Thursday, December 29, 2011


Here in the Valley of the Sun winter means fall and fall means playing in leaves. My brother Mark and his family moved to Nebraska so he could attend law school there. It has been so good to have them home for Christmas break. How thankful I have been for Skype so we could video chat with Mark, Ashley and Sam boy. They always try and get Sam to say Connie but either I couldn't hear him or he would say it but when he first saw me he said Connie & it melted my heart. 

Sam loved getting leaves thrown on him.

We had so much fun playing in the leaves and being together.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

It's that time of year

My sister Debbie and I decided that we needed to enlist the help of an expert to help get our Christmas projects done. So this past Saturday we went out to our mom's and had a Super Saturday. I made our traditional popcorn cakes, with help from my mom of course.

The recipe we use is: 
1gallon of popcorn
1 stick of butter
1 lb bag of marshmallows
1 cup of candy of your choice

I decided to use dark chocolate & mint m&m's for my friend Melissa's popcorn cake and she seemed to really like it!
Stolen from her facebook page, this is after having it for 3 hrs. 
My best friend decided to help me out with the cakes and ran with me to pick up some supplies. We are super fast tough girls so watch out.

Here is one of our finished small cakes.

After we went and watched one of our brothers little girls dance recital, here are the sweet ballerinas.

Gracie had declared it the greatest day of her life, and I have to admit it was one of my favorites. I love working beside my mom & sister and spending time with my nieces and nephews. I think one of the reasons Christmas time is so great is the traditions we keep they remind us of past good times & make making new one sweet because we know we will look back at them with love next year.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Tennis, Tigers & Ballroom

I read about the band Tennis on a blog, their story is what got me to listen to them. The couple met in college after graduation they saved up money bought a boat and spent a year sailing the eastern coast. I had imagined them sailing & writing music but according to this interview with NPR they wrote the music after as a way of documenting their experience.

When I asked Mimi if she was interested in going she said she liked the opening band Miniature Tigers so it was perfect. I was excited to try out the newest venue The Crescent Ballroom. Which I liked very much it has some risers in the back which we went and sat in towards the end. Also if you are wanting to attend a show I would buy tickets online, there was a pretty long line waiting to get in.

Miniature Tigers
The lead singer of Tennis was pretty much the cutest person I have ever seen on stage, a girl from the audience even yelled out "you're adorable".

Tennis has a new album coming out on Valentines day this coming February, I am digging it, give it a listen.
Deep in the Woods by tennisinc

Origins by tennisinc

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

My Daddy-O

Sixty nine years ago my dad was born (a year after pearl harbor). On Thanksgiving I was riding with my dad when he called another driver on the road "old man", I had to remind him he is no spring chicken. I don't see him as an old man, even if he is getting a little grumpier :). Growing up it is hard to see your parents other than anything as parents but looking back I see now how their tastes influenced me.

For most of our youth Debbie & I we shared a room, which we had a hard time keeping clean to my mothers dismay. On Saturdays she would often try and banish us to our room till it was clean. Some of my favorite memories are from those Saturdays, I will just say that Debbie and I have always been creative and could find lots of ways to not clean. I remember one of those rare Saturdays that we were actually cleaning we had brought our dad's record collection into our room and would play them and sing along, at the tops of our lungs I am sure.
My dad, Mike (in the chair) with his brothers Tim, Danny, Pat (we are not Irish or anything)

One summer as a pre-teen the video rental store was doing some sort of special, I don't remember what exactly. But I remember my dad taking me probably every week and over the summer I think I rented every "classic" movie they had. I would ask my dad about a movie and he would tell me about when he saw it and could usually tell me where he saw it as well.

A few years ago I put together that all my dad's favorite movies were done by the Cohen brothers and just this year while my brother said a movie that sounded like Bottle Rocket my dad asked "does that have Owen Wilson in it?" Apparently after my dad retired he started to watch Wes Anderson films as well. It is sure fun finding more reasons to love my dad, the original hipster.

Monday, December 5, 2011

December is here

It is December the busiest month of the year and this weekend was just the beginning. Friday I heard about Crafeteria (a craft fair) from Angela Hardison's twitter and thought it would be a good place to get ideas for Christmas.

While there I saw these branches covered in scrapes of material. I had already wanted to use branches to decorate and liked the idea. So when Debbie called me on Saturday to say that she and William were sick I grabbed some material and headed over to help with the other kids since Russ was working & it was also Gracie's Dance recital. 
When I got to Debbie's I went and got some branches and went to work in covering the branches. 
Then Debbie talked me into covering some not very pretty ornaments in yarn. 

Now I have a Charlie Brown Christmas tree.

My mom came in and took us all to Gracie's dance recital. Here is the excited princess ballerina tough girl elf (she told me she was all those things). 

After we went to go visit our nephew, cousin & grandson Miles grave, he passed away three years ago. It was a sad and hard time but how blessed we are to be part of a family who are there to give each other strength.

Sunday we celebrated my dad's 69th birthday that is coming up on the 7th and this little guy was dressed like this. 

And grandma had made these girls Christmas dresses. If you can't tell these girls were very excited!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Thanksgiving Weekend

Over a year ago my mom decided she did not have room for her piano and gave it to me. Thanksgiving we finally worked out getting it moved. While my brothers were over I also had them put up my picture ledges.

Thank you Laini Taylor for giving me the inspiration I needed. 

It is amazing how homie my home feels now.

After eating and naps Gracie got out the dress up & Joe loved making us laugh.

I can't believe how big William is getting

Friday night William & Gracie came over for a sleepover.

Gracie had fun playing with my Jane Austen & Legolas action figures. A wedding even took place.

Such a beautiful match, she can help him gain a sense of humor and he can take Jane on adventures.

Saturday we got together with my dads side of the family.

Debbie and her kids waiting to ride the train.

Joseph hitting me with Williams wand...stupefy

How stinking cute is that caboose?

It was such a lovely weekend my mom out did herself with making a marvelous meal, check out Debbie's blogs for pictures.