Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Friday, December 26, 2008
Tiffani at Still Seeking Sanity (also known as my sister in law) hit me with this cute award. Thanks for the love! I'm supposed to blog about my top 5 addictions (only 5!!).
1. Lands End Overstocks.....mainly the shoes, but also the coats, swim suits, and kids clothes. I spend hours searching the site looking for deals!
2. Bath and Body Works soaps (yes Tiffani admitted to this one too!)....I love everything, and stock up at their sales....they also send me way too many coupons for my own good.
3. Mochas!!! Very bad addiction to those. I must have my morning mocha.....seriously!
4. Top Chef....boy I miss it when it's not in season. Dan bought me the Top Chef cookbook for Christmas....don't know if I will ever try anything that fancy, but hey, it's fun to look at!
5. Bargains, any good deal, clearance racks, door busters....it truly is an addiction.
I pass the Fabulous Award to..
Renae at A Walk in My Shoes
Lisa at It's Miller Time
Jaimie at Jaimstar
Jenn at The Samuelsens
Kristy at Kristy and Family
Christmas Eve we had so much snow that I couldn't get the van out of the garage. I tried to fire up the tractor, but it wouldn't start. So I had to drive Dan's truck. I don't like to drive Dan's truck, and have only done it a few times. I loaded the kids into the truck to head over to my Grandparent's house, and Lily asked who was driving. I told her I was, and she said, "You can drive Daddy's truck?". When we were almost there Lily stated from the back, "Mommy, you CAN drive Daddy's truck!". The roads were compact snow and ice, so I didn't like driving, but we made it safe and sound. Nate is to the age of questioning the whole Santa thing, and wanted to leave a spy camera out to watch for Santa. Christmas morning we woke up to snow falling. It was truly beautiful with all the tress covered in snow. The kids woke me up at 6:30 am, and I told them to leave me alone until 7am. At 7:01, Nate was in my face waking me up. The kids were excited and opened their presents and stockings. I loved Lily's reaction to her Swim to Me Puppy, "It's just what I wished for!". Here's a picture of our back yard early Christmas morning.
We headed over to my Mom's Christmas morning, and the kids were excited to see their step-cousins. The sun came out and they all played in the snow. My brother Marty and family took 4 hours to get to Mom's, but they finally made it. I totally skipped Christmas at Grandma and Grandpa Stauffer's because of the snow on the roads. Here's a picture of us opening presents, this is only half the room, but you can see the chaos. (No, I'm not picking my nose, just ignore me).
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Tonight is traditionally dinner at Grandma and Grandpa Dennison's. We always have (dry) spaghetti for dinner. My Great Aunt Laurel who passed away last year always made leftsa, a Norwegian potato bread. Now the women in the family do a leftsa making party before Christmas so that we carry on that tradition. After dinner of spaghetti (did I mention that it's always dry?) we open presents, eat desserts, and wait for the bells. When my cousins and I were little, we knew it was time to go home when we heard the bells outside. That meant that Santa was on his way to our houses, and we needed to hurry home and get in bed.
I know that we won't be doing these traditions after my Grandparents are gone, but I enjoy every year knowing that dry spaghetti will always be a joke in the family, and the leftsa tradition will live on.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Monday, December 22, 2008
Clap Your Hands by Lorinda Bryan Cauley
Toes Are To Tickle by Shen Roddie and Kady MacDonald Denton
Chugga-Chugga Choo-Choo by Kevin Lewis and Daniel Kirk (great for boys who love trains!)
Preschool to Kindergarten age
Any book by Kevin Henkes, he is our favorite!
Dr. Seuss books, can't go wrong with the classics (even though I'm ready to hide those right now!)
Officer Buckle and Gloria by Peggy Rathman
The Hoppameleon by Paul Geraghty
Nate the Great series of books by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat
The Magic School Bus series from Scholastic
Sunday, December 21, 2008
And here is Nate outside in the snow. We finally got a few hours where the wind wasn't so bad, and he had made a little fort. I had to keep yelling at him to stop throwing snowballs at the windows!
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Friday, December 19, 2008
Happy 2nd Birthday Ben and Grant!
Here we go again.......
Marty and Tiffani, congrats on your boy's birthdays.
Amy Jo, Rob, David, and Dan, congrats on your nephew's birthdays.
Mom, Wayne, Dad and Marsha, congrats on your Grandson's birthdays.
Emma, congrats on your brother's birthdays.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Monday, December 15, 2008
While we are talking about Christmas gifts, I'll let you in on a few of my ideas......can't give them all away because I know who is reading this! For my grandparents who have everything, and don't want "stuff" from us, I do certificates for the bread of the month club. I print out little coupons, one for each month, that list a specific bread or batch of rolls that I will bring them that month. I did this last year for Grandma and Grandpa Dennison, and they loved it. So, this year I'll do it for both sets of grandparents. It's also a great excuse for me to go visit them once a month.
For the kid's teachers, I do gift baskets with homemade mixes and jams. I try to theme each one different, and get a little inside scoop on their likes. Nate is on a mission today to find out if his teacher likes tea or coffee. I also realize that the kids have many other teachers in the building that they see, PE, Music, Art, Librarian, Para educators, and the kids bring them all jam. It's important for me to show my kids that we need to thank all the staff at the school.
I found calenders at Michael's (for $1!!!!) that you insert photo's into. My kids love to have their own calenders, personalized with their favorite pictures. I also do them for my parents and mother in law.
Anyone else who wants to share their Christmas readiness, play along. (Seriously, some people get mad if you tag them!) Merry Christmas!
Sunday, December 14, 2008
I thought this was neat, a good reminder for this season of Christ's birth ....
If I decorate my house perfectly with plaid bows, strands of twinkling lights and shiny balls, but do not show love to my family, I'm just another decorator.
If I slave away in the kitchen, baking dozens of Christmas cookies, preparing gourmet meals and arranging a beautifully adorned table at mealtime, but do not show love to my family, I'm just another cook.
If I work at the soup kitchen, carol in the nursing home, and give all that I have to charity, but do not show love to my family, it profits me nothing.
If I trim the spruce with shimmering angels and crocheted snowflakes, attend a myriad of holiday parties and sing in the choir's cantata, but do not focus on Christ, I have missed the point.
Love stops the cooking to hug the child.
Love sets aside decorating to kiss the husband.
Love is kind, though harried and tired.
Love doesn't envy another's home that has coordinated Christmas china and table linens.
Love doesn't yell at the kids to get out of the way, but is thankful they are there to be in the way.
Love doesn't give only to those who are able to give in return but rejoices in giving to those who can't.
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails. Video games will break, pearl necklaces will be lost, golf clubs will rust. But giving the gift of love will endure.
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Friday, December 12, 2008
Thursday, December 11, 2008
- Write letters to your children from Santa, include something personal so that they know Santa is watching, add stickers if you wish.
- Address the envelope to your children, return address, Santa, and include postage.
- Mail the letters together in a separate envelope or manila envelope to: Postmaster, Santa, ID 83866
- Make sure to write thanks to the postmaster on the large envelope.
- Ho Ho Ho, have a Merry Christmas!
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Monday, December 8, 2008
- I am capable of balancing home and school.
- My kids are fine with going to Grandma's house once a week, and I need to get over my Mommy guilt.
- I can't say yes to everything.
- The world won't stop if I tell someone no.
- Even if I feel foolish at school, my friends and family are proud of me.
- My love of writing never went away.....although it's been in years since I have written anything but a Christmas letter.
- Biology is humorous...who knew about the barnacle?
- Although my Biology class was meant to explain evolution, it gave me a bigger picture of the complexities that God created.
- I still can't draw. If you want colored drawings of sea life, ask my children.
- I still haven't found anyone who can explain the life cycle of moss to me!
- My house may be a disaster, but I'm capable of good grades.
- I can master new things on the computer, like power point.
- I need to get over my stubborn self and go to the doctor if I am really sick.
- My Mom is wonderful (Yes, I already knew that)!
- And most importantly, I didn't do this on my own.
- 2 Corinthians 3:5 Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God.
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Saturday, December 6, 2008
Friday, December 5, 2008
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Monday, December 1, 2008
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Friday, November 28, 2008
When I got home, we took out all the Christmas decorations, and Dan put up the tree. The kids were thrilled. I'm almost done with the Christmas cards, the first batch will go in the mail tomorrow. I might go wrap a few presents so that there is something under the tree. We have another Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow, which seems funny now that we are ready for Christmas. Oh well, turkey is a universal holiday meal!
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Right now my second batch of rolls are in the oven, and we are headed to Aunt Ruthi's for turkey time! After a wonderful meal, and then our game, we put on our real game faces and tackle the sale fliers in the newspaper. This is part of our Thanksgiving tradition. We go through the fliers, and decide on a game plan for tomorrow morning. We pick which store has the best door buster, one that is worth our time standing in the cold. I grew up thinking that the people who did the door busters were crazy, and deserved to freeze their butts off on Black Friday. Then I had kids. Wow how that changes your perspective! When Lily was a toddler, I saw a little kitchenette in a Black Friday add. It was going to save me $20 to get out of bed at 4am and go to Freddy's. At the time, it was well worth the $20. That's when I realized I had become one of the crazy ones! Now I join the family in our quest for bargains. We all stand in the cold together, Aunt Ruthi picks up mocha's (that deserves sainthood right there!) and we chat and visit with everyone around us. Once the doors open, we are all on our own, going different ways to find our treasures. Then we all meet again at the food court in the mall to have Cinnabons and show off our goodies.
I've already gotten a phone call this morning asking about my plan of attack. I had to say that I won't know until the family attacks the paper. Here's a few more helpful hints to the crazy people like me who's wish for bargains overrules the need for sleep. Don't go alone! Last year I stood in line at Target for over an hour by myself, not fun! Go with a list. My sis is law Tiffani makes a notebook with the adds so that she knows exactly what she is looking for. Also in the notebook is her Christmas list, so that if she sees any other great deals, she can look to the list to see who else she needs to shop for. Get caffeine (and tip the baristas who are up early enough to sell you that hot, magical mocha at 4 am.).
Wish me luck, and I hope everyone has a safe Thanksgiving weekend!
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
For everyone traveling today and tomorrow, please be safe, and have a Happy Thanksgiving!
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Monday, November 24, 2008
I am truly thankful that I have all my Grandparents alive and well. I appricate that the families have kept up the traditions through the years. I am thankful that my aunts will host big family gatherings, and feed us yummy food! And although it's a silly game, I love our Thanksgiving tradition!
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Nate: Mom, Lily called me stupid.
Me: Lily, we do not call people stupid.
Lily: I didn't say stupid, I called him student. My teacher calls us students, and I called Nate a STUDENT (very loud and drawn out).
She likes to repeat everything from school. It must be a girl thing to have to recount every detail of the day. Nate on the other hand, I have to pull teeth to get info out of him about his day. The ironic thing is Nate can't be quiet at school. We had teacher confrences this week, and Nate is above grade level in all his classroom subjects. His only problem is that he talks too much in class (I blame my Dad for that one too!). Lily is doing great academically too, but needs to work on slowing down and doing the work correctly the first time. She is starting to read, and it amazes me how fast she is learning. I am proud of the youngest students in the house!
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Friday, November 21, 2008
Thursday, November 20, 2008
I am also thankful for my brothers. I would not have said this as a child because they were a pain in my behind. But that's what little brothers do, and now they have moved on to torture my children. They are also very supportive and help me out when needed. Marty will mow my lawn in return for dinner and Rob will stay overnight on Thanksgiving so that I can shop in the early hours of Black Friday.
I love you all and thank God for his choice of siblings for me!
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Herbed Dinner Rolls
1 cup warm water
2 tbsp butter, softened
3 1/4 cup better for bread flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp granulated garlic
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
Put ingredients in bread machine, in order listed. Select dough setting. When complete, turn dough onto floured surface. Divide into 24 balls, place them on greased baking sheet. Brush with melted butter. Cover, let rise 30 minutes. Bake at 375 for 12-15 minutes.
Today I am thankful for my ugly house. As you can tell from the previous post, my house was built in 1971, and the wallpaper and dark paneling on the walls proves it to anyone who enters. When we bought the house over 5 years ago, all I looked at was square footage and lot size. The house is over 2000 square feet, and the lot is 1/3 acre. All the other houses we looked at were newer and prettier, but I looked at size and layout. I don't know how I could have survived without the toy room. And our layout is great for entertaining, which I do with large groups. You will not find fancy things like china dishes or nice couches at my house, but you will find a place where children are welcome to play, and adults can relax with some coffee. I am thankful that my kids can be kids, and I'm not freaking out about the black paint on the carpet. Of course I dream of a beautiful house with beautiful things, but I know that stage of life will come when my kids are grown. Until then, I am thankful for what God has provided me with.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
My sister in law Tiffani is not my friend anymore. She tagged me with the job of dropping everything, and taking a picture of where I blog, and my living room. Seriously?!?! Those are the two messiest places in the house. And....it's Tuesday, my worst day of the week. So I am a good girl, and do as I'm told, so here is my office, a complete disaster area, enter at your own risk. Right now there are only two computers, when Dan is home, we have three lined up in a row. My back desk is covered with crafts, homework, pictures, and my piles of projects (including Christmas cards). The shag carpet is orange, and it reminds me of Alf. We once watched Mom's orange cat, Albert, while she was away, and Albert thought he was camouflaged in the office. He would sit in there looking out like,"You can't see me!".
Next is the living room, which actually is what we call the toy room. The carpet has a big black paint stain on it from when we painted Nate's room, and he dropped the paint can on the carpet. The carpet is also not tacked down, just sitting on cement. This room was once the garage, so it is weird. This is the room I want to tackle next, finish the pergo all the way across, and the ugly paneling is coming down.
Thanks again Tiff, you were once my favorite sister in law!
Erin at Live, Laugh, Love
Tracie at Little Bearfoot Farms
Renae at A Walk in My Shoes
Monday, November 17, 2008
I have a bunch of blogs about girls and Lily, only because it's been an exciting time for Lily with her starting Kindergarten and the new things she is doing. So, I will tell you about my Nate the Great. Nate the Great is 8 right now (it's fun to say) and I am convinced more than ever that he will be an architect or engineer. Since he was two, he has loved to build things. At that time it was train tracks. He would amaze me with the different combinations of tracks he would build. Then came Lego's. He is always building new "creations" as he calls them. He has Lego's all over the house, and changes his creations daily. This past summer when we were camping on the Columbia River, he and his cousin John were determined to build steps in the sand wall. We left before they could get far, but they have big plans for next year's project. Nate is really fast at math, and loves science experiments. I hope that he keeps his creativity and yearning for knowledge as he continues with school. That way he can get big time scholarships, get a good education, then support his parents! :)
Sunday, November 16, 2008
On a side note, my mom is so excited to have a little ballerina, that she is taking us to see the Nutcracker. Mom has been dreaming of this moment for years, I don't know who will enjoy the show more!
Lily: I want a private like Nate's.
Me: You can't have one because you are a girl.
Lily: But I want one like Nate!
Me: Lily, boys have boy parts and girls have girl parts, and God made you a girl.
Lily: But I want a private like Nate's.
Me: (Sigh) Well, you can't have one because you already broke yours off. (thanks Dad)
Lily: Well, then I want a new one!
Me:(Laughing till I fell off the toilet) Let me call Grandpa and ask him about that.
I called my Dad and he laughed. Then he said that I got out smarted by my daughter, because I had never questioned him. Great, thanks Dad, you are no help!
Saturday, November 15, 2008
I was tagged by Melissa at Full Circle and Kadi at Womb at the Innsane. You must copy the button,(go to Kadi's blog for link) then blog about why you are fabulous. So here are my reasons, start thinking of yours and blog away!
I am Fabulous because:
I am a single mom for more than half the year.
I am a student keeping up good grades in my classes.
I am a loving big sister that helps her siblings.
I am a creative and loving mom.
I am giving of my time and talents (sometimes too much!).
Friday, November 14, 2008
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Monday, November 10, 2008
Sunday, November 9, 2008
Right now we are in Seaside Oregon all cozy in our condo. The kids are finishing dinner and Dan and Nate are playing hangman. It's fun to hear them play. We visited the Maritime Museum in Astoria today, and I wish the kids were a little older to appreciate it. Dan loved it, and tried to explain a few things that were relevant to his work. There were hands on exhibits where you get to steer a boat, or practice your knots. We will have to go back someday when the kids are older and can appreciate the history of our area.
Saturday, November 8, 2008
Friday, November 7, 2008
Oh, and Congrats on My Mother's Birthday!!! Happy Birthday Mom, love you!
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Monday, November 3, 2008
Sunday, November 2, 2008
Saturday, November 1, 2008
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Nate was going to be a police officer last year, and was talking on the phone with his friend explaining his costume. Then he told his little 7 year old friend that Mommy bought him handcuffs, but they weren't real like the one's under her bed. Dan overheard this conversation and about died laughing. We have a pair of handcuffs under our bed that were given to us as a gag. They are actually the same one's as Nate's, and I had not a clue he had been under my bed checking them out. Of course I had to find out if Nate's friend had retold this story, and asked this friend's mom about it. And of course I had to tell her the story to explain this whole thing, and she busts out laughing at my tale of handcuffs. No, the friend never said anything, but now everyone gives me a bad time about the handcuffs. Thanks Nate for sharing.
Halloween 2007, Nate the police officer, Holly the barista, and Lily the purple care bear.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Monday, October 27, 2008
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Friday, October 24, 2008
Marty works for Oltman Insurance, and if you want to save money on your insurance, give him a call and he'll give you a free quote. (And he will take me to lunch if I send him referrals!!!) Give him a call at (360) 734-3960.
Rob is a middle school teacher, and we are very proud of all the schooling he has done to get where he is. He is also in a band called The Love Lights. You can check out their myspace page or listen to their music on itunes.
Amy Jo is the family paparazzi, I mean photographer. You can check out her beautiful work at www.amyparsons.com.
My siblings and I have an unusual relationship, we all get along! As children we didn't always get along, I was the bossy one (firstborn), my sister being the baby got away with everything. The boys were always fighting and being boys. Once we all grew up, we became friends. We all talk to each other every week and will start making phone calls to the others if we haven't hear from Rob. While he was in college, if Rob wasn't returning phone calls right away, we would call each other and ask if anyone else had heard from Rob. After that we would leave him messages saying "call us, or we'll think you are dead!". Rob would get the point and finally call someone, and we would all feel better. We all help each other out, and like spending time together. Strange huh?
Thursday, October 23, 2008
I also got my test back in Biology today. I did ok, pretty much how I thought I did. To make up for the lost points, I'm doing extra credit tomorrow by doing volunteer work for the Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association (NSEA). It should be a fun adventure, and at least the weather is in my favor!
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Monday, October 20, 2008
Most of you know that I am a single parent for half of the year. Dan works on tugs and barges and is gone for 40 days at a time. He has had this schedule for about 7 years, so I am used to this, but it still doesn't make it easy. I do so many things on my own with the kids, and it's hard to manage sometimes. I am blessed to have a very supportive family that helps out, but I miss my hubby. He is a great Dad who plays with the kids, and gets down on their level. He is also wonderful with taking extra kids so that a friend and I can have girl time, kid free. Our house is a fixer upper, and Dan had done all the work himself. From building the fence to remodeling our bathroom (even when he didn't like my idea of painting it red!). This summer he finished turning my part of the carport into a garage. He always has a big honey do list when he gets home, and may complain, but likes to work on things around the house.
Dan will be home tomorrow, and I am excited to see him. The kids have been counting down the days until Daddy comes home. This past 40 days have been some of the most difficult, so I'll be glad to have the support at home. Maybe he could take the kids to the park so that I could have quiet time for homework? (hint, hint) Love and miss you honey, can't wait to have you home!!!!
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Last night we went to the First Annual Chili Cook off and Pumpkin Carving Contest at Little Bearfoot Farm. Our friends Gordon and Tracie live at LBF and hosted this party in their barn. I entered chili, but didn't win. I tried to do something different and made a vegetarian chili, and it was great to see that all 7 chili's entered were different. Congrats to Tim who won the cook off, and congrats to Tiffani who won the boobie prize for last place. (Tiff I really liked your chili, can I have the recipe?). After chili everyone helped the kids carve pumpkins, and dear Tracie gave each kid a prize bag for entering. In this bag contained a whistle, so 13 kids had whistles. Thanks Tracie, there will be paybacks for that one.
Overall it was a fun night. The kids and I had colored hair (my friend and hairdresser, Stephana was very worried about it staining my highlights). I had brought our scarred pumpkins to carve, and when we got there I realized that the tops of the pumpkins were soft. By the time I got done carving, the tops sunk into the pumpkins. Oh well, maybe Dan can carve new ones for them when he gets home.
Friday, October 17, 2008
You Are A Mother of Preschoolers…..
By Holly Snow
· If you are sleep deprived
· If you have stickers and cheerios stuck to your socks
· If you have spit up, snot, or drool on your clothes
· If your shoes are older than your children
· If the idea of heaven on earth is a full night of uninterrupted sleep
· If you can cook dinner, do laundry, pick up toys, feed the dog, talk on the phone, with a child on your hip, all at the same time
· If your TV has been taken over by Disney channel, Nick Jr and Noggin.
· If you can’t sing a single Top 40 hit, but know all the words to Blues Clues
· If you can’t remember a single thing from Chemistry, but have Dr. Seuss’ ABC’s memorized
· If you can’t remember the last time you ate out without French fries
· If you have ever called everyone you know when your child did something new
· If you are missing a bottle or juice cup and are scared to find it
· If you go through a bottle a month of spray-n-wash
· If you ever bought a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, ran around the house cleaning walls, and truly believe it’s magic
· If you can’t remember the last time you bought yourself something pretty and not practical
· If your floor is booby trapped with legos, hot wheels, train tracks, barbies, or polly pockets
· If more people call you Mommy than your real name on most days
· If your cookie cutters, rolling pin and spatula are used more for play dough than cookies
· If you have ever driven aimlessly just so your child will sleep longer
· If your backseat has car seats full of cracker crumbs
· If you have more crayons on your floor than in the crayon box
· If you have to point out every farm animal, tractor or train while you are traveling
· If you feel like you deserve a gold metal for getting out of the house this morning with your hair done and makeup on
· If you are scared to look under your couch
· If you have ever locked yourself in the closet to talk on the phone
· If you have ever played hide and seek with your kids just to get a moment of silence
· If you stick your nose in your child’s bottom to tell if they are poopy
· If poopy and potty are in your everyday vocabulary
· If you go through the McDonalds drive thru more than you shave your legs
· If you speak of yourself in third person, ”Mommy got a boo boo.”
· If you have ever let your child talk to a telemarketer
· If your first response to any invitation is “Let me see if I can get a babysitter.”
· If you can’t remember the last time you went to Walmart without buying diapers
· If you are pregnant or have a potty training child, and must know where the restroom is everywhere you go
· If you just need a break, a friend, a snack, a cup of coffee, or just some time without screaming, squirming, slobbery children
· If you all the bandages in your house have cartoon characters on them