Monday, December 21, 2009


...this little guy, and his Mommy and Daddy, are here for the holidays with the rest of our family!! The FUN starts NOW!!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving...

I've been focusing on Christmas for the past few weeks---shopping (at those fun and fabulous stores in Phoenix), crafting some "really cute" presents, planning our annual "Santa Party," just to name a few things, but with Thanksgiving tomorrow I want to pause and remember all the many blessings I have in my life. I am so thankful for:

My incredible husband

The love and friendship of our three children

Our daughters and son-in-law

5 absolutely adorable grandchildren

My sister and best friend

A Mom and Dad that made me who I am today


Good Friends

The opportunity to live in America

The men and women serving in the military and keeping "Our America"
the most wonderful and safe place to live
And...on the lighter side...

The Vandals much improved football and basketball teams :0)

I could go on and on.....just let me say I have more to be thankful for than I have room on this blog. I am truly blessed. Happy Thanksgiving!!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

In the blink of an eye...

It only seems like yesterday that this precious baby boy, our youngest grandchild, was born...November 21, 2005, a very special day!! I blinked my eyes and this is what happened...
He grew up
he loves Scooby Doo,
Thomas the Train,
playing soccer,
going to pre-school, and SO much more!!
He is turning "4"...oh my, he is growing up waaayyyy to fast for me!

I guess we can't call him "Baby L" any more!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Always up for a PARTY....

This little guy....our "too-far-away-grandchild" that lives in Michigan, LOVES party hats!!! I guess if one is good, several are GREAT!!!! His Mommy sent me this picture made me smile!

I am in the desert southwest "eeking" out a few more days of warm weather before I head back to was 86 degrees today, fantastic!!! :0)

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Looking out our front door....

“When I admire the wonder of a sunset or the beauty of the moon,

my soul expands in worship of the Creator”

~Mahatma Gandhi

Friday, October 30, 2009

Happy Halloween...

Oh my goodness....when I came across this picture a few months ago I knew immediately that I was going to use it for my Halloween post!!! This is "trick-or-treat" ala 1950's! In stark contrast to today, I think our costumes probably cost us less than $1.00!!

Our Mom and Dad bought us those black "Lone Ranger" type masks and we rummaged through the closets in the house for some old clothes that would complete our "get up!" (I have no idea what we were dressed up as, but it looks like we were having a great time!!) And, to carry all our loot we had some paper shopping-type bags with a ghost on the front.

On this Halloween we were joined by our cousins from the "country", they lived on a farm--not a neighborhood--so they came to the city for "trick-or-treating!" (Notice, our country cousins just had to use brown paper bags for their candy, they didn't have the much cooler Halloween bags with handles that my sister and I had!) Oh, speaking of my sister, Jean, that's her in the beard and white thing on her head, and I'm the one in the middle with the ghost bag! :0)

Wow, great memories of times when life seemed so much simpler!!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

For Today...October 17, 2009

Inspired by "A Simple Woman's Daybook"

Outside my window...a beautiful, warm "Indian Summer" day---lots of colorful leaves, bright blue sky and temperatures in the 70's

I am thankful for...Jim's quick recovery from his surgery. I was planning on having him home for a couple weeks, at least, and now it looks like I'm going to have to try to convince him not to go into the office on Monday

From the kitchen...stuffed chicken breasts, multi-grain bread from Costco, and broccoli

I am sweats, "Russell School" sweatshirt and socks (no shoes)

I am creating...ABC scrapbooks for J, J and J's families for Christmas. They are turning out so cute and it's fabulous to be able to use some the the "many" photographs that I have piled all over my scrapbook room

I am watch a movie with Jim after dinner..."The Station Agent" an independent, Sundance movie from NetFlix

I am reading..."Olive Kitteridge" by Elizabeth Strout...a set of linked stories about a gruff, 60-something school teacher in a coastal town in Maine, the work that has won it's author the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for fiction.

I am hoping...that all the weather predictions for this winter are correct---warmer and drier than normal---we have been buried in snow the past two winters and I'm hoping this year will be different. I'm also hoping to squeeze in a trip to Phoenix this fall!

I am hearing...the Yankees/Angels baseball game on television

Around the house...there are tell-tell signs that two little girls were here today: PlayDoh scraps on the kitchen floor, markers and papers spread on the table in the TV room, "Candyland" pieces on the living room carpet...we loved having "K" & "R" here this afternoon while their Mommy and Daddy went to the college football game (we stayed home...Jim is re-cuping, you remember :0) )

One of my favorite things...curling up on the couch and watching a movie on Saturday night

A few plans for the rest of the week...Jim's post-op check up in CDA, and a trip to Spokane to visit the "Heart Attack and Stroke Prevention Clinic" to keep our hearts on the right track so we can live long (er) and healthy (er) lives. Jamie's good friend, Amy Doneen, helped to develop this program and we couldn't think of a good reason to NOT do it! :0)

A couple of pictures to share...
Baking Halloween cookies with "K" last week

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Through our front door.... is looking like fall!! The colors are beautiful, the air is crisp, our football team is winning (woo hoo!!) ...autumn is definitely here...

A fallen leaf is nothing more

than a summers wave good bye!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Here comes Santa Claus...

...well, not really (quite yet, anyway!!)---but, I had fun today playing with some Santa pictures using these new double-sided cardstock papers from Paper Pals!!

Sunday, October 4, 2009


After WAYYYYYY too many years in a football victory "drought" we are having a FANTASTIC start to our season!! We defeated Colorado State tonight AND, to make it even sweeter, we were on ESPN...the most fun we have had at a Vandal game in many, many years!!! GO VANDALS!!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

I can no longer....

....procrastinate and put off FALL!!! Like it, or not, it is definitely here---it was about 38 degrees when I went to the gym this morning @6:30!!

My problem isn't fall, I actually LOVE fall...the changing leaves, a chill in the air (just enough to wear a sweater), tailgating before the home football games, kids back in school, pumpkins and so much more! It's what follows fall that I have a problem with....SNOW/GRAY SKIES/SLICK ROADS/FREEZING know, WINTER!

So, for now I will just sit back, relax, and enjoy FALL! Two things that accompany fall in our house are a bowl full of beautifully colored gourds and pumpkins and a "Farmer's Market" Yankee candle---it smells yummy, just makes you feel like fall!! (My very favorite Yankee candle "Harvest" was discontinued and replaced with "Farmer's Market"...I was skeptical at first, but the aroma is very much the same, all "spicy" and "fall!"

Friday, September 25, 2009

A Smile...

Smiling is infectious, you catch it like the flu,
When someone smiled at me today, I started smiling too.
I passed around the corner, and someone saw my grin
When he smiled I realized I'd passed it on to him.
I thought about that smile, then I realized its worth,
A single smile, just like mine, could travel round the earth.
So, if you feel a smile begin, don't leave it undetected
Let's start an epidemic quick, and get the world infected!
Everyone needs a smile!These smiles make me HAPPY!!! :0)

Monday, September 21, 2009

Look who's in....

PRESCHOOL!!! The little guy we used to call "Baby L" is growing up way too fast, and last week he started preschool!!! His Mommy reports that he loves it! He cried the first day when she picked him up---he didn't realize that he would get to go back the next day!!! That is a sure sign of someone that had a terrific first day of school!! :0)

I know I'm very prejudiced, but I just think he is adorable!!!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Have you ever seen a "Pumpkin Tree?"

Here it is....

"K" and "R" have a prolific pumpkin crop this year! One of the pumpkin plants crept out of their yard and through their fence and up a tree in their neighbor's yard!!

This "not so small" pumpkin has become a real attraction in the neighborhood! The picture doesn't do it justice---it's REALLY BIG to be hanging in a tree!!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The "Champion"...

The highlight of our fun weekend at the lake over Labor Day was the "First Annual Labor Day Olympics!" There were participants from all 6 cabins in Jamie and John's "cabin neighborhood." We had 18 teams and 10 events. Some of the events:

*chipping the golf ball into the center of the floating inner tube
*bolo ball (or Hillbilly golf) see below:
*kayak race
*water balloon toss
*marshmallow on a spoon race
And....others, too numerous to mention (plus, I can't remember!!) :0) So, after the Olympics they added up each team's points and awarded 3 medals---gold, silver and bronze. Then the three teams with the most points had to compete in "The Amazing Race" to and follow directions and find clues that would lead them to the TROPHY!

"A" was paired with one of the three college boys at the lake--Jamie was also on their team--and they "rocked" as "A" would say!!! They won the Silver medal and also won The Amazing Race!! He was SOOOOOOO excited, he actually slept with this trophy!!!
What a FUN weekend for the kids, and us "old folks" too!! :0) We are already looking forward to the "2nd annual" next year!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Our "Little Putter"....

Sarah just sent this picture of "L" playing putt-putt...his VERY favorite thing to do. They have a course near them that has "real" grass on the fairways and greens, and "real" sand in the bunkers!! "L" would like to go every single day...he's developed a love of the game at an early age!!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Feelin' creative....

I've been doing some scrapbooking the past few days! I haven't done much this summer, and it is fun to get back into it. I might just have do some more tomorrow!! :0)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

A little cabin in the woods.... where we spent the weekend! Jim's Dad built this cabin (honestly, with his two hands)!! We don't get there very often because it is a 5 1/2 hour drive from our home, but we decided it was time to trek to the wilderness in the central part of the state for a weekend...and, to check out the cabin. Jim has such fond memories of the cabin, he "lived" there in the summers for many, many years. It it very charming, as little cabins go!! Turning off the "main" highway for the L O N G curvy road to Warm Lake (it seems more like "126" miles! OK, so I lied..there is this one straight stretch in the whole 26 miles!! :0)We wound "round and round" and "up and over" a very tall mountain!!! Then, we came to an area that was destroyed by a wild fire two years ago. The devastation was surreal---it felt like we were in a Will Smith movie scene!! :0(YIPEE, we finally arrived... We did have indoor plumbing....this is from the "olden days" when Jim was little!! :0) Poor kid!!We took two long walks while we were much incredibly beautiful scenery, and SO quiet, it really "refreshes and recharges" the soul!! We don't go back often, but we do need to get there with the grandchildren!! So much to explore, they will LOVE it!!

**One footnote, the very first evening we were there we broke the TV!!! :0( Now, I'm sure you're thinking "Why in the world would you watch TV when you are in the woods to commune with nature??" Well, just let me tell you, when it gets dark, it is VERY dark (and quiet) and a little TV just makes it feel a little more like home, (plus we have "Dish Network" so we feel obligated to use it since we are paying for it!!) The television and video player (VHS) is all in one machine...we put in the tape, "The Red Violen," settle down with a glass of wine...ready for a nice, quiet evening. Well, the tape gets stuck, the TV won't work, and BOOM---we do, indeed, get our nice, QUIET evening!! :0)

Monday, August 24, 2009

Summer '09....

FUN times...a trip to Michigan, marathons & triathlons, weekends at the lake, soccer, golf outings, sister visits, lots of sunshine and time with our 5 FAVORITE little people, and their parents! Over much, much too soon!!!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Polka Dot Box...

...has something new and exciting to share!! Just this week, Bridget has added custom birthday party invitations in addition to the beautiful birth announcements on the Polka Dot Box website! I hope you will go and check them out and pass along this site to your friends and family! :0)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Swim, Bike, Run.....

....again!! Jamie, John, Jeff and Bridget were back on the "triathlon trial" the past few weeks. John was MIA when it was picture time, but he was there, too!!

The triathlons were held at two different lakes in the northern part of the state...beautiful place to do these crazy things!!! At least when you're puttin' in the miles you have gorgeous scenery to look at! Jeff's "KISS" running jersey was a hit....several runners took time to say "great shirt" as they jogged or biked by!

These kids continue to be an inspiration to me!!!

Monday, August 17, 2009

What a ride.....

LOVE doesn't make the world go 'round...
LOVE is what makes the ride worthwhile!

Jim and I celebrated our "41st" anniversary this weekend! It's true that time flies when you are having fun, and it's easy to have fun when you are married to your very best friend!!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Lessons of Life...

I think this is a list we can all learn from....

Regina Brett's 45 life lessons and 5 to grow on
by Regina Brett
Sunday May 28, 2006, 10:13 AM

To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me.
It is the most-requested column I've ever written. My odometer rolls over to 50 this week, so here's an update:

1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.
2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
4. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.
8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.
9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.
10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.
12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.
13. Don't compare your life to others'. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.
15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.
16. Life is too short for long pity parties. Get busy living, or get busy dying.
17. You can get through anything if you stay put in today.
18. A writer writes. If you want to be a writer, write.
19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.
20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.
21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
22. Overprepare, then go with the flow.
23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.
24. The most important sex organ is the brain.
25. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: "In five years, will this matter?"
27. Always choose life.
28. Forgive everyone everything.
29. What other people think of you is none of your business.
30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.
31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
32. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.
33. Believe in miracles.
34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.
35. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.
36. Growing old beats the alternative - dying young.
37. Your children get only one childhood. Make it memorable.
38. Read the Psalms. They cover every human emotion.
39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.
41. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
42. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
43. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
44. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
45. The best is yet to come.
46. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
47. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
48. If you don't ask, you don't get.
49. Yield.
50. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

2 Hours of Total Entertainment....

We went to see "Julie & Julia" this week and it lived up to all my expectations!! It is based on true stories, Julia Child and Julie Powell---both incredible women! I don't consider myself much of a cook, but this movie makes you think that if you follow the recipe of an incredible cook, you could do it!! Julia Child had such an amazing life outside of the stereotype that you think of---standing behind a table cooking and talking in her "unusual" voice! :0) I loved the movie, I think you would too!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Child of My Child...

Child of my child, Heart of my heart...

Your smile bridges the years between us.
I am young again,
discovering the world through your eyes.
You have the time to listen,
And I have the time to spend.
Delighted to gaze at familiar loved features
made new in you again.
Through you ... I'll see the future
Through me ... you'll know the past
In the present we'll love one another,
As long as these moments last
~~ Author Unknown ~~
If you are not yet a grandparent, it's hard to explain the very special bond between a grandparent and your child's is magical! I LOVE this poem, the words are so very true! We had a wonderful weekend with our four oldest grandchildren--the only one missing is our youngest grandson in Michigan.
We were on the go from morning to night, and I warned their Mommies and Daddy's last night that we were sending them home on "sugar highs" and "sleep deprived!" But, that is what grandparents do...."ANYTHING THE KIDS WANT TO DO!!" :0) We enjoyed having them "all to ourselves" for the weekend, and hopefully our children enjoyed their "kidless" weekend!! It was wonderful to watch the joyful reunions yesterday when they were reunited with each other!
It was a treasured weekend with so many special moments, and last night when Jim and I were listening to the "quiet" we both agreed that we couldn't wait to do it again!!