Saturday, November 27, 2010

Christmas Shopping on Etsy

Besides my awesome shop (feel free to click on the link to go there!), I always run across amazing sellers on Etsy!

As Christmas is approaching, I thought I'd highlight some of my favorites.

This first shop is called Stacey Winters - Photography and Other Fanciful Things.  Its all so gorgeous - particularly her Christmas items.  Here are just a few...

These are probably my favorite items...these beautiful acorns with glittered caps!

Christmas stationary...

Glittered garland made with pages from books...

and her photography of vintage deer that she turns into prints or cards.  I love these because they remind me so much of decorations that my Grandma would put out for Christmas.

Taking a look will definitely get you in the mood for the holidays!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Christmas Card Picture Outtakes

Every year, while taking the annual Christmas card picture, I end up with quite a few that just won't work.
I usually keep them and have even done some scrapbook layouts with some in the past.
They tell the part of the story that goes beyond the sweet smiles and poses.
They tell about the monsters that my kids really are.
Well...not really monsters - but they do have their strange dark sides!
Come take a peek!

Later on, after pictures were taken, they came inside...
or so I thought.

I found Hannah outside and wasn't sure what to think at first.

But I called her name and found she was still alive.

Being the annoying mom that I am, I decided that spending more than 15 minutes laying still in the snow wasn't really a great idea.
So, I called her to come inside.
And this is the delighted expression I got (I get it a lot these days...I must be doing a grand job!).

Sadly, I didn't take a picture of her very red and painful toes which she was sure were actually frozen.
And I also didn't say "I told you so!"

On a totally different note, I know I keep changing the title of my blog, but I just can't find one that seems "just right".
For now I like this one and will try to keep it for a while.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

So Very Thankful...

and just plain full!

It has been a wonderful day!
The weather outside is so very cold!

But inside our home is warm and the table set for a feast!

Donald brined the turkey and cooked it until it was PERFECT!
We had stuffing, sweet potatoes, cranberry apple sauce, rolls, green beans and gravy.
Later, pecan pie for dessert.

This card was made by Ivan last year, but we put it out each Thanksgiving.

Because he told us to...

Being full on Thanksgiving is something we definitely take for granted.
Just the fact that we are able to sit around together in a warm home, eating this dinner until we can't eat anymore is a luxury that so many people don't have.

So as we ate, we discussed what we were each thankful for, and it always came back to our home and family...parents who love their children, children who love their parents, a mom and dad who love each other, warm food, warm clothes, warm home.
The absolute basics of a good life.

What are you thankful for?

Early Shopping!

I don't EVER go out shopping on Black Friday!

No offense to those who do, but I find it absolutely insane to get up at the crack of dawn and fight the crowds, risk being smashed to death under someone's feet, only to wait in line for hours...all to save a few bucks!
I know there are some amazing sales, but the chances of being one of the lucky few to actually snag one of the big ticket deals is too slim for me to change my ways.

God bless America, but honestly, the concept of shopping and holidays has gotten really screwed up.

So, when I went out yesterday to find some snow boots for Hannah and Donald and myself, I probably spent a bit more than I would have on Friday, but man it was peaceful!

These are the boots I'm replacing...
I've had them for about 15 years and they are quality shoes.  But, for going in and out of snow, when you're hands are near freezing, they are a pain to tie up.
I tossed them in the driveway next to some snow that fell off the van.
That snow in the roads gets nasty after a while!

Here's what I replaced them with!
And that fur on the top goes all the way down!
Nice and cozy!

So one thing I am thankful for today is new warm boots...
But more on being thankful later!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

More Stuff About Snow

I took a few pictures yesterday when the snow let up some, but before the sun came out to start melting anything.

Some pictures of things we won't see again until next year...


Briskets from our awesome bbq made smoker!

And our garden...represented by the stone frog who patiently and stoically keeps watch.
How can he keep a straight face with that ridiculous wig on?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

First Snow!

We've been expecting it for a while now, and it finally arrived yesterday!
That's two days earlier than I was wishing for.
I hoped it wouldn't come til Wednesday afternoon, so the kids would be home from school for the Thanksgiving holidays.
But since when does anybody listen to me?

It snowed all day long...very small flakes, but non-stop...

Pounce, who spends a lot of time in the winter curled up in a cozy spot in the basement decided to head outside and see what's what.
Not sure where he headed off to, but he left evidence of his travels.

After I brought the kids home (via a harrowing drive through the city - cars were sliding and bumping into the back of eachother), I thought how nice it would be to have the driveway shoveled for Donald when he got home.
So, I attempted it...

For those of you who have never shoveled snow...don't be fooled by the tiny delicate flakes gently floating to the ground.
They add up quickly to create a seriously heavy mass of snow!

My neighbor shouted out her door, "You can use my snow blower", and I shouted back, "I don't know how to work it.", to which she replied, "Neither do I!" and shut her door!
We tried to get it going together, but I can't even start a lawnmower, so I was having no luck with this machine either.
Donald soon arrived home and saved the day!
He even got up this morning before work and cleared our driveway and two of our neighbors.  
Hot stuff even in the winter time!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Halloween Pictures

Better late than never!

We had a school carnival on Friday night, but the real candy grab came on Sunday when the kids went trick or treating in our neighborhood.
They scored!
Let's just say that out of 5 kids, only 1 wanted to keep on going.
Can anyone guess who that was?
Let's just say that Death likes his sugar!

Here's our Trick or Treat group ready to go!

These kids aren't messing around -
You'd better be ready when they come to your door!
Do you notice our cat in both pictures?
He manages to find his way into so many pictures.
And he likes to act like he doesn't care that he's there...always looking away.

Vampire ladies!

Blurry, but my favorite picture as we are obviously happy vampire ladies!

Awesome makeup provided by Dad!
Death isn't sad - he's focused.
It's serious business this killing.

And most creative costume goes to....

Our favorite pirate - Colin!

And finally - Cleopatra!
I absolutely loved this costume...especially because when we originally talked about Halloween, she was thinking about going as Obama.
Well, we never looked for found any Obama masks. so later, when we were at Target she saw this costume and liked it.
We added a wig and makeup to complete it.
I thought she looked really nice...then I saw this picture...

Who IS this?
Is this my ELEVEN year old daughter?

Notes to self:
1.  Hide makeup
2.  Buy Obama mask

Happy Belated Halloween!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

We're baaaack! (We've beeeeeeen back!)

YES!  For all you two blog readers out there...Donald and I ARE back from our California (and Portland and Seattle) adventure!

We've actually been back for 4 days shy of a month now.
I don't know...I just didn't feel like getting back on the blog.

This blogging is something that I enjoy - but when I spend any time away from it, it is very hard to start up again.  I don't know why, but it is.

BUT, it is definitely a great way to share our photos and "going-ons" and so I'm going to try and keep it up.

So, back to where we last left off...Disneyland!

Yep, Donald and I took off for a week long vacation alone.
Thanks to Ma 'n Pa Baumbach who generously offered to come to Washington and take care of our kiddos while we ran away.
Thanks to my husband who made it possible...and likes hanging out with his wife!
And another thanks to our kiddos who proved they are the best kids on the planet by never being angry that their parents were going to Disneyland without them.
A bit surprised...but not angry!  Plus, they got cool hoodies.

We spent two days at Disneyland and California Adventure - and it was fantastic!!

 The entrance...all fixed up for the Halloween season!

The Matterhorn.  
This was a must ride - must never ride again sort of ride.
I remember it from a visit I had with my Granny when I was five.  
It must have seemed amazing at that age.  The age where my bones were seemingly made of rubber instead of...well...old bones.  
It was rough!

But look at have to try it!  I mean, it looks like the real Matterhorn (whatever and wherever that is - just kidding...this is it - check it out!

Now you know this is true love.
I am willing to put a picture of myself...looking like that...with more chins than I actually have in "real life" order to show a picture of us together.
Wanna know something scary?
This was the nicest picture I took of us.
(note to self - CHIN DOWN!)

There were a couple of rides at Disneyland that we rode quite frequently.  
One of them was Space Mountain - awesome!  
And the other, that Donald LOVED, was the Buzz Lightyear Astro Blaster.
At the end of the Buzz ride, you can look at a picture they take of you...and email it to someone.
Well, if you're already mean enough to go to Disneyland without kids...why not rub it in with some pictures of you having fun?

Take notice of my expression...

and again...the expression...

Oh yea...and again...the expression...

Well, we laughed so hard about my "gape" and decided to fight back against the camera!
Donald wins!

I noticed that something odd has happened while I was away for over 35 years.  
Sleeping Beauty's castle has shrunk.
That's weird.

Of course they would have amazing hanging baskets unlike anything real people could grow.
This must be the work of fairy godmothers or something.

 Donald was inspired...but who wouldn't be?

The plaque on the statue called "Partners" says:
"I think most of all what I want Disneyland to be is a happy place...where parents and children can have fun, together."
-Walt Disney

Well, happy to help fulfill your dream Walt!

The second day we spent most of our time at California Adventure.

Where we had lots of fun!

Donald, don't kill me for putting this picture out there!

California Screamin' was one of our favorites!
It's the white roller coaster in the back.

I didn't even get a picture of my very favorite ride!
But here's one I found...

I'm not allowed to talk about what happens on it because when we do take the kids (aiming for 2012), Donald doesn't want them to have any idea of what happens.
We rode it without any preconceptions and it was as scary as hell...but we rode it over and over!
I'll just say our faces looked something like these folks...

Next we headed north on Amtrak's Coast Starlight route. 
The trip took 30 hours, so we booked something called a roomette in the sleeper car.
We had our own little cupboard room for the trip.
Tiny, but functional.

Donald's side

My side.

The beds work like this.  
The two seats we use during the day pull out and come together to make a bed.  
Then, a bed frame pulls down from above.
So, it's sort of like bunk beds...but much more dangerous and terrifying.
Once I made it up there, I had to secure a net to keep me from flying off in the night.  

Actually, I got a pretty good nights sleep.

We traveled to Portland (where we ate Sushi) and then to Seattle (where we got a second mortgage on our house to eat steaks at the Metropolitan Grill).

Then, on to Yakima...where I cried when I saw my kids again!
The good kind of crying!