Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year's Eve Flashback!

More fun to flashback on previous New Year's Eve than to tell you that I'm home this year nursing my poor foot -- though it is is feeling so much better already!! 
Love me some good meds! ;)

Happy New Year -- 2009

Usually, we go to our local Children's Museum for Make Believe Midnight with my friend, coworker and blogging buddy, Jodee.  Since there are usually about 600-700 people/kids there, the probability that someone would step on my foot is pretty high, so we opted to stay home this year. Jodee bailed too and she will, no doubt, tell you all about her New Year's Eve on her blog in the coming days.

So, without further chatter, photos from 2009.  We were having noodles at the restaurant next door before the festivities!!

Maddy and Carson -- 2009

Happy New Year!!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Birthday Update, Christmas Update and Foot Update!

Hello friends --Just a quick update as I am recovering again from foot surgery!!  Whoa -- can I tell you how happy I am that I have only two feet (as opposed to three or four)  -- so am done with this agony once rightie heals!  Let's do some bullet points today, as pain meds are making me just a tad loopy and definitely sleepy!
Cboo and Maddy with a fave gift!

  • Miss Maddy turned 10 a few days before Christmas!  We went out to dinner at her fave place and she ate her fave dinner -- chicken tenders and fries!  So cute, she had her uniform on from school.  The servers thought I was a little crazy for pulling out the camera.  What??  Have they never heard of the mamarazzi???

  • And then it was time for Christmas!   Connor (Cboo), Philip, Catherine and the most adorable Janie and Walt joined us  It was so much fun!  Maddy assisted in gift-giving and was such a good little hostess -- helping Janie and Walt with their gifts.  It was loads of fun!

  • And so after all the fun activities of December, I ended the month having surgery on my right foot (as whined about above).  I can't wait for it to feel better!  I never thought I was a wimp, but oh my, foot pain affects your whole body and not in a good way.  It will, no doubt, feel better each day and more powerful pain meds will surely help, right?!

Happy New Year to All!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Merry Christmas!

Sending our best wishes for a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
to each and every one of you!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Celebration on the Avenue!

Every year, our street, well actually, it is a fancy-pants Avenue, has a holiday cocktail party (adults only, please).  We all wait and wait and wait for some sucker sweet neighbor to volunteer to host.  This year, it was me and Mr. Tennis.  I figured that the house was decorated early due to the home tour (wait, I forgot to tell you all about this --the newspapers totally got my  name wrong in every single article and called me Kathy repeatedly -- so I got no credit for that event).  Ok, now that I've vented about that again, back to the neighborhood party!   Since we were hosting, we got to pick the date, time, etc.

  So, guess what -- I scheduled it on a day I had a hair appointment so as to avoid the frizzy and frazzled look that is my trademark!! :)  Sometimes it is all about me, after all!! HA HA HA -- are you all laughing?  I hope so --I'm trying to be funny, here!

How sweet -- I stuck some gifts in my side cabinet -- have I been reading too many  holiday decorating blogs??

The evening before the party when I was prepping and cooking some delicious items, my oven started to smoke -- and I'm not talking cigarettes here!  I'm talking Smoke Alarm!   I figured it was a fluke and after I wiped it out (after letting it cool off, of course) and airing out the entire house, I thought it would be fine in the morning.  Nope, barely had it turned back on to make those yummy Hershey Kiss cookies and the thing started smoking again!!!!!!  Do you believe my luck???  Well, cookies are not the only thing I know how to make - stop looking so surprised!!  I whipped up some fudge -- oh my word -- so delicious!  And I didn't turn on that naughty oven again! All other food items were microwaved!   It really turned out ok as neighbors brought food too, so there was plenty to eat!

Connor (Mr. Bar Owner) suggested having hot toddy's along with wine and beer.  Since he is young and hip, we went with that idea.   The wine and beer were very, very popular.  Hot toddy's were delightful, but the wine and . . .

A few of the empty wine bottles!

beer appeared to be the drink of choice!

That box is full of empties!

So many neighbors came by -- we do live on a fun block avenue!  It was especially nice to meet some of the newest neighbors -- sweet young couples (one of those couples promised to host next year though they may not remember that promise), and it was a fun, fun time! 

So much fun that I neglected getting any photos of moi with party guests. 
 However, here is one of me at the end of the evening nursing a hot toddy! 
 This was very late, so please excuse the tired look! 
You'll have to take my word that I looked much better earlier and even had lipstick on!!! Woot!

My sweet younger sister was simultaneously partying, but sadly (for me)
 she was at a party in Florida, not Nebraska!
She did manage to get some photos (she was having a really good hair day too). 
 So, here's a photo of her with some cute docs in her hub's group. 
Isn't her hair gorgeous?  She really has the best smile!

Adorable Amy and friends

You'd think I would be partied out, but the very next day, we had Miss Maddy's birthday party! 

And next up, a Santa party at another house on the Avenue on Thursday!!   

Friday, December 16, 2011

Almost 10!

On Tuesday, my little Miss Maddy turns 10!  Every year, I think that "this year and this age" is really the best (and, of course, it is).  Some of my favorite things about you lately, my sweetie-pie, are . . .
  • You are a hard working student, always wanting to do your best.  Makes me so proud!
  • You do your homework right away after school and we study for tests together.
  • You love animals -- dogs, cats, horses.
  • You love to watch movies and we often call Fridays -- home movie nights!  Recent fave - Home Alone -- the original!
  • You enjoy hearing about how I sang to you (Farmer in the Dell - for hours on end) when you were a baby to get you to sleep!
  • You say everyday -"No offense Muffy, but you really have dragon breath in the morning."
  • You often wonder what Muffy is thinking and what she would say if she could talk.  You want answers, so I come up with whatever I think Muffy would say.
  • You and Dad like to run errands together and plot ways to bug me!!
  • Donut holes on Saturday mornings are a must have!
  • You love hanging out with your friends.  You especially love that your friend across the street has a Corgi who is BFF with Muffy!
  • You love getting together with Philip, Catherine and the kiddos and Connor. 
  • You have so much fun playing with little Janie and Walt.
  • You often say "no offense, but . . . "  Kills me every time!
  • You love to sing along to music in the car and don't even mind if I do too!
  • Your favorite meal would include chicken nuggets or popcorn chicken or chicken legs and chips.
  • You are thoughtful and sensitive.
  • You still like to play with stuffed animals.
  • You love DisneyWorld and Mickey Mouse.
  • You dislike Mondays -- in order to make Mondays manageable, we call them polka-dot Mondays and you wear a polka-dot hair bow on Mondays and Mondays only.
  • You have the most beautiful dark eyes, black hair and big smile.
  • You want me in to come in school to pick you up instead of waiting in the car.
  • You still like to hold hands.
  • You are the very best daughter ever!
  • You are a blessing in our lives and we thank God for you every single day.

Happy Birthday Sweet Girl!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Christmas 2003 Revisited!

Just found this photo from Miss Maddy's first Christmas at home with us.  
She turned 2 just before Christmas in 2003.

Couldn't you just pinch and/or smooch those cheeks!!

 Little Miss Adorable with her big brothers
 (who may kill me for posting this picture)! 
Sorry guys, but I think you two are pretty cute too!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Dear Santa . . .

Dear Santa:  Last weekend when we saw you at the mall, my Mom and I were so excited that the line was not very long.  I hadn't had a chance to chat with you yet this year!  As we got closer and closer, my Mom mentioned that it looked like you had a weird outfit on.   Well really, I didn't think it was that strange as my dad (Mr. Tennis) often wears mock-turtlenecks.  But, I did think the color was a little different.  I mean, no offense Santa, but a purple colored mock-t doesn't really look very good with bright red Santa pants!  Was Mrs. Claus not around this morning to give you fashion advice? 

I could tell that my Mom was starting to freak out wonder how the photo would look with you in that purple mock-t!  Luckily, she asked the photo lady to ask if you wouldn't mind, to please put on your Santa jacket for the photo.  I know it was warm and you were probably roasting with little kids sitting on your lap all day, but you must admit, you look a lot better with your Santa jacket than a purple mock-t!  It made my Mom so happy, and you know that it's the little things that Mom's appreciate the most.  Thanks Santa, you're the best!



P.S.  If it's not too much trouble, please don't forget that electric scooter for me and new chew toy for my dog, Muffy!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Weekend Update!

Well, I did it . . . I jinxed our lovely fall weather. 

 Yep, since I mentioned how nice it had been in my last post and re-posted photos from the 
 2009 Christmas blizzard, history repeated itself and the weatherman's predictions were actually right on target! 

Friday night, Mr. Tennis, Maddy and I attended a festive Christmas concert.  Do you remember Mandisa from American Idol?  She and Matthew West put on an incredibly beautiful Christmas concert. 
Loved it!

We were hoping to rake leaves and do power shopping on Saturday, but that's when we got hit by the triple header -- sleet, ice and snow!  It was so beautiful -- but cars were slipping and sliding, especially at intersections!  Not the most confident driver in good conditions, my big red Jeep and I slowly made our way home from the mall and only went out again on foot!

A dog needs a walk even when it snows! 

Gotta love our sweet little Scottie.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Hello December!

Why, hello December!

Is it just me or does it seem like school just started . . .

how can it possibly be December already?

2009 Christmas blizzard!

We've had incredible fall weather and have been enjoying every single minute of that because we know that this is what follows and promises to be here soon!

Christmas 2009 revisisted

So many things to do and look forward to in December

Christmas concerts

Looking at the holiday lights

Baking cookies

Wrapping gifts

4th graders singing at church

Spending time with family

Celebrating Miss Maddy's 10th birthday

and, of course,

celebrating Christmas - the birth of Jesus.

Let the fun begin!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Three Word Wednesday!

 Clark Griswold Wannabe!!!!!! 

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Deck the Halls!

A first this year -- our house is all decorated and it's not even December!! Woohoo!!

Come on in -- the entryway

  I had a big incentive and deadline as Mr. Tennis agreed that our house could be open on Sunday, Nov. 20,  for a Holiday Open House tour.  Holy smokes, I was sweating it for a while there, but it all came together.  It may be true that Mr. Tennis ignored my "theme" of silver/red/white and threw in some other colors, but it turned out fine.  I put the kibosh on some of his "special" decorating touches and sent him outside to do his Clark Griswold impression! :)

 Reports were that there was a big crowd with a line out the door and down the block to go through the house. Visitors could see five different houses throughout the city and the admission price went to fund a special program for kids at our local elementary schools.  So, it was a veritable win/win -- we (somehow -- late nights, etc.) managed to do our Christmas decorating early and kids at schools throughout the city benefited too.

We decorated each room and even have two Christmas trees up!

My favorite room is the dining room!

Love my red and white dishes!

The stairs with polka dot bows are also a fave!

And love our mantel -- so pretty, but hard to photograph due to a large mirror!

How about you?  Have you finished your decorating? 
It may be a new tradition to get the decorating done early!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Getting ready to put my apron on and start cooking!!  

Those of you who know me IRL (in real life) know that I am not the best cook on the block and my meals are not always balanced.   I mean really, is it necessary to have both a vegetable and a salad?  Shouldn't one green thing suffice????  You can bet that I always plan a dessert! 
This year -- pumpkin pie and fudge!

Last year, I had these fun dinner conversation starters I found on another blog (though am not sure which one, but thank you to whoever thought them up)!   Everyone kind of rolled their eyes at me, but I know they really enjoyed them. 

This Thanksgiving, like every other big event - and actually every single day -- I'm thinking of and missing my sweet Mum.  She made cooking up a big meal seem so easy and effortless.  Her homemade dinner rolls and cinammon rolls were always so yummy!  She made a special strawberry jello every single year -- I think because Philip loved it so much.  One year, we (my sisters and I) put together some little margaritas (of course, margaritas go with turkey!!) and my Mom even joined in and had one.  Oh.My.Word!  That was the funnest dinner ever!  Just a few sips and she was on a roll, talking up a storm and telling stories. 
Such a sweet memory.

So much to be thankful for every day. 
Hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving remembering loved ones too!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Favorite Photo Friday - Fall

Looking down Stratford Avenue

We've had the sweetest weather this fall.  I really hate to mention it because I'm sure that will jinx it and/or we'll have the worst winter on record!  But, must enjoy it while we can, right?!

The trees have been lovely, though cold temps along with windy days and nights have resulted in loads of leaves on the ground.  We had 30 (yes 30!) bags of leaves for the trash guys the other day and we're not done yet!  Not to worry, I didn't rake them all myself! 
In fact, I didn't actually rake any.   I hired someone! :)

 I took this photo last weekend (in my robe) when the sun had just come up and there was a rosy pinkish glow in the sky.  I wanted to be sure and catch a snapshot of the fall colors before the bareness of winter takes over!  Love you Fall  -- I miss your beautiful colors already!

Have a wonderful weekend!  Have you bought your turkey yet? 
 Started Christmas decorating?  More on that next week!

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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Think Safety First!

This little public service announcement is being brought to you by our local fire department and Lifetone Technology.   We all know how important smoke detectors are and how they save lives every single day, right?  But, have you ever thought -- what about people who are deaf or who have a hearing loss?  What if they can't hear their smoke alarm??  

I recently found out that our local fire department received a grant to provide special special smoke alarms for individuals with hearing impairments, including families with children with a hearing loss. Miss M has a hearing impairment and qualified for the smoke alarm.  Some of our finest firefighters came by this morning and installed it.  Whoa -- it's pretty amazing!  It's called a Lifetone HL Fire Alarm and Clock, a fire detection system from Lifetone  Technology.

Basically, it works like this.  In case of fire or smoke, a special smoke alarm installed outside her bedroom goes off and triggers a fire-clock alarm on her bedside table that looks like a clock radio,  It works like so (borrowed from their website): 

• Sounds a 520 Hz square-wave alarm: This special sound proven in controlled scientific testing as the most effective at waking people up in a fire emergency. The Lifetone HL pumps out the alarm signal at 90 dBA – that’s like having someone start a lawn mower next to your bed!

• A visual signal: The back-lit display flashes with the word FIRE. In a darkened room, the flashing display is another form of sensory stimulation to “break through” the fogginess of sleep.

• A physical vibration from the bed shaker: A small clam shell-like device about the size of the palm of your hand plugs in to the back of the unit. When the alarm is triggered, the bed shaker, placed between the mattress and box springs, vibrates strongly.

• A voice sounds saying:  "FIRE, GET OUT". 

If you didn't check and change your batteries when the time changed recently, please check the batteries in your smoke detector --
be safe!!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Favorite Photo Friday

I talked bribed Miss M into a few photos the other day before it got too dark and too chilly.  With the holidays approaching, paying her a little modeling fee helps and keeps her motivated! 
Plus, she loves this fur vest!  

Oh my -- she's looking so grown up here --
how can my baby be almost 10 years old!!!

While temps and leaves are falling, we haven't actually raked leaves up just yet!  Kind of waiting for the wind to blow them down the street to the neighbors' yards! :)  Kidding -- kind of!  We do plan to work on those leaves one of these days! 

 Our leaves are the dirty brown ones, so she and I were delighted to find this beautiful one!

Favorite Photo Friday Button

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Christmas Card Bloopers

A few weeks ago, Maddy put on her most gorgeous white tutu (love it!) and posed for our upcoming  Christmas card.   Of course, there were a number of bloopers.  That girl dances, makes faces  and generally has fun -- for a little while! 

Always has a stuffed animal nearby and she insisted on a photo with this one!

The singing and air guitar was happening at this moment! 
Don't you love her purple Pumas peeking out!

Singing continues!  Doesn't everyone stand on a bench for photos?!!

Wondering when the "perfect" photo will be captured?

Friday, November 4, 2011

Favorite Photo Friday

I love, love, love my hydrangea plant! I'm the only one in the whole block neighborhood with the purple blooms -- ain't I special? :)    It bloomed more than ever this year,  and it was so nice to see it holding on through some cold temps recently.  However, the lows in the 20's lately have done it in now.  I'm not much of a gardner (mowing is more my speed), but I do tend to my hydrangea!!   It was one of my Mom's favorite flowers too.

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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween Update - A Tooth Fairy and A Hotdog!

Just a quick update as it was almost impossible to get a decent photo of Miss Maddy as a tooth fairy and Miss Muffy as a hotdog prior to Halloween!

 And so, here is the Tooth Fairy!

 With her trusty Scottie, the hotdog!