Sunday, December 31, 2006

New Years Review of 2006

Oh the fun things my sister Stacitee finds to put on a blog. It is all bloggety goodness and I get the pleasure of participating in her great idea's. This is from Linda S. over at All&Sundry and she started a New Year's meme about remembering 2006. If you go there, you can copy the questions to answer and put them your own blog. Then come back and leave me a comment, and I will link to YOUR review of 2006!

1. What did you do in 2006 that you’d never done before? Blogging
2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I do not remember what they were except for losing weight which I did. Somehow it found me again I am sorry to say. Now I will blog my resolutions so they will be forever available.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth? Friends at work and seems like lots of adoptions
4. Did anyone close to you die? Yes my residents at work and my son's girlfriends father
5. What countries did you visit? Stayed in my part of the USA this year
6. What would you like to have in 2007 that you lacked in 2006? Ability to "let things go and trust in God to handle my problems"
7. What dates from 2006 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? March 18 my daughter became an official teen, April 30 my son turned 15 and was eligible to get a drivers permit, June 4 my husband and I have been married 22 years and I think this is the best year yet!,
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? I planted, weeded and harvest a huge Garden mostly by myself. My sweet husband rototilled and I think, tried one time weeding, but the rest of the time it was all mine.
9. What was your biggest failure? Keeping up with being a mom and working. Cause when you are doing well at one the other suffers.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury? Yes I had plantar fasciitis (fancy word for fallen arches) very painful, and I fell in a hole the dog dug and messed up my hip but thanks to prayer and healing I am all better now
11. What was the best thing you bought? Dow cleaner products (automatic shower spray and tools Toilet Wand, floor mopper thing, showere scrubber tool)
12. Whose behavior merited celebration? My teens as for the most part they are respectful and helpful
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? The people who send their children to Christian school but seem to not be interested in being a christian or setting a Christian example
14. Where did most of your money go? Church, Christian education and our home
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? Gardening, blogging and Listening to hubby sing.
16. What song will always remind you of 2006? Made to Worship by Chris Tomlin
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? 
b) thinner or fatter? 
c) richer or poorer? a) Happier thanks to my sister who taught me to be happy no matter the circumstances b) No comment (haha) c) poorer due to increase cost of teens!
18. What do you wish you’d done more of? Reading my bible, playing games with the kids
19. What do you wish you’d done less of? Housework haha
20. How will you be spending Christmas? With family
21. Did you fall in love in 2006? Over and over again with the same guy for the last 26 years (we dated on and off for 4 years. Oh and with "Little Dude" the newest chihuahua addition to the family)
22. How many one-night stands? None
23. What was your favorite TV program? 24, The office, Joel Osteen, Earl, Flip this house, Meer Kat Manor, Clean Sweep, What not to wear,
24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? Sometimes I hate the things people do, not the people themselves
25. What was the best book you read? Proof Postitive by Neil Nedley, Why men marry b____'s, Your Last diet by Kathleen DesMaisons, Ph.D. and Vital Vittles by Heather Leno
26. What was your greatest musical discovery? Chris Tomlin (praise songs)
27. What did you want and get? Happiness, joy, peace
28. What did you want and not get? More money
29. What was your favorite film of this year? My husband says the new James Bond movie even though I haven't seen it yet.
30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? I went on a mini vacation with my husband to Seaside Oregon. I am 44 years old and loving it.
31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? Catching up on organization. Up until 1999, I was very ill with super painful periods where I was flat out in bed for 8 out of every 22 days and that along with frequent moving etc got me so unorganized that I have been fighting a losing battle to catch up.
32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2006? I would say business and casual. I dont have much fashion sense. That gene when to directly and totally to my sister.
33. What kept you sane? My husband and my sister
34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? I am intrigued by Angelina Jolie because she uses her money and self to better the lives of people in other countries.
35. What political issue stirred you the most? I dont know that this is an issue but it bothers me when people elect a president then criticise his actions no matter what direction he takes. For example people who oppose the war in Iraq. Right after 911 everyone wanted justice but then a year of so later the President is wrong for starting the war and continuing in the efforts to help the people of Iraq. Whats up with that?
36. Who did you miss? My friends. I lost touch with two good friends and I wish I would get in touch with my childhood friend
37. Who was the best new person you met? April, a great person going through a difficult time
38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2006. The best presents are the ones you give to someone who can never repay you
39. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year. "Jesus take the wheel" by Carrie Underwood


Braden Crowned King of Speed

I was challenged to a card game of "speed" this morning. And who can resist that? I used to be the Queen of the card game speed and I beat everyone, that is till I visited Michigan and played the game with my Aunt Marti. I reluctantly pased the virtual crown to her. She was really really fast. I believe my sister has beaten me as well. I think the mind slows as you get older. Anyway I WON the first game. I was so excited and ready to reclaim my title, however the two following games were won by Braden so the title of "Speed King" goes to him. I wish Marti would come and challenge him! In the mean time lets see how his Aunt Staci (my sister) can do!

Sundays Worst and Best

Up until the last few years when my kids still wanted to be tucked in bed we had a nightly tradition of asking what was the WORST and BEST time of the day. We always started out with WORST so we could end on a positive note with the BEST of the day. So here is the WORST and BEST of this last week.

WORST: A series of unfortunate events: My family has a natural talent for catching dropping items. Its almost weird the way we can be totally involved in something and our hand will shoot out and catch a falling object like we were expecting it. It even surprises the people whom witness these events. However every once in a while the reflex is just not there, and the the last 24 hours was one of those times. As I was getting ready for company, I grabbed the step stool, not realizing that my daughter had moved the George Foreman grill catching the end of the cord in the folded up step stool. The grill hit the floor with a huge clattering and broke into several very interesting pieces. (Now if I thought like my sister Stacitee I would have grabbed the camera and there would be a very interesting picture of the insides of a grill) Next I went to get a casserole out of the cupboard. As I was reaching for a dish the wooden shelf slipped off its holder and almost in slow motion, I had 2 casserole dishes and about 12 mini sauce cups sliding towards me. I of course immediately did a quick inventory of what would be the greatest lost of usefulness, cost to replace, and what I could realistically catch. I decided the casserole dishes were the most useful and managed to grab them as sauce cups were hitting the counter and the floor all around me. I was then surrounded by a sea of broken glass and since this event was quite loud and the rest of my family were sleeping, I fully expected someone to coming tearing into the kitchen to see if mom was okay.....not a creature was I started cleaning up.... still no I finished cleaning up and as I was putting the last glass fragments in the trash, I realized I should have taken a picture . Later this same day the Christmas tree, that I always leave up till New Years just to extend the season a little, fell over, breaking some of the Christmas balls. It is currently leaning at a 45 degree angle against the corner of the room, lights still sparkling, beads falling off and strand of lights hanging. Heres a picture......

More in the series: This is not the first time the tree fell over this season. Before Christmas I had set presents around the tree. This it seemed, was a fairly safe thing to do. Most everyone sets their presents around the tree. I didn't even here the "TIMBER" or the rush of water from the base as it poured out over my presents soaking their boxes right off of them. (It has been 12 years since I had a tree fall over and I hope it is another 12 before it happens again!) We also had really bad wind storms that blew branches off the trees and directly into the glass bulbs lining the walkways. And last, but certainly burned into my forehead for at least a week........, I touched my forehead with the 448 degree straightening iron.

BEST: We got the unique privilege of helping several people who were less fortunate than we are. (My parents and sister helped as well). I saw my son entertaining his 11 year old cousin when she had nothing to do because my daughter had her boyfriend over. (He's a GREAT boy- a definite “keeper”). And the BEST surprise. I called my daughter to tell her my sis and her family were coming over for dinner and could she please put the lasagna in the oven. When I arrived, the whole house was clean! And she did it without asking! (Yep -She's the BEST and a keeper! )

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Saturday's Hope

Show me your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long. Psalms 25:5

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Photo Friday Best of 2006

I call this picture "Cloudray". It was taken on one of my many errands running teens around and was much more glorious than the picture depicts. For more great pictures head on over to Photo Friday

Friday's Photos

Kiara a few years ago doing her Tae Kwon Do poses.

A night to remember....

Braden and his girlfriend Andrea on their way to a formal that didn't turn out to be so formal.

Kiara and her boyfriend Aaron just before we went out to eat and to see "A Night at the Museum"

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Thursday Thirteen ed 10

Thirteen Things I will say YES to my teens about

(a little obsessive but the ideas do cross my mind)

1. Daughter age 13: “Can I go to the movies alone with my boyfriend?” Yes, when you are 18.
2. Son age 15: “Can I drive in the freezing rain and black ice with my drivers permit?” Yes, once you have been properly trained and we are in an empty parking lot with no lampposts in site.
3. Sugar o holic Son age 15: “Can I have ice cream for breakfast?” Yes, if you eat 3 banana’s an apple and an orange first.”
4. Both kids; “Can I stay up all night long on a school night?” Yes, when you are in college.
5. Daughter age 13 wearing a tight shirt with cleavage showing: “Can I go to the mall with my friends?” Yes, once you change your clothing, and wear a turtle neck shirt that is not form fitting.
6. Daughter age 13: “ Can I run up the cell phone bill to unafforadable levels?” Yes, but we will be selling your video/picture/MP3 phone on e bay and getting you a basic cricket phone.
7. Daughter age 13: “Can you get off early from work to go pick up my boyfriend (40 minute trip) and take us all to the movies. Then take him home after?” Yes, I did this one….
8. Daughter age 13: “Can you buy my friends presents” Yes, once you pay for part of it or help out at home
9. Son age 15: “Can my girlfriend come over for New Years and stay the night?” Since there is no way for her to get home (she lives an hour away) then YES, but there will be alarms installed on your window and door. And on the room she is staying in. Plus visual, auditory and tactile deterrents from getting up in the night for a make out session.
10. Son age 15: “Can I walk from your work down to the stores” (through a gang section of town) Yes, if we follow you ready to call 911 a the slightest hint of gang activity.
11. Son age 15: “Can I pretend that I am in trouble so I wont be embarrased to be sitting by my parents” Yes anything you want to have you around a little longer!
12. Both: Can you buy it and then I will earn it?” Yes, if you earn it first and then I buy it.
13. Both: Can you? Can you? Can you? YES YES YES as I long as I am alive I will say yes!

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Works for ME!!!

Ever make permanent changes to your template that you didn't mean to do? Well yesterday I made a change and must have somehow deleted everything below the addition. I went to view my blog and it was totally empty! Due to the fact I have a limited amount of time to work on it I was devastated. Fortunately I had saved a copy from when I first started the blog, but I still had to do alot of work to return it to what I had. So what works for me this fine sunny Wednesday is to keep current copies of my template on my home and my work computer. You never know....

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Country Gospel Music at its best!

This is my father in law's website "Parson Lee Larson". And if you like country gospel music you have got to check his site out. He has a beautiful voice and a great salvation story. He has 3 CD's for sale. and at his site you can preview them. (My mother in law sings too) You can also schedule a concert in your church. Click on the link above. You'll be sorry if you miss it!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Thursday Thirteen ed 9

Since you asked...13 things I need to get done before Christmas

1…. My Thursday Thirteen
2. Wrap all the presents for the family we are helping, my own family, "Free Christmas" gift exchange at my parents and my husbands parents.
3. Cook Lasagne for company on Saturday and pies (pumpkin, pumpkin pecan, pecan and dutch apple), baked yams, green bean casserole, rolls, salad for Christmas Eve day with my family, and figure out what I need to bring to Christmas dinner with hubby's family on Christmas Day.
4. Finish finding places for the pile of junk on the kitchen table (There's no good place for a pile of junk)
5. Scrub the kitchen floor and bathroom floors (save till last cause everyone knows they only stay clean for about 1 to 10 minutes)
6. Reclean the entire house that we have been cleaning all week but you know how fast that goes down hill.
7. Buy gift certificates for the family we are helping this Christmas.
8. Find my niece the assessories to the toy I bought her, cause of course they do not COME WITH IT! ARGH
9. Find the lighted outdoor Christmas tree and get it plugged in becasue everyone on our street has one and I like to feel like I belong.
10. Count the presents, cost of the presents, number of the presents and size of the presents to make sure everything is as fair as possible
11. Get the stocking stuffers ready to go in the stockings
12. Finish putting thank you notes and small presents in the advent calendar for the remaining days before Christmas.
13. Take a deep breath and resolve to do more of this in NOVEMBER next year!

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

When will it end? NEVER

When my son was a baby he would army crawl over to the light sockets and attempt to poke things in. He figured out all the plug protectors except the most secure ones that are of course the hardest for a parent to get into when needed. He had extrememly good dexterity so he would pick through the carpet and find an assortment of dangerous thing to stick in his mouth. In the middle of winter in Idaho at 5 or 6 months he pushed open the sliding glass door and crawled out on the step. I had thoughts of tumbling off and cracking the head open or freezing to death. When we went to another house or motel, he would scan the room and go immediately to the most dangerous thing in the room. At 18 months old he pushed a chair form the dining room to the sink, crawled up, and got a huge sharp knife out of the bottom of the sink. Then he came toddling in with the sharp edge against his neck. At 3 he almost fell between a boat and the dock (my husband caught his ankle and pulled him back up. He also managed to get the top off a "child proof" medication bottle and we got the unique priveledge of administering epecac. I thought..... if I could just get him to age 5 he might live.....
Then came the broken arms from falling out of trees and off the jungle gym at school, a concussion from a fast stop on a school bus, and riding a BMX bike into a log and flying 20 feet through the air and landing in a fallen tree at camp. And I thought..... if I can just get him to the teen years maybe he would live.....
Now he is a teen and I read that it is important to not squelch a boys need for danger, as long as it wasn't too dangerous. So when I saw him jumping out of the tree onto the trampoline, I tried to control my fearful heart. It was obvious he was being careful to be in the center of the tramp. The next day he bent the tramp in half when he was jumping out of the tree onto the tramp! So I thought..... it was a good lesson and maybe he will now live...
Last summer he got his permit!!! Its been 6 months and now I know THERE IS NO WAY HE WILL LIVE!!!! :)

Braden Wins

Braden won his heat in the backstroke by 5 seconds over the second runner up! He is swimming for the local highschool swim team. And would you believe both his Dad and I forgot our camera's! The first time we have not both had them taping every race! This pic was actually taken during the summer when he swam for an athletic club. GO BRADEN!!!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Invisible mom

This is my friends boy Vincent and he said a really profound thing the other day. He was having a rough day and he told his mother "Sometimes I feel like a mom, you know, invisible". And I realized that sometimes I do feel invisible. Like I am the hired help and nobody even notices what I do. I imagine most mom's feel that way at one time or another. Not that its a bad thing just true.

My youngest niece's

My niece Emma in the Santa Outfit that all the Hodges grandkids have worn.

My niece Tessa age 4 writing her cousin (my Daughter's) name.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

12 Days of Christmas

This is soooo fun and so worth the effort. It is not very expensive but really brightens a person's day. Wouldn't you love getting annonymous gifts on your front porch? (Although I did put "from your friends at ________ church" so they wouldn't think we were stalkers)

Day one: Give a can of Pears (My daughter insisted on getting a miniture tree with a bird in it as well)and a note such as: On the first day of Christmas your true friends gave to you....Pears and a dove in an evergreen tree.

Day two: Two turtle candies and dove candies and the note said: On the second day of Christmas your true friends gave to you 2 turtle doves and you already have the pears, and dove in an evergreen tree

Day three: Can of chicken noodle soup (I got vegetarian "no chicken" soup then I covered the "no chicken" with the top cut off a post it note that I had written "3 french hen" For the note, use the same format, just adding the new item and the previous given items for each day as they occur)

Day Four: Pretty Notepad and pen (write on the pad that "the calling birds left a message to have a happy Holiday Season")

Day Five: Can of Pineapple rings ("golden pineapple rings" in your note)

Day Six: Egg shaped objects (I found egg shaped snowmen with candy inside. Make sure to add to your note about the geese laying egg shaped snowmen)

Day Seven: Bubble Bath (Add to note about swimming with the swans but the swans were too busy and said to enjoy swimming without them)

Day Eight: Milk Duds (add to note about the maids a milking making milk dud's)

Day Nine: Christmas CD that they can "dance" to

Day Ten: Candy canes (note to explain the Lords a Leaping had to go but left their canes for them to enjoy)

Day Eleven: Hot Chocolate in mug or mugs (note saying to serve "piping hot" at least for adults and "not so piping hot" for kids)

Day Twelve: Ice cream drum sticks (Leave a note on an earlier day asking them to leave a note outside their door about when you could treat them to dinner, such as at a Taco Bell, bring Drumsticks and reveal yourselves!

Be sure to add in items for the kids in the family. The dollar store has alot of great things and they aren't too spendy. I also added in some fun items like a book with CD on the 12 days of Christmas and miniture light set and ornaments to put on the tree we gave them on day one.

If you start today you could be done on Christmas day. However upon looking up the 12 days of Chirstmas I found out it is actually supposed to start on Christmas Day and end 12 days later so it can be done at any time.

Thursday Thirteen ed 8

Thirteen Things about Showing kids how to "share" Christmas

1. Brighten someone's Holiday by doing the "12 days of Christmas" for them. ( write creative notes and improvise such as, day one give a mini tree with a bird in it and a can of pears-more on my blog about this one)
2. Find a family with kids that cannot afford Christmas and get them presents and food (We save the money from returning pop cans all year and we are lucky enough to get cans donated to us as well)
3. Give money, food or "stuff" to your local shelter
4. Give to a charity. ADRA is a really good one and has a "Really Useful Gift Catalog" where you can choose items from 2 dollars and on up to purchase. It tells what you are buying and what country it will be used in.(
5. Write notes of appreciation to other members in your family or to friends
6. Find a "giving tree" and choose kids that are around your childrens same ages, then buy the Christmas presents they are wishing for. (Malls and shopping centers will have these tree's)
7. Invite someone over for Christmas dinner that could never return the favor
8. Offer to babysit for a single parent that needs to go shopping without the kids
9. Give food to a local food share program
10. Clean out the coat closet and donate your good used coats to a shelter.
11. Call a local Residential Care Center or Nursing home and ask if there is a resident without involved family members and ask what you could get them for Christmas.
12. Ask your pastor if someone in your church is lonely, then visit them
13. Bake cookies or Pumpkin bread and take to all your neighbors
Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
1. celfyddydau
2. caylynn

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Works for Me Wednesday

Saving Tomato Paste

Dont you always hate it when a recipe calls for 1 T of tomato paste? The cans are small, but either sit in the fridge till the mold takes over, or you freeze it and have to unthaw before measuring. What works for me is to freeze the remainder of the can in 1 T measurements. I put each 1 T measurement in a ziploc bag and freeze for the next recipe.

Have banana's that get too ripe and no time to make banana bread? I peel them and freeze in 1 inch slices. Then I add them to fruit shakes or to recipes.

Extra fruit shake in the morning? Freeze about an inch worth in the bottom of a ziploc bag and add to the next shake!

This is what works for me! For more works for me idea's go on over to Rocks in My Dryer