Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year 2010!

We had fun night here at party central! The girls and I dressed up in our fancy dresses, did hair, makeup and even wore high heels! I made a bunch of appetizers for dinner, mini calzones, mini quiches, crackers and brie, little ramkins with dip and carrots and cucumber spears in them. We toasted in the new year with apple juice in our champagne flutes. The girls especially loved that part!

We decided to do the countdown at 8:30 so I could put Ava Marie to bed. The girls finished watching the movie Babe and then were in bed by 9pm! I am here at my computer with a cup of tea and some extra time to just wander the blogs tonight! Bliss!

Happy New Year to you all!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009


We woke up early this morning to see if the weather forecasters had been right or wrong about the weather. 2 of the main channels had said we would only get a trace of snow, but 1 channel was closer saying we would get about 2 inches. We did get 2 inches overnight, but then it proceeded to snow most of the day and so now we have about 4 more inches. It has been super cold so the snow from Christmas Eve and Day is still on the ground and now with todays snow...well I think this is how it must feel to live in Chicago or even Michigan! And we are supposed to get more over the weekend!

So Monday I put the remains of our Sunday turkey into a big soup pot and boiled it with a couple of carrots and celery and a half an onion. After about 4 hours I took out everything, put the stock back on the burner and added more turkey meat, sliced carrots and celery, diced onions and big fat egg noodles. I served it with a salad and rolls and it was so delicious! The broth is the best I have ever made! I froze about half. I am trying to have at least 10 quarts of various soups and stews stored in the outside freezer for tax season. If I can get more that would be great! It helps me get through my most busy time.

I have been trying to find more activities for the girls during this very cold and snowy season. Yesterday we went to a new kids place called Jumpin Jax, with lots of inflatables and jumping equipment. They ran, jumped, screamed, used the zip-line, screamed, totally went wild! It was awesome! And when we got home I barely got dinner in them and they were ready for bed! Thank you!

Did I mention they have a parents waiting area with 2 big leather sofas, a big-screen TV, WIFI and FREE Starbucks coffee? We went back today! Can you blame me?

Monday, December 28, 2009

All I Want For Christmas...

I sure hope everyone else got their fondest desires for Christmas. I know I did! I had a wonderful day with all of my children and my Mother who arrived on the 16th from San Diego. She told us the minute she got here that she expected some snow...and boy did we deliver!

From Thursday to Sunday we got snow, snow and more snow!! I've lived in the midwest since 1999 and this is the biggest snowstorm I've seen. Of course this is exactly what I moved here for!

We had been waiting for a few days, as the forecast was for snow on Tuesday and we were sorely dissapointed. But we all decided it had been worth the wait! We got around 11 inches depending where the wind blew. It started out as freezing rain on Thursday afternoon, we had been home all afternoon cooking and baking for a party at my neighbor Karen's home. I made my Hot Artichoke and Spinach dip and Mom made her delicious Deviled Eggs. I also baked a few loaves of Pumpkin Spice Bread. About 5pm I had to get in the van and drive to the hospital to pick up Randy (He works at KU Med.) It had just turned over to snow and was coming down really heavy. I have never driven in that much snow! There were NO lines on the highway! Where there was normally 3 to 4 lanes of traffic, there would be only 2 cars side by side. It was really scary for me, but I just kept singing Christmas Carols and praying that the Lord wouldn't let me die on Christmas about your white knuckle driving!

It took me an hour to get to Randy, usually takes 30 minutes. And then it took us an hour to drive home, but I felt much better on the way home with Randy in the car with me. The girls cheered when we walked in the back door and I think I saw my Mom make the sign of the cross!! LOL! I told her as I was leaving, "They're all yours if I don't make it back!" You can imagine her relief!

We drove the 3 houses up the street to Karen's, my Mom originally said she wanted to walk but changed her mind, good choice Mom. It was warm and festive in the Griffin home and there was so much delicious food! We had the most wonderful brisket, and the bar-b-que baked beans were awesome! (A staple on any Kansas City table.) The girls performed one of their Christmas songs and then invited everyone to sing "Silent Night" with them. Karen sent us home with a huge bag of cookies which was completely gone by the next afternoon. Yummy peanut butter and these great peppermint shortbread.

The girls all went to bed around 9:30pm. They were ultra excited and kept reminding us that we had to go to bed too or else Santa wouldn't stop at our house! Yeah right! I was up until 1am and my Mom said she was up until 3:30am! Santa delivered a really nice keyboard for our family. I used to play the piano, so I am going to teach the girls to play. If any of them really seem to have a talent for it, then I will get them another teacher, but for now, I thought it would be fun to teach them myself.

Each of my daughters got a game for their Nintendo DS and a nightgown and a book. My Mother bought outfits for each of the girls that matched, and then she made additional matching outfits for their American Girl dolls. So cute and the girls really loved them! I got a new nightgown too! And the movie "Julie & Julia" which I just love! I am hoping to get Julia Child's Cookbook soon so I can try some of her delicious recipes myself.

The rest of the day and into the weekend we did a lot of cooking, mostly soups and a turkey on Sunday, and reading and watching the snow. The girls did go out to play in the snow and we took them to some great sledding hills that are just down the street from our home. They are perfect because they are to the side of the parking lot of our local Lowes store. Everyone drives up there, parks their cars and vans facing the hills and watches their kids slide down the hills from the comfort and warmth of their own vehicles! It is awesome! And to make it even better, there is a Starbucks in the same parking lot...what else could you need?!

We had to say goodbye to Grandma today. She is off to Atlanta to spend New Year's with my brother and his family. The girls and I are excited about our New Years Eve Girls Night Extravaganza! We are planning to dress up fancy, have only appetizers for dinner with sparkling cider and ring in the new year at about 9:30pm!! Oh I know, we're such party girls!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

I have a headache...yuck!

Yes I do! I can't stand to feel unwell. I am usually very healthy and don't have any complaints, but I woke up this morning with a headache and I even know why, I have a sinus infection and we are expecting rain on Thursday and so it makes my head ache! But that doesn't really help anything because it still hurts and there isn't really anything to make it feel better. So I just suffer because I have too much fluid in my face!

The little girls and I walked the big girls to school this morning, we left right on time so we didn't have to run/walk, instead we could just stroll and take our time and talk. I love to do this, because then I can spend just that much more time with my girls. We walked them past the school and then turned and went home in a round about way, I believe it was approximately 2 miles total. It is not that far to the school, just 10 minutes, but that is why I add to it by making the distance longer and getting a little more exercise.

When we came back home I put a pork roast in the crock pot. It is a really easy recipe with a can of whole berry cranberries, some orange juice, a little honey and seasonings. I will serve it over some wild rice with baby carrots. Ummm I am getting hungry already and I have 7 ours until I get to eat it! I'd better get to a project and take my mind off of food. I am finishing up some hand sewing that I will use to decorate the little girls room. I am making flower petals and leaves and they will be applied to the walls. This is a re-creation of the room Madyson had in our old house. It was my favorite. The walls are a light green and the flowers look like they are growing up the walls. I have also painted grass growing along the base of the walls. Also there will be lady bugs flying around the flowers and up on the walls, they leave a little trail which spells out things like "dream", "believe" and "love". And then there are also flowers that look like they are holding a ribbon with the little girls names hanging from them. It is really sweet and pretty and I will post pictures as I finish each project. I also have to hang a ladybug valance and reupholster the glider with this really cute ladybug fabric. I am hoping to finish up this week.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Mondays are for catching up

I always start my Mondays trying to finish what I started on the weekend. Not too bad this weekend, just a little picking up and staightening around the house, a couple more loads of laundry, and still have to transfer the warmer clothes into the girls drawers.

Yesterday was gorgeous! Sunny and warm. After church we came home for a quick lunch and then headed to the Louisburg Apple Cider Fest at the Apple Cider Mill. It was the perfect day for it! My friend Wendy posted the idea on her Facebook page and so everyone we knew seemed to be there!
After that we were driving home and decided to stop at the Overland Park Arboretum (or something like that!) Any how, it is this great big botanical gardens and has lots of walking trails and a lake and flowers galore. We walked around for about an hour and then came to a Butterfly Garden. I thought I saw a hummingbird so we sat down in the grass for about 20 minutes trying to be quiet and patiently waiting for it to come back...and it did! In fact there were two of them. And I never knew how much noise they actually make. They do this little chirping thing to each other, really cute. We would have watched them longer except Ava got so excited when she saw them that she kept squealing and scaring them away!
We came home and the kids played outside for a while, again it was so nice I just kept letting them stay outside to enjoy the good weather. As much as I love the fall and the winter, I don't look forward to having the kids cooped up inside a lot! I made Spaghetti and Meat Sauce for dinner with garlic bread and a salad. After dinner the girls got in their PJ's and we watched the beginning of The Amazing Race. We decided to root for the guys that are roommates and one of them has Asberger Syndrome. They are funny and sweet and we all hope they win.
When the girls went to bed it was still pretty warm, especially upstairs. So I left all of the windows open in their rooms and mine. When I went to bed at about midnight I shut one window in each girls room because it was feeling a little chilly. But my room was still warm and the breeze coming in the window felt so good! Ava woke up at about 4am crying, so I went into her room to check on her, and her feet were icy cold! I closed her window and then went around closing all of the other girls windows and making sure they were covered up so they wouldn't be cold. But my room still felt perfect with both windows open! The upstairs is really big and my room is at the end of a very ong hallway, I guess the air doesn't circulate up there too well.
Well I've got to get those drawers done!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

A crisp Saturday morning

Well I have just come in from my front porch to sit down at my computer for a few minutes. We got up pretty early this morning, don't you know the girls always want to sleep in during the week but on the weekend they get up at the crack of dawn!

I made French Toast with cinnamon and after breakfast Katy and Mackenzie wanted to play in the front yard with Ava and Angie so they got them dressed and took them out there. I decided to go sit on the front porch to keep an eye on them. I brought out a cup of coffee and some hand sewing I am doing (something that I will be using for decorating the little girls bedroom, I'll show you more about that on a later post.) It is just a little crisp this morning. I was not wearing a jacket, but I sat in the sun and that kept me pretty warm. The girls all had jackets on. Katy handed everyone an umbrella and they proceeded to walk around the cul-de-sac singing songs from their new show "Oliver". It is cute, I just hope the neighbors enjoy it as much as I do.

I love our front porch, I always wanted one so I could sit out there and drink a cup of coffee or read a book. It stretches across the front of the house and is about six feet deep. It is held up by four stacked stone pillars that are detailed in Craftsmen style like our home. (It might also be referred to as Mission or Prairie Style.) I did not build this home like I did my other one, this one was a spec home, meaning the builder had built it with a lot of extras hoping to make a lot of money on it. It sat empty for a year and then I bought it, so I am the first owner. It has a lot of wood flooring, and the fireplace and surrounding shelving are all carved wood with leaves and other intricate designs. There is only 1 other house in my subdivision that looks like mine, but it is on another street and the porch is smaller. I am really lucky to have it the way it is. I just wish it extended to the side of the house, I think that would really be sweet. I have 2 chairs on one corner that rock and one long bench on the other side of the door in front of the dining room window. I need to make cushions for the bench, but I think I will wait until next spring.

I just dashed upstairs to put in another load of laundry. The girls are straightening their rooms and then I am going to help them take out the rest of their summer clothes. It is time to get rid of the shorts and no-sleeve shirts and make room for more pants and long sleeve shirts. This means a lot of sorting and making sure that things are clean before I store them away. Nothing worse than pulling something out in the Spring and finding it had food or dirt on it and now it is moldy or we have to throw it out! I learned that the hard way!

I also want to clean out my van. It is really filthy! Yuk! Mostly it has a lot of crushed cereal on the floor and in the seats because I give all of the girls their snacks in the car on the way to dance and theater and whatever else we have going on. I like to put a little cheerios, cheezits, mini marshmallows, pretzels and M&M's, etc. in a little snack baggie and hand them out. I hate to buy pre-packaged stuff like chips. In fact I also make cookies and brownies and fill snack baggies with them and put them in the freezer so we have all of our snacks ready for the week.

Well I'd better go check on the girls and see if they've made any progress. I can hear them arguing about who is doing more and complaining that Madyson is not what else is new. Wait til I go up there and remind them that they need to clean the bathrooms also! Oh they'll be so pleased!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Playing Indoors

Today was a really rainy day. Katy, Mackenzie and Madyson still walked to school, it hadn't started raining yet, but soon after they arrived it really started to come down. I called my Mom at about 8:30 am which is when I usually call her, every morning! We talked for about 30 minutes and then I had to hang up because the lightening was getting so bad. I don't know if it is really true that you should not talk on the phone during lightening and thunder storms, but I didn't want to take a chance.

Angie and Ava Marie and I sat on the little couch and watched the storm, everytime we saw lightening I would wait a minute and then say, "Ka-Boom!" And then the girls would both yell, "KA-BOOM!" and start giggling. It was a lot of fun! Have I told you how much fun I am having with them here with me during the day? Ooodles! We play princess, color, take walks, watch Miss Spider, and then there are those wonderful 2 hour naps! And the girls sleep too!

The only thing that would be better would be if all of my girls could be home with me. But they have to go to school. That is why I am getting so excited for the time when I get to bring Katy home to Homeschool her! You see right now she and the other girls go to our nearby elementary school Arbor Creek. It is awesome! Great teachers, great staff, totally rockin Principal! BUT...the school district recently voted to send the 6th graders to the Middle School. This is the last year the elementary will have 6th Grade and then they will ship them off to be with the older kids! NOT my girls! I don't want anything to do with that!

Don't get me wrong, I am not saying that the Middle School, which I can see from my backyard is not a good school. I am sure the teachers and staff are really top quality there too. But have you ever been to a middle school? Have you walked around and watched the kids during passing periods? Have you seen the sexual stuff and the smoking and the total disregard for any dignity that some of these girls (mostly the girls!) have for themselves? The teachers are told to treat these children like little adults, the kids are pretty much left to fend for themselves AND they are learning how to be adults from one another!! Yes, that is exactly what I said...tweens are looking at other tweens as their mature role models and so that is why they act like they do!

Well folks...not in my world! My daughters will learn to be young ladies and guess who is going to teach them how? That is right...I know I am an out of the box thinker on this one...but I would kind of like their adult role model to be ME!

So Katy is in 4th Grade this year and so next year will be her last year in the elementary school. Then I will keep her home for 6th-8th. I am not sure what we will do for High School, I haven't reached a decision on that yet. I am not opposed to sending her to the public high school, but I will definitely think through my options. There is an awesome Girls Catholic school just across the stateline in Missouri that I love! But it would be a bit of a drive, about 35 minutes each way.

I have been planning this for about 2 years, so I have read lots of books on the subject. I am planning on attending a Homeschool Conference in the Spring to get more information on curriculums. And I have a lot of friends who homeschool, so I won't be drifting out there all alone.

Katy really wants to be homeschooled, she actually wants me to do it now, in the 4th grade, but I am not ready yet and I know she is fine at the public school for now. Not that I wouldn't love to have her home with me now. We could have such a great time. Also, when she is homeschooled, she will have more time for Dance and Singing and even to try out Modeling which she really wants to try. She just turned 10 and she is 5 feet 1 inch already! I am 5'2", so she is about to pass me up! She was only 5' at the end of July and she gained that extra inch by the beginning of September. I am betting she makes it to 6 feet by the time she starts high school! She is really beautiful. Gosh I would have loved to be tall! Oh well, have to be content with that fact I think I may be shrinking as I write this!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Baby Gone...

Oh we are so sad here, that cute little baby is gone now. She was moved to her Grandmothers home...cuz she did such a great job with her crackhead daughter...let's give her a second chance with her medically fragile granddaughter! Can you spell B-I-T-T-E-R?! No not really, I am just sad for that baby, her life will be so limited.

The girls are taking it pretty well, I try to spin it for them with a really happy twist. I never let them see me cry or seem sad. They don't really need to be concerned and they have to learn that this too is part of life. People come and go in your life, even when you don't want them to. We try to look at it as a way to make a heartprint on another person. Sometimes our heartprint will be remembered, and sometimes, as with little babies, they won't remember us, but they will still be touched and so will we.

Last week Mackenzie was in a little local pageant called the Olathe Sweet Six. It is for 6 year old girls and is tied with our big celebration called Old Settlers which celebrates our cities pioneer roots and the people that originally settled our town. Olathe is over 150 years old and 3 of the Trails to the West the Oregon, the Californian and one more whose name escapes me, went through Olathe. There are several homesteads that are maintained and families and schoolchildren can visit them and see what it was like to live in the 1800's. My girls and I love the pioneer stories and old memorabilia. So we love to visit the homesteads and go to Old Settlers.

Anyhow, Mackenzie did not win, the girls wear their Sunday best and line up on stage and answer a few questions. Then they pick the one girl to be Miss Sweet Six and 2 Runners Up. Those 3 girls get to ride in a convertible car in the parade on Saturday morning! This is what Mackenzie imagined herself doing...and her hopes were dashed when she did not win. It was a little wierd as far as I am concerned. The point of the questions was to get to know the personality of the girls. There were 3 lady judges and they held the microphones and asked a couple of questions of certain girls. The problem was the Judge would look at the girl who walked up to her, and then think up a question, which were mostly yes or no questions!! And then the Judge would hold the microphone up to the girl so she could answer the question and immediately pull the microphone away, not allowing the girl to elaborate or really say much at all. The judges did a lot of talking! Towards the end one of the judges asked a girl a question that no one else was asked in the whole competition, and she just happened to allow her to keep talking. This little girl was the ONLY one to get a chance to elaborate, so she won! It was really wierd. They did give each girl a little prize bag with lots of candy in it. Anyhow, I don't really like pageants, Mackenzie brought the entry home from school and she really wanted to be in it. But we won't be doing that again.

Madyson said she wants to do it next year too...Mackenzie was incredulous..."If I can't win it you definitely won't because you are too shy!", she declared. But Madyson wasn't put off, "I don't want to win...I just want the candy!"

I am spending my days with the little girls now. Madyson was transferred into full day Kindergarten, she wanted it. I had visions of spending our day together and doing fun things like reading and learning and going for walks. She told me she was bored and didn't want to stay with me, she wanted to go to school with her sisters! So I called and they put her in full day, no problem. So I decided to take the little girls out of daycare for a little while. This is my really slow time, and I can still sit at my computer and get some work done if I have to. Mostly I work at night anyhow, so it just makes sense to save the $300 a WEEK!! Ouch! So far they are really having fun. Angie and Ava play really well together. And they both take 2 hour naps, so I still get some time to work or clean or take a nap also!

Well it's snack time, I think I'll go get that ready and then take the girls for a little walk before lunch.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Reading between the lines

Okay, so I should have known that a six week old infant that sleeps through the night is not really a good thing! I mean, how can she do that right? Well, yesterday her caseworker came over with the "red book", that is the notebook that has all of her information in it. It also has copies of court documents, health history taken from Mom, and other pertinent things. You get used to reading these things after a while, and you know just where to look first for the most important things.

So after she left, and after I had raved to her about my little punkin sleeping through the night and wasn't I so lucky! I sat down to read through the red book and found out she was a preemie! She was born 1 month early at 36 weeks, so technically she is only 2 weeks old, which accounts for why she is so tiny. (I don't know her exact weight, but she is swimming in the newborn size sleepers!) I would guess she weighs in the 5 lb region.

As for being a good sleeper, I believe she is a little malnourished which is another reason that she is so small, eats 6 ounces when I feed her and is so lethargic! OMG!

So last night I put her on a schedule and woke her up every 3 hours for a 4 ounce feeding. She is much happier and alert this morning. She stayed awake after her 5 am feeding and smiled at me! Oh I am being sucked into her sweet little heart!

Ava Marie loves on her. I showed her how she can stroke the back of the babies head and kiss it and she just gets such a kick out of touching her hair. This morning I brought Ava and Angie down to breakfast and they both got so excited when they saw the baby is still here! I guess they are not too sure she is staying with us, but I hope she is!!

Katy gets to hold her the most out of all of my girls. She is so helpful. But Mackenzie informed me last night that she NEEDED to hold the baby or else she would never learn to be a good mother! I told her she has plenty of time and can also practice on her baby dolls, she did not like that suggestion and told me that she plans on having a baby really soon. She also told me that the youngest person to ever have a baby was 5 years old...I have no idea where she ever came up with that, but she was adamant that it was true and I told her I didn't know any married 5 year olds and she'd better get that thought out of her head right away! Boy, I just don't know where she comes up with these things!

I have a pretty slow day, I am trying to clear out more of the summer clothes and bring in long pants to be worn with short sleeved shirts for the fall. Our mornings have been cool, in the 50's and then the afternoons are in the high 70's to low 80's. Sweater weather! And I am also gathering more crock pot recipes. I need to start using it for as many dinners as possible again. It just makes sense for us.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

A new baby!

Yes, I got the call yesterday! It was so exciting! A little six week old girl. She is beautiful, really tiny, she barely fills a size Newborn. They called me at 12:45 in the afternoon, wanted to know if I was interested and I said...."Of course!!" The gal in admissions said they had court at 1:30pm and would call me as soon as they got out. They called back at 3pm and said that the SRS worker would deliver her to my home within the hour.

While I was waiting for them to call me back after court, I went to the basement to pull out some newborn and 0-3 months stuff. I keep all the clothes, shoes and accessories that my girls go through in the basement in bins that are marked with the size and season. As you can imagine, I have rows upon rows of these! I also have bins for dance shoes and clothes and for sports shoes and uniforms.

Unfortunately I had just pulled most of these same sizes for my friend Lorraine who just got a new placement 2 weeks ago. Uh, Lorraine...I'm gonna need some of those cute little clothes back...sorry.

I put the clothes in a drawer in my room since she will sleep in there for a little while. Then I brought the infant car seat/carrier up and washed the cover for that. I left the carseat in the living room right in the middle, so when the girls came home from school, I just waited for them to notice it. Katy was the first, she said, "Hey Mom, why is the baby carseat in the living room?" And I said, "Oh, is it? Ummmm, why would I have put that there?" And then she and Mackenzie squealed at the same time, "Oh they called us! We're getting a baby!" It is nice to know that my children feel the same way I do. It is such a thrill to get that call.

The SRS worker brought her and all of her stuff (blankets, clothing, diapers and formula.) somone was taking care of this child, she was very clean and peaceful. The girls and I fawned over her and the worker left pretty quickly.

We still had to go to Katy's dance lesson and Mackenzie Acting class, so I just put everyone in the van and we left. The baby basically slept through all of our errands. I took her out of the carseat while we were waiting at Mackenzie's class, but she only ate a little, and then she slept.

Since Katy has 2 dance classes on Tuesday night, I try to have a crockpot dinner or just pick up something quick. I hadn't made a plan for this night, so we got Chick-fil-a. I fed the baby a bottle while all of the girls ate. She is a great eater, about 5 ounces.

I put Angie and Ava to bed around 8pm. Then I read the bigger girls a couple of stories and had them in bed by 8:45pm. I made another bottle for the baby at 10:30pm and then took her up to my room. I figured she would wake up around 1 or 2 am for her next feeding. At 1am I decided to close my eyes for a few minutes and wait for her to cry. And you know what? She never woke up! I had set my alarm for 6am, and at 5am I got up to use the restroom and looked at the time. OMG! I was so worried that she wasn't breathing or something! Of course she was fine, but I have never had a six week old that slept through the night!! I am so lucky!! I can't believe it!

Now I don't know if we can expect a repeat performance tonight, but I am praying for it! As always, I have no idea how long we'll have her, I don't know enough about her case to even guess. But we will sure enjoy her while she is here!

Friday, August 7, 2009

1, 2, 3...

We got up at our usual summer time wake up at 8:30am...oh how I am going to miss sleeping in when school starts next week! I got dressed and got the baby out of her crib. Angie is spending a couple of days with her "other" family. (The couple that wants to adopt her, keep your fingers crossed.) My daughter Mackenzie was already dressed and came downstairs with us.

I changed the baby and put her in this adorable little dress that her GodMother Tina got for her at a garage sale...for just 25 cents! What a steal! It is a Gap Kids, and it is a pale sage green sun dress with zoo animals appliqued around the hemline. Mackenzie and I were pointing out and naming the different animals and Ava was repeating the names in her sweet little voice. Then, she points to a cluster of flowers and says, "One...two...three." And yes, there were three flowers right where she was pointing!

Do I have a genius child or what!? And she is only 19 months old! We were so excited! Of course we tried to get her to repeat it for the other girls when they came down, but no, she just laughed at us everytime we tried.

I am in my office trying to get a really big return finished. It is a corporate return and after it is done I can finally do their personal return. Oh how I want the taxes to be done! Of course there will always be more.

After lunch I am going to take the girls over to look at a house that I've been eyeing. It is about 3 miles from where we live right now. But it is not in a subdivision like our home. It is in an area where there are lots of farms and land. It is so beautiful and sits on a parcel of land that is 9.82 acres and has another piece of land attached but can be sold separately that is 10 acres. I've always said that my next dream is to pick up about 20 acres just south of here...I just wasn't quite ready yet!

The farmhouse itself is about the same size as our home we are in right now. But the first floor has more rooms including a formal living room and the upstairs bedrooms are smaller on the farmhouse than ours right now. It isn't really a farmhouse, it is actually a Colonial, it's just that it sits on a farm and so I like to refer to it as The Farmhouse. The girls call it the Blue House.

I really can not afford to own 2 houses, and the market is not good enough to warrant selling the house I am in right now, but I like to dream. And if it is God's plan for us to live in a different house, then he will help us find a way. If not, I am happy in the home we have right now...I would just like a little more land, and some chickens, and beautiful trees, etc. I think I need to work more on the whole contentment thing!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Monday, Monday

Oh I can not believe it is already August! This summer is going too too fast! I love August, since it is my Birthday month. But I am not ready for it yet. I feel like we have barely scratched the surface of summer.

And what happened to July? We got back from San Diego just in time to celebrate Madyson's 5th Birthday. Just a small family party since we had officially celebrated it in Disneyland with all of our extended family.

July 4th was a fun at home with our friend Lorraine and her daughter Olivia. We walked in the Arbor Creek Parade, had popsicles, swam in the pool and ate watermelon! I also made the cute 4th of July dessert on the front of Martha Stewart Living, including the Cookie Spoons! It was easy and delicious!

Katy celebrated her 10th Birthday with a big Party. We had 12 of her friends join us for dinner at Chicago Pizzeria, then we went to the movie "G-Force" and topped the night off with a Sleepover! Well, not so much a sleepover as an Up-All-Night-Over! But all of the girls were really well behaved and even the baby had a good time and she and I actually got a couple of hours sleep.

We did our school supply shopping, packed it all in the backpacks and we are ready for "Sneak a Peak" night. We already know Madyson's teacher because there is now only one half day teacher at our school. Katy and Mackenzie are still waiting for the postcard to tell them who their teacher is. That should arrive on the 8th.

We have a couple of friends over today, Kayla and Adriana are here for the day and a sleepover. Yes, I really don't think I have enough girls in my house already!! I needed to go out and find some more! They are really nice, Kayla is 6 and has been Mackenzie's best friend since we had her at the daycare she used to go to. Adriana is her big sister, she is 8 and she and Katy get along really well. Madyson hasn't really had a sleepover friend yet, maybe next year. But she plays with all of them and they all get along well, so it is nice to have them here. We are going to go swimming as soon as I finish with this post.

Angie is with her other family, the one's that are hoping to adopt her. She is staying with them for a week. The father is a teacher and wanted to have time with her before starting back to school. She just loves being with them.

I am looking forward to school starting so I can get myself back on a more predictable schedule. I hate it at the end of the day when you can't even remember if you got everything done or not. I will have Madyson with me in the mornings, she will start her day at 12:30pm. But we did a couple of trial days to make sure it would work, and I think it will be ok. She and I will probably run errands, do a little "homeschool work". And maybe have some playdates too.

Well it's time for the pool. And I have some new pictures to post. Maybe tonight!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Disneyland - Day 1

We left San Diego at 1:30pm and drove North to Disneyland. Arriving at 3PM on the dot! It was a pleasant drive as all of the kids slept (Randy too!) And Mom and I chatted and the traffic again was not too bad. This is according to my Mom, not me.

We pulled into the front of the Disneyland Hotel and unloaded the bags and all of us, then Randy parked the car while we went in to the registration desk. Luckily, since we are staying at the Concierge Level, we went to a different line and got checked right in. We are in the Dreams Tower on the 10th Floor. The girls and I are in one room and Mom and Randy are in the adjoining room, kind of like a 2 bedroom suite. Our room is a bit bigger, which Randy can not get over, "Why do you get the bigger room?" Well, maybe because I am sharing my room with 4 little girls and there are only 2 people in yours!

My brother called us from the pool to see if we had arrived yet and ask when we would be down there. Randy called for our bags and as soon as they came the girls changed into their bathing suits. Then we decided to check out the Concierge Lounge and get some drinks and snacks for the pool.

The Concierge Lounge is on the 11th Floor and has all sorts of things to drink and eat during the day. They have a nice breakfast in the morning, snacks all day, happy hour fare and drinks, and a late evening dessert bar. It's a nice perk!

We then rode down the glass elevator (only for Concierge Guests.) to the lobby and walked over to the pool. We met up with my brother Damon, his wife Suzanne and daughters Courtney and Kaitlyn. Also, my cousin Sherrie who's daughter Tamara is the bride in tomorrows wedding. Since a lot of our family lives here in California, they are just driving over tomorrow for the wedding and not staying overnight. Others are staying at less expensive hotels. Since this is also our vacation, I wanted to do the whole thing up right! Plus I just love Disney and besides Katy, my other daughters have never been to Disneyland or Disney World.

The pool is awesome with a big slide for the bigger girls and a little one for Madyson. After swimming for a couple of hours we went back up to the room to shower and change for dinner. There is no special rehearsal dinner for us. Usually they invite the out of town guests to the rehearsal dinner, but not at this wedding. Oh well, no biggie. We loaded into the car and drove to In-and-Out Burger. Only 6 days left and we want to get in as much good California food as possible!

We arrived back at the hotel just in time to get some great seats in the Lounge for the nightly fire works over Cinderella's Castle. Mom and I had coffee and a few desserts (Yum-yum!) and then we all went back to the rooms to get to bed. Tomorrow morning the Magic Kingdom opens at 7am for our hotel's guests so we want to be ready. We are planning on getting up at 6am and having breakfast in the lounge at 6:30am. We'll see if we can accomplish this. I think we can!! Have a Magical night!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Stephen Birch Aquarium

Standing outside the entrance, everyone was really excited to see the fish!

Okay, we haven't even gone in yet and Ava is already bored! Just kidding, she just isn't used to the time change yet and she is ready for her nap already.

I went scuba not really, this is just a really big fish tank!!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Fish, fish and more fish...

Yesterday we went to the Stephen Birch Aquarium in La Jolla. It was a lot of fun. As Madyson said, there were ", and fish, and some more fish! Is that all they have here?" Yes, that is why they call it an aquarium and NOT a zoo. Madyson thought we were going to see some elephants too, even though we had told her many times there were no elephants there. We may go to the zoo tomorrow or next Monday.

We ate lunch at their outdoor area which overlooked the ocean which was quite beautiful yesterday. As expected, the clouds burned off and the sun was bright and the sky was blue. The girls and even Randy enjoyed looking at all of their exhibits. Especially the Giant Seahorses, the different species of Jelly Fish and towards the end, the brightly colored fish where we all looked for Nemo and Dori, and found them. Mackenzie assured us all that these were in fact the REAL Nemo and Dori that appeared in the Disnney movie. Apparently they have retired to La Jolla...not a bad life.

Afterward we drove to Mira Mesa, a suburb of San Diego that Randy's Dad lives in, we dropped Randy off so he could spend time with that side of the family and go out to dinner with them. Then we stopped at a Farmer's Market there that my friend Annette had a Pampered Chef booth at. We stayed and chatted with her for a little while, it got terribly hot out there and everyone needed to cool off and get a cold drink so we left to go over to one of the big box stores in the mall across the street. We also stopped in at the Dress Barn where they were holding a couple of dresses for me to try on and I found a great little black dress for the wedding.

We headed home at 4pm, which apparently is in the middle of rush hour traffic, yikes! It was awful and I just kept closing my eyes. My Mom said it wasn't bad at all! I also kept my mouth closed, my Mom does not like it when I mention things I do not like about California. But I will tell you I hate the traffic. Not that we don't have traffic in Kansas City too. But it is different. Here I felt our lives were actually in jeopardy. People drive so fast, even when there is only a fraction of an inch between cars and they seem so mad at the other cars that are slowing them down.

When we arrived at home we talked about what we wanted to eat for dinner. Originally we were going to have chinese food from our favorite restaurant, but we had promised Randy not to go there since he had to be gone with his Dad for dinner. We found out that Rubios Fish Tacos were only $1.25 on Tuesdays, so we decided to do that. Mom went over and bought 8 Fish Tacos and 2 Shrimp Burritos and we had a great traditional San Diego fast food feast, again. I know you may be thinking, fish tacos, yuk. But they are marvelous and everyone, including the baby ate all of their taco, and Katy had 2! They are kind of like a taco with a big fish stick in it, but not as crunchy. I think I might try making them at home.

It was a pretty quiet night. My had to run some errands, so while she was gone I took the girls into their room to change into their pj's and while we were in there we found a set of Paddington the Bear books, so I started to read from the first one and 2 of them, Mackenzie and Katy dropped off to sleep while I was reading. I finished the first chapter, tucked Madyson in and then put the baby to bed. By the time Mom got home I was in a comfy chair in the living room reading my book and we decided it was so quiet we were tired enough to go to bed too.

Tomorrow is the get together at my Mom's house. We are expecting about 45 people now, so it should be fun. Mom bought some ready made Lasagna's and we will do a cheese tray, veggie and chips and dip and a big salad. Should be very easy and give us lots of time to chit-chat with everyone. I also want a lot of pictures. I'll post them tomorrow. I don't know what we will do today during the day, I think the girls want to help Grandma in her garden and I will relax and maybe finish this book I am reading. I am so close to the end.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Waking up in San Diego

We arrived in San Diego last night. It was a non-stop flight, thank goodness! The baby was awake the entire trip and did very well. We sat in two rows and passed her back and forth. The other girls were pretty good, not too much fighting. I even got to read my book for a few pages.

My Mother's wonderful friends Mary and Kathleen drove down in a car and a van to pick us up. We had the 7 of us, 10 bags plus carry ons, Ava's car seat and the umbrella stroller which I wish I had not brought. I should have just brought her regular stroller as the umbrella stroller is hard to push with just one hand. Oh well, it served it's purpose for in the airport and Mom has another nicer stroller, a Pergo, for our use here and we will bring that one to Disneyland.

Mom had planned a nice light supper of grilled cheese sandwiches and fruit. We landed at 6:05pm which is 8:05pm Midwest time so we knew our crew would be hungry but didn't want everyone to eat too heavy a meal. That works in theory, and was a very nice idea, but then you have to consider Randy's position. We are only here for 9 days...and there are a lot of different meals and restaurants that Randy wants to sample. So...he talked my Mom into going to In-and-Out Burger for our supper. Suffice to say it was not the light fare that we had planned. No one went to bed until well after Midnight central time!

We are all up and getting a groggy start. It is gray and overcast here, moist and cool. If you had never been here before you would think that it was going to be a rainy day or at least cold. But the sun will burn through the clouds in a couple of hours, and it will be sunny and warm until late afternoon when the clouds, called the Marine Layer, will roll back in off of the ocean and it will be cool and moist again. This is the California weather that I think of when people in Kansas say to me, "You moved here from California? Don't you miss the weather out there?" And I think, not in the least! I like to wake up to a sunny day from the very start. And if there are clouds...then I want rain! Real rain that drenches my lawn and plants. I love green, green grass, green trees, green bushes. Out here in San Diego it is too brown for me. Oh there are lovely palm trees, and flowering bushes that are pretty year round, but they would be so much prettier against a green backdrop rather than this brown color that is so predominant out here.

But I don't visit San Diego for the weather or the flowers. It is my family that draws me here, and that is enough. I love to see them and be near them, if only for a week or two. I can not wait to see some of my oldest and dearest friends. My Mother is planning a bar-b-que for Wednesday evening here at her house. We are expecting quite a few friends and their families. I am really looking forward to that!

Today we are going to La Jolla to visit the Scripps Aquarium, then downtown La Jolla to visit Jane's Fabrique which is an awesome fabric store that I used to go to all of the time!! I am looking for some unique fabric to make a few dresses for Me! Then, after lunch we will be going out to Mira Mesa to the Farmer's Market to my friend Annette Robino. She has a booth out there for her Pampered Chef business. Tonight we are having dinner at our favorite chinese restaurant, the Panda Inn. Oh how delicious! I am excited for that House Special Shrimp!

The girls are getting restless, they are playing with a giant doll house that my Mother sets up every time we come out here. Each time we visit she gets some new pieces for it and the kids love to play and use their imagination. But they are getting louder now, they are asking when we can leave to go to the Aquarium. I'll try to check back in and download pictures later.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Last Dress Rehearsal!

The girls have been rehearsing for months and tonight was the last Dress Rehearsal for The Lion King. This is a full dance production, music and dance only, no words. We attended this last year when the Culture House had The Secret Garden. The girls loved it and that is when they started asking to take Ballet Lessons.

Katy is in Ballet 1, they are Chameleons and she is breathtaking on the stage. When she reaches her arms out and then lowers them they are so perfectly rounded. I don't think this girl could not look graceful even if she tried! I am so proud of her.

Mackenzie is in Beginning Ballet, they are the Lion Cubs and so they are in the production almost the entire show. Mackenzie has had to attend many more rehearsals than her sisters, so she has missed the most swimming so far this summer! She really gets into her character and she looks so cute in her little lion costume.

Madyson is in Creative Movement, she is a Baby Elephant! To say that their performance is too sweet and too cute is such an understatement. Their music is very jazzy and upbeat so you can't help moving along with them. And when they do "the Swim" it is sooo funny! Madyson does not like to wear the trunk on her costume, it is made of felt and she says it is itchy!

I will post pictures of all of them soon.

Other news, my Mom is flying out to see the show tomorrow. She loves to see the girls in their shows, she definitely gets the award for the supportive Grandmother. We will also be traveling back to San Diego with her for a little while. The girls are excited to be able to go back to the beach as they had such a great time when we were there 2 years ago. My cousin's daughter is going to be married at Disneyland while we are there (Obviously the main reason we are traveling out there!) so we will of course be spending a few days at Disneyland!!

I am looking forward to being out there, mostly to see all of my family and friends that don't ever seem to make it to Kansas...ever! But also to enjoy the girls enjoying the beach! They talk about the beach a lot, so I think it was quite the hit last time we were there. Mom and I made it really easy on everyone, we didn't try to do too much or stay too long. We would go down to La Jolla Shores in the morning, after breakfast, bring some snacks like grapes or cereal bars and apple juice and just let them play in the sand and in the waves for about 2 hours. Then we would pack them back up and go home and shower everyone off for lunch and then do something else for the rest of the day. Then the next day we would do something else in the morning and go down to the Shores at 2pm, and again only stay 1 or 2 hours. Now the girls are a little older, but Ava Marie is still only 18 months, so we don't want to get her too tired either.

Well, the girls are home from their rehearsal and I have to give them a little light snack before they go to bed. I've cut up a newly ripened peach and I'll serve it over some vanilla yogurt with a littlegranola and some blueberries. That should help them have sweet dreams. Good night.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

It's Over..Tax Season is Officially Over...Yea!!!

I was so excited to get up today! I knew I was taking a day off...a whole day to read, write on my blog, take a long shower!! Oh I am so happy that the official end of tax season is here. Of course, I am not really done, I have some folks and businesses on extension that have to be completed as quickly as possible. But the crunch of getting to all of those returns and the stress of trying to complete 6 months worth of work in 2.5 months is over.

Yesterday I pulled an all nighter, I am really trying NOT to do that anymore. I have finally come to the realization that I need my sleep! I used to get away with only 5 or 6 hours, but now I need 7 or 8 and if I don't get that for a few days I get sick. But I slept like a baby last night! And woke up with the best attitude!

I bought the 3rd book in the Twilight series and will start it in a few minutes! How delicious to just sit and read all day!! Oh this day is better than Christmas!

Tomorrow Katy and Mackenzie are off school and we will go out to lunch and maybe see a movie. On Saturday Katy has her 2nd soccer game of this season. I will try to remember to bring my camera to the game.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Sunny, Windy, Icy, Snowy...

I have always said that if you like weather, any weather at all. Then Kansas City is the place for you! In the last 2 weeks we have had days with 81 degrees and sunny and a weekend like the last one with 26 degrees and 6 inches of snow! Today is about 60 and they are saying more snow on Wednesday! It is so weird!!

But I love weather, rain, snow, wind, or sun! I don't care as long as it isn't the same thing for too long. Which is why I live in the Midwest! In San Diego we used to get "Breaking News" on the television in which the newscasters would break in to your program to tell you that a storm was on the way. There would be this really intense music that made you think you should go to the hardware store and buy large pieces of plywood to put up over your windows and stop at the grocery store to stock up on canned goods! And then...when the (I'll use this term loosely) storm arrived, you'd get one half of an inch of rain!! I am not kidding folks...this is totally true! And the newscasters would sit on the air congratulating themselves for warning everyone and making sure everyone in their viewing area was safe from...what...drowning their big toes?! Talk about a let down!

Which is why, just after I moved here in 99, I watched as the news predicted a large storm in our area, with a Tornado Warning. I watched the whole thing play out on the television and from the window of my home. I watched because I didn't really believe them, even when they said you should be in your basement and NOT watching out of your window! OK, so I learned a valuable lesson...and I didn't get killed which is great because now I actually go ahead and go down to the basement and watch the television down there...yes, I can be taught.

Saturday was actually kind of fun. My friend and neighbor Karen was having a Baby Shower for one of our other neighbors, Amy who is having her 3rd boy. I was in charge of the games...yea for me! I like games at baby showers, I know not everyone does, but I am corny that way.

So the shower was at 10am which worked out perfect as it didn't start to snow until noon. We ended up with about 6 inches of snow. The girls played indoors, mostly in the basement. We had an extra girl, Mackenzie's best friend Kayla came over and spent the night on Friday. This was Mackenzie's first official sleepover. She was so excited and so was Kayla, they did not get a lot of sleep!

I had to send the nanny home early on Saturday because by 3pm the snow was really starting to pile up. So I stopped working for the day a little early and made a big pot of chili and a batch of corn bread muffins. It is so cozy and warm in our house and so wonderful to sit at our table with all of my children eating a cozy meal and watching the snow fall outside. I imagine this could be the last snow fall, at least measurable snow fall, for this season. Spring is ready to burst out here, some of our trees already have flowers on them.

As much as I love the winter and how it makes me feel, I also love the Spring. This year I am having a protion of our yard dug up for a vegetable garden. I am NOT going to try to do anything extraordinary! So don't worry, just a few vegatables. We are going to concentrate on tomatoes and cucumbers since we eat so much of those. We might add some lettuce, but I am not sure. I think the girls will really love to do this and it is something I have always wanted to do. I will let you know how it turns out.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Half way through!

We are officially half way through Tax Season!! Yea for me! I just had a quick minute to get on here and write a few things.

The girls and Randy are all doing well. We had a bout with some kind of illness about 2 weeks ago, it went through the tribe and settled on me for some reason, so while everyone else was sick for a day or two, I had it for a week!

Our schedule is pretty light right now, no soccer or big musical productions. The girls still have dance every week, they are preparing for the year-end production in June of Lion King. We have that one week before we leave for Disneyland and San Diego.

Oh yah...we have a new little girl!! We call her Angie, at this time she is my foster daughter and I have no idea how the case will turn out. She is very sweet, shy and really sad. She is 22 months old and her mother only ever spoke to her in spanish...even though her mother is caucasian and 100% American. I can't really say anything more about that at this time. But it really has been hard on Angie. I speak a little bit of Spanish, just enough to make me dangerous. Angie doesn't speak at all, she is terribly delayed in speech and other areas. But she is picking up sign language so she can communicate her needs to us.

Angie loves to eat! She eats everything except salad, which she is getting more used to every day. She still drank from a bottle when she arrived, even took a bottle to bed (Don't get me started on that!) but I got her off the bottle right away and she is terrific with a cup!

The girls are loving having another little sister to love on. Ava Marie is not being pushed aside, so don't worry. In fact, she acts like she is the bigger sister to Angie, she gives her toys and offers her some of her snack. And one day, when Angie seemed a little overwhelmed and was standing in the middle of the kitchen crying, Ava came over and patted her on the back and then kissed her cheek. It was so precious! I love that my girls are learning to be kind and share with someone else. Of course Ava doesn't really understand, but the others do. And Madyson is also really rising to the occasion. She is now smack in the middle of the bunch, and she is really beginning to act more like a big girl. She used to whine and beg me to dress her in the morning, which, under the right (or should I say wrong) circumstances, I would sometimes do!! I know...I know it was wrong, but some days we are in quite a hurry and I will do anything to get out of this house on time! Or at least try to.

So there you have it. We are still alive and thriving. My business is booming, Thank you Lord! I just don't have a lot of time and will not until after the 15th of April or sometime around that date!

I will try to get on again and post some Valentine pictures. Have a great February!

Monday, January 19, 2009

I just want to say Thank You MLK...

Just so you know, this will be a reflective post. We are having a great relaxing family day today. And last night, at dinner, I looked around the table at my family and started thinking about the man we were honoring today, and the man we are inaugurating tomorrow. And my eyes welled up with tears that these things are actually my lifetime.

It is not lost on me that my family would have been impossible 20 - 30 years ago. The idea that I, a single unmarried woman, would be able to adopt a child at all was completely out of the question. The idea of adopting Black children, another impossibility. And let's not even go into my baby, a child of both Black and Hispanic descent, again, probably never would have been born at all.

I watch my daughters, and I see that they are true sisters. They don't pay attention to the color of their skin or mine. Oh they see the color, and they love the differences, Katy is a deep dark chocolate brown. (I am a foodie by nature, so you'll have to excuse my use of food to describe my daughters, but this is my post, so get over it!) Madyson is a my latte coffee girl, she is almost as dark as Katy but with a little bit of cream in the mix. Mackenzie is my strawberry vanilla girl, her skin is so pale it is almost blue. Ava Marie is a coffee with cream, maybe a hazelnut? But my girls love this about each other, they love all of the colors, and their teachers love to watch all of the crayon colors they use to create a drawing of our family. How boring it would be to draw a family of 6 and only have to use a couple of crayons!

I am thankful to all who have made this possible. The men and women who had to suffer to make the world and our country in particular look at itself and right the wrongs we have made.

I am no PollyAnny, I know that we are still fighting racism and sexism and intolerance for those that are different in many ways. But like a journey that begins in darkness and ends in the bright sunlight...we are going the right direction.

So I say today...Thank you Martin Luther King, Jr. Thank you for all you did. Happy Birthday to you. From a house of love and laughter, where beautiful children with brown and white and coffee colored skin live together and call themselves sisters. And they believe that they can do or be anything...anything!!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

The Baby Walked!

Yes, you heard it here first! And I am not talking just a few baby she has been taking 2 or 3 little steps for a couple of weeks now. Today she walked all over the house! On the carpet, the hardwood floor, even out in the yard on the squishy grass, which I do not think she really liked. Now of course I will have to chase her around the house and keep her from getting into everything. Oh how I loved and will miss that little crawling baby!

It was so nice here today that we spent a lot of time outdoors. The kids even had their lunch outside on the patio. My Mother and my Aunt were here for their last afternoon with us, they left for the airport at 4:30pm. We had a nice last afternoon, then had some chili that I had started this morning, then Mom and I and the kids went for a walk around the neighborhood. All of the neighbors were out, some putting away their Christmas lights, lots of people washing cars. And some of the kids on the next block had set up a lemonade stand, very industrious!

Right now the kids are watching the movie Jumanji, Ava Marie is sleeping and the wind is howling outside. I think it has already dropped 20 degrees! I love the cold and the snow for Christmas, but then I just want it to be spring right away. It would be easier if there were another holiday. Not just President's Day, but some sort of present giving, snow covered, twinkling lights holiday in January. Someone should start one...OK, I can do that! How about the Snow Queen's Birthday...on January 31st...and everyone should give each other gifts wrapped in white gift wrap. And the gifts have to be typically white things, like underwear, socks, and sheets!! Okay, most people don't have only white underwear anymore...and I don't think I even own a set of white sheets. But it could be kind of interesting!

Well, I am thinking this is the last Saturday evening I will be sitting around relaxing with a cup of tea and the computer. Tax season starts right away for me. I am sitting here right now, putting off starting to work on W-2's and payroll taxes. It's not that I don't like tax season, I actually do. I find it really invigorating to get a file with lots of documents and information and organize it and use the information to create the tax return. It's just that it is also a lot like an are up on a mountain, enjoying a beautiful day in the snow, and the next thing you know, you are at the bottom of the mountain under a pile of it! That's the part I don't love so much!

Oh pays the bills and keeps me in chocolate! Have a great Saturday evening.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

A Few More Photos of the New Year's Eve Gala

More dancing!
Mackenzie & Katy being called out by Glinda, "Come out, come out, wherever you are...". They were so cute, they had rehearsed it where all of the children climbed up on their seats and stood up when they heard Glinda start singing. Then they crept toward the dance floor and then broke into song. Very nice.

Randy had to work and didn't arrive until after 8pm, he almost missed dinner, but our waiter brought him a plate as soon as he sat down, really good service!

Mackenzie loves dressing up and doing things she thinks are grown up.

We are so lucky to have friends and family to spend the evening with! Happy New Year to you and yours! May 2009 be filled with love, good health and prosperity for all of us!

We Danced All Night!

Grandma dancing with Ava Marie!

The girls ready to celebrate midnight!

Happy New Year!! Of course, this was actually staged. We were on the dance floor at midnight and then redid this for the camera...what a bunch of hams!

They had a great silent auction and a live auction, and performances by different singers and dancers. Katy and Mackenzie got to reprise their roles as Munchkins and sing "Ding Dong the Witch is Dead". How fun!
At about 10:30pm they did a countdown and had a fun balloon drop for everyone. It was supposed to be so that families with young children could then leave and get home a little earlier. But everyone just stayed and danced on the big dancefloor and waited until the official midnight countdown! We stayed until 12:30am, and only left because they finally turned the lights up, I think the staff was ready to leave before any of us were!

New Year's Eve Gala at The Ritz Charles

Our whole family attended the New Year's Eve Gala put on by The Culture House. It was wonderful! The theme was "The Golden Age of Hollywood" which is perfect for all of the talented kids and families there! This is our table setting, and the gold thing on the red napkin is a little chocolate Oscar! So clever!
All of the Werner girls were dressed in the beautiful Chiristmas dresses. Chocolate Brown with Pink Rose skirts. And the girls also wore their new full length capes that my mother Olivia made for them. They looked so cute!

Here is my mother Olivia on the right and my Aunt Marianne on the left. They flew out from California to spend the Holidays with us.

The girls and I in the lobby of the Ritz Charles. You probably can not see it fully, but even the baby has a matching cape...and yes, the American Girl dolls are also wearing matching capes!! My mother went all out this Christmas!

Pictures from Randy's Birthday

Randy asked for a Carrot cake with Cream Cheese frosting. It turned out really well, very moist with fresh carrots and applesauce in the recipe.
He mistakenly thought that he was going to get the whole thing and kept teasing the little girls (and big girls too!) by saying, "This is my piece, where is yours?" To which they would scream and pretend to pout!

Obviously he told them he was going to share the cake, so now all is well and everyone is smiling again. Brothers can sure be annoying! (Not that little sisters can't be that way also!) It was a great birthday for Randy!