Monday, November 30, 2009

A New Pet . . . Please Welcome


I could tell that Maddy and Mr. Tennis were up to something recently, but I wasn't sure what they were plotting. When I got home one night last week, I thought Janie (the fish) and her little fish bowl looked different somehow. Upon closer review, I could tell there was a new guy in the house.

Froggie, the dwarf clawed frog, moved in with Miss Janie. He is a tiny little guy, but jumps all over the place and has really pepped Janie up. Janie used to barely swim and many times, I worried she was ready for her final journey down the potty. Now that Froggie is in there with her, she's busy keeping an eye on him and moving a lot more. Note to self: Stay Alert -- Mr. Tennis and Maddy are not to be trusted when it comes to pets!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Oh So Thankful!

Can't possibly let this special Thanksgiving holiday pass without doing a little early Thanksgiving edition - Thankful Thursday. And so, I am very thankful this year for:
  • My dear sweet Mother who is battling cancer and does so with grace and beauty and no complaints.

  • My sainted Dad who doesn't mind that I call him "Al" and he sits waiting by the phone (so he says) for my daily calls.

  • My own little family - Mr. Tennis, Philip & Catherine, Connor and Miss Maddy -- they make my life complete.

  • My friends in real life, at work, my neighborhood and my bloggy friends -- so happy and blessed to have all of you.

  • My twin sister who is hosting Turkey day for us and her many relatives.

  • My favorite Thanksgiving dish, not turkey, not stuffing, not pie -- though I do love all of those, but Fudge, that I am making -- yum!

  • My job -- thankful to have one and so many friends at work who make it a pleasure to come to work every day!

  • My faith -- I know there is power in prayer and feel it, especially this year.

  • Decent weather -- I know this is vain, but the cooler, less humid weather is so much kinder to me and my hair!

I could go on and on, as you can probably tell.

Best wishes to all for a very happy Thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Sprucing Up the Wreaths and Garland

(From Pottery Barn)

The race is on to get the house decorated for the holidays! I will admit, we have kind of a crazy street. Lovely, but crazy. Everyone, and I do mean everyone, spruces up and decorates outside. Some (and I'm not mentioning any names) have gone to the extreme and light up the entire outline of their house along with every single tree and shrub in their yard. That's a bit much for me, especially since I know we would end up tripping over extension cords everywhere. Definitely glad I don't live across from that flashing strobe light house!

Mr. Tennis has two large wreaths he puts up on the house. I don't know how since we have a brick house, but he figured it out years ago, so up go the wreaths and then we put spot-lights on them to make sure everyone sees them! (Clever, eh!!) This year, I mentioned that the wreaths with their requisite red cheesy bows were starting to look a little worn. So he got the wreaths down for me and I spruced them up with some lovely red and silver ornaments. Who needs bows when you've got giant ornaments?? And then I did the same to every other wreath we own (who knew we had so many?) and the five that he bought at Wal*Mart (yes, a little wreath crazy perhaps). Turned out great! Half-price ornaments at Hobby*Lobby, some twisty-tie stuff and voila -- gorgeous ornament filled wreaths and garland!

Now, Mr. Tennis has to figure out stringing up the lights, but we'll probably wait until it's 10-15 degrees with ice or snow to do that. No need to do everything on a warmish 50 degree November weekend, right!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Holiday Photo Cards - Revisited

It's that time of year again, isn't it? Time to figure out what to do for the holiday photo card. I like to do one every year so I can look at them later and see how the kids have grown and changed. And I love to receive them from friends and family! Anybody out there need my
real-life address?

Photo card from Christmas 2005
(Vacay in Mexico earlier that year -- that was fuN!)

This year is a little troubling for me. Philip and Catherine are married and probably doing their own card. Connor graduated from college and is living out of state working (sniff, sniff, sniff), so it's just Mr. Tennis, the Madster and me! What to do?

Christmas card 2004

Last year, only Maddy was on the card. This year, I'm considering a 3-photo card -- one photo of Maddy, one of me and Maddy and one of Maddy and Mr. Tennis. Are you sensing a theme here? Yep, Miss M rules!!! Guess what -- we don't have any photos of the three of us together! Ooops -- that happens sometimes!

Maddy's First Christmas Home, 2003

(Don't you just want to squeeze and smooch on those cheeks of hers!)

And here's another question for you -- when do you take your adult children off the signature line on the Christmas card?? It's not like they're not part of the family, but once they don't live at home, is that the time to boot them out of the signature?? What do you think?

Saturday, November 14, 2009

DIY Wreath & Me!

Yes, I talked myself into another DIY project . . . why do I these things?? I should have been cleaning and decluttering, but instead I was threading a blue million ornaments onto a wire hanger! I saw the wreath featured on another blog (sorry, not sure which one) and it looked so cool and easy (famous last words, right?).

It actually took a lot more time and work than I thought it would. But since I knew I couldn't take the ornaments back, I figured I better keep going and get it done. I also ended up with glitter all over my clothes, the kitchen, the basement, just about everywhere. It still needs a few touch ups and additional smaller ornaments stuck in here and there, but I'm almost afraid to mess with it now! Ooops - just noticed, of course, it needs a bow and ribbon! See, I am a bit of a lame DIY'er -- I pretend it's totally finished before it's actually all done!
Hey, over at Kimba's blog, A Soft Place To Land it’s DIY Tuesday! Everyone loves inspiration to Do It Yourself !

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Light Cooking Anyone?

Pumpkin Pecan Bread

Are you like me -- with good intentions to cook lighter, healthier meals, but sometimes just find that the old favorites are easier, even though they are maybe not quite so health-conscious?
Well, look at this -- the magazine, Cooking Light, is now on sale through at the low, low, really low price of $5 for a whole year! I know I'm going to have that yearly resolution to cook and eat healthier come January and probably right around when my first magazine arrives! Perfecto! Check it out! Recipes for these delicious items and more can be found on their website.

Pumpkin Pie Cake!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Fun in the Fall!

Finally . . . a fall weekend with decent weather, even though we had to wait through nearly all of October to get one! Yes, the weather has been very, very strange this year, but we love the nice, warm days whenever we get one or two!

This past weekend, we actually had two (count em, two) marvelous and warm sunny days! Instead of going after the leaves that again accumulated in the yard, since I already filled 15 bags, Maddy and I headed to our neighborhood school playground. There are a ton of kids in our neighborhood, but maybe the others were all home raking leaves, as we were the only ones there!

Monkey Maddy loves to climb and swing and is really showing some upper body and arm strength. She’s one little dynamo! What a beautiful blue sky and beautiful girl too!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

A Picture is Worth A . . .

You know how they say, "a picture is worth a thousand words?"
Don’t doubt it – it is so true!
Recently I was perusing some old photos looking for one of my Dad from his younger days when he was a railroad engineer. I found it among some others that I had scanned and put together in a little birthday video for him five or six years ago. One of the photos I found really made me smile. I’ve seen it before, but I had totally forgotten about it. Here it is – my Mom and Dad holding me and my twin sister [my Mom is holding me!]. Don’t they look so calm and happy?!

And really, how calm could it have been – they had twin baby girls, two boys that defined the word "terrors" aged almost 2 and 4 years old, and a six-year old girl! Plus, we were born in the middle of a hot summer and they moved 10 days after we got home from the hospital! Holy smokes – it had to be crazy busy! It’s such a sweet photo! I loved it as soon as I saw it. To see my Mom and Dad looking so young and happy warmed my heart.

So, here’s the lesson I learned – don’t forget to be present and actually be in some photos with your family. Moms especially seem to be busily getting everyone else’s picture and are often left out. I know I often try not to get in any photos as I think my hair looks squirrely or I look tired, don’t have any lipstick on or I want to lose 5 or 10 pounds before I get my picture taken.

But later, when the kids are grown, they will have forgotten what you (by you, I mean me, of course) even looked like in younger days! Quick – another lesson (two for one today, I guess), since nearly all photos are digital these days, be sure and actually print your photos!! They don’t bring back memories very well sitting on someone’s hard drive or a CD.

Alrighty then, must go put some lipstick on and get in some pictures! :)

Monday, November 2, 2009

Halloween Recap

I am a little slow getting a Halloween story told, aren't I?! That's because Halloween festivities seemed to start early and go on and on. First, Thursday, there was a party at school. Friday meant a party at daycare and at our local Y. That was loads of fun! Luckily, I was smart enough to get Maddy and her friend there shortly after it started so they were able to enjoy the bounce slide and haunted house before the hordes arrived. They even scored a couple of those really cool long plastic fingers! I suggested they go through again and get me one, but by then the fingers were gone and it was on to plastic lips!

Due to our crazy October weather, our huge tree in the front dumped ALL of its leaves in one day. The sidewalks were totally covered as was the lawn. Since wet yucky leaves are slippery, I spent Saturday afternoon raking and bagging leaves! Where was Mr. Tennis and the Madster? Off at his dentist's acreage, grooming horses and petting kitties! OY!! We're gonna end up with another pet (besides Janie the fish) if he keeps that up!

Then Saturday evening meant more Halloween fun. We had a ton of trick or treaters! When Maddy and her friend got home from making the rounds, they sat on the front step and greeted the ghosties and goblins! They even donated their own candy when our supplies ran out. Drat -- I forgot to tell them to save some chocolate for me. The only thing left is Starbur*st and Skittle*s! This mama needs chocolate!!