Monday, December 31, 2007

My last blog entry for 2007

Here I am, warm and cozy in my home with my husband, children and our faithful cat.  Nothing out of the ordinary going on for us.  The wind is howling something fierce making it bitterly cold for man and beast.  There's no New Years Eve party with friends this year, just taking it easy here at home watching a movie eating pop corn and drinking hot tea.
As for what I did today...
Many of us volunteered our time at the Thrift Shop today and everyones help made a huge difference!  Amber was there with her kids in tow pulling all of the items that needed to get marked out of stock, Kim was there with kids in tow getting consignments put into the computer, Gail made such a huge difference clearing off the counter tops and work areas (they are so well organizied).  I brough Hannah who in turn helped scan ALL of the markdown tickets freeing me up to run back and forth between the front and back end of the store putting things into piles of keep/toss and donate.  After she was done with that task then she entertained the children, she was a great help- thanks Hannah!  Heidi was everywhere - helping me to go through things for next year, answering everyones questions about what goes where and so forth.  Gail and I got with Heidi's latest idea and changed out the Christmas section and made it into a into a Baby section.  I love having a different theme in that one part of the store every month, giving our customers something else to focus on- what a great selling feature that will be for the store.  We have such a fantastic core group of volunteers, it will be sad to see most of them PSC in the next 6 months.  But I'm not about to dwell on that, I'm going to concentrate on enjoying my time with them now :-)
Happy New year Everyone!

Quote of the Day

"Vanity and pride are different things, though the words are often used synonymously.... Pride relates more to our opinion of ourselves, vanity to what we would have others think of us".

~Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice, 1811

what's your patterned paper of choice?

When putting together the perfect scrapbook layout, what's the first thing you go for? Is it cardstock or patterned paper? If it's patterned paper...what's the pattern? Stripes? Plaid? Dots? Floral? Geometric? Or is it something else? I like all of these but my patterned paper print of choice is first and foremost...Flowers! I've always had this "thing" for flowers. I have flowers in every room of our home, you just have to look around, some are rather noticeable and others are a little more obscure.

What can I are such happy things, I like to see them every where!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

How did your year rate?

You Had a Fantastic Year!

Compared to most years, last year was definitely great.
Overall, you're living a much better life than you were twelve months ago.
And nothing is a better mark of a good year.
Here's to hoping next year is even better!

My Cookbook Nook: Not just for the Kitchen...

My Cookbook Nook: Not just for the Kitchen...

Come check out my cooking blog and see what kitchen item I bought and am using in my scrapbook nook!
I added a picture to my December 21st blog entry. It's of my neighbors blow apart gazebo. They must have been just sicked by the damage especially since they've never gotten the chance to use it.

Quote of the Day

"That is what marriage really means: helping one another to reach the full status of being persons, responsible and autonomous beings who do not run away from life"
~Paul Tournier

I thought that this was perfect for today as we are to go to a wedding this afternoon.

Sandie's 2008 Scrapbooking Goals

I’m not into having number goals as those are just put an undue amount of stress to crank out pages. I want to devote my time to making quality pages, the numbers will come together on their own. My scrapbooking goals 2008 are pretty much the same as they were for 2007

My scrapping goals for 2008 are as follows...

*to schedule time each week to do nothing but work on layouts, scrapbook related projects, stamping projects and altered art projects.

*When buying scrapbooking and stamping supplies that I shop local first! For me that's shopping at 3 Scrappy Boys and with Peggy my Stampin Up consultant.

*to use use up what I more hoarding or worse yet "saving it" for that so called "special layout". My motto is "Every layout is special!"

*to donate the items (tools paper, stickers, etc) that I am no longer using or interested in keeping around to various local charities and women's groups.

*to host more crops in my home and make it an enjoyable experience for my girlfriends, to include lunch and possibly a small project. To make it a once or twice a month get together.

*to finish our vacation albums. Especially since we're going on vacation in February and that I have only a handful of pages done from our European Vacation that we took in 2006.

*to put more pages in my husband’s career album.

*to finish up my Book of Faith album. It's a small 6x6 album with favorite quotes from the Bible. I'm going to get my friend Kim to start this with me, I know that this will be something that she would be VERY interested in making for her own self.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Saturday already?

This week has gone by rather more quickly than I had anticipated. I've still got to get my Christmas cards in the mail...yes you read that right I haven;t sent out our Christmas Cards. Okay I sent out some, but the ones that require a news letter are still here perched on my desk waiting for me to write the newsletter...ugh! I'm not a procrastinator, but this has become something that I dread doing. So today I've got to make myself sit down and just write up the dog gone thing and get these cards in the mail by Monday!

Tomorrow we are going to a wedding! I look forward to attending this wedding and the reception that follows. I went to one of the two stores where the couple are registered, even printed out the list of what they were registered for....oh what a long list and the descriptions (it was much like trying to decipher some sort of ancient runes). Well lets just say that between the long lines and the lack of sales people available to help you on this treasure hunt- well I ended up getting the couple a gift card. I refuse to wrap up pots and pans and give them as a wedding gift (unless I know them VERY well). So a gift card is in order here, now they can shop together and buy what ever it is they need/want and I didn't have to stand in a hairy long line.

My reorganizing project is moving along slowly. I had to go out yesterday and purchase a wedding gift, buy some outdoor lights for my husband, buy food (we were out of so many items) and then get home and put everything away. Aah, the life of a SAHM, okay so I'm not at home all that much but in the essence of SAHM's I don't get paid for what I do. Hannah has agreed to go into the under the stairs storage area to retrieve (and put away) the boxes that I need today. I shall reward her with a special treat- chicken Caesar Salad for lunch (that will make her squeal with delight).

Our neighbors had their contractor taken down their broken gazebo yesterday. I do have pictures of it blown apart from the wind. I felt rather badly for them when I first saw the damage, and I know that is was a costly thing to have put up only to have the weather tear it apart within days of going up.

Now for me to get on with business at hand...packing away Christmas.

New Years Trivia

The tradition of using a baby to signify the New Year was
started by ancient Greeks around 600 B.C. They would carry
a baby around in a basket to honor Dionysus, the God of
Fertility and symbolize his annual rebirth.
The name January is derived from the Roman god Janus, the
god of gates and doors, hence of openings and beginnings.
On January 1 the Romans offered sacrifices to Janus so that
he would bless the new year.
The Scottish tune Auld Lang Syne is a common song sang right
after the stroke of midnight. The literal translation of the
song's title is "Old Long Ago." It was written primarily by
Robert Burns, but the song was not published until 1796, well
after Burns' death.

Quote of the Day

Real joy comes not from ease or riches or from the praise of men, but from doing something worthwhile.
~Sir Wilfred Grenfell (1865 - 1940)

Friday, December 28, 2007

Quote of the Day

Actions have consequences...first rule of life. And the second rule is this - you are the only one responsible for your own actions
~Holly Lisle, Fire In The Mist, 1992

hopefully this will keep me motivated today to get the house finished up and totally organized!

Cleaning 2

Why is it that when purging a room of things that belong in other rooms that I get distracted? So how am I being distracted? Say I take a laundry basket full of items that belong in the family room, once I'm in there to drop things off I just can't "drop them off", I start going through that room and try to straighten it up before I get called to another room to straighten it up. It's a terrible affliction. Why can't it all work at once? Moving room by room has never worked well for me, it's one of those odd little quirks that make me - me. It's kind of like moving into a house, how you're surrounded by total chaos and cardboard boxes then in the blink of an eye every little thing is in it's place. That's kind of how I work. I have to pull it all out and sort it, that's the only way to go. It also gives you a good idea of what you have and what you're willing to get rid of. So far I've managed to get together 3 bags of items that will either be donated or going in for consignment at the base thrift shop. Even Hannah has gotten into it, she's brought me oodles of items from her closet that no longer fit that were just taking up valuable closet space. What a good girl she is to go through her closet without being told. Now if I could only pry Andrew away from his new video game long enough to do something like that...yup that would take a miracle, LOL!

Now for some more coffee and to once again get to the business of clearing out Christmas and getting my home organized and ready to greet the new year.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Getting organized after the holiday

Christmas Day has come and gone and now comes the part I dread - the taking down and putting away of all things Christmas. It's always hard because the items do need to be wrapped up and stored properly to guard against breakage. Maybe since everyone is home right now I can get them to help me to reorganize the under the stairs storage area. Okay, so I'd have a better chance of them all dancing naked outside in a snow storm but hey it's worth a try right? I wonder what kind of meal I can bribe them with to get them to "want" to help me. It's got to be something that is quick for me to make so I don't take too much time away from the sort, purge and reorganizing project...maybe it's chicken tacos, they adore my tacos :-)

Now back to organizing...
I want to be able to have my various holiday items stored in Rubbermaid storage containers. Cardboard falls apart and crushes too easily, so Rubbermaid containers it is! Assigning a different colored plastic tote to each season will make it easier to identify when searching items- label totes in the following manner... red and green ones for Christmas items, orange totes for Halloween items, pale blue or any other pastel color for Easter items, dark green for Summer/Spring related items and Navy Blue for Patriotic stuff. Of course there's the various seasonal "stuff" and the all around "stuff" that I really need to go through sort and purge. Properly labeling each container with the contents will help greatly too. I hate to admit this this but my armoire has been a catch all for things these past few months and it really needs to be purged and the items put away. What items you wonder? Items left over from Halloween and Thanksgiving that can be categorized as being "Autumn" such as glass and ceramic pumpkins, I've come across colored glass Easter Bunny containers, Decorative Easter Egg holders and pretty Easter Baskets and even a couple of Valentine related items. So now for me to organize them all and get them in their right containers. I know that this may seem a little too anal for some and right up the alley for others. But If I don't keep myself organized in this way, 1- it stresses me out having to hunt for things in this manner and 2-our next move will be a total nightmare.

So with that said, I'm getting under way with my new found project of pulling out all seasonal items and getting them sorted and ready to be put into bins - wish me luck! I hope to post pictures of what I'm pulling apart and putting back together in hopefully what amounts to a better storage and organizing system.

Quote of the Day

There is no greater joy nor greater reward than to make a fundamental difference in someone's life.
~Sister Mary Rose McGeady

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The day after Christmas

So I tell myself this morning- go head, grab some coffee, read the paper and kick back- you deserve it. The day after Christmas is always bitter sweet, The excitement of anticipation of the holiday is gone, now it's all about the "After Christmas Sales"( of which I have no desire to take part of). I want to stay at home and relax with my family. The stores will be packed with people looking for bargains and people wanting to do returns. I plan on staying far away from that chaos.

My Christmas was delightful. We ate breakfast (had those ultra yummy Cinnabon style cinnamon rolls I mentioned making yesterday), opened presents, went to Christmas Day Mass, and came back home. While the husband and children played with their new "toys" I prepared the Christmas Day feast. It all came together so smoothly, nothing went wrong or was amiss. I found the day quite relaxing.

Church was okay, none of the glory or opulence of going to a Catholic Mass at a Cathedral during Christmas time, this is after all a church on a military base. But it was nice to be surrounded by those that we know and like.

Christmas day was full of wondrous surprises. I'm not sure who surprised me more- my husband or my daughter. Hannah is always such a sweetheart, thinking of others in such great ways. She is a very giving child, always has been. She bought gifts this year with her own money- bought her brother a mouse for his computer, bought her cousins gifts and she even bought gifts for her dear parents. For her Dad is was a Corvette (Hot Wheels of course) and for her mom (that's me) it was a Landstrom's Black Hills Gold necklace with matching earrings, it's so beautiful. I almost told her that this is too costly, that she should return it and save her money, but I know my child- she would have been heart broken if I would have said that to her. I wear my new necklace and earrings with pride! My husband surprised me too - as I fully expected to only have the handbag and other items that we bought at the OSC auction as my gifts. But I stand corrected, Lucien Elf lives up to his Christmas name - he surprised with me gift certificates to an all inclusive day spa downtown- manicure, pedicure, facial and a full hour Swedish massage! WOW! It's been years (like since before we were married) since I've indulged in having a professional facial. And a manicure- I can date it back to when were were stationed in Maine back in 1990. This truly is a treat for me and I see that my husband loves me very much. Do I feel spoiled? Why yes, yes I do! I am indeed, very blessed!

Quote of the Day

Guard well within yourself that treasure, kindness. Know how to give without hesitation, how to lose without regret, how to acquire without meanness"
~George Sand (1804 - 1876)

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

My Christmas Wish for all of you...

Practice random acts of kindness- not just at Christmas time but throughout the year!

Quote of the Day

May your walls know joy; May every room hold laughter and every window open to great possibility

~Maryanne Radmacher-Hershey

Monday, December 24, 2007

Remembering Christmases Past

Growing up we were never the family that had expensive furnishings, a fancy house or tons of presents underneath the Christmas Tree. We lived a modest life. My Mom saved every penny that she possibly could throughout the year, she always paid cash for everything- never once did I remember seeing her ever use a credit card. So when Christmas time came around I was always surprised that through the year she had managed to scrimp and save up enough to get us some small presents. I don't think that I had even once believed in Santa Claus, you see-my childhood belief of things such as Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny had been taken away from me with the suicide death of my father. It was after his death that I was visited by Angels- letting me know that I was going to be alright, that my mother would be alright. That God had sent them and that they were watching over us.

So what did I belive in? I believed in God and that he does indeed answer prayers, that Angels are messengers from heaven and that they watch over us, the virgin Mary and her husband Joseph and their baby Jesus, and the true meaning of Christmas.

Christmas Eve Midnight Mass was wonderful, in my youth I remember attending this Mass and it being done in Latin, it was indeed something to behold! The Cathedral glowing in the candle light, the incense (what a heavenly scent it was too), the children's choir singing like Angels. I would sit in the Cathedral with my mother just feeling as if I was in the presence of God himself. It was very awe inspiring to say the least. We would walk home together hand in hand in the darkness and once we got home my mother would give me a little gift to open. It would always be something small and personal, from a mother to a daughter - right then and there I could feel her love for me knew no bounds. Christmas wasn't about expensive gifts, it was about love. It's special moments like that, that I treasure more than anything.

If you have a special Christmas memory please share it with me by posting it on your blog- write a message about it on my blog.

Bless You and have a Merry Christmas!

Giving Thanks

It's so quiet here in my house, not a noise being made with the exception of the furnace blowing heated air through the air vents. Even the cat is blissfully asleep.

I like to take time out to give thanks for all of the good things and the not so good things that this year have brought to me and my family. It's getting through the tough times together as a family and turning those sour lemons into sweet lemonade that makes me get down on my knees and thank our Lord Jesus Christ for giving his life for us. No one has a charmed or easy life in this world. Life is what we make of it. If we insist on being bitter and to harbor resentments of past wrongs then that is how our life will be - bitter. But if we decide that we want to harbour hope, practice compassion and forgiveness and to be charitable, then we shall see that true JOY comes from doing something worthwhile.

Quote of the Day

But the Angel said to them "Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour which is Christ the Lord.
Luke 2:10-11 King James Bible

Sunday, December 23, 2007

The Power of Love

It's news articles like this one that bring tears of joy. Read this story and you will be forever reminded of the grace of God and the power of love.

My Cookbook Nook: Gifts made with Love

My Cookbook Nook: Gifts made with Love

Not the best Christmas Memories

Happiness is having a large, loving ,caring, close-knit family... in another city.
~George Burns

I can't help but to love this quote. Don't get me wrong, I love my extended family but I've also grown to like not being so near that they can make demands of my time.

Some of my worst Christmas memories (yes you read that right I said worst Christmas memories) were of my Grand-parents coming over to our house at 4:30 or 5 am they would bang on the windows to wake us all up (and scare the crap out of us), pack up our presents and clothes and bring us to their house. We would open all of our gifts, have Christmas dinner (around noon) and then after our grandparents were sick of us they brought us home...without our Christmas gifts. We were allowed to open the gifts but we were not allowed to play with the toys at our grandparents home- talk about having ones Christmas joy taken away from you. They'd make up some excuse to not put them in the car and not bring them over to our house for another 2 or 3 days. It broke my heart that they did this to us and of course my poor Mom didn't know what to say because this the was mother of her deceased husband. It wasn't until I told my Mom that my grand-parents were ruining Christmas. My grandma would make snippy comments about how spoiled my sister and I were... even at 7 years old I knew that this was untrue and I would think to my mom is raising us on her own on a pittance, she was just barely able to make ends meet you don't help her out at all and my Dad is dead, exactly how are we spoiled? So for me the best Christmases are those that are celebrated in my own home with my immediate family.

Before we had children, we had spent Christmas with my husbands family, it was okay not too bad really and were weren't bombarded with having to travel or see people that we did not know. Then in 2005 Lucien was really wanting to go home for Christmas, I told him that this was a bad idea but he wanted to go - so we went. Was it a bad Christmas? Not the worst on record but not a good one either. Went to the bother and sister in-laws home where they had invited way too many people to make this an intimate "family" gathering. Tons of people that we didn't know (and weren't being introduced to either), and other things happening while we were there that left my family feeling "why are we here?". We traveled so far to be there with my husbands' family and yet we felt as if we were among strangers.

So after that experience my husband now understands why I feel that HOME is where Christmas should be celebrated and that HOME is a place where people love you. And that being HOME isn't always about going back to the place where you spent your childhood but rather where you are now surrounded by those that love you- it's a place in your heart.

Quote of the day

Mid pleasures and palaces though we may roam,
Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home.
~John Howard Payne

Saturday, December 22, 2007

My Honda Odyssey

This is my automobile of choice, often referred to as "the Prairie Schooner" and "the Kid Mobile". Now my Honda is a little different from other Honda Odyssey minivans, you see...husband has tweaked this vehicle of mine just a wee bit. I've got a Parrot- A what? A Parrot? What, a bird in your car? No it's not a bird, a Parrot is a hands free blue-tooth device for my cell phone installed in my minivan (it's seriously cool). It's got a display and I can see who is calling me :-) Oh my gosh I don't know how I got along for so long without one! Every parent needs a hands free device in their car- I've read somewhere that this is now a feature that you can get when ordering a the new 2008 model Odysssey from Honda- Sweet!
Now my husband is adding something else- heated passenger seats. The drivers and front passenger seats are heated but the middle seats aren't- and that's where the kids ride. We always thought that it would be rather nice for them to have heated seats too and now they will! My darling husband is almost done with this upgrade (he's been working on it for over a week after work). He's always tweaking on my van, making it better here and there. One of the first things he did was to improve the front grill and made it so that rocks that bounce up from the road can't damage my radiator.

Quote of the day

Friendship with oneself is all-important,because without it one cannot be friends with anyone else in the world.
~Eleanor Roosevelt

After the Storm

The wind and snow certainly were something else yesterday. I feel sorry for my new neighbors- they recently had some contractors install a beautiful large hot tub and a really nice redwood gazebo around it (it was really beautiful) but alas the wind has seriously damaged it. I'm going to try to get some pictures of the wind damage in the neighborhood today. And to think that we didn't sustain any of the really high wind gusts that this area is capable of out here. This damage was done with 35-40 mph gusts. We've had gusts into the 80 and 90 mph range, I know, because that is what ripped off the heavy storm door from it's hinges on our little house on base- twice. That was something scary! And of course each time that happened my husband had to be TDy somewhere. But housing maintenance was only a phone call away and was there to help in an emergency. But now that we're home owners (again), well we're pretty much on our own. But you know the saying..."I get by with a little help from my friends" and I hope that my neighborhood will turn into a nice helpful community- one that is willing to lend a helping hand when someone in their community needs them.

Friday, December 21, 2007

It's a Hot Chocolate kind of day!

The South Dakota weather is showing how truly yucky it can be with the high winds and blowing snow making driving near impossible. It started off with rain this morning and it just got worse from there. Parents were getting calls from children letting them know that school was getting out even earlier that the originally planned 1 pm early out time. With the blinding snow, slick roads and the high winds, they moved the time to 11:30 am. I sure didn't want my child in a high profile vehicle such as a bus when weather conditions are like this - yes I went and picked her up early. Hannah was very happy to be going home in her Mom's kid mobile that has heated seats that also pulls straight into the garage with none of that being out in the freezing conditions longer than we need to be.

As for tonight...We had plans on going to a party here in the neighborhood this evening but alas the terrible weather and horrid road conditions have given our party hosts no choice but to cancel their event.

Just 2 weeks ago we had some really bad weather that made me contact our OSC president and together we decided to cancel our OSC here we are again with that same kind of terrible weather. I hope that everyone gets home safely tonight. Last time there were an outrageous number of automobile accidents before 4 pm (something like 58). I certainly hope that aren't any accident today but alas I know that I'm hoping for a major miracle with that one.

Now I do have to say that I'm glad that I bought the large bag of mini marshmallows, because it's certainly is a Hot Chocolate kind of day! Hannah got to bake her cute snowman sugar cookies (and they taste good too). Andrew and I are watching the snow drifts build up in the yards across the street from our house. The back of our house faces North and our fence helps to keep down the snow drifts. I'm very glad that our garage doesn't face North as that would be just plain ugly!All that bitterly cold wind and blowing snow being forced into the garage, eeew!

Now it's time for some hot herbal tea (Cranberry tea sounds great right about now), a slice of Panettone - to curl up a big blanket with my kids watching my favorite Christmas movie- It's a Wonderful Life.

Are you ready for Christmas?

Only a handful of days remain until Christmas Day, are you ready? I think I'm ready.

I have a list of errands that I need to attend to, none of them related to buying gifts unless you think that buying crickets for the frogs to eat is gift giving kind of stuff.

Quote of the Day

"The difference between a successful person and
others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge,
but rather in a lack of will."

~Vince Lombardi

Thursday, December 20, 2007's almost Christmas!

It's nice to know that I am appreciated. Today was a phenomenal day! We weren't off the wall busy at the thrift shop but we had plenty to do to keep us busy. I really surprised Heidi with the Asparagus quiche-I know how much she enjoys simple yet wonderful smelling foods. She put a slice in the microwave and it smelled like we were in a restaurant- it smelled that good :-)

Nows its time to unwind, wait for the kids to get home (which will be any minute now). I'm enjoying the silence that is surrounding me, but soon it'll be a bit more noisy.

I've not gotten to make my paper Christmas tree, I hope to do that this weekend. Time just seems to be runing out on me right and left. Oh well, it's not as if I can't make it after Christmas :-)
From the moment I got up, I hit the flooring running. I've got 2 fabulous quiches baking in the oven. I'm bringing lunch to the thrift shop and little does Heidi know it ... but also dinner for her family :-) She works so hard managing that store plus managing a family and going to college full time (she's studying to be a Veterinarian). I'm also going to be bringing some of my darling 4 inch cheesecakes (gifts for friends). Now where on earth is that curly ribbon of mine?

Today is the last full day of school and tomorrow the kids have a partial day before Christmas Break. I look forward to spending some quality time with my family in the coming week. I look forward to hot cider and hot chocolate, singing Christmas carols and watching Christmas movies. Being filled with the Christmas spirit and talking about (and giving thanks to the Lord) for the good things this year has brought us.

Quote of the Day

Hope is the thing with feathers
that persches on the soul.
And sings the tune
without the words,
and never stops at all.
~Emily Dickenson

This very quote hangs on the walls in my home.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

What does your handwriting say about you?

What Your Handwriting Says About You

You are a fairly energetic person. You know how do pace yourself, and you deal well with stress.

You are somewhat outgoing, but you're not a natural extrovert. You think first before you act. You tend to be independent, rational, and logical.

You are balanced and grounded. You know how to get along well with others.

You need a bit of space in your life, but you're not a recluse. You expect people to give you a small amount of privacy, and you respect their privacy as well.

You are somewhat traditional, but you are also open to change. You listen to your head and your heart.

You are a decent communicator. You eventually get your point across, but sometimes you leave things a bit ambiguous.

How much do you know about Christmas?

You Know a Lot About Christmas

You got 10/10 correct

You know tons about the history and traditions surrounding Christmas.
When you celebrate the holidays, you never forget their true meaning - or all the little fun details.

Random Christmas fact: "O Come, O Come Emmanuel" is the first Christmas carol. It dates back to the 12th century.

What do the Holidays mean to you?

What The Holidays Mean to You

For you, the holidays are a very spiritual time. You have as much holiday fun as everyone else - but you never forget what you're celebrating.

You celebrate the holidays in a minimalist style. You are likely to only give one great present and decorate your house with a few special items.

During the holidays, you feel magical. You love all of the decorations and how happy people are. You like to sit back and take it all in.

You think the holidays should be comforting and relaxing. You don't like the holiday rush... you just like the simple pleasure of the holidays.

Your best holiday memories are of childhood foods and traditions. You secretly still wish you believed in Santa Claus.

What Holiday are you?

You Are Christmas

More than most people, you are able to find magic in life's small moments.
Traditions mean a lot to you, and you tend to be quite nostalgic.
You are a giving, kind person who really understands the true meaning of holidays.
You inspire others to be as altruistic and caring as you are.

What makes you celebrate: Tradition and a generous spirit

At holiday get togethers, you do best as: The storyteller. You like to recount memories with everyone.

On a holiday, you're the one most likely to: Give a gift to everyone you know

Do you have the Christmas Spirit?

Your Christmas Spirit Level: 100%

Your Christmas spirit is almost as big as Christmas itself. Christmas is definitely your thing.
You celebrate Christmas with enthusiasm. You love every minute of the holidays.

Your Christmas spirit is inspiring to everyone who runs into you during the holidays.
You make everyone's day just a little bit brighter. And that's what the holidays are all about!

Which of Santa's Reindeer are you?

You Are Comet

A total daredevil, you're the reindeer with an edge!

Why You're Naughty: You almost gave Santa a heart attack when you took him sky diving

Why You're Nice: You always make sure the sleigh is going warp speed

What Christmas Tree are you?

You Are a Traditional Christmas Tree

For a good Christmas, you don't have to re-invent the wheel.
You already have traditions, foods, and special things you bring out every year.

Quote of the Day

Human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives.
~William James

So, what's worse?

...waking up late or waking up 2 hours early with a horrible stomach ache? That's a no brainer, I'd rather wake up late. So I've been up since 4 am with this horrific stomach ache and it's not getting any better. I have some sort of tummy bug and I have a feeling that it's going to be with me for the better part of the day. Now this is going to set me back a bit in what I have to do here which is more baking. At least I got all of my packages sent off yesterday, so that's one thing to check off of my list :-)

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Quote of the Day

Expect trouble as an inevitable part of life and when it comes, hold your head high, look it squarely in the eye and say, "I will be bigger than you. You cannot defeat me".
~Ann Landers

Waking up late

There's nothing like waking up late when you have 1001 things that you have to get done today and all before 11 am. So what I am doing sitting here reading the news and taking my time now? Well I already scurried like a rat in a maze this morning. Got the husband and kids off to school in a timely manner and now it's my time. I washed all ten of the 4 inch spring-form pans, dried them and will put them away momentarily. Cleaned the kitchen and will sweep the floor before I leave.

I look at this huge list of things to accomplish today and the only thing going through my mind is how ever am I going to be able to squeeze the Thrift Shop in there today? The fact of the matter is that I will only be able to make an appearance and maybe stay for an hour before I have to leave again. There's just not enough time in the day for me this week. I did voice my opinion that I thought that we should be closed this week but alas- Heidi is a die hard Thrift Shop manager, wanting the Thrift Shop to make as much money as it possibly can. You've got to admire her for that. So now I'm off to iron my outfit, get one of my bigger cheesecakes ready for a feast over at Base Ops, go to the post and office ship off some stuff, run by the BX, commissary and a few other places. My feet hurt just thinking about it.

My Cookbook Nook: Chocolate Volcano Cakes

My Cookbook Nook: Chocolate Volcano Cakes

Monday, December 17, 2007

surrounded by cheesecakes

I turned into the baking Queen this afternoon. Believe it or not, I've made 12 cheesecakes! Two are 8 inch cheesecakes and I currently have 10 four inch cheesecakes in the oven :-) Now that's a lot of cream cheese! Wednesday I start the process all over again. Thursday I start my cheesecake delivery service. I've got cake boxes and cute curly ribbon - I'm looking forward to filling my car with yummy cheesecakes! For now my freezer will be full of cheesecake.

Books are wonderful gifts

I can get lost for hours in a book store. Now send me into a book store looking for a gift and I'm wandering through every isle, looking at just about every book there is. So it's no wonder why I love to give books as gifts. So I'm there in Borders meandering in and out of the various isles of books, looking at what other people have in their hands and wondering what I'm going to come home with. I can't say what I bought (in case the gift recipient reads my blog) but they are FUNNY! They're wrapped up and are being shipped out tomorrow. I also bought some books for the kids...they are going to laugh their socks off! I hope that they enjoy the gifts and that they smile with every page they turn.

blog challenge

I took this from another blogger (see link to scrap and knit) and am now answering the questions here on my blog- enjoy the laugh!

Are you named after anyone? yes and no- Sandra Dee just has a new hit single. Since my parents didn't have a name picked out for me this was the best that they could do. Nice!

If you were born a member of the opposite sex what would your name be? probably something off the wall like Sven or Opie

Are there any mispronunciations/typos that people do with your name constantly? they mispronounce my last name- constantly! Say it with me Griz-ay I tell ya, phonetics works wonders!

Name two celebrities that have really great names.

Dr. Zawi Hawass (Minister of Antiquities - Egypt)- there's something about his name that is so powerful.

Dr. Condoleezze Rice- love this name unusual yet it speaks volumes!

Name two celebrities that in your opinion have strange names.
Sigorney Weaver and Ice-T names they gave them selves - I'd like to know why, LOL!

Do you like your name? Yes

Does your name have a special meaning? It means Protector and Defender of Mankind

Quote of the Day

Joyful people live their lives finding ways to celebrate what is and not what could have been.
~Jane Jayroe

My Cookbook Nook: The Ultimate Sticky Buns

My Cookbook Nook: The Ultimate Sticky Buns

WARNING- this post will add inches to your waist line

When you need a good cry

God knew what I needed....a good cry to purge myself of frustrations. I'm here to tell you, watch any one of the wonderful movies on the Hallmark channel and your eyes will well up with tears. Saturday night I watched the last 3 installments of the "Love Comes Softly" series. Talk about parts in those movies that are heart breaking and other parts that fill you with such joy. To be able to watch a movie that doesn't have swear words but rather is filled with unwavering belief in God.

It was me, a box of tissues, some popcorn and a big glass of water, LOL! This is a story set in the 1800's and it's based more around the women then it is the men, it's their struggles that are chronicled. After watching it and going to bed, I woke up having a a sense of renewal. I was suddenly able to talk about things that have been weighing heavily on my mind- take the suicide of my neighbor for example and now I've made up my mind to start something...

I AM going to get a neighborhood watch program started here in our subdivision! I'm also going to make sure that we ALL get out and meet our neighbors, make time to get to know them and their children. I might not be able to stop someone from killing themselves BUT I am able to start a support network so that no one will feel so lost and desperate that they think that suicide is the only way out of a tough situation.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Understanding Suicide

Suicide has yet again touched my life. This time it was a neighbor who took his own life. This happened a week ago and I've been struggling with talking about this here on my blog. You see, the man left behind a wife and 3 small children, a house that is about to go into foreclosure and it's almost Christmas. I struggle to see the how someone could think that his family would be better off without him. To kill yourself over failed finances? To me that's just plain selfish and stupid. So what if you couldn't keep the house, suck up that pride and talk to your spouse, explain how things really are (finances and everything). So what if you have to move your family into smaller accommodations or even have to get food stamps for a while- at least you're all together. Now the sad part, picking up the pieces, trying to make sense of what happened and living in a house where your husband killed himself. How do you as a mother begin to explain to your children what happened? It breaks my heart it truly does.

Quote of the Day

You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing we call "failure" is not the falling down, but the staying down.
~Mary Pickford

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Vacation bound in 2008

As of today, we're going to be going on a cruise! It's booked and paid for and all we need to do is to pack our bags! So where to you ask...the Eastern Caribbean. We'll be going to San Juan, ST Thomas and St Maarten. But we have a couple more months until we leave for this trip - maybe by then I will have been able to loose a few more pounds and find the kids some new swimwear (stuff that fits them). It's going to be VERY nice to have a nice vacation positive to look forward to going on during the middle of winter. Now for me to call my mom and tell her :-)

Why is everything purple today? LOL!

Some days I'm a total dork when it comes to understanding computers and others I amaze myself. Today is one of those dork kind of days. Some how I've made everything purple- I have no clue as to how that happened. I'm looking up color codes and am trying to get it back to looking some what normal here on my blog. I should call in the big 12 year old daughter. She amazes me with the graphics that she designs and other things that she can do on the computer. Now for me to have more coffee and figure out how to fix this, LOL!

Quote of the Day

Forgiveness is the healing of wounds caused by another. You choose to let go of a past wrong and no longer be hurt by it. Forgiveness is a strong move to make, like turning your shoulders sideways to walk quickly on a crowded sidewalk. It's your move.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Shopping Addiction

This is a very real compulsive disorder and during this time of year it really flares up. I've met some military spouses with this compulsive disorder- some having it so bad that it has nearly destroyed their marriages. So what causes someone to compulsively shop?

The root cause of all addictions is to anesthetize one self from inner pain. People who fall victim to shopping are using it like a drug because they are feeling impoverished emotionally or as though they don't have enough love, confidence or self esteem.
read entire article here,2933,316610,00.html
Signs of Addiction
If you're concerned a family member or friend may be a shopping addict, Ablow said there are several tell tale signs to look for.
— People who express excitement about their purchases or great anxiety
— Anyone who is juggling finances to try to cover expenses that seem like needless ones
— History is our best guide: People who have gotten into trouble with their credit cards in the past but can't stop using them
— Someone that seems in great conflict with family members or friends
— If a person is making big purchases to feel wealthy or well-liked
— Someone who lies about their purchases or hides them

"I'm a big proponent of psychotherapy," said Ablow. "There are also a lot of groups for compulsive spenders... 12 step groups can be very helpful."
One of those groups is, which covers both shopping and shoplifting addiction. Addicts can also try
Both websites provide support and counseling, as well as a list of contact numbers, so someone can find a meeting in their area.
Once a person has recognized they have a problem — there are some basic changes they can make, according to
Making Changes
- Reduce temptations
- Cut up those credit cards, close charge accounts and throw away credit card offers
- Make lists before going to the store and buy what you need only
- Wait so many hours before purchase
- Ask yourself if you need something or do you just want it?
- Develop other ways to handle emotions
- Find other fun ways to spend your time
- Learn to ride through urges

Christmases Past...

With only 11 more days until Christmas my mind is pleasantly thinking of Christmases past. Waking up to the wonderful aroma of a turkey cooking in the oven, wondering what gifts were under the tree for me and my sister and hoping that we weren't getting anything stupid like sock and underwear (my Mom was notorious for putting those kinds of gifts under the tree for us). We never had any sort of special breakfast, it was always a bowl of what ever cereal we had in the house.

With that in mind, I've been asking my family what kind of dinner they would like to have on Christmas Eve- so far it could be a hot pocket or a frozen pizza as no one has voiced an opinion. I can't get over that they have no opinion on this matter...maybe they trust me to make something yummy, I have no idea. I decided that I'm going to make make a special Italian style dinner on Christmas Eve with Panettone for dessert (oh how I love that stuff-see my link to my cooking blog for Panettone recipe links). Then for breakfast on Christmas Day I'm going to wow them with my French style breakfast, I'll be giving them an extra special treat that they won't expect :) Dinner will be on a much smaller scale than Thanksgiving as I will only be cooking a small turkey breast as compared to the massive 20 pound turkey that I cooked for our Thanksgiving dinner (it really was a LARGE bird). Maybe I'll make it (the turkey breast) Cajun style and instead of mashed potatoes I'll make rice- ooh that sounds yummy. I love to cook for Thanksgiving and Christmas but just things other than the "traditional fare". I want to add some taste bud pizazz to it all.

With Christmas and the fresh fallen snow on my mind- it's making me want to cook up lots of Christmas goodies for my family and friends.

My Cookbook Nook: Panettone

My Cookbook Nook: Panettone

Quote of the Day

If there were in the world today any large number of people who desired their own happiness more than they desired the unhappiness of others, we could be in paradise in a few years.
~Bertrand Russell

Thursday, December 13, 2007

x-rays round 2

I got a call last night from our doctor- Hannah needs to go back in for another round of x-rays on her arm and wrist. Depending upon what is found in round 2 of the x-rays she will leave with a cast or a brace. So much for ice skating.

As for me, I should be hearing from a podiatrist soon. I have bone spurs that need to be removed- ouch.

Quote of the Day

You must give some time to your fellow men. Even if it's a little thing, do something for others - something for which you get no pay but the privilege of doing it.
~Albert Schweitzer

please check out this fantastic website - for quotes that fit all occassions.

Brown Bag Christmas Story

My girlfriend René sent me this touching story. I'm not sure if it's a story of a real event or a very well written story but what I do know is that it's full of hope, love and faith in our loving Savior Jesus. It's stories such as this one that fills me with such an powerful feeling of hope and the knowledge that one person can make a difference. That any one of us can be that person, the one who can make a difference in another person in a family in a community.

Brown Bag Christmas Story
When I asked our newlywed Sunday School class to share a favorite Christmas story, Carrie Fuller said, "Our family has one we call the 'brown bag Christmas.'"
When she finished, I had to hear more. Two days later, I called a member of her family for more details.
It was the early 1930s during the Dust Bowl days of Kansas, in the heart of the Depression. The Canaday family---Mom, Dad, 7 children---were having a tough time existing, so there would be no luxuries at Christmas that year. Mom told the children to go outside and find a Christmas tree and decorate it.
After a lengthy search, they returned with a dead branch, the only thing they had been able to find.
They stood it up in a bucket of sand and decorated it with pieces of paper tied with string. Little Judy, almost four, did not know how a Christmas tree was supposed to look, but somehow she knew it was not like that!
As Christmas approached, the Canaday children, like children everywhere, pestered Mom and Dad about what presents they might get under their "tree." Dad pointed out that the pantry was bare, that they did not have enough to live on, and there certainly would be no money for gifts. But Mom was a woman of faith and told her children, "Say your prayers. Ask God to send us what He wants us to have." Dad said, "Now, Mother, don't be getting the children's hopes up.
You're just setting them up for a disappointment." Mom said, "Pray, children. Tell Jesus." And pray they did.
On Christmas Eve, the children watched out the window for visitors, but no one came. "Blow out the lamp and go to bed", Dad said. "Nobody is going to come. No one even knows we're out here."
The children turned out the lamp and got in bed, but they were too excited to sleep. Was this not Christmas? Had they not asked God to send them the presents He wanted them to have? Did Mom not say God answers prayer?
Late that night, when one of the children spotted headlights coming down the dirt road, everyone jumped out of bed and ran to the window. The commotion woke up Mom and Dad. "Don't get excited, children," Dad said. "They're probably not coming here. It's just someone who got lost." The children kept hoping and the car kept coming. Then, Dad lit a lamp. They all wanted to rush to the door at the same time, but Mr.
Canaday said, "Stay back. I'll go." Someone got out of the car and called, "I was wondering if someone here can help me unload these bags." The children dashed out the door to lend a hand. Mom said to her youngest, "Stay here, Judy, and help Mom open the bags and put up the gifts."
A deacon from the church in town had gone to bed that Christmas Eve, and lay there tossing and turning, unable to get the Canaday family off his mind. Later, he said, "I didn't know what kind of shape you folks were in, but I knew you had all those kids." He had gotten up and dressed and went around town, rousing people from their sleep to ask for a contribution for the Canaday family. He filled his car with bags of groceries, canned goods, toys, and clothing. Little Judy got a rag doll which remained her favorite for years.
With so much food, Dad wanted to have a Christmas feast, to spread it all out and eat as they had never eaten before. Mom, ever the caretaker, said, "No, we need to make this last." And it did last, for weeks.
The next Sunday, Mrs. Canaday stood in church and told what the members---and one deacon in particular---had done for her family. There was not a dry eye in the house.
Years later, the oldest sister Eva wrote up this story about her family for a school project. Eva said, "We were so thrilled by all the wonderful things in the bags, for a while ;we lost sight of the most special gift. The best gift that Christmas was not in brown bags at all.
It was Mom's faith, as she taught her children to bring their needs to Jesus and trust Him to meet them.
And a Dad's love that wanted only to protect his children from hurt and disappointment."
When Carrie finished telling her story, she added, "Little Judy is my wonderful grandmother." Today, Judy Canaday Dryden lives in Sanger, Texas. As she relived this event from seventy years ago over the phone, one could hear the tear in her voice and feel her pride in being the recipient of such a precious heritage from her mother and father.
At Christmas, we celebrate praying mothers and caring fathers and believing children. We give thanks for sensitive deacons and generous friends and sleepless nights. And we praise God for the hard times that teach unforgettable lessons, stories of faithfulness that get told and retold through the years inspiring each new generation to place their faith in a loving Savior.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

can you say X-Ray?

I like to think of today as being Mother & Daughter Day at the hospital. Both Hannah and I have had x-rays today. My ankle & heel have been hurting me for weeks and at times the pain has been almost unbearable. So I got myself seen today. Hannah...she went ice skating with her class yesterday and of course she fell hard on the ice a few times. She was complaining of pain last night and really going on about it this morning. Sooooooooo- that puts us at the hospital this morning. We've both been checked out by the doctor and have had a series of x-rays and are now back home waiting for the radiologist to call us with the results. We started calling ourselves the gimpy girls and it makes us laugh. Each station at the hospital looked at us and said "both of you" and we answered "yes". From the doctors office to the radiology department to the pharmacy. I can only imagine what's going through their heads...both of them? LOL! Yup it makes me laugh!

We're taking it easy and are going to hang out watching "chick" movies. It's times like these that I just I love having a daughter, LOL!!! Sure I can do this with my son but he isn't too jazzed on watching a chick movie with his Mother if you know what I mean, LOL!

I just remembered something...I need to reschedule that dental appointment that I had this morning.

Quote of the Day

You know you're getting old when you stoop to tie your shoelaces and wonder what else you could do while you're down there.
~George Burns

cards to soldiers

I hate to be the bearer of bad news but it really is true…you can no longer send an  addressed  greeting card to “any soldier” and haven’t been able to do that for quite some time. I have a link to a news article,2933,316484,00.html please read it. I hate for folks to waste money trying to do something nice for an injured soldier. Now if you have a son/daughter/husband or wife that is currently overseas on a deployment send a box of cards to them and have them distribute them to others in their immediate squadron. That’s the best advice that I can give to you. I know that there are people out there that want to share their well wishes with our military service men and women. As for being able to givie you an address to send cards to, I’m sorry but I’m unable to help you with that.


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Oh My Gosh!

I have to laugh because this IS funny...remember that little Christmas tree that I tied milk bone dog biscuits to for our philanthropic charity/collection of for the animal shelter? You know...the one I wanted to take a picture of and show how cute it turned out? Yes, that tree - Okay the function is cancelled and not to be rescheduled. So we took the items out of the van and put them in the garage. Our son didn't close the garage on Sunday and guess what...some wild animal (raccoons are the current suspects) got into the garage and ate most of the dog biscuits off of the tree. There is poo in several places on our garage does not look like cat or dog poo. The perpetrating animal squashed the gift bags and it looks as if it had curled up on top of them and slept there for a while. Talk about just plain weird! Sooooooo while I do have to clean up animal poo from the garage floor, I am laughing. Christmas you see is not just for humans, LOL!

Quote of the Day

If you haven't found something strange during the day, it hasn't been much of a day.
~John A Wheeler

Monday, December 10, 2007

Crafting with Peggy

FUN- yup I have had a FUN day! My friend Peggy has the best little craft projects for us to make and today was no exception! I've always wanted to try stamping on tumbled marble tiles and today we did it! Oh my gosh they turned out cuter than I had expected! She showed us several different examples and guess what, I went to Lowe's and bought myself 2 boxes of tiles. I'm going to make some coasters and give them to friends as presents :-) Another project we made was a small chipboard clip board. Talk about fun! Of course I had to be the odd bird and want to do mine in blues and green while everyone else was happy with red, LOL! I'm going to finish mine up and post pictures. The 3rd project was covering an Altoids tin and dressing up some mints to go inside of it. I like to call these projects elegantly simple. Some times the complex crafts take the fun out making them. The instructions to make our projects were straight forward, nothing too complex or elaborate. I plan on showing my friends the tiles. I see Lowe's going through a lot of those tiles. There are 9 of those 4x4 tiles to a box for the low price of $5.50 wow that's cheap! I see those tumbled tiles with stamped on pictures going for as much as $20 for a set of 4.

Now the pressure is on me to finish my little projects and post pictures of them. If you're reading this Peggy- Thanks for a wonderful time!

Monday Monday- dah da da da da da

It's Monday and I'm double booked for 2 of the 5 events that I have going on today. I'm Super Mom, I can fix it right? LOL! I was able to change one event to later on in the week, the other double booking is going to take some skilled driving (have I made you laugh yet?) but I think we can do them both.

It's 16º out and with the wind-chill it feels like a whopping 5º- m'm toasty! I can not wait to get out of here and to someplace more tropical! That's what vacations are all about :-) More later...

okay I've had some coffee and I'm here to add to my post...

I'm going to be crafting with some friends later on this morning, I'm not sure what the project entails beyond working with tiles yet but with Peggy in charge it's going to be oodles of fun!

Our daughter Hannah is getting an award at school this afternoon (A honor roll), then right after that she has an appointment with the plastic surgeon. You may recall that she had a congenital birth defect "fixed" (will be year a ago on the 20th of December) and the doctor is going to see how it looks. You can look back and read my blog entries from last December to find out more.

Then this evening we're going to see a play at her school- should be lots of fun! It's tied together with a canned food drive.

It's going to be a busy busy day for me. I just need to put on my Super Mom apron and I can pull it off!

Quote of the Day

It's not your blue blood, your pedigree or your
college degree. It's what you do with your life that

~Millard Fuller

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Quote of the day

"You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face.... You must do the thing which you think you cannot do."
~Eleanor Roosevelt

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Scrapbooking Tools

Besides your paper trimmers and scissors...what is the #1 most used tool in your scrapbook room? It's it a die cut machine? Punches? Stamps and inks? (yes stamps are a tool).

For me it's my die cutting machines. I flip flop back and forth between the 3 that I own- QuicKutz, Sizzix and the Cricut. I also own several Cuttle bug dies and they work perfectly well in my Big Shot machine. I can't choose just one, because I use all 3 of them equally. If I had to do it all over again I would have waited to buy a universal machine that works with all brands. But as it so happens there is a machine that works with ALL of the different dies out's the Big Shot machine by Ellison Designs. I sold off my other original Sizzix machine but still own a couple of QuicKutz hand tools and of course a couple of the Side Kicks for the thin Sizzlits dies. I wouldn't get much for them on e-bay so I keep them around for friends to use when they're here for a crop.


Have you ever been on a real vacation? Not the kind where you stay in a hotel when you visit your relatives, but one where you take the spouse and kids and don't know a soul besides the people you came with? Being a military family, it's so easy to get wrapped up in the kinds of vacations that have you visiting your relatives. That has always bothered me, because the rest of the family never came to see us they went off on "real vacations" to exotic places (Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii etc) and we were stuck going out to see them (grrr). So I made the big decision a few years back that we would take our children on "real" vacations- to go out and see places and do things that you see on the travel channel. Our first real family vacation was going away for Spring Break while in Texas. It was to a Mustang Island and the town was Port Aransas. We had a wonderful time! But then we got back into the rut of visiting family again. No one would take time off from work or even their exercise schedule to spend the day going some place with us or heck to spend any time with us. Meanwhile if they came out to see us, we were fully expected to bend over backwards to accommodate them. To loan them a car and to take the entire week off to chauffeur them around the area - do you see a problem here?

When we had out house for sale in Virginia (2003) I told the family (selling it by owner) if they help me to keep it clean and tidy and we get full asking price that I'll take them on a fantastic vacation. I sold it for full asking price and immediately booked us on an all inclusive cruise to the Western Bahamas. We had the best time. In 2005 I booked us on a 10 day vacation in Hawaii- we loved it! Last year (2006) we tried that military Space A travel to Europe, we went to some pretty interesting places but the trip it self was an adventure all by on it's own (and not the kind of adventure any of us want to have again). This summer (2007) while Andrew went to a military Leadership school in Louisiana Hannah and I went to California to visit my parents (her grandparents). It was the first time that Hannah and I went on a trip that was just the two of us. I loved spending one on one time Mom and daughter time with her, it was girl fun! Lots of shopping and going out to lunch :-)

So here I am, planning a family vacation and it's not to visit family either. I want to give our children wonderful vacation memories. I've been looking at the "all inclusive" kinds of vacations. Ones where you didn't have to worry about paying extra for every little thing. Ones where all of our meals are included, if we wanted to go to the gym we could and not worry about being fleeced (some places I looked at charge as much as $20 per day per person to use the gym facilities). The big issue is the cost of airfare- living smack dab in the middle of the US makes flying rather pricey, actually it's about half of the cost of the entire vacation package, LOL! I asked the kids where they'd like to go and both said "somewhere warm and tropical - but not Jamaica" (yes it's safe to say that we've been to Jamaica and we didn't like it). So I'm working on it and now will present my vacation plans to my husband and children today. I decided that I could do this on my own and not use a travel agent. I've got 3 different vacation packages for them to choose from and each of them looks good. I'll post on the vacation package that they pick out. I think that all 4 of us really need this vacation, to get away and let others do the work and for us to just have FUN!

Friday, December 07, 2007

Snow Trivia

The commonly used ten-to-one ratio of snowfall to water
content is a myth for much of the United States. This
ratio varies from as low as 100-to-one to as high as about
three-to-one depending on the meteorological conditions
associated with the snowfall.
In the western United States, mountain snow pack contributes
up to 75 percent of all year-round surface water supplies.
The greatest snowfall officially reported at the Phoenix,
Arizona National Weather Service Office was one inch. That
occurred twice. The first time was January 20, 1933. It
happened again four years later on the same date.

Mashed Potatoes?
In the early 1900s, skiers created their own terminology to
describe types of snow, including the terms "fluffy snow,"
"powder snow," and "sticky snow." Later, the terminology
expanded to include descriptive terms such as "champagne
powder," "corduroy," and "mashed potatoes."
Why is snow white?
Visible sunlight is white. Most natural materials absorb
some sunlight which gives them their color. Snow, however,
reflects most of the sunlight. The complex structure of
snow crystals results in countless tiny surfaces from
which visible light is efficiently reflected. What little
sunlight is absorbed by snow is absorbed uniformly over
the wavelengths of visible light thus giving snow its white
Why is snow a good insulator?
Fresh, undisturbed snow is composed of a high percentage of
air trapped among the lattice structure of the accumulated
snow crystals. Since the air can barely move, heat transfer
is greatly reduced. Fresh, uncompacted snow typically is
90-95 percent trapped air.

Quote of the Day

"A man, after he has brushed off the dust and chips
of his life, will have left only the hard, clean question:
Was it good or was it evil? Have I done well - or ill?"
~ John Steinbeck


We have snow and enough of it fell to make me need to shovel the entire driveway last night. Did I ever happen to mention that we have a really large driveway? Oh yeah, it's big, LOL! Today is the one day that I have no where else where I have to be, so I'm taking care of business at home. I need to get some HOA stuff done, and see about rescheduling our OSC function for next week.

Yesterday's snow storm wrought some havoc in the Rapid City area with some 58 auto accidents happening and all before 4 pm. The roads in my little town are still terrible. Some sand has been spread but nothing beyond that. I'm calling the city to see when we can see some of the other major streets and roads are to be plow and when they plan on doing snow removal for the various subdivisions. Our area is expected to get more snow over the weekend (up to 6 inches). I'll have to go out and get some essentials...ingredients to make some-mores, and with that goes milk. If there's a football game (and there always is) I will need to make nachos and other tasty treats. I like it when it snows...I'm such a home body and this kind of weather makes it so we all get to stay warm and cozy at home :-)

Christmas Survery

Welcome to the Christmas edition of getting to know your friends.

Okay, here's what you can do, and try not to be a Grinch!!! Just copy (not forward) this entire email and paste into a new e-mail that you can send. Change all the answers so that they apply to you. Then send this to a whole bunch of people you know, INCLUDING the person that sent it to you.

'Tis the Season to have a little fun!

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Both plus I also use hat boxes

2. Real tree or artificial? I have a new artificial tree this year. Too dry here for a real tree, not to mention the pine needle mess to have to clean up

3. When do you put up the tree? The first week in December

4. When do you take your tree down? Some time in January

5. Do you like eggnog? Store bought-no home made yes

6. What was your favorite Christmas gift as a child? Barbie

7. Do you have a nativity scene? Well being Catholic that’s a given, LOL! I have several and add to them yearly. Also have a collection of holy family ornaments

8. Hardest person to buy for? My husband

9. Easiest person to buy for? My Mom and Daughter

10. Worst Christmas gift you ever got? I still remember it…it was a hideous purple outfit that still gives me nightmares

11. Mail or email Christmas cards? Mail of course!

12. Favorite Christmas Movie? It’s a Wonderful Life!

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? I pick things up throughout the year

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Yes- who hasn’t, LOL!

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? ribbon candy, honey ham and pumpkin pie

16. Clear lights or colored on the tree? Clear

17. Favorite Christmas song? Silent Night in German

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? I’m such a home body; I really dislike traveling at Christmas Time.

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer? Me? Of course I can!

20. Angel on the tree top or a star? Angel-my Mom made it for us J

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? On Christmas! We used to open one on Christmas Eve when the kids were little, but now I like to open them all on Christmas Day

22 . Most annoying thing about this time of year? The unchristian like behaviors that seem to take over. Christmas is a time of sharing and giving not seeing what we can get from others. I think that there are more folks worried about getting a so called “good deal” at a local big box store than are willing to take an afternoon to work at a homeless shelter. That they don’t see that there are less fortunate families out there that don’t have food on the table or have coats and shoes for their children. They forget that this is a celebration of the birth of our savior Jesus Christ.