Sunday, May 31, 2009

Whew...what a weekend

We have had a whirlwind week and weekend here at our gray house in Kansas. We ended last week with such a fun Memorial Day weekend...our anniversary, a great time at my In-Love's burning limbs and cooking hotdogs (not to mention a SNAKE sighting) and then out to eat with family and a bbq at my sweet niece's home. felt like it went on forever. In the course of it all we also got my flower garden all weeded, preen-ed and mulched. It looks fabulous.

Last week was the Big D's first full week of no school and he kept himself very busy with activities, walks and chores. Sweet Baby M finished school on Thursday and ended with a very hard earned 3.0 gpa. She had some really hard Advanced Placement classes in addition to Chemistry and Psychology. We are so proud of her...she worked very hard for those grades along with pulling a full volleyball and club volleyball schedule. She is glad to be finished but starts volleyball conditioning again tomorrow and is taking her Government requirement this summer. She will be a busy girl.

In anticipation of the cleaning people starting again tomorrow, Big D and I moved furniture around and tidied up. This little exercise in furniture moving took us three days to complete. We made a hang-out space in the basement for the teens and turned the unused office into a library. We also switched my living room and dining room back to their original purposed spaces. It was a lot of heavy work and I NEVER could have done it without Big D. He is the muscle in this equation. He was such a complete delight to work with. He has a funny sense of humour and a great personality. It is a revelation how alike we are. I love discovering that. I hope that my children only get all Jim and my best qualities and just forget all the other junk. They are both so delightful. I get such a thrill out of being their Mom and enjoying watching them grow up.

Sweet Baby M and I have decided that our big project this summer will be redecorating her room from it's tomboy look into a more sophisticated college style. I love that she's actually considering staying here for college and living at home. I get to hang on to her just a little bit more.

Jim and I attended our darling great niece, Annabelle's, dance performance tonight. She is so cute and smart. She was the star of the show and made all the other little Jitterbugs look silly and like they didn't know what they were doing. She was absolutely precious. It made our hearts so happy when she recognized us and got excited to see us. She is a doll!

Friday, May 29, 2009

What Happened?

Where did the last week go? It vanished into thin air in the course of an anniversary, Memorial Day, kids out of school, etc. I have a lot of blog catching up to do but first my peeps and I need to finish the house re-arrange that I've started and am pooping out on completing. We just have a couple more bookshelves to move and then we can start compiling our garage sale stuff. This is going to have to be billed as the "best garage sale ever" in the paper. We need lots of signage! I can't wait to see all these things I'm so sick of...hit the road.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Random Summer!

*This picture looks exactly like what I want out of summer. Lots of books and reading time. Lazing around. Sounds heavenly.

*When I was a little favoritest thing was joining the Library Reading Club and then checking out huge quantities of books. I still love checking out huge quantities of books. Who couldn't love the public library...all the books you could ever want for absolutely free. It's awesome. And the best part is that if you pick a can return it and not worry about money wasted. Love that!

*I also can't wait for our trip to Minnesota. Lake Carlos is so pretty and it's fun for us land locked Kansans to wake up on water. The sound of the lake hitting the shore, the sun rising up over it, the loons calling to their mates on the water, it's all so magical. We are looking forward to a lot of fun.

*The Big D had his last day of school yesterday. He's so big...eighth grade and all now. My poor Sweet Baby M still has a week left. It's just brutal.

*Hubs and my big 25th anniversary is Monday. We will have been married 25 years on the 25th. Weird. Of course, since it falls on Memorial Day we can't get a reservation at the restaurant we wanted to go to. Ugh. I don't know whether to just settle for something else or wait until the next weekend. I think we should wait but he wants to celebrate. I just don't want to think back on it and have it be mediocre because I can never let that go. That's one of my MANY fatal flaws! LOL. I like perfect. Not necessarily perfection but I like memories that are perfectly what I wanted the event, person, etc., to be. A decision will have to be made, I guess.

*We are looking forward to so many things this summer. I'm stealing an idea from a bloggy friend...and making a wish list of summer activities and dreams. So far we have about 24 items on it. Maybe I'll post it when we are done.

*In other news (and the most important of all), my Darling Husband earned an incredibly generous promotion. He is now referred to as Mr. BigWig, The Kingpin, The Preferetti....really I'm kidding. He did get a major promotion. He is very wonderful. We've always thought he was a bigwig even when he was a "not very bigwig" and I'm so proud of him! Now I just hope he doesn't disappear for the summer and we actually see him a little...he will be VERY busy.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Great Weekend!

We had the best weekend! Friday night we went out to eat (under tornado warning) at Savutes...which is turning into one of our favorite hangouts. Jim had the steak and catfish this time and I had a filet mignon. It was so wonderfully tender you could have cut it with your fork. It's so fun to go there because it is a dive, which we love. The cutest cocktail waitress EVER who had to be about 80? was in attendance.
IT was wonderful!
Pair that with the fact that they play Frank Sinatra and you just have to love it.

At one time I'm sure she looked exactly like this.

On Saturday we drove out to look at some property at Eureka Lake. Decided it wasn't for us. We don't want to buy a property that requires us to spend even more time mowing and maintaining. We like to be hangin' out and doing fun things in our down time. On Saturday night we went and saw Angels and Demons, the movie with Tom Hanks. It was awesome! I loved the book and really loved the movie (although not as much as the book...that would be a sacrilege!). I adore the rituals and history of Catholicism (although I'm not Catholic) and so really appreciated all the history and symbolism. We sat in the balcony at the Warren Theater and I have to say...I love it! They have waitstaff in the balcony and so you can order from the diner and also order cocktails. Loverly. The seats, however, leave something to be desired. They are couchs with tables and heaters but they are too kicked back for people with short legs.

Today I woke up early and enjoyed all the birds in the backyard singing and flitting about. Sooo cute! Jim and the Big D headed to Ark City to the Kansas Badlands with the ATV's and Big D's dirtbike. They take a cooler and have so much fun..gettin' down in the dirt. I stayed home with Sweet Baby M and we snuck to Cracker Barrel. Oh was so good but I have to say...we were stuffed. We ate more breakfast than two humans should be allowed to eat. We were positively ill. It looked pretty much just like this and was positively yummy. We loved looking through the doo-dads in the gift shop too. I actually found a really great black tank and sweater that wasn't hokey at all and was on clearance. Great for summer. Our breakfast feast looked exactly like this plate.

I made the trip to Walmart after that and stocked us up on a new crate for Shadow, dog food, undies, ham, all the random stuff you buy at Walmart.

Tonight I made yummy chicken enchiladas for dinner which we ate with Spanish Rice and a tossed salad. It was really good. When we were sitting on the back porch, Jim told me it would be okay to get The Cleaning Authority to come and clean again. Yahoo! I had them when I worked but since I'm not working...felt kind of bad about it. But Jim said, just get them so I'm jumping on that like termites on wet wood. I hate cleaning bathrooms, etc. I hope they don't feel as put upon as this poor soul in this picture.

Okay...gotta run. Shadow just ate the stub of Jim's cigar out of the chimenea. He's not the smartest tack in the box...but we love him!

Friday, May 15, 2009

A Great Read

I am just finishing up a book that has been a great read. It's entitled, "A Year on Ladybug Farm" by Donna Ball. The premise is that three ladies (of a certain age) agree to buy a rundown mansion in Virginia and rehabilitate it. It's all about their adventures that first year. It is a great, fast book and completely enjoyable. I love books about homes and this one gives great descriptions of the interior of Ladybug Farm. Only two criticisms. One is that I don't think the characters are really ever developed fully. You just don't feel as if you really "know" them. Secondly, there are too many bit characters introduced that you just never hear about again. Too many loose ends...that's my criticism. Other than's fabulous.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Shadow aka BIG BIG Dog

I took Shadow to the vet today for his 12 week checkup and shots and he weighed in at a whopping 29.7 lbs!! He is not fat. He is just going to be a VERY big dog. The vet said he thought he'd top out at about 130 lbs. YIPES! He is so beautiful right now. His fur is soft and silky and so very shiny. He's got a cute personality although I'm not sure he's the most brilliant dog in the world. He has a big deep voice and huge feet that he spends a lot of time tripping over. He has done so well on housetraining. His only flaw is that he seems to like to dig and he also likes to pre-clean the dishes before I run the dishwasher. Tonight he was actually standing on the dishwasher door with his body inside the washer. Funny dog.

Summer is just a breath away!

Summer is my favorite time of year and I can't wait for my kiddos to be done with school for this year. They only have about a week left and it is going to be wonderful to have them out. I love everything about letting them sleep in and going to bed late if we so choose. I just loved that kicked back feeling.
My top ten for summer are:
1. Reading, reading, reading. Having time to read lots of books and go to the library. Reading in the backyard, in the air conditioned living room, at the lake, etc.
2. Going on walks early in the morning or late at night. I love that hot weather!
3. Working in my flower garden early in the morning while it is still a bit cool.
4. The ice cream man and popsicles. I love going on spontaneous ice cream runs and getting Sonic cherry limeades during happy hour.
5. Grilling out!
6. Picnics and going to the lake. Roasting marshmallows and hotdogs.
7. Lighting my chimenea at night and smelling that wonderful pinon pine.
8. Riding around in Jim's jeep with the top off. Feeling the wind blowing in our hair and just enjoying the sights and smells of the area.
9. Eating light and enjoying salads, farmer's markets, lemonade and all the things that just taste better in the summer.
10. Summer vacation. Packing up the car, kids, dogs and heading off for a week of fun.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Absolutely Random Monday

This gorgeous arrangement of pink roses and lilies was part of my wonderful Mother's Day weekend. I am loving gazing upon it as I read my chapter of Esther this morning. The lilies smell so sweet and the roses are opening up beautifully. All arranged in my estate sale hobnail's heavenly!

I was looking through some pictures and realized that these pictures of our baby birds were still on my camera. Weren't they just the cutest things? It was such fun raising them from just hatched babies and seeing them fly away. They were very sweet. I hope raising those birds is a memory my kids never forget. I will never forget them riding on the dashboard all the way to Minnesota.

I had such a wonderful Mom's Day. We were so tired from Saturday that we all slept in quite late and then got up to coffee, croissants and fresh strawberries. Yummy! We decided to run out to my Mother-in-Love's house (she's more a love than a law!) and they still had no electricity from the storm that raged through their area on Thursday night! They were holding up well but yipes...that's a long time! We had a great visit and got to see some recent auction treasures they had purchased. They had quite a bit of tree damage, so the boys are already planning to take the ATV's out with chains and drag limbs to the burn pile.

After we got home, the kids went upstairs and played X-Box and napped. I made a berry cobbler for dessert and then after gifts (a darling cherub bird feeder and the movie Enchanted April along with a significant Barnes and Noble gift card), Jim bbq'd steaks on the grill. We enjoyed them with mushrooms, baked potatoes, garlic bread and creamed spinach. Jim and I enjoyed the creamed spinach...I don't think Sweet Baby M and Big D tried it. I set the table with all my sweet old estate/garage sale finds like a nifty 50's tablecloth, cloth napkins, Blue Willow dishes, etc. It looked very cute and retro. Then we played a new game that I bought while we were in Denver called Gloom. It's very Edward Gorey in theme but a lot of fun.

A good day all in all and now on to a very busy week. School is coming to an end! Yahoo!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

I love this picture of my Sweet Baby M and her volleyball friend. This picture is so indicative of her effervescent personality. She is bubbly and fun and always pretty happy. When Sweet Baby M was a baby, I thought she was the most challenging child I'd ever known. I so wanted her to be well behaved and submissive...and for the most part...she wasn't. She was a ball of fire, always ready to run in the street, climb to the highest point on the jungle gym and pet any strange and vicious looking dog. She spoke to any human, took candy from strangers and generally disobeyed more than obeyed.
Oh, how I loved her! She was a complete breath of fresh air in her obedient Mother's life. She fascinates me always with her boldness. She has taught me so many things over the years. She's taught me that family comes first, how to live for the moment and that what people think is just what they think...I can't change it...I can just live life the best I can. She definitely taught me that unconditional love exists! She's everything I could ever want in a daughter and then she continues to surprise me and be even more.

Once I had a darling daughter, I could think of nothing better than a strong and handsome son to adore forever. I certainly got that gift also in the Big D. He was the sweetest baby I'd ever laid eyes on. He was chubby and had the wispiest blonde hair...and he was so quiet. I spent the first two years of his life just holding him and never regretted one minute of time spent with undone "things". He was worth it. Big D spent the first half of kindergarten chasing my car around the circle drive at drop off yelling, "Mommy..don't yeave me heaw!". He broke my heart. The number of days that I spent sitting in my car at the school for those 3 hours a day of kindergarten outweigh the number I actually got to go home. Now he's a big seventh (almost eighth) grader and quick to jump out of the car and join his friends at school. I still like to think he misses me a bit. Driving my kids to school has been one of the joys of my life. Time spent in the car with them has always been special. Whether we listen to the radio together, talk or seems like it's always a good time to connect. Now this big guy is into dirt bikes, atv's, raising a dog, camping and all boy stuff. Once upon a time though, he was his Mom's boy and I hope he remembers those times fondly.

My children have been the delight of my life. God gave me such a tremendous gift when He gave them to me. I had longed for them for eight plus years and the day I became a Mommy was it for me. I finally felt like I had fulfilled my destiny. I've never loved anything more than being a Mother and caring for my children. They make me who I am and I adore them.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Once Upon a Time...........

........this little Princess went to the prom.! Sweet Baby M went to the prom last night with her boyfriend. They looked so glamorous and gorgeous. Sweet Baby had a dress that was actually once full length that we had cut off to short and bubbled on the hem. It was too die for on her. That hot pink color set off her tanned skin and dark hair to perfection. She wore the gorgous triple string of pink, ivory and white pearls her Daddy bought her in Japan and my diamond studs in her ears with silver sandels. Yummy!

The evening began with pictures and proceeded to the event location with a sit down dinner and dancing. Then a party followed, culminating in a breakfast which ended at 2:30. She spent the night with a friend and now is coming home soon to work. What a trooper!

She's a beautiful girl and looked so happy and gorgeous last night that it was a real night to remember.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Sleepy Saturday

Jim is getting a cold. He's horrors with a cold! He can't bear being sick and it will be a misery for all...that's my prediction. The yard needs's way too wet, the garden needs's way too wet, the laundry needs's way too...oh, I guess it just needs doing. UGH! I hate the laundry.
Tonight is the big Trinity Prom which Sweet Baby M is attending with her boyfriend. It's technically not a prom since they don't endorse dancing but since they dance and do all the normal prom stuff...I guess it's an unofficial prom. It certainly requires all the preparation of a regular prom. She hits the road at 9:00 a.m. for mani and pedi and doesn't stop until pictures at 5:00 p.m. She is such a sweet girl and we are so excited to see her mani'ed, pedi'ed, make up, and hair wearing her very beautiful pink dress with the pearls her Daddy brought her from Japan. She will look like an angel I'm sure! Expect pictures posted tomorrow!

On another note, Oklahoma is playing on my blogplayer and that always reminds me of The Surrey with the Fringe On Top song. Then the next thought is owning a rickshaw which I have ALWAYS wanted since I saw one at an estate sale that I should have bought but passed on. I like the charm of the one in which a person runs in front or bikes with it but it might be hard to convince someone to do that while I rode in back so maybe I need the motor driven one.

Okay...we are off to start the prom festivities...

Friday Night Date

I finally talked(convinced, conned, begged) Jim into taking me out for dinner. It was awesome! We went to Savute's, a complete hole in the wall on N. Broadway that we haven't been to in forever. I don't remember liking it the last time I was there but this rocked! We were by far the YOUNGEST people in the place which is saying alot because we aren't very young. Jim ordered a T-Bone steak and I had the steak and catfish because I live in KS and have NEVER had catfish. They make their salad dressing from scratch...but I'd better start at the beginning.
The water glasses were filled, we were seated at a table with a slight tilt and the bread basket was delivered. Both french and pumpernickel bread and butter and those wonderful little packages of breadsticks. Can't beat it! Then we ordered drinks. For Jim a Boulevard Wheat and I ordered a glass of Cabernet which oddly enough was served in a juice glass. It was great wine however but it was strange to see it in such a stubby glass. The antipasti plate was a strange saucer of iceberg lettuce, salami and pepperoni, an orange cheese and a white cheese (of indeterminate variety), pickles, anchovies and banana peppers. It was delish!
Salads were either the Italian variety or normal with homemade dressing. I chose the ranch and it was icy cold and creamy. Very good.
I have never had catfish and so decided to order the steak and catfish. Jim opted for the T-Bone as I stated above. The T-Bone was cooked to perfection and served with a side of Spaghetti. Both were really good. I expected my steak to be a sirloin or some cheap cut since it wasn't defined on the menu but it was a ribeye and very tender. The catfish was too die for with homemade tartar sauce. Delicate and crispy with a just right fish taste. This also came with a side of spaghetti.
I'd give Savute's five stars. It was a big side of kitchy with a major serving of yummy! I'd definitely make it one of our "go-to" spots. I kept thinking the whole evening of how much Big D would love it!

Friday, May 1, 2009

I Just Want to be your Friend

Poor Shadow. He just wants to be Pup pup's friend but unfortunately she doesn't want a friend. She thought she could sneak into her little bed but alas...he flopped down and proceeded to STARE at her. She retreated to back under Jim's chair.

Rain, Rain Go Away

A Few Things
1. I am so sick of the rain. I have to keep reminding myself that I will be thankful we had all this rain in July when the ground is so dry that it is cracked. It is wonderful that the trees and all my plants are getting this LONG drink BUT please...rain...end.
2. Rainy weather is not conducive to housetraining a new puppy.
3. Shadow is testing my patience with his continual persecution of the little dogs. He is under the impression that Pup pup is a stuffed animal and needs to be carried around by the tail. She is not amused.
4. Shadow spends ALOT of time trying to get up on the couch and be "pals" with the little dogs. They spend ALOT of time trying to get away from him. He finally figured out how to climb up. Happy, happy, joy, joy.
5. I need to go to the grocery store but I don't want to get so wet. I have stuff for dinner tonight and the only other thing we needed were new baseball pants for Big D. It's not looking like that game is going to happen tonight anyway unless they are playing in a swamp.
6. Did I mention yet that I'm sick of rain?
7. Big D and I are so excited about signing up for our Compassion International kids this weekend. He has earmarked a little guy from Rwanda and my little girl comes from Indonesia. We are ecstatic! What a gift to us that we can make a difference in someone's life AND get the extra blessing of hearing about it. Too much!
8. If it doesn't quit raining when my peonies finally bloom I'm going to be so mad! I don't want to bring them in all waterlogged! I have to get out in the garden and make sure all the fragile stems are protected in the peony cage.
9. Soup for lunch? Sounds good.
10. I'm trying to get into a new book. No luck. I've picked up a couple and thrown them aside halfway in...which is very rare for me. I usually finish no matter what. I just haven't found one that kept me interested in a while. I want a book I can lose myself in that I won't want to put down.
Okay....that's it for now. Back to mediating dog fighting, lurking in the basement with my laundry and watching the rain.