Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy Christmas Eve!

This is what our Christmas Eve looks like. Some would call it a Winter Wonderland. And yes, it is amazing, and gorgeous, yada, yada, yada. I'm not a snow person though. So, although I am trying to see the white, frozen beautiful part- what I see is a travel nightmare. I'll work on that.

Here is a glimpse at our tree. The felt ornaments are handmade. By me. :o) Starting when I was 6. I spread them out over about 3 years! LOL

Merry Christmas!


Sunday, November 28, 2010

Over the river....

What a great weekend!
Thanksgiving Day was spent with Adam's family at his grandmother's house. As always, everything was so delicious. I always find it interesting how everyone has different 'traditional' food on holidays. The menu with his family is most of the things you think of... turkey, dressing, candied yams, mashed potatoes, gravy, rolls, you know the standard stuff. But add 'noodles' YUM!
It has taken me quite a while to get comfortable with this group, which is pretty unusual for me and a little unnerving to be honest. It's a pretty odd dynamic to say the least. But I've come to enjoy dinners at Adam's Mama's (Maw-Maw) house.
This is what I wrote on the blackboard the other day. Self explanatory, I know, and it seems like a no-brainer. But it cuts to the heart of it, don't you think? And it is something that I am going to try to be much more mindful of everyday. I have soooo much to be thankful for, but yet at times, find myself focusing on things I can't even change.

Friday was our day with my family. Cameron had to work, but having 3 out of 4 kids are great odds. Especially with the crazy lives those guys lead. But what a wonderful surprise when Cameron walked through the door a couple hours before the rest were due to arrive. His boss had given him the day to come to Thanksgiving!
Now let me say, this is the very first time all 4 of my kids have been to my house at the same time since I moved here. Time and circumstances have plotted against having all of us together at the same time here. So it really was a special day.
The lives of my girls will be changing dramatically in the next year, so what a blessing to have this day with everyone.

As you can see, we quickly had snacks to recover from the drive. 1 1/2 hours is a while for a little kid! :o)

Why, you ask, is Annie hiding out with Cameron??

'Cause Gabi & Maggie have started a wrestling match with Casey and she wants no part of it! Poor Casey, I think he didn't really want a part if it either, but he's so good with the girls. Many comments were made though about his and Cameron's hope that Danee will finally give them a nephew. :o)

It is always a little stressful to get the cooking done for me. Now let me say that I wouldn't have it any other way and that I love it. But I'm always relieved to have it all out, ready to eat and not have something left in the 'fridge that we forgot!

The little girls moved to the grown up table after dinner to pick at everyones plates. :o)

Danee & Adam took care of the dishes. They are my HEROES! And as always, those two have a little fun while they work.

Courtney brought her crazy chihuahua, Gideon . Annie spent the first 30 minutes or more running from his amorous attention, but they ended up great buddies. The day completely exhausted my poor little girl. She has spent the better part of the time since all the company left sound asleep! They wore her out!

Miss Gracie is just a riot! We call her Frank the Tank. Which I know will need to end soon, before she knows what we are saying and it damages her for life!

Maggie needed a little pumpkin pie to make her day complete! Yummy.

As with every visit, the art table is where it's at. Even Gracie with her reindeer hat got in the act. I managed to keep the toy box out of the equation this time, and this is not even all the art supplies!

I hope everyone had as good of a day as I did! It was best Thanksgiving weekend in recent memory.



Sunday, November 14, 2010

Projects around my house

I am really blessed to live with a kick ass furniture builder. He is self-taught, or more accurately, he and his dad have done wood working since he was little. And this was passed down from his father's father. I love tradition, and passing down what you love to do. Whether it is music, crafting, cooking or baseball. It's important to share what you love with your kids.

I need to be better about taking pictures of the beginning of projects. Adam can make sheets of plywood and ugly boards into amazing, beautiful pieces of art that are all around our home. I'll share more as time goes on.

This project started when he made a really nice entertainment center for some friends last spring and of course I started having furniture envy. I'm just like that. I was looking at one of my favorite catalogs for really cool ideas for the house, Ballard Designs, and saw some really beautiful pieces that were out of range with what we are willing to spend. But the seeds of ideas were planted and bit by bit we came up with a plan.

Here's the "shell". A good start, don't you think?

Pull out drawers were needed for game controllers, cords, remotes, etc. And I wanted it to sit up off the floor.

Doors are surprisingly hard to get square. And this was a 1st attempt at inset glass.

We found hardware that perfectly went with the paint & glaze treatment that we would be using.

The perfect glass was found at Village Glass Works on 10th Street. Someday I would love to take a stained glass class from them. They were really wonderful at helping me find exactly what I was trying to describe.

And just a couple weeks later, here are the beautiful results! This had so many steps to it, so considering that after work and weekends are all the time there is to work on it, it went fast. I am so pleased with it. That really doesn't begin to tell you how much I love it. :o)

I never remember to take pictures of the painting either since that's the part I am most involved with. It was painted white, then wiped with a glaze and chocolate colored paint mixture. This is the 2nd project we have used this paint technique, and I really love the look.

So now you understand when I say that Adam is an artist!



Thursday, November 4, 2010

Miss Annie

We have a new member of our family. My sweet, spoiled 12 year old doxie, Jackson, got very sick this spring and we lost him in just a couple days later. Devastating doesn't cover it really. He was my kid. He was a beer drinking dog, and loved road trips where I drove and he could ride on Adam's lap and they could share a Sam.

I really didn't think that I would want a puppy again within the year, but as we started talking about it, I just kept saying "After we get home from Vacation". And that's what happened. Something just switched in me and I started looking. Newspapers, shelters & 2nd chance facilities. Then my dear friend Jo, who had know Jackson since I brought him home, started checking Craigslist for me. After lots of un-returned phone calls & emails I got a response and she text me a picture within 5 minutes. And now we have Annie. Right now she is 6 pounds and a ball of psycho energy. And we love her!

Jackson's full AKC name was Shoeless Joe Jackson. The baseball theme reigns supreme in my world. And we had been looking for a male black & tan doxie, and Adam had a name all ready. Well, we got a sweet little girl instead. She broke my chi already, but no shoes have been mangled, so sweet still applies! I had to come up with a name... it ended up being pretty easy. Annie is the character Susan Sarandon played in Bull Durham, and is in my top 5 favorite movies ever!

So here she is napping & already bigger! She is a hot mess which makes her a perfect fit for us!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Happy Halloween

It seemed very odd that Halloween was on the weekend. (yes I know it was last year too...) It seems like part of Halloween is rushing home from work and trying to get some real food into kids so sugar is not the only thing going into their already hyper little bodies. This weekend seemed like one event after another, Friday through Sunday.

For the last few years I have not been doing Halloween decorations, instead going for just Autumn items. OK, I'm lazy. This way it stays up until Thanksgiving!

The trick-or-treat group that went through the neighbor hood was mostly age appropriate. There were, however, a couple that were pushed my limits. And 1 group that went as far as to make me mad. The mad group was a group of 6 that came in a van. There were younger kids, 1 who was pushing it, and a GROWN WOMAN. I have told this story several times today because I think I still can't believe it! She had a fabric, reusable shopping bag and at first I didn't really notice. That is until she flat out asked if she could 'have the Reeces'. Really?! At that point I needed to refill my bowl (only about 4 or 5 pieces left). The oldest kid in the group then says 'I'll take the rest of those.' At this point I looked at him and said "No you won't" It was out before I could check my mouth. If one of my kids had done this all the candy would have been mine and we would have been heading home!
Other than this one group we had a great group of princesses, and Buzz Lightyear, puppies, and the cutest little pirate!

Hope everyone had a great time no matter how you celebrated... or didn't. :o)



Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Pictures that make me happy...

When I was home visiting I raided some of my mom's pictures and did a whole bunch of scanning. I could have made several trips to that little hub of scanners, but with Adam & Casey's help we knocked out more than $50 worth of pics in half an hour or so. Then I had to buy them A & W in payment for their time & help. (They really were a HUGE help too, soooo worth it!)

This is of my maternal grandparents... from the left, my Nana & Papa & two of their very good friends. It is taken before my mom was born so probably 1944 or 1945. Casey said this is one of the coolest pictures he had ever seen... very Rat Pack like.

These were taken at the same time, 1965... My dad's senior picture & my mom's junior. Not much of *smile* on either of their faces, but it brings one to mine.

This not only brings me a big smile, but a lump in my throat too. Cameron would have been about 18 months or so. What a sweetie he was.... still is. And his smile is the same now as it was then.

Not only a smile for this one, but a big laugh too! Rest assured the kid did learn to dress herself, and very well too. My life was NEVER dull!

Casey was one of the kids that woke up happy and smiling. Thank God! What a cutie!

Have to remind myself that this sweet girl has 3 sweet (most of the time ☺) girls of her own.

And then there is this picture.... I laughed for 5 minutes when I saw it! Poor Cameron. He is 2 1/2 and has just met his baby sister for the first time. Up until now he was pretty excited. But as you can tell by the WTF look on his face, he has done a 180!



Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Green Tomato Salsa

I have to admit, I have never tasted green tomato salsa or relish. So when it was suggested, by my friend Dawn, that we make it I turned to several different cooking sites to see what was in it and involved in making it.

First thing involved was Adam's hunt for a super duper food processor. He settled on this big dog.

After 'processing' away this is what we ended up with.... mush. At this point I was a little afraid that we had just wasted a lot of good ingredients, but who am I kidding, that wouldn't be a first!

Here is the finished product. Tastes good! Another successful experiment. I am a believer that Adam can make just about anything work.



Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Making memories....

Gabi & Maggie were here this weekend. It's been a long time since we had them for a weekend and I had really looked forward to them being here. I usually only have Gabi, but really wanted to have them both. Wonder when I'll get brave enough to have them all again. *smile* I like to have them one at a time so they get lots of one-on-one attention.
First thing is ALWAYS to go to the 'secret attic' and get the toys and art supplies. This was probably 1/2 hour after we made it through the door! Tea party and art projects reign supreme on Nana & Adam weekend. It's not unusual for poor Adam to be having a tea party minutes after waking up! He's such a great sport.

It amazes me that this long legged creature is linked to me by our genes. Of course her mommy was exactly the same.

Cupcakes were on the list of things we wanted to do. Gabi was too busy at the moment to help, but Maggie very patiently took the liners apart and took it all very seriously. She was too cute!

Very proud little cupcake girl!

Now she was NOT too busy to eat cupcakes!

You might think that we watch 'The Great Pumpkin" because it's that time of year, and you would be right. But of all the movies we have THIS movie gets watched every visit. It could be worse!

The pumpkin patch was such a fun part of our time together. They ran and fed animals (tried to anyway, after being fed nonstop they weren't too hungry)

They tried to talk us (briefly) into a ginormous pumpkin. And I have to admit, when I pictured their mommy & daddy's faces I almost thought it would be worth hauling it to the truck. But then I thought better of it.

We did a little hay riding. It was pretty perfect!

Adam gave them a little outside project. We needed to get the tomato and pepper plants pulled up, so he had them pick 'all the tomatoes and peppers that are left on the plants'. Neither one of us thought there was much left. Never underestimate a 5 year old & a 2 year old with a goal...

THIS is what they found! This will be turned into green tomato salsa... stay tuned.

Dinner, bath, movies & sleeping slumber party style on the living room floor and couches. Then pancakes & we are ready to be outside again. It always so sweet to watch our Gabi being such a good big sister. She is forever taking care of her and making sure she can keep up.

And they are off and running! Does my heart good.

Now this makes my heart ache.... how many times did I watch their mommy run towards the fun. So the goal is to watch them run, and help them have as much fun as possible. And I guess make as many memories as we can hold in the process!