Friday, January 23, 2009

Taking a step back in time

Yesterday, I went to lunch with my WBFFs (Work BFF's) to a local diner that I'd never been to before. My friend, J, who knows EVERYONE in town, kept telling T and I how great the home-cooked food was. So, T went with her a few weeks ago, but yesterday was my first time. When I first walked in, I was struck by how "retro" it was... until I realized it wasn't retro, it was ALL original... from the FIRST time the look was in style!

I was struck by the charm, though. I instantly loved it. Then I heard a LOUD phone ring. It was a pay phone! Yup, a real, honest-to-goodness pay phone! AND they used it to have customers call in their to-go orders!!! I didn't have my camera with me, but I couldn't resist sneaking in some pictures with my camera on my phone.

They had a REAL milk machine, like I used to see at restaurants when I was a kid.
Metal topped bars, and the metal bar stools.

And... are you ready??? WHITE BREAD. Not wheat. Not whole grain. Not dinner rolls. Or even French bread. Just plain ol' white bread! T and I couldn't make ourselves eat it, though.

Jukeboxes were at each booth... I always wished I could convince people to all play the different jukeboxes simultaneously!

When we left, the very sweet owners gave each of us our own pack of Juicy Fruit (there were no free refills on soda, but the packs of gum were free!), and the woman asked if she would see us back for lunch tomorrow???
This is my new favorite place for lunch!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Thankful Thursday

So, here it is again... Thankful Thursday. Aren't you glad I don't post Whiny Wednesdays? I was tempted to yesterday, but I'm over it!

So, today I'm thankful:

1. That I was in and out of the DMV in record time! I waited in NO lines, and they didn't make me pay extra or take a test in spite of the fact that my license had expired 5 months earlier! The picture, however... well, I'll just say it's my most hilarious to date!!!

2. That I'm blessed with such a great family. We had such a good time during our slumber party last weekend! And the more I hear about other families, the more I realize that I should NOT take our closeness for granted!

3. For the beautiful day in the middle of winter that we're having today. When I went to the DMV, it was 55 degrees outside! That's CRAZY for January! And it's sunny... not a cloud in the sky! I'm sure it won't last, but I'm going to enjoy it while it's here!

What are you thankful for?

Monday, January 19, 2009

Put another dime in the jukebox, baby!

Here is the first peek of our family weekend... it's a weekend that all of us "kids" (who range from 25 - 37) and our families come and stay at our parents' house for the entire weekend. We had so much fun... and ate too much (at least I did... I gained 3 pounds over the weekend!!!).

Here are some pictures of the wanna be Guitar Hero World Tour rockers... of all ages!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Home sweet home!

Yesterday was so cold outside that the kids didn't have school (as a matter of fact, it was canceled today as well!). As I mentioned in the last post, Don has the flexibility to work from home sometimes, so he stayed home with the kids. After a stressful day at work, I was thrilled to come home to my HOME SWEET HOME!

Here is what I came home to:

A nice warm, toasty fire in the fireplace...

A sleeping angel (that just NEVER happens!)

A reading angel!
And the biggest thing of all!!!
Are you ready for it???
I'm not sure I was...
Here it is!!!


Lots and lots of laundry. Although it IS clean! My sweet hubby did loads and loads of laundry while at home. He doesn't, however, fold or put away...

Need a close-up??? Well, here you go!!!

So, while the kids and I caught up on this week's episodes of &merican Ido!, guess what I did???
But I was warm, and with my precious family. So, I'm over it!
p.s. Excuse all the crazy pictures. I'm still playing with my new Photoshop Elements. It's hard!!! But I'm slowly figuring out how to be annoying with my photographs (like the vignettes!).

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Wow... those Thursdays come so fast these days, don't they??? I'm not really sure why I haven't done one of these in a while... most likely because I rarely finish anything I start, if I'm going to be honest! :)

So, here's three things I'm thankful for today:

1. HEAT!!! I mean it! It was -2 outside when I woke up. But it was warm in my house, warm in my car (after I ran it for a while), and it's warm in my office. And I have a space heater for when I get a bit chilled.

2. Hubby's career. First of all, I'm proud of him for being so smart, etc. But today, I'm really thankful that he's self-employed, and his career is flexible enough to allow him to stay home with the kids when their school gets called off... because it's cold. And he's still able to work from home.

3. Fun times with family. We're having our annual family slumber party at my parents' house this weekend. Hilarity, gluttony, and silliness will prevail. And it'll be a blast! I'm so excited! And I plan to have PLENTY of blackmail pictures and video afterward!

What are you thankful for on this cold Thursday?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Maybe we watch too much tv...

Yesterday the kids were doing homework after school, but kept breaking out into the Indiana Jones theme song (well, it doesn't have any words, but you know the one: Duh, duh, duh, duh... duh, duh, duh, and so on). I was on my way downstairs to work on a brilliant little post about sports from my perspective, and I caught myself humming that same song.

I yelled up from the basement telling the kids that they got that song stuck in my head. For whatever reason, they both sang the whole song together AS LOUD AS THEY COULD.

I couldn't stop laughing at them, which seemed to only egg them on. They started yelling down the stairs...

Bub: Thank you, we'll be here all week!

Sis: And for just 19.99, this can be YOURS!

Sis: Plus Shipping and Handling

Bub: But you must be 18 years or older to call!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Musings of a non-athletic sports mom

I think the most important thing to note from my title is the "non-athletic" part... It's not an exaggeration. I didn't play one single sport as a kid. Unless baton lessons count. Which I'm pretty sure does not.

I can work out (run, walk, and lift weights... but often not without hurting myself by running into equipment, etc.), and I can play a mean game of ping pong.

But as my high school chemistry teacher told me, there's NOTHING wrong with belonging to the other side of the building!

So, as a mom who has kids who play sports, I've got some observations. Those who play(ed) sports might not agree with one single point. But that's okay. They can get their own blog.

These are not in any order of significance. They're just in the order that they came in my head.

1. Is it really bad for kids to cry? I'm not talking about sniveling, sobbing messes, but if a kid is really upset, why can't he cry? Well, I think that until I see a 14-year-old who just lost a wrestling match crying... then I think that maybe teaching them not to cry when they lose isn't such a bad thing!

2. It's not the end of the world if a kid loses. Any sport. Any time. ESPECIALLY if they did their best. Come on, it's not like the scouts are going to be there to watch them when they're 7 for a college scholarship!! In fact...

3. I think it's important for a kid to learn how to lose. AND win. By a lot. And by a little. By that, I mean that it's important for kids to know that no matter how good (bad) they are, there's ALWAYS going to be someone out there better (worse) than they are. And...

4. As long as a kid ENJOYS something and is committed to doing his/her best, it doesn't matter the score. (I hear the gasps now!!!)

5. Medals, plaques, and trophies are very important to kids. Like, maybe more so than actually winning. We've finally figured that out with Bub.

6. Parents need to butt out. It's a game! And they're KIDS!!! We saw some parents go overboard the other day. And a friend was telling me some stories about "state" tournaments where they actually had to stop matches because parents were fist-fighting out on the floor. Seriously, people! It's a game! And they're KIDS!!!

7. I think the clearest indicator that a parent is the non-athletic type versus an athlete (especially in the sport you might be watching) is the type of yelling they do for the kid. I tend to just yell, "Go, Bub! Yeah, Bub! Go, Bub! Yeah, Bub!" While Don will yell such things as "Come on, Bub! Go for the single leg choky thing!" Well, that's not EXACTLY what he says... if I knew what he was saying EXACTLY, I would say it, too, so I wouldn't look so much like a non-athletic sports mom!

8. In the midst of a sporting event, the child athlete in question does NOT appreciate his/her mother telling him/her how cute they are! I don't know why!!! Last year, Sis took us all by surprise when she decided to play basketball (she found out they were giving away trophies... see #5 above!), and she was quite good at it! For the most part, she's more like me in that she's more into artsy stuff rather than sports, but basketball (and swimming) seems to be her thing! I would crack up as she would run by dribbling, though, mostly from the pure shock of it all! She would hear me and give me a dirty look as she ran by. Well, EXCUSE ME for thinking you're so adorable, that's all!

9. At the end of the day (or game), it REALLY doesn't matter how much I don't know about whatever sport I'm watching. As long as I'm there cheering the kids on, that's all they really care about!

*Hope you've enjoyed the interspersed wrestling pics of Bub!!! And all his nemeses! Yup... he has his share of nemeses!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

You scratch my back, I'll scratch yours

Thank you for your reading suggestions... I'm so excited to go blog hunting (kind of like wabbit hunting) and check out all your suggestions.

In the spirit of all things fair and equal, I though I'd share some (but not all) of the blogs I like to read... not counting those that I list on the side of my page. By the mere fact that this is not an exhaustive list, one might think that all I do is sit around and read blogs. Nope. I also check facebook updates. ha!

Here are some of my favorite blogs (who, by the way, don't even know I exist... I just secretly stalk them!):

6YearMed - she's a medical intern who has some fascinating (and sometimes heartbreaking) stories to tell

Big Mama - I just like her

Ministry So Fabulous! - a single girl who has started an awesome ministry for young girls all the way to college age. She's a good mix of funny, silly, sincere, and real. And she's obsessed with her hair!

My Charming Kids - I found her from Bring the Rain... she has 4 kids 4 yrs old and younger. She intimidates me by how organized she is, but yet she's also real.

Quiet Life - I love, love, love her photography skills. And she's interesting.

The Country Doctor's Wife - This lady cracks me up. Although we like completely different books (she does some used book giveaways... I've not signed up for one yet).

Ali's African Adventures - She's been in Africa with Mercy Ships, medical ships that dock in 3rd world countries to give medical treatment and Jesus' love to the natives of those countries. She's home now and hasn't updated as much, but I'd highly recommend going through her blog archives.

If y'all think of any more I might like, keep 'em coming!!!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

New year, new blogs?

I know that most of you who read this don't comment, but I'm looking for some new blogs to read. It's actually kind of embarrassing how many I already read, but I did weed out some at the end of "last year," (meaning, 2 weeks ago) making room for some new ones.

I don't necessarily have any criteria on which to choose the new blogs... the current ones I read are diverse already. I have discovered that those that focus on scrapbooking are NOT for me (surprise, surprise!). Quirky's good. So is sarcasm (at least a little). Uplifting is good. Photography pointers are good (to a point... then I just get overwhelmed and intimidated).

Any suggestions? What blogs do you enjoy that you'd be willing to share?

Thank you for your continued support. -- Name that commercial

Monday, January 5, 2009

Better than complimenting my new shoes

Time: Tonight
Place: Our Kitchen
Cast of Characters: Bub and me

Bub: Thanks, Mom, for cooking us dinner.
Me: You're welcome, Bub. You know what moms love? Polite kids!
Bub: You know what kids love? Great moms!

That just made my night!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

2008 Photographic Recap

So, what better way to re-cap 2008 than by pictures (at least, in MY mind!). Enjoy this trip down the memory lane of the past year!

We had one big snow at the beginning of the year... Don, Sis and Bub built themselves a big ol' snowman.

In February, I got my very first baby nephew! He's adorable! And check out that sad hair I was sporting that day!

In March, I had to go to Phoenix for work, so the family joined me. Here we are at a Spring Training baseball game. It was a fun trip!

April was Bub's birthday. All he REALLY, REALLY wanted was a mohawk. So, we let him have one for the weekend of his birthday. It was quite the hit... with the grandparents, the great-grandparents and at church!!! hee. He was very sad when the weekend was over, and we finished off the haircut!

May 16th was a monumental day... it was both of my sisters' birthdays, my oldest younger sister (make sense?) graduated with her master's degree, and I got my hair cut off! :)

In the summer, I started my blog. Woo hoo! We also went to the Illinois State Fair. Great fun! And I got quite the education about cows, if you'll recall! :) The kids are fascinated here with all that goes on to get cows ready for "showing."
What marks the end of the summer for our family is our town's annual "Homecoming" each Labor Day weekend. We enjoy the rides (well, the kids do... you couldn't PAY Don and I to ride them, except for the Ferris Wheel), the friends, and the FOOD!

September was a busy month!!! After the Homecoming, we went to Florida with a lot of friends! I posted too many times to link to that trip! This probably isn't the best picture from a photography standpoint, but I like how it has all the kids (except one) all fascinated by the same thing (who knows what???).
September also had a niece's birthday (I must have not taken my camera that day!), and then Sis's birthday. She turned 9. And she had quite an art party!

October (I didn't mean to go month-by-month... it just seems to be working out mostly that way!) held Halloween and our annual church bonfire. As you'll recall, the theme this year was Redneck. I think this picture says it all. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that we have the kind of friends that will get into a theme or a party with complete abandonment!!! It makes it fun... and fun to blog about!
This beautiful picture (and many others...) were taken by my friend Becca who has a photography business. I love how she captured my kids' natural expressions. You can contact Becca for your own photography session (shameless plug, isn't it???) at www.kellerphotography/ This is probably my favorite picture of 2008. And I didn't even take it.
In November, my other niece had a birthday. And it was a Fancy Nancy theme. Which (you'll find this hard to believe) my family RAN with. We were fancy, fancy, fancy!

This last picture is from Christmas morning. I have posted lots of pictures from Christmas already (and I haven't even gotten to Christmas day or beyond yet!), but I love this picture. In the craziness of opening gifts, flitting from one party and place to another, this is what matters to me on a holiday: Being with those you love.

I hope you had a wonderful 2008! As I face a new year, I always look back before I can look forward. What did I do well in 2008? What could I have done better? What did I learn in 2008? Did I make a difference in 2008?

And now on to 2009 resolutions... :)

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Date Night

The other night, Sis asked Don to take her on a date, so Bub and I decided to go on a date ourselves! Bub had wrestling practice, so Sis and I met the boys at the wrestling facility to make the "trade-off" of kids. None of us had any idea yet where we were going.

Once it was just Bub and me, I told him he needed to decide where we were going. He decided on &pplebees. Well, allrighty then! I was secretly terrified he was going to pick Booger King, so I was thrilled!

Funny thing, though... guess who ELSE chose &pplebees? You guessed it! Don and Sis were across the restaurant from us! We did pretty well ignoring each other the majority of the night, though!

Here are some highlights of the night:
  1. Bub kept getting distracted during dinner by a football game and a hockey game showing on the TVs. I told him it really WAS like a date with him sneaking a look at the football game!

  2. We then went to G&mestop for Bub to look at video games and play video games as long as he wanted... definitely fun for him... not so much for me!

  3. We got slushies at the local convenience store... our favorite place for slushies!

  4. We hurried to beat Dad and Sis home so we could do guitar battles on Guit&r Hero &erosm!th.
It was a great date!