Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Photo Assignment #7 - Topic!

Time for a new topic!  I'm hoping to get more submissions this week, so I'm going with something easy.  Something everyone sees every day.  Something you cannot live without.

The topic this week is...


Get creative, or don't.  Make a smiley face on your toast.  Write a word in your alphabet soup.  Make my mouth water with melting butter in mashed potatoes.  Open your fridge door and snap a picture.  Use a low number on your apeture setting and get the cool blurry background effect. 

Just get off your butt and take some pictures!!!  I am the queen of lazy, and I can do this EASILY!  There have been so many people that have come up to me and said, "Soon!  I'll start taking pictures soon!"  Please do it this week.  I'll love ya forever.



Photo Assignment #6 Submissions!

I know they are late, and I'm sorry.  And I probably shouldn't even really post this right now since I have a very cool picture of my own to submit, but since I am at work and my picture is on my computer at home, I can't include it.  I'll just have to show it to you later.

So here are the three that were submitted this week, under the assignment of CIRCLES.  I love them all.

This one was submitted by my mama.  I got to eat a piece of this delicious pie on Thanksgiving.  Now my pants don't fit again.  THANKS A LOT, mom.  I'm sure it had nothing to do with the entire pound of mashed potatoes I ate.  I did have the light version of mashed potatoes though, I skipped the gravy. :)

This one was submitted by HulaHoopin.  Isn't this cool?  She saw some neon circles outside her window of her hotel room in Minneapolis.  I wonder what it really is?  Coooooool!

This one was taken by my very own MorgiePie!!!  She's going to pass up my photography skills in no time, and I couldn't be more proud of her.  She took 300 pictures of our tree the other day, and it still doesn't even have ornaments on it.  I have blown two fuses in the strings of lights (apparently 6 strings of these bulbs is too many???) so I have to figure out a way to split them so they run more efficiently.  Until I do that, I'm not going to deal with the ornaments yet.

So, there they are.  Thanks for taking pictures and sharing them with me.  This is so fun!  I will try to share mine tonight when I'm back on my home computer.

EDIT:  I'm back!  Here's my submission.

Thanksgiving games!  Just a few circles here.  :)

Enjoy your day!



Saturday, November 26, 2011

Christmas Tree Hunt!

Yesterday we went to the tree farm and selected our tree. 

I'm not sure which side of the tree spectrum you fall on, but for me, the real deal is soo much better than the artificial tree.  The smell of the fresh pine in your house is worth all the extra work in my opinion.  The imperfections in a real tree just make it better than a plastic triangle full of dust sitting in your living room.

The hunt at the local tree farm is something the kids look forward to every year too.  You get to wander through the trees, pick one that you think looks somewhere in the vicinity of fitting in your house (which usually turns out to be 3 feet too tall - or maybe that's just me?) and then have one of the employees come with a chain saw and cut it down for you.  Then you head back to the shack, dragging your tree out of the woods behind you, where they serve you hot cider or hot chocolate, and cookies by the wood burning stove.  So cozy!

It was kind of a grey day, but the warmest I can ever remember for looking for a tree!  We are usually tromping through snow, but I think it was about 45 degrees here yesterday.

After we advised Morgan to pull, not push, the tree is now standing nicely in the living room.  I need to find a little motivation to decorate it, but that will be another post at another time. :)



P.S.  I haven't forgotten about the Circles photo challenge!  I will hopefully make those posts later today!  :)  Right now I'm being called to the living room to assist in the craft project that is Grandma Jan's Christmas present!  I LOVE WEEKENDS!!!

A Day to Give Thanks

I'm sorry the posts have been slowing a bit.  I've been pretty busy around here!

Thanksgiving has come and gone.  We were in Duluth this year with my family instead of St. Cloud with Nate's family like we are every other year.  We were fortunate enough to have every member of the family with us, even those that live far away.  My sister brought her family here from Madison, and my nephew Tom came home from college to join us! 

I am usually on milk and wine duty for Thanksgiving with my family, but this year they wanted me to bring mashed potatoes.  I think mashed potatoes are my favorite food in the whole wide world.

It takes a long time to peel 10 pounds of potatoes.  A LONG time.  This is part of the reason I don't like cooking.  Putzy prep work.  Ugh.

It would have taken twice as long without the live-in help. 

Come to mama....

Kiddos playing games...

Cousins bonding...

Cooks cookin...

Sisters drinkin "Middle Sister" wine...

Relish tray relishin...

More cousin bonding, and gigglin...

It's ready!  Time to eat!

I am so so thankful for my crazy, disfunctional, loud, awesome, loving, silly family.  I don't know how I got so lucky to be plopped in the middle of this one, but I couldn't pick a better one to be a part of.

Happy (late) Thanksgiving to you all! 



Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Carson's First Birthday!

To all my other nephews, you are cute too, but not in a 1-year-old-cute kind of way.

This past Sunday Morgan and I made the trip down to Blaine to attend the birthday party of my adorable nephew, Carson.  Our trip was a quick one, but we got to spend some good time with family we don't get to see nearly enough.  Morgan and I took a billion pictures of the cutie pie, and I wanted to share some of my favorites.  Enjoy!

(I should mention, if you don't like adorable little boy pictures, you should close this right now and go on about your day.)

This is the sweater I made for Carson. I am pretty pleased with how it turned out, but I'm a little worried it won't fit for long.  That's part of the risk in making clothes for little ones, though.

Happy Birthday, Buddy!  Thanks for letting us come to your party!  We had such a fun time seeing you!!



Sunday, November 20, 2011

Christmas City, Wonderful City!

All dressed up in snow and mistletoe!

Are you singing it with me???

Yes, Friday night was our annual Christmas parade through the streets of downtown Duluth.  Yep, it's pretty much crazy to have a parade here in the frozen tundra I call my home at the end of November, but who wouldn't want to march with your high school band and have your tuba mouthpiece frozen to your lips?  Don't worry, our cheerleaders and dancers do not wear little short skirts (much to my husband's disappointment).  They are usually in sweatpants and sweatshirts, with many layers underneath.

First, I have to mention that Miss Zaidie lost her first tooth on Friday.  It does not seem like she's anywhere old enough to have hit this milestone.  Everyone just keeps growing up so dang fast!

There were pretty lighted floats...

and marching bands...

and live bands rolling down the street.

Purty decorations up in the sky...

and our dancers!  (and some snow falling!)

Here is my second favorite dancer.

but I gotta say that Dasher is my favorite dancer.  Even though she was mad at her earmuffs that apparently wouldn't stay put.

But she kept her smile on and rocked it out on her way past!

Here are some of our other dancers.

Aren't they cute?

It's always cold, but always fun.  This year was no exception.

I think there were approximately 45 floats/bands/dancers/businesses that came by after our girls did.  I'm sorry to report that you will not be seeing any pictures of them, because I high-tailed it out of there as soon as I could.  Although, I wasn't necessarily headed for warmth, I had to run to the rink to catch the last half of Andy's game.  Just another Friday night...  :)



Thursday, November 17, 2011

Exercising and crap.


Last night was a fun Hockey Mom's Club night.  However, between six of us, we ordered 10 appetizers (thanks to a gift certificate that Missy had) and we almost polished them all off.  ALL of them.  Onion Rings.  French Fries.  Deep fried Cauliflower with some kind of cheese in it that was so delicious I wanted to order more.  Buffalo Wings.  Dear Lord, I am sorry for what I ate last night.  Don't punish me too bad, k?  It was all soooo good!

So today on my lunch break, I went for a walk through our lovely skywalk system that is connected to my work.  According to the pedometer, I walked 1.37 miles.  I probably burned off three french fries.  Again, I say "UGH!"

Now I'm kinda sweaty, but at least I burned off three french fries.

And since I'm battling a nasty cold, I feel like someone is sitting on my chest and won't get off. 

I wish I liked exercising more.  I just don't get the endorphin high like so many people talk about.  Major bummer.

On a happier note, I got a call at work yesterday from Andy's math teacher.  She wanted to let me know that he got 100.5% on his test he took.  Way to make a mama proud, buddy!  Now, if I could get him to like Social Studies, English, and Science as much as he likes Math, we'd be all set!!

I hope you all are having a happy Thursday.  It's almost the weekend!!



Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Looking for some Christmas gift ideas for the ladies?

Yes, I realize it's not yet Thanksgiving and I'm making a post about Christmas gifts.  I've heard everwhere the cries for poor, poor Thanksgiving, who doesn't ever get a fair chance before being swept over by Christmas.  However, when you have a mom such as mine who begins asking for Christmas lists in August, and by this time of year is threatening to cancel Christmas if she DOESN'T GET THE DANG LISTS!, you kind of get in the mode of thinking about gifts.

Now, I don't consider myself to be too terribly materialistic, but who doesn't love opening gifts on Christmas?  The following are some things I consider to be right up at the top of the list of things I'd like to open up this year.  Maybe if you are looking for a gift for someone, these might give you some ideas.  Enjoy!

Personalized stacking rings with your kids' names on them.  Only $18 Right Here on Etsy!  Ohhh how I want these!
Fiestaware!  There is something so fun about these dishes.  I have some pieces in this color, Cinnamon, and also some in Evergreen.  I'd like some pieces in Chocolate too.  Love them.  These can vary in price, but you can sometimes find them at Kohl's on sale.

Vintage Pyrex.  I have a few pieces in the pattern of the bottom bowl.  I like the brown because it goes with my Fiestaware, and doesn't look too old fashioned.  There are about a bajillion patterns that you can find even though the good vintage ones have been out of production for a long time.  Thrift stores, garage sales and Craigslist are the places where I've had success in finding some.

Frye boots.  I'm quite certain I will never ever own a pair of these, but dang they are cool.  I would like to try and find a knock off pair around here for a fraction of the price though.  But I know they will have a fraction of the comfort, and last a fraction of the time the Frye's would.  I borrowed the above photo from http://www.shoes.com/, but you can find Frye's just about anywhere online.

Merrell shoe/boot/clog thingies.  For some reason I'm intrigued by these.  I can't decide if they are ugly or completely awesome.  I like how they are a bit dressy and would look really cute with jeans, but seem like they would be warm and comfortable.  Two things I'm constantly searching for in the bleachers at the hockey rink.  However at $120 (also at http://www.shoes.com/) chances of me owning a pair are probably slim to none.

Something handmade.  I adore handmade ornaments.  This glittery pinecone tutorial can be found here and would be a great project for the kids to do.  My mom always used to tell me that the home-made gifts were her favorite, and that's just another one of those things you really don't understand until you become a parent yourself.  You don't have to go and get all Martha fancy.  There are SO many easy peasy ideas out there if you look.  Here is a great site with 100 free ornament tutorials.  How fun!  Don't forget to put the year on anything handmade.

Gift Baskets. These can be so fun.  You can either order them from cool shops online like this one and have them delivered, or get creative (and save a crap load of money) and put them together yourself.  The possibilities are endless with these gift baskets.  You can get creative with the "basket" you put the items in also.  Use a stock pot to hold kitchen linens, utensils, recipes, and dried seasonings for a friend who likes to cook.  Fill a picnic basket with a bottle of wine and two wine glasses, along with other picnic supplies.  Put some baseball cards, a baseball, and a baseball glove in a hat of the recipient's favorite team, along with tickets to a game!  When I want to keep the budget down, I've put together hot chocolate baskets with a box of single serve Swiss Miss hot chocolate, a cute mug, and a small bottle of peppermint schnapps!

In my opinion, the more thought you put into your gifts, the more appreciated they are.  And although practical, everyone sitting in the living room on Christmas opening Target gift cards kind of takes the excitement out of it.  I don't know about you, but Target gift cards always get used on laundry soap and toilet paper (among other thing) and hardly ever on something fun for myself.  I'm not saying all gift cards are a bad idea, but if you decide to go that route, try to pick a more specialized place where the recipient won't be tempted to buy necessities for the family, and will get something fun for themselves.  For example, I'd love some picture frames and a gift card to an online photo printing site so I can start to print out some of the pictures I've been taking.

I hope to have some more ideas to share in the near future.  I think I've shown here that the moms of the households are much easier to buy something cool for than the dads and the pre-teen kids that only want $500 iPads.  Dang, I forgot to plant that money tree in my backyard last year!

Merry Christmas!