Wednesday, December 26, 2007


     To me the reason for the season centers around family. Regardless of your religious beliefs, it does connect directly to those we consider important in our lives.
     I was just thinking about what family really means. WHO is family? And, I feel very lucky to have the family who I have in my life!
     We picked up Cody on Saturday from the airport, and we were hoping to have lunch with Mike (Rick's son), but those plans did not work out because of his work.
     We were able to take our little one with us, and I just wish I could've taken her picture at the exact moment that she saw Cody. Her eyes were lit up so was adorable.
     We stopped for lunch and Cody taught Sarah how to blow the paper off of a straw. Let me tell you, the delight in her belly laughs warmed the entire little restaurant.
     As I watched those two (Jordie was at his dad's going to a Seahawk game...he was VERY missed), I thought how lucky the two of them are to be family. Of course, there are those out there who say they are not family because they are not blood-related, and have even said so to us. Such small-minded people are really missing out on what this world has to offer.
     On the ride home we endured a plethora of knock knock jokes (some funny, some terrible), silly songs, and other little gags from the backseat. Those two really are TROUBLE!
     I once had someone ask me how I could love my step-daughter as much as I do, and I could only reply, "How could I not?"
     I think about the people I am really close to in my life, some of them "blood" family, some of them not.
     I consider my mother-in-law a mom to me. I consider my best friends sisters to me. I consider all of Rick's kids my kids (and grandkids...woo hoo #3 AND A BOY on the way).
     So, this holiday season, when you gather your "family" together, be appreciative for those people in your life. I know I am!

Friday, December 21, 2007

GOSSIP around forever...well, at least it had its name before 1050

     And, just because it wasn't named until then...that means nothing because we all know gossip has been around since we could talk. SHOOT, it probably was around even before then. I am sure you can picture some scandalous cave paintings.
      Well, according to, gossip's etymology, in my opinion, is quite fascinating.
     So, it all started out as simply being about people who are related to each other and then it moved onto woman friends attending a birth, which led finally to "familiar and idle talk." I see the progression.
     I know, I know. We live in a society that runs on gossip. Look at the magazines and television shows that have flooded the market in the past years.
     I know that I am even guilty of it. GOSSIP. But, what I don't get is WHY there are people who THRIVE on gossip, and particularly sharing "BAD NEWS" about others. The irony of the "bad news" is that in itself is a judgment. And, really who has the right to pass judgment on anyone else?
     There is definitely a difference between sharing information, like when a friend is in the hospital having a baby or really sick or what have you, and being malicious.
     It just seems that the latter is so despicable. What causes people to partake in it?
     Who enjoys the sadness or mistakes of others enough to intentionally share it? To get on the phone and call people just for the sake of sharing gossip??
     Just think about it the next time you make a phone call or stop a neighbor to share some scandal that really is none of your business and most probably you don't have all the information about anyhow.
     I write of this because I have a close friend and her fmaily who are dealing with this issue. I just told her to remember that those of us who love her, will continue, and we know and we choose to not judge what is going on in their lives right now.
     I do, however, find it VERY difficult not to judge the gossip mongers.

A thought or two

     I can't wait for tomorrow! We are off to go and pick up Cody!! YEAH!!
     One of the things I am really looking forward to is he and I are going to work out while he is home. I am hoping this really motivates me.
     I will say that watching the final episode of The Biggest Loser was VERY inspiring. I cannot believe the difference in how those people looked.
     One of the guys said something about how he felt skinny on the inside and that he had a skinny self, but that he was finally going to share it on the outside with the rest of the world.
     I really understood that. I did.
     They are starting a couples edition of The Biggest Loser on January 1st, and I am looking forward to watching that.
     I was just thinking the other day when we were working our yearbook, and I saw a picture of me that it would be SUPER cool to lose weight between now and when the yearbook is published at the end of the school year.
     I have two major things I want to accomplish in this next year, one being my weight, and the other finishing my novel that I have started.
     Well, even though this week was crazy busy, it was crazy good. Lots of laughter and smiles and good memories.
     One night this past week Rick and I were laughing so hard that Jordie, who at first was shaking his head at us, ended cracking up, too. We were definitely a silly bunch that night! I completely believe that laughter is the one TRUE medicine.
     So, in these next few days...remember to laugh hard 'till your belly and face hurts!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Way too blessed to be so stressed!!

     I heard a great quotation today..."We are too blessed to be so stressed. Enjoy your holidays!" A soldier stationed in Iraq said that last night on the new show The Clash of the Choirs.
     And, isn't that the truth??? Why does it take a person in a much different situation than we find ourselves in to remind us of the simplicity of it all. I do keep laughing at how busy things are and how much is going on around us!!
     Last weekend we had three Christmas parties, one birthday party (Miss Olivia is 7!!!), and an out of town basketball game to attend.
     This week we have basketball games(3), meetings, concerts (high school on Thursday and Montessori on Friday), school Christmas parties, a Solistice Party on Friday night, Rick's brother Rod coming to visit for the weekend, and the BIG highlight...picking up Cody on Saturday!!
     I did mail out my Christmas cards today, albeit a tad later than I wanted to. I am really happy with them this year!

     We also included a cute collage picture that our little one created (quite the artist) that included candy canes, presents, reindeer, an ornament, etc. That's a tradition I started WAY back when my boys were so little. It's fun to look at the progression of all of their art through the years!
     So, I am trying to relish the simple and easy moments...not all the hustle and bustle. We truly do have so much for which to be thankful!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Elfin' around!!

     My mother-in-law sent me this link...very cute!
Hey, I just made a total elf of myself. Check it out by pasting the link below into your browser.

This elfin' greeting brought to you by OfficeMax®.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

On a roll... (3 blogs in 1 night!)

     I can definitely say that my weight has been on my mind lately. I have not done anything proactive in what feels like forever.
      I have had a sporadic walk here and there, and I have paid closer attention to my portions, but...that doesn't really count.
      I have certainly gained some weight, how much I don't know. I am guessing that the twenty pounds I lost this summer are all back. I really do need to go find a scale.
      I just had some pictures that I was looking at in the yearbook, and I was thinking how nice it would be to work my butt off (literally and figuratively) between now and when the yearbook comes out at the end of May.
      Right now I need to figure out what will truly motivate me. So far, in my life nothing really has hooked me solid to make the life changes that I KNOW I need to make.
      I just keep thinking that I know how to make things happen. I have accomplished so much in my life. I know what I need to do. I know.
      Recently several people that we know have passed away (we even have a funeral this Saturday), and I was just thinking how I want to live to be such an OLD lady, and I know that I am losing years of my life for not living healthy RIGHT HERE RIGHT NOW!!!!!
      SIGH. How can so much be right in your life, and you just can't get a handle on ONE thing?
      I am totally happy with life right now. Things are rolling along just the way I want. The only thing that I would the health/weight stuff.
      So, the question is...WHY not?

A cup of tea? I'll take three, thank you!

     Tuesday evening I spent with my book group!! First you must know that one of my lifelong goals (on my offical 100 Things I Want to Do Before I Die list) was to be in a book group, so last year I started one!
     We have read some incredible books, and what I love most about the book group (besides the amazing company and incredible discussions) is that I am reading books that I would not normally pick up on my own.
     This month we also decided to have a dinner, and the five of us each brought a different course. Very fun!
     Our books thus far:

Wicked – Gregory Maguire

The Bluest Eye – Toni Morrison

Breaking Blue
– Timothy Egan

Eat, Love, and Pray – Elizabeth Gilbert

Griffin and Sabine – Nick Bantock

Three Cups of Tea – Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin

     Our next one is scheduled for February 4th, and we are reading Winterkill by Craig Lesley (a PNW author). If you are interested, send me an e-mail, we are always looking to include more people!!
     So, this month our book was Three Cups of Tea, and honestly it has really affected me. If you have not read it, include it on your Christmas list.
     The story is an inspirational true account of one man who was able to make a REAL difference in this world. Greg is a human being who faced many obstacles, and yet he held onto his dreams and goals and always remained hopeful.
     You learn so much from this book about values (especially about not judging others), education, history, politics, and what humans have to offer in this world.
      For more information and to find out how you can become a part of something tangible to leave the world a better place, go visit the website at
     Check it out!

Monday, reported on Wednesday night!

     Monday, I will call Mommy Monday! What a great start of the week!!
     First off our little one lost her second tooth, so she could kinda sing the song wishing for her two front teeth now. She was so tickled for the tooth fairy to come and visit her.
     It's really fun being both Santa and the Tooth Fairy! And, nowadays, teeth are worth far more than when I lost them! Geez, must be inflation and whatnot.
     Monday night was also our December preschool meeting. This time, though, we had it at Teacher Sandy's house.
     WOW! What a beautiful and festive home!! Even if you were a Grinch (and, I am definitely not), you would feel your heart grow in the Christmas spirit.
     We had lots of good food, and I just love spending time with such dedicated moms!! And, we are very lucky to have such great second moms in our fantastic teachers :)
     So, we did some preliminary planning for our auction. Trust me you will hear LOTS more about it!!! For now mark the date: Friday, February 29th! Cool date, huh?!!
     Life is so busy at this time of the year, and really Monday night was a nice way to slow down and just enjoy others.

Monday, December 10, 2007

December 10th!

     That's right! Today was my half-birthday!! Woo hoo! The big reason why I ever even remember is that my good friend Marti's birthday was today, which we used to always celebrate our half and birthdays!!! LOL!

One of the best tv commercials of the season???

One of the things I love about this time of the year is the commercials! I really like this one, and although I have only ever shopped at a Kohl's once, I just like the vibe from this commercial.

      So, I was thinking that delightful, delicious, and delovely really fit with my past weekend.
      First, we were kidless...Jordie had a weekend with his dad for the Seahawks, and our little one was at her mom's.
      I decided to begin my weekend in the most delightful way as possible. I had a massage! I think everyone should regularly schedule a massage, as the health benefits are tremendous!
      We spent a quiet evening home on Friday, and then up and out early on Saturday to WENATCHEE and shopping galore!
      We were in search of a few items on our Christmas list, and we could not find them, but let me tell you, it was not for lack of effort. I still cannot believe how many stores we ventured into!
      And, thank goodness for E-bay!! We are all good now. I was a bit worried that our quest for certain presents would turn into a nightmare version of a Christmas movie!!
      I love going to Wenatchee because we always run into some of my friends from what feels like a lifetime ago. And, we did!
      We ate out. I guess that would be our delicious? Well, lunch wasn't so delicious, but later in the evening we made up for that.
      Saturday night we watched the Hatton vs. Mayweather fight, and unfortunately who we wanted to win...did not. We did enjoy spending time with our friends and eating DELICOUS snacks and appetizers!
     We had a comfy Sunday, watching movies, eating out for lunch (YIKES, more delicious), and shopping (the boring weekly stuff).
      Yup, it was a good weekend!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

One of my favorite Christmas songs!

Last night as we sat in the house looking at the beautiful tree, we watched the Celtic Woman Christmas program. They will actually be in Spokane in April. Just wanted to share with you.

Passing on the jolly!

     OK, so yesterday was a SUPER day! It all started with positive "I" statements in the shower, lots of smiles, and just good energy.
     Everything is grooving. Know what I mean? I love it when that happens, and then SOMETIMES I start to worry that things are going so swell that surely something bad will happen.
     I did not think that yesterday though. Instead I was enjoying each positive moment.
     Normally around deadline time for our yearbook, life is BEYOND stressful, but NOT this year. For a whole bunch of reasons, things are running very smoothly. Mostly, my amazing editor, Nadine, but also I am improving in how I teach the class...this is my fourth year of annual, afterall. Big gains since my first year!!
     School is great, and my family life is even better! Life is just happening, and I am happy!
     Do you ever have that feeling of just being VERY productive? That's how yesterday was...I was accomplishing everything on my "to do" list, and even things that weren't.
     Then as I finished running my errands (PUD, post office, insurance, car tabs, gas, rent, etc.), my car made a strange sound.
     First, thing I am very appreciative of is that Rick is an oustanding mechanic...NICE to have in the family :)
     So, I drive over to his work, he checks it out, and it appears to be bad news. But, you know what, I don't feel devastated or anything, because what are you going to do?
     Rick sends me over to the parts store, I am expecting the worse. First of all, I normally break out in hives (not really, but you get the pic) when I have to go to an auto parts store. It's like a foreign country. And, I like to travel and learn new things, but that's not how I feel in an auto parts store. Usually I feel like I am a country where I can't speak the language and NOBODY is going to help me or if they are going to help me, they might rip me off. Thankfully that was NOT the experience yesterday!
      As I am handing over money, I am thinking about the good things of the situation.
     First, I get to see Randy, who I am technically related to, as we share the same adorable granddaughter. And, if you know Randy...he is a super positive guy!
     Thankfully, Car Quest had my parts, and I only had to fork over an arm, as opposed to an arm and a leg (just kidding, the prices were FAR less than I expected!!!).
     Of course, I brought the parts back across the street and Rick figured out that it was something else entirely, so back over to CQ.
     Then I started teasing Randy that I was going to blog about him (and here I am!).
     In the end, my car isn't completely fixed (found something else out that needs to be worked on...neverending), but I had fun last night around Mike and Rick, and, of course, Santa Randy (although he wasn't giving me presents, he was very JOLLY).
     It's all about the frame of mind you choose to live in...No Grinch attitude here :) Pass on the jolly!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

What's on your list?

     It's the time of year where people write lists. I am a list person, mostly a "to do" list kinda gal.
     Today I am giving you a list of my favorite websites. - This is an online dictionary, and in particular, I love to go to the word of the day section. I learn a new word at least once a week. Although I visit it daily, I often do know many of the definitions. I particularly like the etymology of each word. It's interesting to see from where a word originates. Today's word: rambunctious! - I had a former student give me a Zobmondo book as a Christmas present, and I just love that book! It's a book of "would you rather" questions that REALLY make you think. For example, would you rather be perceived as intelligent or street smart?
     Or today's question: Would you rather, as a woman wear 4-inch high heels everdyday and everywhere OR go barefoot? I go with barefoot, although I know I wouldn't like to walk in the snow or the super hot ground, but I suppose eventually my feet would weather and make their own type of shoe out of tough skin. I just couldn't deal with high heels ALL the time! - I love this site, and I can access many of Rachael Ray's recipes (and lots of other people, too). I am going to have to go and check out something to make as a scrumptious appetizer for fight night this Saturday! -Of course, every morning would not be complete without checking out the weather. I really am interested in the weather (and, I am not sure why). I have the site set-up with my weather and other areas of interest (where family and friends live).
     And, I usually check my e-mail, myspace, work e-mail, work on this blog, and I read the news online (,,, and sometimes
     As of late, I have been reading up again on health and nutrition.
     There you have it...a list of sorts.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Best present ever!!

     All I want for Christmas is...not my two front teeth, but my oldest son home! Woo hoo! Cody will be home for ten days at Christmas because the School of Infantry closes down! YAHOO! Best present EVER!

Careful for what you wish...

     We had a great weekend!! Accomplished lots, and spent quality time with family and friends.
     I finally broke down and bought a fake tree. I am 36 years-old, and this is the first time I have had a fake one. I did it for all sorts of reasons.
     Most importantly, real trees bug my step-daughter's allergies. Then you have all the other stuff, making sure to water it, vacuuming up pine needles (or picking them out of your feet), disposing of them, hurting the environment, etc.
     I did buy a beautiful and fresh wreath from the Okanogan High School Music Boosters, so I do have the fresh tree fragrance, but without it being overwhelming. (By the way: They are selling them at the Food Depot along with real trees, which are a fundraiser for the sports programs.)
     So, back to my tree...I LOVE IT! It is soooo beautiful :)

     We had a blast decorating it, and it came with the lights already!! We tell all of the stories of each ornament, and my step-daughter just loves that part!!
     So, the halls have been officially decked! I especially love our Christmas countdown calendar!

     Yesterday, we spent the snowy evening with our friends Rich and Lorri. We had a yummy dinner (I made green bean bake and a delicious dessert - I will post recipes tomorrow!), and then we watched some television together.
     We are going over to their house again this Saturday to watch the big Hatton vs. Mayweather fight!
     I kept saying how I wished it would stop snowing...I love the snow, but not TONS of it! And, I kept wishing for a late start at school.
     And, then...that's what happened!! I did like the late start this morning. I had all sorts of good intentions (go exercise, run errands, etc.), but I just slept an extra two hours, which is just what I needed.
     BUT, I must say...I prefer the tons of snow to this slush. So, be careful for what you wish, indeed!!