Friday, December 28, 2007

Moving on up

Well, I think I'm going to make the switch to Wordpress. I'm going to take the rest of the year off to get my new digs ready and then sometime in early 2008 (WHAT?!?), I'll unveil the new site.

Who am I kidding. I'm sure I'll post again in the next few days. 'Cause, you know, I can.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Thursday Thirteen

I hope everyone had a fantastic holiday and that you got everything your little heart desires. Here's what was left under my Christmas tree this year. I'm quite happy...

  1. iPod Nano
  2. a BodyGlove Case for my iPod Nano
  3. iTunes gift certificate to load my iPod Nano
  4. 2 Starbucks travel coffee mugs (miscommunication on my part, I'm going to keep the ohe with the handle because it's so heavy it could double as a weapon. it's beautiful.)
  5. 2 Starbucks gift certificates
  6. Deceptively Delicious Cookbook
  7. A Joann's gift certificate
  8. A Royal Copenhagen plate.


  9. A Ticketmaster gift certificate
  10. A Simple Scrabooks subscription
  11. Some new pot holders and dish towels
  12. A new sudoku book
  13. And the coolest thing of all...2 packages of Butterfinger Fun Size bars.
Check out other lists at Thursday Thirteen.

Just in case you were wondering...

Evidently, if anyone needs to know the answer to the question "Was Harry Potter's mother a mogel person?", I'm the one you need to see...

LW 08 - Week 14

Oh my word. Seriously, I'm still full from yesterday. I don't feel like eating. And if I never see another Christmas cookie (or peppermint pretzel) again it will be too soon. I'm up a pound this week but I'm still below that 160 mark. I will be happy when the holidays are over and things start to settle down a bit...no more "Christmas treats" coming into the house...the kids back to school...a little more time to exercise...

It will happen. Patience is the key. Plus, my Fitness finally started coming so I'm really looking forward to doing that!

Visit Tales from the Scales to check out other people's progress!

12/19/07 weight: 158.5
12/26/07 weight: 159.5
This week's goal - To reevaluate the choices I've been making. I feel like I'm constantly playing catchup so I think I need to take a breather and start fresh.

Winning Outcome for Lose Weight in 2008 Challenge

“I will to maintain my weight between 154 lbs and 157 lbs throughout this challenge. I will increase weight training to 2 times a week. I will continue to do cardio work for 3 or 4 days a week. I will walk between 8,000 and 10,000 steps a day EVERY DAY.”

Wordless Wednesday - Yellow Ornament

We are back! All the presents are open, most of the trash has been trashed, and now we begin the great 2007 Toy Dig-Out. I haven't had a chance to download any new pics so here's another ornament shot. How long do you think I can milk this ornament thing for?? I hope everyone had a great holiday!!


Check out WW or 5 Minutes for Mom for more pics.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Fall Into Reading 2007 - Wrap up

I didn't quite get to finish everything on my list. I'm only halfway through my last book. The schedule of the season just caught up with me. Here's what I thought of what I was able to finish.

An Arsonist's Guide to Writers' Homes in New England (Brock Clarke) - This book was just quirky. I ended up feeling bad for the main character...he was just so simple. While it wasn't the best book on my list, it wasn't that bad. I'm not sure I would see out another book by this author, though.

Up High in the Trees (Kiara Brinkman) - This was a very quick read. It's written from the perspective of an 8 year old and it was beautiful. Some pages were only a line or two long, just quick thoughts. The story follows the boy and his family after the mother dies in a car accident. It's just a very well written look into the grieving process from every angle. I would definitely recommend this book .

When Crickets Cry (Charles Martin) - I think this might tie with Nineteen Minutes for my favorite book on this list. I was hooked on the book from the very beginning and would fall asleep while I was reading it because I just didn't want to put it down. It's heartbreaking and uplifting all at the same time...it definitely tugs on your heart strings.

The Other Mother (Gwendolen Gross) - I'm only about halfway through but I'm liking what I'm reading. One of the major pluses? The main character's name is Thea. I love that name!

Nineteen Minutes (Jodi Picoult) - I will definitely be readinf Jodi Picoult again very soon. As a matter of fact I already went to the library and got another of her books to take with me when we head out of town for the several days. She's a great writer and I gasped out loud when I got to the twist at the end. This was a great, great book.

The Blessing of a Skinned Knee (Wendy Mogel) - I didn't really like this book at all. I felt like I was being preached too about Judaism vs. Christianity and I didn't like the tone. I agreed with the concept of "learn from your mistakes" and such...but I didn't like the approach.

A Life's Work : On Becoming a Mother (Rachel Cusk) - Another one I wasn't so keen on. I actually only ended up skimming the book because the language was too flowery for me. I enjoy a good dose of Parenting Cynicism, but this was just downright negative. One of the reviews mentioned "laugh out loud", which I never did.

The Read-Aloud Handbook (Jim Trelease) - I think the next book list might involve a little more research. This is a great book if you need to be convinced why it's important to read to your kids...which I already know the benefits of. I thought this would be a little more "how to" then "why". The book list at the back did give me a lot of great book ideas for Jake, though, so it wasn't a complete loss.

Charlotte's Web (E.B. White) - We got about a third of the way through this and Jake said he didn't want to read it anymore because "there were too many words". I think I may have jumped the gun a little bit on getting him to read chapter books. We started the Arthur series instead and I think I might start him on Harry and Mudge soon...although he still loves his Dora books.

See how other readers fared at Callapidder Days.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

LW 08 - Week 13

O.K. So I jumped on the scale and this is what I saw: 158.5 . Now, I'm leaving for a few days so everyone have a great holiday. My kids lift you a message...

Visit Tales from the Scales to check out other people's progress!


12/12/07 weight: 159

12/19/07 weight: 158.5

This week's goal - Carry journal with me everywhere I go (instead of writing stuff down after I get home) and complete Week 1 of a new 8 week walking routine (from WW Magazine).



Monday - .5 mile in 10 minutes (did .6 mi in 12 min)

Tuesday - .75 mile in 13 minutes (did .8 mi in 15 min)

Wednesday - .75 mile in 15 minutes

Thursday - 1 mile in 20 minutes

Friday - 1 mile in 17 minutes

Saturday - .5 mile in 10 minutes

Sunday - rest
Total miles - 4.5



Winning Outcome for Lose Weight in 2008 Challenge

“I will to maintain my weight between 154 lbs and 157 lbs throughout this challenge. I will increase weight training to 2 times a week. I will continue to do cardio work for 3 or 4 days a week. I will walk between 8,000 and 10,000 steps a day EVERY DAY.”

Wordless Wednesday - Merry Christmas!

We are headed out of town for a few days and I don't expect to be back online until after Christmas, so I leave you with this going away message. Have a Merry Christmas, everyone!

video

Check out more pics at Wordless Wednesday or 5 Minutes for Mom

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Talk About Tuesday - New Nativity



When I was growing up, my mom had a Nativity that I really liked. All the pieces were made of felt and Styrofoam, so it was light and easy for me to handle (and Mom didn't care if I played with it). When she started getting the Christmas decorations out, she would set the Nativity pieces out on a low table covered in a white sheet...all except for the Baby Jesus. He would always be hidden away somewhere close by.

My mom sang in the church choir, so we usually went to the Midnight Mass because that's when the choir sang. At one point in the service, they would always turn off the lights and everyone in the church would have a lit candle. It was beautiful. Once the service was over, we would head home to get ready for bed. But since it was after midnight (and therefore Christmas Day), it would be my job to go get the Baby Jesus and put him in the manger.

Last year for Christmas, my mom gave me a box of fabric. Being that I don't sew AT ALL I was really confused. She explained that she was going to make me a Nativity just like hers, but she didn't have time to get it done. The fabric was what she was going to use to make it, so I needed to give it back to her. So I did, and then quickly forgot about it.

Last week, my mom shows up at my house with a box. I asked her what it was and she said it was my Christmas gift from last year. I had no idea what she was talking about so when I opened it, I was really surprised to see the Nativity she had made...and it looked exactly like the one I played with when I was growing up.

After she had gone, I found a low table and covered it with a blanket. I put it near the tree and set up all the pieces...except for the Baby Jesus. That'll be Jake & Emma's job come Christmas Eve.



Here's a picture of the complete set. That Baby Jesus is there purely for the picture. He is currently tucked away in a hiding spot, waiting for Jake and Emma to put him to bed on Christmas Eve. There are 3 Wise Men, 1 Shepherd (complete with white lamb tucked under his arm,) Mary, Joseph (and his pipe cleaner staff), and of course the manger and Jesus. The whole things weighs about a pound since it's all felt, Styrofoam, and pantyhose to cover the heads. The straw in the manger is just yarn glued to a piece of cardboard.


And here's a closeup of Baby Jesus!

Visit The Lazy Organizer for more Talk About Tuesday

Monday, December 17, 2007

The honeymoon is over

When I started this silly little blog, I chose blogger because...well...I didn't know anything else existed. I lived in a lovely state of ignorant bliss, but that feeling is starting to wane a little bit now that I've gotten my feet a little wet.

Blogger is simple enough to use, but there are some things that are definitely lacking. My biggest thing is that it doesn't have an auto-post feature. I really would like to have that. Cause sometimes I don't want to wait around 5 days to put my "day specific" posts up. My Wordless Wednesday drafts are piling up, I tell ya.

So, I'm thinking of moving to Wordpress. But I don't know much about it either. So it's time for you to chime in, my loyal readers.

What platform do you use? What do you love about it? What do you hate about it?

Help me, PLEASE!!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Thursday Thirteen - Ornaments

I love Christmas ornaments. We have made it a family tradition that we all get a new Christmas ornament every year and then Santa leaves us each an ornament in our stockings. I also get some as gifts and have gotten the ones I had as a child from my mom. I'm not so big on the kinds of trees that have all the same ornaments or a theme. The way I figure, it's the history and the mish-mash of ornaments that give a tree it's character. Here are some of my favorites.


Big Bird Christmas Ornament

This is one of the first ornaments I received as a gift. I picked it out myself at our annual church craft bazaar and all my brothers and sisters got ornaments from the same booth that year. I think I was about 6.

Christmas Ornament

I just love this one, it's fancy without being gawdy.

Danish Christmas Star Ornament

My mom gave me this one last year. Either she or my grandmother made it. It's very small and is basically starched string. I'm sure the type of handiwork has a name, I'm just not sure what it is...

Handprint Christmas Ornament title=

This is Jake's first handmade school ornament. Emma should be making one this year, too.

Snowmen Sled Christmas Ornament title=

Dave and I received this the year we got married.

Felt Joy Heart Christmas Ornament title=

I love how simple this one is. The picture's not all that great, but it's a green felt heart with the word "joy" stitched on the front.

Hallmark Boy's First Christmas Ornament

Jake's first Christmas ornament from his first Christmas.

Angel Seashell Christmas Ornament title=

I really like how delicate this little angel is.

Swarovski Crystal Snowflake Christmas Ornament title=

We got this Swarovski Crystal ornament from our good friends. It's beautiful when you put it right in front of a bulb and how the light plays with it.

Hallmark Girl's First Christmas Ornament

Emma's first Christmas ornament from her first Christmas.

Peanuts Snoopy and Woodstock Skating Christmas Ornament title=

We love the Peanuts Gang in this house! This one is only about an inch tall so it can easily get lost amongst the bigger ornaments, but it makes me smile every time I look at it.

Angel Bell Christmas Ornament title=

This is another one I got when I was really young. It has a little bell hanging off of it and has my name etched into it.

Pewter Angel Believe Christmas Ornament title=

Merry Christmas!!

To see other's lists, be sure to visit Thursday Thirteen!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

LW 08 - Week 12

This week, I am up a pound (again), but strangely enough I'm not all that upset about it. I'm not where I want to be and my jeans are a bit snug, but here is how I know it's going to be O.K.
  • In past years, I just stopped caring over the holidays. I knew I was going to gain, so it became a self-fulfulling prophecy. One more cookie, one more piece of pie, one more serving of _______. This year I care. I'm up, but I'm only up a pound (instead of 5), and I know it'll come off once things calm down.
  • I can't gain weight because then I will have no clothes to wear. I got rid of all my clothes in bigger sizes so that I wouldn't allow myself to gain the weight back. Now that a little has creeped back on, it's a reminder that I can't go any higher because I would have to go naked. Noone wants that.
  • Within 2 or 3 lbs, I have been at the same weight for 1 year. That's gotta count for something! I'm pretty darn proud of that, thank you very much!
  • Once my schedule calms down (the holidays are really throwing me for a loop this year), I will have time to get back to the gym. Besides me, the schedule we've been keeping is really getting to Jake. We're to the point that if we don't HAVE to leave the house, we don't. We've been on the go so much, we all need a little breather. Things will calm down after the first of the year.
  • My Fitness magazine will start coming soon. I hope.

Visit Tales from the Scales to check out other people's progress!

12/5/07 weight: 158
12/12/07 weight: 159

This week's goal - Breathe and sleep

Winning Outcome for Lose Weight in 2008 Challenge
“I will to maintain my weight between 154 lbs and 157 lbs throughout this challenge. I will increase weight training to 2 times a week. I will continue to do cardio work for 3 or 4 days a week. I will walk between 8,000 and 10,000 steps a day EVERY DAY.”

Wordless Wednesday - Self-Portrait


Check out WW or 5 Minutes for Mom for more pics.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Talk about Tuesday

After months of talking about it, we have finally booked our next Adults Only vacation! And while it's not Hawaii, it ain't too shabby!

From May 18th - 25th, 2008, we will be sailing the ocean blue on our 3rd Royal Caribbean cruise. We are sailing out of Los Angeles for a 7 night cruise on the Mexican Riviera. We will be stopping in Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan, and Puerto Vallarta.

Now, if I can just get through the next two weeks...then I'll be able to switch my focus to beaches. And water. And fruity drinks with umbrellas. And room service.

And of course, buffets!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Um...

I just couldn't think of a clever title. My brain hurts. I've got so much on my plate over the next week and a half that I can't even begin to right a post on anything in particular. So revel in these random happenings of the past weekend and marvel at our upcoming schedule...

  • Jacob is old enough this year to participate in this year's Christmas pageant at church. It was this past weekend (dress rehearsal on Friday, performance on Saturday, and performance on Sunday). I was one of the 2 helpers that blindly volunteered to lead the preschool group for the performance. Dave taped parts of the show and there are a lot of cute shots of the kids and my butt while I try to keep the kids from running willy nilly on the stage.
  • Our church youth program has a fundraiser every year called Stop, Drop and Shop. It was on Saturday morning. You drop your kids off at the church for 4 hours and they babysit while you go out and shop....or get a massage like my friend did. Whatever.
  • We spent 45 minutes of that 4 hour chunk in line at the post office to correct the fact that they had stopped our mail almost 2 weeks before i told them they needed to. Great fun when you are expecting Christmas presents in the mail.
  • I went to the grocery.
  • Today was lunch with Santa. Well, actually, it was lunch with the parents and then after lunch Santa came and read everybody a story and passed out presents to all the kids. As soon as Jake heard he was going to get a present, he said "Will it be my color-by-numbers??" which is the ONLY THING he has asked for for Christmas. He got a puzzle.
  • Barring any snow delays, we have school on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.
  • On Friday, we have rehearsal for our choir cantata.
  • On Saturday, we are going out to dinner and going to see Sweeny Todd.
  • On Sunday, we have our choir cantata in the early evening immediately followed by cookies and caroling at the church.
  • Monday and Tuesday involves packing and we leave on Wednesday for Illinois for Christmas
  • We get back to Ohio on Christmas Eve day and then sing at church at 8pm (after a 7 hour car ride).

Friday, December 7, 2007

Crossing the line...

O.K. I will be the first to admit that I have crazy hair. I've always had crazy hair. I will continue to have crazy hair for the rest of my life. Unless I shave it off which I would never do because if it's crazy now...God only knows how it would grow back.

It's thick. It's coarse. Some parts are curly, some parts are straight. And overall, it's pretty unruly. I know that, which is why I'm pretty comfortable making fun of myself as far as my hair is concerned. I can't find any right now, but I'm sure that somewhere there are pictures of me when I had long hair and I would do my Cousin It impression...

The Addams Family - Cousin It

Now it's a running family joke that whenever I wake up in the morning with particular bad bedhead that everyone must be sure to tell me that I have "Craaaaazy Hair". Another fun one is when people lose things and they come check to see if it got lost in my hair. Just the other day Jake was looking at a picture of my nephew (who happened to have long, curly hair in the shot) and said "Look, he's got Mommy Hair". And it's all in good fun. Like I said...I admit it, I have crazy hair.

But this morning, while we were watching Doodlebops, Jake said. "Rooney doesn't wear a wig, he just has crazy hair like you Mommy. Deedee and Moe wear wigs, though."

Doodlebops - Rooney Doodle

O.K. At what point did my hair turn into blue foam????

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Thursday Thirteen

I know I sounded like a Scrooge when I said I didn't like Christmas music. But after having choir practice tonight, I realize that there are some songs that I do really love to hear...just not a gabillion times over a 3 month span.

  1. O Holy Night
  2. Go Tell It On the Mountain
  3. Carol of the Bells
  4. Oh Come All Ye Faithful
  5. Here Comes Santa Claus (my mom has a music box that plays this and I've already told her that I want it left to me in her will...ain't I sweet??)
  6. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
  7. What Child is This
  8. Hallelujah Chorus
  9. Christmastime is Here
  10. Jesus, Jesus Rest Your Head (O.K. so I couldn't come up with 13, this answer is from Jacob)
  11. Jingle Bells (from Emma)
  12. Away in a Manger (Jacob again)
  13. Holy Baby, Holy Child
Visit other Thursday Thirteeners!

LW 08 - Week 11

You know what? I've been messing with the same pound for a few weeks now, but in the grand scheme of things, do you know how awesome that is? Considering the time of year and all the temptations that are around, I'm really, REALLY proud of myself for maintaining this week. I had 2 birthday parties and a staff Christmas party to go to and I still didn't gain. How can I be disappointed in that??

...Still no Fitness Magazine...the wait continues...the next best thing? I'm off to shovel snow!! Yippee.

Visit Tales from the Scales to check out other people's progress!

11/28/07 weight: 158
12/5/07 weight: 158

This week's goal - Journal my food before putting it in my mouth

Winning Outcome for Lose Weight in 2008 Challenge
“I will to maintain my weight between 154 lbs and 157 lbs throughout this challenge. I will increase weight training to 2 times a week. I will continue to do cardio work for 3 or 4 days a week. I will walk between 8,000 and 10,000 steps a day EVERY DAY.”

Wordless Wednesday - Tree Skirt

These crack me up. Who knew a tree skirt could be so much fun? Jake looks like some sort of folk dancer that you would see it an international Christmas festival... There is one of Dave, too, (where'd you think they got the idea?) but I'm afraid it will never see the light of day...


Check out WW or 5 Minutes for Mom for more pics.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Who's that girl?

Have you ever heard a song on the radio that took you back to a time in your life that you never really think about until you hear the song?

I've got one. And those who know me (and even those who don't) might find it a strange choice for a song that conjures up good memories. It's Closer by Nine Inch Nails. I never really liked the lyrics, but the song was good to dance to at the "club" I used to go to a long, LONG time ago. I use the term "club" loosely because this wasn't your typical college campus, meat market, everybody knows about it type of place. To say this place was on the fringe would be putting it mildly.

If there was any color other than black that was worn in the place, it would be the electric blue of the lint that showed up on your black shirt as you walked under the black light at the door. Things were displayed at the bar that make me blush just thinking about it (hot candle wax anyone?), but I really liked the music. It was music you could dance to without the implication that you were only there to find a date. It was just a place to go and hang it with your friends...who were all dressed in black and laid claim to several different body piercings.

But anyway, one of the songs that was played quite regularly was Closer, and it makes me smile and start to dance in my seat a little bit whenever I hear it on the radio. It just brings back this feeling of youthfulness...memories of a time when being home by 1am was early and the only person you had to worry about was yourself and where you parked the car.

On Monday, Dave and I had a parent/teacher conference at Jake's preschool and one of the things we discussed with them were the pros and cons of all day Kindergarten. We decided we needed to visit the classroom before registration in March so we can weigh the full-day curriculum against the half-day's program. We then went out to lunch where we finalized our travel plans for Christmas so that we could make a stop in Indianapolis to visit the children's museum there. And on the way to pick up the kids from the bad spellers is when I heard Closer.

How can these two lives both belong to me????

Monday, December 3, 2007

There's something in The Mist

Stephen King's The Mist

Dave and I went to our favorite theatre over the weekend to see The Mist. I have never read a single Stephen King book or novella, but I really liked The Green Mile and The Shawshank Redemption so I was hoping that I wouldn't spend the movie with my face buried in my hands.

No such luck.

This was one of the most gruesome movies I've seen in a long, long time.

That being said, I can't say that I didn't enjoy it. It was not a fun movie. It was not at all a happy movie. And I would never watch it again if given the opportunity (purely because I'm a big scaredy cat), but all in all...the movie was really good.

The premise of the movie is that after a big storm in Maine, a town tries to pick up the pieces the next day. As the day begins, however, a strange mist starts rolling in off the nearby mountain and across the lake. And, as they say in the movie...There's something in The Mist. And it's not very nice.

The majority of the drama (and I do mean DRAMA) plays out in the town grocery store where people are trapped once The Mist rolls in. The movie takes the very best and the very worst of the human condition and throws them into the fire together to see which side makes it out on top. Neither side does very well, though. And although I hated Marcia Gay Harden's Mrs. Carmody with every fiber of my being, she really deserves some kind of award for that role. Andre Braugher (who I loved in Glory and City of Angels) is totally wasted in the movie.

The lead was played by Thomas Jane and he was awesome, as was the little boy who played his son...although I kept wishing someone would give the poor boy a Kleenex. They WERE in a grocery store for goodness sake. Couldn't someone have just popped over to aisle 3 and helped him out? Anyway...

The end of the movie had me crying as we left the theatre. Not in a good "I feel better now" kind of way...but in a "I feel totally violated" kind of way. Not necessarily a bad thing as far as things go, just not what I was expecting for my date night.

Bottom line...if you like horror movies, definitely go see it. The movie was really well done and very well acted. If you don't like horror movies, wait for it to come out on DVD and then watch it with the lights on. And pray that it's not foggy the next day.