Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Back to School

Yesterday was our little Bella's first day of First Grade!  How can that be?  She is growing up so fast, I can hardly stand it.  She was so excited about the school year beginning though.  She had been waiting for it all summer long, and it was finally here. 
Sunday we wanted to  make special, her last day of summer vacation.  Probably more for us than for  her, but whatever.  Jim had to work all day, so it was just us girls.  I was down for the count on Saturday with a migraine and slept in a little on Sunday morning, and wasn't too anxious to get going right away either.  So Bella and Michelle started in on getting a gift together for Bella's teacher.  They dipped fortune cookies in chocolate and then sprinkled red & blue jimmies on them (school colors), packaged them up nice, and voila:
(Tag reads: I'm so FORTUNATE to have YOU for a teacher; courtesey of 2 Sisters)
They tasted good too! 
Then of course Bella felt bad about not having anything for her teacher from last year and wanted to bring something in for her too.  So I had to come up with something on the fly- here's what I did:

Nothing fancy, but it did the trick!  Bella was happy and the teacher has extra pencils for her desk.
We had thought of going to the pool, but it was rainy and just not pool weather so instead we decided upon a movie.  Bella choose Despicable Me. Though she had seen it before with Jim, she wanted Michelle and I to see it too and we were not dissappointed!  It was very funny.  We didn't see it in 3-D, but it was fun non the less.  I LOVED the minions.

So cute!
Anyway, we did have a fun day. 
And yesterday, Bella was ready to face a new year of school as a first grader.  She had her school supplies ready, her backpack packed, her lunch was made and neatly packed in her lunchbox, her clothes were laid out, she was set.  She was all smiles going and all smiles when she got home-a good sign I'd think. 
Here she is-our big first grader!

Today, she couldn't wait to get up and go again!  It's great when they are still young.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Check out the Great Give Away!

Go over to see the amazing give away the Kara is doing over at Kara's Party Ideas blog and enter for your chance to win a Silhouette craft cutter!  Her blog is truly amazing and I check it out daily for ispirational ideas, she's not just about parties you know.  I can feel my pulse quicken when I click on her blog and see that she has posted something new, I just can't wait to see what she has in store for me next!  Go on over and visit, you won't be sorry that you did!   http://www.karaspartyideas.blogspot.com/

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Thankful Thursday

Thursday is here and it has been a long week.  It has been a rather gloomy week here, lots of much needed rain yesterday and very foggy this morning.  Monday and Tuesday were hot, hot, hot and it will be hot again today.  Consequently, my head has been aching!  I have been dealing with a migraine for the better part of the week along with a miriad of other aches and pains.  All a consequense of a combination of things, the weather and the Muscular Dystrophy.  So, I have been sleepy and probably a little grumpier than usual. 

But today the sun is shining and it is nearing the end of the week, the weekend is just around the corner and I have so much to be grateful for that I choose to focus on that!  In honor of Thursday, here are just a few things that I am thankful for today:
 1. My Family-I have such a great warm, loving and supportive family and I am sooooo thankful for each and
     every one of them!
 2. Painters-That's right, as I type this there are painters at my house painting the outside trim, shutters,
     doors, and caulking the windows so I don't have to!  YEAH!
 3. Friends Who Call Me at Work-You know who you are.  What a great break in the middle of the work-
     day to pick up the phone and hear your friends' voice on the line just calling to say 'hi' or ask  how my
     weigh in went.  What a special blessing!
 4. A Good Weigh In-Another good week on the scales!  Wooo-hooo!  It has been a long and difficult road,
     but I am rapidly now down 29 pounds, and boy will it sound good to say 30.  Still have a way to go, but
     it is a great start and I am happy about what I have accomplished so far.
 5. A Craft that I Love!-Scrapbooking/Cardmaking/Crafting, I just love it and it is a great source of stress
     relief for me.  I am very grateful that I have found something that makes me happy and that I find so

I could go on, but I am going to stop for now.What about you?  What are you thankful for today? 
And so you know that I mean what I say, here are a few examples of what I've been working on lately.

Bella's first day of Kindergarten (that was last year for anyone keeping track!)


What do you know-2010!  Journaling block blank, but can't have it all! 
(Paper piecing Legacy Paper Arts.)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

One happy girl!
Loving it!

Pretty toes!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Monday, Monday!

Can't stop that day!  Much as I would have liked too, just couldn't keep it from coming.  And come it did, way too early this morning, Monday morning arrived much to my chagrin.  How I wished it was still Sunday for one more day.  I just wasn't ready to face Monday morning and all that goes with it.  Bleh! Blah! Pho-ee!

The weekend was blessedly uneventful.  I went up to Tootie's on Friday night and we went to dinner and caught up on the local chatter.  Haven't seen the gals in a while, so there was much to catch up on!  After dinner we headed back to Toot's for some cropping fun.  I was not terribly inspired, so I just worked on some paper pieced page layouts that I don't even have pictures for!  Ha!  How do you like that?  But when I do have pictures, I'll be ready.  It was good just to be doing something though.  I have been so behind and so unorganized that I really don't know where to start.  I need to print out pictures before I can scrap them and before I can print them out I need to put them on the computer and organize them and that all seems like so much work right now.  I have serious issues, I know! 

So Saturday was the last day of the tax free shopping for back to school clothes, so Michelle and I took Bella out and got her a few things.  She didn't need a whole lot right now, just some tops and pajamas, and a few dresses.  We  had some luck-not a bunch though.  I had a coupon for Gymboree and it was the first time in recent memory when I went in there and wasn't tempted to buy anything, and I had a coupon!  They didn't really have anything new that was for fall.  They had new summer things, but we didn't need any of that.  Children's Place was a mess, and just plain strange styles they had out!  Nothing that I'd put on a first grader.  Luckily Carter's still has clothes for little girls that look like they are for little girls.  She was happy with what we got, so that is what's important anyway, right?
When we got home though I was so tired I laid on the couch and was out before I knew it and woke up when Jim came home and was completely disoriented.  I hate that feeling! 
Sunday he had hoped to go to Hersheypark for the day but I just wasn't up to it.  The man has boundless energy and I just don't any more.  I woke up feeling like I had been the victim of a terrible bar brawl and didn't even have anything to drink!  Bella sat on my lap and asked me why I was vibrating, my muscles were all just convulsing and twitching so much.  She kept asking me to make it stop, and I told her I wished I could.  Took a long hot tub to help to ease the tesion in my muscles, but that didn't help a great deal.  I just felt pretty wiped out all day.  So Jim wanted to clean the garage and basement-I let him.  I helped him, just not a great deal.  I really wasn't up to a whole lot.  I took a nap Sunday too!  And, I didn't take one picture this weekend!  Not one!  Nothing to share.  Sorry!!
Hopefully I'll start feeling like myself and be a little more cheerful and a little more productive for you!
Till then...

Thursday, August 12, 2010


Sorry that I have been missing from the blogosphere the last few days!  I have been swamped, and that is no exageration. Work has been so busy that I have not been able to get anything done, if that makes any sense.  I go in with a set agenda of things that I hope or need to accomplish and then I am bombarded with so much other stuff when I get there that it leaves no time for me to work on my 'to do' list!  And everything needs to get done. 
Home is similarly busy, but in a much less stressful way. 

So, where were we?  I guess when we last left off, we had finished up at the Pittsburgh Zoo.  The next day we spent at Idlewild Park and Splash Zone, which was a lot of fun.  Bella was fearless.  She has decided that she is pretty much done with the kiddie rides and moved up to the big kid rides.  She loves them!  The faster, the better.  We went on one water slide where you went on a tube down a tube that and were plunged into complete darkness, spinning around at great speeds, and to tell you the truth I was a little tense.  Bella?  She plunged into the bottom pool laughing and smiling asking to do it again!  It was a long day, but we all had a lot of fun. 
So that was the end our the vacation.  Then it was back to reality, and boy can that hit you right smack dab in the face!  Oh, how I miss that peacefull beach retreat right about now...
Not that the fun and games are all over, oh far from it.  Saturday morning Michelle treater herself, Bella and me to a manicure and pedicure.  Bella was so excited, her first mani-pedi!  She had looked forward to this experience for some time.  She was so cute too.  She watchedevery move the girl was making and she practically had to lay on the chair to get her feet in the water!  Ha!  Too funny.  I just love getting a pedicure, there is something so relaxing about having someone massage and buff your feet and legs.  Heavenly! 

But that was all a precurser to Sunday.  Sunday was a special day indeed.  One we had looked forward to for a long time.  What did we do  you ask?  Well, on Sunday morning we all got in our Sunday best and headed down the road with this place as our destination:

The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
Isn't it beautiful?  Sitting right along the Potomac River, next door to the Watergate Apartment building sits the stately Kennedy Center.  Bella's first time there.  We waited outside for a few minutes for Jim to park the car and a cab pulled up front and who should alight from that cab?  That's right-Tim!  He was going to join us on our grand adventure.  The five of us together for the day!  What a grand day. 
Then we went inside and Bella was in awe.  We walked through the hall of Nations and she looked up the whole time holding Michelle's hand and said in the cutest voice "Mama, look at all the flags!  There's got to be like a hundred!"  She just loved it.  Then we went upstairs to have lunch at the cafe.  We had tried to get reservations at the Terrace Restaraunt but the were booked, but we had a nice lunch never the less.  Then it was on to the main event.  What we had been waiting anxiously to see.  Bella's first introduction to real theatre.

And it was magical.  Practically Perfect in every way!  The show was just wonderful, so much fun, a true delight.  And the best part of all, watching the delight on the face of our darling girl.  Oh, how she loved it! 
She left the theatre singing SUPERCALIFRAGILISTICEXPALIDOCIOUS!  And she hasn't stopped talking about it since.  She loved the tap dancing and was amazed (as we all were) by the way Bert tapped on the ceiling while singing!  Amazing!  She loved to watch Mary Poppins fly and was truly delighted at the end when she flew out over the audience.  It was a spectacular show and one that I am sure she will remember. 
But our day didn't end there.  We dropped Tim off at the Metro and we drove around DC a bit and then parked the car and walked a little.  We had dinner reservations at 5:30 and didn't want to be late because our chef for the evening was very special indeed.  You guessed it, we dined at TenPenh in DC and Tim cooked for us.  The place is beautiful and the food was delicious!  Asian-fusion style.  Mmmm! 

This is an image of the main dining room and you can just see the kitchen there in the back.  It's really pretty. 
We were treated very well by everyone in the place and we left with very full bellies!  Good thing that we had to walk a way back to the car. 

Well, it is Thursday already!  Another weekend right around the corner.  Getting ready for Bella to go back to school in another week or so.  She can't wait! 
Hopefully I'll get back to crafting and posting some pages and crafts!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Vacation Continued

As promised, the happy couple:
Sam and Tiffanie

Bella was super excited about the wedding and couldn't wait to dance with Carrie and Justin and to see her cousin Katie again!  They did not dissapoint and lavished her with lots of attention as did Sarah and Jackie and Bill, too.  She put her dancing shoes on and had a good old time, she didn't care if the music was playing or not, she was ready to dance!

And the girl has got some moves, let me tell you.  We often used to worry that she was going to put out a hip or something, but all our worries were for naught.  She's got the moves down!
We didn't stay very late though as we had a two hour drive back to Bill's house that night and ha plans to go to the zoo in the morning...
So after breakfast, we headed off to the Pittsburgh Zoo.  Jim really is a zoo person, me-not so much.  Although since being married to him I have become more of one I must admit.  Ha!  We visit them often enough that's for sure.  Anyway, Jim had really been wanting to take Bella to the Pittsburgh Zoo for sometime and I was happy to go along and we did have a great time.  The zoo has changed a lot since the last time that we were there and the children's zoo is completely different!  Bella had a great time, lots of things to climb on and play on, slides and interactive things.  It was really nice.   And I just loved seeing the polar bears, they were so much fun to watch!  Here are a few pictures of our day there:

Bella loved watching the Sea Lions play, we watched from both above and below ground!

Here we are with one of the elephants! We got to touch his tusk and pet him, pretty cool!

In the Children's Zoo

Playful Polar Bears
Touching a blue and yellow speckled sting ray.
That was our day at the zoo.  It really was fun.  We were all pretty beat by the time we left, especially me.  Ha!  When we got back to Bill's I laid down and slept for two hours.  Did I mention that the zoo is built on a hill?  Lots of walking up and down stressing my muscles to the max. 
Enough for today, I'll share our final day of vacation with you tomorrow! 
Have a great day!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

I'm Back!

Coming back from vacation is a bummer!  Vacation was wonderful.  I had a great time.  The first half of the week was spent on Topsail Island in North Carolina and it was great.  The weather couldn't have been better, the company was terrific, the food was even superb!  Each of us 'kids' cooked dinner one night and we had quite an assortment of food; baked ziti, pulled bbq pork, meatball soup & eggplant parm, stuffed chicken, babyback spare ribs, mmm-mmm!  It was not so good for my diet, but it sure was tasty.  Ha!  I spent most of the week in a bathing suit and a cover up, no make up, didn't do my hair-it was great.  Here's the proof:

I got lots of color and even more freckles.

I spent lots of time behind the lens of my camera.  I even did a photo shoot for my niece who is a senior this year, and though I haven't gotten permission to post her pictures I'll give you a sneak peak:
Isn't she just so pretty!  I am so blessed, my sister has two daughters and though they are very different from one another in looks, they are the sweetest, nicest, most polite and faithful young women you might be luckey enough to meet and/ or know! 
Here is a shot of me and my siblings with my parents-a rare occurance these days.

The ocean was warm and ever so inviting.  We saw dolphins, pelicans, sand sharks, crabs, and even a few stingrays.  Really had so much fun. 
Then I had to leave on Thurday to head back home.  I was anxious to get home as I hadn't seen Bella in several days and I know that she was missing me too.  Then I had Friday to unpack, do some wash, take a trip to the local zoo with the little one and start the packing process again for our trip North.
So early Saturday morning me, Jim, Michelle and Bella headed to Pennsylvania for my my BIL's house and then from there it was on to our nephew's wedding.  Busy, busy, busy!  We really missed having Tim along with us, but he was just starting back to work after being out from his accident and we knew that the car ride would not be good for him, but still he was missed.
The wedding took place at a lovely old inn in Cambridge Springs, Pa.and the setting was one of the many gardens there.  It was so beautiful!  Just as the music began for the bridal party to begin their walk down the isle it began to rain, but that didn't seem to damper the spirit of either the bride or the groom in the least.  In fact, by looking at these two you might not ever know it was raining at all! 
 I'll post some pictures tomorrow along with some more from our vacation.