Thursday, April 30, 2009


I want to be a stow-a-way, in a suitcase, with my Sister and Brother-in-law because, they are going here....

But because I can not go with my sweet Sister, I will help remind you of these important Disney facts:

1. Make sure you ride and scream like this..... (check out your nephew in the back)

2. Ride your favorite Toy Story ride, with the cool 3D glasses....

3. Go shopping for anything Mickey Mouse....and don't forget about your loving Sister stuck at home in boring Illinois...

4. Make sure you try on as many of these as possible, you just might need to buy one.....

5. You must get to the Magic Kingdom at least 10 minutes before the park opens so you can hear the Casey Jr. song and wave to all the characters gathering to welcome you to the park opening.....

6. And this ride will keep you humming the theme song all day long.....

7. Make sure you eat one of these......

8. Oh please ride this at least 5 times and call me at my desk to rub it in......

9. And call me while you are screaming your bloody head off while dropping 13 me again, I want to hear all about it.....

But most importantly, rest assured that all of us, including your two are being well cared for. We will help with everything they need. And know this, you won't get them back unless you bring Mickey back with you.

WE love YOU! Enjoy your magical vacation with your hubby!

Your Sis and Nephew

Sunday, April 26, 2009

And So It Begins.....

Grass mowing season. You either love it, or hate it. I'm more on the hate side, but I have a young'n that enjoys helping. Thank the Lord!

And another thing that comes with Spring, are squirrels, and lots of them. Can you see what my Tiger is starring at and wishing he could pounce on outside our sliding glass door? He is a mighty killer.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Play Ball

Baseball season is amongst us. With so much rain, we have had a few games rained out, but we finally had one tonight. The boys are playing well, but we have lost two, won one. I know after a couple more games they will get the hang of it and do better playing as a team. But my son is pretty competitive and he isn't too happy about loosing, but I just keep asking him "are you having fun?". As long as he can tell me yes, then I tell him to not worry about winning.

I love watching him play, plus it gives me more reasons to take pictures of him. This is the first time he has been given a complete uniform, and I love to see him in it. He out grew all of his baseball stuff from last year, so it's been an expensive year getting started. It's also hard for a single Mom to figure out all the things a boy needs for baseball. It's not one of those sports that I played, so I didn't really know about something like.....a cup? However, I'm not afraid to ask questions to male friends that know these types of things, so I got a straight answer.

All is good, we have many games ahead of us this year and we get to travel to other towns. My life as a Mom tied to sports has officially started.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

My Dad's Birthday

This past Sunday was my Dad's birthday. Both Mom and Dad celebrate them in April. My Dad loves to fish, doesn't get to do it probably as much as he would like to, but over the past few years he has started going more often. His best friend, my Godfather, was a HUGE fisherman. The two of them have gone their entire lives. Dad lost his best friend to cancer a couple years ago, but he is keeping the tradition going as much as he can.

Of the few things Dad mentioned that he wanted for his Birthday, they all involved fishing. My Sister found this cool hat and even though she wasn't sure if he would wear it, she decided to get it for him anyway. Between fishing, yard work, little bit of golfing, or just whatever, Dad claims he will wear it. Regardless, we all got a good laugh out of him wearing it during his Birthday party. It fits his personality so well and he had to give us a totally goofy grin.

And Simon the cat liked Dad's new fishing pole as well.

My Sister and Brother-in-Law also gave Dad a ticket to an upcoming Cub/Cardinal baseball game. My Dad is a die-hard Cub fan, while my brother-in-law loves the Cardinals. They are playing in St. Louis at Bush Stadium, but Dad is thrilled to go.

To make the game even better, my Brother-in-Law surprised my son with a ticket to the very same game. My son has never been to a major league baseball game and even though he too is a Cardinal fan, my Dad will love to be with him for his first big game. At my Dad's party my Brother-in-Law gave my son his first Cardinal baseball cap and tucked inside was the ticket. He was thrilled!!!

Dad's favorite dessert is strawberry shortcake. Since strawberries are just now in season, it was a very yummy dessert to have. And no birthday is complete without a candle. I love you Dad!!

Monday, April 20, 2009

A Time to Remember

This weekend we held my Uncle's memorial while all of his family returned home. He passed away in February but my Aunt Pat scheduled the memorial when everyone could fly home. I have cousins in Texas, California and Florida, so many came from across the states. There are three sisters, my Aunt from Colorado (that was here also visiting), my Mom and my Aunt Pat that lost her husband.

All of my cousins came, which was very nice to see them again and get caught up on their lives, and they even brought their children. My parents had a house full, more than what their house is supposed to hold. There were little 1 year old toddlers to "young" Aunt and Uncles and everything in between.
Even though there were lots of tears shed, it was a very fun weekend to spend together with family. I don't know when we will all be together again, but I hope someday we can all be gathered, hopefully over better circumstances.
Here are some pictures to highlight our weekend.
My cousin from California and my Aunt Pat.
My cousin from Texas...her Grandson. He was a highlight of the weekend, that kept us all entertained with his ability to lay chicken eggs. You had to be there to see it.
My cousin from Texas, her Granddaughter. One of the most beautiful babies I've seen. She could smile and frown in a matter of seconds. And boy could she turn on the charm!

My Uncle, the man whose life we celebrated, and who contributed to all the wacky family members we have. But that includes me too.
The three sisters...My Aunt Pat, my Mom, My Aunt them all!!!!
My son had to wear his cowboy hat in honor of Uncle Delmar, the TRUE cowboy. He wore this hat all day.
My cousin from Texas, the one with the two Grand babies. Our kids latched on to her like glue the moment they met her.
Saturday we had a lunch for all of our families. After dinner people sat around and talked, the kids played, and before long, we were playing drums on our Worship Band's drum set. Well, at least my Dad was the one entertaining us. Silly PaPa!

By Saturday night, the memorial was over and there were lots of tears. Everyone was ready for some happy times. My cousins from California like to dance, but when my Dad brought out his dance tunes (Wipe Out), they were cracking up....and probably embarrassed for us. That's OK, we're used to Dad's dancing tunes. It took a lot of coaxing to get Seth to dance to this music, but he gave in (after using his own tunes on his i-Pod), and showed us how they dance in California. His Mom joined in too. I can only imagine what Mom's neighbors were thinking at this point. Party at the old folks home! (sorry for the side way video, I don't know how to rotate it)


My cousin from California... her two totally hip kids, Roxy and Seth. I know they were thinking we were the biggest red necks from Illinois they ever witnessed. But we all fell in love with them as soon as we met them. We have grown up seeing pictures of these twins growing up and met them when they were little, but now they are both almost 21 and two wonderful adults. They didn't believe my Dad was the Easter Bunny, so he had to prove it. I'm not sure they were too thrilled to be 21 and still forced to get their picture taken with the Easter Bunny, but hey, welcome to your family from Illinois!!

So as you can tell, we had lots of laughs in the midst of sad times. We all had stories to share of my Uncle Delmar and life on his farm with my Aunt Pat and all 4 cousins. The younger kids would just laugh at us. Those are memories we will never forget and I'm thankful I have a family to share them with.

Prayers continue to go out to my Aunt and cousins. Lots of love from home.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter Weekend

How was your Easter weekend? As you already know, my son and I moved back home Friday. I was busy cleaning and cooking in my home all weekend to prepare for the Easter feast. The Easter Bunny came while my son was at his Dad's, so the goods were hidden when he got home Sunday morning.

My contributing dishes for our Easter dinner consisted of Copper Carrots, Coconut Cake and Crescent rolls. I just noticed, they all started with the letter "C"....huh! Anyway, all were yummy I must say and if you are in the mood to bake a Coconut Cake, you must try this recipe. It's from the Barefoot Contessa and you can find it here. Since it was Easter, I died the coconut pink, plus I knew my sister would love it.

When I was all done with my cooking, my body needed a good soak. This was the first "bath" in my new tub. It was wonderful. I ran out of hot water before I could fill it up. I had to dig through my stash to find something lovely to put in the water. I had some bath salts from Bath and Body. When I opened it up I forgot that the scoop was an actual shell. Oh it made me purr just thinking of it.

I loved every bit of my new bath, except one small detail. The nice, shiny, reflective cap thingy where the overflow drain is. Let's just say it needs to get some soap scum over it so it doesn't reflect so much. Enough said.

Sunday morning Tiger waited patiently for his buddy to come home. He missed him, as did I. My son finally arrived in time to search for his Easter Bunny goodies (he doesn't believe in the EB anymore, but I won't stop believing).

Unfortunately, my son was sick so our Easter Sunday was a little off. I wasn't able to go to church because he was so ill, instead we visited Convenient Care. Oh boy. However, he was well enough that we still went to my sister's to meet up with the rest of the family. My Aunt and Uncle from Colorado are home visiting so they were with us this Easter Sunday. I always love it when they come home to visit. Here are my parents, my Aunt and Uncle and a very dear family friend. All gathered at the "big people table". :)

After dinner we all sat around and talked, waited for our food to digest so we could consume more..dessert. The coconut cake was a hit, but boy was it rich. My sister has a love for Fisher Price Little People. She has decided to display her collection from our childhood days. They were looking all happy perched in her kitchen, I had to take their picture too.

And last but not least, I had to get Mr. Handsome's picture taken. He was laying on my niece's lap, as if he was saying, "What in the heck are you looking at?". He really does have a smile in there....someplace.

If you can't see it, here is his cute cousin's smile. She was scoping out the birds and squirrels playing through the picture window.

So how was your Easter? What did you do to celebrate this glorious occasion?

Friday, April 10, 2009

Finally Home

I'm finally home, the worse of the bathroom remodel is over. Hallelujah! The bathroom is not totally done, but I can use the brand new toilet and tomorrow morning I can use the shower, so life is good. I'm still trying to get used to it and so are my kitties. I don't feel like I'm in the same home except everything else is familiar. All I can say is I have two fluffy kitties that are very happy to see me here. In fact, Tiger is curled up between my arms as I am typing this. And to make it really feel like home, he is purring.

My son and I have been nervous over the last week because our Tiger was very upset with the whole remodel. He would hide and never come out, not even for us. We really had to coax him, with a can of tuna. He would never purr (which he did a tremendous amount before), so we were scared he was ruined for life. But, that doesn't appear to be the case.

I cannot thank my Sister enough for everything she has done this last week. Besides welcoming us to her home, she feed us, did our laundry, cooked dinner, gave up her bed for us and even bigger, came over yesterday to help me clean my entire house and help me paint the bathroom. She is such a life saving and I love her dearly. I must thank my Dad and Brother-in-law as well because of all the help they gave during the demolition. I love you ALL so very, very much.

Even though my son and I were not home, we did have a lot of fun staying with my Sister and her family. There were kids to play with all the time, older cousins to help with homework, another "Mom" around all the time to help with whatever, so it was perfect. Here are some pictures from the last few days.

Thursday my Sister and two girlfriends went shopping while all of the kids were in school. We live near an Amish community and they have the neatest "bulk food" store where we can find every goodie imaginable. Even....pork rinds. My sister thought these were weird and why would anyone want to eat them? But I'm sure there is some poor soul out there that loves them. We passed on that purchase.

This handsome fella' was standing next to a fence wanting his picture taken. A true work horse.

Picking my son up from baseball practice one night. He had a long way to run to get to the car.

My sister and I went to the house Thursday to paint and I had a little accident. The lid to the ceiling paint wasn't quiet on and I spilt a little on the garage floor. Oops!

I have some weird plumbing issues going on that have nothing to do with the demolition. The tub gurgles when I do laundry...I know it's not good. But one thing at a time. So last night while my Sister and I were painting, we were also doing laundry and all of a sudden bubbles started pouring out from the wall. I yelled "Crap! Get me a towel" and she came running. All was well, we cleaned them up and shoved a towel in the hole and finished painting, and laughed a bunch in the meantime.
My brother-in-law watched the kids while we painted and when we finally took our achy bodies home, we pulled into the garage to the loud sound of music. The kids were playing karaoke on the Wii. My son was singing a Hanna Montana song. I had to laugh.

This morning while packing up our things, Mr. Simon was perched on one of his many pieces of furniture looking all handsome.

The kids wanted to color Easter Eggs before Sunday, so we decided to give that a whirl. We did the stand-by colored and for a little zip tried some tie-dyed eggs. For all of you Mom's out there, stick with the regular dye boxes, the tie-dyed is entirely too messy.

After the eggs-travaganza, we met up with two other girlfriends and their kids to watch the new Hanna Montana movie that was released today. I must say, I'm not a big Hanna Montana fan, but it was a good movie. All of the kids involved enjoyed the show.

From there it was back home to a finished bathroom. My son met up with his Dad and will be with him for the rest of the weekend so its just me and the two kitties. My Sister came over to help me hang up the shower curtain in my new bath and check it out one more time. The two kitties joined us at their first look at the new bath as well. Now they could see what all of the commotion was and the reason behind them being locked up in my bedroom each day.

It took Tiger many trips in and out to smell everything. Calleigh, she rushed right in, sniffed a little and found her home in the sink. Her normal hang out spot. I think she was fine with the new bowl. The exhaust fan in the ceiling was new, and she kept starring at it.

Tiger was a lot more cautious of everything and took his time scooping it out. He finally got up the courage to jump on the vanity where his Sister was. And finally, after almost 7 days, he gave his stamp of approval too while perched in his favorite spot.

I can't wait for tomorrow when I can shower in my new bathroom and later that evening take a long, hot soak. Oh it will be lovely.