Wednesday, December 31, 2008

I can't believe I did it again!!!

Well here we are, the last day of the year, and there's so much I could be blogging about. Like for example how even though it wasn't the greatest year in many ways, it was a lot better than 2007!! I could also continue the cleaning and organizing that I opted to do instead of going to the movies with the rest of my family. I will get back to that task shortly, but in the meantime I have to relive my library experience for you because it just screams "blog material".

We are big library people, as are most of my readers I'm sure. We have always been huge fans of the library that Jake has called "Miss Lynn's library" since he could talk (even when Miss Sally was still there). We probably take out 500 books and movies a year, and I really don't think I'm exaggerating. We get calls from them at least a few times a week because an item we've "requested has arrived", and occassionally because "one or more of the items we've checked out is overdue". We have a great working relationship with them. We can request items from any of the 9 libraries in the county system and pick them up there. We can also go to any of those other libraries and check stuff out (as much as we'd like) and then return it to "Miss Lynn's Library". Who could ask for more? Last year before I was too busy blogging, I used to be on a yahoo group with people from all over the country who use the same curriculum as us. I heard many stories from people all over whose libraries didn't have any good books, or had limits, or weren't child friendly, and many other negative things. I even had my own bad library experience when we lived in CT, once Madi was born, I could no longer take Jonathan to toddler storytime because babies weren't allowed!! I mean did you ever hear anything so crazy?! Boy once we moved here I thought we died and went to Heaven to see what a great library system we had.

Here's the thing, the library that is two minutes from our house is NOT part of the county system. I am well aware of that. In some circles it is known as the "useless library". Jake really enjoys playing on the computers there. We've gotten into the habit since Jake has been homeschooling to go there every week or two. It is really quiet, and I can sit and read while he works on the computer (it is quiet because no one I know goes there...at the other library I'd run into tons of people I know and talk the whole time and never get any reading done). Often we check out books from there, you get the same three weeks as Miss Lynn's library, and sometimes they have books that the county system doesn't have. We really try not to check out videos and dvds there because it COSTS 25cents to check them out. I know that's not really a big deal, but since we can get them for free at the other libraires, why do it? WHY DID I DO IT???? You see, not only do they cost 25cents...it is a $2.00 per day per movie late fee!!! I've known this for years. A few months ago we got totally stung and had 4 movies out 1 day late (or maybe 1 movie out 4 days late)...Jake and I went in with big frowns on our faces and counted out EIGHT DOLLARS to give them. This was supposed to impress on Jake (and myself) why we WERE NOT GOING TO CHECK OUT MOVIES from there any more!!! Would you believe I didn't learn my lesson?! Apparently about two weeks ago we were in there. I was reading and Jake was playing on the computer. I vaguely recall him talking me into checking out (for 25cents) a Teletubbies Christmas movie! Yes I am insane!! Well today guess what I found under our Christmas movies?! TEN DOLLARS later--here I am! PLEASE don't let me do that again!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A different kind of 100 things

I got this from Cindy. I'd like to see some of my readers post this too!

OOops! What I forgot to say was you are supposed to copy and paste this whole thing, then make bold the things you've done. It's not that hard, I just figured out bold for the first time while doing this...it is the first thing up on the corner of the posting screen.


1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
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. Gone rollerskating
15. Adopted a child--I want to!
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
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill--I'm not sure, I haven't "worked" in a really long time!24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon--I did walk a 20 mile walk-a-thon though.28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise--we're planning one for our 15th anniversary
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors--how far back? I've spent a lot of time in the house where my grandmother was born--just haven't made it to Ireland yet.
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Acted in a play or performed on stage
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo's David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance--too many times, but I was never the patient.
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of 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. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
59. Visited Russia
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 or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt--a small one!
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
86. Visited the White House
87. Won money
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Had to put someone you love in Hospice Care--I didn't personally do it.
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Read an entire book in one day

OK, now I'm going to make it my goal to serve in a soup kitchen and buy a stranger a meal in 2009!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Daybook


FOR TODAY Sunday night December 28, 2008...

Outside my window...it's dark and we just got home and are going to bed soon, so we didn't even turn the Christmas lights on.

I am thinking...about what a great Christmas and Christmas weekend it was!

I am thankful for...Dot, Paul, and Patrick giving Jonathan a really nice bedroom set that we are going to go pick up tomorrow.

From the learning rooms...another week off.

From the kitchen...still leftovers, cleaning out the freezer, and hoping to plan days where the kids pick out a meal and help to prepare it--I am hoping this becomes a new routine for us, especially to help my picky ones.

I am wearing...actual clothes, not jammies this time, greenish capris, a greenish sweater, and my new magnetic necklace from Jake, and my crystal Christmas tree earrings for another few days and then not again until Thanksgiving.

I am creating...a stockpile of gifts for next year that we've gotten at 70% off after Christmas prices.

I am going...to have my husband home all week!

I am reading...another Christmas book, The Christmas Shoebox, I think it's called.

I am hoping...for a long, calm, restful week, well actually a long, calm, restful 2009!

I am hearing...Mike yelling about his blackberry not working, oh nevermind, he fixed it.

Around the house...Jake's asleep and the rest of us are heading to bed.

One of my favorite things...Christmas cards-especially with a picture and a letter, how are we supposed to know what's going on if people don't send a letter?! There are still a lot of people that I am waiting to hear from.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Mike's made a big long list for his week off that includes accomplishing projects as well as things like bowling and doing a puzzle. Basically we want to get a lot done and still feel well rested, sort of like my goals for every other week.

Here is a picture story I am sharing...our day...















Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas day

Dot, Paul, and Allie arrived from Connecticut at about 1:30, just in time for more food and fun!!

Well mannered Jake pronounced the homemade macaroni and cheese disgusting, but when he found out Meme made it, he continued with, "but it LOOKS really good Meme"!

Matching golf shirts from Meme and Grampa Carlie.

Yes I know, she does look about 15 in this picture, we thought that also when we were playing Scattergories and her answer to what you find at a football game was "muscled men", but don't worry she really is still a young ten year old who wholeheartedly still "believes", she wrote the letter to Santa on her own.
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Christmas Morning

The excitement of heading down the stairs...



For some reason I really enjoy putting pictures of food on my blog, probably because I really enjoy food! These have been our Christmas traditional breakfasts for the last few years copied from friends...Skier's French Toast and Egg Cheese and sausage breakfast casserole.



Towels with their names on them for Meme and Grampa Carlie, we also gave them a coffee grinder, a lemon tree, and a customized calendar.

Patrick opening the golf pillow cases that we made for him...


Eventhough it was a somewhat "lean Christmas"-- sort of a running joke in our family, we ended up with lots of wii games (although I think the kids spent the most time playing the two we just borrowed from the library..."because we have to give them back"). Jonathan got a guitar, Madi got some clothes and hot rollers, Jake got some wonder pets stuff, some of the Disney cars that he is starting to collect, and some art supplies. They have lots of gift cards, they all got another Webkinz, an American Idol singing game, and more. In their stockings they got bandaids, soap, shampoo, toothbrushes, goldfish crackers, etc...and of course gold chocolate coins in the toe.

Jake gave me a magnetic necklace, Madi made me earrings and an anklet and she gave em the book Twilight, and Jonathan gave me a candle. Mike and I just did stockings for each other, but they both included gift cards even Ballroom Dancing Lessons, something we've been talking about for years. In the meantime we have the Wii Dancing With the Stars to get us ready...it is so fun! Ii am so tired, but I want to get a few more pictures on here. I hope you and your family had a very Blessed and Merry Christmas!! Ours was great!

Christmas Eve at home




My cousin Patrick...



Christmas Eve Mass


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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Nursing home

Nursing home then and now...
video

The original plan for the nursing home didn't involve singing, but the kids did really well. Madi and Hannah performed the cutest duet of I saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus, and I thought I was recording it, but as Jake would say--apparently not!

Do I wonder why....

...my house looks like this?



It's two days before Christmas, and here's a little sampling of what my yesterday looked like. (not to mention I'm still blogging now as opposed to actually kicking into geer and cleaning it up!)

First we went to the nursing home to hand out crafts (the kids ended up singing too). Jake is hiding behind Daniel.





Can you tell what these two want for Christmas?



Then we came home and baked. I never even got to the fudgy bon bons yesterday, four Hawaiian breads and 8 mini cranberry breads was enough to send me over the edge!


Then the kids went to a little party where they made these...


THEN came Church rehersal for the two kings...


THEN we went home to eat a supper which was already done thanks to the crock pot and Mike. THEN we went to pick up TJ because he was going to spend the night with Jake (he'd already been to our house earlier in the day--after the nursing home during the baking --which the boys were not a part of). THEN we brought Madi back to the house where the party had been where she and Jonathan were spending the night (Jonathan stayed the whole time). We hung out with friends there for a while, sitting around the outside fire drinking wine (me--only one glass) and coffee (Mike) until 10 pm. Then Mike and I went to bed and Jake and TJ played for an undetermined length of time.

Which brings us to this morning...


and another full day coming up!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Daybook


FOR TODAY December 22...to participate in the Simple Woman's daybook go here.

Outside my window...It is sunny, cool, and breezy.

I am thinking...about how much my back hurt last night and I'm so glad it feels better today. I think I pulled something when I was sewing and wrapping for hours yesterday...I'm getting old!

I am thankful that everyone is healthy...let's keep it that way!!

From the learning rooms...Christmas Vacation!!

From the kitchen...Last night we had a chicken recipe that I had forgotten about and found while looking for cookie recipes, it is boneless chicken with swiss cheese, cream of chicken soup, wine, and stuffing mix. More cookies today-- Fudgy Bon Bons I think.

I am wearing...Jammies, fuzzy purple socks and my robe.

I am creating...I created some very cute things this week, but can't post the picture yet because they are presents! I also made four pillow cases yesterday for presents.

We are going...to the nursing home to give out crafts we made last week.
I am hoping Jake is nice and friendly there!

I am reading...The Christmas Candle by Max Lucado. I got a bunch of Christmas novels at the library last week. We are listening to The Tale of Despereaux on CD, then I want to go see it at the movies.

I am hearing...Jake getting himself in the tub and Jonathan and Madi talking downstairs.

Around the house...It's not as neat as I'd like, but it's Ok.

One of my favorite things...Christmas!!!

A few plans for the rest of the week: The final preparations for Christmas, by far the best day of the year!! We are doing a Christmas Eve food exchange with friends so I will be making a bunch of breads and in return will get meatballs, vegetables, salad, and a peppermint red velvet cake...do I have the best friends or what?!

Meme and Grampa Carlie and my cousin Patrick will meet us at Christmas Eve Mass where Jonathan is doing the first and second readings and Madi and Jake are 2 of the Three Kings, then we'll all come home to eat, open a few presents, and probably play "oh crap". Christmas morning means stockings, more presents, more good food, and then Dot, Paul, and Allie are flying down from CT, just in time for MORE food and MORE presents!

Here is picture thought I am sharing...The kids in the front seat of the monorail last month...

Saturday, December 20, 2008