Saturday, November 29, 2008

I believe... exact words were, "you guys can have fun, just please don't get muddy." Apparently, what they heard was, "blah, blah, have fun, blah, blah, blah."

Friday, November 28, 2008

Black Friday!

The alarm went off at 4am today. I hauled my body out of my cozy bed and prepared to meet my Mom in town at Starbucks at 5am. We were going on a mission! We decided to take on Black Friday!

By the time I reached Starbucks I was awake and excited about our adventure. After a caffeine charge we headed to Kohl's. Madness! I have only been to Kohl's a couple of times so I wasn't too familiar with the layout of the store. Major disadvantage! We had a couple of items that we just had to find. We went scouting and I found myself sidetracked. I completely lost my Mom in the chaos. Somehow, she ended up in jewelry. She called my cell phone and I went in search of her. My mom is a short little thing so you can't spot her by looking over the displays. It wasn't until she popped out in to an aisle that I saw her. We regrouped and refocused and got what we needed too. We met some very nice ladies in line to chat with for the next hour while we waited to pay for our treasures. After that, nothing could stop us!

We went to my new favorite store, Sur La Table. I thought it was just another she-she cooking store...and it is... but they have the most fun gadgets and gizmos! Loved it! Then we were off to Joanne Fabrics and then to a well-earned breakfast at Marie Callenders.

I guess the breakfast recharged my energy stores because when I got home I tackled the yard! When we decided to by this chunk of property I wasn't thinking about yard maintenance. Ugh! Twice a year we have to do major sprucing up! So, I took on the trees! I got 12 of them trimmed and slick looking. My dear, darling husband even fired up the chainsaw and did some major hacking on a mess of a tree in the back. I wanted to try out the chainsaw, but he said he didn't want to go to the ER today...hmph!

As I type this the leftovers are heating, the kids are bathed and yummy smelling, the dogs are snoring, and I am realizing that I am insanely exhausted! But what an awesome day! Our Christmas shopping is near complete! Our yard is looking decent again! And, the sounds of an evening at home are around me. Good stuff!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Count Yer Blessings!

I know. In times of great upheaval it is very hard to remember to count your blessings. But, with Thanksgiving upon us, now is the perfect time to take a moment and give thanks.

I am very blessed and have many reasons to give thanks...

1. I have faith in God and trust He will provide for my family.

2. My husband is just amazing. He loves me even when I scare myself when I see my bedhead in the mirror.

3. I have two absolutely incredible children who are happy and healthy and keep things hopping!

4. I absolutely treasure my parents, my brother, my nephew, my niece, my in-laws, my aunts and uncles, my grandparents.

5. I have amazing friends that I can laugh and cry with.

6. I have three doggies that defy their arthritis and greet me each morning with a wagging tail. And, I have three cats who let me pet them...sometimes.

7. I have a home bursting with laughter and love.

8. I have crazy low cholesterol.

9. I have legs that like to run.

10. I have a job. In a tough economy, I am blessed to have a paycheck coming in.

That is just a few of the things I am thankful for this year. Be sure to count up your blessings, you will have more than you realize!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Disneyland truly IS the happiest place on Earth!

I love, love, love Disneyland. I can't recall a time when I didn't realize there was a Disneyland. Growing up, my grandparents lived in the LA area so we were regular guests at the famous theme park. Disneyland has always been a special place for me and, now, I love sharing it with our kids. I am delighted that, despite a screeching ride on the Matterhorn with Mitchell, they love Disneyland too!

We spent a full day enjoying Disneyland. We rode Dumbo, the Disneyland Railroad, The Monorail, Finding Nemo Submarines, Astroblasters, Pirates of the Caribbean, Astro Orbiter...and, um...yes, The Matterhorn. Mitchell's favorite ride was Autopia. He and I shared a car and he LOVED driving around the course. Driving with him is not for the faint of heart or the was a rather jolting experience that had us both laughing!
Ellie said she most liked "The Boats." I am not sure if she meant the Storybook Land ride or It's a Small World both of which we rode. Ellie also met Dear Minnie Mouse, who is her favorite character!

We need to rack up some more Dream Dollars on the Disney Visa since Mitchell and Ellie are already wanting to go back. And, judging by his expression in the photo below, I would say that Todd is rip-roaring ready also...

That man just makes me laugh!

So we have some lessons we learned at Disneyland...

Keep a bit of Disney Magic in your heart this Christmas Season...

Be good to our planet 'cause we need her...

Make friends with all gorillas...

And remember, it is always good to be a little bit, well, Goofy!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Tractor Kids and Christmas Shopping

My husband is a dear and patient man. He loves me and therefore accepts my quirkiness without question. Today, he gamely joined me Christmas shopping. That's right...I said Christmas shopping.

I absolutely love Christmas. I love giving gifts. I love baking cookies. I love decorating the the tree, the house, the yard. I love talking to our children about the birth of Jesus. I love the whole package, with one exception...I do not like to shop with crowds. Oh, I like to shop...just not with hoards of people clamouring about and breathing down my neck. So, about this time every year, I get the itch and off we go!

My wonderful parents took care of the kids for us today so we could freely shop for Transformers and anything Disney. Before the birthday party where I hear Mitchell made the first hole in the pinata, Grandpoppa took Mitch and Ellie to his work where they had a bunch of fun on the tractors.

I admit that I chose not to include the picture of darling Miss Ellie digging in her nose for gold!
Now, I remember how much I loved to visit my Dad's work as a child. I remember climbing up on those great tractors and sitting there pretending I was plowing a huge field. I remember the bouncy tractor seats and the feel of the enormous wheels. I even remember the smell of the parts department inside the building. Because I know this, I know what a wonderful time our children had today. I love that they are rough-and-tumble rugrats! I know that they were proud to be visiting Grandpoppa's work place. It was a special treat for them. And, I really hope Ellie didn't leave any boog's on a steering wheel.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Skinny Jeans

In dressing our two-year old, my hubs managed to unearth the last remaining article of clothing sized at 18-months. I walked in as he was wrestling Ellie into the ultimate in skinny jeans.

"I think those are 18-months," I commented.

"Let's see how they look," he replied.

With one great tug the jeans were on and Ellie was upright. She started to laugh and lost her balance. Unable to bend her legs, she fell over like a board. We all started laughing at that point. Daddy asked if she could stand up. She gave her legs as stiff swing and then firmly declared "No!" then she burst into a fury of giggles.

As I was walking away I heard Daddy tell Ellie, "We need to put these in the giveaway bin so I don't find them again!"

I just love that man!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Three for Three!

Five weeks ago I completed my first of three half-marathons. Today, I crossed the finish line of number three with my brother. It was the Inaugural Two Cities Marathon and Half. It was SO fun! I completed the race in 2:28:06 with Jason a step ahead of me with 2:28:05. If anything, we are consistent!

In the picture, Jason is celebrating the approaching finish line and I am cheering on the cheering sections! We made it our goal to cheer those who came to cheer us on and the response was so amazing! Our bibs were personalized, so as we clapped for those on the sidelines, they would yell support using our first names..."Way to go Jason!"; "Alright Jennifer!" It was a blast! I still get the tingles!

We were fortunate to have support from friends and family. When you find yourself miles deep in a race there is nothing better than a familiar face rooting you on!

The course was great! The breakfast at the end absolutely hit the spot! I love my shirt and my sweatshirt. It was a great adventure that I would definitely do again!

I am not sure what the next challenge will be. For now, we will keep our miles up and see what strikes our fancy. I know I am not up for the challenge of a full marathon. I wasn't envious of the runners who split from us after Mile 12 to complete the longer distance. We shouted cheers to them and were thankful the finish line for us was just around the corner. I would like to see my dear hubs and my sis-in-law in running shoes. Or, maybe even in a leg of a triathlon relay. I think we will have to see what spring brings!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Our two-legged children are super cute... meet our four-legged family members...who are also super cute!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

A Cowboy, A Superhero, and a Fairy

The kids were supercharged and ready for trick-or-treating this year! We met up with my brother and his crew at my parents house so all three kiddos could trick-or-treat together. They were all so cute and kept us in stitches all evening! Mitchell was a cowboy; Lukas was Captain America; Little Ellie was a fairy.

We trick-or-treated just a few houses, but the kids' pails were plenty full. We had a group of adults following the kids around. Brenda dressed up and joined the fun as an adorable witch. I love her stockings!

We spent the remainder of the evening sitting around my parents kitchen table while the kids burned off their sugar highs. Something about sitting around that table that brings out the laughter. It wasn't long before stories were being told and memories were being rehashed and we all doubled over with laughter. That kitchen table is the gathering place and could tell many stories about my funny family!