Friday, February 25, 2011

Slide show

just for fun, and since i can't seem to update the one on the side anymore.....I created this:

Day 26: Party of Five

Day 26-Picture of your family

Being an amateur photographer, I always take a picture of the 5 of us every year for our Christmas card. This year, Karl got me a lighting kit for my birthday/Christmas present……so I didn’t have to borrow my sister-in-law’s stuff! Yay!

Zach was sick this day, so he wasn’t the smiley-happy guy I’d like him to have been, but oh well…….and no, we’re not wearing any shoes…..because I didn’t want to get the backdrop dirty! It was new, dernit!


Here we are......our little Herman party of 5!

Day 25: The Herman Shuffle!!!

Day 25-Put your iPod on shuffle, first 10 songs

YAY! I'm going to LOVE this assignment! I did this for a thing on Facebook a year or so ago.....I couldn't stop at 10 then, and I won't this time either, so kick back and prepare for a long post!

Here we go!

1. “Found out about you” – Gin Blossoms. I listened to this album relentlessly in college. Haven’t listened to the song in ages and actually didn’t realize it was on my iPod. Cool!

2. “Photograph” – Nickelback. Wow, I could write a whole post about that song. It darned near makes me cry every time I hear it, because I can so relate…..just reminiscing about your life and all that…..the older I get the more I ponder such things……mostly so I don’t forget, because my memory is cr@p!

3. “Soak up the Sun” – Cheryl Crow. MAN, does that sound GOOD right now! A warm beach, some sunshine…..yes please!

4. “I can be your friend” – Veggie Tales. LOL……I put all the Veggie Tales songs (most of them are Sunday School songs) into our iTunes library and onto Alaina’s iPod……and I guess they ended up on mine as well (can you tell how often I look at my library? Not often!). It’s a great song though… talks about accepting people that are different and how you can all be friends anyways. Cute song.

5. “Good Enough” – Sarah McLachlan. Oh yeah……I remember this one. I love her, and I remember singing this one many a time back in college…….I even remembered the harmonies just now. Yay me!

6. “Monster High Fright Song” – Monster High Soundtrack. Uhm, gag. Alaina is currently all into this Monster High fad. We were being cool parents and downloaded this song and set it up to be the ringtone on her phone. I’m already sick of it btw…..skipping ahead now….

7. “Better Days” – Goo Goo Dolls. Ooooh, another good one I haven’t listened to in forever. I even have the sheet music for this and can play it on the piano….well….until it gets to the difficult parts. :D lol……I was actually thinking at one time that it’d be a good solo for a friend of mine to do at church. Hmmm….I might have to revisit that idea.

8. “Nothin’ But a Good Time” – Poison. OH YEAH! I have this one on my running playlist now. Talk about your blasts from the past. Late 80’s-early 90’s……I was all about Poison. I’d still love to go to a Poison concert. One of my favorite bands of all time……..ah, memories of my BFF in junior high rocking this on the guitar and me doing the vocals…….*sigh*….good times, good times.

9. “The Power of Love” – Huey Lewis & the News. LOL……great song! I love Huey Lewis! What’s funny about this song is that it TOTALLY reminds me of my childhood. I downloaded this song to put in a slideshow I made for my brother Dean’s 40th birthday a couple years ago. Deano was a HUGE Huey fan, so I got to hear this song like 10 billion times, so it reminds me of him……him blasting it on his stereo… yelling to turn it down……me (being the annoying little sister), trying to weasel into his room to sing along……him kicking me out…..and me singing along anyways since I could still hear it. Ah, good times!!!

10. “Where I Stood” – Missy Higgins. Not sure if this was a really popular song or not……I think it came out a couple years ago. The lyrics totally spoke to me though……I “get it”….been there….done that……I could sing this one and truly understand what she’s saying. I usually cry when I hear this song. I’m such a sap.
I’m having fun with this, so I’m gonna keep going!

11. “I Gotta Feeling” – Black Eyed Peas. Did you see their Super Bowl halftime show? The kids were totally digging the costumes that light up and changed colors! And then there was that clip on youtube of that college up in Canada that made the video to this....I always think of that when I hear this song. Fun song!

12. “Happy” – Sister Hazel. I don’t think this was even a single released by them. But it was one of my favorite songs on the album (Somewhere More Familiar, in case you care). One of my favorite song lyrics of all time is in this song: “I remember thinkin’: who’s content and who’s for rent”……not sure why that stuck with me all these years, but it just did. It’s a profound lyric really if you stop and ponder it (like I obviously have). Am I content? Can I be ‘bought’? am I after material gain and that’s why I’m not content? Interesting song though……give it a listen if you’ve never heard it before……it talks about why we’re happy and why we’re not……deep stuff man!

13. “The World I Know” – Collective Soul. I always loved the cello in this song. I love cellos. Any song that’s good some good strings in it, and I’m hooked. :D I wish I could play the cello……..maybe I’ll add that to my goals list!

14. “Istanbul (Not Constantinople)” – They Might Be Giants. O.M.G I am laughing SO HARD right now…..the coworkers are giving me funny looks. This is great. I completely forgot about this song. I actually saw these guys in concert back in college. It was a blast! Such a goofy, funny song! I’ve got to move this to a playlist so I can actually hear it once in awhile (can you tell I never put my iPod on shuffle with the whole library? I have a couple playlists that I listen to and forget about all the other stuff! That’s a shame obviously, as I’m having fun with this ‘assignment’)

15. “Land of Confusion” – Genesis. Hmmm….. this is what happens when married people combine their libraries! I’m not a HUGE Genesis fan, and I can definitely say I didn’t put this on here. I just remember the video though, with all those puppets? Remember that? Hilarious. I’m going to have to go look it up on youtube now. Good song though…..great message. Phil Collins always looks like he’s in pain when he sings though…….why is that?

16. “Arrival to Earth” – Transformers soundtrack. Are we the only wierdos that download musical scores? Surely not. I like instrumentals. They’re frustrating in the fact that I can’t sing along when there’s no words…….but on the flip side, it’s a nice change of pace to be able to really sit back and LISTEN to the music vs. concentrating on the lyrics like I usually do.

17. “Take a Chance on Me” – ABBA. Okay, I’ll give the hubby this one. I like this one. Not one I put in the library, but I won’t begrudge him this one. Which reminds me……I need to get Mamma Mia on DVD! :D

18. “Before he Cheats” – Carrie Underwood. Ooooh. This is on my short-list of Karaoke songs. Without going into specifics or incriminating myself…….let’s just say that ‘someone I know’ did deflate a certain boyfriend’s tires when she caught him cheating on her. Smashing headlights and ripping upholstery would’ve equated to a stint in jail, and the guy wasn’t worth that whole vandalism rap. But deflating tires? It was cathartic…..for ‘her’. Sing it, sister! Amen.

19. “Daydream Believer” – The Monkees. WTH? How did this get in here? I didn’t even know karl liked this one. But it’s kinda funny. And I actually have a history with this song, amazingly enough. My first car was a 1977 Mercury Comet. And it had an 8-track player in it. (let me tell ya, back in 1991 when I inherited it……that was SO COOL. Not!) And the only 8-track we had was this song. Any idea how many times I listened to this song? When my only other source of music was the AM (no FM, mind you!) radio???? Oh yeah…….cheer up, sleepy Jean…….oh what can it mean……my girlfriends in high school were NOT amused. :D

20. “Safety Dance” – Men Without Hats. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Again, I’m laughing my arse off here. Why? Because I can’t hear this song without laughing hysterically. Back when we were dating, Karl and I would spend way too much money at Best Buy on CDs. Well… particular Saturday we were at Best Buy and Karl bought this 80’s compilation CD that had this song on it (Karl is a big 80’s music buff, in case you haven’t figured that out yet). I just rolled my eyes like I always did. Then that evening, we went to see a movie. A TERRIBLE movie, btw, but it had its funny moments. I should’ve known better since Pauly Shore was in it, kwim? Anyhoo….we went to go see “Bio Dome”. And there’s a scene in this awful theatrical mess where Pauly and whoever (I don’t remember) are in this Bio Dome and refuse to come out……so the ‘suits’ say “here, this will get them out” and they play this song….and of course Pauly and his sidekick just start dancing and such instead of going insane like a normal person would. I was laughing hysterically in the theater……..laughing so hard I couldn’t breathe. Karl had JUST BOUGHT THIS CD….and here’s this movie mocking it. I found it hysterical. Still do. Karl didn’t think that scene was nearly as funny as I did. *snicker* He still gets mad when I laugh and remind him of that movie. Lol…

5 more, and then I’ll shut up, I promise!

21. “Our Song” – Taylor Swift. Now, admittedly, I am not a country music fan (I abhor the sound of a steel guitar….it’s like nails on a chalkboard to me). But there are a handful of exceptions to my anti-country mantra. Taylor, Carrie, Shania, and Faith are basically those exceptions…..maybe a couple others that’ve slipped my mind, I dunno. Anyhoo…..I love Taylor. I think she’s a better songwriter than vocalist, but what do I know? she’s the one with the Grammys, not me! nobody’s paying to hear ME sing, now are they? :D Alaina LOVES her, and this is one of the first songs I remember Alaina memorizing in its entirety. I think she was like 6 or 7 at the time. Cuteness.

22. “Superman” – Five for Fighting. LOVE this one. I’m a total sucker for piano ballads. I actually have the music to this one and could play it once upon a time……I might just have to dust it off and give it another try one of these days!

23. “What is Love” – Haddaway. Uhm, all I can think of when I hear this song is ‘Night at the Roxbury’, and how my hubby would insist on doing the dance at every wedding reception we’d go. My apologies to every bride that got caught up in this song……..literally. (if you’ve seen the movie, you should know what I’m talking about there). I tried to stop it, but the idiocy cannot be contained. It is kinda funny to watch though…..I’m sure some home movies exist of the Herman brothers dancing to this song…….God help us all! Our children will never live it down.

24. “Break Away” – Kelly Clarkson. Wow. Almost darned autobiographical. Seriously. If I could write a song, I could’ve easily written this one. It’s like my life in 4 minutes. :D

25. “More” – Usher. My current fave song of the moment. I get in a mood where I’ll listen to a “new” song on repeat for a couple of days until I’m thoroughly sick of it. :D Good song for my running playlist actually…..most remember to move it there….

And an “extra”, because this one came on and I just HAVE to comment:

26. “Don’t Stop Believin’” – Glee cast. Yes, I paid money for this song. Alaina insisted. She LOVES this song. She can sing Rachel Berry’s part just as good as she does (not that I’m biased or anything). Amazingly, when I played the ORIGINAL Journey version of this song, Alaina didn’t care for it as much….said it wasn’t as “peppy” as the Glee version. To each generation their own, right? But still….can’t have enough Journey songs in our lives, can we? :D And I gotta admit, this is one of the best songs they’ve ever done on that show…….kinda barbershop quartet-ish with the background vocals, but it still rocks…..and of course Rachel steals the show, as always. :D sometimes Alaina will sing Rachel’s part and I’ll sing Finn’s part……sometime she’ll sing it all and I’ll just listen….sometimes she wants to do all that “da-da-da-da-da”ing in the background and I’ll rock out on lead. Do they have this song for Guitar Hero I wonder? We would totally kill this! :D

Funny how I have so many stories to go along with songs……I could probably do this for a couple hundred more songs, but that would probably get boring for anybody actually reading this…….i would enjoy it most thoroughly though! I’m a big music nut and have the uncanny ability to equate songs with my past…where I was when I heard such-and-such a song…….is anybody else like that? have a ‘musical memory’??

Day 24: What I've learned...

Day 24-Something you've learned

Uhm…….I’ve learned a LOT of things in my 35 years. How to sum it up in one blog post…

I've learned to never underestimate the power of Prayer. So many times things have happened to me or a loved one that seemed insurmountable at the time....impossible to get through.....but after offering it up to God in prayer, we always come through it......maybe not the way WE want to, but we get through it nonetheless.

I’ve learned that it never hurts to plan ahead. I’m a planner. I’m of the mindset that you should “Plan for the worst and hope for the best” Most of the junk that has happened to us or people we know could’ve been prevented with better planning. Of course, I say that NOW…….hindsight and all that…

I’ve learned that time goes by way too fast. I can’t believe how big my kids are already. I look back at pictures of them from just a few months ago and they’ve already changed so much!

I've learned that I worry too much. I'm working on trying to do something about that, but it's way easier said than done!

I've learned that it's okay to not do everything 'just right'......sometimes ya gotta settle for "good enough" :D

i could go on all day......but I'm tired, so I won't. :D

Day 23: Vacay Time!

Day 23: Your favorite vacation.

July 2008, 10 days in England/Ireland. By far my favorite vacation!

The trip to England/Ireland was our 10-year anniversary present to each other. Karl was leading an EF tour (student trip), so we had a guide, a tour bus….lots of high school and college kids to chaperone (and they babysat for us too!)… was a blast of a trip.

We flew into London and spent a couple days there touring the city….


then north into Oxford and Wales where we visited Oxford University, Shakespeare’s birthplace, a couple castles (actually, we went through so many castles on this trip, I had to google them when I got home to remember their names!).

Then we had a ferry ride to Dublin where we had a couple days there. We didn’t tour the Guinness factory….some of the kids did, but we went shopping instead….Guinness was consumed though…..I just won't admit how MUCH! Then we toured Ireland southward……more castles (kissing the Blarney stone!),


more amazing scenery,


The Cliffs of Moher....on a really really foggy day:


and we flew home from Shannon under the direction of Captain Matthew! That was SUCH a memorable moment: matthew took a wrong turn boarding the plane and ended up in the cockpit hanging out with the pilots! The captain asked me (who ran up there, camera in hand, to capture the moment of course!) if I thought Matthew could do the welcome greeting, so we practiced it with him a couple times and Matthew did the announcement to the flight saying what our flight time was, etc......and that Captain Matthew was in charge of the aircraft. It was the cutest thing EVER!


Awesome trip. Highly recommend it!

Here’s another of my favorite pics from the trip…….i had a grand total of about 5 seconds to get this shot…..we were ‘behind schedule’ on our tour and our guide was making us literally RUN here… it’s a miracle that this shot even turned out. But still….GORGEOUS. Torq falls, County Galway, Ireland:


I’m trying to talk Karl into organizing another EF tour so we can go someplace cool on the cheap again……he’s considering it…..anybody up for a Germany/Italy/Austria/Switzerland trip in the summer of 2013? :D Anyone?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Day 22: Makin' it up as I go along.....

Day 22-What's in your makeup bag

Makeup. Duh! Well….since I have the uncanny ability to make an entire blog post out of a one-word answer, let me rephrase that. In my makeup bag there are TONS of cosmetic essentials, I’m telling you!

Let me preface this by saying this: I don’t really wear makeup. I don’t like how it feels on my face and I don’t have the foggiest idea what I’m doing when I put it on. So my morning face routine consists of me putting lots of moisturizer on, grumbling about my laugh-lines (crows’ feet, WRINKLES, whatever) and my clogged pores…..and then dealing with whatever child just yelled at me since those 15 seconds is all the time I’m allotted to myself for my beauty routine.

But back to my makeup bag: There’s foundation…..which I wear once a week, tops. For church, and that’s it. And I haven’t even been wearing it to church lately because my skin is SO DRY right now, when I put foundation on, it makes me look like a lizard. No joke. It’s gross. So I just haven’t been wearing it. Maybe I need to switch brands, I dunno. Makeup is not my forte. I should’ve put “learning how to correctly apply makeup” as one of my goals. I need someone to show me how. Seriously.

There’s blush (which I never wear, so I’m kinda stumped as to why I even have it….and am curious as to how old it must be), eye shadow (which again, I never wear except maybe those 2 times a year karl and I go out on a fancy date), eyeliner (which I DO wear……probably more often than anything else actually), mascara (again, rarely wear this because it gets in my eyes and bugs the bejesus out of me), moisturizer (which I use religiously yet still my cheeks are so dry they actually HURT at the moment), toner (which I haven’t been using since my skin is already so darned dry the thought of using toner right now seems ludicrous), some dental floss (which isn’t makeup, but it’s in the bag!), a tube of carmex (which I hate, so I’m not sure what that’s doing in there. I’m a Chapstick person. Karl’s the Carmex person), 3 tubes of lipstick (that I got free and they’ve basically remained untouched since lipstick is my least favorite makeup item. Even when I wear makeup I rarely wear lipstick. HATE the stuff….but for pictures and special occasions, I’ll put some on. Grudgingly.), and a travel-sized tube of toothpaste (half-used from my last overnight stay somewhere).

That was fascinating, wasn’t it? I hope you learned a lot about me…..and my lack of cosmetic skills.

Feel free to send me some makeup tips……or a gift certificate to Clinique. :D I’ll gladly accept either one!

Day 21: Again?

Day 21-Picture of yourself

Wait a second! We did this on day 1, didn’t we? Have you forgotten what I look like already? Well….since I kind of cheated that first time around….here’s a slightly more flattering picture of me:


not the best picture ever, but then it's got me in it, so i can't expect much! :D Those lovely ladies on either side of me are my BFFs from high school, Gina and Courtney. We hadn't seen each other in YEARS (pathetic!), and when i was town over the weekend, we went out to dinner to catch up. It was so much fun. I will make sure that happens again sometime soon!

Saturday, February 12, 2011


I'm interrupting the blogging project to post some layouts!

It's been a long time since I've posted any of my layouts, so even though this seems like a bunch, it's not when you figure up how many weeks this covers! :D

Since I've got Disney on the brain lately (after recently finishing up making our dining reservations for our upcoming trip), I'm STILL trying to get our trip from almost 2 years ago scrapped. My goal is to get this March '09 trip scrapped before we go back in July. Fingers crossed! :D

One of our favorite rides, the Haunted Mansion:

And even though I already have many pictures of the castle......I always take more on every trip. You just can't resist!

The Tomorrowland Indy Speedway:

the WDW Railroad, using some of Haynay's disney-inspired stuff:

Alaina's birthday makeover at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique (she looks so much younger here!!!)

Zach's 'all about me' day at school:

The belated Pre-K Christmas play, where Zach was the Mouse:

Alaina/Matthew's class Christmas parties:

Alaina and her Character Plus award:

Hope, the rescued Bald Eagle we went to visit:


More Snow
: (this has been the LONGEST WINTER EVER!)

And in the midst of this winter, my Amaryllis bloomed:

our Pack Pinewood Derby:

Boy Scout awards dinner....don't I look ravishing in the official boy scout uniform?:

And that catches you up on everything I've scrapped so far this year. I'm still behind (I'm ALWAYS BEHIND!), but at least that gives me something to do in all those free hours I have. :D

Day 20: Don't call me Diane!!!

Day 20-Nicknames

Today we're supposed to talk about our nicknames.

Diva. And that’s pronounced like “Dive-uh”…..not like “a Diva with an attitude” or something. ‘Cuz I’m definitely not that! The nickname originated because my little brother couldn’t say “Diana” when he was a toddler……it came out ‘Dive-uh’…..and it stuck. And it’ll stick with me forever. Only my family (and a handful of close family friends) calls me that though. Most of the time people will assume my name is Diane (since that’s more common than Diana) or that I actually WANT to be called Diane (I don’t. It’s actually a big pet peeve of mine to be called Diane. One of the fastest ways to get me mad is to intentionally call me Diane. grrrr). But to my knowledge, Diva is the only nickname I have. Well….except for: Mom, Mommy, Momma, Mother….MA! get the idea. :D

Friday, February 11, 2011

Day 19: Something's Amiss.....

Day 19-Something you miss

What an odd blogging topic! But whatever....I didn't make 'em up!

I miss having girlfriends to talk to. I don’t have anyone local I can pick up the phone and call and say, ‘hey, come over here and let’s have a margarita!’ I miss that. badly. I haven’t had a girlfriend to call since high school. Sad, but true.

Sometimes, I'll gets pretty lonely....

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Day 18: Regrets, I've had a few.....

Ya know, I don’t have any MAJOR regrets. I can think of a ton of “little” regrets though.

I regret not auditioning for the school musicals back in high school. I just knew I’d never get picked, so I never even bothered to try out. What a stupid attitude. I'm probably trying to over-compensate for that by being 'overly encouraging' to Alaina. She has the talent (probably more so than I did), and I don't want her to have the same regret.....

I regret not being more confident. I was so shy, so unsure of myself, so afraid to fail……I think I held myself back more than anything. Bummer.

I regret not taking better care of my body when I was younger. I’m in better shape now at 35 than I was at 18, and that’s just wrong.

I regret ever attempting to be a blonde. It was NOT a pleasant experience. :D

I regret my bridesmaids’ dresses at our wedding. They seemed like a good idea at the time….but now? not so much. :D

I regret ever starting the habit of cracking my neck. It’s beyond the help of any chiropractor now!

I can't think of anything else earth-shattering......

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Day 17: Looking forward....

Day 17-Something you're looking forward to

Short-term: our family vacation this summer. I always need something like that to look forward to and countdown to. It makes me happy.

I’m having serious Disney withdrawals……any Dis-freak will understand. It’s been 13 months since I was at Disney World, and I’m feeling it. I’ve already got all of our dining reservations made for our trip this July. I’m working out a (semi-realistic) budget and we’re setting money aside to make the trip happen. The kids are ready to go back and eat at our favorite restaurants, trade pins, ride their favorite rides….and this summer, hopefully Zach will be tall enough to ride some of the stuff too!

Long-term: building a house (see day 16!), decorating it and moving in!

Just wanting a freebie....

I get a chance to win free stuff for posting this so.....i'm posting this! :D

Day 16: The Diana Dream House

Day 16: Your Dream House

I chuckled when I saw that topic.....I kept thinking of "Toy Story 3" and 'Ken's Dream House'......hehehehehehehe. Ken's one of my favorite characters in that movie. But I digress.....

A few years ago, we bought 5 acres of land to build our dream house on. Then “life” happened. I’m reminded of the montage in the movie “Up” where Carl keeps breaking the jar of money they were saving for that dream trip to pay for things they needed along the way. I became pregnant with Zach and I decided I wanted to take some time off work to stay home with (what I knew would be) my last baby. And seeing as how unpaid leaves are kind of hard on the budget (especially when you’re married to a teacher!)……….we sold the land and that’s what allowed me to stay home with Zach for the first 5 months of his life. I don’t regret that decision a bit. Those were some of the happiest months of my life. But the dream house went on the backburner.

Fast-forward to a couple years ago…….right in the middle of the housing slump……we put our house on the market because we found the most PERFECT HOUSE to buy…..we had an offer agreed on…..we just had to sell our house. And we never got a single offer…….and someone else came along and snatched that house out from underneath us. Rats.
We have most definitely outgrown our current home. We’re hoping that in a few years we’ll be able to build that dream house at last. That’s the plan anyways…….a lot will depend on things that’re beyond our control, but fingers are firmly crossed that will happen.

Way back when we bought that original acreage……we hired an architect to design a house for us. :D We don’t have the finished plans yet (we told her to shelve it until we were really ready to actually build since codes/etc change over the years, it might need to be updated and stuff), but it’s going to look something like this:


I like the Cape Cod/Victorian look. If I have any say in it whatsoever, our house won't resemble a cereal box in any way, shape, or form. Box houses bore me. Sure, they're easy to build, but they're so BORRRRRRRIIIIIIIIIINNNNNNNNG! :D

I’m going to tweak it a bit (I am like an architect's nightmare), and I’m thinking we’ll mess around with the dimensions and such (depending on building costs), but generally speaking, this is what we’re shooting for. And we plan on having a full basement too….preferably a walk-out, but that’ll depend on the lot we end up buying. Ah…….dreaming is fun…..

But since Karl and I have discussed this at length, we have a list of “must-haves” for the house:

4 bedrooms minimum (we’re leaning toward 5 actually, to have a guest bedroom for Nanny/PawPaw…but that 5th bedroom will likely be in the basement and will get added later probably.)

A huge kitchen with an island in the middle (I need counter-space!) that can double as an eating area

Master suite on the ground floor (Karl’s already worried about his knees) with a whirlpool tub

Fireplace (possibly 2...since this is my dream house and all, sure, what the heck!)

Mud room. This last week, tracking in snow all over the place….i’ve really wished we had a mud room where everybody could dump boots/coats/etc. Just having that little area to put backpacks/etc in would be so nice!

At least 3 bathrooms……karl’s rule of thumb is that there “should be a toilet for everybody”, so that would mean 5. I’m not too keen on cleaning that many bathrooms, but then I’m reminded that by the time we get to this house, the kids will be big enough to divide such tasks with……so I’m okay with that now.

Covered front porch. I want a porch swing where I can sit and sip iced tea in the summer. Aaaaaahhhh!

Just about everything else is negotiable, depending on $$$$$$ of course!
On the “would be nice” list:

I’ve always wanted a formal dining room, but the practical side of me screams that it’s utterly wasteful to have an entire room (not to mention thousands of dollars’ worth of furniture) that gets used a handful of times a year. So I’m truly torn on this one.

3-car garage. We’ll probably have it, as it seems most new house plans have them. Not sure how the kids are going to decide who gets that other garage slot though. :D

Dual laundry rooms. :D just so I don’t have to cart laundry up/down stairs, I’d like a washer/dryer (I’m thinking stackable) upstairs near the kids’ rooms in addition to the laundry room (on the ground floor or the basement or wherever it’s going to be). That way the kids can do their own laundry. Score!

A window seat and skylights. I always thought they were cool, but I also know they’re insanely expensive to build into a house. So we’ll see if that makes the cut!

That's about it for my dream house. Will what we actually end up with look anything like i've described? probably not! I'm a dreamer, sure.....but i'm also a realist. we may end up buying a house that's already built, who knows. but since the assignment was to describe your DREAM house......i had to think big! 'cuz who dreams small, right? :D

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Day 15: Looking at the Good Book.....

Day 15: Share your favorite Scripture.

I’ve got LOTS…...too many to narrow it down to just’s a few:

Isaiah 41:13 “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”

That verse has always given me comfort and been a long-time favorite of mine…….just knowing that as long as I’m doing the work of God that I’ll be okay. He’ll get me through whatever life may throw at me.

This is one of my favorites too:
Mark 12:47-50 – “And after this, Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury; and many that were rich cast in much. And there came a certain poor widow, and she cast in two mites, which make a farthing. And Jesus called his disciples, and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they who have cast into the treasury; For all the rich did cast in of their abundance; but she, notwithstanding her want, did cast in all that she had; yea, even all her living.”

James 2:14-19 (and I’m using the New Living Translation here because I like how it reads better than good ol’ King James)
“What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do? So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless. Now someone may argue, “Some people have faith; others have good deeds.” But I say, “How can you show me your faith if you don’t have good deeds? I will show you my faith by my good deeds.” "You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God. Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror. How foolish! Can’t you see that faith without good deeds is useless?"

Another favorite passage:
John 15:1-11 - “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.

II Nephi 6:59-64 “When they are learned, they think they are wise, and they hearken not to the counsel of God, for they set it aside, supposing they know of themselves; wherefore, their wisdom is foolishness, and it profits them not. And they shall perish. But to be learned is good, if they hearken to the counsels of God. But woe to the rich, who are rich as to the things of the world. For because they are rich, they despise the poor, and they persecute the meek, and their hearts are upon their treasures; wherefore their treasure is their god. And behold, their treasure shall perish with them also.”

(that one is kind of a wake-up call to what your priorities should be, don’t ya think?)

Here’s another good one:

Ether 5:6-7 “…..Faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith.”

And from the Doctrine and Covenants……..I just love the meaning behind these:

D&C 161:1a – “Lift up your eye s and fix them on the place beyond the horizon to which you are sent. Journey in trust, assured that the great and marvelous work is for this time and for all time.”

D&C 161:3a- “Open your hearts and feel the yearning of your brothers and sisters who are lonely, despised, fearful, neglected, unloved. Reach out in understanding, clasp their hands, and invite all to share in the blessings of community created in the name of the One who suffered on behalf of all.”

D&C 161:7 – “The Spirit of the One you follow is the spirit of love and peace. That Spirit seeks to abide in the hearts of those who would embrace its call and live its message. The path will not always be easy, the choices will not always be clear, but the cause is sure and the Spirit will bear witness to the truth, and those who live the truth will know the hope and the joy of discipleship in the community of Christ.”

That’s enough bible study for one night, don’t you think? I have lots more favorites, (I didn’t realize how many favorites I actually had ‘till I sat down and thought about it!) and I tried to toss stuff out there a little less common than the 23rd Psalm (which I love) or John 3:16…..those are too easy, kwim? :D And I tried not to get too ‘preachy’, since that’s not the point!!!

So ponder all those and have a blessed night! :D

Monday, February 7, 2011

Day 14: Worth a thousand words....

Day 14: Post a picture you love.

Lots of pictures I love, but this one was the first to come to my mind when I pondered what to post:


December, 2006. Our first family photo at Disney World. This is the first picture of the 5 of us together at the Magic Kingdom. Zach was just shy of 4 months old here, Matthew was 3, and Alaina was 5. And yep, we're wearing matching shirts! This was the first of many 'party of five' vacations to Disney!!!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Day 13: GOAL!!!!

Day 13-Goals

OOOOOH, I’ve got LOTS of goals! Where to begin listing them is the question!

1. Lose those last 15 pounds. I’ve had a number in my head ever since my surgery that I really really wanted to see on the scale….and I’m 15 pounds away from that. I’d really like to get there. Will the world come to an end if I don’t? no. But it’d be nice nonetheless.

2. Get out of debt. Hahahahahahahaha. Okay, that’s totally NOT going to happen anytime soon, so let me rephrase: Get debt down to a more manageable level. There. That’ll work.

3. Run a ½ marathon. Since illness and Snowmageddon derailed my training plan considerably, I’m not too confident that I’ll be ready for the ½ marathon I planned to run in September….or even the one I planned to run in October. But I’m still going to try. I might end up walking part of it…which will p*ss me off greatly since my goal is to RUN the ENTIRE THING. So we’ll see.

4. Take a cake-decorating class. I like making cakes and decorating them, but I know a class would REALLY be helpful.

5. Take a photoshop class. To help my scrapbooking skills and just because I think I’d really enjoy it….

6. Take more pictures for the artistic aspect of it vs. the snapshot-to-document-what-the-kids-are-doing aspect of it.

7. Keep the house cleaner. Uhm, yeah….that’s probably not going to happen either……so let me rephrase: Get a cleaning lady! :D

8. Visit all 50 states. I’ve never counted up how many I’ve been to already. I guess I should do that. But I know there’s LOTS I haven’t been to. :D

9. Put all 3 kids through college and have THEM graduate without student loans. BIG DEAL for us. Karl and I both graduated with a MOUNTAIN of student loans between us. We don’t want that for our kids. I hope we can do this for them. We will definitely give it our best effort.

10. Learn a foreign language fluently. I can speak/understand Spanish pretty decently (enough to get by), but I’d like to learn German and/or Italian someday…….in all that free time I have.

11. Retire at 57 (if not sooner), and not because my health forces me to retire. At 57 I’ll have 30 years at the big B, so that’s the goal. I don’t want to work a day longer than I absolutely have to! :P

12. Finish some little home-improvement projects around the house this year that we said we were going to do last year but obviously didn’t do…..

13. Build a new home before we’re 40.

And I’m sure there’re more, I’m just not thinking of them at the moment……this list could go on for DAYS, kwim?

Day 12: What do I think.....

Blogging assignment, Day 12-What you believe

I’m assuming this is a faith-based question. Well…….I believe that God is Love. :D Now, you can argue differing theology and scripture ‘till the cows come home, but in the end, I think we (those of us that believe in God, or a God-like being) all basically agree that God is Love.

Now, as for my personal denominational choice? I’m a member of the Community of Christ. Feel free to visit our site here: Our church’s website says (and this sums it up as well as I could): “We proclaim Jesus Christ and promote communities of Joy, Hope, Love, and Peace”. So there ya go!

I believe we should live our lives seeking (and being beacons for) Joy, Hope, Love and Peace. I'm still working on how to actually DO that.....but I believe we should!

I believe that (as a parent), my greatest responsibility in raising my kids is teaching them about God.

I believe we should treat others with respect. God loves everyone and we should try to do the same. It’s not always easy, and I struggle with it as much as the next person…..but I think we really should try.

I believe in freedom. I don’t know what I would do had I not been born an American, with the freedoms we have here. I think everybody should be free to live their lives however they want. Why should it bother you or me what the guy down the street is doing? As long as he’s not breaking the law, let him do his thing, kwim?

I believe that you get what you give. But you shouldn’t give simply to ‘get’. Did that make sense? Maybe not. What I mean is that doing good in the world should be it’s own reward, vs. any accolades that might come your way for doing it. Along the same lines, I believe what goes around comes around…..selfish, narrow-minded people usually end up finding their lives in a pickle. Maybe that’s better described as Kharma?

I’m not one of these people that believes that if you don’t belong to “my church” or believe the same things I do, you’re going to H*ll. I think that’s a very narrow-minded view of the world and of God to think that way. Don’t put such limitations on God. :P And without going on a big rant, I’ll leave it at that.

Eh, there’s plenty of other things I could probably put on here….but those are the biggies I guess…..I can't think of anything else earth-shattering to list....

What other controversial topics could I weigh in on while I’m rambling? Abortion? Marijuana? The Death Penalty? Boxers or Briefs? Toilet paper over or under? I could go on for days blabbing……but I won’t. you’ll just have to sit and wonder my opinions :P

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Day 11: Let's talk TV!

Day 11-Favorite TV shows

Welcome to Day 11. Are you still with me or have you been bored into a coma? Remember, I didn’t make up the questions, I’m just playing along!

Easy blogging topic for today! Today we’re supposed to talk about our favorite TV shows.

Now, I’m not sure if I’m supposed to interpret that as our favorite TV shows of ALL-TIME (like when I was a kid?) or if they’re only talking about currently.

So… blog….my interpretation of the rules…….I’m gonna do both! Because I can.
When I was a kid……WAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYY back in the mid 1980’s……..I lived for shows like these:

Little House on the Prairie. Good ol’ family TV at it’s finest. When I watched it, it was on after school as reruns.


Silver Spoons. Every girl my age had the biggest crush on Ricky Shroeder. Actually, he’s aged quite nicely and I can say I still kinda have a crush on him now!


The Cosby Show. They were just the coolest parents EVER. Weren’t they?


Punky Brewster. Didn’t we all want to be Punky? I know I did!

And of course, in high school/college, there was:


Beverly Hills, 90210. ah, memories! My high school experience wasn’t a THING like theirs, but eh, it was still fun television back in the day.


ER. I watched it until Dr. Ross left, and then I was done. My love for ER wasn’t enough of a draw to keep me there once George Clooney bailed. Sorry! :D


Friends. Of course. I still mourn this end of this show. Everybody had a ‘Friend’ that they were like, ya know? Me? I was totally Chandler. Neurotic, funny, lovable Chandler. One of these days I’ll own that series on DVD and relive it all. Christmas gift idea for anyone reading this……


Seinfeld. OMG, the ‘show about nothing’………was just darned funny. Reruns are still funny. I mourned the end of this show as well.

And this show has come and gone, but while it lasted, I will admit I was obsessed:


Battlestar Gallactica. Oh how I loved this show! It was gritty, edgy……frakkin’ awesome! :D I was in love with Apollo, and the hubby was in love with Six. Of course. What guy wasn’t?

And now……I’m into cool TV fare like:


I hope I don’t have to defend myself too hard here. It’s totally cheesy, I’ll admit. I just think it’s cute. My daughter and I watch this together, and it really impresses her that I know almost all the songs they sing (Journey? Uhm, hello!). Sue Sylvester is so un-PC it’s hilarious. She has some great dialogue. LOVE HER!


It makes sense, both of us being science-minded folks and all…..karl and I love CSI. I must confess though: I miss Grissom!


Gibbs is awesome. I’m in love with Gibbs, and Karl is in love with Abby. So this show gets to stoke both of our crushes. It’s all good. Plus, more science-y stuff we love.


I love that guy. He has some of the BEST lines in television. You know what would be the holy grail of television for me? A House vs. Sue Sylvester episode. O.M.G. The insults would just be EPIC! I’m drooling at the thought of it. Dangit…….they’re both Fox shows…..please, TV Gods, make this happen!


Modern Family
It’s just funny. Hilariously funny. I can see myself in all the adults…….and in some of the kids too. And I think just about everyone can relate to the family dynamic hilarity on some level. It’s just a great show.


The Tudors
I’m finishing up Season 4 on DVD thanks to Netflix, so don’t ruin anything for me! Karl’s only comment about the show: “It’s good to be king!”…….and how! Besides, you know how I love me some Brits! And I must say, bravo for picking Henry Cavill for the next Superman movie. I am so there now!


Ni-hao, Ki-lan
Yeah, I know. This is a toddler’s show. But have you ever actually watched it? It’s cuteness. They learn about friendship….they sing little songs…..they learn how to say things in Chinese. Zach LOVES this show, so I get to at least hear it for a good hour every night. It’s cute. Bonus: she’s not a fraction as annoying as Dora the Explorer. :D

I don’t watch any reality TV anymore, just on principle. Too many reality shows….too many fame-mongers wanting their 15-minutes……I’ll stick to scripted TV, thankyouverymuch. So that pretty much eliminates the rest of the TV schedule, doesn’t it? :D with a video-game-obsessed son that monopolizes the TV just about every waking moment……’s all I can do to keep up with the shows I currently watch. God bless TiVo!

Day 10: Fear Not!

Blogging assignment, Day 10-Something you're afraid of

There’s LOTS of things I’m afraid of actually: fires, drowning, suffocating…….i guess I’m scared of a gruesome death? :D I’m scared of getting sick and becoming disabled. I’m scared of getting an incurable disease. I’m scared of my KIDS getting an incurable disease. I'm scared of something happening to my kids (Karl's insured, lol!). Okay, I'm scared of something happening to Karl too. I’m scared of outliving my children. I’m scared of having to work forever because of not having enough money to retire on. I’m scared of being a burden on my children when I’m old.

So there’s lots of little things I’m scared of. But the big one I’m scared of? Not fulfilling my purpose.

Is that cryptic enough for ya? WTH does that mean? I dunno…I just am afraid of not doing whatever it is I’m supposed to be doing……whatever reason God put me where I am, I’m scared that I’m not doing whatever it is I’m supposed to be doing with my life. Which is an odd thing to fear because I’m not even sure WHAT that ‘thing I’m supposed to be doing’ actually IS. So I guess, in a nutshell, I’m afraid of the unknown? Uhm. Yeah. Weird blog post. I blame whoever made up these questions!

Day 9: My Friends

Day 9 assignment: A Picture of your friends.

I’ve known these gals since I was 12. I just wish we lived closer to each other, but God bless Facebook for making it easier to stay in touch!
(this is Sue, Me, Kerri and Sarah)
We met at church camp as kids....kept in touch via letters all through high school and college.....and now our kids are going to camps together. It's perfect! Except that they all live in Kansas City. BAH!

And this gal trying to choke me? She’s my sister-in-law, Nicole. We write each other emails every day. She’s pretty cool……for an in-law. :P
the blonde next to Nicole is her BFF she's a friend by association. Hopefully she doesn't mind. :D

And that's it. I don't have a lot of friends. Will you be my friend? :D