Thursday, November 30, 2006

goodbye november

Wow, did this month fly by, or what? And I know December will go even faster....

Things have been busy around here this week, and I haven't had much chance to make any new blog posts. We've been getting Christmas decorations out throughout the house, and last night Em had her first band concert, which we all went to. Em also got her glasses this week ~ I'll post a picture soon! She has been wearing them all day long, even though she doesn't have to, and still seems excited to have them....

Things I've been thankful for this last week of November:
  • Unseasonably warm weather
  • Turkey salad sandwiches ~ yum!
  • Finding out I made the IDOS Design Team! :)
  • Getting the house decorated for Christmas
  • Pumpkin ice cream... mmmmmmm....
  • Receiving our first Christmas card of the season, from James & Julie!
  • Hearing Em and the Beginning Band (and two other bands) at the concert
  • Not having to go anywhere now that the weather's turning bad
  • A hot shower!
  • Finishing up Ben's first year scrapbook!
  • Ben taking a long nap so I can get stuff done
  • That Em is not complaining about her new glasses!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

lots of leftovers

We had a very nice Thanksgiving Day here! I somehow managed to plan enough ahead of time so that I wasn't running around like a crazy woman on Thursday morning, and I was able to coordinate all of the hot dishes so that they were ready to eat right at noon. Everything turned out yummy, too! We thoroughly enjoyed visiting with Marissa and her mom, Elizabeth. After dinner, we played board games and visited some more....

We've pretty much been eating leftovers since then. LOL! Good thing none of us are sick of them yet.... Nick even said that having leftovers is one of his favorite things about Thanksgiving! (Mine, too!)

We've been enjoying the four-day weekend. Mostly we've been lazing around, playing games and watching movies, etc. On Friday we took advantage of the unseasonably warm weather and got all of our outside Christmas decorations put up ~ lots of white lights, red bows, and green garlands. Yesterday I drove up to my friend Karen's and we scrapped all day! :)

Things I've been thankful for the last few days:
  • a stress-free Thursday morning
  • a delicious Thanksgiving dinner
  • spending time with Marissa and Elizabeth
  • leftovers!
  • family time
  • getting the outside of the house ready for the holidays
  • a day of scrapping!
  • getting to spend time with Karen, talking and laughing
  • seeing my precious godson, David
  • sleeping in
  • watching Ben look at the Christmas lights outside ~ so excited!!
  • more leftovers!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

thanksgiving preparations

I've been keeping very busy the last two days, getting ready for Thanksgiving. We will be here this year, and had really been hoping that Mom, Dad, Christine, and my in-laws could join us, but, unfortunately, they can't. :( We sure will miss them....

I would still make a big feast, even if we weren't going to have any company. Luckily, though, it will not just be the five of us for dinner ~ our friend Marissa and her mom will be joining us. So far, I've done lots of cleaning, and made applesauce, whipped cranberry salad, sweet potato casserole, and 3 pies! I still have some more to do today, but decided I deserved a little break and some computer time. :)

Things I've been thankful for this week:
  • Going out for dinner on Monday, to the Weber Grill
  • Spending time with good friends at the Weber Grill
  • The smell of homemade applesauce simmering on the stove... mmmmmmm....
  • Having a clean house, for a change, LOL
  • Finishing the painting in the bathroom ~ it looks nice, if I do say so myself!
  • The sight of 3 homemade pies (pumpkin, pecan, and apple) sitting on the table ~ they all smell so good....
  • Getting time for a much-deserved break!
  • The anticipation of the holidays... can't believe they're almost here!

Monday, November 20, 2006

a scrappy weekend

We were having an Online Crop at IDOS this weekend, so I spent most of my time scrapping away, and never got around to making a blog entry. I think I did 12 pages or more, so am pretty happy about that! I especially like how this one came out:

I also spent part of Saturday morning taking Em to the optometrist. She had had some difficulty with the eye exams at school, so her school nurse had recommended more eye exams. It turns out that E does need glasses, but her near-sightedness is mild so far, and she will not have to wear them 24 hours/day ~ only when she needs to see something far away, like the classroom blackboard. Surprisingly, she is excited about it, and can't wait till her new (purple!) glasses come in! I remember when I found out I was going to need glasses ~ I cried and cried, and pretty much made it impossible to pick out glasses, which means I ended up with really ugly ones! (And I didn't wear them, either! I'd wear them at home because Mom and Dad made me ~ *mean* parents that they were, LOL ~ but I'd take them off as soon as I was out of their sight... and then spend all day at school squinting to try to see things!)

I plan to post another blog entry later today (I still need to pick my FOTW...), so will just list the things I was thankful for over the weekend now:

  • The chance to take a short nap which I desperately needed on Saturday (No, B's still not sleeping through the night on a regular basis....)
  • Tortellini soup on a chilly day ~ yum!
  • Blue skies! :)
  • Getting lots of layouts done!
  • Breakfast for supper (cornbread muffins with syrup and bacon) ~ easy, quick, and delicious!
  • Having a movie night with George

Friday, November 17, 2006

friday, again

Tell me... how did it get to be Friday again, already?? I just can't believe it. The weeks are whoooshing by.... B and I are having another "lazy" day at home, though I have a whole ton of things I need to get done around here. (And, just in case you're wondering... no, he did not break his record last night, unfortunately. He was up at 4am, wanting a bottle. Sigh. Thankfully, the screaming did not go on for as long as it has in the past. He fell back asleep after ten minutes or so. However, I could NOT get back to sleep for almost 2 hours, even though I was exhausted. And then, of course, it was time to get up again!)

Today's Photo Friday picture is an oldie! This was taken way back in 1976, on Christmas Day. I actually orchestrated the whole thing, even though I was only 8 at the time. I really wanted to have a photo of my grandparents and my cousins to show to my friends at school, so I begged my parents to take a picture of us all. I remember Grandma telling Grandpa that he should go change into "something nicer" for the picture, but I insisted that he keep his flannel shirt and bib overalls on ~ I wanted him to "look like my grandpa"! :) As it turned out, you can't even see what he's wearing in the pic, LOL!

My very favorite thing about the holidays as a child was spending Christmas Day at the farm, with all my aunts, uncles, and cousins on Mom's side. For me, Christmas was (and still is) all about being surrounded by the people I love, in a noisy but happy house. I'm very glad I have this picture of so many of us ~ I keep it on the bulletin board above my scrap area because it makes me happy every time I look at it.

(Back row: Pamela, Grandpa, Grandma, Sandy, Matthew, Keith, and me.
Front row: Steve, Michelle, Jacque, Tammy, Christine, and Michael.)

Today I am thankful for:

  • Our freshly painted bathroom (and having 2 bathrooms we can use again!) We're not totally done in there ~ the trim and door still need to be painted, and we have towel racks to put up ~ but it already looks SO much better than it did!!
  • Trees. They're all pretty bare around here right now, but that just makes them interesting! They always look so beautiful covered in snow, and then I look forward to them budding in the spring, being lush and green in the summer, and changing into dramatic colors in the fall....
  • My extended family ~ my grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and my cousins' spouses and children. They were a big part of my happy childhood. I have so many fond memories of spending time with them all. Now I only get to see them once a year or so (if I'm lucky), but I miss them and love them all so much!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

ben's latest

Benjamin is at that age where he seems to learn something new every day. Just this morning, he went down the stairs all by himself! He has been getting down safely from our landing for a couple of days now (before he would just stand at the edge and scream until someone came to lift him off, LOL). I was still surprised when I told him we needed to go downstairs to get his shoes on, and B immediately dropped to the ground, turned around backwards, and went all the way down the stairs!

Ben has also added some new words to his vocabulary recently:

  • sh=shoes
  • ya=yes
  • uh oh
  • moon
  • boo=spoon
  • ghee bee=green beans Okay, so he's only said this once so far, but he was pointing to his green beans when he said it, and E, N, and I were very impressed! :)

And I could swear that earlier today, after I said his name, B repeated it, "Beh-ja-meh"!

My favorite new trick of B's has to be him sleeping through the night, though. (It's about time he learned that one! Way past time, actually....) He did not do it on Tuesday night. He woke up screaming twice, wanting a bottle SO badly. I felt like such a mean mommy for not giving him one. Then I felt even worse when I was feeding him breakfast yesterday and saw that he has two new teeth coming in (#13 and 14). Poor little guy, no wonder he was screaming! I was sure I was in for another long haul last night, but... woo hoo!...he slept through the night, the 3rd time this week. That is a new record for B, and one I hope he breaks tonight! :)

With all this talk about B, I thought I should post a new pic of him ~ I know the grandparents will appreciate it, anyway! Here he is with his new "hat". (He refuses to wear REAL hats, but a colandar? No problem!)

Today I am thankful for (and I'll list 6 since I missed yesterday):

  • Feeding B his bottle at bedtime. Now that he is down to only one bottle a day... and that will be phased out soon... I am cherishing this time even more. B is such an angel when I rock him at night and hold his bottle for him. He looks up at me with such love as he drinks, all the while holding his blankie with one hand and stroking it with the other. I will definitely miss this....

  • A full pantry and fridge... much better than empty ones!

  • The Christmas carols I've been listening to on the radio. Yes, I know it hasn't even been Thanksgiving yet. I love Christmas music too much to only listen to it for one month a year, though. I'm glad that my radio station plays it 24 hours a day, from Nov. 1st thru Christmas, even if it does drive George crazy! LOL

  • Being inside on this very blustery, cold day.

  • A vanilla Frappuccino from Starbucks. I don't do "normal" coffee, but these things? Yum!!

  • Only one more week till Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

two nights in a row!

It's time for a party! Benjamin has slept all the way through the night two nights in a row now ~ woo hoo! Let's hear it for uninterrupted sleep! :) I've got my fingers crossed that it's not a fluke, and that this trend will continue. Three nights ago I decided enough was enough, and I would not give him a bottle when he woke up in the middle of the night. (I did offer him a sippy cup, though... boy, did that make him mad!) I'm hoping that loooooong night of screaming made Ben decide that if he can't have a bottle, he might as well just sleep, LOL. I'm so tired of feeling like a zombie.... "Sleeeep... I need sleeeep...."

Speaking of that, here are the pics of me as Mom Zombie on Halloween, finally:

Today I am thankful for:

  • Two nights of sleep in a row, of course.
  • Book club. We had a meeting last night, and it's always nice just to go out with friends for the night, talk about a book, and visit. :)
  • Circle. I had my Circle meeting at church this morning. This is my 8th year in Circle, and I really appreciate the friendship and the spiritual support and guidance that I've found with that wonderful group of women.

Monday, November 13, 2006

ice cream for supper

Yes, it's true. I had ice cream for supper last night. You see, I knew that we were going to the mall. I knew that Cold Stone Creamery was at that mall. I knew that Cold Stone was running a special for 15% off all purchases last night. And, I knew just how yummy their ice cream was! So, since I wasn't all that hungry before we left for the mall anyway, I didn't eat any supper... and when we finally got to Cold Stone, I ordered myself a LARGE chocolate-covered waffle cone, with Sweet Cream ice cream and coconut mixed in. Yum! :)

Besides, like I was telling my friend Karen on the phone last night, if you think about it, it was a pretty nutritious supper.... there was the dairy group, of course, and the breads/cereals group for the cone... and, you know, cocoa BEANS and vanilla BEANS sound like they should belong in the veggie group to me. The coconut must've been good for something, too ~ maybe protein? I really think we should have ice cream on the supper menu more often.... :)

Well, it's Monday, and that means it's time for me to pick the Friend of the Week. Today's FOTW is...(drum roll, please).....


Marilyn is another IDOS friend, who I've known since I first ventured online six years ago. I finally got to meet her in person in 2004, when we both attended a scrap retreat in Texas. Retreats are supposed to be relaxing, but due to outside influences, I was feeling very stressed while I was there. Marilyn was next to me in the crop room, and she kept me from completely flipping out! LOL She was so sweet and helpful, and was constantly offering me the use of her supplies. She kept telling me not to worry, that everything would work out... and of course, she was right!

Marilyn does a lot of scrapping! She's always telling us about this album or that album that she has completed. Unfortunately, she has not learned how to use her scanner (better get on that, Mar!), so we usually don't get to see her work. That's another reason why I was thrilled to sit next to her at that retreat ~ I got to see all of her awesome pages! :)

Here is a picture of Marilyn at another scrap get-together in 2004. (We were having a Fiesta theme the night this was taken.):

Thank you, Marilyn, for being such a sweet, fun friend, for reading all my posts and responding to them, and for helping to keep me sane in Texas! :)

Today I am thankful for:

  • Ice cream, the world's most perfect food. :)
  • Our car. I really wish we had two, but I do appreciate the one we have!
  • My in-laws. I hear horror stories about other people's in-laws all the time, so I know that I am very lucky that George has such wonderful parents! Fran and Harold have always been SO good to me, and they are devoted grandparents to our kiddos, as well. I am proud to consider them family. :) Love you guys!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

weekend warriors

I was hoping for another lazy day of scrapping and watching movies, but I guess George has other ideas, LOL. He puttied some holes and sanded in our upstairs bathroom yesterday, and is hoping we can get it all painted today. It's not a very big room, so the actual painting shouldn't take TOO long. We still have to go buy paint, get the room taped up, and do some other prep work before we can start, though. I'm not looking forward to the work, but I know I'll be glad we did it. It will look so much better!

We have been quite the "weekend warriors" of home improvement over the last year, doing a lot of painting and other fix-ups. (I don't think the previous owner would recognize the house!) The bathroom is our second-to-last room to paint, and we hope to get to the kitchen before Christmas. It's been quite a lot of work, but it's all been worth it!

Guess I should get off the computer so we can get started, LOL!

Today I am thankful for:
  • George. (I figure, since he just asked for a link to my blog, that I should probably mention him. LOL) He works hard to provide for our family and makes it possible for me to get away with my friends several weekends a year. He puts up with my scrapping. :) He's a good daddy, and has become quite the Mr. Fix-it around the house. Love ya, Hon!
  • Only having two more rooms to paint in our house. Woo hoo!
  • Good books. I love to read!!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

a sleepy saturday

All this talk about hibernation... it's sounding better and better all the time! LOL! It's another cold and gray day here, perfect for snuggling under the covers and sleeping in. If only my little bear cub would let me.... sigh.

I did some scrapping last night, and am happy with how my pages came out, so I thought I'd share them here. Both are for Ben, of course, from July of this year. I just loved this pic, so had to enlarge it. The colors were a bit weird, so I changed it to black and white:

I used another sketch by my friend Jen for this one. B loved his first "roller coaster" ride!

Today I am thankful for:

  • My bed. Even though I don't get to spend nearly as much time in there as I would like, LOL. We bought our king-size bed last year, and I looooove it! I love all the space and I love how comfy it is. I sleep so well in it... until B wakes me up, that is.
  • Oatmeal. A perfect breakfast for a chilly morning! Mmmmmm....
  • Our computer. For keeping me in touch with my friends, for feeding my scrapping (and now blogging) addictions, for helping me share photos and LO's... and for keeping George and the kids occupied while I scrap! :)

Friday, November 10, 2006

photo friday

I've decided that I will post a photo every Friday (if I remember!) ~ it might be a new one, or it could be a really old one... it might not even be taken by me ~ just a photo that I want to share. :)

Today's photo is of Emmalie and our neighbor's dog, Rocco. It was taken in September, after Em made flower chain necklaces and crowns, then put them on a very patient Rocco. I love this pic of my beautiful daughter! (How on earth did she get so grown up??)

Today I am thankful for:
  • Our furnace, which has been running all morning now that it's turned chilly outside. Even though I love winter and snow, I don't like to be cold!
  • Happy mail! :) We just had a gift exchange on PAWS (a scrappin' yahoo group I'm on), and we got to open our packages today. We had all decorated Pringles cans and then filled them with goodies for our secret sisters ~ very fun! The can I received is SO cute! It will be given a special spot on my scrap table.... I also received lots and lots of little treats ~ brads, fibers, ribbons, stickers, and a pen I've been wanting forever! I LOVE happy mail!
  • Lazy days. The kids don't have school today, so we all got to sleep in, and are now lazing around in our jammies. :)

Thursday, November 09, 2006

thoughts of spring

Yes, I am aware that it is November, that we still have the rest of the fall and all of the winter to get through before spring. No, I'm not trying to hurry the seasons along ~ I love fall and winter, too. (And I do NOT need time to go any faster than it already is!)

So why am I thinking about spring? Well... because I am a gardener. I finally got around to buying a few bulbs today, and am hoping to get them in the ground this afternoon, before this unseasonally warm weather goes away. I love spring flowers ~ the daffodils, the tulips, the crocuses.... They all bring such joy after the cold, colorless winter. I had some really beautiful flowers this past spring, and am hoping for even more next spring! (I bought the bulbs to go in some new flowerbeds that we created over the summer.) It makes me smile to dig in the dirt, lovingly plant the bulbs, and then look forward to their blooms all winter long. :)

Today I am thankful for:
  • Flowers. I would have a whole yard full of them, if I could!
  • Good neighbors. We know what it's like to have awful neighbors and okay neighbors, and now we know what it's like to have really good neighbors, too. It's a wonderful feeling to know you have a friend living right next door! :)
  • One last day of warm weather. It's supposed to turn c-c-c-cold again tomorrow, so I'm trying to enjoy the warmth while I can!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

whirlwind wednesday

In our house, "Wednesday" means a very busy day. After getting E and N off to school, B and I drop George off at work, and then head to another suburb (half an hour away) so that I can bowl. (I joined a bowling league way back in 1997. I'm still not very good at it, LOL, but it's fun.) We normally don't get back home till noon or after.

I have a bit of reprieve after lunch while B naps, but then, before I know it, E and N are back from school, and we have to do the homework thing. Then, around 4:45, we leave to pick up George and to head back to the same suburb I was at in the morning! E and N go to church for supper and hand bell choir practice while the rest of us go out to eat somewhere. At 7 we all head back home, go through the bedtime routine, and then G and I collapse on the couch to watch our favorite new show, Jericho. It's mostly fun stuff all day, but being on the go from morning till night wears me out! I'm glad Wednesday only comes once a week, LOL.

Things I'm thankful for today:
  • Not having to make supper tonight. I don't mind cooking, and sometimes I even enjoy it, but there's something about knowing that I'm going out to eat and don't need to plan/prepare/serve/clean up after a meal that just makes me happy. :)
  • A new magazine to read and look through. Love my scrap mags! :) I keep my newest one in the car so that I can flip through it when George is driving. I usually read them cover to cover 2 or 3 times before retiring them to my bookshelf....
  • My parents. I am one of those people who can honestly say, "I had a happy childhood." I know I owe most of the credit for that to my mom and dad. I don't think there was ever a time when I didn't appreciate my parents (though it may not have seemed that way to them), but after I left home and got out into the world, I began to realize just how lucky I had been. When I started working, dealing with all kinds of dysfunctional families, my feelings of appreciation for my parents increased greatly. And now that I have children of my own, I can fully appreciate everything that my parents did for me when I was younger (not to mention everything they continue to do for me now). I always knew that I was loved. I always knew that they would be there if I needed them. They provided everything that I needed, and made life fun, too! Thank you, Mom and Dad, for being the best parents ever ~ I love you!!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

election day

Just a little PSA: Don't forget to exercise your right to vote today. (Thanks to Mandi, for reminding ME!) B and I have already been to our polling place and I voted for all the good guys, of course. ;) Anyone who knows me well knows that I'm hoping there will be lots of blue on that election results map tonight... and not just because blue is my favorite color! LOL

Of course, the best thing about today being election day is that now all those annoying campaign phone calls and junk mail and commercials will stop for awhile! There seemed to be an awful lot of all three for it not being a presidential election year....

Today I am thankful for:

  • Our country and the freedoms we enjoy here.... freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and the right to vote, just to name a few.
  • My house. Sure there are still a lot of remodeling projects to be done, and no matter what I do, I can't keep it clean for more than about 15 minutes... but I love it anyway, and am very grateful to finally own a nice house!
  • My kiddos. Smart and independant Emmalie, silly and tender-hearted Nick, cuddly and inquisitive Benjamin. They keep me very busy and sometimes drive me crazy, but I love the three of them with all my heart, and am very thankful to have them in my life.

Monday, November 06, 2006

sleep is good

My little guy's nighttime sleep schedule is so unpredictable. (Though you usually CAN predict that he will wake up at least once during the night. Sometimes he wants a bottle, sometimes he just wants Mama, and sometimes he screams no matter what I do!) When Ben actually sleeps through the night, it is cause for celebration! Last night he slept from 8:30pm to almost 6:30am, and though I didn't go to bed as early as I should have, I still got 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep. It feels sooooo good....

I've been trying to think of some ideas for this blog (like my friend KatieJ's Tuesday 10), and decided that on Mondays, I'm going to feature a Friend of the Week (or FOTW). I have been blessed with many, many friends, most of whom I met online... so it will take awhile to get through them all! :) In other words, if you're reading each week, and don't see your name ~ don't worry, I just haven't gotten to you yet!! LOL! I'm thinking I will write all the names down and put them in a jar, then pull one out each week. Since I haven't gotten that organized yet, today I will just pick someone. :)

This week's FOTW is Laura! I know she reads this, so thought I'd start with her.... :)

Laura is one of my many IDOS friends, and I've been lucky enough to meet her in person. We've been to many crops together, and she even came and stayed with me for several days last year, when I was HUGELY pregnant and my family was gone on a camping trip. She is so sweet and took such good care of me while she was here! One night she insisted on grilling me a very yummy supper. (She would not let me lift a finger!):

We also went out for Krispy Kreme donuts and had a fun little photo shoot:

We did a lot of scrapping and talking and laughing, and got to know each other so much better. It was a great time, and I'm hoping she'll come visit me again someday, though now she keeps pretty busy with her darling new granddaughter, Olivia!

I always enjoy spending time with Laura ~ she is a hoot! Just thinking about her and the "psychotic eyebrows" that she drew on herself in the car once cracks me up every time! (I wish I had that pic to share with you....) Thanks so much for being a sweet, fun, and dear friend, Laura!

Today I am thankful for:

  • Sleep! Anything more than 6 uninterrupted hours is heavenly right now....
  • Warm, comfy jammies. And I really love it when I can stay at home and wear my jammies all morning long (or even all day... LOL)
  • ALL of my IDOS friends, old and new. I've known some of them for over 6 years now, and all of them mean the world to me. They have been there for me, helping me through some really dark days, and celebrating the happy ones with me, as well. I go into withdrawal when I'm not able to come online and "see" everyone.... They make me smile every day, and usually make me laugh out loud, too! Sending big (((HUGS))) to you all!!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

thankful for these

It's been a busy weekend and I haven't had much computer time, but I wanted to at least record the things I've been thankful for. Since I missed doing this yesterday, I'll list 6 things. I'm thankful for:

  • Iced Chai Tea Latte from Panera. My favorite drink in the whole wide world!
  • My best friend, Karen, who I got to spend several hours with yesterday (along with her adorable son... my godson... David). We have been friends for years now, and always have fun when we get together. :) And now that she is sharing in the joys of motherhood, it's even more fun!
  • Time to myself! I don't get it very often, and definitely appreciate it when I do get it!
  • My church, Our Saviour's Lutheran. From the moment I first walked into the building about 10 years ago, I knew that I was "home". I love the music, the people, the whole spirit of the church ~ it's an important part of my life.
  • Sunshine! I'm enjoying the beautiful weather while it's here....
  • Scrapbooking. It's my addiction, my obsession, my therapy, and one of the great joys in my life. :) I love everything about it ~ the shopping, the supplies, the photos, the friends I've made because of it, the actual creation of a page, and the finished product ~ a memory brought to life ~ that I can look at, remember, and share with others for years to come.

Oh, and one last little tidbit ~ Benjamin learned how to sign "thank you" today ~ so cute! :) I thought that was appropriate to mention here....

Friday, November 03, 2006

finally friday

It's been a busy day, and I feel like I've been on the go since the moment B woke me up this morning. I'm finally enjoying some quiet time now, though, while George, E, and N are at the circus, and B is in bed!

I was able to take my film in today and get it developed... which means I have Halloween photos to share! :) However, it looks like the pics of me as Mom Zombie are on the film that's still in my camera, so I guess I'll have to share those another day.

First, I had to take a pic of B in his shirt that says "Grandma's Little Pumpkin" (bought by Grandma Bev, of course!) I tried to get him to pose holding his pumpkin, but he did NOT want to cooperate! He was much more interested in me giving him the chalk, so I finally did, and then snapped this one quick:

As you can see, B loves to color, whether it's with chalk or crayons or markers. And he likes to use as many colors as possible, all at the same time:

E and N opted for the scary look on their pumpkins this year. They did everything except the actual cutting ~ they scooped out all the insides, drew their design on, and then painted after I cut:

And now for a glimpse of Christine's fantastic costume creations! :)

Emmalie wanted to be Polaris, space-age superhero (her imaginary friend, and the heroine of many comic strips that Em has drawn). She drew pictures for Christine to follow, which C did ~ right down to the "E" on the gold belt, the lightning bolts on the boots, and the holster for the ray gun. Em was thrilled to have something she's imagined made into reality!

These pictures don't do justice to Nick's AWESOME giraffe costume. Christine made it complete with all the details that make it look so lifelike ~ it even has eyelashes and tufts of hair on the horns. Everyone who saw it was in total awe....

I managed to get a few pics of Benjamin the elephant before he took the hat off of his head. I thought this costume was adorable back when Emmalie and Nick wore it, but it's even cuter to see it on B, who can actually walk around in it! (E and N weren't quite walking yet when they wore it.)

Oh, I almost forgot! Today I am thankful for:

  • Pay day! Enough said....
  • A can of ice-cold Pepsi Lime. Yum. (I needed that caffeine, too!!)
  • A trip to my favorite scrap store, Archivers. I saw SO many wonderful new things for layouts in there today! I managed to be a good girl and only bought what I really needed... but, oh, it was tempting!!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

baby talk

I just love baby talk, when little ones are figuring out the whole language thing. B is at this stage right now, and I find it fascinating to watch him developing his words. You can almost see the little wheels turning in his head... :) He doesn't have many actual words yet, but he is very good at communicating, nonetheless. Besides lots of pointing and this high-pitched scream that means "Hey, I need some help, here!", this is what Benjamin is saying at 13 months old:

  • meow = kitty or anything soft. He says this one a lot!
  • dada = Daddy, of course
  • ah duh = all done/all gone. He also says this instead of bye-bye or night-night, I guess because he's all done seeing that person, LOL. This is almost always accompanied by a wave, even when it's food that is now all gone, or water that is going down the drain.
  • wuh wuh = doggy (woof woof)
  • boon = balloon and sometimes moon
  • ba = ball or anything at all in the shape of a circle!
  • sniff = flower
  • ooo-ooo = monkey (both he and Nick have several stuffed monkeys in their room)
  • ssss = snake (he has two of the stuffed variety, twined around the bars on his crib)
  • ch = cheese, one of his favorite foods!
  • slurp = I'm thirsty
  • uh, uh = I want up!
  • bo = his blankie
  • buh-buh = his stuffed bunny that Grandma Bev gave him, which he sleeps with every night
  • mmmmm = yummy!
  • brroooom = car/truck
  • kissing noise = kiss
  • wah-wah = penguin (waddle-waddle) This comes with a little back-and-forth motion of the head. How many one-year-olds know what a penguin is? LOL (Mommy just has a *few* penguin things around the house....)

Ben also can nod his head yes, shake his head no, and make the signs for "more" and "please".

And for today's list of things I am thankful for:

  • Orange juice. Some people need their coffee in the morning; I need my OJ, low or no pulp, please. It helps wake me up, and it tastes so yummy! :)
  • Days at home. We only have one car, so usually I have to take George to work (and pick him up again at night) so that I can run errands during the day. I love it when, like today, I have no where to go and he can drive himself to work! I can get so much more accomplished at home when I don't have to play taxi driver!
  • Christine, my sister. (HUGS to you, C, if you're reading this!) She called us last night, and it was so good to talk to her. I miss her lots! She's one of the few people who can make me laugh until I cry. She is soooo talented with her sewing and other artistic pursuits, and has shared so many of her creations with us (costumes, quilts, stained glass, etc.). She's the best aunt ever to my kiddos. She's been there for me, when I needed her. And she loves me, even though I forced her to play school (over and over again) when we were little. :) I love you, Christine, and am very thankful to have you for my sister!

Me and Christine, back in 1973:

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

november, already?

Seriously... how did this happen? How can 2006 almost be over?? I love Thanksgiving and Christmas, but I am sooooo not ready for them! (Well, I can probably handle Thanksgiving, but Christmas? Ack!) One of these years, I WILL be better organized and ready to take on the holiday season by the beginning of November. Not this year, though!

The kids and I had a blast trick-or-treating last night, despite the cold. They both got enough candy to last them until next Halloween, I think. (I might have to help them eat some of it....) I'm hoping to post pictures by Friday or the weekend.

Well, since Thanksgiving is coming up fast (whether I'm ready for it or not), I thought I'd try to list 3 things every day that I'm thankful for. That's what this holiday season is all about, right?

Today I am thankful for:
  • The gorgeous fall colors. Just from my computer, I can see deep reds on our neighbor's bush, and bright yellows from their mums, along with earthy brown leaves, dancing across the green grass. The colors make me smile. :)
  • Soft, cozy sweaters. Definitely a necessity on days like today! I love to feel snug and warm inside them. Benjamin likes them, too. Every once in a while, he walks over, pets my sweater, and says, "Meow."
  • Dishwashers. I can't stand washing dishes by hand.... I've been thankful every day since we moved that we have a dishwasher now!