Sunday, December 30, 2007


My mom is now home from the hospital after a 2-night stay again. She had to receive 2 more units of blood as well as platelets. We should find out today when her appointment is going to be at Barnes to see a hemotologist there and hopefully begin a treatment plan. So far, she is taking everything pretty darn well.

All in all, we had a pretty good Christmas. After 4pm church service, we celebrated with Hubby's side of the family on Christmas Eve (this is always held at our house) and had a good time. Every year, I plan to make less food than the year before and every year, it amazes me how much food ends up being in our house! I ask people to bring something and they end up bringing several things. But it's all yummy so that's great!

Then on Christmas Day, the 4 of us exchanged gifts in the morning and then went to Hubby's HUGE family dinner for lunch. We came back from there, spent an hour or so at my parents' house and then came home so Hubby and I could nap. We got up about 6:00 and decided to go to a movie! I've never been to a movie on Christmas before but let me tell ya, the movie theater was certainly a hoppin' place! I think it was one of the only places open for business so go figure. We had a quick bite at Jack-in-the-Box (one of the very few restaurants we found open)first and then of course also had popcorn at the movie. B1, B2, and I saw "Enchanted." B2 had already seen it at a birthday party but was willing to see it again. B1 wasn't so thrilled about this movie choice but we had to take what was appropriate and she ended up liking it, as did I. Cute movie. Hubby saw "Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story." He didn't really say much about it.

We celebrated with my parents and brother on Dec. 26. Mom stayed on the couch most of the time but was at least sitting up and took part in the exchange as she always does. We did some family pictures in front of the tree as we always do too. The girls made out like bandits with their gifts from Santa and their grandparents. They really helped to keep our minds off of Mom because they don't realize how serious her condition is, so they go about being themselves, which is the best medicine to help me. Even when they fight, it's so "normal" that is makes me feel better! Weird, I know.

New Year's Plans: We are going bowling with 2 other families. We have done this several years now and we have a really good time. We rented 2 lanes from 7:00 - 12:30am. Everyone brings food to share and there are special prizes given during the evening, etc. I can proudly say that I have ALWAYS been with my kids at midnight on Dec. 31. We have a traditional "family kiss" that we do every year.....all 4 of us pressing our lips together at the stroke of midnight. I love it!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Prayers Please

Merry Christmas, everyone!

This year's Christmas has been kind of tough for me. My mom was diagnosed on Friday with a bone marrow condition. We don't know a lot about it yet as the doctors didn't have the full tests back. I am going to go with them back to the doctor on Thursday and hear everything he has to say as well as treatment options. My mom is very weak and anemic. She is also sad at the idea of not being on this earth as long as she has planned and would like. I am so very thankful that I have Hubby, B1, and B2 to help me though this, as well as many good friends and family members. I can't help/stop thinking about my dad though, who so far seems to be doing pretty well and is holding up. I don't know if he really is being strong or just trying to do so for the rest of us. I wish I could help him more but knowing my dad, he would think he was being a burden to me if he came to me to just cry. I also think about my brother, who isn't married and doesn't have a family to lean on other than my parents and the 4 of us. I know that God will help us though this and that He never gives people more than they can handle. I believe He chose our family to go through this for some reason, which someday I will know. But we could use some prayers right now, especially my mom and dad.

Friday, December 21, 2007


My kids are all into Webkinz right now. We have 4, but according to them, that's not enough I guess! I have seen the website and it really does look pretty cute. They even have a doggie treadmill and when the dog runs on it, it's adorable! I am thinking I will buy another for each of them for Christmas yet and put it in their stockings. They just recently (after I had the remainder of the shopping already done) became interested in them. There's always something new to spend money on, isn't there?

Hubby and I are going to go to the Blues game on Sunday. This will be our first for the year. I bought tickets from a teacher at school who had to sell them. I think they are pretty good seats, 5 rows off the ice! I've never sat in seats that good! Blues games are special for us because our first date was at a Blues game (3/26/88) and we got engaged at a Blues game exactly four years later (3/26/92). We are excited about our "date" and the girls are excited that they get to spend some time at the home of one of Hubby's basketball players!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Kitchen Pictures

These are the handles we (I) picked for the new cabinets. I chose to have these on both the door-style cabinets AND the drawers (turned the other way, of course) because from past experience, I have found that whenever we have knob-type hardware on drawers, they come loose too easily. Just my opinion.
This is (obviously) a close-up picture of the new countertop, which is wonderful in hiding anything I missed while wiping up!
This space is new storage area for us. Previously, this spot housed a microwave cart, microwave, and a little breakfast table with room enough for 2 to eat. Yeah, we have a lot of "junk" on our fridge, but I think it makes our kitchen look "homey"..... see the Wheaties box on the counter? The picture on it is of the 4 of us!
These pictures were taken in the fall, hence the pumpkin decorations in the window. You can see how our table (which is not new) matches pretty well with the new hardwood floor. The cabinet in the background belonged to my grandma. I like the way it looks in our kitchen.
The barstools basically replaced the breakfast table. They have come in very handy. The girls often eat their breakfast while "bellied-up" to the bar!
This is my favorite picture. I really like how the tile guy put some black accents in to tie the countertop, floor, and cabinets together. The stove is new as well as the microwave, which I like having above the stove. The sink is also new and cast iron, so it was REALLY HEAVY to bring into the house! We are very happy with everything. Although we added more storage space, I of course managed to fill pretty much every spot!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Busy Factor

I am sorry I haven't been posting much lately. The busy-factor of the season has gotten to me. And I was basically done Christmas shopping by December 1. But everything else is just crazy. Tonight, I thought about the fact that I pretty much have something to do every day from now until Dec. 26. Here is the schedule:

Tonight (Dec. 12): I went to the bowling alley in Florissant where I used to bowl in a league with one of my best friends. This was from my working in St. Louis days. It's become a tradition that I go there and we exchange gifts on a Wednesday shortly before Christmas. I can't go next Wednesday (see below as to why).

Dec. 13: I have a gingerbread house bought that B1, B2, and I will most likely decorate. We do this every year. They don't know I've purchased it and if time gets away, they'll never know the difference, but I hope to surprise them with that tomorrow evening. If we don't get it done tomorrow, I'll find time in the following week.

Dec. 14: B1 has piano lessons after school and then 2 basketball games, at 6:00 and 7:00pm. My Knights also play Highland, our biggest rival, at home.

Dec. 15: In the morning, B1 and B2 have practice for the church Christmas program. B1 has a basketball game at 1:00pm and at 5:00, four of her friends and one of B2's friends are coming over for B1's birthday party. We are going out for pizza and games and then back home for a slumber party.

Dec. 16: Church Christmas program and another basketball game for B1 in the afternoon.

Dec. 17: B1's "real" birthday. She will be 11. I plan to pick them both up after school and go to the rush hour show to see the Chipmunk movie. Then meet Hubby at Carlos O'Kelley's Restaurant for dinner. This is where she chose to go.

Dec. 18: Get my hair lowlighted after school.

Dec. 19: B2's gymnastics after school, meet Hubby for dinner, exchange kids, he takes B1 to pitching lessons, then I will come back home for a meeting at church which I MUST attend.

Dec. 20: make "cut-out" cookies with icing (B1 and B2 love this!)

Dec. 21: piano lessons again and then visit with Santa on the square in Highland.

Dec. 22: hopefully not a whole lot going on but I'd like to go to Alton and see the Christmas lights that night.

Dec. 23: start cooking for the next day.

Dec. 24: continue cooking, including the dressing for Christmas Day. Hubby's side of the family will come over around 5:00pm.

Dec. 25: Christmas morning at home, go to Hubby's big family dinner, go to my side's family dinner.

Dec. 26: celebrate with my parents and brother at my parents' house as we have done for several years now.


And that doesn't include ANYTHING I must do for school.

I really do promise that pictures of my ebay purchases and our kitchen will be on my site sometime soon. I just hate waiting for pictures to download!

Friday, December 7, 2007

First-Timer (literally!)

I kept the scoreboard tonight at our girls' basketball game! This was a new experience for me and I am happy to say that it went well. I only got "yelled at" once, from the opposing bench, when I didn't start the clock on time. I can live with that. Also, I accidently put up 11 fouls for the opposing team (Alton) when after 10 fouls, you don't need to put up any more. At the next stop in play, the ref told me in a funny, joking sort of voice "don't put up more than 10 fouls!" It makes it nice when the person sitting next to you keeping the book is someone you consider to be a friend and you help each other out (thank you, Judy!). Then, if one of you makes a mistake, it doesn't seem to be a big deal, you just help out your friend and correct it! I had a good time tonight and would happily do the job again if they need me to.

While I worked the 2 games, B1 and B2 had a good time playing school in my classroom (what better place to do so?). They love having access to the coloring tool on my computer and using the white board as well as the overhead projector. B1 claims she wants to be a teacher when she grows up so this is the perfect place to practice. I called my classroom phone from my cell at each halftime and between games to check on them and ask if they were getting along. They assured me they were but I have my doubts. At this moment, they are in one of those "I love my sister" modes though so Hubby and I are enjoying that. It's pretty rare these days!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Have and Have Not!

So, I like to buy and sell things on ebay. I recently (last Sunday) listed 18 items and by this past Sunday, had sold 15 of them. It was nothing major.....some older Hallmark ornaments I no longer want or need since we have SO MANY "must have" ornaments now, some kids' DVD movies and even some kids' VHS movies. Anyway, I made about $75, which I am happy with. But then of course, since my paypal account now had $$$ in it, I immedimately went shopping on ebay and found 3 items which cost more than the $75 I had made. Go figure. I will say that all 3 of these are Christmas items and I am very excited about all of them. I will be posting about them when they arrive, especially the one that cost the most! I am so excited about that one and I sure hope it meets my expectations! ( has to do with fishnet stockings.....any ideas?)

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Time To Make The Dressing

This will be the first year that I can ever remember that one of my grandmothers won't be making the dressing (yeah, for us it's dressing, not stuffing because we don't actually stuff it into the turkey) for Christmas dinner. See, my 2 grandmothers were cousins (which yes, makes my parents 3rd cousins, kind of gross I guess but it seems to have worked out and my brother and I have no birth defects!) and they followed the same recipe passed down from their grandmother, etc. One of them has always made the dressing for Christmas and usually, it was my paternal grandmother. But last year, she was dying of cancer and in the hospital on Christmas so my maternal grandmother made it. But this year, she has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's and per her doctor, is forbidden to cook ever again. So this leaves the dressing problem.

My mom has the recipe on paper, which was actually written down by her aunt. I read it the other day and it's 5 pages long! She goes into great detail about how to grind the meat, dry the bread, etc. etc. etc. My mom prepares Christmas dinner every year for close to 30 people. She doesn't, however, have the energy to try to make the dressing. So she is checking into places where they might be able to have the dressing made and picked up on Christmas day. This is where I come into play. I thought about trying myself to make it this year. When I told my parents of this idea, I assumed that my dad would have a fit and tell me that I have too much else to do and that I shouldn't worry about it. But no, his reaction to me was to say "I wish you would."

My problem is that I would want to prepare the dressing the day before (the 24th) and on that day/evening, we have Hubby's side of the family over to our house for our celebration with them. I am pretty much busy cooking all day for that meal, which really isn't anything major though, but still takes time. I know that if I attempt to make the dressing, I will be on my feet all day and probably dead by the time comes to actually enjoy Christmas. Then again though, I will be off on the 23rd and I could prepare some of the dishes needed for the 24th on that day. Oh, what to do???

My parents have told me that the dressing "decision" is totally up to me. Either way, my mom is going to order the carry-out stuff, just in case I decide to try it and end up screwing it up. And if it turns out OK, then she will freeze the carry-out stuff in portions small enough for her and my dad for the next several months.

I really would like to try it and see if I'm up to the task. And if it turns out well, that's awesome, but if not, at least I tried. What do you all think?