Sunday, December 28, 2008

band-aid post

I thought I should send out a quick post to all my ...5 or so... lurkers. Most of my regular readers are currently visiting!!

We've been having a great time.

While waiting for Grammy, Uncle "Monkey" Kevin, Aunt Mili, and Uncle "Pickle Juice Head" Brian to arrive; Tyler spent time reading to Barney. He even dressed up to make it more entertaining.
Lauren spent most of her down time surfing the 'net. (in her world...the net includes all of Playhouse Disney)
Matt and I enjoyed a Harris Group Christmas Party at Fogo de Chao in Atlanta before heading to the airport to pick up the FAM. (yes, it appears we are standing under some ENORMOUS hanging Martini glasses.)

Finally our guests arrived. Here is Uncle Kevin, Aunt Mili and Tyler hanging out on Christmas Eve.
Tyler opened up his first present and decided he was done. He lost interest in the whole event and threw fit after fit when asked to open other presents. But at least he thoroughly enjoyed his first Christmas present...from Santa.
and I would have a lot more Christmas pictures to post but I, myself, received a New Digital Camera (yay!) and took the rest of the pictures on that...and of course, I have not learned how to transfer them onto the computer as of yet.
Post Christmas, we spent a day in Atlanta...MARTA ride, CNN Studio, Coca-Cola Museum and the Atlanta Underground.
Then we did some shopping, board games (Cranium, Jenga, darts) Movies (Get Smart, The Dark Knight) and a grand finale dinner at TacoMac before it was time for Kevin and Mili to fly home back to snowy Portland, Oregon.
Today we dropped Kevin and Mili off at the airport and then the boys (Matt and Brian) spent the rest of the day watching football and playing poker while Grammy and I got "rid" of Christmas. We took down all the Christmas decorations and lights. Our Christmas tree decided it didn't want to soak up anymore water so it turned itself into a fire hazard and sped up our de-decorating of Christmas. So Sad. So sad. I Love the Christmas Season and can't wait until next year.
Once I figure out how to post pictures from a different camera (my NEW ONE or Grammy's,) I'll write again soon.
Night Y'All.

Monday, December 22, 2008

They are on their way!

Mom, Kevin, Mili and Brian left Portland, Oregon at 4pm (PST) yesterday, chains and all. They reached Eugene (just 90 miles south) in 5 hours! and picked up the rental car. At 9pm (PST) they set out for Phoenix, that would be in Arizona...By Car. That's an eighteen (18!) hour drive. Since driving does get boring at times, luckily, they got to break up the monotony by putting on chains and taking them off 3 different times. (Portland, the Siskiyou Pass, and Mt. Shasta in California.)
The weather is not supposed to improve in the Portland area and they weren't sure if they would be able to catch their flight to Phoenix and from there, they Opted To Drive To Phoenix instead of depending on PDX. They are crazy but that's exactly what I would do if given the chance to spend an extra couple of days with Me...err, I mean the grand-kids/nieces & nephews.

to pass the time...I baked.

I made 4 dozen cinnamon rolls and 2 loaves of banana bread. I had Matt take over a tray of cinnamon rolls to his Sunday football buddies and they loved them. I sent about 13 rolls and between the 5 of them they ate them all. ??!! They even asked where I bought my icing. Ha Ha I made it sucka, I'm like a Martha Stewart up in heere.

the banana bread

I've also been spending my time with my Bunko neighbor's dog and 2 cats. They are in Kansas for the holidays and I offered to watch their pets. Sadie, their dog, is so! sweet that she's actually got me thinking that I may want a dog some day. Matt says No Way! but we'll see.

Today Matt put the finishing touches on our Christmas DVD and I'm about to proof it right now. Hopefully it turns out perfect and we can finally! send it out to all our anxious fans.
And to close:
Here's a shot of Lauren, Tera and Tyler destroying my Sunday paper and thinking it's fun. "Kids! These days!" =)
and finally, Tyler showing off his Boxer "on-demand" star-wand smile. He's so awesome.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

I'm so bummed out....

So I've been hearing about the snow/ice storms out West but I never thought they would actually ram an icicle straight into my heart full of Christmas excitement. Since it's been in the 70s here for the past week I guess it was hard for me to really grasp how bad this storm was. Today, however, I have been hit with a real snowball.

I received the call at the right time this morning. It was almost 11am and my mom called from her cellphone. Of course I thought she was calling to say that my brothers, sister-in-law and her were all comfortably buckled in and awaiting take off for their flight from Portland to Atlanta. But by her tone, I immediately KNEW something was wrong. I've received a "bad" phone call from her before so I'm pretty keen on tone now. Turns out Portland cancelled their flight due to the winter weather and there are no other flights available from Portland, Eugene, or Seattle (and the road to Boise is closed.) So they had to rebook on the earliest available flight which puts them in Atlanta smack in the middle of CHRISTMAS DAY! (and only if the weather has let up by then!)

I've been dancing around here the past couple of days full of anxious excitement to have my whole family here and now they won't be here today. I'm So Bummed Out.

my mom called again and said they were confirmed for a Phoenix -to- Atlanta flight on the all they need to do is fly standby to Phoenix in the hard can that be for 4 people?!?! prayers and crossed fingers....please.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Christmas Program

Yesterday was Lauren's Christmas program at school. The 4 yr. old pre-school sang Christmas songs before the Kindergarten class performed the Christmas Story.
Here is Lauren singing. She is middle row, 2nd from the right. After the program we all decorated Gingerbread houses. Lauren was much more interested in eating the candy than decorating with it. Therefore, her house is pretty bare at this point.

Pretty soon they got into it and even Tyler got to decorate a tree (sugar cone turned upside down.)

Here is Lauren with her pre-school teachers: Mrs. Lee on the left and Mrs. Maginnis on the right.

After the celebration was over Lauren had the choice to leave with me or go back to her class. She opted to go back to her class. ????! So Tyler and I drove down the street to the bookstore that has the Thomas the Train set and he played with the trains while I bought Lauren's teachers a couple of gift cards for the book store as Christmas gifts.
When we finally picked Lauren up from school I asked her where she would like to go to lunch since this was her Special Day. She chose Chik-fil-A and also requested we eat in the restaurant rather than take it home. Lucky for her...her most favorite friend from school, Emma, also decided to eat there for lunch. Lauren and Tyler ate their lunch with lightening speed so they had plenty of time to play on the playground with Emma. I got to chat with Emma's Mom and Dad for awhile and we made plans to get the girls together after the holidays since they both talk about each other All The Time.
That night "since I'm nice" I made dinner for the family. Without eating any of the Garlicky Red Beans and Pork I soon headed out to La Parrilla in Newnan, to have dinner with my ladies Impact Group. (if you actually click on the link (which I Never do when I read blogs) I must advise you to turn your volume down.) La Parrilla was decent and had VERY FILLING food. Even after I complained about recently gaining a couple of pounds I managed to literally! lick my plate clean.
So today I didn't eat lunch. but anyway...
Check out what Matt's Grammy sent us for Christmas today. Only since I know there is chocolatey food inside will I ever open it...but doesn't it make the most beautiful table centerpiece?!
Today was well into the 70s so while I changed into a pair of shorts and a t-shirt I sent the kids outside to play.
They had fun and requested multiple photo ops. Even Tyler got into the picture taking process and did his adorable smile on demand for me. Ain't he Precious?!
dump trucks in the bushes

dump trucks in the garage (check out Tyler's "smile!!")

does it get any cuter?

and of course, not to be left out....
Lauren, looking as beautiful and photogenic as ever.
(best of all, picture Matt's response to all the pine staw thrown all over the yard.)
and last but not least tonight...
Matt is teaching both Lauren and Tyler all they need to know about Quicken.
Yes, he's turning our whole family into Quicken freaks. =)

oops, did I say last but not least before?!
Check out Lauren's "pink tails" (as she calls them)
even after a nap they still look pretty cute.
Night Y'all.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

"What is the heck of this?"

I'm sorry for all my family and friends out West. I hear there's a good old "unusual" snow storm. My Grandma "GG" said there's about 4 inches of snow in her back yard. And believe me for Eugene, OR that's a lot of snow. I hear temps might reach about 30 degrees for a high this week. I really feel sorry for y'all. All the while I'm feeling sorry for y'all in a pair of capris and short-sleeve shirt. In contrast, us Atlantans are enjoying a muggy, unusual warm spell right now. Tomorrow should be even warmer. Lauren sporting some heals. She actually walked down the stairs in these. a natural? (Tyler is in the back ground with his jack-hammer.)
For dinner last night I made the Black Bean Soup from the Weight Watchers cookbook. It was fantabulous. I was a bit skeptical so I did add some garlic salt, Adobo, and Greek Seasoning to the sauteing onions. Final report = YUMM.

and for the side I made my ultimate masterpiece. (disclaimer: It's not actually MY ultimate masterpiece because I found the recipe elsewhere but I really don't care!) I have had yet to make a "from scratch" loaf as good as this. I'd go as far to say that this is better than ANY ciabatta loaf YOU have ever tried. I even made sure the pictures I took look artsy and stuff to represent.

Today we had a reunion playdate with our good friends Abigail and Isabella. The kids played so well together and all by themselves in Abigail's bedroon that occasionally us Mom's actually had to go make sure they were all right. We enjoyed a tasty lunch and some chocolate pudding for dessert.

All good things must come to an end, however, and finally Tyler had a meltdown. It was a total and complete meltdown with only one option. It was time to go. By the time we reached our house (all of 7 minutes away) this was what my sweet darlings looked like:

At home Tyler went down for another 2 hours and Lauren stayed up and watched Frosty the Snowman and then said things like, "What is the heck of this?"
I don't even remember what she was talking about but obviously her father is not watching his mouth as much as he needs to be. I mean, it's a given that I NEVER say anything that even remotely resembles her parroting.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

a centered, end of week and weekend recap

playing dress up with school projects playing dress up with my shoes and Grandpa Bob's hat
playing dress up with my make-up...
nice Zoolander smile Tyler!

Blondies for the Community Group Christmas Party

White Elephant gift for the Christmas Party
"Big Old Eco-Friendly Grocery Bag of Corporate Clutter, Merry Christmas Anyway)
(included: bag, HarrisGroup shirt, Harrisgroup pen, Harrisgroup desk-top game, Harrisgroup thumb-drive)
basically this was a bunch of HG stuff we had laying around the house. The gift actually got stolen a couple of times (because of the thumb-drive.)

The Other White Elephant Gift for the party
"Bigger is NOT always Better. Merry Christmas Anyway"
this Outback take-home bag included all our leftover ketchup and soy sauce packets from restaurants along with a couple of Chick-fil-A happy meal toys, 2 Wendy's straws, a pair of "only used once" chopsticks, Hilton Hotel soap, lotion, shampoo, body wash, coffee packet, tea packets, equal, sweet-n-low, toothbrush with my Dentist's info on it, sample of floss, mac-n-cheese cheese packet and basically every random thing I had laying around the house that didn't cost me a dime. =)
I know the recipients of this gift secretly admired it even though they didn't act like it. lol.
It was a fun fun party. Matt took home an actual cool gift of some tools and I won myself a pen/pair of bi-focals...which I'll probably need by this time next year if I don't White Elephant them back by then.
Thursday dinner before the party:
looks like sausage eh?
soysausage turned into a delish bowl of chili
I substituted the soysausage for the tempeh cuz Walmart don't carry them no tempeh.
and to gross y'all out...
scar update
not so bad, no?!
new hair color update

(the scar just DRAWS your eye don't it?! Matt says it doesn't but you and I know different.)

crusty Italian bread
crusty Italian bread with Pasta Primavera with smoked Gouda. = YUMM

opening our first Christmas presents

ornaments from Grandma Jan and Grandpa Michael
Tyler's "on-demand" smile. way cute! (not pictured: ornaments from Uncle Todd, Aunt Jennifer and cousin Madison)

my scar treatment solution

I'll keep you posted.
Matt spent the day working on our annual Christmas DVD and I wrote up addresses for our Christmas cards. I'm also suffering through another miserable episode of the never-really-going-away-back-ache
To take my mind off my pain I kept busy in the kitchen. I made the Sicilian Sausage Stuffed Pizza.
ready to go into the oven

fresh out of the oven

what was left over. It was very good. Tyler preferred just the pizza crust while Lauren ate the whole thing.

Currently Matt is moping about because he got royally thrashed in the Fantasy Football playoffs. The worst thing is that he played against Buddy this week.
And now I hear the kids sort of crashing and otherwise begging for the bath and bedtime routine to begin.
And there you have the
end of week and weekend recap.