Monday, December 22, 2008
Friday, December 19, 2008
A few months ago, I joined in the 'Fall into Reading Challenge' that was being hosted by Katrina over at Callapiddar Days. To participate, you simply shared your own personal reading goals that you hoped to accomplish throughout the fall. It was great to read everyone's goals and reading lists - I discovered many interesting books and also found some great new blogs to visit. Now that the challenge is wrapping up, it's time to tell how we did with our goals. Below is my original reading list that I hoped to complete....
1. Creepers by David Morrell - I started reading this back in October. It was definitely not my normal type of story, but, nonetheless, I gave it a try. It just didn't seem to hold my attention very well. I stopped reading it and have went back to it a few times and am still plugging away at it now and then. So, I did not finish this book, but, may try to pick it up again after the new year.
2. Wicked by Gregory Maguire - I decided to remove this book from my list. It seems like a story that I would like, but, for some reason, I couldn't make myself start it. Again, it's another book on my list that I did not finish, but still hope to read some time in the future.
3. Ghosts of Old Louisville by David Domine - COMPLETED - This was a fun, quick book to read. It was of special interest to me because it's about the city I'm from.
4. Losing It: And Gaining My Life Back One Pound at a Time by Valerie Bertinelli - This one was also removed from my list due to lack of time.
5. Blue Christmas by Mary Kay Andrews - COMPLETED - This was a spunky little holiday story that I finished in an aftertoon.
6. Where Angels Go by Debbie Macomber - COMPLETED - Loved this one! It was a quick and easy read that had me smiling, laughing, and crying throughout the entire story.
7. The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson - I'm about to start this book with the kids now that they are on Christmas break.
*Mr. Cavendish, I Presume by Julia Quinn - COMPLETED - This was a book that I picked up on a whim at the drugstore about a week ago simply because I was drawn to the cover. I loved it and plan to look for more from this author.
I just didn't get to devote as much time to reading as I would have liked. My bedside table and armoire have stacks and stacks of "to be reads" and it's always hard for me to choose what to start next. This reading challenge helped me come up with a plan and actually list the next several books I hoped to read. Even though I didn't finish everything on my short list, I am glad I participated. Click here to read updates from other 'Fall into Reading' participants. Thanks to Katrina for hosting!
It's time for Aloha Friday. Thanks to Kailani over at An Island Life for being our host. Participants post a simple question on their blog and then add their link to Kailani's Aloha Friday post. Be sure to click over and see all the Aloha Friday participants.
Today's Aloha Friday question is:
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Monday, December 15, 2008
My husband is a firefighter, so, we have several in that theme. This firehouse ornament was bought the same year that he was hired onto the fire department. It's also the same year we got married.
A pretty shiny firetruck
This is a little embroidered felt angel ornament that my mom made when I was young
My mom also made this panda stocking ornament for me when I was a little girl
Another ornament that my mom made when I was young - for awhile, she was into ceramics and this little sleepy mouse has always been one of my favorites
My daughter joined a 4-H sewing club this fall. This Santa ornament was one of the first things she made.
When I was a teen, my mom started buying ornaments for me to keep in my "hope chest". This sledding penguin was one of these
Friday, December 12, 2008
I'm participating in Aloha Friday, which takes place over at An Island Life. On Fridays, participants choose their own simple question to pose to their readers, and post it on their own blogs. They can then share their posts by adding a Mr. Linky over at An Island Life. Click here for all the details.
If you've ever read my blog, you know that I am a huge movie lover. So, my Aloha Friday question is:
What is your favorite Christmas movie? Is it an oldie or something new? Is it from the big screen or made-for-tv? Share your favorite with us....
I have so many favorites, it's hard for me to choose just one. Here are a few that I really love - Miracle on 34th Street , Santa Claus is Coming To Town, Elf, The Family Stone, and Joyeux Noel. Don't forget to visit An Island Life for all the other Aloha Friday questions.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
loving our new stockings....
made for me by etsy member DCMalecha....
going to my daughter's annual piano recital....
trying to get the kiddos and the dog to pose for our Christmas card photo....
and, generally being stressed out about everything! How about you? How is your December going?
Thursday, December 4, 2008
- photo from Amazon.com -
If you would like to enter for a chance to win a Flip Ultra Camera, then head over to the blog, Common Sense With Money. While you're there, consider subscribing to her blog for some great money-saving/frugal living tips. The Flip Ultra Camera would make an awesome Christmas gift for anyone on your shopping list (or even for yourself - I know I would love to have one;o). Go check it out....good luck!
Friday, November 21, 2008
It's time for another Movie Madness Carnival over at Daily Mish Mash. Participants can blog about any movie-related topic of their choice. But, the hot topic this time around for many is the movie Twilight, which premiered last night at 12:01 a.m. Be sure to click over to Daily Mish Mash and check it out.
My Twilight review:
Me and two friends decided to take our daughters to the first Twilight showing, last night at 12:01 a.m. We bought our tickets days in advance. The girls thought we were "cool" because we were taking them to a midnight movie on a school night. We arrived at the cinema an hour before the start time, and even then, our theater was almost full. Unfortunately, the only way the six of us could sit together, was in the third row (I hate sitting that close, but, that was our only choice unless we wanted to all split up). The majority of the movie-goers were female, but, there were men there as well. Girls were wearing shirts with sayings such as "bite me" or "Team Edward". There was definitely excitement in the air. When the lights went out and the previews were finished, the movie started to a room full of girls screaming and cheering. Luckily, they were pretty quiet after that. I was hooked from the very first moment the movie started. Bella was portrayed perfectly by Kristen Stewart. And Edward....for an icy cold vampire, he couldn't have been any hotter! Robert Pattinson was fantastic. I was happy that the majority of the movie was pretty true to the book. There were a few minor changes, but, nothing that took away from the story at all. I loved Charlie, and the way that his relationship with Bella was a little awkward. I loved Carlisle, too. I won't go into any details of the plot or give any spoilers. But, I will mention a few of my very favorite scenes. When Bella walked into the biology class and had to take the seat next to Edward - his very first reaction to her was hilarious. The Cullen family baseball scene was a blast to watch. Of course, the scene where Bella and Edward shared their first kiss was pretty awesome. And, I loved the ending - it was just the right cliff-hanger for going into the next book. So, are you planning on seeing Twilight? If so, let me know what you think.
Monday, November 17, 2008
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
- Yah! Only 9 days until the Twilight movie premiers. We've already bought our tickets to go to the first show at midnight. My neighbor and I are taking our daughters (age 12). This has earned us some brownie points with them, as they think we are cool for taking them to a midnight movie on a school night. I'm sure this will not last long and soon we will be un-cool again.
- Double Yah! My husband drove my vehicle to the firehouse yesterday (he works 24 hour shifts). Last night he cleaned out the entire inside of my tahoe....even all the gunky, yucky, sticky crud that was in the kids' cupholders. I love to have a clean car.
- I spent a good 6 hours cleaning out the walk-in closet in our bedroom. It was such a wreck. Once I start Christmas shopping, I start hiding stuff here and there in the closet and then I forget what and where everything is. Now, it is so clean and organized that I just want to sit in there and stare at it all day. I'm trying to be super-organized with my holiday stuff this year.
- Which brings me to Christmas cards. I love hand-made cards, but, who am I kidding. I don't have the time or energy to do that. So, I will probably try to do photo cards. My kids hate when I tell them it's time to do Christmas card pictures. They will moan and complain and fight over who stands next to who and say that I'm making them wear stupid stuff. Ahhhhh! that Christmas spirit is alive and kicking around here, LOL!
- While we're on the subject, let's talk about Christmas shopping. Since I'm trying to be super-organized, I typed up a little chart of everyone that I need to shop for. YIKES! 64 people on this list. That's not counting my kids or husband. I'm already stressed about our budget as it is, this just stresses me out even more. Of course some of these are really small gifts, such as for the school bus driver, hairdresser, neighbors, etc. But, doesn't this sound like a lot? I'm curious to know how many people you shop for at Christmas.
- Speaking of Christmas lists....my children have made out their lists. It's so funny, my 10-yr. old son typed his list. Everything was just haphazardously listed, no commas, nothing. Just one big run-on list of stuff. Now, my daughter, on the other hand, went to great lengths to organize her list. She typed up a list, complete with a VIP section (this is the "Very Important Present" - the thing she wants most, which happens to be a digital camera). Then she listed various other items and color-coded them according to who might want to buy those things for her (parents, grandparents, Santa...) She is definitely growing up, there are no toys or games on her list this year, just clothes, boots, gift cards....
- On to another subject. I recently went to the doctor for some back and leg pain. While I was there, he did a complete blood work-up. Turns out (which I already knew, but hadn't really done anything about) that my cholesterol and triglycerides are high, my bad cholesterol is bad, my good cholesterol is bad. He told me to go on a strict low-fat diet and to start taking fish oil capsules, then we would recheck it in 3 months. I'm trying, really, but if you've read any of my posts in the pasts, you know how I struggle with dieting. Last week, I did really well the entire week (well, may one or two occasions I slipped and ate chips or something), but, I did not lose a single pound. Very bummed about that. And, what a bad time of year to tell me to go on a low-fat diet. I LOVE Thanksgiving. So much! Seriously, my mouth waters thinking of the turkey, dressing, dumplings, sweet potatoes, pecan pie, and all that good stuff. I am just taking one day at a time, and I've already told myself that it's a given that I'm going to be bad on Thanksgiving. Oh, and the doc also prescribed a "stress-reliever"/anti-depressant that is supposed to also be effective in helping you lose weight. So far, this little purple pill has not impressed me much.
Monday, November 10, 2008
This was another surprise for Bruce's 40th - at home, he awoke to a yard full of penguins and this big birthday greeting!
The four of us on the golf course
The golf course was so pretty (and the guys said it was a great course to play)
The guys before dinner - yes, they are identical twins (Bruce is on the left, his brother on the right)
The front lobby of the hotel
This picture does not do it justice, but, in the center of the hotel is this huge light fixture. At night, it glows and fades to different colors - beautiful!
I can't believe I didn't take any pictures of the outside of the hotel. You should click over to their site and take a look. It is stunning. We had such a nice, relaxing trip. If you are anywhere near this area (French Lick, Indiana), I highly recommend a visit.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
We are in for change.
And, not for the better.
All I can do is pray.
My husband is a firefighter. As his company just went to the scene of a fire, they were greeted with gunfire and crowds of people in the street, yelling at them "we're in charge now Mother F*#%'ers". It's going to be a long night.
And a LONG four years!
All I can do is pray.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Here are your random numbers: 14
Timestamp: 2008-10-30 19:06:57 UTC
Congratulations to Mrs. Sprinkles! You have won the Target gift card. I will be sending you an email, please reply to me and let me know where to send the prize. Thanks to everyone who came by to visit and comment. I am just amazed at the huge turnout for this Bloggy Carnival. Thanks to all the fabulous participants who are hosting giveaways.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
This giveaway is now closed. Thanks to everyone who stopped by to enter - I hope you'll come back and visit again.
It's time once again for the "Bloggy Giveaway Carniaval". If you're not sure what this is, here's the scoop -- go HERE to get all the details and to find the Mr. Linky post with all the participating bloggers. Then, visit any or all of the participants that you want, and sign up for a chance to win their giveaways. There's always a huge turnout and many, many, fabulous prizes offered.
Now, for my giveaway....I thought and thought and really wanted to come up with something unique and clever. But, alas, I have decided to take the easy (i.e. lazy) way out and offer as my prize a $15 Target gift card. Everyone loves Target and everyone loves gift cards, right? And, with Christmas coming up, every little bit helps.
If you would like a chance to win, here's what you need to do: leave a comment on this post and, just for fun, tell me one thing on your Christmas list this year. You must reside in the U.S. and, please be sure to leave a way for me to contact you if you are the winner. I will choose a winning name at random on Thursday afternoon.
Remember to click on the link above to see all the other bloggy giveaways. Good luck!
This giveaway is now closed! Thanks to all who stopped by!
Monday, October 20, 2008
Confession time. I've never cooked a turkey before. You know, the big, pretty Thanksgiving kind. In my family, my grandma was the one who prepared the entire Thanksgiving meal. She was a southern farmer's wife and also a school lunchroom cook (back when the schools actually still made all the food from scratch). I can vaguely remember going to work with her when I was little. Sitting on a stool in the school kitchen while she made homemade rolls. YUM! It amazes me, now that I'm old enough to appreciate it, the spread she put on at any of her dinners - whether it was a Thanksgiving dinner, or just Sunday dinner. She passed away a few years ago, and it's one of my biggest regrets that I never took the opportunity to spend time with her in her kitchen, learning to cook. Her specialties were many, but, it was all good old southern comfort foods - dumplings, macaroni and cheese, homemade yeast rolls, etc. And, her homemade pies. Oh my goodness. There were always so many pies. Chocolate cream, lemon cream, coconut cream, pumpkin pie, pecan pie, cherry pie.... Nowadays, my mother and my sister have taken over the job of preparing our Thanksgiving dinner. Sure, I'll help out and bring a side dish or two, but, most of the work is theirs. It's really got me thinking....what happens when it's my turn to take over, when my own kids are grown and come home for Thanksgiving with their families? My husband is a wonderful cook; he's learned a lot in the kitchen at the firehouse. But, I want to be able to pull off the big spread. I'm thinking I need to start practicing a little bit. I may do a little "mock" Thanksgiving dinner of my own, just for my family of six here at home. So, here's where you come in. Talk turkey to me! Tell me your tips, recipes, hints; anything to help me roast a beautiful Thanksgiving turkey. I don't want to do a stuffed turkey, I'm going to attempt to make my grandmother's baked dressing as a seperate dish. I need, clear, precise, and easy instructions, people! Remember, I'm a novice here. Thanks!
Type in your answers and
Tag four people
A) Four places I go over and over
-My kid's elementary school
-My parent's house
-My laundry room!
B) Four people who e-mail me regularly
-My sister, Kathy
-My friend, Becky
-Rush Limbaugh (not him personally, LOL, just his newsletter)
-PediPaws people (seriously, no matter how I try, I cannot get unsubscribed from this advertiser)
C) Four of my favorite places to eat
D) Four places you'd rather be
-On the beach in Destin, Florida
-Walt Disney World
-visiting New York City for the first time
-some place with snow
E) Four TV shows I could watch over and over
F)Four people I'm tagging
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Me, Bruce, and our three youngest, dressed in Kentucky Wildcat blue on the day of the big UK vs. UL football game (I'm totally NOT into football, just go along to the party for the friends and food, LOL!)
My good friend and I, along with our daughters, recently spent the day in Louisville - we went to a local art fair, toured a historic home, walked around looking at all the gorgeous homes, and even went on a ghost walking tour in downtown Louisville. These are just a couple of the beautiful old houses that are so prevalent in old Louisville.
This is part of the staircase in the historic home that we toured, Conrad-Caldwell House. The woodwork throughout the house is all original and so stunning.
With my son's 5th grade class, we went to Shaker Hill in Kentucky. It's so pretty and peaceful and it was very interesting learning about the Shakers.
Also on the field trip, we went to Fort Harrod, which was the first permanent settlement of what would eventually become Kentucky. This tree is located on the grounds - it's huge and wildly shaped. The kids had a blast climbing all over it.
We visited the gravesite of Daniel Boone and his wife, Rebecca
This is the Kentucky Supreme Court
And, the capitol building in Frankfort, Kentucky
Thanks for looking!
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Monday, October 13, 2008
1. Chaperoning three 5th grade boys was a lot of work. Seriously, they were constantly on the go, they wanted to touch EVERYTHING, they were loud, and every other conversation involved either "girls" or "farting".
2. Sitting in the back of a school bus during a 50 minute drive on a narrow, winding, two-lane road was not good for back or my motion sickness. I was so carsick!
3. Even though it's fun to travel, see new places, and learn about history, I'm really a homebody. I prefer to be at home with my family, using my own bathroom, sleeping in my own bed....
4. I totally have a new appreciation for teachers. There is no way I could have the patience to do their job every day.
It was a neat trip, though. I always enjoy visiting our state capitol and I love to learn about history. I will try to share pictures soon. Also, my cold is still lurking around - stuffy head, cough. And, now I'm also having back problems. My left leg has been bothering me off and on for a couple months now. I hated to go to the doctor, it just seemed like such a sporadic, non-specific kind of complaint. But, last week, my mid back on my left side started hurting as well. It's bad enough that I can't ignore it, so, I have a doctor appointment on Wednesday. Sorry to be whiny, but, I'm just feeling tired and yucky.
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
I'll be out of town for a few days. I'm going with my husband on a work-related trip, where we'll be making stops at most of the Walgreen's stores in the Baltimore area. Have a great week!
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
On another note, over the weekend, my daughter and I went with some friends to downtown Louisville for a walking ghost tour. It wasn't scary at all, but, it was interesting to hear the local "ghost stories" about some of our famous Louisville landmarks. We made a day of it, visiting a popular local arts fair, touring a beautiful historic home, and having an early dinner at a fun downtown hotspot. I have photos, but, I'm too tired to post them right now. I will try to share them later.
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Twice this week, I have received letters from fancy-schmancy sounding establishments, informing me (little old me!) that I was chosen to represent my town in a "Who's Who Registry Among Executive and Professional Women". In today's letter, the director himself, thinks I may be an interesting biographical subject. HA! I knew my work as a stay-at-home-mom was extremely important. But, wow! Now I really feel validated, LOL!
Obviously, I realize these letters are just sent out to random names on a mailing list. But, it is funny to me, since I have NEVER worked in the business field. However, I think I do possess some of the same abilities and skills that "real" business executives have. Such as:
1. I'm a multi-tasker - I can prepare a meal, while simultaneously assisting multiple children with multiple homework assignments, feeding the dog, folding laundry, and loading a dishwasher.
2. I know when to delegate - I have no problem asking one of my kids to take the dog for a walk, vacuum the carpet, or clean dog-poop out of the back yard.
3. I manage a hectic, multi-person schedule - Four kids who attend three different schools, piano lessons, guitar lessons, sewing class, field trips, sports, orthodontist appointments, plus a husband who works two jobs, one of which requires occasional out of town travel...not to mention my own personal calendar (you know, hair appointments, volunteer work, lunch with the girls, and the very important task of setting my DVR to record all my favorite tv shows)
4. Strong in the area of communication - I am a frequent participant of long phone conversations, not to mention blog-reading and writing, text-messaging, and emails.
5. I maintain a balanced budget - Household budget, pay bills, clip coupons, etc.
6. I'm a mediator - With four kids, things can get pretty heated at times. I'm proud to say I've resolved some tough contract negotiations around this work place.
7. I'm a team player - I try to do what's best for our "team" (family), even though that sometimes (often) means putting myself last.
So, I guess I really AM a highly accomplished female business executive, sort of. At least in our little neck of the woods, anyway.
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Zachary (age 8): "Connor, let's see how long we can balance our backpacks on our heads"
Connor (age 10): "No way, I don't want to mess my hair up"
Zachary - "Mom, are you a diva?" (and he pronounced it "DIVE-a")
Zachary - "Mom, are you too old to bend your back over?"
Shelby (12) - "Kite flying is over-rated"
Zachary - "Emma smells better than Connor" (Emma is our dog. Connor is our son)
Last month, we had a family reunion for my mom's side of the family. Many of my aunts, uncles, and cousins would be attending, most of which, my children do not know all that well. Zachary asked "where are we going?" several times. Each time I replied, "to a family reunion at my Uncle Jimmy's". Finally, he said "who is Uncle Jimmy? Do you mean Jimmy Buffet?"
HA! Apparently Zachary thinks his mama is an old diva who is related to Jimmy Buffett.
Ghosts of Old Louisville by David Domine - It revolves around one of the oldest Victorian neighborhoods in America, Old Louisville. This particular neighborhood is not far from the area of Louisville in which I grew up (about a 15 minute drive), so, of course, these local stories were of particular interest to me. I don't know if I believe in ghosts or spirits, but, I do like to think anything is possible. "Ghost stories" have always fascinated me, even as a child. The author tells stories pertaining to hauntings in Old Louisville. Some are told to him firsthand, others are legends that have been passed along through the generations. Still yet, he even tells of his own personal experience, moving into a "haunted" house. I was entertained by the ghost stories, but, even more, I learned a lot about this local area that I didn't know. For instance, the great Southern Exposition was held in Louisville back in the 1880's. This was the first time that electricity was used in a nighttime event of this nature. Thomas Edison himself flipped the switch, showing off the use of 4600 lamps. The Southern Exposition was kind of like the "world's fair" of that time. People from all over traveled to see the famous exhibitions. You can go here or here to read more about The Southern Exposition. Also, another location mentioned in the book, is the infamous Waverly Hills Sanitorium. Waverly Hills was a tuberculosis hospital that is reputed to be one of the most haunted sites in the country. During the TB epidemic, thousands died in this building. It is located just a few minutes away from the house I lived in as a child and teen. Many, many years ago, way before I was born, my grandfather actually worked there, for a short time, as an orderly. I really enjoyed the book, and even hope to take a drive around town and actually get a peek at some of the locations mentioned. If you like stories about ghosts, spirits, or the supernatural, or you are a history buff, I think you would enjoy this quick and easy read. The author has such a flair with words and descriptions of scenes, that you can almost feel like you are back in time, standing in one of the beautiful Victorian mansions.
Monday, September 29, 2008
This past spring, my oldest son was out walking with friends in this area, and they came across two big waterfalls. They snapped a picture on their cell phone camera, and we couldn't believe how beautiful and big the waterfalls were. We finally decided to go check it out for ourselves. This is the place, just ahead of the boys, where the waterfalls were located. However, much to our disappointment, they are now dried up, because of our lack of rainfall. The boys actually trekked down into the shallow stream, but, my daughter and I weren't that adventurous.
These are some of the huge rocks that have been excavated. Wow! Wouldn't we love to have them to use in our own backyard to make a pond.
Our area is known for having a lot of rock. Here, you can see the layers of rock still in the earth, where they have worked on excavating.
Some of the roadway for the new neighborhood - aren't all the trees beautiful.
It's hard to tell from this picture, but, this was a huge sinkhole that we came across. If you peer down into the hole, you can see a rock wall. It was really cool (except for the trash that someone had thrown into it, ugh!) And, it was not very safe, it looked quite deep.
All these tall trees were so pretty with the sunlight shining through.
More pretty trees. The leaves are just starting to change colors.
Another roadway of the future neighborhood. This steep hill was quite the hike (can I count that as exercise;o)
This tree had the most unusual branches (or it could've been a vine). It was all twisted and outstretched - it reminded me of an octopus.
My daughter decided to collect some of nature's bounty. She ended up with acorns, pine cones, and some type of large nut. We brought them home and made a little bowl arrangement. I love acorns! The tops come off so perfectly, they look like little heads wearing hats.
Thanks for coming along with us on our outing. As this development continues, I will share more pictures in the future. I love to watch the progression of these things.