Sunday, December 14, 2008

Crazy Week has begun!

Another week has flown by, and I've got SOOO much to do it's not even funny! What were we thinking with this insane holiday schedule we've got going on? I'll be FUN.....but busy-crazy! :P

So this week I was finally feeling better thanks to the antibiotics I got from the Dr. YAY! Work was okay......on Thursday I got a job offer for the job I interviewed for......and I"m not sure if I'm going to take it yet. They didn't give me much time to consider the offer, as I have to let them know by the end of the day tomorrow (Monday), so I'm still pondering all the pros/cons of it!!! The job I REALLY wanted has 105 applicants for it, so I'm thinking my chances of getting THAT job are slim.......but I have one other option that I'm hoping will net me something tomorrow before I have to let these guys I'll let ya know what I decide when I decide it! :P Say a prayer that I make the right decision!!!

We also were busy Thurday hosting the church study group....then Friday Alaina had a sleepover at a friend's house.....and then Saturday afternoon her Brownie troop rented out the bouncehouses for a couple hours with the money they made from selling cookies.....they had so much fun with that! From there, we went straight to Fairfield for my mom's family Christmas gathering.

By the time we got there, they'd already eaten dinner, so we ate what was left and then spent the rest of the evening talking and catching up with family. A lot of my 2nd cousins live in Cincinnatti (am I spelling that right?)......(technically I think they live in Indiana, but over by the Ohio border), so the only time we get to see each other is at this thing. So there were new babies to meet (twins Jacob and Lucas) and friends to catch up on (Alaina and my cousin Tammy's daughter Lindsay are two peas in a pod and were inseperable all night with their secrets and giggles). I got to see all my aunts and most of my cousins, so it was all good. I don't have the pics downloaded yet, so I'll have to update later with those....

Then Saturday after everybody left the dinner, we went back to my parents' house and opened presents from my parents and brothers. The kids were thrilled, of course, at getting to open some presents, and it's always fun for the grownups to see kids open gifts! Then we stayed up kinda late talking and then headed to bed.

Today, most of us skipped church in Fairfield and after lunch, Karl, the kids, and I headed for home. We had dinner plans with the Loftus's so we didn't want to be late for that! Their daughter, Elsie, is in Alaina's class and they're in Brownies together, and they have a son, Max, who plays well with Matthew and Zach, so it was a fun evening and we're just now getting home from that. It was a very fun evening!

So I know that was a quick post for my normally verbose self, but I'm tired and ready for bed! Karl's sure he's gonna get a snow day sure if he (or the kids) really will, but they're all excited at the for me, I just have that big decision looming so I"m not exactly all that excited for tomorrow to get here really! :P

And let's get to scrappin........I didn't scrap all that much this week really now that I look for stuff to post! I had to finish up my work stuff for the year, so I was busy with that! Ah well.....first, here's my blessing from LAST week that I never posted....and since we were gone most of the weekend, I'm a week behind since I don't have one to post tonight. You'll all forgive me I'm sure! :P

So here's last week's blessing......the 'mother-daughter' bond......I just love this picture of us....and I hate pictures of me! :P It's using the template "Somewhat Centered" by Sya's Blueprints...

And this one is another one from our UK's using a template of Sya's, called, "Triple Threat Set 3"and a new kit from Vicki, called 'Country Cottage', which will be on her blog starting tomorrow....
And I made an e-card for all the people that I only know in the virtual world.......

And I love this layout, but GOSH was it time-consuming! :P It's of the annual Santa Christmas picture:

And that's it. Told ya I didn't scrap much this week! :P

Friday we leave for Miami and our vacation! :P That's why I've got so much to do between now and then......gotta go through the kids' summer clothes and find out what still fits....and then get it all packed....pack some presents so Santa can find us on our ship.....and I want to decorate our cabin, so that's gotta get snacks and stuff to occupy the kids in the van on the trip down (It's 19 hours to Miami...anybody want to tag along on that trek? Yeah, didn't think so!) and oh yeah.....I haven't wrapped ANYTHING for Christmas (which will be the morning after we get home from the cruise, and since we're taking an extended route home to visit friends in Florida and Karl's uncle in South Carolina.....we won't even get home 'till the 30th.....and we're leaving again on the 31st to go to Chicago-land to visit all the Hermans and do Christmas up there.......And oh yeah, there's the work potluck on party on Thursday night.....I'm room mom for Alaina's class party and have to coordinate that and send stuff in for Matthew's party........ARRRRRGHHHH! I get stressed just thinking about it!

But I'll survive this crazy week and at this time next Sunday, I'll be on the deck of the Carnival Triumph with a fruity beverage in my hand watching the waves in the distance.......ahhhh...bring on that sun and sand, I am READY for it!
Have a great week!!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Happy Birthday to ME!

Ah, another birthday has come and gone. It's not quite as exciting as it was when I was younger!!! Being the oldest of all your friends was cool when you were turning 16 or 21....but NOW? Not so much fun being the oldest!!! :P

I actually spent the majority of the week sick. I had the stomach flu AND a head cold.....yay me! Monday I worked from home, not trusting myself to be 100 yards from the bathroom.....Tuesday I went in to the office and all day long had coworkers tell me to go back home and quit spreading my germs! Wednesday I stayed home again and Thursday/Friday are my regular days at home. Most of those evenings were a blur as well, as I felt SO ROTTEN I was just a vegetable on the couch. I'm assuming the kids got fed since they're not crying at the moment, but other than that, I don't remember much. I skipped their activities because I didn't feel like leaving the house for them. Ah well.....

Friday, I was feeling slightly better, so we ventured into town for the boys to all get haircuts...then we went to Pizza Hut for dinner. Uhm. Yeah. My first real meal in almost a week was PIZZA? Yeah. 'nuff said!

Saturday was my actual birthday. Happy day to me! I slept as late as possible as I could hear the kids and Karl downstairs baking me a birthday cake and I didn't want to interrupt! They made me a cup of tea and then we were off to their swimming lessons. Then we headed home and I left to go to the clinic and get some meds. I knew I needed antibiotics, and going to the walk-in clinic at Walgreens was way less time-consuming than waiting to get an appt. with my actual doctor. Ya can't beat those clinics.....for my $10 copay, I was in and out in 15 minutes with drugs in hand. YAY! So I headed home after a quick stop at the grocery store to get some supplies for a small project I felt compelled to do....

Friday night, while we were out, our sitter, Chandra, left a message on the machine asking us if we knew any details about Dylan dying. We were stunned, because we didn't know Dylan had even died! Dylan's 7. He was taken in as a foster child by our neighbors down the street and had a lot of neurological problems after being shaken as an infant. I knew that something had happened about a month ago because one day when I was home early I saw the school bus drop him off and he was in a wheelchair. He started having all kinds of neurological problems the last few months and on Tuesday he went into a seizure around noon and never came out of it. Such a sad, sad story. He used to attend the same daycare as our kids, but he became too violent to be around other kids, so his parents moved him somewhere else. So we had the unpleasant task of explaining to our kids that Dylan had passed away. Alaina's taking it a lot harder than Matthew; since they were the same age she had a slight freak-out wanting to know if she was going to die too. *sigh*.....what parent likes discussing death with their kids? ugh. If anyone has some brilliant insight as for something I could tell her, please share!!! So we just explained that Dylan was very sick and that's why he died.....and for now they're accepting that explanation. As for us, the loss of any child is just a lot to comprehend. So I did what my mother would have done......I cooked the family a meal.

We had dinner reservations in Alton for my birthday dinner, so we dropped off the lasagna/bread/salad at Dylan's house on our way. We ended up staying and talking to them a lot longer than we had planned on (and missed our rezzie time, but oh well...some things are more important).....but I think they felt better having talked to us. The visitation is tomorrow night and I think I'll go pay my respects, but Karl's still iffy, as he doesn't think he can handle seeing a kid the same age as Alaina in a's just so so sad. So rest in peace, Dylan. I'd like to think he's an angel now.

So we had my birthday dinner at Tony's, and the kids were fairly well-behaved. It's one of those restaurants where while kids are TECHNICALLY get the vibe that they're NOT. kwim? The food was amazing, as always, and after my antibiotics kicked in, I actually felt like eating the meal, so woohoo! After leaving dinner, we drove through the light display in Alton's park and then we headed home where we had my birthday cake. Yummy!
So that was my birthday. I got a couple beautiful hand-drawn cards from Alaina/Matthew....lots of hugs and kisses from Zach.....didn't have to cook all day....and now I get to get my presnt out and play with it (a digital picture frame I got on Black Friday). So it was a good birthday. Also got lots of bday wishes on my Facebook page, so thanks everybody! :P
Sunday, Karl was preaching, so we couldn't skip church!

After the service, we went out to lunch with Barry and Jeanne to Steak n Shake and then we went to the mall to get "the Santa picture". Karl and I always argue over this picture. I consider it a yearly rite of passage....a "must-do" for the season....and today was our last chance, as this coming weekend we'll be in Fairfield at my mother's family's get-together and the next weekend we'll be on the cruise for Christmas! So we were officially out of time! So off we went....Karl's gripe is that we pay $20 for a crummy picture. And I this year I thought I'd try to negotiate......we got there and of course the sign said no personal photography, but I thought I'd play dumb and when we got up to Santa, the kids ran up to him and I just asked the photog if I was allowed to use my own camera and I was expecting a lecture and a "no", but all she said was, "if you take your own pictures, you only get two shots".......well heck, fine by me! So for FREE.....vs. the $20 we usually end up spending.....Here's the official Herman kids Santa picture:

Not too bad for an ameteur huh? :P I'm just thrilled I didn't have to pay for it! :P hehehehehe! They can keep their crummy printout picture and I'll take my high-res digital version any day....woohooo!
And this afternoon was the big surprise....after we left the mall, we headed home so Alaina and I could get going for our girls' afternoon out! We went to see the Cheetah Girls! I didn't tell her until we were there........Oh the insanity! I can only imagine the squealing and excitement being exceeded by Hannah Montana or the Jonas Brothers. We had SUCH a fun time though:

Alaina knew EVERY song they sang.....I think we watch the Disney Channel a bit too much around our house, huh? :P She made some fast friends with the girls in our row:

And they all were dancing and singing the entire time, having an absolute blast. I was thrilled when we got to our seats (on the floor, but in the very last row) and I saw a "mini stage" next to our seats in the back of the floor section. I figured there'd be a point where the Cheetah Girls would be on that little stage and we'd be up close and personal....woohoooo!!! And after some sweet-talking by the other moms and myself to the security guys we found out when that particular part was coming up....woohooo! score!

That's Sabrina Bryan looking RIGHT AT Alaina (she was so excited that she was singing TO HER! But so mad that the security dudes wouldn't let her go up to the gate and touch her!)......So the concert was a TON of fun.....Alaina had so much fun! I'm glad we went!

So now for the scrappin' I've done.....considering how lousy I've felt, it's a wonder I got anything done:

First up, some Dis-board challenges.....last week's (which I don't think I posted, but I might have....I dunno!) was supposed to be about food, and so I came up with this:

This week you had to use a mini-kit given to you, and as I'm really out of pictures to scrap, I just found some oddball random shots from our trip to Disneyland and threw them together just so I could participate:

This one is of Matthew's thanksgiving program last week at school....using one of Sya's Templates (it's called 'revived', but I changed it up a lot, as usual)

This is one I did using another of Sya's templates (Dynamic Duo-set 3). I realized the other day that I never scrapped Zach's 2-year pictures. Oops! So here they are! What a cutie he is!

This one is with Vicki's new kit, Country first I thought these colors were going to be hard to work with, then it dawned onto me that it matched my dress from our Christmas pictures! Yay! (too bad ya can't tell...that dress is blue I swear!), but I also used Sya's new template, 'Diane-spiration':

And I haven't gotten around to doing my blessing yet for the week.....oops. I've got it started, but just am too darned tired to finish it tonight. So I'll post it tomorrow, as I'm sure you're all just itching to see what it could possibly be! :P So that's it for to bed to get started on another exciting workweek tomorrow! oh YAY! Have a good one....stay warm and stay healthy! I've had enough sickies to last awhile! BAH!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

I survived: 20 Turkeys, Black Friday, and the FLU!

What a week! At least it was a short work-week, which is always fun! Still no news on the job search, but my boss did say that I can stay on my current group's roster until the end of March, so that gives me a little more time to find something else. But still....I HATE being in limbo. HATE IT! At least I know I still have a job, and for that I'm thankful!

And speaking of being thankful......I hope everybody had a great Thanksgiving! I was BUSY! and I mean BUSY! Karl and I both left work early to see the kids' thanksgiving program....Matthew was in the front row and got a sudden case of stage fright, so I thought for sure he'd clam up and not sing....but he did sing, just not loud enough for me to hear (and I was sitting in the front row!). He was so cute though!

Alaina's class did a little play about pilgrims and native americans.....I never read the script, choosing instead to be surprised during the actual play. I wish I'd read it now so I could've understood what the heck was going on! She insisted on wearing a dress, so she was looking a little more 'formal' than all her classmates, but oh well....that's my girly girl!

As soon as the program was over, we loaded up the van and headed to Fairfield to help my mom cook lots and lots and LOTS of thanksgiving dinners! We went out for chinese for dinner just to take a break from the turkey and such.....then mom and I went back up to the restaurant and were joined eventually by my SIL Stacy......the 3 of us were up there 'till past midnight getting stuff ready for the next day. We were exhausted. And what happens when I get totally run down? I get sick. So sure enough, Thanksgiving morning, I woke up sick. But there was no time to be sick! I got up and headed back out to help mom.

I THINK we served about 300 people on Thanksgiving day. It was a total blur to me! Nonstop cooking all morning long! We didn't run out of anything and there weren't any terrible accidents....I've got a few cuts and a few burns, but nothing serious. I burned my leg taking a turkey out of the oven.....there was a lot more broth in the pan than I thought there was, and the disposable pan buckled and I ended up getting doused with a lot of turkey broth straight from the oven! Ouch. that hurt! Thankfully the day was fairly short, and when the last meal went out the door at 1PM, we got to sit down and have our own dinner!

After lunch I was feeling worse, so I went back to my parents' house for a nap....which I never really got since the house is small and there were lots of people crammed into it! That night, I was kinda out of it from being sick, so all we really did was comb through the walmart ad so we could prepare for our black friday jaunt!

So Friday morning....Karl and I were up at 4:15AM. ridiculous, I know! We got to Walmart around 4:45 and it was packed full of people! And I mean PACKED! I think everybody in Fairfield (and the surrounding towns!) was there! We split up to make sure we were 'positioned correctly' to get the stuff we wanted. Karl went to electronics for some games, and I parked in front of the DVDs. I got yelled at twice by an employee for "peeking" through the plastic to see what was what.....whatever REALLY going to kick me out 5 minutes before the biggest shopping day of the year? yeah, i didn't think so!

We were quite successful with our shopping.....we got everything we wanted except for one tiny thing, and it wasn't even a 'necessity' really, so I'm not too upset about that. We stood in line FOREVER to check out.....and even after all that, it was still only 6:30AM! So we went to McDonald's for some breakfast, took some food home for everybody else.....and I climbed back into bed! The morning person (karl) didn't. The rest of Friday was spent just hanging out with Karl, Stacy, and the kids. I was feeling quite yucky, so I didn't feel like doing much of anything. I might've scrapped one page, but I didn't even feel like scrappin', so you KNOW I felt bad!

Friday evening, after dinner, we left for home.....Alaina said at dinner that she wasn't feeling very she didn't eat much of anything at dinner.......we got maybe 5 miles out of town and she pukes all over the place in the van. lovely! so we stripped her by the side of the road and put her PJs on her vs. making her wear puke clothes for the 2 1/2 hour ride I was sick....Alaina was obviously sick......and Zach's been fighting a cold for several days. FUN ride home! We got home around 10 I think.....we got Alaina in the shower and then we all crashed.

Saturday, I don't remember much of the morning.....Karl had left early to help Dean fix their bathroom......I was still feeling lousy, so the kids were up way before me......Matthew finally came in and woke me up 'cuz he was hungry. I spent the day working on the craft for the 'hanging of the green' service that was going to be the next day at church. I made the original and then traced out all the pieces onto felt (very sick of felt right now!) parents showed up after lunch and I put them to work cutting out pieces! so the craft project was done, and I think it turned out pretty cute........but I can't believe I didn't take a picture of it! that right there shows ya how out of it i was with the sickies!

After dinner Saturday night, mom and I decided to go to walmart so i could show her stuff to get the kids for christmas....and while we were there....I got worse. MUCH worse. The stomach flu hit. That was the longest shopping trip of my life! I got home from that and went straight to bed. And I've basically been sick ever since. I'm just NOW (about 24 hours later) feeling human again.
This morning was the first snowfall of the year, so the kids went out to play in it of course. i took some pictures and went back to bed....still feeling crummy. I had wanted to get our tree put up today, but that didn't happen. I didn't go to church either....I spent most of the day in bed. Thankfully my mom was here to help with the kids! Tonight was the hanging of the green service at church, and i probably should've stayed home, but I went to direct the craft i'd designed......and felt lousy most of the evening. and now i'm home again......still not feeling too great but at least now it's more of just the headcold I had on thursday/friday than the flu that i had yesterday. oh the fun never ends!!! so taht was my sickly holiday weekend! BAH!

So I'm running out of here's what i've scrapped lately:

Here's our trip to the Arch...made with the Primary Grunge kit that Vicki designed for yours huh?

And this one is of the kids when they built "santa's sleigh" out of a table, a chair, and a rocking horse in the basement......I posted the picture before, but here's the layout (using Vicki's Bright Christmas kit)

And this is from just this morning....I'm really shocked I got this one done! It's using a template from Sya's Grab bag she released on Black Friday......and using Vicki's Winter Wonderland kit that she'll be releasing soon (I might be posting it early for her kit, if so, sorry Vicki!)

And here's my blessing for the Uncle Bill and Aunt Lill. Uncle Bill is the only uncle I have (aside from the husbands of aunts, but you know what I mean)....he's my dad's brother and the live in Florida, but they've been up here visiting for the last month or so and they spent Thanksgiving with us. I remember going to their house as a kid for our vacation and going out on their sailboat and them taking us to the beach......

so that's it for now....heading off to bed now since I need the rest and don't have any sick days to use! bah! :(

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Some home remodeling....and TWILIGHT! :)

Well, no crazy-girl concert antics to share this week! For the most part, it was fairly typical here at our house. Took the kids to their activities and on Wednesday I had a job interview (which went OKAY, but I decided about half an hour into the interview that I do NOT want that job, so I'm not caring much if I get a call-back on it!). Keep your fingers crossed for me though! I'm running out of time here!!! :(

Last Sunday at church, we were given a "talent" (choice of a bunch of weird gifts....books, candy....Karl and I both chose cake mixes) and we were supposed to report back next week (ie today) with how we 'shared our talent'......the kids picked candy and either ate it right there during the service or shared it with people sitting next to them in church. So their "assignments" were done. I made a gooey butter cake (YUM!) with my cake mix and took it to work for a fellow refugee coworker (another unlucky soul who was being reassigned)'s last day. So I shared mine with my coworkers....and they inhaled it quite quickly, being the gluttonous engineers they are......Karl intended to make his cake "himself" (I was ready to see this!), and take it to some friends of ours that had been sick for awhile.....what happened instead was a double-date night to see Twilight!

So Karl didn't end up making his cake, but we coordinated schedules with Andy and Melissa for Friday night to go see Twilight. Melissa and I had both read all the books....the guys were just along for the ride. We had a great time. We went out to dinner at the mall and ANYTIME we go to this particular mall, we get bombarded with "Hey Mr. Herman!" we ALWAYS run into a bunch of Karl's students. This night was no exception. Karl said he could even tell during the movie which kids were screaming and whispering because he hears them whisper all the time in class! And of course all his students had to ask him what he thought of the movie afterwards too...... Andy swears that the best part was hearing all the girls squeal everytime Rob Pattinson came on the screen (I might've been doing some of that squealing too actually....*sigh*!) But all in all, it was a pretty good movie. Team Edward all the way! We hadn't been out on a date since our anniversary so it was nice to just get out of the house and leave the kids behind for some grown-up conversation with some was a fun night!

The only other thing we had happen of any note this week was Karl FINALLY finished the upstairs hallway...YAY! So now it's complete:

We ripped up all the carpeting and put down laminate wood flooring on our stairs and hallway (to match the living room and kitchen). I'd been wanting to do this FOREVER....and we finally did it as a Christmas present to ourselves. So Merry Christmas to us!

Oh, and I gotta post this picture since it just cracks me up....please ignore the horribly messy house in the background....but look what the kids did:

They made "Santa's Sleigh" (complete with a reindeer rocking horse!) Isn't that the funniest thing ever? :P Why do we buy them toys again??

Yesterday, Matthew was invited to a swimming party for one of his classmate's that was the excitement of the day. He and Alaina had lessons in the morning anyways, so it was double-swimming day for Matthew, and he was SOOOO excited! Even if the party was for a GIRL! He had a blast! And I'm leaning toward renting the place for Alaina's party in March....the kids were having so much fun!!! Pool party, anyone???

And I really can't think of anything else that happened this week worth mentioning......we're getting ready for Thanksgiving just like everybody else! I feel wierd though, 'cuz I haven't been cooking anything, as it's all at my mom's and we're cooking everything there. I just feel wierd not even buying any of the traditional "stuff"! Alaina/Matthew's classes have a Thanksgiving program at school on Wednesday, so Karl and I are cutting out of work early to see that. Then we're off to Fairfield to help my mom fill all her catering orders.....then we plan to come back home sometime on depends on whether we get up early for any after-Thanksgiving sales or not! Then we'll probably spend the weekend getting out Christmas decorations and getting our house ready for the holidays......maybe I'll work on Christmas cards!

So that's the update on us......and here's what I've scrapped this week:

The New Kids on the Block concert.....*sigh*......good times, good times!!!

This is probably my last layout from our last Disney trip.....I'm finally done scrapping it! Only took me 11 months! This is Alaina's first ride on the Tower of Terror.....she was so freaked out, I loved it! It's a great ride though...LOVE IT!

And this one is with Vicki's new kit she'll be releasing tomorrow, called "True Blue"'s so I can memorialize some of the oddball things Matthew asks. He's been on a "God kick" lately, asking me all these questions about God......'does God have a Wii?', 'does God have to eat salad?', 'Who made God?'.....just funny I started writing it all down so I could remember it all. Alaina was never this inquisitive, so some of his questions have thrown me for a loop, like, "How can God hear everybody's prayers?'......uhm......go ask your dad! :P I love that he's asking's funny to see kids' minds working like that, ya know? So here's Matthew and all his questions:

This is of Zach helping with the offering a few Sundays ago when we were at Brush Creek.....Chuck Knapp had taken up the money and Zach didn't like him putting it into the bank deposit bag, so Zach took it all back out and put it back into the offering plates! Then Chuck had Zach help him "count" it into his kept him occupied during the service! So I told Karl all we need to keep Zach quiet is a big stack of cash! No problem!

And lastly, my blessing for the week.........this has been on my "list" of blessings since I first considered this project, and I'm just now getting around to scrapping it: Brush Creek. Since I was up there not too long ago, I had the chance to take some current's such a special place to those of us that have had the opportunity to spend time there, it was a total no-brainer for a blessing:

Journaling reads: "There aren’t enough words to describe how special Brush Creek is to me.Not only is it part of my family heritage, but it is the site of some of my fondest memories of my life. As a child, my family spent two weeks every summer at church reunions held here. It was sometimes the only‘vacation’ my family took. Us kids went to classes and made friends that have become lifelong friends. We attended the nightly services in the auditorium, and until the lodge was built, we spent the weeklong reunion in a cabin. Once they built the lodge next to the dining hall, we spent our weeks there. I learned how to canoe and swim in this lake, and my brothers spent many hours fishing here. I sang in the choir and stayed up late when I was a teenager talking with my friends. I went to camps aside from reunion, both as a camper,and then when I was old enough, as a counselor, working alongside my camp friends. Brush Creek represents the best of my childhood, the foundation of my character, and a place that is and hopefully always will be there for me to return to. It is a refuge from a hectic life and to anyone that has ever been there: a true blessing."

so that's it for me....Happy Thanksgiving everybody!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Junior High love conquers all! :)

Ahhhh.......come loved the New Kids on the Block too! Admit it! In Junior high, I got into probably the most trouble I ever did in my youth by attending their concert at Roberts Stadium in Evansville, Indiana! My parents weren't at home when my BF Gina called and said, "my aunt's offered to take us over there, so if you want to go, we need to know NOW so we can order tickets before they sell out!" well DUH....what's ANY 14-year old girl going to say? HECK YES GET ME A TICKET! :P So when the parentals came home, I told them they owed Gina's aunt $35 (a FORTUNE in those days) for a ticket to a concert I didn't ask permission to go to. Oh the grounding that followed was TOTALLY WORTH IT! :P I had a blast at that concert, in the worst seats (literally, the back row....i thought for sure i was going to plummet 30 feet to my death off those risers!), but it was major fun. And I assumed that'd be my first and last New Kids experience......until this past Monday night!

So Monday, I'm at work waiting for 'the call' from my SIL and her BFF Emily that they were in town so I could bug out and hang with them. Then I ended up getting called into a last-minute meeting and ended up not being able to leave a minute earlier than usual. BAH! But, since I"m hoping for a JOB from this particular manager, I figured I'd better not bail and say, "I gotta go up in the arch with my friends that're ditching work!"......might not make the best impression, huh? But I left work around 3 and headed downtown to meet up with Nicole and Emily.

Our first stop was the arch. Since Karl is deathly afraid of heights and there's no way in hades I'd EVER get him up in this thing (and Karl's brother Kurt is the exact same way, so Nicole feels my pain), we thought this would be the perfect opportunity to go up in the arch. So we took some outside pics of us and the arch and then headed inside to get our tickets. Then we got into our little 'pod' for the ride up to the top. Now I'm not claustrophobic by any means, but I can see that if anybody WAS, this would be an issue:

Me, Nicole, and the Gateway Arch:

how tiny the pods actually are:

squished together for the 'pod ride' to the top:

While at the top, we looked out over the lovely overcast city of St. Louis.

Then we had to do the ride back down. Emily wasn't too thrilled about the ride, but Nicole and I just took pictures of her all freaked out and laughed. We're so nice. :P

Then we headed to their hotel room and changed into our 'concert garb' ......then decided to go ahead and park my car at the Scottrade Center and walk to dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe at Union Station. We had to wait about an hour for our table since the entire downtown was packed with 30-something women in groups reliving their junior high years just like us. We didn't go as far reminiscing as others did with the legwarmers, crimped hair, and old concert t-shirts. But it sure was fun crowd watching all the other NKOTB fans!
Don't we look cute though?

After dinner, we made a quick stop at the car to drop off some stuff we'd bought at Union Station and then headed inside to the concert. Natasha Beddingfield was the opening act, and none of us really cared about missing out on we hit the souvie stands to make sure we all got our proper tshirts! Nicole and I got the "Property of Donnie Walhberg" shirts, and Emily got a pink concert tour one. Life is good!

The concert itself was so much fun! Granted, Madonna put on a better show, but these guys were so much more FUN! We were on our feet almost the entire time, screaming, singing, and yelling. And I must say, these guys have aged quite gracefully:

"Please Don't Go Girl"!!! *sigh*.......

*SWOON*!!! I can understand how they ended up with half a dozen pairs of panties on the stage! :P I stole those closeups from the while I didn't take them, they were from our concert at least! I took over 400 pics with the big camera that I managed to sneak do you sneak in a camera in the summertime I wonder? Hooray for big bulky coats, I say! :P Here's the view from OUR seats:

Still not too bad! so we had a GREAT time reliving our youth at the NKOTB concert! Look how much fun we're having:

Tuesday, thanks to getting home at 1AM from the concert and having "a few" drinks, I called in sick. :P The rest of the week was uneventful after that. I was kinda sick for most of it (unrelated to any margarita consumption!). Did the usual of running the kids to their activities and such.....

Saturday, we took the kids to their swimming lessons, had lunch at arby's, then after naps we had our family portraits taken at Sears. I'm always leery of pictures and Zach. He's 2. He doesn't cooperate! BUT this time he DID! YAY! I'm still in shock and everybody on our Christmas card list will be getting a lovely portrait of the kids all dressed up and smiley! Which just reminds me that I've done NO shopping...haven't started my Christmas letter...and am otherwise all-around totally unprepared for the approaching holidays!!! *sigh*....time to get with it!

So that was our onto the layouts I've done. I did a lot less scrapping than normal thanks to having that nasty heady cold most of the week. These first two are of the kids' school pictures, using Sya's new templates she released a few days ago....they both took really good school pics this year, I was impressed!

Then I did another one from our UK trip......gotta love Big Ben!

And of Matthew's soccer portraits:

And this was our dinner at the Hard Rock Monday night:

This week's family heritage as it concerns the Caudle Schoolhouse at Brush Creek. It's the ONLY claim to fame my family has, so I gotta work with it!
Journaling reads: My family doesn’t have any sort of claim to fame, but the one thing that we are all very proud of is the history of the Caudle schoolhouse. My Great-great grandfather Samuel Caudle gave to the church the land that later would become the Brush Creek Campground. The schoolhouse for the neighborhood was also on his land, and it was in this little log schoolhouse that the Brush Creek branch of our church began. It is the oldest congregation in the area, and the only congregation that never was disorganized after the death of Joseph Smith. So the Caudle schoolhouse holds a special place in the hearts of the church members in the area for the history that it represents. I am so proud and blessed for the part myo wn family played in all of this history.This is my Family Heritage.
And that's it for me. Matthew wants to watch Speed Racer again (we rented it last night....worst movie EVER! kids have no taste I swear!), but laundry and a very messy daughter's room are calling my until next post, have a good one!