Monday, December 31, 2007

Got extra envelopes??

...if you have as many laying around as I do, you might want to use them for something unexpected.

I have taken a lot of photos (when I say a lot....I mean a TON) and other than have them sit in my computer, I decided to print a few out and make an envelope album....

You'll need a bunch of envelopes the same size, although various sizes could work and look cute.

2 or 3 binder rings to hold them together. A punch to make the holes. Some scraps of paper and adhesive.

What's fun about this is that you can use the flap on the envelope to journal on. I cut the adhesive part off with pinking shears..

On the next page, I tucked the flap in and then journaled on a small card that can be pulled out..kind of making the book interactive....

Here, I made a "library card pocket" and made another pull-out.

On this page, I made a "card" and glued 2 of the open sides closed - making another pocket for a pull-put. The pull out is the striped tab, where I wrote more about going to the Rumbi Island Grill for lunch.

This is the last page done so far...but I think this will be a cute, small little booklet to remind us of all the fun times we had.

One thing I forgot to mention - I printed the photos out on a full sheet of paper but in the wallet-size mode- that way I got 9 photos to a regular sheet of photo paper and they will fit 2 on a page on the size envelopes I used.

Anyway, things to do on a Sunday while taking lots of fluids and resting. Gotta go to work today, but I'm off tomorrow, so I can work on it some more.

Have a wonderful last day of 2007 - and just think, we can start fresh all over again for 2008!

I love new beginnings!!

Make it a great day, will ya?!


Saturday, December 29, 2007

I think I've caught a bug...

....under the weather...not up to it anything but don't say I'm sick.

I promised. I told Mr. B I wouldn't get sick this year. And I fully meant to not get....ahem...sick.
However, I have a stuffy nose. My body hurts and my throat is sore....
And, we're out of Kleenex.
Which reminds me of when I was a single Mom.

There were many times when I couldn't afford all the papers....all at one time.

You know, the toilet paper, napkins and paper towels. So we improvised.
We used napkins for TP, TP for Kleenex, paper towels for napkins, and so on.

I even devised a way to take the center cardboard core out of the TP and wind it from the inside outward, to pull up from the center, and stuff the whole thing in one of those Kleenex boxes with the paper coming out the top!

Pretty clever, if I do say so myself.

But in the midst of all this 'force fed frugality' came a feeling of scarcity for my daughters. My sons, not so much. But the girls are now sorta "paper hoarders". Brandi, while she was growing up, would never fail to let me know when they were having a big 'ol TP sale at the store. She'd search the Sunday papers for ads and coupons. April feels that if her shelves have the "big 3" papers, she's going to be OK.

Even now, if we are down to, oh 6 rolls, even I panic. We can be as broke as a church mice, but if we have all of the top 3 papers (TP, napkins AND paper towels) we're going to be fine.

Funny what lessons life give you, huh?

Like watching them turn off your water at the meter for non-payment, then going out there and manually turning it back on so you can get through the week-end showers. (as a waitress, money always came in on the week-ends, so by Monday, I could pay off whatever utility I needed to...)

But, even now, the kids don't remember those times as particularly bad. We actually had fun.
They can't remember doing without - well, with the exception of the whole paper-scarcity issues.

So, if necessity truly is the mother if invention, then I think we did pretty good.

Hey, even McGuyver had nothing on a single Mom with 4 kids!

So if you're ever feeling like you don't have enough, or you want more (and more and more) just think how lucky we all are - and then think of some clever ways to "make due" and make some memories while you're at it!
My Ny-Quil seems to be kicking in- so it's off to bed I go...

Friday, December 28, 2007

My Mother-in-Law reads my posts....

....which is why she gave me some really nice long-johns for my cold days at work.

Actually, they are too nice to be called long-"johns" - kinda silky-satiny. So I call them long-"janes"..

Really silky. And I'm really not used to silky. I'm a "100% cotton" kind of gal. Besides, I don't think they make Granny-panties in 'silky'.

But herein lies the problem - because I'm not used to the silky - they feel really, well, kinda nice.
Kinda "girly". Kinda young. And to wear them under my jeans - so soft and comfortable - well, it's like having a secret. Like "Hey, I'm wearing my silky-pajammies under my jeans" kind of thing. So I really, really like them...

Actually broke into the song sung by "Rizzo" in Grease....the one about Sandra Dee...where she says, "take you filthy paws off my silky drawers..."

But back to the problem. We have a really high bed. So to sit on the edge to put on one's socks take a certain amount of ...balancing.

Seems cotton on your bottom "grabs" while silk... slithers.....and slides...right off the edge of the bed I go.

Kerplunk. All #*&%$* pounds of me. On the floor. The wood floor.

I guess I thought it was some sort of positioning problem, because I got up and tried again...

Off I slide....again....

Sounded a bit like a sonic boom.

The pups were startled. I was startled. My mother-in-law who lives downstairs was startled.

Bless her heart.....

There's also another problem with wearing so many layers. I'm used to having just two layers on my bottom half - my panties and my jeans. So going potty requires just two layers to come off .

Jeans - check- panties- check - oh no! Those were just my long janes! There's another layer!

WHOOPS, S-T-O-P!! (didja ever notice how we can stop in mid-stream??? -) boy, that was a lucky save!

Geesh! Who knew....??

Everything in the winter seems to take more effort. Walks. Shopping. Dressing. Now potty?

I just need to get used to all this layering, the wet mittens, the frozen socks, the fogged-up eyeglasses, the hat-hair, the constant red face....

Hey, ain't I a beauty in my silky long-johns???

Boy, do I love winter!!

I think I'll take 2 asprin and rest a while....

Thursday, December 27, 2007


...that's all I can say.

It's sooo long getting here, then, BAM, it's over.
It was one great Christmas. One of the best.

Yes, I do say that every year. But this year, we are all healthy.

Last year was scary.

We all were sick. I was hospitalized and missed most of the fun.

But not this year! I didn't miss a thing...well.... a little sleep maybe.

However, now the house is quite. The fridge is cleaned out of leftovers. The dishes are done. (Laundry is another thing altogether...)

But Ella's is not here. She's happily home in New Jersey. Safe and in her Daddy's arms. He missed her terribly. She missed him.

Now I miss her.

But that's OK - I got the best present of all- a magical Christmas with a new Daughter-in-law, a happy son, a darling grand daughter and a happy Mom, a husband that loves me and puts up with me, a two adoring pups that still like to walk in the snow.
Phone calls with the rest of the family and a mother-in-law who loves her new bathroom!

I am very blessed. I KNOW I am blessed.

I am grateful.

I am amazed.
Sometimes I feel a bit guilty about being so blessed. I worry about those who are not. And I wonder why they are not..

Wish I had the answers. But that's not my job - to have all the answers.

I think my job is to ask the questions.

So, this next year, I am going to "ask" then really, REALLY try to listen. To that still, small voice. To that whisper I hear in the wind.. The song the birds are singing with their wings, or the rain on the roof...
And I will try to learn what I need to do next. What I can do to help. What I can teach the kids. What they can teach me....

And I will try to be a better person. I will.

And I will give what I can. Be it a smile to someone I don't know. Or a compliment to someone I do know. Or a helping hand. Or a shoulder. Whatever....

Because I know, I really know, I am blessed.

And I thank you, Lord, for what you've given me. Given to all of us.
I also want to thank you who stop by my little blog.... You really mean a lot to me and I have enjoyed you all & have learned so much !

I hope this cyber-friendship will continue on for the next year as well.
g'night my friends,
- me

Monday, December 24, 2007

We're going to have a "White Christmas"!

I'm sorry. I shouldn't be so ...uh...bragging about our white Christmas....

We're having a White Christmas for the first time I can remember!!

Sorry, I just feel so giddy. It's Christmas eve, my shopping's done, most of the presents are wrapped. We had a late lunch out so we don't have to cook dinner (as if I would...)

Last night we made cookies for Santa.
Yep. Refrigerator cookies. Just cut -n - bake. Easy for me. Easy for Ella.

Short term commitment for two short attention-span gals.



Yep, that's me and Ella. Two girls that have the attention span of a gnat.

Time to give the pups their treats, Ella wanna help??

So, we played in the snow with "Pony', made cookies, went to see Father Christmas (who, we explained, is Santa's Daddy...) in the old village where we made home made Christmas ornaments in the church basement, wrote a letter to Santa, rode a train in the cold, saw real live reindeer and had a super fun day.

It's been a busy week - but , oh how fun! Here's a little collage to leave you with tonight as we wish you a very happy Christmas Eve!
Love to you all!


Sunday, December 23, 2007

Happy Sunday morning to all!!!

....and to all my friends in Bloggerland :

Merry Christmas to all..and to all a Good Morning!

May you be as surrounded by love as I feel...and may you find happiness in the "little things ' in life that are the ONLY things in life...

Love and blessing to all!

-me...and Ella....and Braxton....And Lulu......and "pony"....


early morning conversation:

ella: where are your eyebrows? you got no eyebrows...
me: yes, I just can't see them too well without Grammies' make-up on...
ella: oh, ok.....where are your boobies? you got no boobies....
me: Hmmm, you're right. grammie lost them....
ella: you shouldn't loose your stuff, grammie...
me: i know, i know....
ella: i love you grammie
me: i love you too ella....
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Friday, December 21, 2007

Ah, I love Santa!

..hahahahaha! I just wanted to see if anyone noticed.......thanks, Gail!

Seriously, we've been really busy....

A three year old take an awful lot of energy - I guess I've forgotten...

Everything is "why? " and "what's that?" and "what are you doing.." and "what are you doing now??"

Ella: "good morning Braxton!! I wanna come unda da cubbers wif you, K?"

Braxton: "whatever......."

Cake? For breakfast??? At Grammie's?? Yep...

"give Grammie a hug. She has to go to work..."

"Momma, I wanna go to Grammie's work, K?

Ella: "you wok here? why you habbin a party? Can I hab somtin to eat? Can I wear a hat?"

...."is it time to go see Santa? Can we get in line? I wanna wear my preddy Santa dress? Can we, huh" can we??"

"is it Ella's turn? Do I get to see Santa now? Can I sit on him lap?? Can I tell him I love him??"

"Momma, Momma, he gabe me a reindeer hat! He said I was a 'good girl' "Do I look preddy?

I wanna go one the carousel!! Can I Momma, can I? Come on Grammie, let's go to the carousel!

"Momma, who gabe you dat book? Is it your birfday? Why you hab anudder birfday? Can I hab a birfday too???

I'm gettin kina tired, Momma. Can I hab your card? why you get a card? is it your burfday.. Can I see the card?..I'm tired...I'm sweepy...ZZZzzzzzzz.

Good night, Sweet Ella!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

This may sound a bit “Bah Humbug-ish” ....

.. but do you ever get claustrophobic during the Holiday season?

I guess it’s all the “stuff”…

And I love all the stuff- therein lies the problem… my grown-up brain says to just put up the tree - that's enough...

......but my inner-child-brat says "NO! I want to see it ALL"

I can’t seem to “pick-and-choose” what decorations I want to use, so I use everything.

I know, I know, it would be a simple “fix” to just be more selective, but I feel badly when I leave out one cute Christmas bear..or one little angel….or one candy cane…

Then I always find that a box of “Day-After-Christmas-90% -off-you- can’t-resist” items from last year…

Oh, they’re sooo cute! I must use them too!

Pretty soon, there’s no where to put one little Christmas card that just arrived in the mail..the counters are filled with candy, crackers, paper plates, napkins, plastic silverware, (boy, is that an oxymoron or what??)

The crock pot that usually lives in the hall cupboard is constantly out – and the jumbo-gimormous flat griddle - we’re grillin’ something at just about any time, be it pancakes or grilled cheeses or quesadillas

This is really a wonderful problem to have- all this good fortune – but I sometimes feel like I’m suffocating........ in good will.

I really do need to be strong and give away the old ornaments…

....but wait..not that one – Jeff made that in 3rd. grade. Oh, oh, not that one either – Kathy sent that one when I was so sick….

So, I end up with too much, too loved, too close. Does this happen to anyone else?

I think I’ll donate some of the “less” loved things to a local charity. Maybe someone will give them a good home – then I can breathe……

But, let’s wait until after the New Year, OK?

I need to say “good-bye…”



Tuesday, December 18, 2007

I'm makin' a cake....

...a birthday cake. For Brandi, my youngest. She's going to be 32 tomorrow.

And she's the YOUNGEST??

I think I need the cake - after all I have survived her terrible two's. Her awkward pre-teen years. Her never-ending-heavy-sigh-eye-rolling- teen-years.

And know she is a wife and Mother. To Ella.
Ella Ireland to be exact.
Pretty child, doncha think?

And a nice lookin' Santa, too!
He "danced" with her at the mall in New Jersey.

Santa must be tired when he gets to the mall in Utah, because all he does is sit.
But that's OK - he's not as young as he used to be. ( are any of us??)

Heather, my friend and cake-class-com padre, made these adorable pipe cleaner trees for me....
They are individual pipe cleaners, cut ans put into Styrofoam - can you imagine?
These will be a treasure for a long time to come. Handmade with love and patience.
And to think I didn't even know she smoked a pipe!

Anyway, I'd better get to the cake - Brandi's choice - German Chocolate. And I'll try to remember what I was doing at 3:33 pm on December 19th 32 years ago.....

Happy birthday, Sweetie!



Monday, December 17, 2007

Arizona vs Utah dictionary...

In winter, I now use and understand words that meant a whole different thing while growing up in Arizona:

‘nor easter
Then :
I can’t lose weight at Christmas……...nor Easter….

big ‘ol ginourmous storm that may affect daily life - Power may be out – schools may close. Heat is a necessity.

Cowboy boots you wear while ridin’ or cleanin’ the stalls’ or feedin’ the horses – usually took 2 people to take off

Lumber Jack boots that go over your 2 pairs of socks, that go over your long johns that go under your jeans that go over you granny panties that you have to put on in the morning to get the newspaper out of the front yard.

A light weight cotton bandanna worn around your neck to look like a real cowboy – also used on highly windy days when the dust blew. Can also be used to blot perspiration from your brow

Knitted piece long enough to wrap around your neck, face, ears and mouth 3 times to look like a real skier – also used on windy days when the snow blows – Can also be heated in the microwave to defrost icicles from your brow.

Something to be avoided : 117 degrees in the shade

Something to be desired: 27 degrees with a wind chill of -6 degrees in full sun

wind chill:
The wind that blew and got the temperature down to 97 degrees

the wind that blows and gets the temperature down to -15 degrees

lake effect:
Smootchie-wootchie feeling that came over one when and if they could find a lake to smootchie-wootchie by

Snow that blows in off the Salt Lake when the ski resorts are reporting no snow at all..and it could be as much as to completely bury a Chevrolet….

An implement used to clear desert landscape for corrals and barns

A monstrous vehicle used to clear street, bury driveways, sidewalks, cars and small children

Markings on horses & cattle to identify the owner
Markings on clothes, shoes, perfume or handbags to identify the designer

So, the definition of words can greatly change depending on your location. Have any from where you are??

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Oh, Geeze...2 posts in one day...

..but I guess when one gets up too early, it does seem like 2 in ONE day..huh?

I thought I'd post my recipes for some of the treats served last night - and I have to give credit where credit is due -

.......the following candy recipe was "gleaned" from Brin's blog, and she got it from "Debbie Sue" - although I don't know of her blog (sorry!)

Debbie Sue's Crockpot Candy

1 (16 oz.) jar unsalted peanuts
1 (16 oz.) jar salted peanuts
1 (12 oz.) bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 (12 oz.) bag milk chocolate chips
2 (12 oz.) bags peanut butter chips
2 (1 lb.) packages White Almond Bark, broken in pieces
(You'll sometimes find this called Vanilla Candy Coating)

Layer ingredients, in order listed, into (4 quart or larger) crockpot.

Turn the pot on low, cover it with a lid, and walk away for two hours. ( I told my youngest daughter to "go away for 2 hours", instead of "walk away.." she asked if she really had to leave...LOL)

After two hours, (when you come back Brandi..) remove lid and stir to combine.

Replace lid and walk away for another 30 minutes. (gotta find somewhere to go for a short time, now...)

Check to see if almond bark is melted, and if so, stir and spoon mixture onto wax paper.

(Decorate, if you wish, with holiday sprinkles or additional chopped peanuts.) Allow to harden - 1 hour or so - before enjoying.

I tried this and it worked like a charm -probably the easiest and most popular candy I've made.

(Mr. B did have problems finding unsalted peanuts, so we just used salted for the first 2 ingredients yet the candy was NOT salty...)

The other "hit" of the night is a Mexican Soup ( inadvertently called it "taco soup") and this one comes from a good friend and fellow blogger, Kristina of

(She even designed the recipe page for a recipe swap where I used to work...)

I served it with sour cream, grated cheddar and chips to be added if wanted. YUM-O! And sooo easy! For the party, I cooked it on the stove top then transferred it to the crock pot- mostly just for maintaining the temperature.

So, while I have you here, I'll tell you what I did for "door prizes" - because I didn't want the guests to go home empty handed - Mr. B purchased some inexpensive items that I had found cute poems or sayings for ( you know - like "May your Christmas be Merry and 'Sprite" on a bottle of Sprite. Or, "Merry Christmas & Happy Root Beer" on a root beer bottle. Had a wire wisk filled with Hershey kisses, wrapped in red saran wrap with "We 'wisk' you a Merry Kiss-mas'")

I printed the sayings (or poems) then Mrs. P and Mrs. B helped with the numbering and the keeping track of what's what. When each guest was ready to leave, they pulled a number and received the coordinating token gift. It was a lot of fun and totally random. We had mints, nuts, candles, kitchen towels, apple cider, Jolly Ranchers, and so on.
Here's the "goodie Basket"...

I heard about the police force in many cities asking that you don't put the presents under the tree where they would be visible by the 'Grinch's' out there, but my tree looked empty ...and I put small decorated pillows, some with ribbons wrapped like packages, under for effect. I think it looks good....what do you think?

I love how the tree reflects in the mirror- which is directly in my viewing pleasure when I sit in the "Santa" chair...
OK, so that's enough boredom for one Sunday evening.

I'm kinda pooped and the last party dish is washed & put up, so I think I'll call it 'all good'.

g'night and sleep tight...