Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A little bit about me

Someone sent me this somewhere along the way and I thought it was a good one, so here is a little about me.  Don't take it too seriously though.

1. What is your current obsession? Trying to keep my house clean, it’s a never ending job! Between the dogs shedding, Jim being home more and having a 6 year old in the house, and working full time I can never seem to spend the time I need to get it clean to my standards.

2. What are you wearing today? White slacks and a Kelly green top with gold jewelry.

3. What’s for dinner? I have no idea!

4. What’s the last thing you bought? The last thing I bought was a new door for the outside entrance to our basement it has nine windows on it. Rather plain, but just what I wanted for that space. Terribly exciting, huh?

5. What are you listening to right now? The hum of the air conditioner.

6. If you could have a house totally paid for, fully furnished anywhere in the world, where would you like it to be? Anywhere my family and friends are is where I want to be and where I can call home.

7. What is one thing you want to change about yourself? I’d like to be more connected to people as I tend to isolate myself a bit even from those I love. It’s not intentional but more of a defense mechanism. I am so afraid of being hurt and rejected that I create a wall, a barrier to protect myself.

8. If you could go anywhere in the world for the next hour, where would you go? I’d go to Florida to have a cup of coffee with my mom and chat about nothing in particular. Ah, heaven!

9. Which language do you want to learn? I’d love to be able to learn the male language, then maybe conversations with my husband would make more sense!

10. What’s your favorite quote? I have many but one of my current favorites is: "A man never stands as tall as when he kneels to help a child." The Knights of Pythagoras

11. Would you cook for me? Of course!

12. What is the right way to avoid people who purposefully hurt you? The best way to avoid people who would purposefully hurt me is to simply avoid them.

13. What are you afraid of the most? Snakes & getting locked in a Port-a-Potty!

14. Who do you want to meet right now?

15. What is your favorite color? I love many colors especially like pinks and greens.

16. Give us 3 styling tips that work for you. Three styling tips? Okay, here’s what works for me: 1) Blow dry hair with a big round brush 2) Invest in quality clothing it pays in the long run 3) Always wear nude underwear with white!

17. What is your dream job? Personnel shopper. I love spending other people’s money!

18. What’s your favorite magazine? Hmm, I don’t think I really have a favorite. I like to look at craft magazines and home d├ęcor magazines, but no favorites. Oh, but I do love that cooking one with the southern lady with the white hair and the thick accent. The one that drips honey, can’t remember her name. Love it!

19. If you had $100 now, what would you spend it on? A new pair of shoes.

20. What do you consider a fashion faux pas? I can’t stand seeing underwear, it is not meant to be seen that is why it is called underwear. Especially bras under tank tops, ladies didn’t your mother’s teach you anything! Get a strapless or a racer back, and by all that’s good in this world do not wear a black bra with a white top!!

21. Who, according to you, is the most over-rated writer? I don’t keep up to date on too many current authors but I hate it when popular authors who are aging and/or loosing their ‘steam’ pair up with another writer to sell books.

22. What brings a smile to your face instantly? Bella can bring a smile to my face anytime!

23. What is one word that you say a lot? Youknow. One word.

24. What kind of haircut do you prefer? Something easy and flattering.

25. What are you going to do after this? After I hit ‘Post’, I may have a bite of lunch.

26. What do you do when you are feeling low or terribly depressed? It’s not often that I feel low or depressed but when I do I find that a great big dose of sister therapy helps!

27. What makes you go wild? Me, wild? Why, I never! Ha!

28. What are your favorite movies? An American President, Sabrina, Dave

29. What inspires you? Lots of things inspire me, my family, my community, the world around me.

30. What do your friends call you most commonly? Karen

31. Would you prefer coffee or tea? Coffee

32. Which other blogs do you love visiting? Bring the Rain-Love Angie’s writing and her inspiring story of dealing with Plan B and their beautiful daughter Audrey Caroline.

33. What is your favorite dessert/sweet? Yes! How’s that for an answer.

34. How many tabs are turned on in your browser right now? Eight

35. When you looked at yourself in the mirror today, what was the first

thing you thought? Ooh, I got a lot of work to do-makeup don’t fail me now!

36. What is your favorite season? Fall, love the crisp fall air, love the changing leaves, love the smells, love the sounds the clothes. Love fall!

37. What is one wish that you really want to see come true? I want to see my children truly happy.

38. What breaks your heart? To see suffering without hope.

39. What's one thing you really want to do in life? Make a difference.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A Funny Little Story

Another Bella story to get you through your day.  Well they help me anyway!  Wish I had a picture to go along with this little bit, but you will just have to use your imanination.  Bella had been playing all day in a pair of purple shorts with a lavender floral top.  When I got home from work her hair was down and she had decided to add her pink cowgirl hat to the mix.  She was singing and dancing around for a while and then she started talking in her version of a southern drawl.  'This is how they talk in Texas, Ma'am' she said as she looked at me.  She went on to talk in her little drawl until G-Daddy announced that dinner plans were to run down to the Chinese restuarant for dinner.  Bella got all excited and ran upstairs saying she knew just what shoes she was going to wear.  Down she comes sporting her bright red cowgirl boots!  She was rocking the look, let me tell you.  Ha!  It was too cute.  (Something only a six year old can pull off.)  We get in the car and we are about half way there when she says 'Oh!  Do Texas people eat Chinese, Ma'am?'  To which we of course answered yes.  'Oh, good.  Then that's okay.  I can eat there.'  And I am fully convinced that had we said that Texans did not in fact eat Chinese food she would not have eaten it that night either!

The girl knows how to stay in character!

Monday, June 28, 2010

And the Bad Blogger Award Goes to...

Me!  Sorry, I know that I've been bad lately.  Haven't posted.  Been busy and can't blog on the run, haven't mastered the whole tweet thing yet and I don't think that I will ever go there!  Ha! 
So, what have I been up to you ask?  Well, since you asked so nicely I'll tell you. 
Friday I took the day off work.  Really.  I did.  I had my Blackberry with me and I did read and respond to some emails and I did have to make one or two phone calls but that was about it.  The rest of the day I was off.  Resting and relaxing?  Not really, but I had a good time.  I went to Chantilly, Virginia to the Great American Scrapbook Convention. 
This is what the convention floor looks like! It's wild. 
Friday I was a volunteer and worked as such in three different workshops: Creative and Interactive Stamping, Boxer Palooza and Princess Puppy Tin.  They were all good classes, but I really got a workout in the Boxer Palooza class as the instructer had 50 people in the class and it was mostly a lecture class where she talked about the different products offered by Boxer and I passed them out to all the class members!  They all got to take them home too!  What a great class for them. 
After I was done with my volunteer duties I went on the convention floor for a while and did a little shopping on my own before I headed home for the evening.  (I missed my friend Jeannie!  Last year we cropped from 5-11 together at the convention.  Hey Jeannie!) 
Saturday morning Tootie, Dawn and Kristie came down and we all went together and stayed for the day.  Just shopping and having fun.  The convention was not nearly as good as it has been in the past as there were not as many manufacturers and lots more resellers and dollar boths, but we had fun anyway.  We were pretty much done with our shopping by 2:30 so we checked into our  hotel and then I headed back to the convention as I was signed up to take a photography class.  In the past, the others would still be shopping and knowing my limitations I would need to sit by now so I take a class to break up the day.  This time though we were all done!  Anyway, I went to my class and they went to the pool. 
The class was sponsored by Tamron and it was on taking better pictures.  It was a good class and I'm glad that I went.  At the end of the class they had 3 door prizes for a Jill-e Messenger bag and I was one of the lucky winners!  This is the bag:
It's got lots of padded pockets inside for lenses and such.  I was happy.  Then they did the drawing for the grand prize for the convention and much to my delight - I won!  A Tamron AF70-200mm lens with a $629.00 value!!  And I was happy with the bag!  I got a certificate for it so I can mail it in to get the correct mount for my camera and you can bet I had that baby in the mail this morning.  Can't wait to get it in the mail and start playing with my new toy!  Thanks Tamron!
When I got home, Jim had taken Bella to the Crystal Grotto and so they were not home and I had time to catch up with  Michelle for a while.  When Bella and Jim got back Bella was so happy to see me!  She squeezed me so tight and kissed my cheek over and over-it was so nice to be missed.  Maybe I should go away a little more.  Ha!  Later, the girls went to a block party and Jim and I stayed home.  We didn't want to go out in that heat.  Instead, I took a nap.  LOL!  Later on I finally got Jim to hang my embellishment center in  my scrap area and I was able to get everything back up on it and off the floor.  Thank Goodness! 
That's about all for now.  Hopefully I can be back soon with an update. 

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

More than I could have imagined.

If you had asked me when I was 20 or even 30 what my life would be like now I don't think that I would have gotten it right.  I don't think that I would have ever guessed that I would be working full time, my husband would be retired, my younger child would have moved away from home, my older child would be living at home with her child.  No, I never would have guessed all that.  And all the rest.  Who can know how your life is going to turn out?  And if you knew, would you do it again?  Would you make changes along the way to alter the course of your life or the outcome?  Hard to say. 
But I can say this with some assurance, I like where I am.  I am happy.  Life doesn't always take us where we thought we were going to go, but somehow we get to where we are none the less.  My journey like so many others, has not always been an easy one.  It has been fraught with angst, tears, lonliness and despair but also filled with laughter, joy, happiness and so much love.  My blessings abound and I am so grateful. 

Sometimes its lifes simple things that can bring the most joy.  After Bella's birthday party Michelle came up to me and rested her head on my shoulder for a moment and I gave her a squeeze and she looked and me and said thank you.  With so much sincerity in her voice and in her eyes that I was moved.  Michelle and I talk about everything, share so much, she had thanked me over and over again.  I knew that she was grateful.  That was a small but significant gesture. 

Tim called last night to tell me that he had gone to the National's game on Monday evening.  He told me all about the game and their adventure.  How much they had enjoyed it and what fun they had.  We got cut off when he got on the subway and he called back to pick up where he left off when he got off his train.  He told me about where they had gone to dinner and what they had, what it cost.  All the little details of his life in the big city.  And he didn't ask to talk to his dad and before he hung up he said " I love you, Mom", like he always does.  I hung up and just held the phone to my chest and smiled,  Silently enjoying my alone time with my son. 

And then there's Bella.  I walked in the door last night and no one seemed to be around, so I called out 'hello' and the response I got back was ' GAGA! GAGA'S HOME!' Followed by her little footsteps running down the hallway and down the stairs and then her arms wrapped around my legs.  She looked up at me with thos big brown eyes and smiled that big toothless, dimpled grin and said softly 'Hi, Gaga.' and my heart melted.  As it always does.  What a welcome home.  There's nothing better.  She is such a sweet, loving child.  And she says the funniest things sometimes.  My friend Durinda is always telling me that I need to write them down and someday I will, for now I'll put some here. 
  • She had a song stuck in her head and told Jim about it, his solution was to close her mouth & blow it out her nose or something, she proceeded to give him an anatomy lesson in why that wouldn't work.  As he relayed this to me in front of her she looked at me and said "After all Gaga, we know that the cranium would get in the way anyway!"
  • Looking at a seascape w/Durinda, Durinda commented on how pretty it was and how it made  you feel like you were really at the beach.  Bella replied "Yes, that's because of the texture in the painting" Well, duh!
  • When asked if she liked something that she was eating her response was not a simple yes, instead she said "My taste buds are dancing the meringue!"
  • While we were at Chuck E Cheese watching the big rat sing, she realized that is was not in fact the rat singing, but a recording. “I’m not impressed” was what she had to say about that.
  • Watching ball room dancers on TV she were mesmerized. When asked what she thought she responded with “They’re beautiful, just gorgeous”.
  •  “Since Grand-Daddy doesn’t let us turn the heat up, we should just call it a Warm Tub.” Enough said.
Look at that face and be unhappy!  It's hard to do.  She keeps me young, she keeps me tired!  But I wouldn't have it any other way. 
My arms are full, my heart is fuller and my life is more than I ever coul have imagined!

    Tuesday, June 22, 2010

    A Lot of Nothing Much

    That's what I've been up to!  Not too much in particular, but a whole lot in general. 
    The weekend seemed to fly by as per usual.  Saturday morning was a bit unusual as my narcolepsy really kicked in and I was having real trouble staying awake.  Michelle and I would be mid conversation and I'd nod off.  I'd wake up just a few minutes later not knowing that I'd been asleep and wonder why she had just stopped talking!  It is a very strange sensation.  I just couldn't right myself and wake up until about noon.  So unusual for me. 
    Anyway, we then headed out to to some shopping.  We decided to make Jim a nice meal on Saturday night for dinner since he was working on Sunday and would be gone from 11-7, so we bought all the fixings that we would need.  I made a nice dinner and left the clean up to Michelle.
    Sunday morning we went out to breakfast for Father's Day and when we got back Jim had to leave to go to work.  That left just me, Michelle and Bella  home for the day.  It was hot and miserable and the weather forcast was calling for more of the same with a terrible air quality, so we decided to stay indoors for the day.  With that in mind, we headed over to see Toy Story 3.  We had all been anxious to see it and Bella reminded us that it was 'in theatres now!', so it seemed like a perfect opportunity.   But I'll tell you, it just eats at me to pay $8.25 for a matinee!  I had a coupon for a free small popcorn so Michelle got a small drink, a regular drink and upgraded to popcorn to a  medium and it was $11.00.  Crazy.
    Last night Bella had try outs for the Dance Company that she had been invited to try out for.  There were like 10 girls who tried out and they expect to have only 5 openings.  We have no idea though how she did as all the parents were kept in the hallway and not allowed to view the try outs.  They expect to have letters out telling the girls of their decision by the end of the week.  I'm not sure how I feel about it to tell you the truth.  I think that if she is in the company it will be a good experience for her, but on the other hand it is a lot of practice and pressure for a small child.  Bella wants to do it and has a good attitude about making it or not right now, I just hope that doesn't change if she doesn't make it, as it often does with kids.  Right now her main concern is that she might be taking a spot from another child who wants it more or who would be hurt by not making the team.  So we'll just have to see what happens.
    In other news, I am down 2.6 more pounds this week!  That makes a total of 18.something (I can't remember what she said exactly).  I had lost 6 right before I started so I am almost at 25!  I want to get to 25 with Weight Watchers though because then I get a key chain.  Stupid I know, but I need all the encouragement I can get!  Ha! 
    Stay tuned, hopefully I'll come back with pictures soon...

    Tuesday, June 15, 2010

    Too Much Activity...

    and my back is killing me!  Has been killing me.  It is getting worse and I am not sure what to do about it.  I feel like I am at a point where I am grumpy and over tired and just plain miserable.  I know that you may be thinking 'go to the doctor you dolt', but it's not that simple.  When I go to the doctor's office with this type of complaint, I am given a cursory examination and then they chalk it up to the muscular dystrophy and say that there is really nothing that they can do about it.  So it seems like a waste of both my time and theirs.  Besides, I have to go through that whole getting on the scale thing too and really, I don't want to have to go through that if not absolutely necessary!  So what do I do?  I have been doing some stretching exercises that the doctor had given me when I went to Kennedy Kreiger back in February/March but they are not helping.  Maybe my only option at this point is to bite the bullet and go back to physical therapy, but oh how I hate that.  I am not sure why, but I really don't like going!  It is an hour out of my day that I don't have, it is hard work, I have to dress in sweat clothes (yuck!), never mind sweat, none of it is appealing; but I guess I may have to do it.  Just wish there was a magic panacea that I could take and the pain would just go away and my back would be fixed and I wouldn't have problems with it again.  The worst part of it all is, they don't know what it is, so they can't fix it-just treat it.  Story of my life!  Do I sound a little down?  Sorry.  Sometimes it all gets to me.  It can be so frustrating sometimes!  I don't want to be like this.
    It is as though my body has betrayed me and I want to be the way I was.  But I can't go back.  And if I could, at what price? 
                                            Who would have to pay to alleviate my suffering?     Is the pain worth the cost?

             IN         MY          HEART          THE   ANSWER      LIES.... IT IS THERE...WAITING,

                                                      TO                                      BE            

    I know the answer, because it was put there long ago.  By a heart far larger than mine.  By someone who know so much more about sacrifice than I ever will.  Someone who gave up so much more than I can ever dream of.  Christ.  He died for me.  He gave His life for me.  So that I can be free from sin.  So that I can have everlasting life.  For you too, for all of us.  And all that He asks of us in return is that we accept Him as our Saviour.  He gives so much, yet asks so little in return. 

    So, who am I?  To complain?  To ask for more?  

                                While I may complain at times, I won't ask for my this disease to be taken from me.  The price would be too much to bear.  Because though I may suffer at times,  though I may feel down, I know-are you listening because this is important?-I know that I am never, NEVER alone.

                                                    Sweet Comfort.       Such Relief!

                                  Two                    little                  words            that        mean      so           much ,            that                help                    me                   each         step          of        my                          journey.           NEVER             ALONE.

         He is with me.  And that is all I need.  That is the panacea that I need, the button I can push to make it bearable.  Think about it...

    On another note, if you want to see some beautiful hand made jewelry like this:
     where she is hosting a special giveaway!  Beautiful stuff!!


    Monday, June 14, 2010

    Weekend in Review

    Warning: Picture Heavy!
    More so than usual, this weekend was extremely busy.  Beginning with Friday night, we had Bella's dress rehearal for her dance recital.  I picked the girls up immediately after work and we didn't get back until 8 or 8:30.  I went because it was the only time that we could take pictures.  Timmy and his friends came home and spent the night at the house and got up in the morning before heading out on their camping trip to Dolly Sods in WV, so we were able to see them although it was very brief.

    Our little ballerina.
    This was their tap number and it was so cute!
    Bella took a nap before the recital on Saturday and had to be woken up to go, she is not used to being up past 7:00.  Luckily the recital was at 3:00 and we were back  home by 5:30 so it wasn't too bad.  After dinner I actually was able to get the ironing done, clean the house a bit and then sit down and do some scrapbooking.  Before I knew it I looked at the clock and it was nearing 2:00 am, and I knew the morning was going to be coming soon and I'd better get what little sleep I could. 
    Sunday brought the Princess Breakfast that we had gotten tickets to at the Way Off Broadway Dinner Theatre.  This year was the royal wedding and Bella was really looking forward to it.  The food leaves quite a lot to be desired, but the show is cute and the kids just love it!
    Our sweet princess.
    With the Royal Family and the Wizard!
    After that we went home and caught a well deserved nap.  Bella again had to be woken up for our next trip-the ball game.  We got there right before 5:00 pm when the gates opened.  The kids were allowed to play catch in the outfield and that is something that Bella thought would be great fun to experience.  Also, the first 500 kids received a Webkin Oriole, so she got one of those little guys.
    The game started at 6 and at the end of the 9th inning the Keys tied the score and they went into extra innings!  It turned out only one extra inning was needed and the Keys won the game!  Next it was time for the diamond dig.  It turns out that Michelle was only one of ten chosen-from Facebook.  There were 50 people in all.  The diamond was hidden in a marked area within the infield and they were all given spoons to dig with, nothing more.  Michelle said that under the initial loose dirt it was hard packed clay.  She was a mess and unfortunately, did not find the diamond.  Hopefully, it will help to make the make an improvement on the life of the person who did find it.  She had fun doing it though.

    Here they are getting ready to go out on the field.
    After the dig there was a firework display.  Bella couldn't wait for it to start and kept asking when are the fireworks.  When they started though and she first heard the boom she lost it!  She began crying and wanted to go home right away!  She didn't want to see them from the car or the house, she said please take me  home and put me to bed, and when we got to the car she begged me to drive faster to get away from them.   Poor thing, she was a mess!  Oh well, now we know our plans for the 4th of July don't include fireworks!
    So, it was a long, and exhausting weekend!  I could really use a few days to recover to be honest. 
    Unfortunately, that is not the case and the alarm sounded very early this mornig.  Ugh!
    Oh well, on to the next thing.

    Friday, June 11, 2010


    By the way, I am still dieting.  Even with all the hoopla of Boo's party I am still dieting.  Trying to anyway.  This week I lost another 1.6, so I am down and I am very happy about that.

                 I                  Am.
                                              It's      Just    that,           well,                      do you ever have those moments?

           You know the ones that I mean-the moments that we don't like to talk about?         Okay, like when you are getting ready to take a shower and catch a glimpse of yourself in the all together, all together NUDE in the mirror.  Like that.

    Or, like when you step in the bathroom and daintily drop your drawers and plop yourself down and have a seat and your not going to be there long enough to read so you want to look at something and you look around an see yourself and it's not pretty.  Yeah.  Like that.

    Well,    THIS:

    Is what my thighs look like!

    Just saying.

    That is all.

    Thursday, June 10, 2010

    Happy Birthday!

    To this Oh So Special, Super, Spectacular, SIX year old!
    Today she got up all giddy with excitement that today is actually the day.  She is really six years old! 
    I had the pleasure of taking her to school this morning and on our way in the local radio station was reading off local birthdays and anniversaries when she said 'I wish they'd say my name.'.  Well, next thing you know along with the other names they announced 6 year old Isabella.  From the backseat I heard her gasp.  Then after all the names are read they do a drawing for one to win a gift pack from the Catoctin Popcorn Factory and being that it is graduation season they were going to give it to a graduate.  Then they announced the winner: 'Graduating from Kindergarten at Whittier Elementary School its little Isabella who is 6 today'.  She said 'What even does that mean?' and I told her it meant that she won the popcorn and she just couldn't believe it!  We got to school and she jumped out of the car and raced inside to share her excitement with her Mom.  Life is so much fun and exciting when your six!  So tonight we will go to her favorite restaurant for dinner-Outback and then  home for ice cream cake from Dairy Queen-her favorite.  Today her Mom will share lunch with her at school and then its dixie cups for her class to celebrate, since as she put it she's "not really a cupcake kind of girl."!  That girl just cracks me up!  It's been a fun filled week for  her.  Presents have been arriving in the mail all week (one each day), celebrations today, her name on the radio, then tomorrow is the last day of school, Saturday is her recital and then we'll round the week out with breakfast with the Princesses on Sunday!  Whew!  Happy Birthday, Bella!  We Love You!

    Wednesday, June 9, 2010

    Take me out to the ballgame....

    I know that you have all heard of a baseball diamond as in this:

    But what about a baseball diamond as in this?!

    Let me explain.  On Sunday evening we will be attending the Frederick Keys Baseball Game.  They are our local triple A baseball team.  You may remember that we had most recently gone back on Mother's Day.  Truth be told, that is the first time that we have been to a Keys game in a few years.  We love to go, we just haven't gotten to it, you know how that is.  Anyway, they often have promotional games, firework nights, kids nights, etc.  Well, when we were there last Michelle was reading the program of events and noticed that they were having a game where they would have Diamond Dig on the infield.  She thought it sounded like fun and at some point she had emailed them to enter the drawing for participation.  Well, yesterday she was called and told that she was one of the ten selected to participate in the diamond dig!  She has a chance to win a one carat diamond!  How cool is that?   Minimally it should be a great photo opportunity!  She has to check in by the end of the third inning I think she said.  It is a 6:00 game, a kids night with some kind of prize going to the first 500 kids, a chance to play catch in the field before the game, a dinner with a wine pairing in the club and a fireworks display after the game.  Sounds like a full night!  All this after a morning at the Princess Breakfast.  Keep your fingers crossed for Michelle!

    Tuesday, June 8, 2010


    It has occurred to me that I may have built up the expectations of one little girl.  I understand that I it is possible that I may go slightly overboard on her birthday parties.  Just slightly.  Now bear in mind that I am a blog addict and I seek out blogs of all kinds but especially those that are related to crafty people.  There you can find parties that make mine look like amateur night at the Roxie!  Seriously.  But I love to do it for her which is why I do it and I realize that she has come to expect this type of birthday party.  That is fine, I understand that.  It is after all her fake birthday.  What worries me just a little and has me thinking that perhaps I've bit off more than I can chew is that this morning when she called me and gave me the countdown-today is the 8th, then the 9th, then, then, the 10th!!  She followed that up by saying 'GaGa, you should probably start getting the house ready'.  When I asked her what she meant she replied: 'Well, we can't have the regular, plain old house for my birthday, can we?'  Oh, of course we can't.  What must I have been thinking!  She doesn't really expect me to do it all again does she?  Does she?  Here are a few more pictures from Saturday.
    Our Birthday Girl
    Welcoming Guests...

    Opening gifts...
    Bella and Michelle
    The goodies!

    Monday, June 7, 2010

    The Birthday Party

    Saturday finally arrived, the day that I had been preparing for and the day that Bella had been waiting for-her 'fake' birthday.  She was so excited!  Bella and Michelle left for Home Depot and then dance class and the decorating began.  I wanted to have the  house decorated by the time that she got back so we could have a big reveal.  Luckily, I had Durinda there to help me decorate.  I don't know what I would have done without her-she was such a big help!  Thank you Durinda!  We started decorating then had to run to get the balloons and the cupcakes and a few other things and then back to the decorating.  The day was iffy, so we decided to play it safe and set up inside in the event of rain.  That meant the kitchen was to be used for the cupcakes and drinks and the dining room for the sweet shoppe.  It all went well though and when Bella arrived home she walked through the house without saying a word, her mouth agape.  Finally she said 'I just don't know what to say!'.  Then she turned to me and say 'it' and said 'A tiara? Do I see a tiara?'. And then she squelled with delight.   That reaction was worth every bit of time and energy that I put into this party!  Here are a few pics:
    The kitchen...
    The cookies I made..
    The Sweet Shoppe
    Isn't this every kid's dream?
    One of the table decorations...
    The birthday girl-she wore that tiara all day!
    Is that a happy face or what?

    Friday, June 4, 2010

    I'm Workin' It!

    Just had to pop in for a minute to let you know that I am seriously working it!  Yesterday despite the heat, I went out at lunchtime, put on my new sneakers and walked for a full half hour.  That may not seem like much to you, but when it is nearing 90 degrees and humid as can be, you feel every one of those thirty minutes-believe me.  So at the end of the day I logges over-are you ready for it- 15,000 steps on my pedometer!  15,000!!! Can you believe that! I forgot to check the mileage on that, but it was over 6 miles.  Today my legs and my gluteus maximus are really feeling it for sure.  Ha!  I'll keep you updated on the progress...

    Thursday, June 3, 2010

    We Had A Bull Frog...

    In our basement.  That's true.  This is what happened.  Timmy had a terrarium in which he had some kind of red bellied tree frog or something like that.  Over time he added newts to the terrerium.  To feed these things he would make trips to the pet store and buy crickets and some kind of disgusting worms for his 'pets'.  On one such trip one of the girls at the pet store who, according to Jim, had been flirting with Tim offered to give him a bullfrog for hi terrarium because it could not be sold.  Tim said sure and took the frog and put it in the terrarium.  That was a while ago and the first frog has long since moved on to froggie heaven, as have a couple of the newts.  (Newt heaven to clarify.)  Now we are down to one rather large, loud, obnoxious, bullfrog, and one pretty small, lethargic, sickly newt.  Said newt got caught in the filter of the terrarium and then there was just the big, loud frog.  In my basement. Remember we have a water garden in the backyard, with fish, snails, and yes, frogs in it.  So, let me put this in perspective for you.  I would be in my basement,  working on my crafts, minding my business, late at night, by myself,alone, in the dark.  When suddenly, cutting through the quiet, still night there could be heard a loud- BRRRUURPP.  It would scare the crap out of me!  Then the frog outside would answer and the two frogs would start 'talking' to one another.  One from inside-one outside.  And the one inside was in a large terrarium that was in desperate need of a good cleaning because its occupant was far too large for it and its' owner had moved leaving him behind.  What's a Mom to do?  Talk Dad into catching said frog and letting him join his froggy friend in the great beyond.  You know, beyond the back door-I'm not that mean!
    We have a landing...

    And lift off!
    Can you see him there?  Jumping in to join his friend?  We have since heard them in the evenings singing to each other.  It is much better this way.  Trust me.  We are all happier with the new room arrangement!

    In other news, I am still loosing.  That's right, the scales are still heading in the right direction.  It is a slow, but steady process.  I have only had one week where I had a gain and that was after my weekend in NJ.  Not sure why, but most likely due to some imbibing of adult beverages.  That is what I am attributing it to anyway, can't really think of anything else because I tried to be pretty goood considering the circumstances.  But I have learned to take the good with the bad.  So this week, I lost what I had gained.  I keep hoping to be able to add some exercise into the mix, but I just don't seem to be able to find any extra time in the day.  I am hoping that after the big birthday party is over I will be able to walk in the evenings.  I do continue to wear the pedometer on a daily basis and I find that I am taking an average of 9,000 steps daily.  Some days I do way more and some days less, but that is as I said an average.  I am working to make that average 10,000 and I don't think it will take too much effort. 
    Well, that's about all for now.  Tomorrow is Friday, Bella is sooo excited!  Today she looked at me and said "GaGa, June 3rd!  Then June 4th and then June 5th!!"  We have yet to hear from 2 of the girls, Michelle asked Bella if she could ask the girls for their phone numbers so she could call their Moms.  Bella came home from school and said that the one girl didn't know her phone number but the other one did.  Michelle said great, what's her phone number?  To which Bella replied: 4837!  Either we  have a really long phone number or something got lost in translation!

    Tuesday, June 1, 2010

    What's Better Than A Three Day Weekend?

    Not much, but a 4-day work week doesn't hurt! 
    So, my weekend was great, and pretty productive.  After I fought my way home through the traffic on Friday afternoon, I went to pick Bella up from school.  I had left work early to try and beat the traffic and it still took me over an hour to drive the 20 miles home!  Michelle and Jim both had to work late, so it was just Bella and I for a while piddling around the house when my SIL called.  She was in town at a local hotel.  Her son Ben had a soccer tournament nearby that began on Saturday and they were staying in town to beat the high prices of the downtown hotels.  Since they were only 7 miles away, I asked if they'd like to come over for a while and much to my delight, they did!  Bella was excited too because she just loves Ben!  Michelle got in right before they arrived and  Jim right after, so it was very nice.
    Saturday started out with dance class and after that we headed over to a local farm to pick some strawberries.  I seemed to be the only one who actually put the strawberries in the basket, Michelle and Bella were snacking their way through the field.  Bella especially.  She didn't see a need for the basket at all, she would find a strawberry, eat it, say 'Yum!' or 'Juicy!' or something of the like, toss the hull and move on to the next one!  She loved it.

    The strawberries were ripe and juicy and we managed to pick quite a lot in a short amount of time, just about an hour total.  We filled a basket and two buckets, of course then I had to clean and slice them all too!

    Next we went to Sam's Club where we bought the candy needed for Bella's Sweet Shoppe party on Saturday as well as a few other things.  When we got home Jim and Michelle ran out to look at cars and I stayed home with Bella and cleaned and sliced the strawberries, showered and got ready for the wedding that we were to attend.  When Jim got back he changed his clothes and we were off to the wedding.
    It was a beautiful wedding in a bucolic setting in Middleburg, Va. The bridal party arrived via horse drawn carriage and the ceremony took place on the side of the mountain.  It was lovely. 
    Early Sunday morning Michelle and I ran out to the grocery store and to CVS to get a few items and then returned home to make the cookie batter and get that in the fridge.  Next we headed downstairs and worked some more on preparations for the party-it is really starting to come together!  I then headed out back and cleaned, scraped and painted the patio table and four chairs.  The table was in pretty bad shape and we are really hoping to get through the season with it, so I really tried to do a good job on it and gave it two solid coats of paint.  Getting that done really felt good, let me tell you! 
    Jim decided to head down the road to see Ben's soccer game and Bella wanted to go with him, so Michelle and I took advantage of that time to run errands.  We headed over to Party City and order balloons and got a few last minute items we still needed for the party.  Next we hit Target.  Michelle has been searching for roller skates for Bella for her birthday, but they are really HARD to find!  Then it was on to Michael's for a Cupcake cake pan.  One of the big ones.  Michelle wants to make one of those for Bella and we knew Michael's has the pan and we had a 40% off coupon.  On to Giant Eagle for picnic preparations!  As we were walking out the door having finished up the shopping Jim called saying he was on his way home.  So we get home, get everything put away and Jim and Bella walk in and Bella takes one look at us and says one word "Pool!".  She has been counting the days for the pool to open and we didn't make it down on Saturday and Michelle had promised to take her on Sunday and Bella doesn't forget a thing.  So, I'm thinking-great, they can go to the pool and I can lay down for a while.  No such luck!  Bella was insistant that I go along.  So off we went.  She loved it though and it was a nice treat, we thought the water would be freezing but it was surprisingly nice! 
    When we got home we had a nice cookout with just the four of us.  It was quiet, but nice. 
    Finishing up the weekend I got all my ironing done, decorated the sugar cookies, took Michelle to look at more cars, played with Bella while Michelle went birthday shopping and then while she and Jim went back to the car place.  At seven o'clock last night Michelle drove home in a brand spanking new 2010 Mazda 3!  She is sooooo excited! 
    So, how was your weekend?