Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Christmas gifts that make me happy

Two of my favorite Christmas gifts I received this year were the apothecary jars I got from my sister in law (aren't they pretty??) and my kitchenaide that I got from Dave (isn't it pretty??).

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Friday, December 26, 2008

And, a couple of "just for fun" pictures of Graham

Some Christmas Memories...

I had the chance to go to Lorie Line with my mom, her best friend Bonnie (in the red scarf) and a couple of Bonnie's friends this year. (Thanks again, Bonnie!). It was so fun! Don't we all look so cute?
Speaking of cute...take a look at the Leno/Buck cousins!

Monday, December 22, 2008

I went out to help my dad with something the other day (and let's be clear here...this is a rare occurrence.) We went to an an area that can only be described in one word...desolate. Everything was snow covered and you could see to what looked like the edge of forever. It was so cold--we have had wind-chills of 50 below zero during the time I have been staying here. When it is that cold, you can almost SEE the cold. Part of the reason for our task had to do with an irresponsible landowner that hadn't taken care of his cattle, and as a result, several had died. I could see the body of one cow from my vantage point. It was clear to me that she had tried to find some respite from the bitter cold, as her final resting place had become a small ditch. As I sat there in the warm pick-up, I looked across this desolate plain and saw the sun. At first, I was stuck by the inconsistent nature of the picture. The sun was there, but you certainly could not feel it's heat. Everything around me seemed dead from the cold, the only signs of life came from my dad and I. And as I took in the scene, I felt a tug at my heart...like there was a lesson to be learned here. And then it hit me. God, like the sun on this day, cannot always be felt. But, he is always there. Pervasive, and as real as a hot summer day, he had never left. The only thing that had changed was my ability to feel it.

Merry Christmas

I love my mom's Christmas trees(she has tons of them around the house, but I am posting pics of the two big ones). She has one in her formal living room that is red and gold and absolutely chock (or is it chuck?) full of STUFF--vintage toys, bears, you name it. If it is red, gold or whimsical, it is on there! It is so fun. The other is in the kitchen and is a white Christmas tree and is decorated in silver and blue and white. So pretty! I am also attaching a picture of the mantle because it too is so pretty and festive! At night when all the lights are on, it is quite a sight!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Barack Obama named his new education secretary today. I was anxious to hear about this appointment as Isaac will be starting school next year and I have often wondered what changes might happen to the school system. I am also seriously contemplating homeschooling, and was wondering what his stance might be on that. Here is a blog I found that was interesting:


I do not know why the links I post lately are not direct links to the site, you will have to copy the link and paste it onto the web browser using your right button on your mouse.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Blizzard...the view from here

Here is the current view from my basement, kitchen and living room windows. Glad we stayed hunkered down in the house all day...It was actually sort of nice staying home and not being able to go anywhere (even all interstates and highways are shut down!). I have been in my jammies all day and got to take a nap for the first time in probably three months! It was wonderful. I'm thinking of my dad and brother, though, who have to go out in this stuff and feed the cattle. Hope they (and the cattle) are doing alright!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Our Christmas recap

We had our little Christmas with the boys tonight. It was the only time we could do it between now and Christmas where we wouldn't feel rushed. We like to take our time and enjoy the night, and Dave always like to do it on a night when he doesn't have to go to work the next day. We have a tradition of getting Applebees takeout the night we open gifts, so that's what we did. Sooooo yummy. Then we opened our gifts. Graham was an ACTIVE participant this year, which was a change from last year when he missed the whole thing because he was in bed. He seemed to really like his gifts. We got him the Little Tikes shopping cart, some books and a truck. Isaac got the batman cave (a hot toy this year...had to look like crazy to find it!), a bunch of mini transformers and a leapster game. His transformers are going back to the store because even though I paid quite a bit for them, they fall apart when you start to "transform" them, which was very disappointing. Then, his leapster got fried a couple of weeks ago (yet another of our electronics/appliances that has stopped working recently...are we living near a nuclear power plant or something??) so when you put in the game, you can hardly see it. I suppose I will have to bite the bullet and just buy him a new one, but oh how that pains me. The stupid things are not cheap! But he is getting more leapster games for Christmas from other people. Maybe I will wait until after Christmas...If anyone finds a cheap leapster somewhere, let me know!
The best part of the evening (for me) was my gift from my sweet husband...a kitchen aid mixer! I have wanted one forever! Now I can bake up a storm!
Take a look at these pics from tonight (click to enlarge)...love Graham's little cheesy grin.

Friday, December 12, 2008

The rate my space debaucle

Well, my fifteen minutes of fame was more like five minutes! Last night when I went into HGTV's "rate my space" I was surprised to see I had made their "today's most viewed" and had been the second most downloaded file of the day. I was so excited I called my mom, mother in law and sister in law to have them pull it up. Well, about an hour later HGTV decided it was time to revamp their entire website. They crashed the website and when I went into the new one this morning, I was sad to see they no longer even had the "today's most viewed" category (only the "most viewed")! That is totally something that would happen to me! I do not have great luck when it come to these things. Oh well. Maybe God is just keeping me humble.
Here are some recent Christmas candids I have taken of the boys. Our small town had santa come to the senior center and we took the boys. We were so shocked to find the whole thing (including lunch) was free! And, there were no expensive photos to buy...you could take your own pictures! Plus, every child got a present (a really nice toy)! I was very impressed. I can't remember the last time I experienced something that was completely free! (P.S. I didn't get any pictures of Graham with Santa because he freaked).

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Rate my space

I posted pics of our house on rate my space. Here is the link if you want to take a look. It was today's second most viewed space! Yaaaay!


highlight this link and right click. Go to "copy" and go to your address area at the top of the screen and right click again. Select "paste" and it should go to my rate my space site. You may have to hit "refresh" when you get there. I have no idea why this is so complicated. If I find an easier way to post this link I will.

The kitchen re-do is from our Iowa house.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Feeling inspired

I have been feeling inspired by the great decorator's blogs (check out my blog list) and websites lately. There are just SO many things I would love to do to my rooms, and so little time! Plus, I have given up on the image of a "perfect" home. That image does not exist in reality when you live with little kids! If I had to describe my decorating style, it would be country/cottage with a touch of traditional and a tiny touch of modern (just in that I like symmetry and clean lines). My favorite colors to use in decorating are black and white (of course), red (from a cool, dark red to an earthy red), cool taupe, creamy yellow and sage green. The things I couldn't decorate without would be white shelves (I probably over use them!), painted furniture, pictures of my kids, candles, greenery, plates and tons of pillows. Oh, and I LOVE organization. Even though my house probably doesn't look like it, there is an inner organizational freak dying to get out. I love opening a cupboard to clean, organized and labeled shelves.
I am finally finishing up with my Christmas decorating and plan on posting some photos to rate my space later this week. I will be posting a link if anyone is interested...
Here are some photos that have inspired me recently:

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

This was my first attempt-ever-at a gingerbread house. Isaac wanted to do one, so I bought one of those everything's-included kits from joann fabrics. We had a little trouble with getting the actual house to stick together, but we let it set overnight and the next day it was rock solid. Isaac picked out an elaborate design from the booklet included with the kit, which I attempted to do initially. Eventually it morphed into what you now see in the pictures. It's not HGTV quality, but pretty good for a first try...

Pheasant hunt

Dave and my dad had some time to do some pheasant hunting thanksgiving weekend. Dave was pretty proud of the three beautiful birds he got...

Create your own video slideshow at animoto.com.