Wednesday, October 29, 2008


yep, I was there people! and yep, I snuck a camera inside (along with THOUSANDS OF OTHER PEOPLE!). So here're some pictures I got during the concert. I haven't been to a ton of concerts, but this was by far the best one I've ever been to....the woman was amazing, up there dancing basically nonstop for almost 2 hours....where does she get that energy? And can I have some? :)

Our seats were on the corner of the stage, so our view was at an angle....we had a much better view when she was out on the little runway thing....
this little circular jumbo-tron thing was cool.....they put lots of video clips on it and it moved up and down at different times.......
this is probably my favorite shot I got 'cuz you can read the quote on the screen, and I really liked that one!

these are pictures of one of the overhead screens....since our view was from the side, it was sometimes easier to see what was going on from these screens, so I snapped a couple pictures just to see if they'd actually turn out!
and of course, being madonna, she had to something really over the top:

yep, there was a car on cool is that?

So I had a blast at the concert, it was worth it! If only she'd sang 'Material Girl', it would've been perfect!!! It was awesome!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

blogging from the WINDY 'windy city'

Here I am, safe and sound in the suburbia of Chicago. I'm in town for the most important of events.....tomorrow night's Madonna concert at the United Center! :)> I haven't been to a concert in FOREVER, so I'm definitely ready to go have some serious 80s girl time! Bring it on!
As for the rest of the weekend, it went quite well. Friday night was the Halloween carnival at school, which we of course went to. And remind me to either give Karl some instruction or to never let him have the camera again, because most of the pictures are beyond blurry. BAH! I had to spend most of the time volunteering at the 2nd grade booth and at the Kindergarten booth. The 2nd graders sponsored the ring toss, which is always popular since you win a bottle of soda if you toss the ring around it. The Kindergarteners had the best booth I though....pig races! It was too funny....these little toy pigs would race to the music of 'who let the pigs out'......oh the madness! :P But anyways, here are some pictures from the night:

Saturday was Matthew's last soccer games. *sniff*.....he was so cute playing soccer, but he was the type of player that was good for about the first quarter of the game and from that point on it was a struggle to get him to actually PLAY! :)

Since it was the last game, his coach handed out trophies to all the boys....

So until next season, we're done with soccer......

After soccer, we went out for a celebration lunch at the chinese buffet and then to Eckerts' for our Halloween pumpkin. The kids weren't too cooperative with me for pictures, so this is the best one I got.....the terrible twos aren't much help with group pictures! :P

Saturday night we grilled some chicken for dinner and Karl and the kids carved our pumpkin.

Today, we loaded up all my stuff and headed to church. Alaina said her first prayer during the service. I helped her write it out Saturday night. I think it was maybe 2 sentences, but it was all her own words (and mispellings, but she could read it and that's all that mattered). She sat up front during the service and acted so grown up! She did a great job! Then we were on a mad dash to get me to the airport on time (which ended up being totally unnecessary, but oh well!)

We had a quick lunch at Steak n Shake 'cuz we'd promised the kids milkshakes.....and Karl dropped me off at the airport a little before 1 for my 2:27 flight. Security is usually not a big deal unless it's a high travel day like Monday/Friday, so I wasn't too worried about making my flight on time. I breezed through security, even with the 2 laptops, the little bag o' liquids and my big carryon ('cuz i'm way too cheap to pay for a checked bag!).......and who wears heeled boots to the airport? oh right, ME! dumb. :P

I got to the gate, got my venti china green tea and saw that my flight was "possibly delayed" to O'hare.....which of course means it was GOING to be delayed, they just didn't have the cajones to put it up on the screen yet! So I sat there, and being the forward-thinking gal I am, started scrapping! Our 2:27 flight got delayed to 2:59....then 3:15.....around 3:15 we boarded, and once we were all sitting there, and the captain SAID we were getting ready to push back, somebody somewhere changed their minds and we got to sit at the gate until 4:50. yep. We SAT ON THE PLANE AT THE FRIGGIN' GATE FOR OVER AN HOUR AND A HALF!!!! can ya tell how thrilled I was with that? CAN YOU? :P Actually, I'm a very easy-going traveler, especially when I don't have any connections to make. I just felt bad for everybody else on the plane since nobody made any of their connections! I think I made it outside into Kurt/Nicole's car about 6:15.......only about 3 hours late!

So now I'm hanging out in Nicole's family room and watching Desperate Housewives...

And now for the pages I've scrapped since my last post....

From our team community service event:

And our team dinner and concert:

This one is with Sya's new kit, called "It's a Girl's World", so I had to do something with Alaina in it, so I chose this cute shot of her and her friend, Samantha:

And this is one I did during my long wait for the airplane today.....of the girl scout hayride last weekend:

and of course my blessing this week......our home. Working for the day in the homeless shelter made me really appreciate our home, so this is it...."the blue house" (that's what the kids call it!)

And that's it for now.....I'll post whatever pictures I can sneak of Madonna with my cr!ppy point and shoot camera and from our crummy seats behind the stage! :P

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Shalom House

It's been a really busy week here! I'm hosting my first-ever scrapping challenge over on the DIS-board (where people go to discuss all things Disney!), and if anybody has any Disney stuff to scrap, see if you can enter my challenge here I'm looking forward to seeing what everybody enters! Here's my entry:

The kids got their flu shots on Tuesday, and Zach's already had an allergic reaction to that's lots of fun! And this week was our department offsite meeting for the year, so our entire team, from all over the country got together for 2 days.

The offsites are always fun....the meeting parts I could do without, but catching up with the coworkers that I only email or talk to on the phone is nice! Plus, this year we had a technology demonstration on Tuesday afternoon where I got to fly an F18 simulator. Not only did I NOT kill myself or crash the thing, but I took down 5 enemy aircraft! Go me! I should've been a pilot! oh, and also on Tuesday I was given my 5-year service award.....yay me! got a plaque and a gold-ish pin from the company.....I already ordered my gift, which was a silver bracelet I had engraved with the kids' initials. So now I'm vested in the company pension.....that's good I guess, since all my other investments have tanked!!!

Wednesday was our community service projects. I'm really quite proud of the big B for letting us do these community service projects on the clock, 'cuz if you think about it, that's a lot of money the company is spending having all of us on the clock but not doing any of the company's work! So kudos to Boeing for reaching out to the community and putting your money where your mouth is!

With there being almost 150 of us in our dept, they divided us up into 3 teams. One team went to a daycare center for mentally/physically handicapped children to do odd jobs/paint/etc. One team went to a local park to pull weeds, plant flowers, and spread mulch. The team I was on went to Shalom House, which is a homeless shelter for women, most of which are mentally handicapped and recovering addicts.

I knew working in a homelss shelter would be eye-opening for me. I knew it would be humbling. I wasn't quite prepared for HOW humbling it would be. I felt so bad for these women that show up with basically nothing but the clothes on their backs. I won't complain about a leaky bathtub again....these women don't even HAVE bathtubs!
Shalom House has a 90-day emergency program and a 24-month transition program for the women living there. They've done a lot with not much other than the donations from the public and a few grants they've managed to get. They didn't really have the manpower or funds to do the little projects around their building (which used to be an old church) that needed to be done. That's where the big B comes in! Part of our team built shelves for them to store supplies on. Another group of us cleaned out and organized their food pantry, and the last group (that I was in) painted. I was also the designated photographer for the day, which actually got me out of a lot of the real work, but somebody had to document it! I didn't take any pictures of the residents or their personal stuff, even though I COULD just didn't seem right to me. So here's some pictures from our day at Shalom House:

how many engineers does it take.......

The office we painted (originally tangerine!)

Proof that I DID do SOME work!

The food pantry (after it was organized!):

And our big group shot....everybody loved my "painting pants" I wore.....I've got at least 5 different colors of paint on those things now!

After we finished up at Shalom, I borrowed a room key from a friend and went to her hotel room to clean up and change for the big department dinner and was too far for me to drive home to clean up and make it back in time. I got all gussied up and went downstairs to hang out waiting for my coworkers to show up and talk to people that weren't at Shalom about what they did all day.

We had dinner, and then a private concert from Pearl Heart. I didn't watch Nashville Star, as I'm not a country-music fan by any stretch of the imagination. But these girls were on it and I think they finished 4th? I don't remember, but I think it was something like that, and they also happen to be the daughters of one of our team members, Bill Krechel. And as another atta-boy for my employer, and more specifically our VP Peter Lawrence, Bill moved his entire family to Nashville almost 2 years ago to help these girls pursue their dream. And now he's a full-time virtual employee, so he didn't have to give up his job to help out his kids. LOVE that about this place!

So anyways, we had our concert, and it was really good, even for country music......I managed to record a couple of their songs since Karl's never heard them sing either....i'm hoping to update this later with the video clip once I track down the cord to get the clip off the camera!
And I had to take some pictures of my coworkers since we're not allowed to have cameras in our building, something like this is the only time we CAN take pictures!

Here's me and the world's best Office Administrator, Karen

And me and Angela, Courtney, and Amy Krechel (aka PearlHeart....I hope I didn't mix up the twins' names!)......I look like an amazon next to these tiny people!

the girls with their dad, Bill

And me and my boss, Alyssa

Here's one of the "IVHM girls".....Jeanne, Alyssa, and myself....the only women on the IVHM team!
And here's Team MIDOT....Pete, Ken, me and Matt

So it was a very fun night hanging out with the coworkers but not needing to discuss work at all! Next year's offsite will be in Seattle, so until next October......
I'll post later with layouts and my blessing.......

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Eel tastes like chicken!

Another week gone by so very fast! The previous post was the big news of the week as far as I'm concerned.....making another Creative Team. I've spent the last few days getting to know the other girls on the CT and doing some layouts (I feel like I'm behind already!) using her products.......downloading all her stuff for FREE.......YAY! this is so much fun!
What else happened this week? TONS of stuff......Tuesday was Kindergarten night at school for Matthew, so that turned into a very busy night. I took Alaina to her gymnastics class....did my grocery shopping while she tumbled....then when she was done we all headed back to the school to the Kindergarten thing. I helped Matthew make a treasure chest for all his "treasures" he brings home from school....and a couple games for us to play with letters/numbers. Alaina was a very good big sister and spent the entire hour out in the lobby with Zach keeping him occupied since siblings weren't supposed to be there in the first place (oops). We got done with our projects in record time since I'd done them all before and didn't need to listen to any of the directions (like I would have anyways?). So that was Tuesday...
Thursday was Alaina's Brownie meeting and she ended up being the top seller for her troop this year in cookie sales! YAY! We werent' expecting that at all, as she (meaning Karl and I!) sold a lot less this year vs. last year. But as a troop, they beat their goal, so the girls are taking their hard-earned money and renting out the bounce houses for a couple hours!!! WOOHOO! can't wait for that!

Friday was the Brownies' annual wiener roast and hayride....It was raining when we first got there, but thankfully stopped as we were eating our hotdogs. It was a joint event with a local cub scout troop (that we didn't know, but evidently our leader did!), and while the girls were on the hayride, the boys took to hiding behind trees and trying to scare them. It was pretty funny.

it was really cold on the hayride, but Matthew stayed warm since he buried himself under all the hay! Then he stuck his hand out trying to scare the girls.....

Saturday was, of course, another soccer game......and they had to play GIRLS again! OH NO! The boys weren't QUITE as freaked out as they were the week before......I think. They won that very COLD game.....brrrrr. Next Saturday's the last day for the season, and unfortunately, Karl's going to be gone to proctor the ACT exam at school......and it's a double-header, so I get to deal with all the kids for two!
Here's Matthew playing against more GIRLS!
Then we killed some time at Target before we dropped Alaina off at her swimming lesson. I took some pictures of her since this was the first class of hers I actually saw. She's improving a lot and I can tell she's having a lot of fun!

The rest of Saturday afternoon is a blur....I don't think we took naps.....I think I was trying to catch up on scrapping! We left a little before 5 to drive to St. Peter's, MO to meet up with a coworker of Karl's, Lorraine Raziq, her DH Abe, and their baby daughter Amelia for dinner. We met at a Japanese habachi grill place called Ariake. Dinner was really Tepan Edo at Epcot where they cook on the big griddle at your table. One of Karl's students' parents own the place, and his father was our chef.....and somehow Karl ended up with an extra serving of shrimp courtesy of 'the kitchen' (ie his student).....hey, teachers don't get too many perks, so we'll take what we can get! Karl ordered a few different kinds of sushi.....he passed the plate over to me and I thought the one I ate and really liked was chicken.....only to be told after I'd scarfed it down that it was eel. uhm, okay! it was really yummy! I passed on the raw tuna stuff though and let Karl, Abe, and Lori eat that. Even Matthew, our usual pickiest eater, cleaned his plate, so good pick for dinner! We get together with the Raziqs about once a month, so the next time we get together, we'll have to try and top this one!

So here's the layouts I've done over the last week......the last one from our zoo trip a couple weeks ago with Vicki's new "hearts and flowers" kit:
A challenge entry I did for something at Scrap Matters (Westminster Abbey)....and yes, I scanned Karl's ticket and brochure.....scanners come in quite handy with digiscrapping!

These next two are ones I did for Sya's CT using her new templates, "Going in Circles 2"

This is of Alaina's "official" cheerleading picture (isn't that the cutest cheerleader kit? I splurged on that one!)

And this one is of Matthew and two of the many many wooly worms the kids have made pets out of thus far....

And my blessing for this week: Cooking! I'm not loving this layout....I did it also as a submission for a challenge and had to follow their I'll probably end up changing it around a bit before I print it out for myself. But anyways, here it is the way it is right now:

I'm so glad I can cook, I'm not saying I'm the best cook ever, but I do think I can hold my own!.....I can't imagine NOT being able to cook, or not enjoying it like I do. It's a big part of who I am, and it's very important to me that everything I make and serve to guests or even to our family is exactly the way I want it. So being a good cook I think is a blessing......

And my travel page for this week.....from not too far back, Dublin. Dublin was an interesting city. I think we would've enjoyed it more had we been more well-rested! We took a bus tour and I took lots of pictures out of the bus windows, so some of those got used here, along with some other misc. pictures of things we happened across while in the city.

And I guess that's it for now....hope everybody had a great weekend!