Friday, October 14, 2011

I think we have started a new tradition.

Today was my mom's birthday.
She would have turned 58 years old today.  Today also marks 8 years since she passed away.
It was breast cancer.  Stupid cancer.  
I don't want my kids to forget about their grandmother.  So I am trying to find ways to bring her into their lives.  I decided that celebrating her birthday was a start.  So we headed to the store to get the necessary ingredients.  The girls helped me make the cake.  They suggested something pink to represent breast cancer awareness.  We found pink jelly beans.  The girls helped put them on the cake- we just dropped them randomly on the top.

Next year I'm think we should come up with gifts.  Not gifts you wrap up in packages, but gifts of spirit.  Thinks like treating others kindly, or giving up a bad habit.  Something each one of us thinks mom would appreciate.  We could plan ahead a bit more and make it a real event- not just a last minute cake.
I think it would be nice to have stories to tell the kids about mom.  
Collecting new ones each year would be fun.

Happy birthday, Mom!

Sunday, September 11, 2011


I was working at the Rainforest Cafe in Kansas City.  It wasn't that busy in the morning and suddenly everyone was leaving, headed to the break room.  I went back to see what was going on.  The television was on and there was news of a plane hitting a building in New York.  I stood there, watching it all unfold on the tv.  Then they reported a plane hitting the Pentagon- about a mile from my husband, who was working that day as a Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers.  I couldn't get through to him for several hours.  I think I left work at that point and headed back to my parent's house where Ashley (then 8 months) were staying- it wasn't like masses of people would be out shopping at the mall that day anyway.  The price of gas was going through the roof at several gas stations that morning as I headed home.  They went back down later that same day.  I remember just kind of standing around in shock at home with my mom.  I kept trying to call Jeff.  It was killing me, being 1100 miles from him during this tragedy that was right there next to him.  It was the next days and weeks that were really difficult.  I may not have been there, I may not have lost a loved one, but it affected our family in a very intimate way.  Jeff, as were pretty much all the troops at Fort Meyer, was assigned to clean up at the Pentagon.  Some people may say that being in the armed forces these boys- because most of them were still boys- are trained to deal with that kind of thing, but it doesn't matter what line of work you are in, what training you are given, it still affects you.  I am grateful for all of the people who had to do that devastating work.  I fear that they are forgotten when we remember that day.  I pray that they can all be healed from the things they saw in the days following. 

I will always remember the victims, the ones who lost their lives or their loved ones and the ones who's lives were forever changed by what they experienced.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Last month Natalie turned 5.  (Remember the rainbow cake?)  Well she also had a party with friends.  It had a Power Puff Girls theme- well, the cupcakes were that theme anyway.  My friend Tiffany made the cupcake toppers.  Natalie absolutely LOVED them!  Here are some pictures.

Friday, May 13, 2011

It's been a while.

I feel like I've been ignoring my blogs.  I guess life is just busy.  Hectic even.

You see, I have this little boy.  He likes to get into everything.  Wherever he goes, a mess ensues.  He likes to open the dishwasher and stand on the door.  He likes to climb up and sit on the table.  If there is nice stack of anything he just has to knock it over- or sometimes he takes each piece, one by one, and throws it on the floor.  Needless to say, it is hard to get anything accomplished around the house.

Then there is this five year old girl in the house.  She is constantly hungry.  She longs for play dates.  I try, I really do.  It is just hard when everyone her age is in kindergarten or preschool.  So she gets bored- and we all know that boredom in a five year old means creating messes.  Or maybe you didn't know that.  Well, it does for this one!

Then there is the seven year old pirate loving girl.  She just wants to swashbuckle.  Which isn't really even a word.  It really is just acting like a swashbuckler- which is a swaggering or daring soldier or adventurer (or a novel dealing with a swashbuckler- as in; it was a swashbuckler of a tale).  How can you be swaggering or daring (or a soldier or adventurer, much less) without making a mess?  Oh, and she also loves art.  Art is most assuredly messy!

Last, but not least, is the ten year old bookworm girl.  Her messes have changed a bit.  She doesn't play with toys so much anymore.  She loves to use her imagination.  She too loves art (you know-that messy business we were just talking about).  She is all about mythology since reading the Percy Jackson series of books.  Crazy about it.

Oh, and lets not forget this guy who lives here.  He got a motorcycle.  He loves it.  He has been fixing it up for a while now.  He is almost finished.  Although, when it comes to cars and motorcycles is anyone ever really finished?  There is always more that one can do to them.  At least he counteracts all the mess making with some dishes, laundry, and vacuuming.  He even cleans the bathrooms.  Sometimes he fixes things around the house.  Once he even killed a swarm of bees- or were they wasps?  Whichever, he is keeping us safe!  Oh, and he has a full time job.  That one keeps him a bit busy. (One might say that I am really lucky to have a guy like this hanging around.  I would be inclined to agree.)

Okay, so I'm pretty sure I add to the mess quite a bit.  I mean, I have to cook and bake.  With a kitchen as small as ours (and it isn't even as small as some that I've had in the past) it is pretty easy to make a huge mess.   My sewing (which is an art - you know, that messy business) is definitely a mess maker.  One day I might just figure out how to be organized enough not to make a huge mess when I sew.  Probably not, though. (Hey, I'm just being realistic.)  Of course, travel adds to the hectic lifestyle.  I don't travel on a regular basis- it is usually a last minute thing.  Which makes it even more hectic than normal travel.  I flew to Virginia to see my grandparents last week.  I was able to see her one last time.  She passed away last Saturday.

Things are beginning to slow down now.  I am settling into a routine again.  We set up a new cleaning schedule.  Fridays after school (yes, we stole this from my sister).  Then we can have pizza and a movie night when they finish.  It isn't just them cleaning, I have to clean as well.  I think having the movie as a reward for cleaning will really help motivate them.  Maybe then when people stop by I won't feel bad when I open the front door!  It might also free up some time so I can get some sewing (and blogging) done.
I might even have time to pull out my camera.

Parting shots- artwork via the girls.

All pictures courtesy of the children on my iPhone.

Monday, April 18, 2011

For Betty.

I was lucky growing up- I had three grandmothers.  My dad's dad got married to Betty before my parents got married, so she has always been my grandmother.  I lived close to them- even with them for a time- for several years before I was married.  I enjoyed getting to know the grandparents that had always lived far away.  I have fond memories of visiting for several weeks in the summer as a teen.  I enjoyed spending a few weeks one winter when I got to help in the barn with the horses they bred.  She was one of the first people to hold Ashley at the hospital when she was born (besides myself and Jeff).

She didn't like having her picture taken, and would probably hate that I put one up here.  I even had to sneak the picture (that's why my nephew's head is in there).

She has always been energetic and active.  Now she is sick.  She has cancer.  Please pray for peace and comfort for her and her loved ones at this time.  I know we would all appreciate it.

Grandpa with some of the great grandkids.

I love you, Grandma and Grandpa!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

I Heart Faces Photo Contest - Wind

This week at I Heart Faces the photo challenge is "Wind."  When we lived in Oregon our favorite thing to do was to drive to the coast.  So naturally we went back to the coast when we were visiting.  We hiked up to the lighthouse and were met by some pretty strong winds.  The kids always run around while I take pictures.  It seems she only ever stays still when a camera is pointed at her!

We really enjoyed visiting the coast of Oregon with its lush vegetation, cool weather (and plenty of wind), and beautiful views.   The kids could run free and we, the parents, could just relax and enjoy.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


She picked five layers for her cake.

She picked the colors.  It just fits.

My colorful girl.  Natalie.
 She can't wait to start school.  I think she thought she would start the day after her birthday.
 She chose these colors.
 She lost her first tooth last week. Before she turned five.
 She has the best smile.  You can see it in her eyes.
 This is Natalie.  Colorful.  Energetic.  Determined.  Loving.  Precocious.  Wonderful. MyNatalie (pronounced as one word- muhnatalie).
Happy birthday!

Friday, March 25, 2011


...and the winner is...
who said
Where did my comment go?  I love the fabric, the way it's put together and the bag's size.  Laura, you are so talented.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Giveaway Bag

I finished the bag for the giveaway on Thursday evening, but I was hoping to take a picture of it Friday morning in the sunshine.  Of course, I didn't get it done before we left for the weekend.  So here it is Sunday and I am finally getting it done!  Because of this, I am extending the deadline to enter til Thursday, March 24th, so go and enter!

Click here to the giveaway post and comment to enter! 
Or click the picture to go to the post and enter.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011



Okay, here it is!  I am giving away a tote bag.  This bag is approximately 13 inches wide, 16 inches tall, 4 inches deep, with 21 inch handles (making it a 10 inch drop).  It will have a pocket inside.  I was going to have a picture of the bag I made for my sister (same style but different fabric), but I don't have it yet.  The bag for the giveaway is under construction at the moment- I just finished fusing the interfacing to all of the pieces.  I will post a picture of it as soon as I am done (which will be by Friday afternoon).

This is the fabric.  The pieces are all cut out and ready to be sewn together.  The blue fabric is the outside and handles.  The green is the lining.  This bag will be perfect for a myriad of uses; carry your laptop, books, use it for shopping or work, as a travel bag, take it to yoga, use as an overnight bag or diaper bag, or a church bag.  It's up to you. 

To enter the giveaway just leave a comment on this post OR the giveaway post at my other blog A Make It Yourself Mom's Diary- no need to leave a comment on both, though.  If you don't have a blog please leave an email address (you may leave it as address(at)mail(d0t)com if you would prefer).  Sorry this is only open to US residents.  I will announce the winner right here on this blog on Thursday, March 24.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Blogiversary= GIVEAWAY

Wow!  I've been blogging for four years now.  I can barely believe it.  March 3, 2007 was my the day my blog was born.  I wasn't on the ball enough to post on the actual blogiversary date, so we'll celebrate the month and not the actual day.  In honor of this, I am going to do my very first giveaway.   What should I give to some lucky person in the United States (sorry, international shipping is just not in my budget)?  Hmmmm....  Come back tomorrow and I will have all the details!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The other visitors. The ones from my camera.

Over President's Day weekend we also had some friends from Oregon visit.  We managed to get a few pictures at my house.

Kristi modeled for the camera because Jeff had to test the settings.  She gave us her sexiest pose!

Some little girls didn't want to be left out so we let them join us for a few pictures.  Then I made them leave.

It has been too long.  I have to say that we always have a great time together.  Can you tell?

We managed to take a normal picture in there as well.

Love you Kristi and Celina!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Family- that's what it's all about!

Over President's Day weekend we had a big gathering.   We had Dad, Uncle Paul and Aunt Katy, Grandma, Rebecca and her family, Joseph, and cousins Paul, Julia, Nicole and Clayton come for a visit.  We also had a couple friends from Oregon in town.  We had a great time with all of our family and friends.  There was more food than we could eat and lots of fun times!  Here are many, many pictures (all taken by Aunt Katy) to show how much fun we had.

Cousins chillin on the couch.

Hanging out around the kitchen (not mine).

Drew was blessed while everyone was in town.

The kids loved their mom's cousins.  (Doesn't it show?)

Drew and his daddy.

Everyone got in on the reading fun.

My cousins.

My sweet boy.

This is the cutest!

Could they look more angelic?

Maybe they know how cute the are.

My cousin from the area even came with her family to hang out for a bit.  Natalie really enjoyed playing with their kids.

I'm cute.  You must love me.

Cousins (the ones of my generation).

Grandma and Julia.

We went to the Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay.  The kids loved it!

None of the girls wanted to touch the Manta Rays, so we only got pictures of strangers.

The jellyfish were beautiful.

The lion fish just wouldn't hold still for a good picture.


More sharks.

We then headed to the Bellagio to see the gardens and the fountain show.

I really wanted to go on this bridge, but it is just for looks. 

I loved this boat.

Drew took a nap.  Gardens are just too boring for an active little boy like him.

The mirrored horse.

Paul, Ashley, and Grandma.

The fountains at the Bellagio.

The girls were enjoying all the extra attention (even when the attention wasn't on them).

If there is a camera, Natalie will be there- ready and posing.

And Alona right behind her.

We had a great time with all of loved ones!  We hope more of them will come to visit us soon.

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