Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Year's Resolutions?

I don't typically make resolutions but this year will be different. Here are areas that I will be working on for the next year:

1. Simplifying my home. When we get back home I will help Mark sort through our garage full of furniture and the attic junk as well. At least 90% of it needs donated or plain old tossed out. My closet is a catch-all for everyone's "stuff" as well so that will be February's task. March through the end of the year yet to be determined.

2. Simplifying my schedule. I need to come up with a better system for grocery shopping and meals. Having church, park day and other commitments is not something I'm all that used to and I struggle with remembering to cook those days.

3. Getting my physical self back together. Mark wants to go hiking with me when we come back to North Carolina in August. I'd really love to be fitter, WAY fitter and stronger, by then. Its a goal to work toward so maybe that will help my motivation this time around.

4. Learn some things that I need to know. Like machine quilting, how to sew garments, how to knit socks... you name it, this is the FUN stuff I'm resolving to at least attempt in 2009.

Like I said, I hardly ever make resolutions so this will be something I can refer back to every week or so to keep me on track maybe. That would be nice.


Monday, December 29, 2008

We're Here!!

We arrived yesterday afternoon(Sunday) at my parents home in North Carolina. Whew, what a drive! Today we went to a thrift shop for wool blazers and sweaters and I scored a gorgeous granny square afghan(pics tomorrow). I'm hoping for more treasure hunting in the coming days. We plan on meeting up with my sister-in-law at some point and a friend of my mom's with two daughters near Sarah's age. So we'll have plenty of things going on. My brother got us online with the girls' computer which helps. I can take pictures with their camera and share from here.

I'm working on another batwing shawl and I'm hoping to have a machine quilting lesson as well(I brought my fall turning twenty again quilt).

Friday, December 26, 2008


(Ryan, Amy and Sarah, Mark's parents, and Mark)

(the traditional Nativity is probably older than Mark)

(baby Jesus is quite untraditionally swaddled in a Walmart bag, yes he is)

(Mark's mom, bless her heart, decorates every surface in her home with clippings from magazines, decorative paper towels, empty fruitcups and plastic bags. She suffers from Alzheimer's, which is sad but we do get a chuckle out of her God-given talent)

(the kids with Liz and Sarah, our long-lost relatives from far away. I've not seen them since shortly before Ryan was born, almost 16 years ago).

In other news...

We are leaving for North Carolina in the morning! I think we'll made it as far as Gadsden, Alabama before we stop for the night. The car is packed to the gills. Amy left a detailed 2-page list of rules and instructions for Mark on how to care for the piggers. Too cute. I'll have to email him more later about the cats and dogs(all animals are the kids' responsibility so he really doesn't know what to do for them).

I'll have internet access in NC but not a way to upload my pictures so I'll probably use the girls' camera sometimes if I can. We have lots of fun stuff planned that will *need* documenting!! Can't wait to share!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Just some Christmas-y stuff...

We did this a few weekends ago:

(Ryan on the roof)

(girls on the roof)

(Mark on the roof- I don't do rooftops)

(front yard holly berries)

We are going here again in a few days:

In other news...

Ryan's winter church camp was cancelled which allows us to leave earlier than we'd planned. Actually, it also allows ME to go along! My parents will bring us back before my doctor appointment in mid-January. I am looking forward to going, its been a while since we've been there. My blogging will be sporadic at best and probably pictureless so you might want to come back after we return for a big update.

Mark is working fast and furious on several different projects at work so us being gone will help him out. He feels guilty when he brings work home.

The kids are chomping at the bit waiting for Christmas. Driving me crazy but in a good way. Ryan has had his fill of "the mall" thank goodness. We might go light-seeing tonight but I'd rather take a nap.

Friday, December 19, 2008

funny pictures of cats with captions
more animals

Maybe later I'll have some pictures of my own furbabies in their holiday finery!

My mom called me last night to say they were in Tallulah, Louisiana. Only she actually said Mississippi. Soooo, they arrived around 10 o'clock!! I was supposed to go get their Christmas presents today so mom will have to ride with me I guess. I'm very glad they are here and not driving in any nasty weather. Whew!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Christmas Party...

I'm sitting here wondering why we haven't done one before!! We had a special time visiting and the kids enjoyed getting to play with things they don't have access to on a regular basis. My friend Brandee suggested we rent out the R.O.C. here in Longview for our party and it didn't disappoint. I'm pretty sure this will be a regular event!

Everyone brought wonderful food and we drank hot cocoa, fresh Guatamalan coffee, and sherbet punch. Mark joined us for a while to shoot baskets with the kids before he got called to a delivery. I sent him with a bag of party mix but he missed these...

(basic recipe at Homesick Texan-do a search for chocolate pie. mine is altered with an extra egg yolk, 2 more tbsp flour, dark instead of regular cocoa, and about 1/4 teaspoon mint powder in filo cups)

(this room has foosball, ping pong, and pool tables)

(they shot hoops and played dodge ball in the gym)

(the cafe area had more than enough room for our group)

(they provide the tables, chairs, trash cans, and access to their full kitchen)

(you can tell we had great food!)

(the tree has gorgeous sequined Chrismons on it, wish I'd got a picture by itself)

Now I'm tired! My parents will be here sometime tomorrow so who knows what my blogging will look like until after Christmas. Hopefully I'll get some in. I'm headed to Gilmer tomorrow for soaps and bath salts(shhhh) from my friend Tricia at Herbal Grace. She goes to a few flea markets with her wares so I've got an excuse to shop a bit.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Not the best shots but they'll do for now...

Because I'm BIZZY BIZZY BIZZZZZY!!! I have to make party mix, chocolate pie filling(more on that tomorrow), sew jingle bells on a shirt, mop, clean my room, etc., etc. Oh and haul kids to two different churches for their Wednesday night things...

But I snapped these pics this afternoon and wanted to get past the Shimmer post so here...

(Christmas mice that I got from a neighbor about 12 years ago)

(the top of our hutch, it looks much better in person, not so stark)

(the tree during daylight)

(the deer love the other pretties)

(I collected these Cherished Teddies ornaments years ago but it fizzled- I still love them though!)

Gotta run! Those jingle bells can't wait!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

a bittersweet day...

(Shimmer Angel)

Amidst the excitement and festivities that are Christmas at our house, we've got sadness. Our dear Shimmer has passed away from a sudden illness. Last Saturday she was fine, I held her and felt nothing. Tuesday the girls felt a small, almond sized lump on her side. By this past weekend it was larger than a chicken egg, probably cancer. She was a spunky little pigger with a cantankerous and bossy "Miss Piggy" personality. We'll miss her.

(Merry Shimmer)

(painted hutch with handmade decorations)

(I think Amy did this one last year)

(red metal cart in the dining room. notice the paint swatches)

(top of the china cabinet with vintage ornaments and decorations)

In Other News...

A-1 Medical Equipment and Supplies is officially servicing patients!!! Mark is thrilled to finally be going. I hope they aren't too busy over the holidays though!

My parents will be here Friday!!!!! I'm trying to plan some meals and snacks for us. Last night my party mix plans fell through because the store had NO cereal, not one box! I'm headed that way in a little while to try again. I also forgot raspberry extract for our hot cocoa(a little gourmet secret) and hopefully they'll have peppermint too(they were out of that too).

Ryan has a Christmas party with his youth group tomorrow night, then our homeschool party, then another homeschool party on Friday with a different group and then hopefully nothing! Sarah's AWANA class is having a jingle party tomorrow so I've got to sew a bunch of jingle bells to a shirt for her. Should be cute!

Guess that's all. The dogs need fed and let back in. Its freezing here... no really it is. We try to wash and dry clothes to help keep the dogs warm since our dryer vents to the garage. It does work but with temps not out of the mid-30s all day it will be a struggle.

I'm spending the morning with apple cider, lightly spiked with buttershots and caramel syrup. Tastes like a caramel apple in a cup!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Merry Pigmas!!!

(Panda Claus)

(Rainbow the Reindeer)

(Meadow Claus)

(Meadow, Stella and Sundae)

In other news...

We have the computers back for now! Mine is still not perfect but the AVG and other symantec managed to get rid of all the baddies. Myspace is known, from what we hear, for virus and other lovely problems so the kids are banned until further notice.

Computer Woes....

My computer has a black screen and won't do anything. The girls just had a scan that showed 11 trojan horses. Sooooo, I may not be around much next week. Mark is trying to get to a restore point on mine but so far it won't take. Sigh. Everyone is banned from MySpace from here on out, that's where the scan shows the problems are coming from. GRRRRRR.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Sharing Ornaments....

Every ornament featured here, except the glass ones of course, was made by my mother over the last 35 years or so. She did the wooden painted ones when I was a little girl and the crosstitch ones not so long ago. I've got several more painted things, a Rabbit and Piglet, Little Red Riding Hood, Eyore, a mouse, etc. but I don't think I'll have time to take pictures of all of them!

We have a Christmas party for our homeschool group next week and then my parents will be here so I've got to get things done around the house, plus do some shopping!!!


and another quiz that fits...

Which Positive Quality Are You?
Your Result: Faith

You are Faith. Faith is the belief in better things, in spite of the cynicism and doubt that swirls around us. Faith gives us strength; it inpsires us to move forward and follow our hearts. "Faith tells us what the senses do not."

Which Positive Quality Are You?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz