Friday, December 28, 2007

Happy Birthday to my Mom

Today my Mom celebrates her 75th birthday. It's even hard for me to believe that she's 75 already! My Mom has always been my best friend! Before she went into the nursing home, I used to call her every single day.....just to say Hi.....just to see how she was doing.....just to say I Love You. I definitely miss doing that :( With her being in the nursing home, it's hard to get ahold of her since she doesn't have a phone in her room, plus the nurses there don't want to be 'bothered' sometimes with taking the cordless phone into her. But I will be calling her later today & they WILL let me talk to her! I just wish I could be there with her today :( (This picture is of my Mom back in the early 1960's.)

Here's the last picture that I've had taken of my Mom & I together, before she lost her leg. This one was taken back on Thanksgiving, 2004.

I was talking to Linda, my sister, last night on the phone & she told me that today, Mom's life insurance will be cancelled. I guess it was some sort of policy that cancels on her 75th birthday. I'm honestly glad that it's getting cancelled.....I'd rather have my Mom here over money anyday! And even though it wasn't for much money anyway, I just had this feeling that it would have caused some problems in our family.

I mailed out a package to my Mom with her Christmas & birthday presents on the day after Christmas, so I just hope that she gets them today. Yeah, I was late, but she wanted me to send her some cookies & my famous fudge :) , so that's why it was late seeing as I didn't even bake until Christmas Eve.

In other news, Jim & I are 'famous' ;) We went out shopping the day after Christmas & got stopped in Target by a reporter for our newspaper. She asked me if she could interview me & I thought, okay, sure.....I was in a really good mood, so why not. And besides, I doubt she would publish it anyway. Well, surprise.....she did :) But luckily, she didn't take our picture because I was having a very bad hair day, lol. Instead, there was another woman on the front page that she interviewed as well. The article was all about shopping the day after Christmas & whether or not you had any problems doing any returns. She put in there what I said about being ready to go home & go back to bed & then she also quoted my husband about him joking with me, saying that I "dragged" him out. HA!!! He was just as willing to go out in that mess as I was, so don't let him fool ya :)

I can't believe that I completely forgot to tell you all what I got for Christmas in my last post! It wasn't much, but I'm extremely happy with everything (except for some sweaters I had to return). Jim got me 2 Koala stuffed animals (one is a Ty & the other is a Webkins), 3 Yankee jar candles (2 of them are called Vineyard & smell soooooo good!), 2 new motorcycle angel pins since mine keep breaking for some reason, a Kasey Kahne calendar, a Hallmark angel for my angel tree, a new pair of slippers, which I needed badly, the purple scrapbook tote filled with embellishments & an album from Sam's Club (although I was a little disappointed in it, but I'm keeping it) & a new Epson PictureMate Dash photo printer plus a replacement ink & paper set for it :) He got an excellent deal on the PictureMate.....first, he had a $25.00 off coupon for Staples, so that brought the price down to $75 & then when he bought it, they were offering a $50 rebate, so now we're just waiting for the check for that. I'd say $25.00 for a PictureMate is an awesome price!

Not sure what I'm going to do today.....may just stay home, may go shopping, may take the tree & decorations down (although I'm not sure if I'm ready to yet). Guess I need to go make some breakfast first & then I'll decide :)

Have a great Friday,

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Through The Eyes Of A Child

My Christmas couldn't have been any better! Christmas Eve, Jim & I spent most of the day baking cookies & listening to Christmas music. On Christmas morning, Shawn, Toni & my granddaughter came over & let's just say, I was in Heaven :) I just love this little girl so much! And once again, I was able to capture some wonderful pictures of her.....this one, above, is one of my favorites & this truly is what it's all about! After she opened her gifts & played for a while, she spotted my Nativity display & was just amazed by it.

Here she's debating whether or not she can touch it, looking at each figure. She kept asking me who each person was, pointing to each one individually. And if you're wondering, yes, I did let her touch them (see picture below):
I think she loved Baby Jesus the best :) She kept taking him out of the manger, putting him back, taking him out was the sweetest thing!
Here she is, sitting in her SpongeBob chair that we got her.....yep, she's my dollbaby! Just look at that expression! Yes, she needs her bangs cut! LOL
After playing with the Nativity set for a while, she then found my houses (aka village) that I made. She kept knocking on the doors of the houses to see if anyone was was SO cute! Several times, after I took her picture, she would say to me "Got it, Gamma?" & then she would say "Let me see." She sure knows her technology already ;)
Playing with Gampa, as she calls him :) Yep, that's a goatee that Jim's growing.....still not sure if I like it yet or not, but he does.
Our Christmas tree with all the presents
Here's Shawn opening one of his gifts. I bought him a flag display case & put the flag from his father's grave in it. I think he already knew what it was before he even opened it, though because of the shape :)
Well, that was my Christmas.....hope you had a wonderful one as well! I also got to talk to my Mom, Dad & 3 sisters yesterday, so I couldn't have asked for a more special Christmas! If you're wondering why I'm up so early, it's because Jim & I are heading out shortly to try to get some more lights & stuff for next year. We love to go shopping the day after Christmas, seeing what kinds of deals we can find :)
Have a great day!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry CHRISTmas!

Yesterday, Jim & I celebrated our 18th anniversary & I was literally in tears by the gift he gave/made for me! Usually, he buys me a piece of jewelry....but not this year. His gift this year, I have to say, was way more romantic & thoughtful than any piece of jewelry could ever be! First, he purchased this picture frame & mat & then he had a friend of ours that knows how to 'fix' pictures completely redo our wedding pictures for us.

The guy that took our wedding pictures messed with some settings on our camera & every single picture was extremely dark. But my husband (bless his heart), went through all my photo boxes one day when I wasn't home to find our pictures, took them to our friend & had them all fixed so he could put them in this frame & even had the pictures put on a CD for me. He even used my scrapbook trimmer to crop the photos so they would fit into each letter :)

He truly surprised me this year as I had NO clue that he would even think to do something like this! Don't get me wrong.....I LOVE jewelry, but this.....this was something that he took the time to do.....something he put a LOT of thought into doing.....something that would please anyone, even if you're not a scrapbooker like me :) Now I know why I said "I Do" 18 years ago on Christmas Eve!

As you can see, I couldn't wait to hang it on the wall & I had the perfect spot in my scraproom right above my sewing machine & next to my computer. And the thing that I really thought was neat was the matting almost matches the wall color perfectly! Now I just need to patch the holes I put in the wall. Apparently, there's a stud in this wall that runs horizontally (strange, huh?) & well, it wasn't straight the first few times I tried to hang it & the nails were a pain to get out of the stud, so now there's some holes & dents in the wall behind the picture. Shhhh......don't tell our landlords ;)

Since today is Christmas, I figured it was the perfect day to finish up the Christmas meme that Sophia had us doing these past 25 days. I was doing 5 questions at a time, here & there, so here are the final 5:

21. Do you have a family get-together during the holidays with extended family? Not usually, unfortunately. All of my family is 500+ miles away in Pennsylvania & Jim's sister lives in Indianapolis, so it's usually just Jim, I & the kids.

22. What's the most important thing that you must do each Christmas season? Celebrate our anniversary ;) , get a real tree, put out our nativity set (keeping Baby Jesus hidden until Christmas morning) & celebrate the birth of Jesus.

23. Do you bake Christmas cookies? Yep, but this year, I really procrastinated about it & didn't make them until Christmas Eve!

24. Do you leave cookies and milk for Santa? We used to when our kids were younger, but not anymore.

25. Share a favorite Christmas memory. The year I married my husband (see yesterday's post). And after the gift he got me today (see above), he has definitely proven to be my best gift/memory ever!

Thank-you Sophia for a fun meme :) And thank-you, my blog readers, for the anniversary & Christmas blessings. May you & your families have a very safe & Merry Christmas.


Monday, December 24, 2007

18 Years Ago Today.....

....I married this silly, handsome, loving, wonderful man! Yep, we tied the knot, got hitched, became husband & wife on Christmas Eve, 1989. I thought it would be romantic.....he thinks we should have waited another week & did the deed on New Year's Eve because "at least then, there would always be a party to go to & we'd just have even more reason to celebrate". Ha! See, I told you he's silly!
It's actually kind of funny looking at us now (above) & back then (below). Boy, have we changed through the years! We've both added the pounds (too many!), he's lost some hair & what he does have left is turning gray (both of which he blames on me, lol), but for some reason, I just can't seem to give up my 80's hairstyle ;)
It's hard to believe that it's been 18 years already. We've been through so much together these past 18 years.....raising a son & a daughter, deaths of family members, him being in the Navy & going out to sea, me working several different jobs, us packing up & moving from Virginia to Michigan on less than 2 weeks notice, owning 2 homes & losing one to foreclosure, numerous vehicles (too many to count!) along with lots of good times, bad times & in between times, but always doing whatever it takes to make it through them all! Marriage is full of compromise....and lots of hugs & kisses :)

plans on this Christmas Eve? French Toast for breakfast (or maybe Belgium Waffles), bake some cookies (since I still didn't get them done because I went out shopping yesterday instead with all the other crazy people!), finish wrapping presents & then we're thinking about going out to a movie. Afterwards, we'll spend the night at home, snuggling by the tv (since we don't have a fireplace, lol) & just enjoy the rest of the day together. kind of day :)

Merry Christmas Eve,

Sunday, December 23, 2007

So Much For A White Christmas!

Remember the pictures I posted last week of all the snow we got? Well, this is all that's left right now :( The past few days, the temps have been up in the high 30's & this morning, as I'm typing this, the temperature outside is 48!!! And it's raining! In Michigan! In December!!!
They're saying that it's supposed to turn back into snow tonight & tomorrow, so hopefully our chances for a white Christmas are still good. Keep your fingers crossed for me :) Yes, I realize those are leaves still on my lawn. Jim & I were waiting for all of them to fall before raking them, but then it snowed on Thanksgiving & well, needless to say, we never got a chance to get to them. So smack me ;)

I need to attempt to get out to a few stores today to pick up some stocking stuffers that I've been procrastinating about getting. Plus I still need to bake cookies, which I'm hoping to get done today as well. Jim's off from work for 11 days.....YAY!!! It's really nice having him home :)
The other day, while the sun was shining, I took some pictures of my living room using different settings on my camera & I'm not sure which one I like better.....the one above or this one:
The second one, I think, shows more of the true colors of the walls, the wood & the couch (except for where the sun is hitting it). But I really like the first one, too. Which one looks better to you? Don't ask me what the settings were because I honestly can't remember now :)
Just a short update for now.....gotta get busy or I'll never get any cookies done! 2 days to go.....are YOU ready? :)

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Snow & Stickled Stockings

Well, for once, the weatherman was right! He predicted that we were going to get socked this weekend with snow & socked is what we got.....okay, maybe more like hammered! This is what we woke up to this morning. Lots & lots....and LOTS of snow! This is the first major snow storm we've had this winter, so I was actually happy to see it :) That is, until I had to go out & help Jim clear the driveway & sidewalk. We're not for sure how much we got because a lot of it has drifted due to the high winds, but it's at least 8-10 inches, maybe more. I know that the above picture is bright, but that's because I forgot to change my settings on my camera after taking pictures of my Christmas tree, but I thought this one turned out pretty cool cause you can actually see the snow still coming down (click on image to enlarge).
Here are the bushes by our front porch. Believe it or not, there are some Christmas lights on them. Jim & I decided last weekend to go ahead & put some lights outside, but now you can't even see the ones in the bushes!
A close-up of our buried car.....there really is a Dodge Caliber under there somewhere :)
Our backyard & deck. Parts of the deck don't have much snow at all while other parts have close to 2 feet on it because of the drifting.
The other day, I was trying to figure out what to use to put our names on our new stockings. We bought these ones a couple of years ago at Home Depot on clearance the day after Christmas (along with a matching tree skirt), but this is the first year we've used them since we also have purple ones. And then it dawned on me.....STICKLES!!! It was perfect! I used the larger bottle of the Silver Ice Stickles & I just love the results! They are now my "stickled stockings" :)
I finally got my Christmas cards I just need to mail them all out. I admit it, I cheated this year & went with card making kits (Basic Grey Figgy Pudding & My Mind's Eye kits). But I added a little sparkle to the cards & once again, Stickles came to the rescue :) Can you tell I love that stuff??? It's almost as addicting as Primas ;)

Today's challenge is: What is one thing you look forward to during these last few days before Christmas? I've got a LOT of stuff that I still need to do this coming week.....bake, wrap, shop, mail cards & packages, finish up some gifts & try not to stress too much about all of it. But the one thing that I always look forward to as Christmas gets closer is being happy. I love this time of year & sometimes wish it could last all year long! I love going out to do some last minute shopping, wishing the cashiers a Merry Christmas, donating to the bell ringers, seeing all the lights.....just getting in the spirit of it all is what I look forward to.
And finally, here are 5 more answers to Sophia's Christmas meme:
16. Do you take neighbor gifts/treats to anyone, everyone, a select few? Well, since we're in a new neighborhood this year & haven't really met any of our new neighbors yet, the answer is no. Although that could be a really good way to meet them, huh? :)
17. Is your big meal on Christmas Eve, Christmas morning or Christmas afternoon? Probably more like Christmas evening. Jim & I go out on Christmas Eve since it's our anniversary :)
18. How do you decorate your tree? This year, it's done in all blue & silver (see pics in previous post). And then I have a 4 1/2 foot artificial tree in my scraproom that is my "angel" tree, all decorated with angel ornaments in remembrance of my sister Karen & brother-in-law Jimmy.
19. Snow? Love it? Dread it? Tolerate it? Right now, I LOVE it, but ask me that question again in January or February ;)
20. Do you remember a favorite gift? My husband.....18 years ago he was my gift on Christmas Eve when he married me :)
Off to bed....I have a busy week that starts bright & early tomorrow morning. Stay warm!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

O Christmas Tree

It's finally done.....our Christmas Tree is completely decorated all in blue & silver & I gotta admit.....I like it :) Even though I keep joking with Jim telling him that I need to add some Dallas Cowboy ornaments after they beat the Lions on Sunday ;) Hmmmm.....for some reason, he didn't like that idea too much, hehe. The angel actually touches our ceiling! I could have chopped a little off the top of the tree, but decided to just let it be. I guess I'm not used to buying short trees :)
I took a bunch of pictures of the tree tonight & posted my favorites. The one above I used the manual setting on 1600 ISO with Tungsten light white balance & really like the way it turned out.
For this one, I just changed the white balance & took it from another angle.
Here I used my star filter to get the lights to really twinkle :)
Close-up using the filter. I just love the glow from the lights!
And now for some more pictures. Above is my blue & silver Poinsettia that I bought for Jim :) Last year, he bought me a purple one, so when I saw this blue one, I just knew I had to get it for him since it goes with our theme this year.
I've been extremely busy working on some projects these past couple of weeks. Plus I'm making a lot of Christmas presents this year since money is tight. This is one of the first projects I little Christmas village :) Above is the medium house using KI Memories older Christmas line along with my version of the button trees.....a Prima tree ;) It's hard to tell in the picture, but I sealed the house with glitter mod podge so it sparkles.
Here is the small one.....isn't that snowman cute? The houses also have lights inside of them so it looks like an actual Christmas village.
And here is another one I made using my November Design Team kit from the Zone. I used glitter on the windows, rooftop & along the base of the house for snow.
Another view of the same house.

16 years ago today, my ex-husband & father to my son decided that he could no longer live in this world & took his own life. Usually, I tend to get depressed on this day, but today is going to be different! I now know that there was nothing that I could have said or done that would have stopped him. So I refuse to let it get to me any longer! Yeah, it still hurts whenever I think about him, but I cannot let it run my life. It's hard to believe that it was 16 years ago! Sometimes I wonder what he would be like today if he was still here.....what would he look like? Where would he be living? Would he still be in the Navy? Sometimes I think I think too much :)
Now to answer more of Sophia's Christmas meme:
11. What's your favorite holiday goodie to make and share? The gifts that I make for people. I just love the expressions they give when they open them!
12. What's your favorite Christmas song? Silent Night. My 4 sisters & I had to get up in front of the whole church when we were kids & sing it & even though I was completely embarrassed at the time, I still love that song the most out of any Christmas songs.
13. When did you learn the truth about the "magic" of Christmas? When my Dad played a trick on my older sister. She wanted a guitar for Christmas, but our Dad gave her a plastic play guitar to trick her. Turns out, the plastic one was for me & he hid the real one that was for her. That was the year I learned the truth about Santa. It probably wasn't the smartest thing our Dad ever did, but we laugh about it now :)
14. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? Depends on if I have them all wrapped by then. But usually not.....I like waiting until Christmas morning, unless you count my anniversary present ;)
15. Is there a special ornament or Christmas decoration that you wouldn't feel like Christmas without? Since we pretty much try to change the colors/theme of our tree every couple of years, I guess the answer is no. Unless you consider our wouldn't be Christmas without having that displayed.
Thanks for visiting my blog,

Friday, December 07, 2007

Getting There

The lights are up on the tree & most of the ornaments have been added, but I still need to put the garland, ribbon & angel on & add the tree skirt, which is blue with silver snowflakes on's getting there. Maybe I'll have it done by Christmas Eve ;) Okay, just kidding, but like I said in my last post, this week has been crazy busy & last night was the first chance we've had to actually start on the ornaments. It's so hard to put ornaments on the tree at night though because you can't see where you're missing spots. So today, I'll look over it better & add the rest. Jim's lovin' the tree & I gotta admit, the blue & silver theme isn't too bad :) I told him last night that we should have put some black ornaments on it, too since the Lions now have black on their uniforms. I can see another trip for more ornaments on the horizon :)
Now if I could only remember what setting to put my camera on to get a good picture of it. Anyone? Lorrie?? :) I just took these ones real quick last night because I was just too tired to play around with the camera at 11:30 pm. And now I've been awake since 5:30 am because I woke up when I heard Jim get up this morning & I couldn't fall back asleep.....I hate when that happens! I have a feeling it's going to be a LONG day :(
And, of course, here is Jim's favorite ornament on the tree :) We actually bought this ornament several years ago, but this is the first year it's been on our tree. Jim & I have a little bet going for the Lions/Cowboys game this week. I used to be a HUGE Cowboys fan years ago & they're having an excellent season this year, so I don't think that the Lions stand a chance, but we will see.

Here's some more of Sophia's Christmas meme challenge:
6. When do you put up your decorations? Usually the weekend of Thanksgiving, but since Thanksgiving was early this year, we waited to get our tree until the first weekend in December since we only get real trees.
7. What's your favorite holiday tradition? We don't have many 'traditions' really (except for the one in question #9)......unless you consider celebrating our wedding anniversary on Christmas Eve :) This year, we'll be celebrating # 18! I'm getting OLD!!!
8. What's on the top of your tree? Always an angel to honor my sister & brother-in-law.
9. Do you have a nativity displayed through the holidays? Yes.....although it's not up yet. It's one of our traditions and I don't put the baby in the manger until Christmas Eve after the kids go to bed so that's the first thing they always looked for on Christmas morning. Even though I only have 1 child at home now, I will always do that tradition. I purchased the nativity years ago from Home Interiors & just love it!
10. Candy Canes, traditional or flavored? Or Chocolate Covered Cherries? None of the above. Although I do like the Chocolate & the Cherry Cream in Chocolate Covered Cherries, but I throw the Cherry out ;) Now I'm in the mood for some!

Yesterday, I went to the dentist again & had 3 fillings done. You may be thinking....3??? Yep, 3!!! I admit, I was never very good at going to the dentist. When I was growing up, my Mom couldn't afford to take us, so when I had insurance coverage back when I was around 20, I had a lot of work done to my teeth then, but after having an absolutely AWFUL experience with that dentist, I was afraid to ever go to another one! But Jim found us an excellent dentist & now I actually look forward to going (okay, so maybe that's stretching it a bit, lol.....but he really is a good dentist!). And like this dentist said, at least I'm there now instead of waiting even longer. But now my insurance is maxed out for the year, so I can't go back until January & then I'll be getting another crown on a tooth that broke from a filling that I got 25+ years ago. He's also going to slowly be replacing all my old silver fillings with white ones so even though my teeth won't be perfect (like Jims.....he has never had a single cavity in his life!), at least they can look a lot better :) I told the dentist yesterday that he needs to just drill into one of Jim's teeth & pretend he has a cavity just so he knows how it feels! LOL But seriously.....after the novicane wore off yesterday, I didn't feel any pain at all this time or when I had my root canal done a few months back. Yep, I'll keep this dentist!

That's it for now....I think I'm going to try to get some more sleep since I have to get up early tomorrow as Cindy & I are going to WoJo's to make a Christmas Centerpiece.....should be a lot of fun!
Have a great weekend!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Christmas MeMe & More

Sophia posted a Christmas MeMe on her blog & I just love doing them, but she suggested that we answer a question a day up until Christmas. Since I don't update my blog everyday (usually because I don't have very much to talk about), I thought I'd do 5 questions each time I update my blog. So here are the first 5 questions:

Colored lights or white lights on your house or not at all? When we do put up outside lights, it's always colored ones. I wanted to put some up this year, but with the weather we've been having, I haven't had a chance to do them yet & not sure if I will be able to now. Looks like Winter is finally here.
Hot chocolate or Egg Nog? Definitely Hot Chocolate! I can't stand Egg Nog! YUCK!
What's your favorite holiday dish? Homemade cookies ;) I know, that's not really a dish, but I love baking during the holidays!
Does Santa wrap the presents or just sit them under the tree? He definitely wraps them.....gotta have the excitement of opening them!
Do you hang mistletoe?
Nope.....I probably should, though.

Jim & I decided to just go to Home Depot for our Christmas tree this year instead of going to a tree farm. The weather has just been so cold lately that I really wasn't in the mood to freeze for a tree. So instead, we went the cheap route (only $29.97 because they matched Lowe's price) & picked it up Friday evening....just in time before the snow storm hit Friday night. We picked out the tree, had the guy cut the bottom off & wrapped it up while we went inside to get the lights & some paint. By the time we got done shopping inside (10 minutes, 15 max), the snow started & had already covered the parking lot!

I was afraid if we waited any longer to get a tree, they wouldn't be any good as they were already frozen as it was. We could literally feel the draft coming from the tree as it was defrosting in the house! We just started putting some lights on it tonight (see pictures), but ran out of blue ones, so we'll have to stop by Home Depot tomorrow to pick up some more. Yeah, it definitely needs more lights!

Jim has been bugging me for years to do a blue & silver tree to honor his Detroit Lions (okay, so maybe honor isn't the best word to use after the way they've been playing lately, lol) & I finally caved this year :) We had purchased some silver ornaments the day after Christmas last year on clearance, but never found any blue ones. So when we went up to Birch Run & Saginaw on Black Friday, I decided to surprise him & bought some blue ones since they were on sale for 50% off. Now I just have to finish decorating the tree & hope it doesn't die on us before Christmas :)

One thing I do miss about our old house was the humidifier that we had connected right to the furnace. Unfortunately, this house doesn't have one & we've all been battling with dry skin, static hair & getting shocked whenever we touch anything metal! OUCH!!! So we decided we needed to buy a humidifier & got a whole house portable one. It's been running non-stop ever since we plugged it in today, but it's starting to feel soooo much better in here already!

I have a busy week ahead: Monday - appointments; Tuesday - shopping; Wednesday - bowling; Thursday - dentist appointments; Friday - maybe some more shopping; Saturday - going to make a Christmas centerpiece at a class at WoJo's Garden Center with Cindy. I'm hoping to get all of my final Christmas shopping done by next weekend. Wish me luck! Everyone already knows that they're not getting much this year & they understand, but I am determined to at least have something under the tree!

Off to bed. Have a great week!