Sunday, January 31, 2010

My baby girl turned 9!!!

So...this past week was full of activities, and most of them centered around Kendall's 9th birthday. We make a big deal out of birthdays around here, and I think it's safe to say that we all totally enjoy our special week! The week started off with the family all coming down for lunch, cake and ice cream last Saturday. These days are always a treat, since our family doesn't live in close proximity to us. Kendall received a few Disney gift cards and a lot of money for our upcoming trip to Disneyworld. She was THRILLED, as she wants to have some discretionary funds...and Barry and I were thrilled because now she can spend her own money at the park!
I tried a new cake recipe for the party... a lemon vanilla pound cake with a lemon glaze, and it was a hit! We also made homemade vanilla ice cream and a raspberry/cranberry sauce to go with it...DIVINE! Watch for it on Party in the Pantry, but here's a little sneaky peek...
Oh, I'm sorry...did I skip right ahead to dessert and forget to mention what I made for lunch? Silly me...I apologize. I made a huge batch of chicken and noodles in my new 7 quart dutch oven that Barry got me for Christmas. Oh, and PW's creamy mashed potatoes...they are so good! A spinach salad and whole grain rolls rounded out our tasty meal. I must admit that it was all amazing! I think I'll toot my own horn...toot TOOT!! :)

On Sunday, I hosted a Pampered Chef party here at the cabin. I made even more tasty goodies... loaded baked potato chowder, another spinach salad, lemon cheesecake cheeseball, and a warm "make your own brownie" bar. Mmmmmm!! I should probably mention that the 11 ladies there drained 5 bottles of wine as well...LOL! The weather was really crappy, and I think that contributed to the large number of guests that showed up. We really had a good time, and I am so glad I did it!!! Who says these parties aren't any fun???
Kendall's actual birthday was on Thursday, and we sure had a big day planned. Kendall requested peanut butter rice krispie treats as her birthday treat for her class, and she wore her cute birthday cake hat I got for her at IKEA. After school we came home, grabbed a snack, cleaned ourselves up a bit so we could head downtown to meet Barry and Aunt Jessie for dinner at Buca di Beppo. We had a splendid time, enjoying garlic cheese bread, salad, and proscuitto stuffed chicken. Oh, and don't think we left there without dessert! They brought Kendall her very own HUGE cupcake, and the rest of us shared a big piece of chocolate cake. YUM!After we were sufficiently stuffed, we headed over to Nationwide Arena for the kids' first Bluejackets game. I LOVE hockey, but we don't go much because of our busy schedules. Barry had scored us some club seats at work, so we had a great view of the game. The Bluejackets lost to the Kings, but hey...we had a great time. The kids absolutely loved it! And just for a little more excitement, I had arranged ahead of time for "Happy Birthday Kendall" to be put on the LED banner...she thought that was totally cool! Don't have a picture of that though...I was too busy enjoying the moment. Sorry! But sometimes you've just got to put the camera down, ya know what I mean?

Check back tomorrow for the final celebration of Kendall's birthday week...her bowling party! And yes, I am about "birthdayed out"... :)

Friday, January 22, 2010

COSI...Not just another museum!!!

Well, it's Friday and somehow another week has come and gone in the blink of an eye. I swear I still don't know how that happens! I am finally settling into my new groove of being home more and not feeling that panicky feeling that I won't be able to get it all done. I've been taking time to stop and actually play with the kids, whether it be Lego Star Wars on the Wii, building elaborate Lego structures, checking out High School Musical 3 on Nintendo DS, or reading the Chronicles of Narnia. It's been hard to do in the past, knowing that I really need to get caught up with things around the house, but now having that one extra day is making it much easier and much less stressful! And you know what else? I'm having FUN!!! So yes, I am doing well with the decision to close my office...better than I expected. So all is well there!

I was finally getting around to downloading some pictures from my memory card today, and realized I had some that I hadn't shared yet. I forgot that I had so many pictures on there! These are from little trip we took to COSI, (Center of Science and Industry). If you've never experienced COSI, you definitely's a fabulous place for developing little minds (and let's be honest here...refreshing our big minds too!!!). COSI has a free community day every year, and I just happened to catch wind of it this year. Kendall's friend Riley was coming for a visit, so we thought it was a perfect thing to take the kids to do in the midst of our bitter cold winter. COSI moved into a new building about 10 years ago, and I am ashamed to say that I had yet to see the new building. Kendall had been there 3 times, and Barry had gone twice. BUT THIS WAS MY TIME, I tell you!!! I was so excited!!!

The kids had a ball...there is so much to see, and so many interactive things for them to explore. We even watched the Dinosaur movie on the 7-story movie screen. It. Was. AWESOME!! We all had so much fun - it's not just for kids! Most everything is made for adults to do too. If you live in Ohio or even close, it really is worth the trip! Check out our fun day...

Noah was loving being in this roving submarine...

Kendall trying her hand at running an ice cream shop...

Noah and Daddy checking out how the rear axle gears of a car work...
Shooting water cannons was so much fun!
Noah and gears...his most favorite thing in the world...
The display on childbirth was amazing...
Everyone chips in to help turn the big gears!!
The kids learn how an engine works...
Best Friends 'til the end!!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Random Wednesday Thoughts

It's a beautiful Wednesday afternoon...the sun is as bright as can be, the snow is stunningly white (and melting), and I am cozy in my yoga pants. I have so many thoughts running around in my brain right now...and they are very random. Instead of driving mySELF crazy, I thought I'd take you all along for a ride so you can see what's going on inside my head. Might be fun...or might not!

Where is my freakin' lens cap? I have a bad habit of taking it off to shoot a few pictures and then forgetting to put it back on. I almost always sit it in the same place, but clearly this was not the case last time. It's like it just turned to dust! And yes, this is a distinct possibility, given the level of dust in my house right now...

I'm sending off a little care package to a friend who needs some cheering up right now, and am wanting to make sure I send a good balance of stuff. I've got two non-perishable microwavable meals (both Italian), two boxes of mac and cheese (because who doesn't like mac-n-cheese?), a pound of dry spaghetti, a can of chunky marinara for the spaghetti, a microwavable bowl of udon noodles, a bag of trail mix, and a little bit of chocolate. Sound good? I'm really hoping he enjoys the yumminess!

Why does no one tell me when we are out of chicken feed? Why do I have to find out all by myself when I randomly go out to take scraps to the chickens? HELLLLLOOOOO?!?! This in info I need, since I am the one who buys the feed! Note to self: Discuss with Ms. Kendall when she gets home from school.

I have to plan the goodies for my upcoming Pampered Chef party. I'm thinking Loaded Baked Potato Chowder, Bread Bowl Artichoke Dip, maybe a salad of some sort, and a Warm Brownie Sundae Bar...make your own!! I'm sure I'll come up with something else between now and then too...but wow, I sure hope I have a good turnout! It would be a darn shame if I had to eat all the leftovers, wouldn't it?

Two laptops are really not enough computers for a household of 5 people. I don't like to share.

I'm going away Saturday morning for a girls weekend with two good friends. We will be visiting my old stomping grounds in Toledo...I haven't been there in over 10 years! I'm sure it will be weird and the town hasn't been the same since I left...LOL!! But seriously, I'm starting to wish I had enough time while there to visit some old friends. Guess I'll have to save that for another trip!!

I'm loving my new daily "The Office" desk calendar. The quotes crack me up!! For instance this little nugget for today: "Okay, Dwight, let me explain something to you. I set the rules and you follow them blindly, ok? And if you have a problem with that, then you can talk to our complaint department. It's a trashcan." I have an unnatural obsession with this show. I have all 5 seasons on DVD and watch at least an episode a day. Yes, I have issues...but so does everyone else, and besides, mine are pretty harmless. :)

I hate to admit it, but I'm kind of enjoying going to the gym. But don't ask me to run with you. EVER. I'm not interested.

I'm going to NYC this summer/fall with my two best friends. This will be the first time for all of us...and we're VERY excited. Should I keep this sassy little short cut, or let my hair grow out again and let the natural wave flow? Decisions, decisions, decisions....

I love lasagna. Enough said.

I cannot tolerate one more person complaining about the weather. It is what it is. We live in Ohio, and it snows in the winter. Deal with it or move. Quit wasting all of your energy complaining about things you have no control over.

I'm consumed with sadness over the tragedy in Haiti. I cannot even imagine. Oh, and Pat Robertson should really keep his small-minded ideas to himself. What a numbskull. And he calls himself a Christian? Really?!?!

My dog is the best dog in the world. Really!

I'm hungry. I want some chocolate chip cookie dough. But I probably won't make any...that would make last night's torture session at the gym pointless.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Snowy Days

This week, we finally are in the throes of winter here in Ohio! I actually like winter, and it seems like I'm always in the minority. I like hunkering down for a winter storm, watching movies, and making hearty meals that we eat downstairs while watching a movie. And no, we don't do that all the time...but a good snowstorm is cause for special things! This particular winter, we've introduced the munchkins to Star Wars...and they LOVE it!! We had the original trilogy on VHS, but I found a sweet deal on Amazon for both trilogies, so I picked them up. We are having so much fun watching them as a family! I make some kind of special snack, we all get into our pj's, build a fire, and snuggle up in the basement to watch the power of The Force. Kendall is sooooo into it. It helps that she got Lego Star Wars for the Wii for Christmas, of course...but now she is obsessed with the movies and the entire storyline. I love it!

On Wednesday the kids had a 2 hour delay, yesterday they had an early dismissal due to the deteriorating road conditions, and today is a snow day. So what are they doing right now? Watching Attach of the Clones. OF course. But hey, I'm good with it. I may even go down and join them!

Yesterday after the early dismissal, they got bundled up and headed out in to the snow. They were so excited to have more than just a mere dusting of snow to play in! Out came the sleds, snow pants, and boots...and they were off! Of course, I had to take a few pictures...
It seems to be cold everywhere right now...what are you doing to try to lighten up the days of winter and make them a little more fun?

Sunday, January 03, 2010

2010...A New Year!


I just love the promise of a new year, don't you? I mean, I'm kind of weird like that anyway...I always prefer to start a new type of schedule on a Monday, usually at the first of the month, never in the middle. I'm sure this relates to something in my childhood and I need some kind of intense therapy...but hey, it works for me, so who cares? I just like things to make sense, and starting at the beginning makes sense to me, whether it be at the beginning of the day, the week, the month or the year!

For New Year's Eve, we did the same thing we've done the past 3 or 4 years...had a party here for everyone that didn't have a babysitter or didn't want to go out on the town. It's actually quite fun...everybody gets to dress comfortably (we even had a pajama party one year), and the kiddos have their own little party in the basement while we adults get to visit. We have yummy food, plenty of drinks, and excellent company. This year we even busted out the Totally 80's Trivial Pursuit. Come to think of it, I don't think we ever finished the game! We got distracted when the ball started to drop, and never picked it back up...ADD, anyone???

Anyway, as usual, we started out our new year just the way we like it...with friends. The party was small, but just as much fun...and let me just say, I don't know as much about the 80's as I expected to! Boy, did I feel like a dunce! No matter...we were all stumped quite a few times, and it was fun anyway.

So let me ask you a you make a New Year's Resolution every year? I've had years where I didn't and years where I did...and I'm not really sure I'm good at sticking with them very long. But regardless, I do like reflecting on the past year and really thinking about how I can improve. Last year, I resolved to have more patience. I have lots of patience for my clients, friends, and even perfect strangers! Why is it that I have so little with my family? It boggles my mind, and I really hate it. Well guess what? I didn't do so well last year. I mean, I improved a little...I'm pretty sure of that, but not where I want to be. So guess what's at the top of the list again this year?


What else? I'd really like to get better at keeping current on my blogging. For a while there, I really lost my inspiration in the busy-ness that is my life. But I'm feeling renewed, and also feeling like I actually do have interesting things to say once blogging is something I'm resolving to do better!

One more thing...LOVING and RECEIVING LOVE. I didn't grow up in a touchy-feely-huggy type of family, so sometimes it's uncomfortable for me when people I don't know well try to hug me. For the most part, it's not a problem...I've really overcome most of the uncomfortableness over the past 20 years, and now will actually grab people out of the blue and give them a big ol' squeeze. But I want to do better at letting my friends and family know that I love and appreciate them. I want to do better at receiving love too. It's hard sometimes to receive! But you know what? I LIKE to be loved...why can't I just soften up a bit and allow myself to enjoy it? I will in betcha!!

So those are my big 3, folks. What are you looking to improve in 2010? Or do you not make a resolution? Just curious!!
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