Total Pageviews

Saturday, January 7, 2012

An Egg Bake at Night

We were fifteen minutes into a movie tonight and I was on pinterest and I saw a recipe for a egg bake that goes in the crockpot and cooks over night.  I happen to have all but two ingredients.

We stopped the movie and made our breakfast.  Christian took a nap today so he was having a hard time falling asleep so I got him up to crack 15 eggs.  He loved it.  Even thanked me when I kissed him goodnight.

It would really be great if it turns out in the morning.

Morning Already?!

Check the post time.

It's About 12:45am.  I'm at the kitchen table blogging, and such, with slightly loud music playing and Mark is in the living room with a boxing match rocking which he yells at here and there.  Several lights are on.

All of a sudden Victoria comes running down the hall and shouts, "Oh my gosh!  I thought it was nighttime!  How long have I been sleeping?!"  I walked her back down the hall and reassured her it was still night and I hadn't even been to bed yet and she said, "What are you waiting for? And how much longer until the sun actually comes up?"

A vey very long time.

Let's hope everyone sleeps until it actually rises.  I will not hold my breath.

A Gift from a Friend

Only a very very good friend would wrap this up from your son:

Thanks Liv, I love it!!!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Sportsman's Guide and a Baby

I started working at the Sportsman's Guide when I was 16 years old.  I worked there (weekends) even when I had a full time job teaching.  That's over eight years.  I really loved that job.  It was a lot of fun.  A lot of perks - flexing - winning contests - great pay - paid time off - 10% above costs on merchandise - and meeting great friends.

That is where I hooked Molly up with a job our Sr. year of high school and introduced her to Brian.
Just so nobody forgets I did create that amazing union!

There are very few people I still keep in contact with.  One is my friend Bryan.  It's been years since we've seen each other. 10 maybe? 8-9 for sure.  But we email once in a while.  We (his wife) and I send Christmas cards/letters.

They've been trying to have a baby for years.  Four maybe.  Years.

Finally I got word about 8 months ago, finally, a bun was in the oven.

We've emailed quite a bit. I love to give 'advice' on the topic.  Do this. Watch for that.  etc.....

I knew she was due in Jan. because months ago I typed - January is the BEST year to deliver - trust me - I know!!!

We didn't receive a Christmas card from them this year.  Which I've been looking forward to since I heard they were expecting since they're sooooo creative.  No card.  No letter.  So I emailed him tonight.

Thinking about you.  Thinking the day is nearing.  Let me know how she's feeling. I'm sure you two are on top of the world excited.

Within minutes he replied she does fine Ben needs more time?

Who refers to their unborn child be name?

I replied IS HE BORN?  this day in age, how could this info be kept secret?

Apparently, somehow, someway, I?? blocked his posts from my page and the baby was born THIS MORNING!!   Now I look like a you know what.

So I had to follow up my emails like rambling idiot.  Unfortunately, the baby aspirated and is in NICU.

After years of waiting, I wished them a quick and limited  (she went med. free - YAY) pain delivery.  But now they're faced with the immediate worries of a parent.

Parenting is a roller coaster. . . and they're just at the very bottom of the very first hill.

Marissa's Gift

Kids have so much stuff crap it's ridiculous.  I don't remember having this much crap.  I truly believe we didn't.  It's just not us.  Every friends' house I/we go to we/they complain about the crap. 
Even as we stand there exchanging Christmas gifts (i.e. giving each other more crap!!!!)

For my nieces I try not to give gifts (i.e. crap to lay around the house).
Each birthday I make each one a scrapbook of the past year.
At Christmas it's way harder to think of something that's not - let's just call it what it is - crap.
After two months of trying to figure out an experience Marissa would enjoy I decided to do a 
Create Your Own Day of Fun 
and she would choose.

I definitely helped her choose, but she did choose.
She had a choice of activity and lunch.

She choose:

A pedicure

We took Victoria with too.

After all three of us were pampered and beautified 
we headed off to her (slightly tampered) choice of lunch at

The Avalon Tea Room

They enjoyed the hats.

But didn't like the tea.
They enjoyed a monstrous mug of hot chocolate instead.
Which left me a pot of tea for three, all to myself.

It was a memorable day and the start to a new tradition.

Next year, I vow to make it way more kid friendly and I'll include the littlest lady too.

NYE 2012

New Year's Eve 2012
Turtle Lake Casino
Getting ready for a big night out.
This is how it all began.

There was a nice buffet dinner.

Some winning:

Some losing:

No picture (thank goodness!)

Then at 11:30 we began standing in our spots under the balloon drop, each under the highest denomination we could find.

We got: 
$10, $5, two free buffets and a free drink and we got knocked to the least I did.

But we were still happy.

At the end:

That's not actually OUR table.
Our's was way messier.

Happy New Year.

Let's make it a great one!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


It's not great and it's not grave.  They couldn't get it all and we'll know more on Monday.
Again, we wait. Hoping and praying for good news.

As Mark's mom said tonight, "We'll pray for a miracle."

Yes we will.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Thinking of Therese Tomorrow

It's been weeks of celebrations.
Weeks of fun.
Weeks of vacations.

Unfortunately, during all that, reality hit.

About three weeks ago I received a message before school on my cell phone from Therese.
Usually her messages are light.
Usually her messages make me feel good.
She's one of my favorite friends to hear from.
Unfortunately, on this particular morning she called to let me know she has 
breast cancer 
and she had wanted to tell me, but had to wait for more information before telling her kids.
She told them the night before she called me.

I was shocked.

When I heard her start crying I was

She was still going through tests and didn't know what was to come yet.

 A few days later she had the MRI that (we thought) would give us the information.

I showed up that night with a bottle of wine, chocolates, cookies and stories to make everyone laugh
 (the last wasn't planned).  But it worked.
We hugged.  
We didn't cry.

Until I drove home, at least.

We had to wait a week.  And we did.
6 days later she was given 'good' news.  It was a herm a.... something.
Great news.  Not cancer.  Just a tumor.  Let's get it out.

Christmas happened and she hosted FIFTY and was thrilled.

Less than one week later she met with the surgeon to find out -
we're sorry, that information was a mistake.

herma... (whatever its called - I'm too mad at it too look it up)
 are only found in organs not tissues.

Your's is growing extensively each week.  You'll be having surgery in one week.

One week is tomorrow.

The woman who's been more of a mother to me than the woman who gave birth to me 
will be having surgery tomorrow.

As if that's not scary enough, we still need to wait for more tests.  
Life changing.

When we had to good news I emailed:

I've always known I loved you, I just didn't know how much 'til this week.

I'm afraid of the trials she is to face.
I'm sad and scared for her family.

I think of her mom, who I love, (who's almost 90) worried about her daughter.
I think of her daughter who loves her dearly and looks to her each day.
I think of her teenage son who will forever remember this year.
I think of her husband who's depended on this woman for the last 25 years.
I think of her sisters.
I think of all the people she's touched.

That's a lot of people.

I think of how she's touched my life.
I met her when I was 18 years old.
I was in high school.  I felt lucky just to babysit in her gorgeous house and take care of the most wonderful children I had ever met.
I dreamt of, one day living a life, somewhat as perfect as hers.
She taught me to be a thoughtful friend as she left me a daily present as she did her children the week I watched them while they were on a cruise.
She taught me how to be a loving and caring wife 
- as Mark and I lived there to nanny the couple years before we married.
Most importantly, she taught me how to be the kind of mother I never thought I could be.
She has been my role model.
I've thought of her 100's of times in the last six years.
What would Therese do? 
When I don't do right, I reflect and change.
What would Therese do?

She's taught me true patience.
She's taught me true love.
She's taught me to set my kids up for a positive start to their day.
She's taught me to always make time for my children - no matter what.
She's taught me time away from my children isn't a bad thing.
She's taught me to let them clean up their own messes.
She's taught me to read to them anytime they'd listen.
She's taught me to let them cook.
She's taught me to my son be wild because that's the way boys are.
She's taught me to treat my daughter like a little princess.
She's taught me to brush their teeth (really good) every night.
She's taught me to scrub out wounds so they don't get infected
 (well.... she TRIED to teach me that but I haven't yet mastered it - it's gross (but no infections either)).

She's not perfect.  But she's damn close in my book.  

Tomorrow she's going to have surgery and I'm going to school as if everything's ok.
But it's not.
It's scary.
It's sad.
I hate it.

Every time I get bad news I get so angry.

Of all people - why her?! 

I'm looking forward to receiving a message from Terry telling me everything went well and she's resting.
Then after school I'll bring the family the Spaghetti Bake I made them tonight.

Hopefully that's the way tomorrow will go.

Hopefully, we'll get real good news soon.

Best Friends

I don't know how long they'll hold hands like they're best friends
 or laugh together so hard their heads are tilt back
 - but I will treasure these days.

Our Christmas

"Christmas waves a magic wand vow this world, and, behold, everything is softer and more beautiful."
- Norman Vincent Peale

A traditional Christmas treat we made twice this year.
I love to watch his little fingers unwrap the foil 
and my serious girl put the chocolates on just right.

Victoria got that gorgeous headband at the Dollar Store the previous day and insisted on wearing it to school two days in a row.
She looked like she was starring in Flashdance throughout the day.
By the way...I wonder where that thing is...

We're gonna wear that sweatshirt out, 
because soon we'll have to find a boy who's only three
because this big boy only has 24 more days until his birthday!

The week before Christmas at Mark's cousin's Juli's house.
We had the best time ever there!!


Tegan...soon to be Auntie Tegan

The cousins and second consins

The brothers
The Lovebirds

Mother and child ;-)

Favorite Cousins of All Time

The girls

Beginning a game of Pin the Nose on Rudolph
Christian just wanted to run around and bump into things blind folded though.

Watching the big kids get closer than them.

Poor Rudolph looks like he got shot.

The gifts.

It's a week BEFORE Christmas and we could have stopped right here with all the gifts.
The kids were in HEAVEN!

"A Barbie! I love Barbies!!"
Really?!?  I didn't know!

Then the real fun began!!!!
We sent the kids downstairs to watch a movie (over and over and over)
(Sent them down over and over not watch the movie over and over)
Then we had to roll doubles to get a chance to unwrap the gift. First person to get to the prize wins it.
Little did we know it was wrapped in seven different boxes.
Plus you're wearing Christmas over mitts never mind the Santa hat.
Absolutely hilarious!!!

Poor Tegan.
That girl really can roll doubles!!
Over and over.

I refused to chew at it and decided to punch it instead.
Needless to say, I didn't get in.
Tegan eventually won the gift card to Cub.
She deserved it.

My very own adorable elf.
Damn, that kid is cute!!

On the eve of Christmas Eve 
we spent a few hours celebrating at my brother's house.
We made gingerbread houses.

Yes, the teacher comes out of me at all functions I am even relatively in charge of.

Does she look like she wants her daddy's help?
Maybe I should have set him up with his own little house.

Very proud and very hopped up on sugar!!

A game of Roll Doubles for prizes.
They're so little they don't even know how to roll dice
let alone recognize doubles.
Eventually I just started cheering and told them to grab a prize.
Wasn't quite as exciting as I planned.
Next year will be the year.

More gifts.
These kids are so spoiled. . .

All night Ashley called me, in her super sweet - high pitched voice, Markandkelly.
It sounded like peanut butter and jelly or auntie kelly. 
Then we finally figured it out.
I guess she's still trying to figure out who Mark is.

Uncle Wayne and Aunt Cassie got Christian a chainsaw complete with goggles and he immediately started trying to cut down their house.

Mama Deb got him his very own hair gel.
He does spend more time on his one inch of hair each morning than I spend on mine.

Taking a ride in Mama's gardening thingabumbob.

Victoria got a SpyKit that works amazingly well!
Luckily for us, Mama and Papa let us know she was planning on staying up late to 
hear what Mark and I talk about late at night.
Papa convinced her the kitchen is further than 15 ft away from her bed.

The very next night was Christmas Eve.
We got to Mama Jeanne's around 4:30 ready for a good time!!
Mama Jeanne likes to open gifts the MINUTE you walk in the door.
The kids were down for it, but the rest of us held them off for a good 30 minutes or so.

Love this picture of us on the couch.
Love it.

The Lovebirds.
Love that one too.

Hey, love that one too!!

We built gingerbread houses (again).

The annual As Soon As You Walk in the Door Group Shot

Hopped up on sugar (again).

Cuddling with Papa!

She open her real tea set from Mama and Papa
and shouted,
"This is just perfect! Now we can plan that tea party mom!"
It's going to be very special!

I somehow was short a milk carton.
I called Mark down to improvise.
He made a small  large gingerbread house out of the box from Christian's recently received Nerf football.
He handed it to Emilee who looked like she was going to cry.
Then we passed it over to 3rd grader Matthew who went to town!
Turns out, he worked on it for two days!

Then we had to play the annual game of "Name that Celebrity"
I made the game for the first time in 2003 and we've played every year since.
I made it way harder this year.
#23 was Lamar Odom and I included many wearing shades.
However, Guy still won with 100%.
I was shocked.
I think I'm going to secretly cancel his secret subscription to US Weekly.

Tegan made adorable penguins made out of black olives and carrots.
So cute!
She's got just the right amount of Martha in her.  ;-)

I made my 5th batch of my infamous
deviled eggs.

Whew, I'm sick of peeling, eating, making those little suckers!

(Before we left for Mama Jeanne's) 
We received a special delivery from Mrs. Claus on our stoop from Mrs. Claus.
They both actually just stepped over the package and kept on walking.
Thanks to Amazon, a package on the stoop ain't nothin' around here!

We sprinkled the magic reindeer food strategically around the house.

Oat by oat.
Very very strategically 
while looking at the sky discussing Santa theories.

When we got home we laid out the cookies, milk and carrots for Santa and his crew.
With a napkin so he could wipe his beard - per Christian's request.

Then we got our special
Here Comes Santa jammies and cuddled for a real Night Before Christmas rendition of Night Before Christmas.

Next thing we knew, Santa had been here!!

This is the shot I was hoping for.

Isn't it just oozing Christmas magic!!??

I wonder how much longer he'll do that little squat like that instead of just sit down?

All the planning.
The lists.
The running around.
The money.
The lists.
The running around.

That's why, right there.

Look at those little faces!!

Thank goodness Santa blesses our girl with her beloved 
Go Go Puppy.
She's been pining over it for over a year and looked right into Santa's eyes and clearly stated, 
"I really really want the Go Go Puppy.  Just a Go Go Puppy." 

Well Santa, you came through.
However, I could have told you that $50 'puppy' wouldn't hold her attention for long.
Good try though.

Seriously, a three year old who rips off his Santa jammies to through on his 
new sz 7 (he's got his daddy's butt) Scooby Doo undies.

Then Victoria wants to know where hers are too! 

Of all his gifts - 
remote control cars - to the tune of nearly half a dozen of them
his most fave gift of all...

the 4.49 shaving set I haphazardly threw in to the cart last minute.

Loves it.

Is this the cutest thing ever?!?!

So serious.

It's even cuter when he gets done and says,
"Ok, Mom feel these cheeks!

That was an amazing Christmas!!