Thursday, December 31, 2009

A Year In Review


It is true what they say, that the older we get the faster time seems to fly by us. Christmas came and went so fast that I barely had a chance to even see it. My baby is now 4 years old. I have been married 16 years now. It feels like "forever!' haha. So what has happened?

I made a new friend. And because of her, I have been inspired to keep up my blog. Hmmmm is this a good thing?
Kristin made honor roll twice
Emily was student of the month
Ryan had some spills and thrills
There was a family reunion
School started back up with no time to recover from vacation
Halloween had lots of fun and new adventures
Thanksgiving was huge!
December has been crazy.

We are in the final stages of escrow now. We should be closing within the next two weeks. It's a grand way to end a decade and start a new one. I am not sure about making resolutions I can't keep, but I am sure I would like to improve upon myself so that next year I can truly say, "Wow! Look how far I have come!"

I hope you all have a safe and happy new year!

Hugs!
Lourie

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Peanut Butter Cups

If you dared attempt the butterfingers, then the peanut butter cups will be a breeze. While they are also time consuming, there is no cooking involved--except for heating the melting chocolate of course.

Here is what you will need:

Peanut Butter
Margarine
Powdered Sugar
Graham Crackers
Melting Chocolate
mini muffin cups
mini muffin pans


2 Cups peanut butter
1 cup margarine (softened)
1 pound ( 3 & 3/4 cups) powdered sugar
1 package (11 sheets or 1 & 1/2 cups) graham crackers crushed fine

Mix together


Roll into logs then cut into small pieces. I don't have a measurement here. I just kind of eyeball it. Place a small amount of melted chocolate into the bottom of the muffin cup. Place the peanut butter center inside and cover with melted chocolate.

Like the butterfingers, I put them in the fridge for a few minutes to help with cooling. This recipe makes over 100 cups.
For some reason this year, my peanut butter center mix was a bit dry and crumbly. I simply added butter (melted) about a 2 tablespoons to reach the proper consistency....think playdoh.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Homemade Butterfingers

As promised I am going to be sharing some candy making with you this week. Normally these candies are made before Christmas, but this year that was just not an option. We got a call on Saturday morning that the appraiser was going to call us and make an appointment for Sunday. As it turns out, he is leaving town this week so it had to be done the next day. No rest for the weary. All of us scrambled all day long to clean and make the house presentable. We ended the day with some much deserved pizza. Sunday came and he quietly did his job. I have no idea if it went well or not. This appraisal is for the VA. They need to see if the house is worth what we are paying for it. It is. But they get the final say. Then after he left, I got the urge to start on the butterfingers.

The butterfingers take at least two hours to make. It's time consuming yes, but I promise they are so worth it. Here is what you will need


Sugar
White Karo
Peanut Butter
Melting Chocolate
Water
Candy thermometer



3 1/4 cups of sugar
1 cup water
1 3/4 cups of white karo
4 cups of creamy peanut butter

Put peanut butter in a heat resistant bowl--I use metal--set aside. In a large pan pour sugar, karo, and water. Bring to boil. Let boil to "hard crack" stage--just under 300* Pour mixture over peanut butter. Stir with wooden spoon; quickly. Notice there is no picture of this process. Please use an oven mitt to hold your bowl. This stuff is 300 * and sticks like hot glue. After mixing, lay and spread out on a flat surface. (Spray your counter or work area with cooking spray--this will make clean up worlds easier!)

Near the 300* mark

Looks kind nasty I know. Work fast as it will harden quickly. Use the pizza cutter to cut into squares
It makes a lot!!

Dip into melted chocolate. I like to put a layer in the fridge for quicker cooling.
They are soooo yummy!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Christams Rocks!

I have never been so unprepared for Christmas as I was this year. Okay, so we are buying a house. Like that should make a difference. The week of Christmas involved a lot running around, signing papers, making copies, writing checks, scrambling and juggling the money and bills. So who had time for anything Christmas??? I spent the 23rd and the 24th wrapping and finishing up last minute shopping. I felt harried at times. But the thing is, Christmas comes just the same. Remember how the Grinch tried to steal Christmas? And it somehow or other it came just the same.

I didn't get a picture on Christmas morning, but I did take one on Christmas Eve before Santa's visit. The kids had specific instructions not to wake us before 6:30 and not to wake their brother. I did say that if he was awake that would be ok. Well, according them he was up at 5:18. They did their best to keep it to 630. Next year we may have to push it back.

Most of Christmas is on video. And I am far too lazy to upload all that and edit and so on. So instead I will bore grace you with some photos.
Christmas Eve
Christmas Eve
Traditional Christmas cookies
One cool Scooter

Monsters vs. Aliens on Blu-Ray and in 3D
Pretty as a picture

What did Santa bring you?



Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas!!!

It just isn't Christmas until I see my favorite commercial! Last year, I never saw it. It was just sad. This year I see it almost every night. I can't help but love it.


But Christmas comes with or without my favorite commercial because Christmas isn't about Hershey Kisses ringing out We Wish You a Merry Christmas. It's about something that could never be duplicated and something that can only be best told by a blanket toting kid named Linus.



From our house to yours, have yourselves a Merry Christmas!
After another day of dealing with the house, signing papers, and spending the better part of the day in my car I came to the conclusion that some of the Christmas traditions would have to be suspended until next week. These traditions are homemade candies. Every year since I got married, I have made homemade peanut butter cups and homemade butterfigners. They are very tasty and very time consuming! I will be sharing the process with you next week.

One thing I do, is keep my promises. Something I learned from my mother. She never promised me anything that she didn't intend to keep. If she knew she couldn't keep a promise, she would say, "I won't promise you..." I do this now. My kids know that my promises are just that. A promise. I promised we would gift wrap. I specified that I wanted to just sit and rest a while. It had been a trying day. Well, I fell asleep. For just about 30 minutes. But hey, 30 minutes of shuteye can do a mind a world of good.

After dinner, I stayed true to my promise. I gathered the troops and began my brave mission: Operation Gift Wrap.
Making sure everything is secure
Gathering supplies
Name Tag Duty
Precision
Hats. Why? Why not?
Operation Gift Wrap




Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Blank Look


Yesterday I went to make our down payment on our house. We are now officially in Escrow. If only it were as simple as that sentence. Getting there is half the battle. Finding the place was an adventure in and of itself! I knew right where it was. I should know better by now. I haven't learned. GPS was invented for two kinds of people: geeks and hopeless people with no sense of direction. Guess which one I am. After some wrong turns and ending in a different part of town, I did manage to find my way with my pal GPS. No, mine does not have a name.

I arrived at the Escrow office and I marched in there ready to write my check. It was at that exact moment that I realized I had no clue what I was doing. I didn't even know what to say. "Ummm hi. I'm buying a house. And I am supposed to write a check for the down payment...so that we can open escrow." Yeah...that sounds right. It went more like this....

"I am opening escrow today."
"Are you the seller?"
"No I am the buyer."
"Who are you with?"
.........Why must my brain fart at this moment? I know their names! But what is the name of their company. They own it. It's their baby. But can I think beyond their names!! Names!
"I am with Doug & Martha (Last Name)"
"Oh are you the realtor?" Dude, wait what? How did we make that leap?
"No I am the buyer." Finally I think we are on the same page. She looks them up and lo and behold she finds me too! Success! She tells me who my Escrow rep is and invites me to sit in the conference room.

My rep's assistant comes in and takes care of me. We do small talk and I find out she is from Michigan. Since Rich is from there, I ask which part. *Snort* Yeah, like I know where any city is in that state! She does the glove thing and I figure it out. Now it is the moment of truth. Time to write the check. I begin filling it out only to realize that I have written the amount in the Pay to the Order of section! Nervous? Me? I give a sheepish grin and start again. This time I get it right.

"Now all I need is your address to mail you --"at this point I am not hearing what she is saying because I am thinking, "Duh! It's the one that is right there!" Then it hits me. Most people are not already living in the house they are buying!
"We are buying the house we are living in. We have been renting."
"oh! Okay, then that is easy." And that was it. Quick and mostly painless.

By now it was time for lunch. I offered to take the kids to an "eat store." Translation: fast food. They happily accepted.

The next three days will hopefully be heavily concentrated on Christmas. I have much to do. I am sure we all do.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Derailed

Before I begin, I want to say thank you all so much for your well wishes. I am doing better. Still coughing, but then that always lingers.

Have you ever planned out something to the letter only to have life explode in your face and thus mocking your sad attempt to follow through on your plans? Or is it just me? Last week I had the 10 days before Christmas mapped out. On Wednesday my plan was to go to my Mom's to do some wrapping and watch a Christmas special. I did that. Thursday was likely going to be more wrapping at home and some cleaning. Friday would be grocery shopping and wrapping. Saturday would be a joint effort to clean and do laundry. Sunday would be church and rest. Monday would be mailing the Christmas newsletters and lead into the week of Christmas with candy making, cookie baking and everything Christmas!!!

As most of you know, Thursday I was very sick. I seriously do not remember the last time I felt that sick. I couldn't have pushed through even if I wanted to. All I could do was lay down. I am not certain, but I think I even had a fever as I was constantly cold, and I am never cold! Once you hit 35 that changes. I was cold when others were not. I spent the day with my mom sleeping on and off.

Friday I spent on the couch at home and Ryan did a good job and didn't get into too much mischief. Saturday I was feeling about 50% better. I had to grocery shop. As I was making my list, my phone finished charging and notified me that I had a voice mail. I listened and as I did so I had to scoop my chin off the floor and find my eyes. Our offer has been accepted. I had to scramble and find 2007 W2's and print 3 months worth of bank statements. We went to our Realtor's house and began the paper work. I still have some stuff to do today starting with the down payment.

Now with only 4 days to go the race is on. The trick is separating what needs to get done from what I want done! In the meantime, put on your favorite Christmas music, light some candles that are nice and stinky, and enjoy the small moments....okay back to work! Hehehe.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

A Leave of Absence

I just wanted let you all know that I am taking a (short) leave of absence. I was feeling under the weather last Friday, and Saturday I was a lump. By Monday I felt almost normal again. Tuesday even better! By Wednesday night the whole left side of my face felt completely packed. Today(Thursday) I am at death's door. Or maybe it's at mine! All I know is, I haven't felt this crappy in a long time. I spent the day at my mom's and mostly slept. Thanks Mom. Now Rich is home and he is running the show. I shall return...as soon as I stop feeling like this.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Sleepless in CA

Yesterday was one of my crazy non-stop days. It began with the normal stuff of getting the girls off to school. Normal is always good. I thrive on routine and normal. Well at least what I consider to be normal. But yesterday was no time to be normal. It was time to shop...again.

I had to start this adventure returning things. Yeah, already. I started at Kohl's. Who doesn't love Kohl's? Well after yesterday, I love them a little less. Case and point: The item returned was paid for in cash. I had the receipt. Sounds all good so far. I bought the item on Black Friday. On Black Friday, Kohl's offered $10 in Kohl's cash for every $50 spent. Sweet. My niece and I spent a combined total of $167 giving us $30 in Kohl's cash. When the cashier finished the return, she informed me I would receive $13.05 in Kohl's cash. "Excuse me? Come again?" She repeated that I would in fact be getting $13.05 in Kohl's cash because the Kohl's cash reward was activated. Well wait a minute here. I paid cash lady. I want cash back. I didn't ask for the Kohl's cash. You gave it to me. I read the receipt and it does stipulate that returns with Kohl's cash will be given back as such. I did my best to keep my quiet voice, tho I did say I didn't have to like the policy and that I was most definitely writing the company.

Since I was mad at Kohl's, we went to our next stop. Target. Where I had yet another return. This item was also bought on Black Friday, and like Kohl's Target offered $10 in gift cards for every $50 spent. So I was prepared for receiving another gift card. At least Target has more variety and better prices. I gave my return, and the nice young lady behind the counter handed me my CASH back! Thank you, Target. I think I will include this in my letter to Kohl's

Then it was Wal-Mart, which was a return and shopping. We shopped until it was time to eat. We stopped long enough to eat and then headed back home to pick up Ryan and relieve my sister. From there it was run here and run there until about 730. It was a long day indeed. So one would think I would pass out before my head even hit the pillow. Well almost. I remember my head hitting the pillow. And I did go to sleep until about 3:30 this morning. You know your mind can do funny things at that hour. One of which I didn't find at all funny. It wanted to play and run and be free. I think I mentioned this last week. That thing about too many brains. Yeah last night was like that. It was mostly Christmas related. And now today I have little or no brain power and my eyes are refusing to stay open. Should be an interesting day to say the least.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

10, 9, 8. . .


Before I get started, I have to whine a little. Every time I go on FB, Twitter(yes I finally caved) and here on Blogger I have to sign in! I check the "remember me" or "keep me logged in" boxes. They don't. They used to. Why have the option if it's not going to do it? I'm just sayin'! Okay...that's it.

Ten days. Ten very long days of hyper children. Ten very long days of "Is it Christmas today?" Ten very long days of "Can we open them now?" Ten days. Ten very short days to complete the list that every year I swear up and down I will have done sooner next year. And yet, here I am same as last year, and the year before that and the year before that panicking that I won't make it!

So what is on the agenda in the next ten days? Well there are 4 days of school left--yep just 4. Four days equals 3 nights of homework with restless children who would rather run around like the energizer bunny. I have to finish shopping. I have to wrap mountains of presents. I have to print and mail my yearly newsletter. Then there is candy making and cookie baking. Keeping the kids busy and frankly...out of my way. Oh and of course, I have to clean the house to perfection! *cough* Along with all my regular chores duties. So I don't know what it is that is bothering me. I have plenty of time right? Sure that silly Christmas chain count down we made mocks me every time I pass it. "You'll never make it!" I swear it gets shorter every time I see it. I have to count each link to be sure it is correct.

Now I know not everybody celebrates Christmas, but this time of year covers many holidays and has most of us running around like crazy people. Well crazier than normal anyway. As long as we remember what it is we are celebrating and why. As long as we don't take it too seriously. As long as we don't sweat the small stuff. As long as we remember to breathe, it will be a wonderful time.

What do you do for Christmas? For Hanukkah? For Kwanzaa? How do you prepare? Are you ready? Whatever you celebrate, I hope it is grand. And I hope you can keep your sanity level to at least normal.

Monday, December 14, 2009

He's Checking The List....

Every Christmas since we had our first child, we go and see Santa and then take the kids shopping. Okay...so we didn't take the first one until she was at least a year old. And she didn't cry. Not one tear. She looked extremely worried, but she didn't cry. Her sister never cried either. Just went because her sister did. She is still like that. Well if she can do it, then I guess I can too. As long as the choices are good I'm okay with that. Then along came a boy.

This boy is a boy through and through. We have already suffered a chipped tooth, a broken nose, and a dive into a duck pond. Oh yeah, and there the was lesson about rocks and gravity. He will cause me a heart attack before I am 50, I am sure of it. Aside from his seemingly fearless attitude, he is quite afraid of strangers. This is good in most cases. I mean don't we tell our kids not to talk to strangers. Then on Halloween we dress them up and send them out begging for candy from people they don't know. Strangers. And then comes Christmas. We take our kids to see a very strange man whose face is obstructed by mounds of white facial hair. I think perhaps the best kids eye view of Santa is from A Christmas Story. "HO!HO!HO!" Most kids are pretty willing...most. Poor Santa. Then there are the screamers. Who do you feel more sorry for? Santa or the babies?

Ryan has gone to see Santa every year since birth. Yeah we took him at 2 months old, but that was only by default. He was blissfully unaware of the bearded stranger. My girls were blissfully engaged in a detailed conversation with him about their adventures and things they did at school. The following year....Ryan was well aware of this strange man who was most definitely not his mommy or his Daddy. Each year we hoped and he refused. Santa always understood.

Ryan was sooo excited to see Santa. He was jumping and running and dancing--literally--all over the house that day. He would ask me all day if it was time to go. Exasperated Patiently, I would remind him we would be going after dinner. It was raining. I swear it was raining when we went last year too. It doesn't rain much here so it is likely it really was. We couldn't have timed it any better. The line was short and we hardly had to wait at all. The second Ryan saw the big guy, he wanted me to hold him. I tried to coax him into at least looking at the guy. No go. The girls ran up to him and gave him a hug. They talked about school and what they wanted for Christmas. Santa talked to Ryan and laughed when he turned his head away. Well there is always next year.

Friday, December 11, 2009

I Remember...

I remember when the training wheels came off. I was so excited for her, and yet I was a little sad since that meant she was growing.

I remember when she met all of her favorite Princesses. It was definitely the highlight of her summer. I got live vicariously through her eyes.


I remember when she got baptized how blubbered like a baby marveled at how much she looked like an angel. And how pleased I was with her decision to be baptized.


I remember thinking how grown up she looked when she attended a concert at The Kennedy Center for a field trip.


But I was not ready for this.

Her first winter formal. She had an "amazing" time. I know it's just going to continue on and on. I will savor each moment with all three of my children. It may be cliche, but it really does go by fast.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Random Acts


Every week Mama Kat gives 5 writing prompts to choose from. I enjoy her challenges very much. They always give me pause to think. And this week is truly exceptional. Please see The Liz Logelin Foundation and Anissa Mayhew's Hope 4 Peyton.

Mama Kat and other sites(all listed on Mama's Losin It) are also holding auctions to benefit the sites listed above.

Writing prompt #4 asks to describe a time when a stranger helped you.

When I was a senior in high school, I didn't have a car like a lot of kids did. And if you didn't have a car you either road with friends who did, got carpooled, took the bus, or rode your bike. I was the latter.

School was just a little over 2 miles from home. I had traveled about 1/2 a mile and was getting ready to cross a busier intersection. It was a 4 way stop, which is sometimes easy enough, but that doesn't apply here. As most of us know, you must stand up on the pedals to gain momentum. Since I needed to cross quickly, I did just that. I was also holding on with one hand, as the other held my books and purse. Here is where it gets kind of fuzzy. I have no idea what happened. All I know is, thankfully, just after I got on the other side of the street I was flying through the air. I landed painfully on the right side of the bike. I specify the right, because it was my left leg that was broken. I don't know how long I laid there. The pain was excruciating. As I lay there writhing in pain, I tried to figure out what to do. As far as I could tell, I couldn't possibly move.

It was then that I realized just how close I was to my Home Teacher's house. In my church we have Home Teachers--men assigned to families within the church. Our Home Teacher at that time, was exceptional in his calling. He taught me how to drive, in addition to being my surrogate father for "Father-Daughter" activities at church. I was just two houses away from his house. Now if I could just figure out how to get there. I would crawl if I had to, and the rate of my pain I would. I knew he would be home, and awake. He worked nights, and it was about the time he would be getting home. He would help. Just as I had decided I was going to be crawling my way to his house, a Junior High student was passing by. I didn't know her, she didn't know me. I stopped her and started to explain just where my home teacher lived. She was ready willing and most importantly, able. She was just about ready to head over there, when a car pulled over just in front of where I had fallen--and couldn't get up!

A nice lady got out, sent the Junior High girl on her way, and pulled me up to my...foot. She had seen the whole thing. To this day, I wonder what it looked like. I must have flown. It was all under two minutes...if that... before she turned onto the street I was on. After she poured me into her car, she quickly hoisted my bike into the back and took me straight home. I don't remember telling her where I lived, tho I know I must have. She was a stranger. I just remember my mom taking off my shoe and looking at my leg. It was already bruising. She thanked the lady and then the lady was gone.

I can't tell you what she looked like. I can't tell you anything about her. She was my good Samaritan. So here is my chance to say thank you to her.

Dear Lady Who Stopped,

You didn't have to stop. You could have just gone onto work, or where ever you happened to be going. Instead, you followed your heart. You helped someone who couldn't help herself. I don't remember if I said thank you. I know my mom did. Not because I heard her say it, but because I know my mom. You didn't need to be reimbursed. You didn't want recognition. You just wanted to help. And you did. So, thank you very much.

Sincerely,
Lourie

Dear Anissa,

I don't know you. But I want you to know that my prayers and others are being said for you. You are a fighter. Every day is your victory. We are all rooting for you!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

What Scares You?


What scares you? Is it the slasher movies? Ghost stories? Stories of women bearing Satan's spawn? Are you afraid to swim in the ocean? What movie has scarred you for life?

I pose this question because a couple of nights ago, I saw a movie that totally disturbed me the first time I saw it. It is called Dreamscape starring Dennis Quaid. In one of the dream sequences, Dennis Quaid's character is helping a young boy get away from the monster in his dream. Well the monster is a pretty scary thing, or at least at the time I thought it was. It was a snakeman. In my mind, I remembered it looking sooo real! Plus they were going down miles of rickety old wooden stairs. Now who hasn't has THAT dream!? And yet when I watched it, I was half laughing at myself and literally laughing at how completely fake the effects were. And the whole concept of the movie now seems preposterous.

Another movie that scarred me for life, was a movie called "The Hand." Okay I was too young to see this movie. For weeks I would take a flying leap from my door to my bed because I was convinced the hand was under my bed and that it was going to get me! To this day disembodied hands at Halloween are very creepy to me. I can't handle it. And those obnoxious bowls with the hands that spring to life and cackle when you reach in really freak me out. The only "hand" I can deal with is "Thing" from "The Addams Family." and that is just because Thing is a dismembered of their odd family.

As an adult, the movies that scare me now are the ones that are more real. The ones that mess with your mind and make you think, "Could that really happen?" The kind that make you jump at your own shadow. For instance, "Mr. Brooks" starring Kevin Costner. It's a very different role for him. It is rated R, but I chose to watch it. He plays a philanthropist who just so happens to be a killer. And it is creepy. It's almost like Ted Bundy. He was very real and very well thought of in his community. And he was a rapist and a killer. Check that movie out--The Deliberate Stranger--starring Mark Harmon. It was a long time before I could look at him and not think of Ted Bundy.

So what scares you? Do you like to be scared? I love a good scary movie. Forget the slasher types. I am not into blood and guts. I want the type that will mess with my head for days. As for The Hand and Dreamscape, I dare say they are good for freaking out a young mind, but not much beyond that.

PS Thanks to all you well wishers! I am finally feeling better!

My Family Knows

*****We interrupt your regularly scheduled blog for an important announcement*****

Dear Jerk-Behind-Me,

You can honk your horn until the cows come home. You can lean on it to your hearts content. I really don't give a flip! But no matter how long or how many times you honk that horn, I can not go to the other side of the street if there are cars there that are not moving! Okay, so you can't see over the top of my big old van. I get that. But I am not some dumb redneck picking their nose either. And I am not on the phone. And I am not drifting off to never land. Don't you think I would go if I could. My kid is getting wet too! Sheesh. I hope when you are in a similar situation that the person behind you is far more understanding than you were. But then, you are in a little runt car so anyone could easily see over the top or simply tip you over.

Yours Truly
The "Moron" in the Van

****We now return you to your regularly scheduled blog, without further interruption****

I suffer from chronic migraines. I have been dealing with them since I was eight. I can remember describing it as, "it feels like the whole world is sitting on my head." Can you imagine a child of eight dealing with something so horrible. I can remember, quit vividly taking naps in the dark in my room. My mom took me to the doctor to see what she could do for me. My doctor was soo very cool. He didn't dismiss my mother and her concerns for her baby. He listened and accepted the symptoms for what they were. Real. Sadly, he informed us that wasn't much he could do for me due my age at the time. Just to give me aspirin...YEP! Aspirin, you know before we figured out it was no-no. And have me lay down and rest. Kind of hard to keep a hyper child quiet. I ought to know with three in my life! But when they are sick, they seem to slow down a little.

Migraines and headaches are very different, and if you have never suffered a migraine I am sorry, but there is no comparison. A headache is the pits. It hurts, it makes you cranky and yes you want to lay down so you can sleep it off. A migraine is a whole different animal. For starters, light and sound hurt.
I mean it literally feels like someone is driving a stake into your already pounding head with. every. single. sound. They vary in intensity too. Sometimes I can function, but usually I need to lay down with a cold compress.

This is where my family comes in. My husband and my children all understand what it means when "Mommy has a headache." They know to do their best to play quieter. They know to turn the sound down on the TV and the computer. Kristin will stroke my hair and ask me how I am. Rich will let me sleep for as long as I need. It sucks having to deal with these rotten things, and it's even worse that my family has to deal with me them too. But I am blessed that they are so loving and understanding when I need it most. This thought occurred to me over the weekend as I dealt with--still am actually--the migraine that will eventually kill you. Emily was watching heaven knows what on TV and I asked her to please turn it down. She said, "Do you have a headache?" Sad but true. But she obliged and I thanked her for being so kind.

There is no known cause for migraines, therefore there is no known cure. There are a great deal of medications out there. I have Frova. If you suffer these terrible things please talk to your doctor and torture yourself no more!


Sunday, December 6, 2009

A New Me

When I was 17, I had my wisdom teeth removed...surgically. I had the worst recovery imaginable. I had the dry sockets...in all four areas. A spot on my chin remained numb for six months. I couldn't chew food for about a month. My mom made me shakes. Aren't mom's great!? As a result of my liquid diet, I lost 25 pounds. I was looking good. Hey when you are seventeen you are allowed to be a little self-centered. I also got the grand notion to dye my hair. Why? Who knows. I thought it would be fun I guess. I chose to dye it red. Why red? Why not. It was fun. It turned out very nice and looked natural, surprisingly. I also received a lot of male attention. Again, at 17 one tends to eat that up. I tried many times over the years to duplicate the red result and never have been successful.

I have also gone blond(er) which is the normal color I choose. The last time I colored my hair we lived in VA. I don't even think Ryan was born yet. I went blond(er) and it was nice, fun and looked pretty. Then of course, the roots start showing. Not wanting to mess with touch ups, I chose to redye my hair but to its original state. Before you imagine the worst, relax. This is not one of those tales. It turned an auburn color. It was pretty. Nothing like the 17 year old version, but still pretty.

Present day. I have been thinking about it for a long time. But why mess with perfection? Okay so my hair is far from perfect, but I will say its color is not any one color. It has blond, brown, and red. Depending on what I wear depends on what naturally shows. In the summer months the blond comes out. But I'm bored and restless. I can't afford to have a pro do it, so I did it myself. I chose a mere shade lighter than my hair is. The pictures, don't really show the difference--it's subtle. Really what it did was brighten it. I like it. What do you think?

Before
During
TA-DA!

The picture doesn't do it justice. And for some weird reason, my eyes look blue in this photo. They are green. Oh, and the kids haven't noticed. Haha. It is subtle.



Thursday, December 3, 2009

Too Many Brains


What does it mean to have too many brains? Does it mean you have some to spare? Does it mean you are really smart? Sadly, no. This is when you have about a zillion--it's a word--things going on in your one brain and then it splits into little mini brains that are all buzzing at the same time. It's a little annoying when it happens at 1 in the morning because there is nothing to distract them. No fights to referee, no need to get someone juice, or a snack. There is no TV, music or computers. So those thoughts are demanding your attention. Luckily for me, mine are speaking now so I can get them out. Now the choice is yours to stay with me or move on to the next blog.

The other day my mom and I went Christmas shopping. On the way home, I observed a woman driver to my left with an infant car seat in the front seat. Ummm...isn't that like totally illegal? I also noticed two small children in the back. The windows were too dark to be able to tell if they were in safety seats, but my guess is not. Yes, I am judging and I shouldn't, but come on folks!!

I got my Sears Wish Book yesterday. It came later than I wanted, but it is still fun to leaf through and pick gifts and get ideas. Raise your hand if you remember doing that! Well I found this and I was offended. Is that dumb? I mean the kitchen thing doesn't bother me. It's adorable. I love to watch kids pretend to cook. My son even does this. I have seriously considered getting him some cooking stuff to play with. But I don't know, what does this tell our daughters? You really are the maid. Of course if your kids are like mine, they will put the stuffed animals in there and not clothes.

Tiger Woods. Yeah he is entitled to his privacy, but even Joe Blow would have some explaining to do. That, and I really could care less.

There hasn't been enough panic about Swine Flu in the last few weeks, so the news mentioned tonight that all the people coming for the Rose Parade may cause it to go on the rise again. Two words: Hand Sanitizer.

Three weeks. Tick. Tock. This is the time of year when I would love to slow time down the way it did when we were little.

And now for a funny, found here.

Two blondes decided that this Christmas they wanted to cut down their own Christmas tree. So they drove two hours into the country and walked deep into the woods to find the perfect Christmas tree. They had planned the trip well, especially considering that they were blond. They were dressed warmly with boots, warm coats and hats. They had a chain saw, hatchet, a bag to protect the tree and rope to drag it back to their car. Every detail was covered.

They searched and searched. They had gone to all this trouble, nothing but the prefect tree would do. They searched for hours through knee deep snow and biting wind. Finally, five hours later with the sun beginning to go down, one blonde says to the other, "I can't take this anymore. I give up! There are hundreds of beautiful trees out here. Let's just pick one whether it's decorated or not!"

Dear Santa

Dear Santa,

I think I have been mostly good. I yelled a lot less this year. I refrained from name calling...okay...I didn't "refrain" but even you must admit that I did a lot better this year. I finally cleaned my side of the room clean. I know I still have a problem sharing, but it is mine right? I think you know what I want, but just in case I will include my list now.

A maid...I think I could use one
A chef....this way we would eat healthier
A chauffeur...this way nobody would be late or miss anything
A personal trainer...this way I will stay motivated
A personal shopper...this way I will have more time with my kids

Okay...so maybe I am asking too much. I will be more realistic.

digital camera or auto focus lens for the one I have
A nice sweater or light jacket that can be casual or dressy...ask Mrs. Claus she will understand.
A vacuum. I know it sounds totally lame, but mine sucks. Welll actually it doesn't and that is the problem.
New cookie sheets...and please not the air bake kind....ask Mrs. Claus
Jewelry --rings in particular. I like sparkly things.

Those my big ticket items. Oh don't forget the Andes Candees and the little stuffed bear. Oh and a snow globe. I only have 2 you know.

Sincerely,
Lourie

*************************************************************************

Dear Santa,

I want the littlest petshop playground, an elf toy, a santa toy, a webkinz German Shepard. Have I been naughty? (I think I have) Yes or No. Today is November 30, 2009 at 10:27pm* I should go to sleep. I'm super tired. Merry Christmas!!!!

Love,
Emily

Inspired by Mama Kat's writing prompt. Prompt # 3 Open letter to Santa Claus. Since I wasn't sure if she meant write one yourself or open one from your kids, I did both.

* Emily was not awake at 10:30....I still haven't changed her clock.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree

When I was growing up we got a lot of Charlie Brown trees. You know the type, the scrawny little trees that lose their needles if you breathe on them. The kind of tree you can see through. I never knew a Christmas tree was supposed to be lush and thick with lovely branches. Well maybe I did, but we just always got the Charlie Brown trees. There is something to be said of the Charlie Brown tree. It just needs a little love.

As an adult, we got a few Charlie Brown trees, but then I decided I wanted one of those thick and lovely trees. I am particularly fond of the Noble Fir. I love the smell of a fresh cut tree. Take in a deep breath and ahhhh it smells so good. But, here's the problem I have: the needles! What huge mess they leave behind. Even when you put that gynormous bag under it. Plus, over the years I discovered I am quite allergic to them. So after much debate some talking and nagging gentle pushing we got a fake tree. It's beautiful and no mess, no hassle. I buy pine scented candles. It's nice trade off. Plus we get to put it up sooner! For me this is a major bonus. I am like a child at Christmas. Songs, decorating, presents, baking, I love it! The kids make it even more fun for me. And now our kids are the perfect age and height to get all of the tree decorated.
Ryan takes care of the low places.
Emily has the middle
Kristin can get those hard to reach places.
TA-DA! This is our tree!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Thanksgiving

This Thanksgiving was huge at our house. It started out to be big and then grew and expanded to HUGE! I knew we would have my parents, my brother and sister, my nephew and niece. Adding to a total of 11. Then, I decided to invite the missionaries. I love to feed them anyway, but to feed them on a holiday is extra special for me. It was so cute because they both kept thanking me so much for having them over. And I am the one who was thankful to have them in my home and the spirit they invite.

Next we invited my aunt and uncle. Then, it turns out a cousin of mine just finished boot camp and is going to school (for the Navy) so we added her to the list. Well it turns out that these youngin's are not allowed to travel alone. So they must travel not in pairs, but at the very least a group of three. Sure why not! The more the merrier! We had a grand total of 18 guests. I was shaking in my boots at the very prospect of feeding 18 people and having enough for everyone. Not to mention all the work! Well it turns out, I had a lot of help.

Kristin helps prepare the stuffing
19.6 ounces....thank goodness they come in egg form!
Kristin was the official turkey baster.
Thankful hands
A Thanksgiving miracle...my dad not only at the table, but with family and Elder E.
Elder B "called" sitting next to Ryan. He thinks Ryan is the coolest.
Uncle Geoff polishing off the last of the....sparkling cider. Yep we are party animals.

It was a super fantastic day filled family friends and laughter. My cousin and her friends missed out on pie because they had to be back at certain time. The missionaries also had to leave before pie. So we sent them home with about 4 pieces of pie. Shortly after they all left, Emmy and her family came over for a short visit along with my cousins parents--my mom's brother and sister-in-law. So it was a great day indeed.

Kristin went around with the video camera asking people what they were thankful for. Most of us said family but each person had a unique way of saying it. My cousin, Eric--Emmy's hubby of course said his wife and kids, and he added the scriptures, the gospel, and doughnuts and cookies. My Aunt Melidee(Emmy's MIL) said how much she loved "octogenarians" because they do not have an agenda, just peace and the light of Christ in their eyes. I had to explain to Kristin what "octogenarian" meant, but other than that she got it.

So yeah, I am crazy. 18 people for Thanksgiving...oh and did I mention the dog? My other aunt and uncle have a little tiny fluff ball that they claim is a dog. He's very docile and wouldn't hurt a fly. You hardly know he is there, unless my aunt decides to leave the room then he barks like crazy. I had a lot help with preparation, and with clean up. Otherwise, I would say NEVER AGAIN! But it was so nice, I do believe I will. Same time next year!