Sunday, November 30, 2008

Wonderful Holiday Weekend

Such a fantastic Thanksgiving- quite easily one of the best I've ever had (the best was when Jon's parents invited my parents come share the day so that I'd have my family with me and wouldn't have to spend my first holiday without them).

We went to be with Jon's sister. She now lives in the house where they all grew up- and there are so many memories of holidays past. Lolo loved a party and she would have loved this day! Kathy is great at including everyone and is amazing at handling a crowd. Final count was 21 and the family tree was sprouting like crazy!

Kathy, Mike, Wade & Katie
Me, Jon & Cooper
Kathy/Jon's cousin Cindy (on their dads side), her husband and 3 kids
Mike's mom and her boyfriend
Mike's sister and her boyfriend
Mike's aunt and uncle
Jon/Kathy's aunt and uncle (mom's sister)
Niki- Joe's daughter (Kathy/Jon's brother in Arkansas)

Wade, Katie & Leslie

Cooper, William, Elena & Natalie

I love this one of Cooper & Niki!!

Cooper's place mats and turkeys were a big hit and the food was delicious. The whole house was filled with so much love and laughter- it brought tears to my eyes on more than one occasion.

Elena & Natalie told us that on the way to Kathy's they had been talking about things that they were thankful for and the one that they were most thankful for was being included in our family celebration- because otherwise, they would have been alone. I'm certain that when we all sang America the Beautiful in the kitchen that they did have their doubts- but I'm SO glad they were there!!

And that's what this day is all about. Being with people, celebrating our relationships and the countless reasons that we have to be thankful. I felt so blessed to be be a part of this family and to be able to share that gift with Cooper. It is incredibly important to me that he experiences "family"- not just us, but the extended family and the love that comes with them.

The day was filled with smiles, love, good food and so many reasons to be thankful (which do not include the part where Jon let Cooper climb up a 10ft ladder by himself to adjust the target that they were using to shoot bb's....but that's a story for another day).

It was almost perfect- I wouldn't have changed a thing!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Funny Kid

Conversation this morning as I walked past the flowers that Jon gave me.

Me: "I just love those flowers, don't you think they are so beautiful?"

Cooper: "Yes, they are pretty. Are they sewn?"

Me: "Um, ask me again, I don't understand."

Cooper: "You know, are they real, or are they sewn?"

Me: "Ohh, they are real- not sewn"

Where does he get this stuff?? Hilarious!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Lessons on Monday-

On any given Monday, I'm glad to just make it until 5pm. But this Monday, I learned so much!

1) I like raisins- actually oatmeal raisin cookies to be exact. I never thought I did- in fact, I've been picking them out of my cookies for probably 30 years. I'm not opposed to a raisin in say, a broccoli salad or even a green salad of sorts but for some reason, I have been avoiding them in cookies. Not sure what made me try it- it was actually sort of a desperation type move- but no matter, I did and I loved them! (Mental note- this is exactly the reason that I have never tried a milkshake. That seems like nothing but trouble to me.)

2) My husband, although he is more conservative with "treats" than I might like, does truly want to make me smile as much as possible. These beautiful flowers arrived for me at work- just because. I was speechless. I do love him so.

3) My mother has elves who do good deeds while she's on the other side of the world. When the mail came today, it included 2 Thanksgiving cards. One for Cooper and the other for us. They were from my parents. That's the kind of person that my mom is (and perhaps why I'm so fond of a treat!). She also magically sent an anniversary card to my brother and his wife. Hers arrived on time. The one I sent was a tad bit late. Her kindness is legendary and I adore that about her.

4) Super Glue is an amazing medical supply. I've heard it said, but haven't ever tried it myself. I tore my nail down past the quick and it was killing me. I resorted to Super Glue and I am SO glad that I did. I haven't felt a thing since the glue dried. I'm healed!

Happy Monday!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Weekend Fun-

A weekend with very little planned always seems to bring out the best in all of us! I cannot even recall what filled our Saturday morning, but I know that I slept until 9am. Ahhh- I so needed that!

Cooper was invited to Sarah Clay's 8th Birthday Party and could hardly wait to get there. Sallie is the greatest at a theme and this year was no different. It was a Leg0 party and this is what the table looked like when we arrived.

I'm sure that the Leg0 filled vase of sunflowers was lost on the screaming girls, but I noticed and it was genius! Cooper was 1 of 2 boys- the 3rd was a no show. They didn't seem to mind and everyone had a super time. The 3 Leg0 race was a riot and Leg0 charades brought about some incredible creativity. I'm not sure who had more fun- me or Cooper!

We had a low key evening on Saturday and woke up on Sunday with a definite need for a visit to the grocery store. Jon was headed to the river for some rockfish fishing and Cooper and I prepared for Thanksgiving at Aunt Kathy's. We started making place mats- you know the kind when you grate crayons all over leaves and press them between 2 sheets of waxed paper with a warm iron? Yes, easier typed than done. We've completed 5 (we're aiming for 22- but that seems like a VERY ambitious goal).

Since place mats seemed stressful, I decided to tackle some super cute turkey treats that made an appearance at the Boy Scout Father Son Fall Bake Off. Did I mention that Cooper rec'd his Bobcat Badge during this event in a very symbolic ceremony? Take a look.


He was so nervous and his Den Mom thankfully exempted him from any speaking parts. He mustered up all of his strength and somehow made it through unscathed. Jon and I held our breath the whole time- but that little kid did great! He's now a Tiger Cub with a Bobcat Badge (I really want to call it a Badger Badge- and have been for months, but now that he actually has it- I really should honor the actual name)


Back to the turkeys....anywhoo- I saw them at the bake off and searched for them on the web. I found this on Flickr- and figured, no problem. These will be ADORABLE.

Instead, I'll have to settle for hilarious and really, the absolute best we could do. Wow- I am SO NOT A crafty decorator when it comes to food. They are cute in a pitiful sort of way, and Cooper loves them- so that's what matters. We worked on these for the majority of the afternoon and they will be making the trip to Aunt Kathy's where I'm sure they will occupy a prominent spot at the Thanksgiving Day table. That's what Aunts are for!!

turkey pose

I'm looking forward to a wonderfully short week at work, and cannot wait to see everyone on Thanksgiving. Kathy has invited all of the arms of the family and it promises to be a day full of family, fun, amazing food- exactly the way it should be. We are all counting the days!!

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Best Paper Airplane

For some reason, Cooper has become obsessed with being "on the internet". Clearly, he doesn't get that he already is via my blog...but I don't think that's the point for him.

He's been asking me to make a movie with him....and I've sort of blown him off. On Sunday he was very persistent. And so, after some experimenting with making a movie, here it is. Cooper's 1st movie.....actually I believe that it's a bit of a documentary- a how to of sorts.

I'm really quite proud of him. Proud that he completely ignored my prompting at the beginning, proud that he did it all in one take (except for the flying part) and proud that it was all him. He has mastered that plane and even added a folding step to the wings that makes it all his own. He was so determined- and not afraid at all. Hooray! I must give props to Alex- the creator of the plane. We've visited his site many times and Cooper never tires of it.

I'm not proud of the various and sundry items that are sprinkled around the living room, but- I suppose I'll live. The point is that a movie was made and his confidence soared.

Mom and Dad- if for some nutty chance you're able to see this in Egypt, I hope it will give you a Cooper fix for at least a week! We sure do miss you.

Helping Our Troops

Update- So, this is a great idea.....but not entirely legit. My friend Diana read my blog and told everyone she knew about this....and one of her friends sent her this link. Apparently, we can still do this- just via another group. Thank goodness for friends and for the Red Cross!!!

I got an e-mail with this idea and thought it was such a good one.

As you're sending your Christmas cards this year, take one card and send it to a recovering US soldier. A simple way to let these incredible men and women know that they continue to be in our thoughts and prayers and that we appreciate their sacrifice.

I'm thinking that this address would also work for general cards, letters and the always appreciated pictures from kids on an on-going basis.

A Recovering American Soldier
c/o Walter Reed Army Medical Center
6900 Georgia Avenue, NW
Washington,D.C. 20307-5001

Sunday, November 16, 2008

RIP Lipstick Jungle

Update- You can help!! Just read this on the website- There’s a last ditch Save the Jungle campaign underway: Send a tube of lipstick to Mr. Silverman (any shade will do) at the following address: 100 Universal City Plaza Universal City, CA 91608. And pray.

*it just so happens that I bought a new tube of lipstick last night at Target and when I got home realized that someone put the wrong shade in the slot- hmmm- I know JUST what to do with it now.

When I heard the news, I thought it wasn't true. Then I read this...... and it is.
NBC has canceled my favorite show.

I loved you so, Lipstick Jungle. You were the wind beneath my wings.....a breathe of fresh air in the middle of the week to carry me through to the weekend. And then they moved you to Friday- and I was saddened, but could still DVR you and watch at my leisure.

And now, you are gone.
I will miss you-

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Catching Up!

It's Saturday morning and the leaves are blowing around, the wind is warm and the colors are amazing! Cooper is playing on the floor in the family room and Jon is working on an exam for his class. Me? I am enjoying the quiet and loving the peacefulness that is my family this morning.

We ended our week with a family outing to the movies to see Madagascar 2. We don't go to the movies that often and for some reason, Cooper looked so little in the seat- staring up at the giant screen, engrossed in what was happening. He was obsessed with sitting in the 9th row before we got there- we actually sat in the 5th row (counting from the back). About 40 minutes into the movie, I realize that he's looking all around and thinking. And then he leans over and says, "momma, we're only in the 5th row, can we move to the 9th row instead?" I got so tickled- there were people in the 8th row and I couldn't help but think how crazy they will think it is if we move to sit directly in front of them when there are only about 25 people in the whole theater. Tickled to the point that I'm laughing hysterically and I cannot stop. Jon thinks I've lost my mind and Cooper is ready to pick up his lemonade and change rows. We get ourselves together and stay put for the remainder of the movie. After it's over, we walk up to the 9th row. Turns out, one of Cooper's friends had lost a ball in the 9th row when he went to see Madagascar and Cooper told him that he'd look for it. Sweet kid. (and nope, no sign of the ball)

The fall has been incredible- and a rite of passage for every child has to be jumping in the leaves. Don't you remember how much fun it always was??

I didn't do my Thankful Thursday post this week, but there are a few I wanted to mention.

My parents left this week to go to Egypt- the trip has been planned since last year and my mom's accident left them wondering whether they'd be able to go. I'm thankful that she's back to almost 100% and that she felt strong enough to go. They are both excited and this trip is an amazing one- Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Israel. They've only been gone for 5 days but already I miss being able to talk to them. It's going to be a long month!

They aren't the only people traveling this week.....Dana & Brian (and their son Kaneu) are headed to Korea to meet their little girl (and sister)! Am excited for all of them- and thankful that they are able to expand their happy family.

Say some prayers for safe travels for all of them.

Cooper has had a better week- I am thankful for the resilience of children and for some fantastic parenting advice that I sought out and am using.

I was able to spend some time out with the girls on Thursday. As a thank you for the Auction success at Cooper's school, Kristin treated the rest of the committee to dinner at PF Chang's. Love that place! I'm thankful for some girl time and the opportunity to continue to build new friendships. We laughed and stuffed ourselves with lettuce wraps. What could be better!

We're off to the river to relax and recuperate. Cannot wait-

Monday, November 10, 2008

Happy Birthday Jon!

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Today we celebrated Jon's birthday. He's not a fan of anything huge or festive on his special day but I feel like it's really important in our little family to make a big deal out of things. Wade came for dinner, I made Spaghetti Carbonara, Cooper decorated cupcakes and we brought out the celebration chair. We sang to him, he blew out the candles and then opened the cards that he's received over the past few days. Sweet "party" for a good dad!

Happy Birthday honey- we sure do love you!

Saturday, November 8, 2008


That is what this week has been. A blur.

elections, celebrations, disappointments, parties, friends, trauma, work, illness, sadness, hope, busy, hungry, lonely, tender moments, fear, a kind word, frustration, spoiled milk, a new recipe using only what's on hand, deadlines, patriotism, change, prejudice, tears, lack of sleep, tons of errands, proud, inefficient, nervous, angry, loved.

Not enough bold this week.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Halloween, Weekend in Review & 7 Weird Things

Denise tagged me to tell 7 weird things about myself, and before I follow the directions and play along I want to talk about Halloween- and my 1st weird thing!

Cooper opted out of Halloween this year. I'm a fan of Halloween- not necessarily for myself (because I can never think of a really good costume- and no, this isn't my weird thing) but for little kids because they are so darn adorable in their outfits, and because it's such fun to decorate the house! Anyway, when I asked Cooper what he wanted to be this year, he said that he didn't want to be anything. Huh? But you're 6, and there is candy (to this he said that he didn't want his teeth to rot) and it's so much fun.....

Nope, he wasn't having it. I figured that he'd change his mind. Everyone tried- strangers, friends, family, even his teacher. But his mind was made up. No costume, no trick or treating.

Weird thing # 1- my child didn't go trick or treating! To make myself feel better, because everyone else has adorable pictures of their kids on the big night, I checked out his costumes of old. That kid makes me laugh!

1st Halloween- Christmas Tree

2nd Halloween- Crab (I actually put a sign on his back that said, "please don't feed me candy- it makes my mommy crabby")

3rd Halloween- Banana (who carried a monkey)

4th Halloween- Bob (with Pilchard...that kid LOVED Pilchard)

5th Halloween- Vampire
pumpkin carving
6th Halloween- Pumpkin Carver... I stressed about him not going out all week. We saved our pumpkin so that we could carve it on Halloween. He worked so hard- he scooped it out, separated the seeds and sketched the face that he wanted Jon to cut. And when it was all finished he said, "I love carving the pumpkin, it's the best part of Halloween."
And that's when I realized.....he was right.

The rest of our weekend continued on that high note. Cooper and I took part in the Scouting for Food program that collects food for our local food bank. Saturday was the bag distribution day- and next week other scouts will go back and pick up the filled bags. The experience was so great- he had a super time and seemed to be proud that he had helped to make a difference. I know that I was.

Our friends George & Jess have a Halloween Party each year for the kids, and this year the theme of the party was Peter Pan. The kids were adorable (nope- no costume for Cooper this time either) and the party was so much fun. Jess had all sorts of Peter Pan themed activities and games and all of the pirates and tinkerbells had a ball. Jon was a part of the festivities and took all of the kids on a hayride with his tractor. It was so much fun- we must have looked so silly- but nobody cared and it was picture perfect!

Saturday night took us to dinner with Lolly & Chris and some other C!rcuit C!ty alum for a reunion dinner. Great food, great friends.....lots of memories and tons of laughs!! Thanks Lolly for getting us rallied.

Today was a catch up day.....Jon and Cooper detailed our cars, I cleaned and we all played catch in the cul-de-sac. The weekend was the perfect combination of fun, family and friends!!

Wow, long post....last but not least- I've Been Tagged!

Here are 6 other weird/random facts about me.

2) I can't sleep on Sunday nights. Ever. I don't know what it is, but for the past year (at least), it has been impossible for me to get to sleep on Sunday- I toss, turn, read, watch tv, blog- and might get 4 hours tops.

3) I scare/startle extremely drives Jon crazy- I can't help it. I think it's because I get really engrossed in things and lose a sense of what is around me. Typically after I've been scared- I burst into tears. Yup, crazy. I know.

4) I have a weird finger thing. Some people notice particular things about others- like maybe eyes, or fingers. I am fixated on hands.

5) I pull my eyelashes out when I am stressed. I fill in the gaps with mascara and eyeliner. My friend Laura (Lolly) inspects me each time we're together- she can tell how stressed I am by the number of gaps. I've been doing really well as of late- until recently.

6) I like the flavor of certain fruits, but not the fruit itself and vice-versa. So- watermelon flavor- good. Watermelon- no can do. Cherry flavor- good. Cherries- nope. Grapes- love them. Grape flavor- no thank you. Oranges- yup. Orange flavor- can't take it.

Ok- perhaps that was too much information...but isn't that the point?

Hmm- who to tag? I don't even know 7 people who blog....I'll just have to be non-compliant on that one!

To make up for it, here is a preview of what will be happening at our house on Tuesday night. Election Day for Presidential elections are a big deal in our family. Cooper is getting a head start on the festivities!
coopie- with leis