Wednesday, December 26, 2007

A Little Get-away

So, I am on the 9th floor of the beautiful San Diego Hilton Gas Lamp Quarter. It is a 4 star hotel. The bedding is down, and the mattress is a double pillow top. Basically, comfort is king here. It took us a while to get away from our house today, but we felt the warm embrace of our beautiful hotel as soon as we walked into the lobby. Initially we had planned to spring for a pay-per-view movie upon our arrival, but the comfy room, and beautiful view of the city, changed our minds. We have watched a little TV, and are heading off to dreamland soon. That might sound like a waste of a night away from the kids, but the morning that will follow; sleeping in without any fussing children; will make it worth every penny that was paid. By the way, the vacation is courtesy of my Mom and John. They gave us the funds for Christmas, and are keeping the kids while we’re gone. They obviously remember the days of trying to raise their kids with no family close by. I can’t think of a better Christmas present!!!

I’ll be back in a couple days. I hope your post-Christmas experiences are as nice as ours’. Love and good wishes to all!!!!!


It's Kwanzaa time (12/26/07 - 1/1/08). I have limited knowledge on the subject. So, oh wise internets, please enlighten me. Do you celebrate Kwanzaa, or not? Why?

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Who'd Have Guessed?

Uncle Bob was at our Christmas Eve family party tonight! We were told in March that he only had nine months to live. He is very different from the Uncle Bob of last Christmas Eve, but he was with us. Does anything else matter?! This has been a year of amazingly difficult medical challenges for lots of our family, but seeing Bob tonight was proof that there is always hope, even in the darkest circumstances. He has achieved major improvements over the last few months, and continues to baffle the doctors. Do we need any other proof for the power of prayer? How can we possibly doubt modern day miracles?

PS If you have not been a regular reader of this blog for the last year, or might have forgotten, please make sure to click on the above links so you can catch up.

May you all take a moment to see the answered prayers and miracles in your lives!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

It Really is Feeling Like Christmas

For the past few weeks, we have had major renovations going on in our master bedroom/bath. That meant we had furniture all up and down our hallway, and were sleeping on our mattress in our living room. That was fine for the time being, but my parents were scheduled to come out to visit for Christmas on 12/19. Not only did we need to get our bedroom out of the living room, but we needed a place for them to sleep. Will hustled to get the last of the bedroom painting done on Monday night, and moved our furniture back to our room on Tuesday night. Daniel gave our loft a quick cleaning on Wednesday afternoon. By that evening, we had a nice space for my parents to sleep in. Phew!!

Of course, the master bathroom is still quite a mess. That will probably happen at some point after the holidays. In the mean time, we decided it just might be time to get some Christmas decorations up. The tree had been stalled by the ill placed mattress, and the rest of the decorations were stalled by my inability to handle more chaos while my house was already in such disarray. Fortunately, I got over my phobia yesterday, and my husband brought home a beautiful tree. We spent the evening decorating the tree and putting garland and lights around our banisters and railings. We also hung the stockings, and put a few other random decorations up around the house. The wreath even made it to the front door. We may never go through it, but the postman and UPS guy are sure to enjoy it. I might be biased, but I think it looks great.

The best part of all of this is the smells. When I walk through the living room I smell the subtle, but wonderful, smell of a fresh tree. When I walk into my family room, the smell of "Creamy Nutmeg" candle fills my nostrils. By the way, you can find that candle at Bath and Body Works or The White Barn Candle Company". Yummy!! A little later today, my Mom will be baking with my kids. They will make rolled sugar cookies, pull-apart bread (monkey bread) and a strawberry birthday cake for Baby Jesus, that we will share on Christmas Eve (strawberry with whipped vanilla frosting). Yummmm!!!!

We do still have some shopping to do, but with built in babysitters in town (thanks Mom and John), that shouldn't be a problem. The greatest thing for me this season is that I am actually feeling like celebrating. There have been plenty of years since Jeff died (1/6/00) that I didn't feel very festive. While I still remember, the joy of the season with my family has finally won out. Yeah for family! Yeah for Christmas!! Yeah for holiday fun!!!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Baby Names

Ok, Y'all. I need anyone and everyone to de-lurk for this one!! Remember when I mentioned that I was going to be an auntie a couple weeks back? Well, my sister and brother-in-law are having a heck of a time coming up with a good "girl" name for their impending arrival. They really had their hearts set on having a boy, as there were already two beautiful girls that were part of the package when they got married. 8^) As you can imagine, they have had a "boy" name picked out for months, but the "girl" name is eluding them. Will you help? They would SOOOOO appreciate it! They do have just a couple ground rules though...

#1 The names can not start with a "K" or and "A". They already have a Kayla and an Alicia

#2 They have eliminated the name "Jordan" from the list.

So people, what do you think? Can you help? It would be so very appreciated.

Thanks!! 8^)

PS My friend Perri reminded me that a last name would be helpful here. Oops!! Their last name is Soliday (said like holiday). So, now you all can figure out what would flow nicely.

Thanks again everyone.

All I Want For Christmas

I have to give credit to my friend, Laura, for this. The sentiment is beautiful, and Kelly Clarkson delivers it perfectly!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Wow.....Just WOW!!!!!!


GO BOLTS!!!!!!

Friday, December 07, 2007

She's Back!!

Thanks to some wonderful neighbors, Honey had a warm, dry place to sleep last night. Unfortunately, thet didn't notice our "Lost Dog" signs until they were on their way home from taking her to the shelter this morning. The wife was actually in tears when she told me that they had taken her to the shelter. She said that if they couldn't find her owner, they were ready to keep her (she is an awfully sweet dog). Their vet told them that taking her to the shelter was the most likely way to get us reunited "since that is usually the first place owners call when looking for their lost pets". I made sure to thank her profusely, and apologized for all the trouble that they had to go through. I was so grateful just to know that Honey was OK. I didn't care where I had to go to get her back.

Honey, on the other hand, was most unhappy about being at the shelter. It was actually a nice place, but Honey was terrified. After we paid the $48 to spring her from jail, a nice lady went out to bring her over to us. After walking up and down the rows of kennels three times, she asked a couple other guys that worked there to help her. By this time, I was getting a tad concerned. All three of the employees walked up and down the rows, and finally asked me to come over to have a look for myself. First they took me to another yellow lab. Definitely not Honey. Hmmmmm... We finally found her in what appeared to be an empty kennel. You see, each kennel has it's own dog house, and Honey was so freaked out by all the unfamiliar noises and surroundings, she was hiding in the dog house. She finally peeped out when she heard my voice. The poor dog could not get to the car fast enough. This was definitely more adventure that she had planned on.

We still don't know how she got out of the yard to begin with, but you can bet that Honey will not be going outside without a leash until we do. We have a new license that I paid for at the shelter, and my parents have pledged to give her an early X-mas present....A Shiny New ID Tag. Yippee!!


This might sound silly to some of my readers, but I can't help but ask. Please pray that we will find our dog. Her name is Honey, and she has been a part of our family since a few weeks after Jeff died. I didn't know how attached I was to this dog until she went missing tonight. She is a sweet heart, that puts up with all that Grace, and the other kids, can dish out. My wonderful husband has been out looking for her, and posting signs, in hopes of returning her to her rightful home. He is the best!!! Now it is up to prayers, and kind neighbors, to bring her home.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

I'm Gonna Be an Auntie...

...again! Of course, this time it will be on "my" side of the family. I married into 3 nieces and nephews when I was just 18. There have since been 9 other little ones that joined my late husband's family. When Will and I got married, there were 7 new nieces and nephews to add to our X-mas list. Finally, when my sister Shannon got married last December, we inherited 2 more beautiful little girls into our family. Up to this point though, the only person in my immediate family that actually gave birth (or adopted), was me. However, a few weeks back, my sister Shannon let me in on a little secret. She and Joe are expecting in late April '08. Today, she let me in on another surprise. They are having a GIRL!!! They were kind of hoping for a boy, since they already have 2 girls, but they are still super happy to have had the chance to see their beautiful daughter for the first time. She had just one request; please pray that they can agree on a girl name sometime between now and April. 8^) I see some shopping in my future. Yippee!!!!!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

In Training

So, last night I went into the scary place that is my boys' bedroom. Actually, I only braved it because I knew that it had been cleaned twice over the weekend. You see, I usually just avoid going in there, and in turn avoid screaming at my children while launching their posessions around the room. Seems like a good plan to me.

Anyway, back to the story. My original goal was to pick out an outfit for the following day for Justin. It seemed simple enough. The first hiccup in my plan came when I discovered that none of Justin's laundry had been put away. Apparently, his older brothers found it far too strenuous to include putting the clothes in the drawers when I asked them to take the washed, dried and neatly folded laundry to the appropriate rooms. Silly me. Once I had sorted the clothes, and put them into the appropriate drawers, I discovered the second challenge in my mission. Justin seems to have grown approximately 6 inches since the last time he wore a pair of pants. He was wearing a pair of black jeans, and had one other pair of pants in the drawer that didn't make him look like he was ready for a flood. Since that was the only option left, I decided to look for a shirt that would work.

Long about the time I found a shirt, Justin came wandering into the room. He must have been less than thrilled about the outfit I chose, because he immediately headed over to his dresser to see if he could find something else. Since I already knew that his search would be fruitless, I told him that he was stuck with my choice, and that we need to get to the store to shop for some pants.

"Well Mom, I could just wear what I wore to school today."

"No, son. We can't wear the same thing everyday."

Said with a completely serious expression and tone, "I could if you just washed it."

He seems to have begun his "man training" early. He is already trying to avoid shopping. 8^)

Saturday, December 01, 2007

The Great Debaters

There is a movie that will be coming to a theater near you this upcoming Christmas Day. It is directed and acted by Denzel Washington (two time Oscar Winner). It is produced by Oprah Winfrey. The cast includes, Oscar winner, Forest Whitacker; not to mention the rest of the brilliant actors. This movie is set during a time when the fight for Civil Rights was truly intense (not that it isn't now). It is based on a true story, and appears to be well worth the dollars it costs to see a movie in a theater. The film has not yet been assigned a rating, but Denzel, Forest and Oprah assure us that it is a film for the ENTIRE family. Obviously, I will check into the specifics once the rating is released, but Will and I (at least) will definitely be seeing this movie. If you'd like to view a trailer, feel free to click here. Also, for what it's worth, Oprah had an entire episode dedicated to this movie earlier this week. If you are interested in learning more, please click here.