Sunday, May 31, 2009

Chilly Day

For the past 3 Sundays, the temperatures have been very chilly. Today the high will be around 57 and there's a threat of a frost tonight. It's June 1st tomorrow! What's going on? What happened to global warming??

The above photo was taken by Eric. He took it last weekend at one of the weekend bbq's we went to. He takes such great photos, I really should showcase them more on the blog! I'll try to borrow his memory card more often and share some of his photos...

Eric and I went on a date last night! We actually went out to dinner, just the two of us. I can't remember the last time just the two of us went out. We went over to Applebee's, and it was very nice. They have a great 2 for $20 deal going. 1 appetizer and 2 dinner entrees for $20. We got Boneless Buffalo Wings for an appetizer. For dinner, Eric ordered a riblet basket and I got the 3 cheese chicken penne dish. It was delicious and I had so much leftover too. The total bill, including tax was $25. (I had a beer too...)
Hope everyone is having a nice weekend! We're back to a normal 5-day week again this week...

Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Lectern and The Runner

A lectern (from the Latin lectus, past participle of legere, "to read") is a reading desk with a slanted top, usually placed on a stand or affixed to a some other form of support, on which documents or books are placed as support for reading aloud, as in a scripture reading, lecture, or sermon.

Look what Eric brought home yesterday! They had a left-over "Tel Auc" sale and he thought this was neat, so he bought it. It does match the rest of the pieces in the room. I think we'll mostly use it to display books... not so much for giving sermons or lectures. Or maybe we could put a formal guest book on it and require guests to sign in... I think it needs something fun on the bottom shelf. Maybe a trip to Hobby Lobby will take care of that!

Alex had another track meet yesterday and blew away the competition in his heat again. He also set a personal record. The next and last meet (Monday at F/M for anyone who would like to go!) he'll be in the super-fast heat since he's now a team "scorer". He's excited about next year since the 2 other scorers will be moving on to HS.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Show Us Where You Live Friday: Kids Rooms

This is going to be a fun week for me. I'm picturing all the adorable kids' rooms that will be on this tour. I remember how much fun it was to decorate a baby's nursery. Picking out a new crib, baby blankets, wall hangings and toys. Well, I'm going to be the reality check on this stop of the tour!

This is what happens when the sweet cribs, cute stuffed animals and fun little toys get packed away into boxes and stored in the basement. This is what happens 12-14 years after the adorable nurseries and the fun toddler beds are replaced with "big" beds and "big" desks and "big" kids...

And I need warn you: It. is. not. pretty.

Welcome to the teenage years... Be sure to click on each image to really get the full effect!

First stop: The 14 year old daughter's room:

Second stop: The 12 year old son's room...

And there you have it. The kids may or may not read the blog and see this, if so, I'm in big trouble!! However, once they realize how many people all over the country have just seen their rooms, maybe they will clean them!

In the children's defense... we have not had a chance to really decorate their rooms yet. We've been in our new home less than a year. We really do plan on painting each of their rooms and making them nicer. Kelsey wants pink walls... Alex wants orange and blue walls... So maybe once that happens, then they will be more excited about keeping them clean. Until then, this is our reality!

* * * UPDATE * * *
Since this post still gets a lot of traffic from Kelly's Korner, I thought I would post an update. One of the kids now has a finished room, and it came out really cute! You can check it out here.

Now back to the house tour at Kelllys Korner...

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


I bought this puzzle a few weeks ago at a yard sale. (For $1!) And last night we brought it out to put it together. Usually we do puzzles in the winter, but this week is kind of rainy and gross out, so it's perfect weather for a puzzle.

It's a fun puzzle. I've been enjoying just looking at the box cover, reminiscing about all my old favorite TV shows. Lavern & Shirley... CHiPs... M*A*S*H... Cheers... Gilligan's Island... The Love Boat, etc...

We have quite a way to go! We got a lot farther along tonight (this photo was from last night).

In other news and thoughts... I didn't end up doing a Menu Plan this week, nor did I do a "To Do" list. I'm taking the week off! We had such a productive weekend, we don't need another list of things to do right now. Other than the usual laundry, cleaning, etc.

We've also been working on getting estimates together to get some work done on the house. We're going to get some more insulation in the attic and we're also looking to get the house painted this summer. We had the exterminators here today to take care of our carpenter bee problem. (Which in turn will hopefully also "take care of" the new Woodpecker who has been pecking on our house...)

Monday, May 25, 2009

Weekend Festivities

We went to two Memorial Day parties this weekend. The first was at John & Louise's house in Phoenix. (NY) They always have terrific parties. Food, drinks, games, fishing, great company and a giant bonfire.

The second party was today at Yvette's house. (Kelsey's mom) She also had great food, drinks, interesting conversation, and some games too!

We had such a fantastic weekend. We were busy but very productive. And we also had time to relax and have fun too. I hope everyone had as good of a weekend as we had!
Feel free to go check out some photos from our fun-filled weekend! Oh and there's no Menu Plan Monday this week. I thought today was Sunday all day and forgot all about it! (Oops!)

Sunday, May 24, 2009

An Expensive Walk

I hope everyone is enjoying their extra long weekend. The weather has been spectacular here. Tonight we're going to a friends annual Memorial Day party. Complete with an evening bonfire. (We're going to John & Louise's... for those of you who know them!) A kick-off to the summer party season... and it's always a great time!

So yesterday Eric, Jenny and I were out for a walk around the neighborhood and came across a yard sale. And saw the above elliptical machine. We tried it out, negotiated a better deal and an hour later, we were working out in our own garage. (I bet a picture of the two of us carting that machine home would have been fun to see...)

So yes, the clean garage... is now full again. But it's for a good cause. And once winter comes, we'll bring the elliptical inside. Somewhere. Because nobody is going to want to go out in the freezing garage to work out! Or maybe we'll be tired of it by then and put it on Craig's List and get our money back...

We also used the grill again for dinner last night. BBQ chicken was the meat of choice. It was delicious!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Getting Things Done!

We have had a very productive day today! We ran lots of errands this morning. Eric got a bunch of bags of topsoil to fill in an area by the side of the house that needed some filling...

Then we did some grocery shopping and then put that new grill to use! It's the perfect size for us. And it's super easy to use. We ended up getting a grill cover for it, since we decided we'll keep it on the deck for the summer. It'll be easy to store in the garage in the winter and won't take up much room.

And speaking of the garage. That was our after dinner project. Above is the "before" photo of one part of the garage. Yes, I'm extremely embarrassed to show this to everybody!! But when we moved in to this house last summer, we had 2 houses moving into one. So we ended up putting a lot of things out here on one side of the garage and forgot about them.

Here is the after of the same area as above. I think we could still consolidate some things, but it's a huge improvement. We think that maybe next winter, we might be able to fit TWO cars in the garage instead of just one!

This is all the garbage that will be going out to the curb this week. And lots of broken down boxes to be recycled too. It's such a nice feeling to have a clean garage!

Show Us Where You Live: Dining Rooms

I'm back with "Show Us Where You Live" Friday. I sat out last week on the showing of the Guest Rooms, since we don't have one. I enjoyed looking at everybody else's though! This week, we're doing Dining Rooms.

Our Dining Room opens into our Living Room. I love the open feel of the space. (We're still deciding on what color to paint the walls.) It's so very plain at the moment, but we've only lived here for 10 months. You can only do so much! We have plenty of time to paint. (You can click on each image to see them larger.)

This is a little closer view of the dining room. I love the table, chairs and hutch. My parents are antique dealers and they gave these to me for Birthday/Christmas gifts a few years back. I just love them!

This is a closer view of the hutch. I store all of my china and extra dishes in here. And I'm sorry, but I should have taken a photo of the china! I have my parents china that they got for a wedding gift. Coincidently, it's china from "Syracuse China". They lived in CA when they got married... but I happen to now live 10 minutes from Syracuse! But sadly, the Syracuse China plant just closed last month (after 138 years in business)... so I'm very lucky to have a full set of china from there. Especially a set with such sentimental value.

Since I have nowhere to really store cookbooks in my kitchen, they are kept here in the dining room. Which is right around the corner from the kitchen. I keep my "Taste of Home" magazines here in the basket on the top of the shelf. I love those magazines!

Here's another favorite piece. Although I am not so good at winding it up (ok, I never wind it...) but I still love it. It was in my parents house when I was growing up. They gave it to me when I got my first place. Actually... that's not quite true... They gave me a different clock, but I always loved this one... so we ended up trading, years later!

This is a close up view of the top of the Hutch. The picture above the Hutch was my husband's grandmother's picture that she left it to him. It's called "The Writers". They are old pictures of writers, such as Emerson, Longfellow, Whittier and Bryant. Isn't it neat?

And that's our Dining Room! Thanks for stopping by. Be sure to head back to Kellys Korner to see more great Dining Rooms!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

It's a Grill!

It's here! It's finally here. Memorial Day Weekend. The beginning of the summer fun. We all have a wonderful 4-day weekend ahead of us and we couldn't be more excited about it.

The first thing we did was to buy a grill. You just can't have a Memorial Day Weekend without a grill. Amy told me about this great grill last week. It's the Coleman Road Trip LXE Portable Grill.

I showed it to Eric and he liked the portable-ness of it. It's not too big, not too small. It takes small propane canisters, the grill plates come off and we can clean them in the sink (or dishwasher), but best of all....

It folds up like a suitcase! We could take it in the car, or just store it easily in the garage for the winter. (That was really the selling point.) We noticed it was in the Dicks Sporting Goods flyer this past weekend and it was on sale. So we picked one up tonight. I'm hoping we can put it together tomorrow and have some burgers and dogs for dinner!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

To Do List Tuesday

I did really well on my list last week. The only thing I didn't do was clean out the sock drawer. But I did everything else! I would like to spend more time in the office this week and clean it up some more. Another project that desperately needs doing is cleaning out the garage. I'm going to put that on the list this week, but there's no way I (we) can clean the whole garage in a week. That's just too daunting of a task. I'm going to instead break it down into projects. I'm also adding to-dos for the blog.

Home To-Dos:
1. Clean sock drawer.
2. Organize shelves in the garage.
3. Buy a grill (And use it over the long weekend!!)
4. Walk the dog... every day.
5. Work on organizing the office more.
6. Relax this weekend... we have 4 days off!!

Blog To-Dos:
1. Menu Plan Monday
2. To-Do List Tuesday
3. Show Us Your House Friday

Now head on over to "Crazy Adventures in Parenting" and get your list together!

Monday, May 18, 2009

On Your Mark, Get Set... Go!

Alex had a track meet this afternoon. I was able to get there right before he ran his first ever 400 meter run. He had only run that distance in practice, so he wasn't sure how he'd do in a meet. He said "I just don't want to come in last."

Well, he ended up doing really well! I think he found the perfect event for him. He ran a great race, had a great time and won his heat by quite a lot.

Look at that stride as he crossed the finish line with ease! Next week he might be up in the "fast" heat and do even better with his time.

Menu Plan Monday

We're discovering some new options to make our menus healthier, tastier and good for Eric's lowering of the Triglycerides. We tried some whole grain penne pasta this weekend and we both liked that. This coming week, we'll try whole wheat egg noodles, brown rice and whole wheat wraps in various recipes. We're all going to be healthier in the long run!

Sunday: Chicken Parmesan, Spaghetti, Garlic Knots, Salad & Birthday cake!
Monday: Leftovers... (track meet)
Tuesday: Chicken Stroganoff with whole wheat egg noodles and carrots
Wednesday: Ham Steak, Brown Rice and Corn
Thursday: Whole Wheat Cheesesteak Wraps
Friday: No work, no school, no menu!
Saturday: Memorial Day Weekend!

Be sure to go check out some other menu plans at Organizing Junkie!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

A Tree-mendous Day

Today was Eric's birthday. He spent his morning cleaning the gutters (his choice!). And then later, Gary, Paula, Sheila and the kids came over for a party. But before the party began, they cut a few of the dead trees down in the backyard. I've posted photos below at my Kodak Gallery, you must go check them out. It was a very amusing event. At least for those of us safely tucked away inside! But no animals or humans were harmed in the process. And the trees were already dead.

The party was great, we ordered food from Peppino's and Sheila brought this very fun, very delicious Pizza Cake. (See above photo). She is so creative! A good time was had by all, even Jenny, who is passed out for the night from all the excitement.

Click here to see all the fun photos from the day!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Weekend Festivities

Tomorrow is Eric's birthday. We're planning a family get together tomorrow afternoon. Which includes food, cake, presents and cutting down trees. We sure know how to have a good time! Hopefully nobody will be injured in the cutting down of the trees... I'll be sure to have cameras rolling.

I think today will be a lazy day. We have no plans set in stone. Just the usual: cleaning, doing laundry, running errands... and lots of relaxing. Oh and maybe finishing up that to-do list! I still haven't tackled that Office yet. I did get everything else done on the list though.

These are the flowers that are hanging in front of the house. They match the house pretty well!
Even the pot matched.

On a walk one evening with Jenny this past week, I had my camera with me. I think the view of our backyard is neat. It's like we live in the middle of the woods. Even though we're in a neighborhood. And thankfully, most of that yard that needs mowing isn't ours!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Hump Day

Tonight is the season finale of LOST. This has really been the best season ever. I'm loving it. I'm sad that tonight is the last episode til the Fall though. At least it's a 2-hour show.

However, before I sit down to watch LOST, I need to start tackling a few items on that giant to-do list I posted yesterday. During my lunch break today, I went to Home Depot and bought the flowers and bark mulch that were on my list. And I also got the supplies to move the tomato plants outside. I called the caterer today too. So that's 4 things done... well, I still need to spread the mulch and get the tomato plants outside. But the big things I really want to get done are cleaning out the home office. It's such a mess and Eric is starting to worry that I'm becoming a hoarder. So I'd better get on that! I have a couple of hours before LOST starts... of course I need to make dinner, walk the dog and do some laundry too... it's never ending!

Oh, and I almost forgot! Look who I met today. It's Ruben Studdard, the winner of American Idol, Season 2. He was on our morning show. He was very sweet! Oh and I also highlighted my hair last night... in case you were wondering who that blonde chick was with Ruben. 

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

To-Do List Tuesday

I've joined yet another fun activity in the blog world. This one makes a lot of sense to me. If I write it down, then I might be more likely to actually do it. And maybe I'll be more apt to get everything done, especially if my blog audience holds me accountable. Such pressure...

Ok, drum roll please... My to-do list for this week:

1. Go through the 4 bags of clothes in the office, separate Rescue Mission vs. eBay vs. Garbage.

2. Clean my area in the office, throw away old junk, put boxes back in the basement that have been brought up.

3. Clean out my sock drawer. It really, really needs it.

4. Get 2 more bags of bark mulch to go under the tree out front. (And spread the bark mulch under the tree out front.)

5. Get a hanging plant/flower for the hook in front of the garage.

6. Re-plant the 2 tomato plants that have been hanging out in the kitchen and get them outside.

7. Place the "catering" order for Sunday's birthday festivities!

8. Cook, clean, do laundry.... etc., etc. (That's all a given and I get help, so that really shouldn't go on my to-do list!)

That's the "home" to-do list for this week. I'll cross things off as I go along. And click here to go to Crazy Adventures in Parenting to play along! 

Monday, May 11, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

With Eric still researching "triglyceride lowering" options, we've decided that I should just go back to creating menus as normal and he will work around us, rather than us working around what he may or may not be able to eat. So, I'm back to "normal" with the menus!

Monday: D-I-Y dinner. (track meet)
Tuesday: Chicken Quesadillas, Taco Rice
Wednesday: Pizza Melts
Thursday: Baked Mac & Cheese and Corn bread
Friday: Pork, Cashew & Carrot Stir Fry
Saturday: ??
Sunday: Eric's Birthday!

And that's it for us this week. Be sure to go check out some more great menu planning ideas at Organizing Junkie!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

For Mothers Everywhere

This is for all the mothers who didn't win “Mother of the Year” in 2009. All the runners-up and all the wannabes. The mothers too tired to enter or too busy to care.

This is for all the mothers who froze their buns off on metal bleachers at soccer games on Friday night instead of watching from the car. So when their kids asked, “Did you see my goal?” they could say, “Of course, wouldn’t have missed it for the world,” and mean it.

This is for all the mothers who have sat up all night with sick toddlers in their arms, wiping up barf laced with Oscar Mayer wieners and cherry Kool-Aid saying, “It’s okay, honey, Mommy’s here.”

This is for the mothers who gave birth to the children they’ll never see. And for the mothers who took those babies and made them homes.

For all the mothers who run carpools and make cookies and sew Halloween costumes. And all the mothers who don’t.

What makes a good mother, anyway? Is it patience? Compassion? Broad hips? The ability to nurse a baby, cook dinner, and sew a button on a shirt all at the same time? Or is it heart? Is it the ache you feel when you watch your son or daughter disappear down the street, walking to school alone for the very first time? The jolt that takes you from sleep to dread, from bed to crib at 2am to put your hand on the back of a sleeping baby?

The need to flee from wherever you are and hug your child when you hear news of a school shooting, a fire, a car accident, a baby dying? I think so.

So this is for all the mothers who sat down with their children and explained all about making babies. And for all those mothers who wanted to but just couldn’t.

This is for reading “Goodnight, Moon” twice a night for a year. And then reading it again. “Just one more time.”

This is for all the mothers who taught their daughters to tie their shoelaces before they started school. And for all the mothers who opted for Velcro instead.

This is for all the mothers who show up at work with spit-up in their hair and milk stains on their blouses and diapers in their purse.

This is for all the mothers who teach their sons to cook and their daughters to sink a jump shot.

This is for all mothers whose heads turn automatically when a little voice calls “Mom?” in a crowd. Even though they know their own children are at home.

This is for all the mothers who sent their sons to school with stomach aches, assuring them they’d be just fine once they got there…only to get the call from the school nurse an hour later, asking them to please pick up their son, right away.

This is for young mothers stumbling through diaper changes and sleep deprivation. And mature mothers learning to let go. For working mothers and stay-at-home mothers. Single mothers and married mothers. Mothers with money, mothers without. This is for you all.

So hang in there.

Pass this on to all the moms in your life.
“Home is what catches you when you fall... and we all fall.”

Happy Mother’s Day. Even if you aren’t a mother now, you may be some day. Or you are a godmother, or a teacher who gives more than the title requires, or a very special lady someone needs when their Mom is not near.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Yard Sale Bargains

My parents have been visiting this weekend and we've been very busy! One of the things we did was go to some yard sales this morning. We discovered a HUGE neighborhood sale. By the end of the morning our feet were killing us and our vehicle was full of treasures. A couple of things I found (and my Dad was able to get for quite the deal for...) were 2 big pictures for our living room! I was so excited when I saw them. They were brand new, still wrapped in plastic. They ended up costing $30 total for both of them. ($15 each!). They are just exactly what I was looking for to go on that giant wall. I can't wait to play off the colors of them to figure out what color to paint the wall. You can see them pictured below. (Dad not only got a great bargain, but he hung them as well!)

Later in the day, my mom and I did a little shopping. I picked up this fun sign at Kohls for $7. (65% off!) I thought it would look great in the living room as well. (It's hanging above the window seat in the above photo.)

Below is a close up of one of the large pieces of art. Aren't the colors great? And I just love the frames. They're such a nice quality.

And in the photo below is the new lamp that we also got at a Yard Sale (same sale as the artwork), it was also brand-new with tags and we got it for $5. Another great bargain!

There's also a fun new camera in the middle of the photo, my dad picked up a few old cameras at another sale. Eric has lots of old cameras on display around the house. I also changed out the artwork above the piano with the picture that was over the couch before.