Thursday This & That

It is barely still Thursday, but I thought I’d sneak a This & That in since I haven’t done one in awhile and I have a bunch of random mish-mash – none of which makes a full post all on its own. So I say…let’s bring Thursday T & T back!

You might be wondering (or maybe you didn’t even notice at all – those few readers I even have left!) where the Team UP Thursday has disappeared to. My fearless partner and I decided that we just needed a little break. We had been participating for over a year and lately our hearts were just too full of other stuff to really be fully into TUT. In fact, most weeks we were both scrambling on Wednesday night just to get it done, and some of the creative process was getting lost along the way. So we said goodbye to TUT – at least for awhile. (But I do miss everyone and especially you, K! I hope you are doing well.)

Today we also said goodbye to our awesome a/c & heating crew who have been working hard this week and have installed a new unit in our attic for our upstairs. So perhaps this summer we will be stylin’ in cool, cool comfort. I think I might have freaked the crew out a little bit earlier this week, though. I asked if our condenser could be switched around the corner and the guys replied “of course, but we need to get that tree stump out of there.” So I tried to find someone that could do stumps quickly and when I did not find anybody…I took on the stump myself.


VERY good therapy, let me tell you. And it was pretty cool to see the look of awe on the guys’ faces when they came into the backyard and realized that it was ME who got the stump out.

Of course, I quickly found someone to take care of the other 10 stumps spread throughout the yard. Because…yeah. One stump I can do…Ten? No.  Plus Addikins and I have some big gardening plans and we don’t have time to be grinding and digging stumps. Addie is obsessed with wanting to plant stuff. She has asked me no less than ten times in the last two days if it is time to put her bean and sunflower plants in the ground. “They need to have their roots in soil in the ground, Mama. They can’t stay in my cup.”  So clearly I really need to get her space ready for her.

I mean, look! She came home with garden plans in her backpack today…


Eeeee! I can’t even begin to tell you how much I love this. I mean seriously? Ovkotow tree? (Avocado tree) Carits? (Carrots) Boobaes? (Blueberries) And Mashroom? (Mushrooms) How can you not totally love her sweet drawings and her completely phonetic attempts at spelling?! It is so darn KUOOT! (That would be “cute” ala Addie!)

And we do indeed have some lovely blueberry bushes that we need to plant, and I have a feeling the Easter Bunny just might bring some gardening equipment our way this weekend, too.

I hope you all have a lovely and blessed Easter as well, if I don’t make it back on here before the weekend is out.

This & That, Friday?

Okay, so first of all…this week went by so quickly I can hardly believe it is Friday already. And secondly, my This & That Thursday – now Friday needs a new name. Nothing sounds as snappy as T&T Thursday. But, I don’t have time to work on it now, so that will be our mission for next Friday, I suppose.

For anyone who didn’t get our theme yesterday, it was indeed blue. Kimberly’s shot was the cool straws and my shot was the vase of flowers. Although, they are not really flowers. I mean, they are flowers, to Addie – but they are the little blossoms that grow out of the middle of the clover patch in our rose garden. They are essentially weeds. But every morning Ad will walk out when we are getting ready to leave and nearly fall over herself with glee, “More flowers, Mama! We got more beautiful yellow flowers!” And she picks all of them and put them in little cups all over the house. The other morning there was a very big clump and so it required THE vase.

That blue vase is my favorite vase of all time. J. brought it up to the hospital with a gorgeous bouquet of yellow and orange roses when I was admitted at 28 weeks pregnant with little Miss Emma. She thought it was a good time to try to come out. We all did NOT think it was a good time. So it is my good luck vase, reminds me of being pregnant to my Peanut and has become our “go to” vase. Whenever any of us get flowers we all kind of fight over the “pretty blue vase.”

Besides flowers, Addie has been obsessed with hearts. Paper, cut-out hearts. For every flower in our house there are at least five paper hearts. This one came home from school yesterday.


It is for her Daddy. How sweet is that?

Meanwhile, Emmy is missing her Daddy as well, and sending him all kinds of love…


…but she absolutely cannot wait until I finally leave because she gets to spend the weekend with her very bestest friend and they have some very big plans, or so I hear.


Other “noteable” moments for Em this week. Our Daisy troop delivered over 500 pairs of shoes last weekend to the Soles 4 Souls program to be sent to the victims in Haiti. 500 pairs…that is!


And…we also wrapped up taking orders for the GS cookies. Em is so excited, she gets a patch AND a t-shirt. Mommy was so excited because Em was a fantastic cookie salesperson. She helped come up with her little speech and she delivered it many, many times to family, friends and neighbors. And she just kept getting better and better. It was so awesome to watch her confidence grow as more people bought cookies. And it also made me even more determined to make sure the girls in Em’s troop get everything they need. Girl Scouting does indeed build strong girls. I see it every time our troop meets.


So thank you very much for all of you who supported Em and bought cookies and helped make her just a little stronger this week.

And finally, I am praying for strength for my mom. My mom’s aunt died yesterday evening. She was the last of my Grandma’s siblings left. As we were talking about our memories of her, it came out that my mom feels badly about not calling and talking with her before she died. But then it hit me. How many of us have had, or will have at some point in our lives, this same regret? Something happens and we are left thinking, why didn’t I just call to say “hi” or “I’m thinking of you.”

We get so wrapped up in our lives and the days just slide away. Then more and more time goes by and we feel like it has been too long, it would be awkward to call. Or maybe we just take it for granted that our family and friends know how we feel. And then it is too late. I know I am guilty of this.

Last night was a wake-up call for me. I am not going to let another day, another week, another month go by without calling or writing to those I care about. I’m generally a “it is what it is” kind of girl. But I think that this is one of those things that shouldn’t be “what it is.” This is not something I want to leave to chance.


(Just a little Addie sweetness to look at while you think about all that “heavy” stuff over the weekend. Our hearts and prayers are with you, Mom!)

This & That Thursday

Yeeeehaw! It is Thursday.


I wasn’t really sure about doing a T&T Thursday as we charge into Team-Up Thursday today, but I really do like my little download post for the week. It lets me get all my thoughts and photos of the week documented and out here on the blog. Maybe I’ll just move it to Friday. Kinda makes more sense. But, since I’m writing it now, and it is going to be Thursday in a few minutes, I guess we get one more T&T Thursday.

So updates to earlier happenings…

The storm ended, and we had a sun-filled, peaceful weekend along with some really pretty views.


The sunsets have been incredible this week and I am always without my camera. You’d think I’d learn, but no.

We, and half of our neighborhood, hit the park this weekend for some fresh air. This is Addie’s little friend, Jessie. She is the cutest! My girls could care less that I’m in their face with the camera and she is just hamming it up in every photo.


Let’s see…what else is up with the buttercups?

Addikins is out of her mind with excitement. She pretty much sounds like this…



Translation: We get to go see Mary Poppins, the Musical with EJ (BFF, remember!) and her mom, B. on Friday.

And then we are having EJ over for a sleepover this weekend so her Mommy can go visit EJ’s Nana (please think good thoughts for B.’s mom – she is in the fight of her life, working on kicking cancer!). And THEN, the next weekend, Addie is going to stay at EJ’s while this Mommy travels down to Miami to the SuperBowl.

YEAH! THIS Mommy. Me.

My lovely friend B. is taking Addie, and my other lovely friend Jamie is taking Em for the weekend so I get to go hang with J. and see the Colts win a SuperBowl. (You heard it here first. Well, maybe not first…but you did hear it here!)

So besides getting to see the SuperBowl, I also get TWO six-hour plane rides. By myself. Do you have any idea what a treat that is? A big coffee. My iPod. A few magazines. A few books. And nobody asking for snacks, the DVD player, crayons, bubblegum…oh. I can hardly wait.

I mean…oh, I’m going to miss my girlies so very much! Yes. That is what I mean.


Emmy decided tonight that we really had to try to take a photo for Daddy (he is already in Miami) because “he is going to be gone for so long (two weeks) and he might need a new photo of his girls.” (Because he doesn’t have 20,000 photos already!) So she decided to try to take a few, and she snapped this.


You don’t even need to ask me how much I love that photo, do you?
But we need to try again on the timer photo of the three of us…


Gee…do we all have the same cheesy smile? Yes. Yes, we do.

This & That Thursday

It has been the strangest week. I think it is due to the weird weather we have been having. I must say, at first it was extremely  funny to listen to the weather/news casters out here. I should tape some of the broadcasts for you midwesterners to watch and you will just laugh and laugh!

“And then it we will have 100% chance of rain every day. For five days straight! Heavy rain!”

Needless to say, the “storm” has been the only topic of conversation around here since last Friday. Even over the weekend when the sky looked like this…


I think that the forecast must have kept a lot of people away from Disney, too. We had a very casual, fun weekend in a much-less-busy-than-normal park. And even when we had to wait for a ride, it wasn’t very long, and we found ways to keep ourselves occupied…


But, at the end of Sunday (thankfully just about the time we were ready to leave), the clouds started to roll in.

See? There’s one…and another…


And by the time we finished up it was pouring. Our sweet Daddy ran to get the car while we found a dry spot and sugared up for the trek home…


We said goodbye to Disney, and hello to the rain.


But whereas the rain was a nice change at the beginning of the week, it has been a little scary at times. Along with the rain we’ve had thunderstorms, crazy winds, tornadoes, mudslides, and water spouts off the coast. Most disconcerting though is the flooding. For 50 weeks of the year the earth just pretty much bakes around here, so when we do get rain, it just cannot soak into the ground fast enough. And the storm drains cannot keep up with the runoff, so we just have floods. Our entire front walk was under about 6 inches of rain today and our driveway’s puddles came well up to the middle of my calf. That is a lot of water!


So yesterday the girls and I were in our jammies, with popcorn and hot cocoa, hunkered down watching movies. Right after school. At 4pm. There was no way we were fighting the storms. Plus it was just a really nice pause in our weekly chaos.

In other news around here, we are on tooth-watch. Again. Em tells me at least three times a day how “wiggly” her tooth is.


And besides the start of cookies sales, the Crazy Daisies also had a field trip to the firehouse…


And they earned their Strong & Courageous petals. Our Daisy on the zipline…


When we first walked up she was so “not going to do that rope thing, Mama,” but she changed her mind after she watched her friend Kelli do it. That is my girl. Hang back and survey the situation, then cautiously proceed. I was very proud of her.


Meanwhile, Addie just charges ahead with life. Her friend EJ turned five a few weeks ago and I believe that Addie thinks they can’t be friends if Addie isn’t five as well. She keeps trying to tell me, “I’m five too, right Mama?” “I’ll be five in a few days, right?”


I finally told her that she will be five soon enough (too soon enough!) and it was okay if EJ was already five. And they would both get to go to kindergarten in the fall. (God-willing, EJ will get into our school, or there might be some seriously depressed little best friends around these parts.)


And after the Haiti earthquakes, and a few others up in Northern California too, J. and I have renewed our quest to be fully earthquake-ready. I think I’m going to battery-up our flashlights, we may need them today if you believe the weather forecasts, as today is supposed to be even stormier than yesterday.

Hope you are all having a good Thursday.

This & That Thursday

What a difference four days, a horrific drive through blizzard-like conditions, and a plane ride makes.


Emmy could not be happier about trading in her boots for flip flops. And I could not be happier about giving up the constant negotiation with little Addikins. Seems the girl doesn’t think she needs to wear a coat. And well, I don’t need to tell you how that just doesn’t work in nine degree weather. Yeah, it was NINE…before the windchill.

I know this isn’t new news to most of you, since you are living in it at the moment, but whew…my blood has thinned. I think I can truly be classified as a California girl now.

This is the bounty we picked from our garden yesterday afternoon. Snowballs or lemons? Hmmm…it is a tough decision. (BTW, a box of avocados and lemons are on their way, Mom and Meesh!)


Thankfully we made it back home in time for all the festivities. Apparently all of our friends and most of our family decided to be born this week.

(Wishing you a very happy Birthday today, Aunt Vicki!)

While I worked on some birthday cards and crafts yesterday morning, Addie wiled the morning away working on cards (I think she ended up with four or five of ‘em?) for her very bestest friend, E.J. who celebrated her big 5 birthday.


And she insisted that we pick roses for E.J., too. (Check out how she signs her name – on the envelope. The way she makes her “d’s” kills me. They look like little cherries!)


A little bit of California sunshine and flowers for you on this lovely almost summer-like Thursday.


This & That Thursday

So I totally skipped Crafty Tuesday this week. Sorry ’bout that. Apparently, I am pretty far into vacation mode and the fact that it was Tuesday, that just missed me completely. I did take photos of all of the Christmas presents I have been delivering and they were all hits, so I’ll share them next week!

The SuperCapes were hits as well, and Em and Ad brought their capes to their cousins’ and they all played SuperHeros. I have some cute video. Also will have to share it next week.

Besides the SuperCapes, the cousins found many things to keep them busy. At the top of the list was capturing and carrying my sister’s poor kitties around the house. Meet one of the most tolerant cats in the whole world. This is Griffin…


He looks like he is being held on Em’s lap against his will here, but neither of the cats seemed to protest too loudly. And they both sought out attention if they were left alone for too long. I know my girls are already missing them, and I think the kitties might just be missing them, too.


We spent most of our time just relaxing, which is what I love about going to my sister’s. It is a step back to nature, the middle of the woods, a place to unplug and detach and just be with the girls…and now “the boy” too! (Ella calls her new baby brother – “my boy” as in, “hey where is my boy?” She cracks me up.)


And try getting six, SIX, kiddies all looking halfway decent and somewhat sort of looking at the camera. It is not an easy feat, let me tell you. (Even Mav has a little smile on his face!)


We also celebrated Ella’s actual birthday. She wanted to go see the “Chickmunk” movie, so we all piled in and over to the theater and watched a movie…


Addie is mad because she couldn’t sit next to Ella, but Ella didn’t even want to sit. It didn’t take Addie long to snap out of her crabbiness…


And then ruin the ONLY photo of my sister and I from the weekend…


Then we had a little dinner at Ella’s fave dining establishment (MickeyDee’s)…


Had some more cake (with blue frosting!) and  went for a “swim” in the hot tub…


It was a pretty full and fun birthday, I think…


Then it was time for us to say goodbye and time for the dynamic duo to disband. My favorite photo of the week. I found the “sweet spot of light” at Michelle’s house. Finally. On the very last day.


That shot is SOOC, straight-out-of-my-NEW-camera. I struggled with it most of the weekend and found I am so thankful for warm, sunny, lots-of-natural-light, California. I can’t wait to get back and be able to really play, turn off the flash and shoot. But, right in front of Meesh’s sliding glass door with the reflecting snow – that gave me this pretty shot of our beauties.

So we traveled downstate yesterday for a few more Christmas celebrations and visiting with more family.

I’m already taking bets on whether I will make it to midnight tonight, in order to usher in the New Year. Usually J. and I watch the NY celebration in the LA timezone (which is 9pm, our time) and then we call it a night. I’m thinking being in the Eastern time zone is going to seriously but a tax on the total vacation and relaxation mode I have going this week.

(Yawn.) We’ll see.

Wishing all of you a very happy, healthy and beautiful New Year!

Do you know what day it is??


It’s here, it’s here! My favorite day of the year!

I have always had an affinity for Christmas Eve. I think I like the anticipation and the preparation almost a little more than the actual day of frenzied opening of presents and stuffing full of food. I’ve always loved the whole magic of the night before. And it is finally here.

I spent this evening making sure we had “even piles” of presents and wrapping. And amazingly enough…the wrapping for the girls is done!  That is usually what I do after church on Christmas eve. Instead I may be finishing up a few presents for Michigan. Or packing. Yeah, probably packing.

All of the girls in the house are battling colds. I’m refusing to give in, I think they are running, or have run, their course in Em and Addie. But I am not going to get sick. I’m not! I have to go see my new nephew. “Aunt Meesh’s newbowen baby,” that is according to Addie. She can’t remember Mav’s name so she just refers to him as that “newbowen baby.” The way she says newborn cracks me up every time. She is so funny.

There was also a very lively discussion about the fact that Mav is a newborn baby just like baby Jesus this afternoon in the car. The things those two come up with…

Well, I’m going to go get a little sleep so I can enjoy my most favorite day tomorrow and so I can kick this cold, er…I mean…get some rest so I won’t get sick.

And only one more day to be good. It is just so hard sometimes…


Happy Christmas Eve!

This & That Thursday

So we’ve been a few Thursdays without a crazy pic from Addikins…


…and there we go.

Because I didn’t have enough junk to do on my “to do list” I decided I’d try to get a new photo for the header last night.  After we spent a good 20 minutes looking for the second Santa hat – I gave up and promised that I would Photoshop a Santa hat on whichever girl ended up hatless, and then we took turns with the hat.

Yeah, so that was a small white lie, since I (obviously) did not take the time to do that for the header photo. Sorry, girls. I’ll pay for the years of therapy you’ll most definitely need later in life.


That of course is not the only little white lie going on around here. The whole Elfie (Elf on a Shelf) thing is pure gold. I just have to look at the creepy little Elf and the bickering and whining stops as abruptly as it starts.

I am making a little bit of headway on my Christmas list – well, I have ideas for everyone. Still working on the execution of most of them. I’m really struggling with the girls and J. though. Seems like they should be the easiest ones to buy for since I am with them 24/7 – but I’m not finding anything good.

Of course it doesn’t help that Addie is telling anyone who will listen that she is getting a “new Smokey” – a real new kitten.


Yes. That is not happening. Even when they flash me those “puppy-dog” eyes.

I’m making a bit of headway on my “other” Christmas stuff too, like the cards. Well, again…I have an idea. I’ve bought the paper and envelopes. Still working on the execution.

All this generating ideas is hard work. I think I’ll go figure out where all the mint M&Ms have disappeared. Maybe I’ll set up a videocamera to try to catch our M&M thief. Surely J. and I could not have eaten an entire bag in one night.

(Seriously…if you have a few minutes you have to go watch the “Creeper In my Apartment” video, it is freakin’ me out right now!!)

Have a great weekend. I hope you are all very productive and get further on the execution of your Christmas than I am likely to!

This & That Thursday

Seriously. It isn’t Friday yet? Really? I swear this is the longest week. Ever.


Every year about this time, I get all amped up and make it my mission to figure out how I can simplify our lives. Live more simply. Really appreciate what we have and what the holiday season could really bring to us, instead of the stress it usually does. Rarely do I find any sort of success, but I’m having a go at it again this year. I’m really going to try.

First up…on Monday, I turned off Facebook. Oh. Yes. I. Did!

I realized I spend far too much time reading status updates. There are some “friends” that I will genuinely miss seeing what they are up to, and I will check in on them occasionally – but maybe once a week or so instead of several times a day.

And not only that, I just wiped my GoogleReader clean, too. It is clean – zero unread blog posts. I realized that there is no possible way I was going to ever get to read all of the posts, I was so far behind. So I’m starting fresh. It is very liberating. Don’t worry, the downsizing of computer time will not affect my blog. Much. Well, I’ll still strive for a few posts a week, let’s leave it at that.


Every single day someone shows me, or I find, a new craft project or something that we can make in our Workshop, and I want to just make them all! I have all kinds of handmade gift ideas rolling around in my head for nearly everyone on my list…I’m just hoping that I get some of them done.

Thanks for all of your kind words about our Two Birdies excitement. We are furiously creating for the Holiday Boutique on December 4th, and I figure anything *extra* that we don’t sell we’ll post in our etsy store. I may put some photos up there next week and see if we have any interest, especially in the supercapes and such. I’ll post when we get something up there.

I’m getting a little something from my wishlist next weekend, too, a sort of early Christmas present to me. We are finally getting a family photo (or two!) taken. My lovely blog friend, Rose, has kindly squeezed us into her hectic schedule and she is going to shoot us on the beach! A real photo of the four of us has been on my list for about three years now, so needless to say, I am beyond thrilled. I can’t wait to see what she comes up with and to also meet her in-real-life.


I was trying to take some photos for a friend last week for her Christmas card which is what led to the impromptu concert photos in her kitchen from yesterday. For those of you who asked, they were belting out the Taylor Swift song, Love Story. The girls have loved that song for quite awhile now, and we taped SNL when she performed it a few weeks ago. Emma saw it, and…well, she now has Taylor’s “moves” down (Oh yes, Christina! The hips and everything!) and thinks she is a rock star. Yes, she is six. *Sigh.* Julie did get some video of it, I’ll have to try to get it from her. It is pretty priceless.


Meanwhile, when Addie isn’t spending all of her time cracking us up, she is on the hunt for “churkeys.” There is one of those blow-up turkey lawn decorations down the street from us and while we were driving past it the other day, Ad screamed, “Ahhhh!! Mama! Did you see the churkey?” I swear that is how she says turkey…churkey. I have to get that on video, too. It’s so cute. So yeah, I do drive a little out of the way just so I can hear her little voice pipe up, “There the churkey is, Mama!”

Speaking of “churkeys” we got a new stove. Just in time for Thanksgiving dinner, pumpkin pie and the start of Christmas baking! 4 working burners, two oven racks and an oven that really heats up to what the dial asks it to? It really is the simple things that makes this girl happy, I tell you.

Now, why do I think of a million things all week long that I can “just put into the T&T Thursday post,” but then I can never remember any of them when I actually sit down to write this? Ah well. There is always next week.

Happy Only-One-Day-Away-From-Friday Day!

This & That Thursday

Another week. Another Thursday.

I’m actually starting to really miss my blogging time. I miss writing and capturing the girls and their antics through words and photos. My miserable and sporadic posts are certainly not due to lack of blog fodder. At least twice a day I think, “that would be funny blog material,” but most days I’m patting myself on the back for getting a shower, shoveling some food into the girls, and getting everyone chauffered where they need to be, when they need to be. I just don’t seem to be able to find much “extra” time anywhere. Anybody figured out how to make more hours in the day yet?

No need to answer that, I know I’m only saying what everyone else is feeling, too.

So, let’s see…what do I need to throw out for this Thursday?

Not to detract from the importance of Veteran’s Day, (big thank you to all the veterans out there!), but holidays in the middle of the week really stink.  All day yesterday it felt like Saturday. The girls didn’t have school and J. took a day to be home with them which was all well and good, except, well…there was no Sunday. Now we are smack back in the middle of the workweek, except it just feels out of whack. It just doesn’t feel right.

The day off for everybody did afford me three whole hours to really work on crafts to sell at the holiday boutique, which was a beautiful gift. My lovely husband took the girls to the place I like to call “hell on earth.” Chuck E. Cheese. The place gives me the jeebies. But oh, how those girls love that place. So Daddy obliged them, treating them to cardboard pizza and head-splittingly loud arcade games for hours on end. And then, as if the three hours of peace were not enough, he also brought me home a peppermint mocha. Mmmm…heaven.

Besides yesterday, I think we are all recovering from last weekend a bit. We had the most exciting Daisy meeting, possibly ever. Let’s just say it will be very difficult to top, and all the meetings from here on out are going to seem incredibly boring, I’m afraid.

It was one of our Daisies’ birthday and her dad happens to be the fire captain, so after our already packed meeting, look what pulled up to our house…


And…we all got to ride on the truck. I’m not really sure who was more excited about riding in it, the girls or the Moms. And, the firemen were so amazingly patient and kind – it really was a very fun day.

We have a field trip and a service project planned for next month, lots of planning and coordinating going on for that, but man our troop of girls is amazing. They are giddy about every part of being a Daisy and that makes it all so worth it.

With all of Em’s many activities, I feel like Ad just gets dragged along most of the time. So I’ve been trying very hard to make an extra effort to plan fun stuff for Addie and I, and arranging extra playdates for her, too. I cannot get over how much she has grown up in the past few months. She says the funniest stuff and cracks me up most of the day. And she reminds me so much of Em after Emma had started preschool. Little.Sponges. She is very quick-witted and smart. The other day we were in the car and she was being crazy, so I said to her, “Addie you are a goof! G-O-O-F!” And without even a moments’ pause she said, “No I am not, Momma! N-O! I’m not!”


I know I’m missing a million other things, but I’m also missing parts of MadMen, we only have two episodes til we are all caught up. I’m dreading the last few episodes because I’m so addicted. What will I do for my fix?

Happy Thursday.