Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Part Deux and a Pep Talk

I have declared 2013 "Year of the Cat, Part Deux".

More organizing to happen this year.

Closets to clean.

Basement to organize.

Junk to be tossed.

Enjoy my first post about Year of the Cat from last February.

Yesterday I had nothing planned.

So I tackled our front hall closet.

It is part coat closet, part arts/crafts closet, part misc. closet.

And it was a disaster.

Everything is just jumbled up here.

Crafts are a disaster.

I have used it as a catchall and there are items that have no business being in this closet.

Like the mason jars.  Don't belong.

And all the arts/crafts needed to be gone through.

Lots needed to be tossed.

Here is the finished product.

Not perfect by any means.

But way better than it was.

I really think I need to move more of the girls crafts.

But, I am not sure where yet.

I will call it my work in progress.

And I really want better shelves.

Hubby will need to be involved.

I love "Year of the Cat, Part Deux".


Now onto the pep talk.

Have you seen the "Pep Talk from Kid President" video that has been circulating on Facebook?

Thank you Aunt Donna for posting it on your blog a couple days ago!

It is just great stuff.

Don't delay.  Watch it now.

His delivery is just fantastic.

I also love how the pep talk quotes Robert Frost's poem which I wrote about a couple weeks ago in my Snowy Road post.

My favorite quote from this is, "If life is a game, aren't we all on the same team? I mean, right.  I'm on your team.  Be on my team."

And I love when he says, "This is life people, we got air coming through our nose."

Really.  Watch the video.

You will love it.  I promise.

And it brings life into perspective.

What happens matters.

Monday, January 28, 2013


Shower time is a great music moments time for the girls.

Lots of nights we are playing different music on Hubby's iPod.

Wide range of music.

Buena Vista Social Club.  Beastie Boys.  The Beatles.  Blondie.  Elton John.  Stevie Wonder.  Norah Jones.

Those are our staples.

Clearly we like the "B's".

And lots of nights Hubby plays his guitar for the girls.


Tonight,  Hubby was playing his guitar.

He was enjoying teaching himself Stevie Nick's "Edge of Seventeen".

D went up for her shower first.

And asked casually if Hubby could come upstairs too.

Hubby didn't realize it was because D wanted him to play guitar for her.

So after a few minutes I prodded Hubby to go upstairs.

Which he did quite easily.

And worked on his rendition of the song.

It was quite good.

It really is a great song.

D seemed to enjoy it as well.

Once E was in the shower, Hubby had stopped playing guitar and was playing the music on his iPhone.

Of course, with E, Beastie Boys was played.

And then Jamiroquai's "Virtual Insanity".

That's a great one to play.

After the girls were ready for bed we got to talking about the video for "Virtual Insanity".

So, of course we watched it.

Great, great song.  Video is neat too.

And as a rabbit trail will do, seeing that video reminded me of Ok Go's video for "Here It Goes Again".

Such a great video.  And worthy of watching again.

I love this video.

Such a simple concept.  But, wow.  Super fun to watch.

And the tune is pretty catchy too.

I love our music moments with the girls.

It's a great way to introduce them to all different kinds of music.

And I haven't even mentioned that we listened to The Sound of Music's "Do-Re-Mi" while E was brushing her teeth.

Such a variety of music tonight.

Great music moments.

That makes me happy.

It was a Grande 5 pump, nonfat, light water Chai kind of day.  It made me very happy on a snowy, slushy, icky afternoon.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Still Life

E took to drawing last night after dinner.

She did quite well.

She drew my wine glass, a mug, the tea kettle, and Hubby's espresso pot.

D did her own drawing too.

She also drew a wine glass, a mug, a flower, and she drew a picture of me.

They were quite happy to be drawing at the counter.

And I was quite happy to watch while I cleaned up after dinner.

E's drawing of my wine glass.

D chose to draw my glass that has my initial on it.

I just love E's rendition of the espresso pot.

She did a great job.

It's a keeper, for sure.

Thursday, January 24, 2013


It is cold out tonight.

Very cold.

Very, very cold.

I think the low is supposed to be somewhere around -3.

Windchill about -15 or even colder.


I feel very thankful to have a warm house tonight.

And I am praying for those that have little heat.

And for those that have no home, I hope they have found somewhere to be inside tonight.

With the cold today and tonight, my mind has wandered to thoughts of warmer days.

Hazy, hot, humid days of summer.

Sounds glorious right now.

Warm Lake Michigan last July

Sun-kissed D

Lucy loves swimming

Sweet sissies

Fishing fun this past summer with friends.  We fished a lot.  Fun for all.

Ahhhh.  The Cape.  It's one of the places that makes me most happy.

E flying a kite in August 2011.

Eating a donut during early morning fishing at the Cape.  Perfect.

Warm hike in Arizona.

Ahhhh.  This was such a nice warm day in Arizona.

There.  That's better.

I feel warmer already.

I want to be there.  Right now.

Warm summer day in Wisconsin.

My family.  Warm and happy.


146 days until the start of summer.

Hot, hazy, lazy days for summer.

Can't wait.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


D tested positive for the flu yeserday.

I definitely wasn't expecting that to happen.

She woke up fine, no complaints not feeling well.

Then at about 1:30 I got a phone call from the school nurse.

She told me D's throat was red and she had a temp of 100.5.

The nurse was funny because she said D was surprised to hear she had a slight fever.

See, she was feeling fine except that her throat hurt.

The nurse and I thought for sure it would be strep.

Off I went to school to pick D up and head to the doctor for 2:30.

Once at the doctor, the nurse said that she would do the test for strep, but if it came back negative then they would do the flu test on D.

I never once thought that the strep test would come back negative.

How wrong I was.

Strep test was negative.

So they tested for the flu.

We actually had to leave the office to go get E from school before the results of the flu test were ready.

The doctor made sure to get my cell so they could call me when they had the results.

And sure enough as we were walking out of school with E as well as with my friend R and her kids, the doctor's office called me.


We have a winner.

Flu test was positive.


A prescription for Tamiflu was D's prize.

And I must say Tamiflu is wonderful.

It is lessening the symptoms for D.

Her fever is down and actually non-existent at this point.

She is stuffy and she has started a bit of a cough.

I have also started her on her nebulizer medicine.

That should help keep her lungs clear and help lessen the cough.

Tonight when hubby got home she was so chatty with him.

Very chatty.  And funny.

She will be staying home again tomorrow to get some more rest.

But, if she is doing ok at the end of tomorrow then I will send her back to school on Friday.

And I only hope that the rest of us don't get sick with the flu.

D struck with the flu.

D spent the day on the couch.

Lucy was a good snuggler throughout the day.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


42 is a good number.

When it's the temperature of the room you are sleeping in on the first night of your weekend away with friends, it's not such a great number.

So this past weekend was the weekend in which I was away with my friends J, R, C, and S scrapbooking in a neighboring state up north.

We left on Friday afternoon and came home Monday afternoon.

We had a great time.

Aside from the fact that the heat did not work the 1st night in our condo unit.

And we didn't know this until close to 12:30 in the morning when we were going to bed.

The room temp was 42 degrees.

That's cold.

Very, very cold.

Cold as in can almost see my breath cold.

There may or may not have been a little bit of whining from all of us about how cold the room was at that point.

But, we turned the heater on and were all optimistic that the room would warm up.

So we readied ourselves for bed.

And not long after shutting off all the lights, the heater shut off.

I got up.  Turned it back on.

Minutes later it shut off again.  Up I went and hit the on button again.

And climbed back into a cold bed.

It was at that point 56 degrees in the room.

Well, I should say it was 56 degrees in the 2 square feet around the heater.

None of us slept well.

At another point in the night, R got up to turn the heater on.

By 5, C&J were up trying to get the heater going too.

To no avail.

And it was cold.

By 7am, I was very tired from not sleeping well and very cold.

I was happy to get up and get in a hot shower.

That felt good.

Phone calls were made and maintenance came.

Nothing the maintenance guy told us made us happy.

Especially J.

We discovered that the heaters were run on propane and none of the units have CO detectors.

That's bad.

J's worry all night was that we would die from CO poisoning.

So she didn't hardly sleep at all.

There may or may not have been a bit more whining about how cold we all were through the night.

And there were some laughs too.

I myself had rationalized that we would not die of hypothermia through the night.

42 was cold, but not that cold.  And we all had good blankets on our beds to help keep us warm.

All good rationalizations.

And true.

We decided quickly that we would be moving our things to a different unit.  And definitely not staying in the same unit with space heaters.

I must say that where we stay is a quaint Christian camp on a lake.

It's beautiful, but the accommodations are basic and not luxurious.

And that's good for a weekend when you are hardly in your room.

But, heat is important.

So we moved to a different unit that day after lunch.

Thankfully a fellow scrapbooker(and R's sis-in-law) was staying in a unit identical to ours all by herself.

She gave us her unit and took a room in the main lodge.

All's well that ends well.

And the rest of the weekend was great.

We had lots of fun.

And we laughed a lot.

By Sunday night we were very silly.

Laughing at just about anything.

Let's just say there was a lot of laughing as we were all trying to help R sing this song.

Well, actually just sing one word from this song, "Trouble".

It was great fun.

And I will not be able to hear this song without laughing and thinking about how much fun we had with this song that Sunday night.

Such a great way to spend a weekend with friends.

And I got a lot of scrapbooking done.

Because I really only do it this one time a year.

Who knows?  Maybe I will get some more done through this year.


Here is an oldie but goodie of D&E with J and K.

Sissy and I were telling them to pretend to be tigers while we were taking their pictures.

I just love E's face.

And I love that J and K are getting into it as well.

Such good cousins.

I love covered bridges.

Especially red covered bridges.

J & I ventured out on Sunday afternoon to a Michael's.

There were a few supplies that were needed.

So off we went.

And in our travels out and back we traveled over 3 covered bridges.


A great weekend indeed.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Snowy Road

It was a beautiful ride to school this morning with the girls.

There were blue skies.

And snow clinging to the trees.

Picture perfect winter morning.

As much as I don't enjoy winter all the time, mornings like today help get me through the icky part of winter.

I very much enjoyed my ride on our country roads today.

And it feels good to appreciate the beauty.

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
~~Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
~~Robert Frost

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Snow Day, Sick Day

Today was a snow day.

Our first one of the winter.

Hopefully our last one too.

Not that I don't enjoy snow days.

I just don't enjoy the extra days that we have to go in June to make up the snow days.

Regardless, today was a lovely day to have a snow day.

You see, I am sick.

I have a terrible cold.

It hit me full force Monday.

Monday night sleeping I could barely breathe.

It was not pretty.

And yesterday I didn't feel well at all.

By last night I felt awful.

So, I was actually hoping today would be a snow day.

Mostly because it would help me stay home and just rest.

And that's what we did.

The girls had a great day.

They played.  They watched some tv.  They played in the snow.

And they barely bickered at all.

That was music to my ears.

It was a really good day.


Just what I needed as I get ready to go away for a girls weekend in a couple days.

It was perfect snowman making snow.

They girls were quite zealous in their rolling.

Trouble was the snowballs got to big.

And too heavy.


E recruited D to come help her try to move her giant snowball.

Really to no avail.

But they sure had fun trying.

I could see them struggling together to push the snowball.

And then they would giggle because they were not getting anywhere.

It was fun to watch them work together.

Like I said, it was a wonderful day with very little bickering.

I stayed warm in the house, snapping shots of them through the family room windows.

With the way I felt today, the thought of getting cold and wet just didn't appeal to me.

It was a great snow day.

And while it's not fun to have to go an extra day in June, today sure was enjoyable.

I am actually feeling like I've turned the corner on my way to getting better.

A snow day while having a cold.

Just what the doctor ordered.

Monday, January 14, 2013


When I was thinking of a blog title for today, the word "savor" instantly came to mind.

For a couple of different reasons.

I will share those in just a bit.

The interesting thing is I looked up the definition of savor.

And you'll never guess what I found.

There are 10 different definitions/meanings for savor.

That's a lot of definitions.

And it can be used as a noun, a verb(without an object), or as a verb with an object.

Golly that's a complicated word.

And wouldn't you know it, but the definition I was thinking of was #10.

Savor~~to give oneself to the enjoyment of: to savor the best in life

So, go check out all the other definitions of savor.

See which one you like best.

Back to the reason why "savor" is a perfect word for today.

Lucy was enjoying the warm January sun we had streaming through the back doors today.

Savoring it, if you will.

She was so cute in the sun.

It made her sleepy.

She was quite happy to lay in the sun and snooze for a while.

It was a good day to savor the unusually warm January weather.

Any day it reaches 50 here in January, it needs to be savored.

Especially since it looks like there may be some snow coming in the next few days.

Silly E with an orange smile.

These are moments that need to be savored as well.

The sweet moments I have with my girls.

Because the years are starting to go too quick.

And soon they won't do silly things like this as easily as they do now at 9.

E was home today because she wasn't feeling great.

She's had a headache for a couple days.

No other symptoms. Nothing.

So off to the doctor we went.

Just to be sure there wasn't anything more serious going on with her.

Like the flu.  Or strep.

Nothing serious.

Most likely a virus of some kind.  Maybe.

So back home we went to chill out for the day.

It was nice to have her home.

She was sweet.  And funny.

And I made sure to stop some of my busy work around the house to make sure I enjoyed her company.

Because I know that these years are fleeting.

Before Hubby & I know it, D&E will be all grown up on us.

So I am making sure that I savor these moments with my children.

What happens matters.  Always.

Saturday, January 12, 2013


Hubby & I started watching a new show a couple of weeks ago.

Some friends had recommended we watch.

It is Homeland on Showtime.

We watched season 1 in less than a week.

And now we are halfway through season 2.

Every episode.

Damian Lewis is excellent.  I have enjoyed his acting since Band of Brothers.

And Claire Danes is excellent as well.  And Mandy Patinkin too.

We are staying up too late at night watching.

But it's worth it.

And if you don't have Showtime, rent it on Netflix.

Again, so worth it.

Thursday, January 10, 2013


Sissy and I went to go see Les Miserables tonight at the movies.

I have been waiting to see this movie ever since I first saw a trailer for it over the summer.

I have loved Les Mis ever since I saw it on Broadway my junior year in high school.

It was a field trip to NYC to see a Broadway show.

I loved it.

The music is just incredible.

Hubby and I went to go see it in the mid-90's when it came to the big city's theater.

He loved it.

I love that he loves Broadway shows.

On a side note, he's a huge fan of Phantom of the Opera.


It had been a long time since I last saw the show.

Details were fuzzy.

I remembered the bare minimum of the story.

But, I remembered all of the music.

It is so moving.  And so very beautiful.

It makes me happy.

And the movie did not disappoint.

Amazing isn't strong enough praise for this movie.

In my opinion.

Hugh Jackman.  Anne Hathaway.  Russell Crowe.  Samantha Barks.  Eddie Redmayne.


And I cried.  Through so many parts of the movie.

It's a good thing Sissy had tissues.

Otherwise I would have been a blubbering mess.

Sissy used her share of tissues too.

There were lots of sniffles throughout the theater.

This truly was one of the best movies I have seen in a long time.

And I am so happy that Sissy came with me tonight.

She had never seen Les Mis.

She loved it too.

Hubby is wanting to see it too.

I told him I would go see it again in a heartbeat.

I will be sure to remember the tissues.

Anne Hathaway's single take singing of "I Dreamed a Dream" in the movie is breathtaking.

There is so much emotion that she pours into the singing of that song.


That was the first time I cried in the movie.

And certainly not the last.

And I will gladly see it again.

Go see it.  Soon.

You won't regret it one bit.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Pictures, Pictures and More Pictures

For the last few years, I have been going away with some friends for a scrapbooking weekend in mid-Jaunuary.

It is great fun.

In preparation for going away next weekend, I have been going through many pictures of the girls from that latter half of 2007.

My goodness where do the years go?

I miss those sweet little 4 year olds.

I love my 9 year olds, but golly those 4 year olds were so cute.

Here are some of my favorites that I printed.

D swimming.

Little E.  Sweet.

D&E at the beach.

This is one of my all time favorites.

The girls with J and K.

Sissy and I were taking pictures.

Pretty sure we told them to act like tigers.

I can almost hear E roaring.

And I love that J & K are right in on the action.

Good cousins.

1st day of 4 year old preschool.


D, very proud of her writing of "October".

She still loves writing and drawing on that white board to this day.

The girls with Nana.

Love this picture.

This picture makes me laugh.

Dressed as "Fancy Nancy" for Halloween at school.

Love the outfits.

E.  With some crazy hair.  I am thinking she must have had a hat on at some point.

D's eyes are just so amazing.

Ice blue is an excellent description.


Thanksgiving song presentation at school.

So cute.

We will still sing one of the songs that they sang at Thanksgiving at preschool.

It's a classic in our house.

I would love to know the thoughts running through D's head at this moment.

I love the look on her face.

Took this the day we got our Christmas tree in 2007.

Love their happy smiles.

It truly is amazing how quickly they grow.

Monday, January 7, 2013


I was informed by Hubby tonight that I have a tagline.

Who knew?

I certainly didn't realize it until he said something about it.

We were talking about something(I honestly forget what!) and I commented, "It makes me happy."

That's when Hubby says to me, "that's your tagline".

And I said, "huh?"

And again he told me that was my tagline, "it makes me happy".

He told me that I say it quite often here on the blog.

Enough that he thought I did it on purpose.

Nope, not the case.

So I thought about it and he's right.  I do say it a lot here on the blog.

I also say it quite often in real life too.

I guess there are lots of things in life that make me happy.

That's a good thing.

Such a good thing that I may try to focus on the things that make me happy here on the blog this year.

Big things.  Small things.  All sorts of things.

But ultimately, things that make me happy.

And I have to say that I think it's funny that Hubby discovered I have a tagline and I didn't even intend a tagline.

Guess that makes me happy!

Special K with strawberries.  It makes me happy.  And it was a very yummy breakfast this morning.

Saturday, January 5, 2013


Basketball season is in full swing.

This was the last week the girls had full practice.

Next week games start.

D&E are very lucky to have 2 great coaches.

They are patient with all the girls.

They are teaching the girls.

They make it fun for the girls.

And they are really helping the girls improve.

Today they got their team shirts.

We are the yellow team.

Sounds good to me.

Here is E making a shot.

Now it's D's turn to make a shot.

This was not long before practice went bad for D.

They had been practicing for a bit and took a water break.

She came over to me and said that her stomach hurt.

I thought it was just a cramp.  So, I told her to go have some water.

And then they were back to practicing.

Next thing I know, a friend I was sitting with asked, "Did D get hit in the nose?"

I look at D and she is holding her hand over her mouth/nose area.

Next thing I know, she is throwing up on the basketball court.

Poor thing.

I really thought it was just too much water and a stomach cramp.

But after getting her home and settled on the couch, she got sick a few more times through the afternoon and evening.

She's in bed now and I am hoping she gets a good night sleep.

D bounces back quick when she is sick and I am hopeful that is the case this time too.

D, E, and their friend M.  I love that they are wearing their lacrosse shirts at basketball practice.  M is a sweet girl and all 3 girls play so well together.  M is easy to have around.  And she's funny.  Great combination in a friend.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Baby It's Cold Outside

It was cold today.

Very cold.

It was a good day to not have to be outside much.

But, the cold is good for our neighbor's homemade ice rink.

They definitely have ice now.

And we will be visiting them tomorrow night for some ice skating.

Well, the girls will be skating.

I will be inside the warm house watching from a window.

Yup, I'm a wimp.

And I'm ok with that fact.

Lucy.  Protector of my laptop.  Found her like this after I got up to go do some laundry.  When I came back to sit on the couch, there she was laying on my laptop. Silly dog.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013


Today is my 366th post.

One whole year of blogging every single day.

Of course, I would pick a leap year to start blogging with the intention of not missing a day.

So I had an extra day to complete my full year.

And I did it.

Goal accomplished.

I have to say at times it was not easy to blog every day.

There were lots of days when I wasn't feeling very inspired.

For writing or picture taking.

So some days I didn't write very much.  But at least I wrote a little something.

Having blogged every day for a year, I am not sure I can sustain that pace going forward.

But, I am going to try.

So, some weeks I may blog every day.  And some weeks I may only blog a couple times.

I am going to see how it feels on each particular day.

Something tells me that it has become such a part of my life, that it will feel strange not to blog a little something each day.

But, I do know that through the year there will be times when I just won't have the time to get a blog written.

Or a picture taken.

I am excited to keep blogging.

And I hope you all keep reading.

potd #366.  Sleepy Lucy.  Sleepy in the sun.  I think she was enjoying the quiet of the girls back to school today too.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Last Hurrah

Today was our last holiday hurrah.

Every year my mother-in-law has a get together at her house on New Year's Day.

Some family.  Some friends.

A good mix.

And lots of food.

I think my eating today sent me officially over the "I've eaten too much over the holidays" cliff.

I really don't want to eat ever again.

Ok.  Maybe that's being a little dramatic.

I at least feel like I need to eat salad for the next week or so.

That isn't what is going to happen, but it should be what happens.

Hubby's brother made 2 different kinds of homemade pizza today.

Both were delicious.

The pizza in the foreground is a traditional style pizza crust with tomato, basil, and mozzarella.

The one right behind it is an old recipe from Hubby's stepfather's grandmother, who was Italian.

It is so yummy.  Thick, bready crust with small amount of sauce and fresh grated parmesan on top.

I could eat a whole pan of that one all by myself.

I am hoping I can convince my brother-in-law to teach me how to make it.

potd #365.  Hubby and E had a serious game of chess today.  Looking on is the son of one of Hubby's cousins.  He was a cutie.  And very serious about watching Hubby and E play.