Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Cute Baby Gift!

This darling Rocking Dragon is what we ordered for Zane's Christmas gift. Is it not the cutest thing ever?

It's on backorder from One Step Ahead until December 3rd so I hope they get a big shipment and we get ours! Here's a link if you want one for your cute little one...plus their special this week is $5 flat shipping.

I'm getting giddy!

Monday, November 29, 2010

17 Years Ago...

Okay, you have to wait to read about this day in my past...the fun news? Dunt da da daaa...I'm typing on my brand new iMac! Love. Little tricky with the tee-tinsy keyboard and getting used to a mouse again (been in laptop land a loooong time) but all in all it's awesome.

We got our deal on Black Friday (which I still have yet to recoup all my sleep from btw) and Eric set it up Saturday. Only bad news is that I couldn't convince him to sign me up for One to One...he said I don't have time. Whaat? Me? Is he crazy? Oh yes, and that he could teach me anything I wanted to know. Yee-ah...that always sounds good, but evidently I always think there should be a better way to do "stuff" so I'm a horrid student. Whatever.

Well, 17 years ago tonight I was on my first date with this guy Eric who asked me out kinda out of the blue. It had been a weird Thanksgiving break...I went to my ex-boyfriend's family dinner (why?) I suppose for some closure. That or to suffer through the afternoon...can you say *awkward*? Should have got my "stuff" back that day--like my senior key and the pricey 8x10 sexy senior picture of myself--ya know so I could give it to some other guy later on. Anyway, I think that was the last I saw of him! Then one of the previously mentioned guys kinda invited himself out to meet my parents. Ooooo-kaay. Not that into you dude, but whatever makes you happy? That was weird too. Ugh!

Back to the best part...the date. Eric picked me up at my dorm in his way-awesome silver Pontiac Sunbird. At least I think that's what it was. All I remember was that he made sure to point out the very-stretched-out lacy prom garter dangling from his car mirror was indeed just "very-stretched-out"...he didn't go with a fat girl. (Please tell me why I remember some things?) We went for dinner at Subway...woot, woot! (I hate Subway now...not related to the date.) Then we went to the mall theater to see A Perfect World with Kevin Costner. Back home to Nation Hall, a quick good-night kiss at the door and done! Poof! History made!

I did happen to jot down a couple lines in my journal that night:

"Monday, November 29, 1993 12:20 am (on Tues)
I just walked Eric to the door after our first date. He seems like a pretty awesome guy~we're going out again on Friday so who knows."

Wow! Gotta love those details! It jumps pretty far and fast from there peeps. In January he told me he loved me...and I was on cloud nine. Actually wrote that I felt like the happiest girl in the world and my heart just took off and flew away. CHEESY! Blech...so corny, so young. Makes me laugh now!

Many drama-filled months later, we were engaged the summer of '95 and married in May of 1996. I still had a year to finish at Pitt, then we were off for Knoxville while Eric attended grad school at UT.

And tonight, to celebrate? Well, I kinda forgot that tonight was the anniversary...and it was the whole reason I started these posts! Was going to get a sitter and plan a night out...oh well! Maybe next year. We had a pretty yummy meal of Greek pork and some turkey day left overs with the three kiddos. He's watching TV and I'm, well, you know what I am doing. Ah, the simple things are nice. Love ya babe!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Gingerbread Days!

We're baking gingerbread today! The Raymore Breakfast with Santa is Saturday, December 4 and we always make a couple houses for their Gingerbread House Silent Auction. The proceeds go towards our parks department and we love supporting their endeavors. This year I'm using a pattern for Row Houses and the kids are each making a house too!

Here is my entry from last year. The gal who won it kept it for displaying again this year. It was much fun to make...even had working lights inside!

I used the pattern for the Phantom House (a Halloween house, obviously) at the Haunted Dimensions website and just left off the porch and made it Christmas-y. They use cookie dough for their main house, but gingerbread works great (better in my opinion).

Then two years ago (gasp!...that seems like forever ago...I was 6 mos. pregnant with Zane) we each made a house. I was experimenting with recipes that year so poor Kai's caved in!

LinkThis one was done using the Farmhouse Pattern from Ultimate Gingerbread. I LOVE their site...navigating it can be a bit tricky, but it is packed with great ideas, patterns and recipes. Here is a link to their gingerbread construction-grade recipes: CLICK HERE and the one I use is called "My Favorite Gingerbread Dough" found if you scroll down to the bottom of that page.

I hope you take some time this Christmas to try out some gingerbread making fun! We started out a few years ago with the easy kits they sell all over the place...perfect for kids and less-ambitious grown-ups...and believe me, much less mess!

Monday, November 22, 2010

17 Years Ago...

Things were quieting down on campus for the Thanksgiving holiday. It turned out that lots of kids headed home early after classes let out Monday afternoon. I was car-less and therefore at the mercy of my good friends to make the 3 hour trek back to Cheney which wouldn't be until the next day.

Never being classified as a neat-freak, my dorm room was in its typical state of organized chaos, and for some strange reason I decided to tidy up a bit. Afterwards, I remember thinking how nice it was to sit on a smoothly made bed listening to CDs while looking up at my neat desk and beautiful collection of MardiGras ceramic masks hanging on the cider block walls. While perched on said bed, a soft knock came at the door. "Hmmm, who could that be?", I wondered. My door was half open so I peered around to see...oh my...it was that Eric guy again!

I have fuzzy memories of the actual conversation, though I do recall being nervous...and glad I cleaned up my room! He asked me out on a date...a real dinner and movies date...and we agreed on the following Monday...right after the break. I was a bit smitten. He was really cute! And what nerve, lurking around until someone let him in our dorm and then just walking up to my door...what else was there to do? Text? Email? Ha.

So here's the kicker. When I was around 12 or 13 I had a dream about my wedding. Vivid dream. I was walking down the aisle, but my groom had his back to me. The only distinction about him that remained ingrained in my memory was the color of his hair...dark, dark brown. Every boyfriend that I scrawled my name with his last name attached to it in my diary I knew wouldn't be the one...the blond, the redhead, the mousy brown, well, one other had dark hair, but I kinda knew it wasn't a forever thing there. But this Eric guy? Dark brown hair....almost black. Something about him made my knees a little wobbly...maybe it was the dream, maybe something else, but for the first time I found myself a little at a loss for words and, dare I say, a bit shy?


Have a great Thanksgiving week y'all! We'll be gingerbreading on Thursday and the new Mac is hopefully coming home with us Friday. Yeeeee!

Friday, November 19, 2010

17 Years Ago...

The date was Friday, November 19, 1993 and I'm guessing it was a fairly normal day. Classes. Eating in the dorm cafeteria...I can't even remember what we called it. Chit chat here and there. I do remember thinking I needed to be in bed asleep by 11 or so if I was going to be up early the next morning for the road trip.

After supper, my girlfriends started talking about the big party they were going to later. Okay, they were probably talking about it at breakfast. And lunch. But whatever. When I said I was staying in for the evening the pressure began. "Oh, come on! It's just down the street. It will be fun. Pleeeease come with us!!!" And like any girl not-so-firm in her resolutions, I caved....on one condition...I was not going out to Hollywood's (our bar) after the party.

From there it was who was wearing what and prettying ourselves up. Hot rollers in my long, dark brown (recently colored) hair. I wore my favorite shirt: a chocolate brown, velvety bodysuit. Remember those? They snapped down below like a baby onesie so they would stay nicely tucked into our high-waist jeans cinched with a belt. Donned my black ZCavaricci jeans. Nice. I was hot. Oh, yeah, baby. I know we had Prince cranked up and blaring down the hall. We jammed out to him every night out...what was the one song? Let's Go Crazy? Kiss? I can't remember, but there was one in particular.

Then off we went...the Chateau Apartments. Now let me tell you, those were some niiiice apartments! Two or three floors of, what, about 12 apartments each? They all opened out into an interior lobby up and down. The throngs of people were not unusual for any typical college keg party. Squeezing in and making our way to the beer station, it was tight, loud, and smelled like 150 college crazies fresh and ready for a night on the town.

I was teamed up with Jill...my pretty neighbor from down the hall with white-blond curls and a big smile. She was tons of fun and knew a lot of people from being on the track team. Since I was not particularly super-excited at being out, not drinking, and keeping an eye on the clock, I honestly wasn't paying much attention to the people around me. It wasn't long before I probably had that "I'm so bored and you are so stupid" look on my face that is hard to camouflage.

And then it happened. Jill drug me over to introduce me to a group of her track friends, and one I remember most particularly. He wasn't tall, but had dark hair and kind eyes. I believe the word "fine" would have been a term used to describe such a guy. "Resa, this is my friend Eric." I don't remember exact words...probably "hey, nice to meet you etc." "that's an unusual name...blah, blah, blah". And on we went.

Maybe 45 minutes later, this Eric guy runs into me as I'm trying to melt into the crowd between floors (I'm so ready to go home). He points at me and says "heyyy...you're Jill's friend ...uh.... Resa!...that's it!" I am unimpressed with his slightly inebrieated "hey-ing" with the finger pointing...yeah. He tells me they are all headed to Hollywood's and I should come with them. "No thanks. I'm done and going in for the night." Back and forth that conversation goes, not only with him, but eventually with my girlfriends as well. Thankfully, I escape and make it the few blocks home on my own.

Ahhh, a quiet hall and quieter yet room. I change into my regal purple, terry-cloth robe, grab my basket of shower gear and head down the hall for a nice, hot steaming. Not more than a couple steps outside my door I stop short. A small crowd of people are laughing and making their way towards me. Frozen, I look straight in to the face of the guy from the party with Jill and a some other friends close behind.

"So you really are calling it a night" he says. "I thought you were just blowing me off." I'm thoroughly embarrassed, not to mention completely naked under my robe, but I try to play it cool and choke out a "Yup. Really just here heading to the showers." "And this is your room?" he asks. "Uh-huh" I say with a small smile. Awkward silence. Then the group calls out to him and he's off with a see-ya.

Chance meeting? Not quite. There was an orchestrater far greater than he or I making sure the timing of each our steps that day would end up at just the right intersections. And aren't I so glad He did.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

17 Years Ago...

It was fall of 1993 and I was 18. Living in Nation Hall at Pittsburg State in SE Kansas, my life revolved around new friends (a few old ones), the excitement of being "on my own", and perhaps sadly, boys, er, men? ah...let's call them guys.

I had recently broken off a two-year relationship with a guy from back home, something I will never regret doing, though I do wonder what happened to him...hmmm. From there it was just a blur of nights out meeting new people at every turn. The girls on my floor...the lovely basement in our all-girl dorm--my, look at the paint job we did...went out every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday night. A few of us non-Greek gals called ourselves the GDI's and liked to frequent the SigmaChi house best.

One of my fellow basement dwellers (not a GDI though now one of my dearest friends) gave me a journal as a "secret pal" gift in October...and from it's contents I can tell you I was a mess. Confusion was a word oft repeated on the pages. My list of guys included Dan, the "I only talk when I'm drunk" SigmaChi that was a really good kisser; Jas, the tormented artist who's heart was broken; Sheridan, the "I'm a senior and need to find a bride" Christian; and Ariel, the guy from Argentina who was just learning English, but I felt I would be friends with forever. Oh, yes, and the guy across campus from my high school who I'd had a secret crush on since eighth-grade and could never tell because one of my best friends had a not-so-secret crush on him too (I'm sorry D...if you're reading this I don't think I ever told you!).

Anyways, what 18-year old doesn't like a bit of drama in her love life, right? So for the coming weekend, I had plans to go with Sheridan on a harmless trip to Manhattan to watch the High School state football championship. I think his school must have been playing in it. At least it would be an escape from Pittsburg for the day. Friday night I even decided to stay in since we were leaving at the crack of dawn Saturday morning.

And then God had another plan...but I'll save that for tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Gratitude Project

My dear friend Amy has started a blog. Or should I say: My dear friend Amy has started a blog!!! I'm very excited because in the relatively short time I have known her, she has poured so much wisdom into my little life that I'm anxious to learn more from and about her. Not to mention her witty sense of humor that I totally "get". Or that her suggestion of going the Charlotte Mason-way has completely revamped the look of homeschool at our house.

Anyway, Monday she posted that she has joined the Gratitude Community at A Holy Place...now my poor old browser (yes, I'm still complaining about my old computer...9 days and counting) couldn't handle that blog for some reason so I didn't make it over there to check out the details...but the gist is that you list 20 things you are grateful/thankful each Monday until you reach your goal.

I decided this was a great way to lead up to Thanksgiving around here so we started our Thanksgiving List. Indeed a great way to keep the focus off the ever-more-oft-mentioned Christmas Lists. 20 items a day should give us 200 blessings by Turkey Day; being Wednesday, we're up to 60...and it is a hodge-podge of yours-mine-and-ours as we have mass brain storming sessions to create the list with one rule: no repeats (though some are a bit close). I will attempt to not put side notes or sarcastic comments next to various items (but perhaps unfortunately, they are there in my brain!).

  1. Soccer
  2. T-Ball
  3. Christmas
  4. Food
  5. Yummy-yummy food
  6. My room
  7. My canopy
  8. My coach-Daddy
  9. Tackle box
  10. My husband who works hard to care for all of us
  11. Television
  12. Movies
  13. Clothes
  14. The world
  15. An unseasonably warm fall
  16. Summer
  17. Sunny days
  18. Sidewalk chalk drawings
  19. Naomi, Stella & Ava
  20. Disc golf
  21. Discs
  22. Hole-in-ones
  23. Playing disc golf with Vince & Jeremy
  24. Drinking beer w/Jeremy
  25. Free beer from Jeremy
  26. Randyl's new job
  27. Eating candy
  28. Zane
  29. Chase, Will & Mia
  30. Ice cream
  31. Sleeping
  32. New windows
  33. The piano
  34. Neighbor Kim
  35. Caden & Marin
  36. David & Kayla
  37. Good friends
  38. Grandmas & Grandpas
  39. Our whole family
  40. Elena
  41. Kai
  42. Dear sister Jodi
  43. Warm sweaters
  44. My bed
  45. books
  46. cowboy boots
  47. bicycles
  48. snowglobes
  49. playgrounds
  50. hot tea
  51. close soccer fields @ the park
  52. Miss Kim's pool
  53. hats
  54. snuggles from little ones
  55. our van
  56. markers
  57. chalk
  58. Halloween
  59. Thanksgiving
  60. my drawings

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Countdown is On...

Just 11 more days until we order our new Mac! I'm so excited I could do a little happy dance...but I'll save that for next Friday. Evidently the ONLY day of the year Mac offers a sale is Black Friday so we are jumping on it. We have a couple other avenues to pursue discount-wise, but this one is the easiest. Plus, who doesn't want to go join the throngs of shoppers that day?

To give you an idea of how old this current puter is...it's a Mac PowerBook G4 running Mac OS X 10.3.9, gifted to us already loved back in 2004 or so. We've added memory and more memory and upgraded everything we can to keep it functional, but now it's nearly impossible to mess with pictures or do much anything but basics online. (One reason my blogging is sporadic as I have to gear myself up to jump through the hoops getting pictures uploaded every time.)

Once we get our new iMac I have big plans!
  • I'm signing up for One to One at the Apple store to learn all kinds of new goodies and to figure out the best way to transfer all our old info to the new machine.
  • I'm going to make photobooks! Lots of them!
  • I'm going to give my blog a face lift by revamping the design, adding in some tech-savvy widgets that I've studied over at Erica's Confessions blog, and start writing regularly again, just for fun!
To some people that all might sound like torture of the worst kind, but I'm excited for cold winter evenings spent cozied up to the soft glow of the computer screen...mixed in with a few good Austen and Austen-esqe books, of course.

My Monday thoughts have been dwelling there for a bit...otherwise it's so far been a good day!

I finally found the world's best (read: cheap, works and is green) degreasing cleaner for the kitchen and scrubbed all my cabinets and appliances PLUS under the hood above the stove. I confess, I just don't go there usually. I really didn't think there was something that would easily clean all that gunk w/o the use of a gas mask. It's washing soda! Arm&Hammer makes it and I bought it to use as a laundry booster, but saw it's claims on the side of the box and took it for a whirl. Whoo-hoo! The only drawback is that you must rinse, but seriously, anything that will wipe stuck on gunk off with a simple swipe of a cloth is a miracle worker for me.

We have Bunco tonight, and though I'm not in the running for Bunco Queen this year, I'm super excited to see who wins the big pot!! Pretty sure it will be Sara or Angie. Kim is hosting but we're playing here at my pad. Shall be good times!

Our toads have stopped eating even though we recently cleaned out their entire tank. Go figure. I'm going to have to kill the chirpin' crickets that are crawling around their abode so we can all sleep in peace.

Ah, I guess I should stop procrastinating finishing up school with the kids and maybe doing my floors before my friends come over and stick to the tiles with their shoes. Toot-a-loo!