Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Been Gone Way Too Long!

I haven't blogged in ages. Boy, time sure does slip away. First of all, I can't believe that we're looking at May right around the corner - wasn't it just Christmas?

We had the most wonderful time sneaking out of here during the kids Spring break. We headed to D.C. with friends of ours. We left here at 1:00 a.m. on Sat. (the 14th?) and drove through the night till we got to Cherry Hill Park in Maryland. What a wonderful campground. Not the usual trees and big sites, but they were great as far as transportation to D.C., tickets & info to monuments & museums, etc. (Of course we had a ton of help from Brenda, a good friend of mine from jr. high!, honestly that woman could be a travel agent!!! We'd have been lost without her)
It was so strange going back to our old stomping grounds. David and I both grew up in Maryland and it has changed so much! At one point we pulled into a townhouse complex to make a U-turn and I thought, "hmmmmm... this looks a bit familiar" well, it ends up that it was where my cousin used to live, I spent many a summer there - but wow, it had changed A LOT!

After driving 11 hours, we pulled into the campground, got settled and headed to D.C. to the National Zoo. (now remember, we'd been up since Friday morning and this was Sat. early afternoon so we were some kind of tired!) The zoo was packed, but everyone had fun.
We even got to see the new baby panda.

We fit so much into this trip. Our days started at 7:00 a.m. and we literally walked all over D.C. till 6:00 p.m.

One evening Brenda took us for a night tour of the monuments. As beautiful as they are during they day, they are even more spectacular at night. This was probably the most structured, well thought out, busiest week "off" that we've ever had. Between the museums, monuments, tours, escalators(don't ask) and shops - we got to see it all. Our first night home we asked everyone what their favorite thing was. The answers ranged from the Arlington Cemetery to Ford Theater, to seeing the original "Star Spangled Banner" in it's newly renovated phase. The thing that I was most grateful that I went to was the Holocaust Museum. I was emotionally drained after going through - but I believe that it is a must-see if you are ever in D.C. It amazes and saddens me that it really wasn't that long ago that all of that happened.

I could write on & on about our trip, but for now I'll just say that I am very grateful that we were able to take the time off of work & spend it with the little guys and that it was a wonderful vacation.

I also want to add that on the Friday night before we left, Brenda took me out to dinner - but not just any dinner. Being on the Cape, the one thing I really, really miss is hard shell crabs. For 14 years, once a year, David has had a bushel flown up for me for my b-day, but other than that they are nowhere to be found. Brenda took me to a place called Gunners (sp?) and I got the BEST crabs I've ever had. She bought me so many that I even had some to bring home (to the Cape!) Thank you again Brenda! :) It was great seeing you and we appreciate all you did for us :)

Oh, and just one more thing... Everyone in D.C, was just so darned nice & helpful. From the guys that were at the Metro to the business people heading home in the evening - everyone we encountered were helpful, smiling, and just plain nice. Man, I miss that "southern hospitality"!

Saturday, March 25, 2006

It's Nice to be Missed

It's so nice to be missed :) Besides the bazillion hugs & kisses, I came home to this wonderful wallhanging in the kitchen. It's a good 4 feet long and has lots of 'missed you' messages. I know that they spent a lot of time & effort making it and I am just so thankful that I have such great kids.

After I take it down, I plan on saving it and using it if & when I'm not feeling appreciated LOL! I'll just unroll it and say "hey, remember when I was gone...."

Yep, it's good to be home

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Going Home

I'm going home. Not my 'real' home, at least not anymore. But it's my original home. It's the land where I was born - where my sisters & brother grew up, where I lived till I was 3. After all these years, it's where my family still is.

Funny, but it's hard going back. (besides the fact that I am TERRIFIED to fly - and I make NO secret of it!), not because I don't enjoy the visit and the memories and seeing my sisters & other family members, but it's hard leaving. Not the country, it's hard leaving mom.

So for those that know me, please keep me in your thoughts and prayers while I'm gone. And say a prayer for David too. He is such an amazing guy. Our business is run by both of us - he's going to have a double load on the business front while I'm gone PLUS, he'll have the weight of doing all the school driving (20 minutes each way 4 times a day - normally we each drive one shift) Not to mention the after school activities, the meals, shopping, laundry - everything. He is going to have his hands very full. I never hope for 'less business' at the shop, but I hope that this upcoming week is a relatively quite & non-crazy one.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Another Birthday

27 - how can that be???

My firstborn, the one I had when I was barely 19, is now 27. She was so beautiful when she was born. Not just the obligatory "what a cute baby" comments from family, but from people that didn't have to make any comments. People remarked about her non-newborn looks. There was no dried or wrinkled skin, no puffyness, none of that... after 24 long hours of labor, she came into the world looking like she was a good 4 weeks old. Bright eyed and ready for the world.

I had no clue what to do with this beautiful little girl - afterall, I was still just a young girl myself wasn't I? In hindsight, she probably taught me more in that first year than I taught her.

I think the hardest part of having a new baby was having to go back to work when she was 2 months old. I remember the day before I had to go back to work,I cried like I've never cried before. I was very, very lucky that 'Oma' offered to watch her while I worked. That was such a blessing. She took care of her like she was her own. I remember sometimes feeling a bit jealous that my mom was spending the time with her that *I* wanted to be spending. My mom always appreciated that I let her watch "the baby" and when Jes was much older, my mom said that it was such a gift that she'd be given. It wasn't till years later that I fully realized that my mom had given me a wonderful gift too.

Both of my parents had a very special bond with J & K. I wish that my last 4 had had the same opportunity. This is my dad "opa" with Jes. He just adored her!

So, flash forward 27 years...
Jes has grown into the most amazing woman. She is still as beautiful, well, no... she's even more beautiful now. She is amazingly smart (and yes, I know, all parents say that about their kids, but she really is!!!) & talented. She has done so much with her schooling & her career. It's just beyond what you would imagine your own child could do. Her siblings adore her & she has a close & very special relationship with each & every one of them. She is married to a wonderful guy, has a beautiful house (the girl decorates like a Pottery Barn designer!) she can run a Cavalier to over 200,000 miles!!! (and I'm happy to say, she now has a brand new car!) and that's only the 1/2 of it.

I am so proud of the woman that she has become. Happy b-day Jes. I love you.

Our Grand-dog

Isn't she pretty?

She's staying with us for the weekend. She loves playing with Shelby. They start wrestling around 6 a.m. and continue on and off all day long. By the end of the evening, they are both spralled out on the floor - exhausted. Our grand-dog tries to play with Hailey, but Hailey's an old lady now (she's 11 or 12) and has no interest in romping around on the kitchen floor. She sits on her bed and watches all the fun, oh, and growls when they get in her space.

Our grand-dog loves to have her belly scratched. I've noticed that when I pet her, she's quick to flop over and is ready for a rub.
This morning when David took her out for a walk, he said that she tunneled through the deeper piles of snow in our front yard with her nose. He said it was funny to watch her each time burrow and come up with a pile of snow right on the tip of her nose. She's a cutie.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

David's Birthday

So he's 14. Hard to believe. I remember when he was born. My tubes had been tied & I never thought I'd have any more children. I was done. I had the 2 best kids in the world - why upset something that was just right? But my life would not have been complete without the last 4.
Our (David & mine) dear sweet generous parents helped us to financially take a gamble - $12,000+ out of pocket. Odds for success: 15-25%. We beat the odds.
What a blessing he has been. He is sweet, he is sincere, he is kind and he is naive. He loves his family, loves God, respects his parents, & adores all of his sisters. He has no problem teasing the younger 3, but will take up for them in a hearbeat. He looks up to and so respects his older two sisters. So much so that when he talks about them you can see the glow in his eyes. J & K have always doted on him. They helped feed him, changed his diapers, sang to him & played with him. They have earned that special spot in his heart. When he talks about them it is with admiration & respect. He wants to grow up and be just as successful and 'neat' as they are.

This is Jes & David at Christmas. I have pictures of Kristin with the girls at Christmas, but not one of just her & David - but if I did, you'd see that same happy glow. He loves it when they come "home" and adores them both as much now as he ever has.

I can not imagine life without our only son. Cast in the middle of 5 girls - he handles it so well.

The 'little guys' all make eachother gifts for their b-days and this year was no exception. Shauna made David a keychain that said "you rock". Elizabeth made David a 'door hanger' (it was supposed to be a bracelet, but she knew he'd never wear it, so she changed the title to 'door hanger' Anyway.... She ran out of letters. She wanted to spell "best brother" - but had no t,h,e or r. So she came up with 'best bro'. Great! Except that she strung the letters backwards. When David opened the gift, he said "cool! best orb!!!" (mom, what's an orb???)
Elizabeth offered to restring it, but Dave asked her not to - he wanted to remember it just as it was.

That's my guy.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

an Adventure

We're back from another winter adventure.

What a fun trip. Both days David took the little guys to race in the Nastar races. I am proud to say that David, David, and Ashley all placed and received a bronze metal. Elizabeth & Shauna were only a fraction of a second (literally) from placing. They'll try again next time :)

It was fun skiing with Michele. We had no kids to worry about since they were at the Nastar races. We got in so much skiing milage. The conditions varied not only from day to day, but on the second day they varied hour to hour. Before we headed in for lunch, the conditions were pretty icy (which I hate). Then it started snowing - it wasn't that heavy, but it was steady. We came out an hour later and headed to the summit - the ice patches were all gone & it was just thick, fluffy powder.

On one of our black diamond runs I encountered a small problem. My confidence was high, I was very comfortable - life was good - when from behind a snowboarder came at me and literally ran me over. Him knocking into me threw me into the air & then I landed with a thud on my right thigh. Michele missed the entire thing because she was in front of me. Some nice lady came over to make sure I was okay. I got up, met Michele at the bottom and we continued on. A few runs later, out of nowhere Michele starts laughing. She had come up with a line to a new song... "Grandma got run over by a snowboard" LOL! That night when they came over for dinner we were treated to watching Michele & her family sing & act out the first verse. Friends... you gotta love them.

Besides the skiing, we had the most incredible sledding conditions. We hiked up our "secret" hill and the conditions were so much fun for the kids. They plowed down on their taboggans and the snow was so thick & deep that the kids looked like one big fluffy cloud barrelling down the hill.

One more ski trip in March and our winter camping will come to an end. It goes by way too fast.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

A Penny Saved...

We have finally finished rolling our pennies that were in the 5 gallon water jug. We had just over 27100 pennies! Sounds like a lot (and if you ask Elizabeth, it's a ton - and rolling them is a thankless job!) It was 'only' $271.00. I say 'only' because I thought for sure that my original guess of $200.00 was way too low, and that David's guess of $700.00 would be closer. Wishful thinking. The thing that is weird is that years ago when the jug was not even half full, David remembers taking a coffee cup & doing a rough count of how much was in there. He thought that at that point we were close to $200.00. I guess he was wrong :(
Elizabeth was the force behind the rolling. She spent many, many hours counting, rolling & stacking.
These are just a few of the containers that she filled. I still can't get over it - 27100!!!

David loaded up his car & took them to the bank. Now the bank was the one that told us that they had to be rolled. Well, when David got there they had run out of trays and the teller said to David that he could just 'unroll them all' and they could go in increments of $50.00 in a bank bag.
David told the lady that there was no way that he was going to go home & tell Elizabeth that she had rolled them all for nothing. She'd have been devastated - all those countless hours for nothing! Now, on to counting the dimes, nickles & quarters that our in our other jar. I wonder if Elizabeth is busy...

Sunday, February 19, 2006


I was working from home on Friday (sweet!!!) I had lots of scrapping plans after my paperwork & cleaning projects were done. But after I finished the paperwork & moved from room to room while I was cleaning, I saw that I really needed to move my attention to the kids 'homework center'. You see, I had a project in mind.... The kids have a homework center in the loft above our livingroom. There is an extra long desk, complete with a computer, pens, paper, - everything you need to do your homework. The only thing wrong was that the chairs needed a 'face lift'. I had bought a yard of fabric and 2 extra thick foam squares at Joann's about a week ago. (that alone is another story! I thought that the fabric I picked out was $9.99 a yard, but I must have read wrong - it was $18.00 a yard... oh well, it's still a good price all things considered). I wish I had taken 'before' pictures because the chairs really looked bad. The padding had disinegrated to just about nothing and the fabric was worn down & fraying.
I love the new Waverly 'cranberry/off white stripe print' - it goes well with our olive green walls.
It was simple to do if you don't factor in the few minor mishaps.
The only 'glitch' in the project went back to blue & pink jobs. I never use staple guns and I guess they are technically a blue job in our house (and I certainly never use electric staple guns!) Who knew that the staples had to be loaded a certain way.... why do they not have simple instructions engraved in the metal ends of the gun????
3 hours and countless staples & phone calls to David later.... project done and I love the new chairs :)

Thursday, February 16, 2006

38 Questions

I Got Tagged...by Nancy

1. What is your occupation? business owner
2.What color is your underwear? random question!
3. What are you listening to right now? the early show
4. What was the last thing you ate? chicken salad
5. Do you wish on stars? no
6. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? navy
7. How is the weather right now? cold
8. Last person you spoke to on the phone? Sue
9. How old are you today? 46
10. Favorite drink? iced tea
11. Favorite sport to watch? skiing
12. Have you ever dyed your hair? no, just highlights
13. Do you wear contacts or glasses? no, but I should
14. Pets? 2 dogs, 2 ferrets, 1 guinea pig
15. Favorite month? December
16. Favorite food? almost any seafood
17. What was the last movie you watched? Whatever Happened to Baby Jane
18. Favorite day of the year? Sunday
19. What do you do to vent anger? Shop :)
20. Hugs or kisses? hugs
22. Living arrangements? single family home
23. When was the last time you cried? a couple of weeks ago
24. What is on the floor of your closet? shoes
25. Who is/are the friends you have had the longest? Sue
26. What did you do last night? cleaned, watched a movie
27. Favorite smell? clean laundry
28. What inspires you? my family
29. What are you afraid of? snakes, spiders,
30. Plain, cheese or spicy hamburgers? cheese
31. Favorite car?
32. Favorite dog breed? lab
33. Number of keys on your key ring? 6
34. How many years at your current job? 10
35. Favorite day of the week? Sunday
36. How many states have you lived in? 2
37. How many cities have you lived in/name them? 8
38. What was the last book you read? A Million Little Pieces

I'm tagging Dawn :)

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Happy Valentine's Day

This morning David brought me a Valentine's Day bag with my coffee. It was the sweetest thing ever. Inside was a dura-flame log, 2 types of cheese, crackers, a frog for my collection, and a note asking me to spend an evening in front of the fire with him after we go out to dinner :) What a wonderful way to start my day. I am married to such a sweet guy!

Monday, February 13, 2006

My Husband the Photographer

David recently bought me a new 9.0 mega pixel camera. Yes, he totally spoils me :) Well, I'm the type of person that when we get a new (fill in the blank) I want to read, or should I say, I want David to read the instruction manual cover to cover. Of course, David just likes to dive right in (he'll deny that, but it's true) We've taken quite a few pictures with the new camera, but here are a couple that David took. This is the first one he took and he calls it

then there's


And finally "Frozen Tree"

Pure talent I tell you! Should our business ever fail, I know how we're going to make a living :)

Sunday, February 12, 2006

OT Coffee Invitation

Well, since I've decided against turning the sunroom into my scraproom I've taken Dawn's suggestion and started brewing the coffee. Cookies are being served too - though they are store bought, not homemade :(

If you'd like to bring your scrapping supplies, that would be great. And if you happen to have a c.j., bring that too - I'm dying to see what they look like in real life. Since we're in the midst of a 'blizzard' you should probably bring your boots, mittens, hat & a sled. We can go build a snowman or go sled riding when we need a scrapping break. See you all in the sunroom!

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Comments always help :)

Thanks for the imput on my sunroom topic. I hadn't thought about the paper fading or about not being able to go up in storage. Thanks for the input :)

Friday, February 10, 2006

the Sunroom

David offered to let me take over the sunroom as my new scrap space. My scraproom now is on the small side - plus it's an office/scraproom combo so I have all my paperwork in there too. We don't use the sunroom very much - though when we first moved here we swore that we were going to drink our coffee there every morning (we've only done that a handful of times). The room itself would make a great scraproom. With all the natural light it's always bright & sunny. Oh well, something to think about...

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Max & Oliver

No matter how good or bad your day is, just go see Max & Oliver & you end up laughing and smiling. They are just the cutest! They are always getting into mischief
It's almost like having toddlers around. Actually, it's exactly like having toddlers! We've had Max & Oliver for 2 years now and it's hard to remember what it was like before they joined our family. For those that don't know about ferrets, to me, they are like a cross between a dog & a cat. Both of ours are litter trained, come when called, love to please, yet have a mind of their own. They say that 3 is a good ferret number, so I am sorry that we didn't expand our 'business' (a group of ferrets)while M & O were still young. The kids even had a name picked out for number #3 - they wanted an albino & picked the name "Stewart Big". We certainly have room. Max & Oliver have a 3 story penthouse cage. It's about 5 feet tall, 4 feet wide and about 3 feet deep. Now that Max & Oliver have been alone together for 2 years, I don't think it would be easy to introduce a new ferret to their home :( I remember how difficult it was when Max, who was just a couple of months old, but had been an "only child" for a few months, got his roomy - Oliver. Poor Oliver, he was just a baby & Max treated him like his own personal squeeky toy! Dragged him everywhere. It was part of determining their 'status' in the group. It was hard to watch, but pretty typical of ferret behavior. Now, just look at them They are the best of friends and hang out together all the time. I mean, honestly, who would put up with their best friend sharing a hammock???

When Jessica & Kristin were little they each had a ferret. Slinky & Sammy :) Jessica got Slinky first - and Slinky was such a sweatheart. She loved to cuddle & be held. Not too much later we got Sammy... eeks! What a piece of work he was! He was a toe bitter and nipped Opa's toes on more than one occasion (not a smart move LOL!)
Not too long ago we went away for the weekend. Max & Oliver's cage have 9 doors - yep, 9. Well, someone (and I won't mention names) forgot to close one of the doors. Ferrets are notorious for digging, so I guess I shouldn't have been surprised to walk in and find that my sunroom, with it's bazillion plants, had been turned upside down! What a mess! Max, was innocent. He just likes to stay close to his hammock - but Oliver... well, he's the naughty one!
But how could you not love this face???

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

The View

What a feeling it is to watch your youngest take a run from the summit. She runs with the big dogs and has no problem keeping up. I have to say, this has been our best ski year ever - well, except for when we used to go to Smuggler's. It is so neat to take the highspeed lift to the summit with all of the little guys and be able to ski as a family. No more bunny slopes (though sometimes I miss those days :) & no more worries about terrain being to difficult. They all love the challenge of a black diamond. I still don't like the terrain park. I've seen the ski patrol at more accident sites than I care to. So, I am thankful that none of the kids want to try the rails and that they are content doing the jumps - at least for now. It's funny how David makes skiing look so easy. I love to watch him - he can do jumps, ski backwards & race down the mountain like no one else. He's a natural and fortunately the kids have his skiing talent.

Now, if we could just get a bit more snow, I'd be an even happier camper!

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Hi Dawn - are you sure this is going to work???

It's new!

This is it! Peer pressure, but hey!