Saturday, December 24, 2011

Santa Party, 2011...

A special evening with special and treasured friends!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Christmas in our family....

The "Elf on the Shelf" has been up to many, many tricks at Anders and Kate's house!!

This little guys will be winging his way to our house this weekend!!  We can't wait!!

Birthday cupcakes for K's December birthday!

Our tree! (Sorry for the TV in the picture...I was watching the finale of "The Biggest Loser"...a great show to watch during the holidays when everywhere I turn there is a treat just calling my name!) :0)

Friday, December 9, 2011

Today I am ...

...wrapping!  I don't know why I do this to myself every year!  Instead of wrapping gifts as I buy them, I just "plop" them in the guest room and then I have a monumental task of wrapping waiting for me!  So, today I tackle that mountain!!!  Good thing is I recorded this week's episode of "Biggest Loser" so I have a great show to watch while I wrap! :0) 

(BTW...I love the "Biggest Loser"...such inspiration!  And, I need it this time of year when every time you turn around there are "goodies" just begging to be eaten!! :0/ )

Thursday, December 1, 2011


...already?  It really did sneak up on me!  I've been Christmas shopping, the decorations are all up..but, it's been "November" and I've had plenty of time for all the things that I still have on my "to do" list.  It's true, "time flies when you're having fun!!" 

(One very special part of it being December is that the Michigan "branch" of our family arrives home for the holidays in just 17 days!) Oh, how I miss these two little guys...and their Mommy and Daddy.

We will have all three of our children, and their families, HOME with us for Christmas this year.  It doesn't happen nearly as often as we would like, but we will savor every single second!  And, it starts 17 days from today.  This Mom/Nana cannot wait!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The halls are "decked"...

I had my "elf" busy this weekend helping me decorate our house for Christmas!  We finished, and the house looks so festive...I really do love this time of year.  (Jim, aka my "elf",  has hauled the plastic tubs of Christmas decorations up and down our stairs so many times throughout the years...I told him we would be rich if he was paid a dollar for every time he's had to do that!!) :0)

This is going to be a very special Christmas for us...all our children and grandchildren will be here with us.  That is all I want for be TOGETHER!!

Monday, November 21, 2011

A "Happy Birthday" day...

A special "Birthday Breakfast" for our very favorite NEW 6 year old!  Later today, through the magic of technology, we get to Skype with him and watch him open his birthday presents.  It's not as good as being there, but it certainly helps us feel not quite so far away!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Well, this really isn't a "tradition" yet, but if we do it three years in a row that qualifies as a tradition...right?  And, we definitely plan to make it a tradition!!  Last year Jamie and got away for a mother/daughter Christmas shopping weekend.  We went to Seattle and had a fantastic time!!  This year out weekend is going to be in Spokane at the Davenport Hotel.  I'm excited...we will shop, eat, visit the spa, and make lots and lots of special memories!! 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

San Francisco...

Jim and I spent last week in San Francisco with all the partners in his firm and their wives.  The guys were there to attend the 2011 Charles Schwab Conference, and the wives went along to have FUN!  And, we did have lots of fun!!

We walked and walked and walked...all over downtown San Francisco.  We were even blessed with incredible weather--for San Francisco!  We had two days in the high 70's, it was perfect.

We took a city tour on the top of an open-air double-decker bus, it was terrific.  We were able to see one of the only buildings to survive the 1906 earthquake.

We went across the Golden Gate Bridge

We saw the "Painted Ladies"

Did some "tea tasting" in Chinatown...the owner of the shop was lots of fun, he even let us taste the $800 per pound tea!

We had lots of great food, and of course great shopping!  It was a very fun get-away.  We've taken so many fun trips this fall, but the travels are through for a while and we are going to stay home. That sounds GREAT to me! :0)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Happy Day Project...

Inspired by "Joy's Hope"
brought to you by Julie and Jeannett

"This whole use your blog for good thing is fun!
So we brainstormed and came up with a little plan.
For one week we will spread sunshine unexpectedly.
Many of the tasks are easy, lots of them can involve little ones.
All of them will be a little ray of light in some one's day.

But we also wanted to make it cute.  We like cute.  So we enlisted super talented friends who donated their time and skill to make printables that go with the day's task.
Then we wanted to make an even bigger impact. Jeannett has a heart to fund raise. I am consistently amazed at how she takes her passions and puts them to work. We have picked a charity to feature each day, to compliment the daily task. A charity that is near and dear to our hearts.

Here is a list of what is in store:

What's next?
We start Monday. Both Jeannett and I will be a day ahead so we are able to post about the daily task bright and early in the morning. Each assignment will have many options so you can tailor it to your family, your community,  or your schedule.  We  will each be blogging the day’s task on our respective blogs

To make it even happier, we’ve collaborated with bloggers from around the web who have provided a free printable to help you carry out the Happy Day task! So you get to spread happy in the cutest way possible!!!
You should see these printables you guys. I died. Every time one popped up in my inbox. Squealing could be heard. No lie.
Does this sound fun, but you’re worried you might not be able to squeeze in a task every day? Maybe you have an especially crazy jam packed day on Tuesday and there’s no way you can pull it off, but you still really want to participate? Say you live in the country and the nearest neighbor is 27 miles away?
No worries! Each task has been paired with a virtual way to fulfill it.

At the end of the week we will celebrate the days that were made just a little bit happier with a big linky party and some super fun surprises.
Read more:

What can you do?
Join in!
Commit to spending the next couple of days thinking and planning what you are going to do. Even better than that, help us spread the word. Blog, tweet, facebook, pin, sky write, about The Happy Day Project. Lets flood the world with sunshine this week!!"

Monday, October 24, 2011

Sunny and hot....

Jim and I were able to "prolong" our summer just a little last week!  He was attending the national AICPA conference in Phoenix.  We had a wonderful time...only strange thing was that my sister, Jean, (who lives in Phoenix) is gone from Phoenix for a year and a half.  (I missed her!)

We stayed at the Biltmore...beautiful grounds.  (I'm not talking about the "interior" of the hotel because it really isn't worth mentioning---it's old and in serious need of a re-do!!) 

The "get away" was great...we loved the sunshine, warm weather, great food and good friends.  Now the flip-flops, crop pants and swim suit are tucked away til next spring.  (The low here tonight is supposed to be 27....brrrrrrr!)

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Homecoming, 2011....

Today was the perfect October day for Homecoming....bright blue sky, crisp fall morning, and lots of sunshine and loyal Vandal fans!!  We are entertaining 4 of our 6 grandchildren for the weekend and the parade was definitely the highlight of the day!

There were marching bands, mascots, floats, politicians ( :0/ ), and lots of candy---the kids favorite part!!
The game followed the parade, but we won't talk about that, we don't want to spoil the "parade high!"

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

DC, The Vandals, Battlefields and more...

We just returned from Washington, DC last night, and I'm trying really hard to stay awake! :0)  Re-adjusting to pacific time from east coast time is tough.  We had such a fun time, saw lots of great things and cheered on the Vandals when they played the University of Virginia.  I didn't take my camera, but with my iPhone and the Camera+ app I was able to take some pretty great pictures to share.

The first evening in DC we went to Georgetown for dinner. We have never been to's a hustling, bustling place with so many fabulous restaurants and shops.  As we were eating dinner (seated right beside a huge, open window) a rainstorm with thunder and lightening started.  A thunder clap and lightening bolt struck a foot from our table!!  (Well, it actually wasn't probably that close, but it sure seemed like it. We all jumped a foot!) :0)

The next day we met my sister, Jean, at Union Station for lunch.  We had never been there before...what an amazing place! It's full of shops and restaurants, and the best part...trains and the metro actually come and go from there!

After lunch we walked over to the Capital building and took a tour. We didn't run into the President...darn, but we had a great time.  I haven't seen Jean since last January, so it was wonderful to get to spend the afternoon together.

Looking "up" while standing under the rotunda in the capital...

Statuary Hall...

Friday we left DC and headed for Charlottesville, Virginia.  Our drive through the Virginia countryside was beautiful!  On Saturday we cheered on the Vandals when they played the University of Virginia.  The campus is amazing---it was started by Thomas Jefferson and there was beautiful building after beautiful building!  We had a Vandal pre-game celebration and it was so fun to get to meet Vandals from the Virginia/Washington DC area that came to the game.

Edgar Allen Poe was a student there and they have preserved his room...

It was a beautiful afternoon/evening for a football game...

We lost in overtime 20-21, but it was a very fun game.

The last two days were spent at Monticello (Jefferson's home) and Montpelier (James Madison's home) and Manassas (Civil War Battlefields).  SO much history, it was wonderful!!

The view looking out from the front porch of James Madison's home...Blue Ridge Mountains in the distance.

The battlefield at Manassas..."The Battle of Bull Run:, the first major battle of the Civil War.  It was a crazy, busy 6 days! 

It's great to be home!!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

A little escape...

We had a great time last week in Las Vegas.  Jim was attending a Governmental Accounting seminar, and I went along for some R&R!  The conference was at the Palazzo---a beautiful hotel with a sky bridge right over to Fashion Show Mall. The mall is 4 levels--it was like Disneyland for this "retail deprived" girl!! 

Two recommendations for your next trip to Las Vegas...The Palazzo Hotel.  The hotel is beautiful, the restaurants are amazing, and you can walk right through the hotel over to the Venetian and stroll along the canal and listen to the gondoliers singing.  (A little tip---we reserved the room through the Southwest Airlines website and were able to get the room for almost $20 less than the conference rate.)

And, the show we went to on Tuesday night was incredible!! "Human Nature"...

"Human Nature" is four guys from Australia that sing "Motown."  They are managed/produced by Smokey Robinson, and their show was amazing!  They danced and sang for two hours accompanied by a fabulous band!  And, funny thing...I could sing-along to almost every song.  Motown music is timeless, we loved every song!!

Not much grass is going to grow under our feet...we leave on Wednesday to go to Virginia to cheer on the Vandals against the University of Virginia next Saturday!  (And, they are going to need a LOT of cheering!)
More on our trip to Virginia next time!!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Patriot's Day remembered...

 "There is certain enthusiasm in liberty that makes human nature rise above itself in acts of bravery and heroism."
~Alexander Hamilton

Monday, August 29, 2011

Craft Day with Nana...

A couple weeks ago I was reading one of my very favorite blogs, Whatever, and the minute I saw this craft I knew that, for a couple reasons, I had to do it...I love crafts and I love rainbows.  So, today K, R and I created these "masterpieces!"  I used the hot glue gun to adhere the crayons to the canvas, and the girls used the blow dryer to create the magic.  It was fun, easy and cheap!  The best kind of craft!!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Three days in Seattle...

Our three day "get-away" to Seattle this past week was wonderful.  It was an anniversary celebration and a chance for us to get a Seattle "fix!"  We love Seattle, always have, and getting to spend a few days there always recharges our batteries!!  Our favorite place in downtown Seattle is Pike Place Market.  We spent a good part of every day there, and loved it!

The fresh flowers are beyone description...they have huge, beautiful boquets for $10!  If I lived there I would fill our house with them!  It's always fun to watch the guys at the fresh fish counter throw the fish around!  And, every corner in the market area has "live entertainment" going from sun up to sun down!  The four guys singing outside the original Starbucks were amazing!  We also saw a guy with a trained parrot, a musician playing the guitar AND harmonica while hula-hooping, and SO much more!  It's great!!

I didn't take my camera (I didn't want to have to carry it around), but my iPhone with the Camera+ app did a great job of capturing some of our special memories!!