Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Oh look

a mess......how unusual.

Monday, December 29, 2008

My house is full of song.....

So the kids got the wii for Christmas.  They have been having a ton of fun with it and they also got the "rock star" game (thanks Grandele) that came with drums and a guitar and a microphone.    The songs that came with rock star were a bit older than what they are used to so today I went out and got the Disney version for Julia.  She has not stopped singing Hannah Montana, high school musical etc songs since I came home.  The funny thing is that they grade you at the end of your song.  So far with all of us trying our best none of us come even close to Julia.  On her first try she reached "rock star" status and on her third try she reached the highest level "Super star".  She is now completely convinced that this game is telling her her future......

Sunday, December 28, 2008

photo update

Saturday, December 27, 2008


Today Mary Rose, Tim, Maria and Danielle went home. This was a very sad day for Julia. She spent every waking (and sleeping) moment with Danielle. When they drove away Julia spent the good part of an hour with her head buried in a tear soaked pillow. She is better now but I think goodbyes will always be hard for her. Tomorrow we will drive home and we will have more goodbyes - very sad - but also very thankful that we had this time together.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Grandele's Birthday

Grandele. This is what our children call John's mom. This seems perfect because no other name would be appropriate. It is elegant and distinguished and beautiful - just like her. Today is her birthday and we had an amazing celebration in her honor. It was a milestone birthday but she looks no where near that age. She was glowing even though she must have been exhausted from having all of us in her house for the past 4 days. As long as I have known her (which will be going on 20 years soon) she has been a pillar of strength, a shining example, tirelessly generous, perfectly graceful and endlessly loving. We are all blessed to have her in our lives and our children are especially blessed. They have a Grandmother who will sit on the floor and play Lego's for hours with them and make the most amazing Halloween costumes for them. She finds the perfect Christmas presents and brings them cookies every time she visits. She tells them she is proud of them and showers them with hugs and kisses. They all love her so much. I don't know anyone else who would sit in the kitchen and cook to order breakfast for 14 people as they wake up over the course of 2 hours and not complain one bit. I am so blessed to have this amazing Mother-in-law who I love so much. Happy Birthday Adele. I want you to know how much you are appreciated and how every little tiny (or large ) thing you do never goes unnoticed. I want you to know that your love and generosity radiates beyond what you can imagine - through distance and time and generations. You are a gift from God to all of us and I love you!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Beautiful Chaos!

The whirlwind of colorful paper flying through the air that was Christmas morning. The 8 kids chasing each other around the house with the marshmallow shooters. The diving and dodging around the wii. The endless amount of delicious food that magically appears all day long. Not a sound of an unhappy voice - all priceless! Merry Christmas!!!!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve

I had a moment today. It was during church and we were all singing Silent Night and I looked around. Here was my daughter and my son in front of me in the pew and between them were all of these cousins - these beautiful little children - so happy to be in the company of one another. Something about the joy in their eyes and the fact that they were all healthy and strong. Then I looked around and here was my husband and his entire family - in laws and out laws. All of us loving each other - all together. It was a moment that may never happen again - I was overwhelmed. My cup runneth over - the blessings enormous. A Christmas gift that was unexpected and very much appreciated. I hope your Christmas is filled with these moments - the ones that take your breath away and make your heart beat faster and show you what life is truly about.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Cousin time in LA

We are off to LA  - Have a very Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Word of the week

Popinjay - a vain and talkative person.   

I will do my best to not be a popinjay.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Fun with Beedles!

We had a very merry Christmas with the Beedles today.  Mary, Lisa, Lindsey, Missy, Leonard, Josephine and Bob all came over for a very non-traditional meal of BBQ chicken, rice, beans, bread, and salad.  The only thing Italian was the cannoli and Italian cookies that Leonard brought over.  We just love this family.  They adopted us immediately when we moved up here and we feel very close to them.  We don't see them as often as we used to because everyone is growing up and is so busy ( we missed Robbie very much - he had to work today).   The Beedle children have grown into very fine adults - beautiful in so many ways.   We Cherish the time we do get to spend with all of them.  Merry Christmas Beedle Family!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Home made gifts

These are two gifts I made for neighbors and teachers etc.  I think they turned out pretty cute.  They were really simple and fun.  I made a sugar and spice popcorn topping and put it in cute spice containers.  The labels were very easy to make on the mac.  I also made a lavender salt scrub with essential oil that smells great!

Friday, December 19, 2008


Isn't it amazing how far we have come in such a short time?  We have planes that basically fly themselves, satellites that can see ants on the sidewalk, we can talk through a wireless earpiece free through the computer to someone halfway around the world......don't you think by now we would have invented a flippin' better hair removal system?  How hard can it be?  All of that time spent shaving .... imagine what we could be doing with it.  Sure I could pour hot wax on my legs and then rip the hair out - that sounds like a better option - NOT!   I could spend $2000 - $4000 to have a laser do it.  If I have that kind of cash hangin around I think I would find something better to do with it.  We have the military power to destroy nations - why can't we find an easy and inexpensive way to destroy hair follicles?  Maybe I should march to Washington and petition that we reallocate some funds to this cause.  I bet more than a few women would get behind me on this one.

Thursday, December 18, 2008


So I guess I never really gave it much thought when the kids were little that I would have to do homework AGAIN.  Let me tell you - I hate homework.  I hate homework almost as much as Jack hates homework.  I would much rather spend time with the kids doing fun stuff.  I also didn't realize that I only have the mental capacity of a 5Th grader (don't get me on that show!).   How am I suppose to help them in Jr. High or High School?   I guess it is good for me - I must need to relearn this stuff because it never sank in in the first place.  All I can say is I love calculators and spell check......

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The family peace keeper

This is our dog Ben.  This dog is a pure pacifist - he would not hurt a flea (he might catch it and roll it around in his mouth for awhile but then he would spit it out and let it go).  We all love him very much but John especially loves him.  I don't know what life would be like without him in our home.  Sometimes I know John will have had a very difficult day and the only person (or dog ) who seems to understand is Ben.  Ben is always there for him (unlike me who is only sometimes there for him and sometimes at the gym and sometimes dealing with the kids etc....).   Whenever John and I get in a heated discussion Ben leaves the room (he gets scared when we raise our voices)  this usually clues us in that we need to calm down a bit.  So Ben is our silent peace keeper - he knows exactly how to communicate and knows exactly where he is needed.   Another gift dropped on our doorstep from God.  Thanks God!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

My fatal flaw

I am not sure if it is just a part of getting older or something else but I have a HUGE lack of patience when it comes to certain things.   Enough so that I may just spontaneously explode one of these days.  Most of the time it happens on the way to the grocery store, trying to park at the grocery store, navigate through the grocery store or checking out of the grocery store.  You see, I really don't like spending time at the grocery store - I would much rather be enjoying myself in the company of others or spending my time in a much more satisfying way.   Am I wrong to assume that most other people feel the same?  I don't know why but people seem to get confused while driving into the parking lot.  Things take on a much slower pace and somehow they forget how to drive.  As a matter of fact they also forget how to park.   How many times do you really have to realign the car to get into the spot straight?  Or what about the person who is leaving the store and gets in their car - they see you waiting there for their spot - and they proceed to take 20 minutes to actually leave the parking spot.  Now once you are in the store and know exactly where you need to go and what you need to get you run into this obstacle course of carts sitting this way and that way just to block your path.  Do anyone of these cart owners see you coming?  OF COURSE THEY DO!  Do they move their carts? NO.  Finally make it to the check out counter and are happy there is only one person in front of you but the whole time they are checking out their cart full of groceries they just sit there and wait, and wait, and wait.   What are they waiting for?  The total of course because for some reason they don't anticipate that they have to pay for the groceries.  Once they hear the total THEN they open their purse, try and find their checkbook, slowly (and in very good handwriting I might add) fill out the check,  THEN they find the right page of the register and record the check and all of this before they hand the check to the cashier.  They simply are not aware of the now 16 person deep line that has formed behind them.  Do you see why I might just explode one of these days.
 I guess I just move at a faster pace than other people  - why can't everyone be like me?  Is that the attitude of a 40 year old?  I guess I am on my way.....

Monday, December 15, 2008


Warning: you may not like what I have to say.

So, we are going out of town this Christmas to spend it with John's family.  As a result we have decided to not get a tree this year and I am very minimally decorating the house.  Because of this I feel a bit enlightened.   It seems almost crazy and ridiculous to me now that we spend most of November and December cramming in this celebration of Christ's birth.  I realize some if it is not focused around that but truly what the "season" is about is just that - the celebration of his birth.  Now wouldn't it make more sense to be celebrating this event all year long?  Shouldn't we be reflecting and practicing Christ like behavior all of the time - not just at Christmas.  We adorn our homes, we gather with people we don't see that often.  We walk over to the neighbors house with a token gift and chat for awhile.  We shower our loved ones with gifts and send cards to people far away.   We bake cookies and share them, we give to the needy, we open our homes and welcome whoever we can squeeze in....and most of the time we do it with a smile on our faces.  We feel good about giving.... giving time, giving talent and giving treasure.   Can you imagine our world if we operated all of time this way?  Maybe if we spread it out a bit we wouldn't feel so stressed during a time we should feel refreshed.  I think we would all learn to like each other a bit more and the idea of world peace would not seem so much like a wish but more like a possible reality.  Don't you think that is what Christ would want?  Don't you think that is what He intended?  Surely he did not want us to only act this way for 2 months out of the year.  He brought us a "get out of jail free" card and gave us a clean slate, perhaps we should start playing the game of life with our hearts and not our heads.  

I have not sent out our Christmas cards yet and I might just wait until June because Christmas should be merry every single day of the year.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

My winner

No, she did not win the walk on roll but she has won in so many other ways.  She really showed grace and poise and confidence throughout this whole experience.  Yes she was slightly disappointed but who wouldn't be if you were really going after something you wanted.  She had a great time at the brunch today where she (and all of the 50 finalists) were given 2 tickets to see the opening night at the Kodak theater.  We had a fun day at The Grove shopping and riding on the double decker trolley.  If you look really close at the picture of the large tree and santa you can see Julia on the bridge.  I just had such a great day with my daughter, she shows me again and again that she is my hero.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

A day in the life of Jack.

My crazy son took my camera and this is what he did with it.  After that he went CRAZY on the dance floor.  This kid has some major moves!  I wish I had a video camera so I could show you (someday I will get it on youtube ).  I don't know where he sees these moves - he doesn't watch MTV or music videos so maybe he just gets it from dear ol' mom.....hmmmmm.  I do remember quite clearly my little brother Michael dancing like that at our wedding when he was a bit younger than Jack.

Friday, December 12, 2008

friday Night Pizza

We are going to a friends house for Pizza night.  We usually gather with a group of friends and enjoy each others company and enjoy a night off from cooking.  This is a great way to end the week and get ready for the weekend.   We feel very blessed to have so many people we love surrounding us!

Julia is now on a basketball team - and loving it!  They had their first game last week and another one tomorrow.  She is hoping for a basket.  This picture is of her after practice.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


So I have decided to try and increase my vocabulary - so sorry you have to suffer through it.  I am going to try and use a new word every week (I don't think I can handle one every day) so join in the fun and try and stump your friends.  I don't think it really counts unless you know how to use it and use it well!  Here are a couple to get you started!

My son came home last night and told me I was a lot like his teacher.  I asked him why and he told me "because she likes to talk a LOT! " I guess that would make me a confabulist, someone who loves to chat.  Of course I tend to maunder or ramble on quite a bit.

Go have fun with words!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

My fun day!

I had a fantabulous day today and it was all just for me.  I stopped by Starbucks and had my favorite drink - a chai latte. Then I headed over to the Bladerunner to see Todd for  2 hours of pampering with a haircut and color.  I look forward to this appointment weeks in advance.  I feel very spoiled there and especially by my very good friend.  I get him all to myself for 2 whole hours.  I am sure every client of his feels this way and after a full day of being a therapist he must be exhausted.  I always feel fantastic afterwards and wish I could do my hair as well as he does it.  After that Stephen joined us for lunch at Giuseppe's where the food was good and the conversation stimulating.  I rounded the day off with a nice combination in Body Flow with Stephen and returned home where Suzanne was watching my kids while I taught and had a nice glass of wine and dinner waiting for me.   A really, really, really, really nice day (sorry John for over-reallying;).  The only thing missing was my husband who is traveling out of town for a couple of days - bummer.  Thank you Todd, Stephen and Suzanne for making my day so great while John was away!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008