southwest Sliders and oven fries) for my really great family and slicing some sweet onions to caramelize, when the amazingly sharp knife slipped off the onion and right into my index finger. YIKES!  Sudden bursts of pain and blood surged simultaneously and I was done.  I'm a total wimp and can't do blood.  After the color returned to my face and I wiped the clammy sweat from my forehead (thanks for your help Mom and Dad) our super-duper-Doctor-friend-neighbor made a New Years Eve house call (thanks, Karl) and fixed me up.  He told me I didn't need stitches and was lucky I hadn't severed the important nerve - it has a more technical name, but my head was down on the kitchen table when he said the name of it and I don't remember.  So, no multi hour wait in the ER.  No needles.  Woo hoo!  Even though I can't bend it, probably can't work on my knitting project for a few days, can't type very well and can't get it wet, I'm lucky it's my left hand, and my sweet husband and great parents have stepped in and finished making dinner and will take over what I can't do.                                                                                 
Photos. . .

Awesome bandaging job.

Jon made me a splint from a popsicle stick - which we amazingly had sitting on the kitchen counter from Molly making cookies on a stick a couple days ago!!

The patient is resting quietly.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

More Small Town Perks

Like we've said before, we are really enjoying living in a small town.  On Christmas Eve, we opened our community newspaper, The Prosper Press to find this.....

That's our house.  Prosper has a Christmas Lights Contest every year.  The story was it was too hard to choose just one winner, so they included photos of all their favorites. There were three houses from our street!  The sad part about ours is they didn't even get the beautiful and HUGE lit wreath on our driveway gate in the photo!  It's the BEST part! Maybe I'll go out and take a picture tonight and get the wreath.

Thanks, Prosper Press!  

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

It Was A Merry Month!

2008 has been a wonderfully eventful year.  It's fitting that we wrapped it up with a wonderful Christmas season.  Here are some highlights.

Karen's Mom and Dad arrived mid month and are staying a whole month.  They are blessed to be in such good health and we enjoy having them in our home.   Dad turned 80 this year and Mom isn't too far behind.  Don't they look great?

We hosted our annual Chili and Chowder party in our new home!  We loved having old friends from Plano and our new Prosper friends all together.  The food was de-lish and the company was even better!

Our great neighbor Mike Koster and the Morleys, new church friends.

Prosper church friends the Platts and the Fergusons.

Long time Plano friends Rhoberta Blankmeyer, George and Heather Nail and Cindy Bell

Ashley had fun visiting with college roomate Kristin Willardson and her sister Jenny.

On Christmas Eve, we headed for the mall for our traditional kids photo with Santa.  We've done this since Ashley's first Christmas.  There are a few more people in the photo and for the first time, a second generation is included.  Parker was remarkably cooperative!  We actually had a harder time getting everyone else to pay attention and smile.  

The photo Karen took looks pretty good, too!

Will and Molly looking picture perfect!

The professional image - pretty good looking family, I think.  Nice socks, Santa!

Everyone had a great time!

After the photo, we all (except for Drew who had to go back to work) headed to the Original Pancake House for a yummy breakfast - Breakfast AFTER Santa.

Molly's Swedish Pancakes were as big as she is!!

Ashley and Sam

Grandpa Jon and Ashley

Beautiful Lucy and Adorable Molly

Perfectly adorable Parker!

We had a fun visit with an old friend from Karen's YW Prez days.  Charlie Thiot served on Stake Youth Committee, along with Ashley.  He's married now and has a really cute (and itty bitty) daughter, Keelie.  I managed to only take pictures of the babies. 

The standoff.

We also were able to celebrate in other ways of which we didn't get photos - school parties, a choir concert, an ornament painting party, seeing Christmas lights in Highland Park, playing games and visiting with each other.  We've had a wonderful time with family and friends and appreciate so much all who add so much to our lives.  

Up next - Christmas Eve and Christmas Day....

Monday, December 8, 2008

Meet Miss Sally Brown!

Lucy recently auditioned for the Prosper High School production of "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown".  With only six parts in the whole show, there was some serious competition.  But guess what?  She got a lead!  Very impressive for a Freshman.

So, may I introduce, Miss Sally Brown.

Way to go, Lucy!

I've Made a BOLD move

A friend of mine sent me this via email, so I decided to take it to the blog!
The things I've done are BOLD.  Some of the things I haven't done I'd really like to do and should get on it.  Others, not so much.  But, it's fun to see the list.  It's funny to think there are really people out there (in the civilized world) who haven't owned a cell phone.  

I tag whomever wants to give this one a try... Just copy and paste and BOLD or unBOLD as needed.  You can delete my commentary!

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band (but I did play in an orchestra)
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
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 in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked (Mom, aren't you proud?)
23. Taken a sick day when you aren't 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 (but I've kicked one!  I love kickball)
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 (does ubbi dubbi count?)
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person (maybe from a train)
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo's David
41. Sung Karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal in a restaurant
44. Visited Africa (a wish list item)
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 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 (another wish list item)
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 of plasma
65. Gone sky diving (tempted)
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp (too sad)
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter (everyone in my family has, but me!)
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 (sad, but true)
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 (but been a witness!)
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 - ewww!
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Tagged (It's ONE word)

Tagged by Shahna, my cute friend who is now in my ward (congregation) at church.

The trick is using one word answers....

1. Where is your cell phone?  pocket
2. Where is your significant other? Raleigh
3. Your hair color? blonde
4. Your mother? artist
5. Your father? supportive
6. Your favorite thing? gospel 
7. Your dream last night? forgotten
8. Your dream/goal? salvation
9. The room you're in? kitchen
10. Your hobby? exercise
11. Your fear? failure
12. Where do you want to be in six years? island
13. Where were you last night? home
14. What you're not? unpacked
15. One of your wish list items? convertible
16. Where you grew up?  Kenosha
17. The last thing you did? cook
18. What are you wearing? jeans
19. Your TV? off
20. Your pet? turtle
21. Your computer? Mac
22. Your mood? stressed
23. Missing someone? Parker
24. Your car? Suburban
25. Something you're not wearing? earrings
26. Favorite store? Anthropologie
27. Your summer? speedy
28. Love someone? Jon
29. Favorite color? green
30. Last time you laughed? yesterday (at Lucy's cute song)
31. Last time you cried? Sunday (cry of frustration)

I tag Lucy, Tricia C. and Cindy B.
Copy and paste the questions and add your own answers.  Don't be a stick in the mud.

Projects, projects and AOADD

Molly is sick.  She's got a fever and a yucky cough and has stayed home from school for two days now.  She's the sweetest little companion and I love having her home.  Since I was housebound, I decided I needed to work hard to get as much accomplished as I can because I have this funny feeling that December is going to fly by and I'm going to miss the whole thing if I don't get it together.  So, I got to work.  And I've accomplished quite a bit.  

Here are some projects I've been working on...

I'm ALMOST done with the Family Room tree.  Just those last two boxes of ornaments to finish.  Of course the Living Room tree is missing a section (how does this happen Mr. Moving Man???) and the Game Room tree has not an ornament on it.  The kids trees?  Well, let's just say they have some decorating to do this weekend!  And I started EARLY!
Christmas card are sent - for the most part.  There are a few stragglers who still need new addresses.  So they are sitting on my desk to finish.  Also on my desk is a stack of party invitations I need to address and stamp TONIGHT!!  I guess that means I need to complete the guest list.
I've been wrapping, wrapping!  I also got all these gifts tagged, boxed and mailed - woohoo.  I still have another box to mail, so don't get too jealous.

I put together this little number for a family - who hopefully doesn't frequent this blog!  It's a family game night basket complete with games and refreshments.  It has one of our families' favorite games, right now, Whoonu, from the makers of Cranium.  It's really great, because everyone can play and it's funny, too!  You should get it.

The big project today was to go from a completely EMPTY closet to one stocked and organized.  Since we have such a lame closet, we had those cool pull down rods installed way up high (which was a week long ordeal with a trim carpenter, a painter and an installer involved) so we can get MOST of our (ok, MY) clothes in the closet. (Jon's fit fine).  Believe you me, I'm using every bit of space I can find in this terrible excuse for a walk-in closet! And overflowing into another closet upstairs!!
Jon gets the bottom and middle racks here in the first section.  I get the rest.  He's so good to me. 
We had this dresser added, too.  It's still empty as are all the shelves, but don't worry, I'll fill them up!
We added these shelves under the stairs (yeah, stairs in the closet, don't ask) so we have more shoe and handbag storage.  Also still needing completion.

With all that's gone on today, I've learned some things about myself.  I suppose I've know these things for a long time, but by recognizing them all in one day it occurred to me that I have problems.  I'd like to attribute it to AOADD (Adult Onset Attention Deficit Disorder).  While leaving the closet on no less than 5 separate occasions today to retrieve something from another room, I've managed to find something completely unrelated to do (make a phone call, clean up some dishes, talk with Molly for a second, etc.) and then have returned to the closet without the intended item!  I also have recognized that I have at least 7 projects going (in addition to the ongoing unpacking) and not one of them is completed.  Doesn't that sound like AOADD to you?  

Another thing I've learned today is that I adore (maybe ADORE is too strong, I REALLY LIKE) workout clothes.  Now granted rarely a day goes by (except Sunday) that I don't work out, so I NEED alot of workout clothes to prevent overuse of the washing machine.  And, in my defense, I have owned some of these clothes for upwards of six years.  Many of them actually have TOO many miles on them and will soon make their way to the trash bin.  But here's the pile I've accumulated today in the effort to find a home for each article of clothing.  I won't show the running shoe collection I have.  (What?  I have to match my shoes to my clothes!!)

Other things I've learned/recognized today ...
  • I like green
  • Closets fill up easily
  • It's fun to colorize your clothes
  • Molly is really good at entertaining herself 
  • I have lots of clothes
  • I'm not a label snob - I think Target clothes are fab-u-lous!
  • I wear clothes for a LONG time.  I have an almost 8 year old suit (that I wear) and that's not the oldest thing in my closet. I just got rid of a suit when we moved that I wore to my brother's wedding, something like 14 years ago!
  • Time flies when you're working hard
  • I really like to be organized (Jon is laughing....I can hear him!)
  • I have a LONG way to go

Thursday, November 27, 2008

True Gratitude

Many of you have followed the tragic accident and recovery of Stephanie and Christian Nielson, whom I have never met, but have been a reader of Stephanie's blog.  They were in a small airplane crash last August which killed their friend and critically injured them.  Christian recorded a video thank you to so many who have done so much to help their beautiful little family over the past months.  Here's a true expression of gratitude on this Thanksgiving day.

Monday, November 24, 2008

While I'm thinking ahead...

So, I've really been working hard to get ahead of the regular Christmas season, pull your hair out, neglect your family, bah humbug SLAM that normally hits our family around December 1oth.  So I'm decorating, wrapping, stamping, writing, mailing, planning and lighting with a vengeance.  All the while, I still have contractors in the house, have unpacking and organizing going on and Jon's still traveling.  I know, call a whaaaaambulance.

But, since I'm in the planning ahead mindset, I've been thinking about what I'd like to accomplish next year, or just "sometime" in the future.  So, I'm starting a LiSt.  I think I'll add it over there ------> on the side of the blog, so it will stay there when the posts begin to roll off the bottom of the page.  Who knows how often I'll add to it, or how long it will get to be.  It's just a list - a sort of dream for my life.  Maybe you could even call them goals.  Whatever they are - they are there.    

What do you want to accomplish next year?  Leave a comment and share with me...... please? Maybe you'll give me a good idea to add to mine.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Jon works really hard and never has any fun....

My dear husband works hard.  Really.  He has traveled for work for all but about five years of our marriage.  I think there are some major perks to traveling, but Jon doesn't see them.  Let me explain.  For example, hotel stays.  You can throw your stuff wherever you want in the room and like magic, some fairy comes in the next morning and picks it up, folds it, and leaves it neatly on the bed or chair.  While this fairy is there, she makes the bed, brings clean towels, cleans the bathroom and vacuums the floor.  Another perk to hotel stays is room service.  What's not to love about someone bringing you the meal of your choice for you to eat while watching TV?  We aren't talking Stouffer's Mac and Cheese on a TV tray here.  This is real food, served on a white cloth clad table complete with rose.  Bummer.

So here's another perk - you get to visit cool places.  Jon has been to some neato places without me.  He does occasionally take me along (which is another perk of his traveling), but this time I wasn't invited.  Here's what he did.

Yep, that's the Sistine Chapel.  We went as a family several years ago, but this was pretty cool - private tour.  And they had dinner somewhere in the Vatican as well.  Poor thing.

And the hotel was really a dump.  

He did go some other beautiful places while in Rome, but he didn't have a camera with him. Anyway, we're glad you're home.  Next time, take me! 

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Picture Tag

Ashley tagged me.

This is MOLLY eating a sandwich during Fall Break 2006 at Lost Pines Resort in Austin, Texas.  We had a really great time at this fun resort!

So, here's the deal.
Go to your photos and open the 4th folder.
Post the 4th picture in your folder.
I tag my brother Rich, Shahna, Nancy, and Claudia (sorry Claudia - I know your blog is your own - it's just a picture, humor me).

Friday, November 21, 2008

Life is Full of Special People

Today, Molly and Will got to have a "Special Person" visit their school and have lunch with them.  We knew right away who to ask.  Unfortunately, we don't have any grandmas or grandpas that live nearby, and we miss them very much!   But when we need a special somebody we called the next BEST thing - Aunt Carollyn.  Jon's mother's sister is our stand-in Grandma whenever we need her.  She attends recitals, concerts, plays, and birthdays and is just as happy to be there for our kids as any grandma would be.  We are so blessed to have her close enough to share these events with us.  

Here are some photos of todays visit:

A remarkably good Turkey lunch in the cafeteria.
Aunt Carollyn and Will
Aunt Carollyn with Molly in her classroom.
Thanks for coming Carollyn!  We had fun!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

So I Had a Good Day

Forgive me whilst I speak of myself for a moment. 

Lately I've felt as though I'm spinning my proverbial wheels.  I'm loaded down with "to-dos" and though I do a fairly good job of appearing to be calm and keeping my head above water, under the surface, my legs are kicking as fast as they possibly can!  Most days end with me feeling like I've accomplished almost nothing - even though I've been busy.

Today, I seemed to be more productive than I have recently been.  Not sure why.  I'm pretty happy about it and thought I should make a list of what I did, so I can celebrate my success.  So, I'll do it here.  

1. Got Lucy to and from Seminary on time (this is not unusual, but I did it - therefore, it makes the list.
2. Got Molly and Will to school with their jerseys for Spirit Day - after a quick trip to Wal-mart on the way home from Seminary to get Will a jersey.  The only one they had in his size was an OU jersey.  
3. Unloaded the car from yesterday's very successful trip to Market Hall for artwork and accessories.  Now mind you, this was quite difficult since the little hydraulic lifts are broken on the big door of the Suburban and the huge-o mongo mirror I got (for $119) was freaking back breakingly heavy and Lucy is not known for her super-human strength!
4.  Took Lucy to school, even though there's a bus.  Just because that's the kind of mom I am - right Lucy??
5. Straightened the house, made my bed, etc.
6. Tied more ribbons on cards - almost done.
7. Brought in three Christmas trees and set up one.  I would have set up two, but the second one is missing a whole section!  I'm hoping that shows up soon.  Don't freak out - I didn't decorate them.
8. Met with the fence guy.  He's going to move a big section of our fence so we can open up the big side yard to the rest of the yard.  We figured out how to do it without needing to buy more fence - woohoo!
9. Brought in all the ornament boxes and positioned them in the appropriate rooms.
10. Unpacked 20 - yes 20 boxes in the garage, two in the gameroom and one in the office and broke down the boxes.  My purpose in this was to locate the big green extension cords for the guy who is putting the Christmas lights up for us.  I found some, but not all.  But I think he has enough now.
11. Ran to Lowe's to buy stakes to put lights along the driveway and sidewalk and Sam's to buy a ginormous wreath for our gate.
12. Hung some of the artwork I purchased yesterday.
13. Visited with a friend who is feeling blue.
13. Watched my friend's cute little grand-daughter, Claire for about 40 minutes and made ridiculous noises to make her laugh - so she wouldn't cry.
14. Put away MOST of the stuff I unpacked in the garage.
13. Made a yummy dinner of pot roast and baked potatoes for six children (we had a few extra tonight).
14. Ran the kiddos to a friend's house who is taking them to the church for their activities. 

It's 8:00 and even though I feel like I got alot done, here's what I'm faced with....

A huge mess in the garage, unfinished laundry, dishes to be washed, newly unpacked kitchen items that now need a home, a pile of boxes and two huge bags of newsprint to dispose of, Christmas decor EVERYWHERE and messes here and there that appeared because Mom was busy doing other stuff!!

Maybe I like the days where I'm not quite so productive better....
What did you do today??

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Family Fun!

We had the BEST family vacation.  We took Drew, Lucy, Will and Molly to the British Virgin Islands and chartered a catamaran for a WEEK.  It was super sweet. We flew to Tortola and picked up the boat and a really nice skipper named Patrick.  We spent the next seven days sailing around to other islands - all pretty small, but WOW were they beautiful.  The kids were great - they had fun snorkeling, jumping and diving off the bow of the boat, swimming with the fishes and playing on beautiful white sand beaches.  Bummer, huh? The water was the most gorgeous shade of blue, the weather was great and the stars were AMAZING. No TV, no radio, no texting, no video games, no phone, just US.  We laughed and read and played cards.  Karen even cooked most of the meals in the galley!  Jon grilled for us on a grill that hung off the stern.  We loved every second of it!  Here are just a few of the pictures...