Friday, December 28, 2012

Review Extravaganza--Final part of 2012

And now for the last review of 2012.  October, November and December are up.



  • Not a whole lot happened this month--other than you know Christmas, which I haven't even blogged about yet.
  • We went for firewood.
  • I shared what annoys me.
  • We put up our Christmas Tree, which we went to the mountains to get.
  • Which led to a large purchase.
  • I shared a good Christmas Memory.
  • And I reviewed the past year this month.
Well there you have it, the last quarter of the year.  Go see some of the other reviewers.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Sort of Random Tuesday

Hope everyone is having a fabulous Christmas.  I don't expect much traffic today-really you should be with you fam and loved ones, that's where I'll be.
But I did want to tell everyone Merry Christmas and I hope the big guy in the red suit was good to you and yours.
Merry Christmas!!
See you on the flip side.
Go see Stacy for more Randoms.

Join Shawn and Impulsive for Talk to Us Tuesday.
Seriously Shawn

Christmas is Coming

So after a bit of frantic scrambling, we are ready for Christmas.  I am making cookies with the boys today.  Snickerdoodles and Chocolate Chip. We have to have fresh cookies for Santa.
Speaking Of Santa, are you tracking Santa today? NORAD is tracking him both on the computer and on an Ap for the smart phone.  My boys are constantly asking where Santa is.  It easy to check no matter where we are.
Saturday Nick and I got away from the kids long enough to grocery shop, go to the rec center and sit in the hot tub.  Then Nick made me a fantastic BLT and then he went shopping with the boys for Mom gifts.  He was so over the Christmas crowds by the time he was done.
We watched A Christmas Story Saturday afternoon.  I made ham and bean soup and it was a nice relaxing evening.
Sunday, we went for a drive in the new truck--didn't get stuck but had fun busting a drift or two.  Then we came home and had lunch and listened to Christmas music.  Then we headed downstairs, started a fire and watched Christmas movies as a family.  All in all a very nice pre-Christmas weekend. Now to survive the next two days.

Hope everyone has a wonderful holiday!  Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Review Extravaganza-July to September

Week Three of the Review Extravaganza.  July, august and September.  Very eventful months for us.

We redid our Kitchen floor.
I had a random post on things of a summer nature.
we enjoyed the fourth of July in town.
Nick had a reunion and there was a parade.
We had a birthday dinner for my mom that was probably less than successful.
This month was dominated by our trip to Michigan.  We went by train rather than try to drive. It was marvelous.  But before we went we had a nice day riding bikes.
Nick and I had our 14th anniversary.
We began the Kitchen remodel.
I got to recap the summer.
Toes in the sand.
We finished the kitchen remodel.
We rearranged Turbo's room and then Bruiser's room
I talked about my issues with exercise.
September was a short month that was pretty much all about home stuff.  A good month though.
My beautiful new kitchen.

Next week is the final review.  Be sure to check back for all the holiday fun.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Joy Times 9

I'm joining Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop this week.  Prompt #5 was 9 things that bring you joy.  Here goes:
  1. Little boy giggles. Nothing can make my day like hearing little boy giggling with glee.
  2. Uninterrupted time to read. I don't get this all that often, but when I do I feel so much better.
  3. Road trips. Nothing takes the stress away like passing the city limit sign and finding a road we enjoy driving down, or one we haven't been down before.
  4. Getting just the right gift for someone.  It fun finding that one thing that will make them light up.
  5. A book good enough to read again (and again and again).
  6. Sea food. I love seafood, but being very landlocked, we don't have it often--it's spendy.
  7. Chocolate. Enough said.
  8. Nick. I like him and I love him--two different and necessary things.
  9. Turbo and Bruiser. The lights of my life.  I love these quirky, funny, creative little boys.
With Christmas fast approaching, it's good to look at what I have and how much joy it really does bring me.
Go see Mama Kat and pick a prompt and link up.
Mama’s Losin’ It

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Counting Me Down

I'm borrowing this from Kenzie at Life and Lemons.  She borrowed it from someone else.  These things do tend to make the rounds.
It's a count down all about me.  Here goes:
Five things I can't live without:

  1. My husband, Nick.  He's my rock.
  2. Turbo, my oldest.  He's quirky and fun and frustrating.
  3. Bruiser, my youngest.  Interesting, fun, delightful, frustrating.
  4. Books.  In any form, paper or on my Kindle.
  5. Chocolate.
Four things that terrify me:
  1. Spiders
  2. Insects, especially flying, buzzing, stinging kinds.
  3. Large social situations.
  4. Public speaking
Three things that annoy me:
  1. Drivers who go less than the speed limit in the mistaken belief that they are safer if they drive slowly.
  2. Migraines.
  3. Insomnia
Two things I'm working on:
  1. Exercise, regularly during the week.
  2. Meal planning.
One thing I'm grateful for:
  1. Weekends, even if they are too short.
There you have it, a countdown of me.  Not wildly exciting, but then excitement gets old after a while.
In other news we have snow today.  5-6 inches with more coming down.  White Christmas here we come.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Random Tuesday--One Week To Christmas

Are you ready for Christmas?  It's only one week away. I think we only need to get a couple of stocking things.  And take care of the Big Red Guy's stuff.  Now on to the random:

  • I really do love the classic kid Christmas movies.  Rudolph, Santa Claus is Coming to Town, the Grinch Who Stole Christmas, Charlie Brown.  These make it seem like Christmas to me.
  • We get to do a whole day of Christmas movies on Saturday. Well, that afternoon any way.  A Christmas Story, While You Were Sleeping, Donovan's Reef, Scrooged, The Santa Clause, we have so many to watch.
  • We will be doing Norad Santa Watch on Monday.  Turbo loves checking out the locations of Santa during the day.
  • I'm so looking forward to the winter break we have next week.  Gotta love working at a university.
  • It's supposed to snow tomorrow.  I had the boys do a snow dance.  It will at least look white outside by Wednesday.  With any luck.  Nick really want to figure out how his truck handles on snowy roads--he needs an excuse to use the 4WD in the new truck.
  • I need to bake cookies this weekend with the boys. Santa needs something to eat.  Wouldn't want him wasting away to nothing.
  • I need to get my annual viewing of White Christmas in.  Maybe tonight after the boys go to bed.  They are not huge fans of old musicals.
  • I'm looking forward to the dark chocolate turtles that I always get in my stocking.  They are one of the best things about Christmas.
  • Kmart is rushing the season, just a bit:
Yes, that is Christmas stuff next to Valentine's Day stuff.

So what's your random? Link with Stacy and check out more random.
And link with Shawn and Impulsive for Talk To Us Tuesday.
Seriously Shawn

Monday, December 17, 2012

Unexpected Weekend

Parts of this last weekend were unexpected, others were totally expected.
It all started last weekend when we went to get in the truck to head up after our Christmas tree.  Turbo did not fit in the back seat of our extended cab.  Nick had to move the driver's seat forward so Turbo could fit and then Nick we getting all kind of friendly with the steering wheel.  This really brought it home to Nick that we were going to need a bigger truck sooner rather than later.
So Nick spent his spare time last week checking out truck prices and choking over most of them.  By Friday, he had been excited, frustrated, and finally discouraged.  We left work early and went to look for shoes for me, didn't find any that I liked and then since we were close to a dealership, Nick decided why not go just look.
We test drove a 2013 Chevy Silverado 2500 WT.  It was a nice truck, but the bare bones model.  And it was white.  Not a huge fan of white for a truck we are taking to the mountains and that is going to get dirty. Nick called the dealership the next morning and told them we were interested in that type of truck, but if we were going to go new, we wanted a different color.  And we wanted some time to come up with some money to go with the trade-in.
About two hours later the used car guy up there called back and said they had a 2010 truck that was just what we were looking for--a bit nicer actually--would we be interested in looking at it.  Nick said sure.
About the time we headed out to look at it, it started to snow.  We always seem to buy our trucks in bad weather.
The upshot of all of this is that we have a shiny new crew cab Chevy Silverado 2500 LT sitting in our drive way.  Definitely did not expect that to happen.

The expected part of our weekend was the visit by the cousins.  The kids had a fabulous time.  Movies were watched, popcorn eaten, secrets told, toys played with and fun times had.  It was a good time for everyone.

Sunday was consumed with finishing laundry and getting ahead of the dishes.  We also wrapped presents.  Our tree had been looking sadly empty, with only a few gifts under it.  Now there are several,and we have plans to add a few more--already wrapped. but not under the tree yet.  Bruiser has been checking to see what he has under the tree.  It cute that he can identify the first letter of his name and he knows those presents are for him.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Review Extravaganza--April to June

The Review Extravaganza is rolling on.  This week is all about April, May and June.

Nick went away for a long work trip.  I managed to keep us all alive and healthy--mostly.
I talked about the birth of our family.
We did random cleaning, reorganizing and meeting of babysitters.
We joined the 21st century and got smart phones.
The umbrella on the back deck

Nick brewed his first batch of all grain beer.
I did the Favorite Color Swap.
I talked about what I learned from my mother--those things you done normally think you are learning.
I got a wonderful mother's day gift.
Turbo had a school field trip.
He also had a birthday and we built him a fort for all the kids/boys in the neighborhood to hang out in.
We tried camping in hella wind.
Blowing Bubbles in the wind.

I talked about songs and the memory trips they can take you on.
I created a sort of bucket list for things to do before I turn 50.
I wrote up a father's day post for Nick.
We went camping with friends for Nick's birthday.
And didn't ahve much else exciting happen.
camping relaxation.

The best stuff happened in July, so come back next week.

Spin Cycle--Once Upon a Christmas

The Spin Cycle this week is about a favorite Christmas memory.  Most of my childhood Christmases blur together.  It was immediate family time and staying home mostly.  But for a truly memorable Christmas I only need to think back 19 years ago.  Nick and my first Christmas.
We had met in college in the spring semester in German class.  We moved in together when school started in the fall. I planned on spending Thanksgiving with his family and going home for Christmas.  My car had other ideas.
Nick and I were heading out of town to go shopping when my front axle broke.  Five days before Christmas, two days before I was supposed to go home.  A trip of about 300 miles.  So no quick trip. The part to fix it would not be available until after Christmas.
My step father would not let my mom come down to get me so I could be home for Christmas that year.  Nick had been planning on coming up the day after Christmas to spend time with us and my step father thought that it was OK if I came home then.  He was a prince of a guy.
So the up shot of all this was that three days before Christmas Nick's folks got the news that Surprise, I would be here for Christmas after all.
I was immediately invited to the family Christmas party and treated like a real welcome addition.  It was fun.  And Christmas morning they had gifts under the tree for me and everything.  I felt truly welcomed by his parents and that started several traditions that we still observe.  Christmas eve drive to look at lights, Christmas breakfast with the family, Christmas eve at Papa and Nana's house...
Now for pictures:
Our very first Christmas tree.  A bit Charlie Brownish, but lovely all the same.

Opening Christmas gifts Christmas morning.

Nick and I at his folk's house Christmas morning.  We look so young.
So that is the memory of Nick and my first Christmas.  Go see Gretchen for more Christmas memories.
Second Blooming

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

When it's Cold outside

Since it's been cold outside here and outdoor activities have not been on the list of things to do, I thought I'd let you all in on what we do here when it's cold outside.

What do I like to do when it's cold outside? Curl up with a good book or movie, or bake like a mad woman.  Something about cold weather makes me crave carbs.  Not good for my waist line, but oh so tasty!
Favorite winter recipes. We love to make Pumpkin Pie Bread.  Chocolate Chip cookies are a big hit too.  I also enjoy making Spent Grain bread and buttery dinner rolls.  There's a recipe for cheddar biscuits that I add a touch of garlic to and they taste almost like Red Lobster biscuits.  Soups and stews and Chili also come into rotation when it's cold outside.
When I think of cold this is what I see:

What do I wear when it's cold?  Layers.  T shirt under a sweater or sweatshirt, a hoodie over a shirt, layers are my friend when it's cold out.
If you had the option of snow or no snow which would you choose?  Snow definitely.  When it's white it's way easier to deal with the cold.
What is your favorite winter activity? I like cross country skiing.  Sledding with the boys is fun too.  See we need snow to properly enjoy winter.

So what do you do when it's cold out side?

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Let's Get a Little Bit Random

So after making it through what was most definitely a very Monday Monday, it's now Tuesday and time to get all random.
  • Last night Turbo spent the night with Grandma.  She had her annual batch of trail mix to make and she like Turbo to help.  It get's mighty quiet when there one boy missing from the mix.
  • We got more snow last night.  No a lot, but hey, more snow is more snow.  I like snow.  Makes it all white and seasonal looking outside. I really do prefer it when we get the weather we are supposed to when the season calls for it.
  • We are moving into a brand new building at work.  Literally a brand new building--so new that they aren't quite finished with the lab areas.  I get a decent office, better than what I thought originally I'd get.  But since the moving process starts Friday (maybe Thursday) things are disheveled at the office right now.  Thursday might be a work from home day.
  • After our cold snap, I'm so glad we got firewood when we did. A cozy fire makes those very cold nights easier to deal with.
  • Now that we have a tree up, I need to start wrapping things.  This will help me get organized on what we have and what we still need to get.
  • I like the Science channel show Oddities.  It's weird, but interesting.  Some of the side show stuff they've shown I can't watch, but I do like watching most of it.
  • Bruiser is still watching the PNP Santa video.  He loves it.
  • I think we are going to have to make the effort to get to the Hobbit in the theater this winter.  I need to find a sitter for Bruiser, but the rest of us would enjoy it.
  • Last week Turbo's school had try outs for the talent show.  Turbo and a couple friends came up with a comedy sketch/song thing (we think) and they got into the show.  We get to go watch the show next week.
  • In other Turbo news, he had a wonderful report card--the best he's ever had.  He's been working hard at school this year and it's showing.  His teacher is really got his number and is able to get lots of work out of him.
That's about it for my random.  Go see Stacy for other random.
And Shawn and Impulsive had Talk To Us Tuesday--no rules just link up what you got for a post.
Seriously Shawn

Monday, December 10, 2012

Christmas Arrives

Well actually, there's quite a while until Christmas, but at least it looks like Christmas here at our house.
This last weekend was a nice mix of relaxing and family time. We didn't accomplish a whole lot, but we enjoyed doing what we did.
Friday night, we really just relaxed after a long week.  We ordered chinese food and watched I Want a Dog For Christmas, Charlie Brown.  A good way to wind down after a surprisingly hectic week.
Saturday morning I picked up my mom and we headed out of town to do some shopping.  I didn't really get that much, but Mom found some of the things she was looking for and we had a nice time.  The drive home was not so fun due to the weather getting bad and icing the roads.  We made it home without incident, but it was slow going at times.
Saturday eveing we had a graduation party for the girl who has been an intern for Nick.  The kids ran around like idiots, made friends with the kids who were there and didn't want to go home.  So all in all a good time.
Sunday morning dawned cold--about 3 degrees of cold.  But after a trip to the grocery store, we bundled up the troops and headed to the mountain.  A Christmas tree was needed.  We found a really nice one not too far from the road, cut it down and were able to head home.
The only glitch was that I thought Nick had grabbed Bruiser's coat and he thought I had grabbed it.  We managed to get to the mountain without a coat for him.  Turbo had brought a hoodie to wear under his coat and we hijacked it so Bruiser could wear it. It worked OK since we weren't out for very long.  Both boys enjoyed hot cocoa on the way home.
Sunday evening we decorated the tree.  It looks great.  The boys had a ball putting on ornaments.  Nick even hung a few.  We put stockings in the windows and there are plan to put lights outside, once it warms up a bit.
In progress

Turbo hanging the bells.
Decorating is serious business.
A lovely tree.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Review Extravaganza-January to March

So there this big review extravaganza going on and there are several lovely hosts:

This frst review--anturally--is about January, February and March:
I made some promises to my self, instead of resolutions.
We started the year long process of potty training Bruiser.
I got nominated for Most Fascinating Education Blog.
Bruiser turned three.
Otherwise January was fairly uneventful.

I shared my rib recipe.
The microwave tried to kill me.
Valentine's Day was less than romantic.
The boys got haircuts and Nick brewed beer.

I talked about my phobias.
I talked about my hair.
We had a trip out of town for a Spring Break Road Trip.

There was lots of complaining about cabin fever, weather, and general blahness in all three months.  But then, here, the first three mnonths of the year are kinda blah anyway.

Now go see the lovely hosts and link up your own recap of the year.


Hot dog!  It's Friday!  After a week that seemed to go on and on, it's Friday, finally.  Since I'm really looking forward to this weekend, let's get the confessing out of the way.
  • I'm really excited to be going shopping with my mom.
  • It's going to be just her and me.
  • We haven't really had one on one time for a long time.
  • There's always a kid or friend along too.  
  • The other nice thing is she tends to buy stuff for me when I go shopping with her.
  • I'm not one to argue--if she wants to buy, I let her.
  • Now I only have to hope the weather lets us go.
  • I'm also excited to decorate for Christmas this weekend.
  • We are going to get a tree.
  • Decorate that tree.
  • Maybe put up a few lights.
  • Decorate.
  • AND I need to bake this weekend.
  • Banana bread, apple muffin/doughnuts. 
  • Maybe if I'm ambitious enough, more chocolate chip cookies.
  • I confess to finding the Elf on the Shelf really creepy.
  • I'm way happier with the countdown calendar we have.
  • The boys trade off moving a star from day to day and can see how far we have to go.
  • It works quite nicely.
So what's on your mind.  Does it need confessing?  Confess away and link up with Aubrey at High Heeled Love.


Thursday, December 6, 2012

Spin Cycle--What I Want for Christmas

The Spin Cycle this week wants to know what our letter to Santa might contain.  Or what our Christmas list is.  This is one I think I can do, so here goes:
What I want for Christmas:
  1. Bruiser to be potty trained--completely.
  2. Good Eats 3 by Alton Brown
  3. More time to read.
  4. A light for my Kindle
  5. Motivation to scrap book.
  6. Really nice smelling hand lotion.
  7. Wii Fit, or an exercise game for the Xbox Kinect
  8. Jewelry is always nice.
  9. A pedicure.
  10. Sunglasses--polarized and glamorous looking.
  11. A DSLR camera.
I know some of these things are going to be difficult to manage.  But hey, Santa has magic on his side, right? I really just want to have a nice Christmas with my family.  Plans are tentatively set for Christmas eve and Christmas morning.  We plan on decorating this weekend (not that we really decorate a lot).  So, I get to wait, much like the boys (only with more patience) for Christmas morning to come and to see what shows up under the tree for me.  Last year Nick managed to surprise me with my Kindle.  Let's see what he pulls off this year.
So what do you want for Christmas?  What would be in your letter to Santa?  Spin it up and get it to Gretchen, she'll link you up.
Second Blooming

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

That's So Annoying

Do you have things that annoy you?  They don't make you mad, they just bother you?  I do.
It's so annoying when:
  • Books don't give a description of what they are about. I don't blindly buy books just because they are written by a certain author.  I want to have some idea of what the book is about.  It annoys me when all I get about a book are glowing reviews and nothing else.  I don't care if so and so loved it, I want to know what the book is about.
  • Older drivers drive slowly in the mistaken belief that they are safer at slower speeds.  They aren't.  They are just annoying to those of us driving the speed limit, and occasionally a hazard.
  • I'm doing the dishes and turn around and find another sink full of dishes scattered around the house.  This one will probably plague me for the next 15 or so years. Kids are awesome at leaving dishes around the house. Right now mostly cups and bowls, I know later it will be plates and spoons and forks and...   
  • Finding half full cups, cans of soda, etc. around the living room.  Why can't the kids finish a cup of liquid, be it milk, soda, eggnog, juice, koolaid, whatever.  I inevitably find half full vessels in the family room, living room, attic--where ever the kids hang out.  
  • Allergies.  You'd think that with winter here the allergies would take a break, but no.  Since there is no snow on the ground, the dust just blows with the wind and stirs up all the allergens and I turn into sniffy girl.
I guess these could be called pet peeves.  But really they aren't pet anything, just annoying.  You have any of these?  Do tell.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Random Tuesday

Made it through Monday.  Now on to Tuesday!  Let's go with the random:
  • I had two moles removed from my back yesterday.  They were the raised kind and they are much better gone. 
  • I am sort of frustrated with Blogger.  Yesterday I went to upload pictures and it would let me.  Said I had reached my photo storage limit.  And wanted me to pay a monthly fee to store more.  And this is supposed to be a free blogging site?  I found a work around, but it takes more time.  Stupid blogger.  However, I am comfortable here and don't really want to move to another platform.  That's a big ol' pain and I don't want to deal with it.  Hopefully, they will fix the problem.
  • I recommended Portable North Pole last year.  I'm recommending it again this year--especially if you have younger kids--although older kids might get a kick out of it too.  Turbo thought it was cool, even though he knows who "Santa" is. Bruiser was fascinated and answered questions that Santa asked and it was really magic for him.  Really, go check it out and make a video from Santa for your littles.
  • And the potty merry-go-round is still spinning.  We don't spend nearly enough time on the winning side.  One of these days he's going to get it.  I keep hoping.
  • I get to defrost a freezer tonight.  My mom comes and helps.  It's a process, but since the freezer in our basement is old, it frosts up lots.  So we get the fun and wet of defrosting it.
  • Christmas has yet to really hit our house.  This weekend is going to be the big decorating push.  Nick may put lights out--if Turbo helps.  We are getting a tree and well, by Monday it should look like a nice Yuletide home.  We try hard to not let it look like Santa came and threw up all over our yard.
  • I can't wear head bands.  They give me a head ache.  It's sad because head bands are an easy hair style.
Well that's all the random I can come up with this week.  Go see Stacy for more random.
And go see Shawn and Impulsive for Talk To Us Tuesday.  No rules, just a fun linky.

Seriously Shawn

Monday, December 3, 2012

Firewood, Laundry, and Friends

So this last weekend was productive.  We are all set for cold weather--if it ever gets cold here.
Friday night Nick sharpened his chainsaw and gassed up the truck for his trip to the mountains to get firewood Saturday morning.  He posted an update to Facebook and got a response from an old friend who offered to go up with him and let Nick use his trailer to get wood.  Nick was thrilled to get a chance to get all the wood we needed in one fell swoop and to spend time with this friend.  We got about 1 and half cords of wood--6-8 foot logs--in about three hours.

I got to get the grocery shopping done, laundry started, and Bruiser got Turbo's present.  Then when they got back from the mountains I got to help move wood--the stove cut lengths into a stack that wasn't in the driveway.
Stacked by the garage, lovely, warmth making wood.

Saturday afternoon the boys went to Papa and Nana's to make a ginger bread house.  They also wrapped a couple of present to pt under the tree there.  Just a bit of torture for the boys in that they have to wait until Christmas eve to open them. Saturday evening a couple of friends form out of town came down to visit and we headed out to see them.
Sunday we made some sausage--pork/antelope mix.  It was really tasty.  Nick was very excited that it tasted good.  We have a bit of refinement to make on the recipe but we have a great start.
After everyone got dressed and bundled up, we went outside and moved more wood.  We got all the logs cut up and moved out of the driveway.  We have three good piles of wood, some split and some ready to be split.  Bring on the cold and snow.
Yes, bikes are in the way, but we do use them--until the snow and ice drive us off the streets.  Really, look at the wood split and stacked!
Another stack of wood waiting to be split.

Next weekend will be busy: a trip with my mom, a trip to the mountains for a Christmas tree--the permit is on the fridge right now--and then decorating said tree.
So how was your weekned?  Busy, productive, relaxing?  All three?


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