Friday, November 30, 2007
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Pam over at Random Thoughts did a cute post the other day called A Few Of My Favorite Things. So then I left her a comment and suggested she turn it into a meme and tag all of her friends. And she did. So now of course I must participate in the fun.
And so, here are a few of my favorite things:
My first favorite thing is my family. I love my family more than anything and I would do anything for them.
I know this picture is a little old- it was taken at Matt and Ellie's wedding back in May. It's the most recent one I have- mostly because Brooke and I both like to hide when we see someone trying to take our pictures. We will have an updated family picture soon though.
My next favorite thing is Disney World. I went a few times when I was little. When Rich and I got married we went there for our honeymoon. We have gone back every other summer since then. There is a magical feeling that can't really be described and we love it there.
My third favorite thing is Chips Ahoy chocolate chip cookies. Not the chewy, soft kind either. They must be the original kind. I could eat an entire box in one sitting. Which is why I try to make sure I never ever buy them.
And last, but certainly not least- I love
my Rich's laptop and blogging, and all of my blogging friends.
So, if you're reading this- then guess what? Tag- you're it! Have fun playing along.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Just some random stuff today. No rhyme or reason to my thoughts today. Not that there usually is...... Anyhoo-
In other exciting Happy Happenings news- I have joined another mommy group. So, Hailey and I now belong to three mommy groups- MOPS, MOMS, and our latest group which I can not share the name of because it would give away where I live and I like to try to keep that a secret. But, there are activities for us to be a part of 2-3 times each week with our newest group. We won't participate in everything as some things happen during Hailey's naps. But, between the three groups we will certainly be able to get out of the house at least a couple times each week. I still think that time at home is important but I don't want to feel like I did last winter when I thought I would certainly lose my mind if I didn't have some adult interaction (you can only talk to the cashiers at Target for so long).
With our new busy schedule and Christmas shopping, wrapping presents, working on Christmas cards, baking cookies, and all that stuff- plus the regular every day stuff- I might not be around quite as much as usual. Oh and I plan to start walking on my treadmill during Hailey's afternoon nap, which is when I usually visit everyone's blogs. So, please forgive me if I miss a day now and then.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Here is everyone (except for me) at the table saying,
"Enough with the pictures already. Let's eat."
talking on the phone to some of the missing relatives.
And these are the missing relatives. I copied this picture from Beka's blog. I hope she doesn't mind.
I also copied this picture from Beka's blog. Apparently this
is supposed to be my Aunt Ruth dancing on the table.
I don't know who she thinks she's fooling because I
can clearly see that she is not on the table.
This is my sister-in-law Ellie. I didn't want her to feel left out, so here she is last year at Thanksgiving- meeting Hailey for the first time.
And here are the dogs after the feast. Murray, my parents dog, is
on the left and Dottie is on the right. Of course my mom prepared special bowls of Thanksgiving food for the dogs.
My Aunt Gladys and Uncle Dave were able to come to my parents house on Friday. We had a great time with them as well. On Friday and Saturday we did some shopping and Hailey did really well. While shopping on Saturday Aunt Gladys had a craft show that she wanted to go to. Rich griped and complained about going, but we all to wait for him to finish shopping.
On Saturday night as we were playing a rowdy game of Domino's we all laughed so hard that our stomachs hurt and we had tears in our eyes. We weren't laughing at the game, but I can't tell you what we were laughing at because my dad declared it "locked in the vault." And that's all I'll say about that.
So, it was a wonderful Thanksgiving, filled with way too much delicious food (made by my mom- an excellent cook), and great times with family.
Monday, November 26, 2007
We got back last night from our trip and I am way too tired and have way too much to get done to write an actual post today. So, I will leave you with this until tomorrow when I'll be back to tell you all about our Thanksgiving.
I got this as an email and I thought it was funny, so I had to share it.
Dog and Cat Diaries
EXCERPTS FROM A DOG' S DAILY DIARY
8:00 am - Dog food! My favorite thing!
9:30 am - A car ride! My favorite thing!
9:40 am - A walk in the park! My favorite thing!
10:30 am - Got rubbed and petted! My favorite thing!
12:00 PM - Lunch! My favorite thing!
1:00 PM - Played in the yard! My favorite thing!
3:00 PM - Wagged my tail! My favorite thing!
5:00 PM - Milk bones! My favorite thing!
7:00 PM - Got to play ball! My favorite thing!
8:00 PM - Wow! Watched TV with the people! My favorite thing!
11:00 PM - Sleeping on the bed! My favorite thing!
EXCERPTS FROM A CAT' S DAILY DIARY
Day 183 of my captivity.
My captors continue to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects. They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while the other inmates and I are fed hash or some sort of dry nuggets. Although I make my contempt for the rations perfectly clear, I nevertheless must eat something in order to keep up my strength. The only thing that keeps me going is my dream of escape, and the mild satisfaction I get from ruining the occasional piece of furniture. Tomorrow I may eat another houseplant. Today my attempt to kill my captors by weaving around their feet while they were walking almost succeeded, must try this at the top of the stairs. In an attempt to disgust and repulse these vile oppressors, I once again induced myself to vomit on their favorite chair, must try this on their bed. Decapitated a mouse and brought them the headless body, in attempt to make them aware of what I am capable of, and to try to strike fear into their hearts. They only cooed and condescended about what a good little hunter I was. Hmmm, not working according to plan. There was some sort of gathering of their accomplices. I was placed in solitary throughout the event. However, I could hear the noise and smell the food. More importantly I overheard that my confinement was due to MY power of "allergies." Must learn what this is and how to use it to my advantage.
I am convinced that the other prisoners here are flunkies and snitches.
The dog receives special privileges. He is regularly released - and seems to be more than willing to return. He is obviously a half-wit. The bird on the other hand has got to be an informant, and speaks with them regularly. I am certain he reports my every move. Due to his current placement in the metal room, his safety is assured. But I can wait, it is only a matter of time....
Well, it made me laugh, so hopefully you enjoyed it too.
One thing I want to mention- I am always very good about returning comments. If you leave me a comment I will most definitely leave you one too. When you leave me a comment I get an email to alert me that I have a new comment. So, I save the comment in my email until I get a chance to leave you a comment on your blog. I have been saving my comments since last Tuesday so that I could respond back to everyone this week. Today when I opened my email everything was gone. So, I am going to do my best to look through my last few posts and try to figure out who I need to visit. But, I am apologizing in advance because I know I will surely miss someone.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Last weekend we spent the weekend at my parents house- and had a wonderful time as always. The ride there- with Hailey- not usually so much fun- but the fun times we have once we arrive make it worth it.
We have recently started letting Hailey watch a DVD while we travel- it's amazing how mesmerized she is by Baby Einstein. At home we have a no TV rule for Hailey. I did a lot of research on this topic (AAP recommends no TV for kids under age 2) and we decided this was a good rule for our family. Once in a great while she will watch a couple minutes of Sesame Street on a Saturday morning but for the most part we are pretty consistent with this rule.
But I digress.
Hailey usually only sleeps for a little while in the car, no matter how carefully we plan the trip with her nap or bed time. So, letting her watch a DVD in the car has helped quite a bit.
On Saturday my dad went hunting and shot a lovely buck. I took some pictures but I will spare you the goryness (is that a real word?). Unless of course there is a high demand in the comments section from people who would like to see my dad smiling proudly next to his deer.
The main reason for our trip this last weekend was that Brooke lives in the same town as my parents and she was in a play at school. So of course, we wouldn't miss that for anything. We feel that it is very important to try to attend events like this. Before we had to move out of the area we always went to all of Brookes activities. Even though we live a bit of a distance away now and can no longer attend everything she is a part of we try to make sure we are there as much as we can be.
The play was excellent- one of the best high school plays I've ever seen- and I'm not just saying that because Brooke was in it. Hailey was not quite as impressed as I was. During the first half of the play Rich and I took turns letting her run around in the school hallways. Hailey thought this was wonderful. After the intermission my mom took Hailey so that Rich and I could watch the rest of the play (Thank you mom!!).
I wasn't able to take any pictures because of the no flash photography rule, but my dad was able to get some with his camera.
This was part of the court scene.
Brooke is on the left end of the row here at the end of the play.
Posted by Melanie at 9:00 AM
Monday, November 19, 2007
I am sure that most of you remember the Virginia Tech Massacre that took place on April 16th of this year. If you are new to my blog you may not know that both of my brothers and my sister-in-law were attending Virginia Tech when this terrible tragedy occurred. All three were unharmed physically, but we can only try to imagine the emotional toll this took on the lives of each and every person there that day. You can read my post here about that awful day.
Posted by Melanie at 8:50 AM
Friday, November 16, 2007
Thursday, November 15, 2007
And so that is my list for this week. For more Thankful Thursday visit Crystal at God is in Control.
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Well, first there's THIS:
I got this sweet award from Grams. Grams is such a kind lady and is always thinking of others. I am thankful that I met her while I have been blogging and am so grateful for her friendship.
Thank you so much Grams!!
And then there's THAT:
"What is THAT?" I can hear you asking. THAT, my dear blogging friends, is a cheesecake. Now, you might be surprised by my answer- because I will agree with you when you say "THAT does not look like a cheesecake." So, here is the story. A little while ago I was reading my friend Carrie's blog and she posted this lovely Pumpkin Cheesecake recipe. And, while cheesecake is not my favorite thing, I thought- "Wow, that sounds good..... and easy."
And so I decided to give it a try. In case you are too
lazy busy to click on over to Carrie's blog, here is the recipe.
5 tablespoons butter, melted
1 Tbsp sugar
1 cup sugar
3 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp allspice
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Make the crust by combining the graham cracker crumbs, butter, and 1 Tbsp sugar in a medium bowl.
3. Stir well enough to coat the crumbs with butter, but do not over do it! Keep it crumbly.
4. Press the crumbs into the bottom and about 2/3 of the way up the sides of an 8 inch springform pan.
5. Bake the crust for 5 minutes and set aside until you are ready to fill it.
6. In large mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese, 1 cup sugar and vanilla. Mix with electric mixer until smooth.
7. Add pumpkin, eggs, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice and continue mixing until creamy.
8. Pour the filling into the crust.
9. Bake for 60 - 70 minutes, or until a fork inserted into the middle comes out clean. The top will be a little dark.
10. Remove the cheesecake and allow to cool until it is room temperature. Then put it in the fridge to continue to cool. Serve with whipped cream.
Now doesn't that sound easy? Well, mostly easy- I have no idea what a springform pan is, so obviously I do not have one. So, I bought a graham cracker crust (which, by the way, Carrie said she did too). The recipe said to use an 8 inch springform pan (whatever that is) so I bought a 9 inch crust.
I made the filling and as I was pouring it into the crust I realized I was not going to have enough room for all of my filling. I showed Rich who said, "I don't think you should add anymore filling to it." So, I added bit more- because what does he know about baking. (apparently more than I do) As I was adding a bit more filling I reasoned, "There is no baking soda or baking powder or whatever makes stuff rise, so it's not going to get any bigger."
I am sure that my mom is smiling proudly at this very moment about my baking abilities.
When I saw this, I laughed right out loud and said "I must take a picture, my blogging friends will enjoy this story." As you can see the cheesecake is kind of exploding out of the pan. Well, when I tested it to see if it was done, it was not. So, I
I took it out 10 minutes later and it was done. When I took it out it looked like the picture I posted at the top. About a half hour later it looked like this picture here on the right. It was all sunken in and just did not look quite right. I don't think you can really tell just how very wrong it looked by these pictures.
So, does anyone know what I did wrong? I followed the recipe exactly as it is (except for the springform pan part) so I have no idea what I did wrong. It tastes pretty good, so I don't think I messed up any of the ingredients. If any of you who have more baking experience have some idea of why this happened, please let me know!
And now the OTHER:
When Hailey turns 18 in the year 2024 public in-state college tuition is projected to be $161,589. Public out of state tuition will be $259,854 and private school will be $328,977. So, I am thinking of adding some Google Ads to my blog to try to make some extra money. Now I am sure I won't make enough to pay for college, but every little bit helps. So, have any of you added Google Ads to your blogs? And do you find it is worth it?
Monday, November 12, 2007
I was tagged by Regina to do this 7 Random or Weird Things Meme.
I did this meme a while ago here and here, but I decided to play along again.
Here are the rules:
A). Link to the person who tagged you and post the rules on your blog
B). Share 7 random and/or weird facts about yourself
C). Tag 7 random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs
D). Let each person know that they've been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
Here's my 7 random things:
1. When I was a child I thought it was a neat little trick that I could put my entire fist into my mouth.
2. I had braces for 3 years. During that time I decided that I would surely be an orthodontist when I grew up.
3. I went bungee jumping when I was a teenager.
4. I loved high school.
5. Before I got pregnant with Hailey I wore a size 2 or a 4. My "fat" jeans? They were a size 6.
6. I love to eat brown sugar. Usually I add lots of it to my oatmeal (the oatmeal that comes with brown sugar already in it). But I've also been known to eat just plain brown sugar. Yes- all by itself. (Hmmmm, I wonder if I'll ever be able to get into my old "fat" jeans??)
7. When I was pregnant I had terrible
morning all day sickness. At that time I was using Cotton Blossom body wash from Bath & Body Works. I can no longer use that soap because to this very day it makes me gag.
I have decided that I will not be tagging anyone for this meme. I think pretty much everyone has done it at one time or another anyways. But, if you haven't and you want to play along- please do so and then let me know you did so I can check it out.
Saturday, November 10, 2007
Friday, November 9, 2007
Oh yes- my title is creative today. So, here's the blah, blah, blah part:
Hailey turned 13 months on Wednesday and so I thought I'd share a little of what she has been up to.
Now, I know that parents are supposed to be easily impressed by their own children- but the other night Hailey did something I thought was extra impressive. We were playing in the living room and I started reciting the words from one of her books. "Ducklings like to swim and they say 'Quack, quack, quack.' Sheep have woolly coats and they say, 'Baa, baa.'"
While I was reciting the words Hailey started looking around the living room at her various books that were strewn all over the floor. So, I continued reciting the words and she continued looking through her books. Then she found the book I was reciting from, picked it up, brought it over and handed it to me. So, tell me- is this a normal thing that she did or am I right to be impressed?
While I am
bragging telling you about Hailey's latest accomplishments- here are the words she can say:
Da-Dee (Dottie- our dog)
Was sat (What's that?)
See it (If you were to hear her say this word you might think she was saying a four letter word that starts with an 's'. But I can promise you that what she is saying is "see it.")
Ahhh-O (Hello- she says this when she holds the phone up to her ear)
Ba (baby or ball)
She has other jibberish words that she says, but I haven't yet figured out what she is trying to say.
I have also used sign language with Hailey and these are the signs she uses:
Thank You (she is just getting this one)
And, also for those who are curious- Hailey weighs 21lbs 8oz. as of today. I know her exact weight because she had to go to the germ filled pediatricians office today. When I went to get Hailey dressed this morning to go to story time at the library I saw that her little body was covered in a rash (except her face). So, off we went to expose her to many unknown germs. By the time she had her appointment she had hives as well. Well, it turns out that she just has a virus and the rash and hives are all part of the cold I thought was finally over. The hives do not seem to bother her at all but her doctor said that if she starts scratching I can give her Benadryl. But only at bedtime because the Benadryl might KNOCK HER OUT.
Excuse me? Come again. Did someone say that Benadryl might cause this child to sleep. Oh my goodness- don't tempt me.
Anyhoo- all that to say that I am pleased with Hailey's weight because at her last appointment she had lost weight. Due to the fact that she will not, you know, eat.... ANYTHING. Well- that's not entirely true- she eats cheese and Nutri-Grain bars. I had thought she also ate chicken nuggets- but now I know that she was really just putting them in her diaper. But apparently she's been eating enough as she has gained back what she lost plus a little bit, so I am feeling a bit better about her weight.
So, now that I am done with the blah, blah, blah part of my post, here is the Christmas tour part.
Just in case any of you do not read BooMama (which if you do not- I highly recommend you start today- as soon as you're done leaving me a comment of course) I thought I would pass this on.
On December 17th BooMama will be hosting a Christmas tour of homes. You post pictures on your blog of your Christmas decorations and then sign Mr. Linky over at BooMama's blog. Then you can visit all the blogs of the other participants and they can visit you. Sounds like fun to me! So, if you want all the information- click on this lovely picture to get all the details.
If you didn't see my post yesterday about my cousin Beka's brand new beautiful baby girl, please check it out. She is supposed to be going home today, so I assume she'll be posting pictures on her blog just as soon as she gets home. But really- just in case she's busy being a new mommy and can't get those pictures up right away- I'll be sure to let you know when she does so that you can stop by to say congrats.
Have a wonderful weekend.
Posted by Melanie at 12:30 PM
Thursday, November 8, 2007
Congratulations to Beka and Bill on the arrival of Anika Lisbeth! Anika arrived on November 7th at 4:22pm. She weighed 8 lbs 11 oz and is 20 1/2 inches long. Here are some pictures of the beautiful baby girl! (Oh, and of her parents too.)
I was going to wait to announce this after Beka had a chance to update her blog so that you'd be able to go there and see more pictures and leave a congratulations note for her and Bill. But, I am just too excited to wait.
When I talked to Beka last night she sounded great- very happy to have Anika finally here (Anika was due on Nov 3rd, but wasn't quite ready to be born). Beka said she was supposed to have internet at the hospital, but it didn't seem to working correctly so she wasn't able to post any pictures on her blog. As soon as she gets her post up I'll let you know so you can stop by. I'm sure she'll be doing it right away, since she didn't just give birth or anything like that.
Anyways- when Beka and I were younger we had lots of fun together. (She's my cousin, by the way, in case you are new to my blog.) Anyhoo- we know that Hailey and Anika are going to have loads of fun together, just like Beka and I did. Of course, we will be one step ahead of them since we did like to get into a bit of trouble. Well, not get into trouble really because mostly we were never caught. Come to think of it, I can't remember ever getting caught during any of our fun adventures. Anyhoo- I should not say anymore about our fun teenage years.
PS- Pictures are courtesy of my Auntie Ruth!
Posted by Melanie at 3:37 PM
The other day, after a long night with Hailey, we were in the car to go to the grocery store. As I looked into the rear view mirror to back up I realized I had not brushed my hair after my shower. Okay- not a problem, I keep a brush in my car for such occurrences.
Then I thought the break pedal felt a little different under my foot than it normally does. And, that was because I didn't have any shoes on.
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
Monday, November 5, 2007
I was tagged by Shalini at Random Thoughts to do this house meme. So- here goes:
1. What kind of soap is in your bathtub right now? Sweet Pea from Bath & Body Works and Lever.
2. Do you have any watermelon in your refrigerator? Nope
3. What would you change about your living room? I'd make it bigger
4. Are the dishes in your dishwasher clean or dirty? Clean- and yes I know I should be emptying it instead of blogging.
5. What is in your fridge? Lots of food- I just went grocery shopping
6. White or wheat bread? White
7. What is on top of your refrigerator? Knife set, cooking griddle
8. What color or design is on your shower curtain? It's tan with lavender colored flowers
9. How many plants are in your home? Real plants? None- that would require me remembering to water them.
10. Is your bed made right now? Ummmm....
why yes, of course no
11. Comet or Soft Scrub? Comet
12. Is your closet organized? Yes
13. Can you describe your flashlight? It lights up the dark
14. Do you drink out of glass or plastic most of the time at home? Glass
15. Do you have iced tea made in a pitcher right now? Nope.
16. If you have a garage, is it cluttered? It's not too bad. There is an area where I have some rubbermaid storage boxes which are neatly labeled and shelved. Then there is Rich's work area. I try not to look there.
17. Curtains or blinds? Both
18. How many pillows do you sleep with? One
19. Do you sleep with any lights on at night? A nightlight in the bathroom and in Hailey's room. We also leave a light on in the living room, that way any potential burglars will think we stay up all night and will be scared away.
20. How often do you vacuum? Some places- like the kitchen I do everyday. I do the entire house on Tuesdays & Fridays.
21. Standard toothbrush or electric? Standard
22. What color is your toothbrush? Purple
23. Do you have a welcome mat on your front porch? No, not right now. I do during certain seasons when I have one that matches the decorations I have out. But, I don't have one for the fall season.
24. What is in your oven right now? Nothing
25. Is there anything under your bed? A storage container that has wrapping paper, gift bags and bows in it.
26. Chore you hate doing the most? Cleaning the bathtub and folding laundry.
27. What retro items are in your home? None
28. Do you have a separate room that you use as an office? No- our computer is in our family room. I use
my Rich's laptop at the kitchen table. We have a room that we want to turn into an office, but right now it is set up with my treadmill, a TV, and a bunch of storage type stuff.
29. How many mirrors are in your home? Eight or possibly more- but eight for sure.
30. Do you have any hidden emergency money around your home? No
31. What color are your walls? Do you know that I had to look around to answer this question? Well, I did- and what I see is plain old boring white walls. Time to buy some paint.
32. Do you keep any kind of protection weapons in your home? Golf clubs- Rich keeps one next to his side of the bed and if I ever hear any scary noises he takes it with him while checking for monsters for me.
33. What does your home smell like right now? Coffee
34. Favorite candle scent? Any fall scented Yankee candle
35. What kind of pickles (if any) are in your refrigerator right now? Dill
36. What color is your favorite Bible? Black
37. Ever been on your roof? No way. I bungee jumped as a teenager but the thought of getting on my roof makes my hands get all sweaty and my tummy queasy.
38. Do you own a stereo? Yes
39. How many TVs do you have? 4, which is obviously more than we need. But, we don't use one of them because we bought a new one to replace it- but haven't gotten rid of the old one yet. Oh- and the one that is supposed to be used while I'm walking on the treadmill? That one doesn't get used either.
40. How many house phones? Only 1 and we never use it- we only use our cell phones.
41. Do you have a housekeeper? Why yes I do, in my dreams.
42. What style do you decorate in? Different styles in different rooms of the house.
43. Do you like solid colors in furniture or prints? Both
44. Is there a smoke detector in your home? Yes, of course.
45. In case of fire, what are the items in your house which you’d grab if you only could make one quick trip? I assume that since the question says "items" that the people and Dottie are already safe. In that case I would grab photo albums. Those are the only items that can't be replaced.
I am not going to specifically tag anyone- but I would love it if everyone played along. So, if you're reading please play along and let me know when you do so that I can check out your post.
Friday, November 2, 2007
I know this is a little late, but I have been so busy that I am just now getting a little time to post pictures from our trip to the pumpkin farm and from Halloween. So, here are some pictures from the pumpkin farm. It rained the day we went, but fortunately they had a lot of things to see indoors.
Rich and Hailey checking out the inside of a tee-pee.
Hailey checking out a pumpkin for the first time.
Pointing and asking "Whaaa saaat?" (What's that?)
Hailey loved the pumpkin farm. She ran all around and checked out all of the pumpkins. There were several pumpkins that received a hug and a kiss.Trying to decide which one to take home.
All dressed up and ready to go trick or treating.
And now, some pictures from Halloween.
(Well, except that she is holding her shoe instead of wearing it.)
Following Rich down the hall (with both of her shoes now off).
I thought this one was cute because you can see the back of her costume.
Hailey with her pumpkin.
(Please ignore me and pretend I am not in the picture.
Thank you for your cooperation)
Posted by Melanie at 3:45 PM