Tuesday, December 28, 2010

My favorite picture of the season

Because we are the Griswold family, Santa must have thought these shirts were just too perfect to pass up! And I love being married to Clark Griswold!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

a few more

Not much better than watching a Christmas movie in your jammies laying on a snow tube.
Or being dressed like Tigger and a Ninja Turtle while decorating Christmas cookies. All the while eating homemade lefse and drinking eggnog. Mmmmmm...We decorated 3 dozen cookies that night. Bear was flooding the rink in the backyard and by the time he came in, I was at the table all by myself decorating. I had been totally ditched and left to finish up.They did enjoy decorating, eating, licking and sprinkling all those cookies.Our finished products. Many Bronco colored angels, bells and Santas. Lots and lots of sprinkles!The traditions have been fun this year. The boys are getting a little easier to do these projects with. Parker especially enjoys them!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

I know I'm spoiled, but...

I know I'm spoiled, but...doesn't it count for something when I admit it?
My Milo and the hubs mounted my shelves for me in the basement. There is not much that I love more than these two guys...but organization comes a close second.

After the "shit-geyser" went off July 1st, my basement was totally trashed. The new carpet went down in August. Then the dehumidifier quick sucking moisture out of the air but continued to run day and night. Bear and I both always thought the other person was dumping it out, when in fact neither of us was. Then the day came that I went to move the furniture back into the newly carpeted area and realized it was all covered in a fine layer of moldy fuzz.
(insert freak out moment here)

So the craziness began. I tore everything out of my laundry area. Sprayed every crevice of it with mold resistant cleaner, scrubbed, scoured and removed all particles of dirt, debris and mildew. Then enlisted Regan to help me paint my floor, complete with speckles. That took us about 45 minutes. Then I made the guys move my deep chest freezer (totally full of meat), not once, twice, but three times! Then I realized that I totally needed to paint the walls a fresh coat of white complete with mildew resistant additive. Then I wondered why the heck I painted the floor first? 10 drop clothes later and I was on my way to painting. I painted the basement walls the month of November. The hubs was hunting so at nap time and bedtime. I would pour a glass of wine, change into my painting clothes and head down to the dungeon.

Then I drew a map, yes a map of where I wanted shelves to go. I needed to get things off the floor in case the city sewer decides to come into my house again. Then I took my little map (5 pages) to Menards with 2 kids and batted my eyes at some poor kid and made him help me load up my cart and then the car. I drove through town with my hatch open, the little red flag a waving out the back and told the kids to hang on to the shelves!

Then Milo and Barrett spent a weekend doing this for me...spoiled I know.2 shelves for all our canned goods. The empty jars will be replaced with food from next years garden. This may have been the easiest section to mount since it went into wood and not cinder block!
The deep chest finally ended up on the left side of this little area with all my totes of seasonal decoration on the right. The top shelves are full of games, puzzles, cards, etc...
The big sink is the only part left to go. Derek and Bear are going to saw this bad boy apart this winter, remove it and replace with a new nice white one. This old one is made of concrete! Regan has one just like it in her basement, so that one will go too, the same weekend.
My laundry shelf. Extra sheets, towels, toilet paper, big things that don't fit in my kitchen, like the bread machine and the giant mixer.
Another angle of the decorations and game shelves.
Now...if I could just get that label maker I want from Santa...

Monday, December 13, 2010

another one down...

Well...I have another tradition down. A new one actually. One my husband finally let me do. I haven't burned the house down yet with my fire hazard. I put a fake tree with twinkle lights on it, in my boys' room for their night light. They have their very own tree. You should have seen their faces when plugged it in! Priceless.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The 5th Birthday Party

A month after the kid turned 5, I realized I hadn't "documented" the whole experience! Forgive me...we've been a bit busy.
So the day of his birthday he of course had no school and enjoyed the 2nd of the 3 Alligator cupcake platters at daycare.
Then that evening all the family came over. We top 30 if all show up. It gets busy and chaotic, but it's always been that way, and we love it.
I bought these, Ahem dinosaur, Alligator hats at the Dollar Tree for each of the kids to wear. Then I bagged up all the extra Runt candy (minus the banana pieces) and gave those to the kids too! They all ate them and nobody complained about the leftovers.
A wonderful addition we would have missed at the party was Nicker! He came and made himself comfortable in the chair and talked a bit about the accident/back surgery. The cutest was when Jillian pulled on her momma and asked Is that Parker's cousin Nick that we pray for mom? She was so surprised to see him in person, yet too shy to go up and talk to him.
Parker is still in love with puppy anything. Derek had drawn his name and got him 2 new puppies and Spiderman socks and slippers! A HUGE hit with a 5 year old!
Guns. Guns. Guns. Bullets. Bullets. Bullets. EVERYWHERE IN MY HOUSE! And he loves them all. Papa taught him to set up various toys around the house and see if he can "dead-eye" them. He can.Grandma Janet and Papa Don went to Florida back in the 60s. Yes the 60s. They bought a stuffed and real at one time Alligator. Laying in bed one night he shouts out that he actually thinks he knows where a 50 year old Alligator is?! Guess what? He found it and they wrapped it up and gave it to my kid! It was a huge highlight of the party!My mom typed up an "All About A" card for Parker and on the back was a song called "Along Came Mr. Alligator"...I read the card to him the day after his birthday and he knew all the words and actions to the song. We made sure to invite Grandma Audrey over one night to watch the performance and teach her the actions.We served cupcakes and mint & chip ice cream to the family. Every time I asked Parker what piece of the gator he picked, he told me it was the one with the toenails! Mmmmm.Emmitt really enjoys the parties just as much as the next kid. While reorganizing my basement I came across all the 3rd Birthday/Hat Trick party supplies and figured a hockey party would be just great for Emmitt too! And I have basically run out of ideas...
Happy 5th Birthday to my Little Man!
And because I know you just can't wait to hear "what am I going to do next year?"...my mom (the least creative person I know) came up with the marvelous idea of Parker's next Birthday: 6. Yes 6. His birthday next year is 11-11-11. Or should I type 1+1+1+1+1+1 add up to ???? You guessed it 6!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Take me for a ride...

Enjoy the show!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

two pictures

I took a total of 2 pictures on Thanksgiving.
One of my centerpiece I made of fresh cranberries and white roses. I got the roses for $10 at Gearharts Floral for donating to the Food Shelf.
And this one. Papa Don and his boys. It's precious and gorgeous all at the same time.
It was 6 years ago that he had his heart attack precisely after I made my first Turkey dinner. We even laugh about the Heart Attack Turkey each and every year, but are truly thankful he is with us today.

Saturday, November 27, 2010


Gina tagged me.

RULE #1 : People who have been tagged must write their answers on their blogs and replace any question that they dislike with a new question formulated by themselves.

RULE #2 : Tag 4 people to do this quiz and they cannot refuse. These people must state who they were tagged by and cannot tag the person whom they were tagged by. Continue this game by sending it to other people.

1. If you have pets, do you see them as merely animals, or are they members of your family?
Ummm…I HAD cats and they hated my first born so we "got rid of them". Enough said. I don't wanna talk about it.

2. If you can have a dream to come true, what would it be?
I have no idea. I am blessed and I know I am. I wish I could know the future some days, but it's not meant to be that way.

3. What is the one thing most hated by you?
People who start their sentence with "I shouldn't be telling you this, but…". Then shut your trap!

4. What would you do with a billion dollars?
Live comfortably, pay off debt, hire somebody to build us a new house, invest it, put new lighting in our church, add to my retirement, give it away…

5. What helps to pull you out of a bad mood?
What bad mood? I am rarely in a bad mood…it's a waste of time.

6. Which is more blessed, loving someone or being loved by someone?
Both equally, but giving your love away is a rewarding feeling.

7. What is your bedtime routine?
Crash. If I have time, I'll do the remove eye makeup, wash my face, brush my teeth, but 5 out of 7 days I just simply go to bed.

8. If you are currently in a relationship, how did you meet your partner?
I stalked him with Gina at Rainy River. Then I asked him out. And then he married me. And we lived happily ever after.

9. If you could watch a creative person in the act of the creative process, who would it be?
Bear's Auntie Joyce is a painter. I would love to sit in a chair with a sugar free skinny latte and watch her paint.

10. What kinds of books do you buy?
I have a library card. I check out fiction books and kids books.

11. How would you see yourself in ten years time?
10 years from now…I'll be 40. YIKES! My kids will be growing up, we will still be running around like crazy people, but happy, healthy and thankful for the busy fun years we have shared together so far.

12. What's your fear?

13. Would you give up all junk food for the rest of your life for the opportunity to visit outer space?
Umm, NO. This is absurdity. Dido.

14. Would you rather be single and rich or married, but poor?
I am married and poor and doing just fine.

15. What's the first thing you do when you wake up?
I get woken up almost every day of the week…to one or two sweet little boys, who are nestling under the covers. We snuggle until somebody shouts, I have to pee!

16. If you could change one thing about your spouse/partner what would it be?
That he would complete projects for me faster. He's a starter, not a finisher which makes me a nag. I don't want to nag.

17. If you could pick a new name for yourself, what would it be?
Wonder Woman.

18. Would you forgive and forget no matter how horrible a thing that special someone has done?
Been there. Done that. I think I am burnt out in this area currently. I am not a bad person to not forgive, I am a good person who won't allow it anymore.

19. If you could only eat one thing for the next 6 months, what would it be?
Cheese. I LOVE cheese. Mmmmmmmm….me too!

I'm tagging, Summer, Daf, Anna, and Jen P

yet another tradition fulfilled...

Another seasonal tradition fulfilled. Sit on Santa's lap and tell him what you want for Christmas.
The boys had just witnessed the coolest, cheapest balloon being blown up by Josh Cann and by golly they both told Santa they wanted a balloon for Christmas!

Monday, November 22, 2010

a hunting we will go

Well another seasonal tradition down. A first for Parker in fact. He was able to out in the deer stand with daddy the last hunting day of the season. They did not get a deer but saw a pine martin and a wood pecker.
Bear was actually surprised at how long Parker sat out in the stand. They were out there for about 2 hours. 2 hours is a long time for a 5 year old little body.
Bear taught him how to call a deer in. I think he may have done more scaring off the deer than attracting them.He got his coat for his birthday. His very own hunting coat. He and daddy have this thing going with orange gum. They call it hunting gum. Parker had the pack of gum in his pocket 2 days ahead of time! After they came in from the stand, he fell asleep in the truck on the way to town, took his nap, and when he woke up he was still chewing the hunting gum!My two providers of the family. Off doing manly things like calling deer and peeing in the woods. And of course creating some great memories.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

One down, many to go

One of many seasonal traditions fulfilled today...the horse drawn sleigh ride.

Monday, November 15, 2010

The opener

This was year two of the Opening Weekend of deer season that the Bilben family came to stay with us. Last year I managed two 4 year olds and 2 18 month olds...this year...much, much, much easier. Again, it was a weekend of adventures, laughs, not many tears and way more energy than I'll ever have.
I took the kids up to the bike trail and let them run. Run, Run, Run, Run until you can't run anymore! I told them. And they did. It is crazy to look back at last year and see that there was no snow, warm weather. This year we didn't even have jackets! All our hunters kept saying it was too warm to hunt. The kids and I loved that it was this nice out. I appreciated the time to be free of them all and I turned them loose in the back yard.
Jillian. The only girl in the bunch of kids. She fits in perfectly. Auntie Becky taught her a few things in the woods...when she had to go potty "real bad". From one girl to another!
Once she was home she mentioned to Regan that she noticed when we all prayed at the table the we say AhMen (short a) and they say A-men (long a). I am not sure if a lot of funny things happened at the table while eating or if we just simply spent that much time at the table eating. I literally felt like all I did was think of a meal, cook it, serve it, clean up and start all over again.
Parker. The almost 5 year old. He was busy running, building "fires", and helping me keep an eye on the "babies". Brooks. Brooksy. Dude. He was hilarious. I kept hiding his nuk on him. He would communicate with his eyes. A lot. He doesn't need to say a word, just a look. At one point I told him he had "angry eyes" (watch Toy Story 2) and we all got the giggles at the table, and sure enough he would do it again to get a laugh out of us all.
The Bilbens taught our kids a bunch of funny knock-knock jokes...but there answers were always something to do with food or underpants. I was amused for the first 3 jokes, but they all laughed themselves silly at their own funny answers.
E-man. Kept up with the best of them all weekend long. The first night of the sleepover each set of siblings slept together. The second night I let the big kids sleep together and the little kids sleep together. At 1 am Brooks lost that darn nuk and was screaming for it. Emmitt told him to "hush" and came downstairs to sleep with momma.
While on our walk, we gathered fire wood and made a pretend fire to warm our hands. We sat around and had a snack and climbed on the log and rock and then headed home for yet another meal.
The 2 five year olds. Cute as ever.I told Jillian while combing out her wet hair that God gave me boys for a reason! She looks like she is giving me attitude in this picture, but she really is a sweetie.And alas...a shot of the 4 of them sitting still long enough for the memory...like 1 millisecond.On the walk home...we came to the corner before piling back into the car...one of the reasons I love Fall so much in Northern Minnesota.
I am thankful that Regan and Derek got away for a weekend together and that once again she tagged a huge buck opening morning!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The next chapter

Well, the next Chapter in my Big Book of Life begins today at 8 am. I am beginning a new job at Rainy Lake Medical Center. It is called Material Management Clerk (inventory/stock of medical supplies). It is part-time and I will work Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. I will go between the hospital and the clinic, but will spend most of the time at the clinic. Barrett and I started realizing awhile ago that Curves was not going to be able to support our family financially long term and I began to put together a resume and seek outside work. A big question many of you may have is "what about Curves?" Well, I will continue to own and manage it. I will be at the club Mondays and Wednesdays-which happen to be my 2 busiest days of attendance. So I really believe this will be the best of both worlds. A new job that will give me a paycheck, a 401K, the ability to pay into my social security, etc...and still allow me to manage my own business. The flexibility is of course gone and hopefully the stress we felt with financial strain. It's bittersweet, but I hope all my girls at Curves realize that I am not abandoning them, I am taking the next step to keep the place they love and support so much, going. Here's to the next Chapter and all it has to offer...

Monday, November 8, 2010

Almost 5

5 Years Old! That seems like such a big milestone Birthday. Although I cannot remember mine. I think the first birthday I really remember was my 7th. I had a girl sleepover birthday party. I am trying not to think about the fact that my kids are probably not going to remember any of these parties or anything we have done with them to this point. I do however know that they will remember they are loved, taken care of, nurtured, taught, instructed, hugged, kissed and told I love you, daily. And the pictures help. I admit, I can be a bit obnoxious with the camera, the scrapbooks, the blogging, but I want them to go back and see what it was like raising them. Somebody asked me what my due date was with Parker, and I actually couldn't remember off the top of my head! Something that I had remembered for the past 5 years, simply escaped me. I still have yet to find the time to look it up. I think it's the 9th, which is tomorrow.
All he knows right now is that he will be 5 in three days. He desperately wants a two wheeled scooter (which he is getting from his Fairy Godmother), that his cupcakes are going to be awesome and that daddy is taking him hunting, up in a deer stand on Friday...simply because he will be 5.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

The invite and what the cake will be

Parker picked to have an Alligator cake this year. I basically gave up on telling him what kind of birthday party to have and let him choose. This year at least. He looked through our Hello Cupcake book and picked the Old Swampy Alligator. For as much as he loves puppies I thought for sure I was going to be making dogs this year. This is also the book that I got the Owl idea from for Emmitt's Look Whooooo's Two party.
Here is what the cake/cupcakes are to look like...we'll see how well I do. I will in fact be making 3 sets of these gators, so by the end of the week I should have mastered the pull and flip piping technique! I am still on the hunt for Newman's Own Alphabet square cookies, but it looks like I would either need to make a trip to Duluth or the Metro area to buy them. If anybody is coming from that way, give me a call! I think I can substitute chocolate covered graham crackers. Should be fun! Is he really going to be FIVE?!!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz!

First Dorothy ventured off on the Yellow Brick Road in search of the great and powerful Oz. On her journey to Emerald City she came across a Scarecrow. They decided to hook up and venture off together. She needed a home, he needed a brain.Along the way they try to steal some apples off some very creepy talking trees and come upon a Tinman who had rusted in the rain while chopping down a tree. The Tinman joined them on the journey to Emerald City in search of a heart.Next the fearless trio come across a Cowardly Lion. The Lion is in need of some courage and they all head down the Yellow Brick Road.
They were off to see the Wizard...
...The Wonderful Wizard of Oz!That is actually the story that Parker's tells...with a little help on wording from momma.