Monday, December 28, 2009

Music Monday---Longer Than

This coming Friday, Hubby & I will celebrate our 23rd Wedding Anniversary. I chose this song for today both for it's loveliness & because we owned this album on cassette tape for quite a few years. The cassette may actually STILL be around somewhere. I know I didn't throw it away, but it may have gotten worn out because we played it constantly.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas at our House

A few days before Christmas we got a new kitten. His name is Toffee. He's going to be very unhappy when the tree gets taken down & put away.
Here's the tree after Santa was a pretty lean year.
The stockings hung with care.
A better look at Toffee.
Melanie was very pleased with her gifts.
I think she would have been happy if the candy was all she got.
Marissa loved her gifts & candy too....especially the candy!

Maggie got an American Girl Just Like You doll. She LOVES it. This outfit is also from the American Girl store, but they didn't have the matching version for her doll.
Maggie also got a new Lands End winter coat.
Maggie & I made this headband for the doll.
Morgan's BIG present was a Nintendo DSi.....he is rather obsessed with it.
Mason came over early in the morning to open presents with the younger kids, then he took a nap....yes, he always looks this grumpy when he first wakes up.
Lily came over in the evening to open presents & visit.
Maggie LOVES to read & was very excited that her brother Marvin got her this book.

Mason LOVES to get the little kids worked up
but sometimes it backfires on him
Morgan also got a couple of new Lego games for the Wii
Marvin was very interested in helping him with the Star Wars game.
Marvin & Lily with Marissa on the loveseat & Marvin's wife, Mary next to the tree
Maggie worked for 30 minutes to be able to do this with her fingers.
Melanie still doesn't particularly like clothes....but she LOVES to play "Flying Baby" with Mason.

We had a fun Christmas! It was wonderful to have all the kids & our granddaughter together. I only wish we had gotten a good group picture.

How was your Christmas? Did you get to spend it with family?

Monday, December 21, 2009

I'm now approving comments because of SPAM

I've recently started to get a LOT of random SPAM. I'm hoping it is last minute marketing for Christmas, so I've turned on comment approval to eliminate it showing up here.

Music Monday--God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

Last year I chose the Loreena McKennitt version of this song for a Music Monday post. It is one of my favorite songs. This year, I've got a couple versions to share.

This instrumental version by Jethro Tull is AMAZING!!!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Another death....

sigh....the last few weeks have been really hard.

On Wednesday I got a message on Facebook from a friend in California that one of our friends had died. I went to High School with Beth. We were both in the band, but we didn't really hang out much. She was shy & quiet, I wasn't. After high school we became much closer friends. She went away to college, but we still got together whenever she was in town. Then she became depressed & was later diagnosed with mental illness. She moved back to the town I lived in & we spent a LOT of time together. Her mental illness was a major struggle for her and she would end up in the hospital on a frequent basis. She would always call once her medication had been adjusted & I would go wherever she was to visit & cheer her up. This went on for almost 15 yrs.

Not long before I left California, she had a particularly bad episode and she was committed to a facility. At the time I was told that her illness had progressed to the point that she would no longer be able to communicate with friends and she was expected to stay in a residential facility from then on. That was at least 6 yrs ago...and I haven't had contact with her since.

Beth was not in touch with reality. She wasn't on the internet, she didn't have e-mail & she didn't really have conversations on the phone. She has been on my mind lately, but I didn't have a way to get any information about her. I befriended her mother on Facebook and had been watching her updates hoping she would mention Beth, but she never did. I knew they were estranged, so I didn't feel comfortable asking her Mom for information about her.

On Tuesday, Beth was living on her own, renting a room in someone's home. For reasons nobody understands she took a large knife and walked a block to the closest elementary school. She was cutting herself on her head & upper body with the knife and she gained entrance to the school playground. A yard duty saw her & immediately got all the children to safety, then the police were called. When the police confronted Beth, she charged them and they fatally shot her. I'm not upset at the police, their lives were in danger. I am upset that the system was never able to help Beth. I am extremely sad that it does not sound as if anyone was looking out for her day to day welfare, she was severely mentally ill, yet she was renting a room in a strangers house & living on Social Security disability. I am thankful that the children, the school staff & the police were unharmed. Beth had tried to harm herself in the past, but she had NEVER in my knowledge been a danger to others. I have to believe that she was off her medication and had no idea what she was doing. This article in the Modesto Bee gives a lot of information about the specifics of her illness.

Rest in Peace will not be forgotten.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Take Me Back Tuesday--Christmas 2006

I've probably shared this picture before. This was our Christmas card picture in 2006. I was pregnant with Melanie at the time....the baby here is Marissa.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Music Monday--Another Celtic Christmas Favorite

I've recently realized that I'm really into Celtic (Irish) music. Here are a couple of my favorites from the Irish Rovers. I'd LOVE to see Celtic Woman do this first song.

Their accents in this one are so thick, at times I wasn't sure they were still speaking English. I LOVE the idea of this one as an Irish drinking song. The men in this video are not the Irish Rovers, but it is the Irish Rover's singing.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Mama's Holiday Wish List Meme

TodaysMama and Provo Craft are giving away a sleighful of gifts this holiday season and to enter I’m sharing this meme with you.

1. What 5 items are on your holiday wish list this year?
  1. New pillows for my bed
  2. A steam cleaner for my carpet
  3. A KitchenAide mixer
  4. Something made of bamboo velour in my size
  5. New pots & pans
2. What is your favorite handmade gift you have received? hand crocheted blanket
3. What handmade gift have you always wanted to tackle?
quilts for the kids
4. What was the best Christmas gift you received as a child?
my Baby Crissy doll
5. What items are on your kid’s wish list this year?
DSi, American Girl doll, Tag reader, stuffed dog
6. What is your favorite holiday food?
7. What will you be hand-crafting for the holidays?
cookies, fudge, tamales
8. What is your favorite holiday movie?
Frosty the Snowman
9. Favorite holiday song?
O'come all ye Faithful
10. Favorite holiday pastime?
baking cookies & singing Christmas carols

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Take Me Back Tuesday...Christmas 2007

Melanie was 7 months old for her first Christmas. She was sitting up, crawling & generally finding ways to get into things. She looks so tiny here, but at 7 months, she was already wearing 18 month clothes.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Music Monday--Let it SNOW

Saturday morning we got about 3 inches of snow! Of course it was gone by early afternoon, but it was lots of FUN while it lasted. Our forecast for the coming weeks is predicting more snow Wednesday night, so you know my kids are already hoping for a snow day on doesn't usually take much snow to shut down all of Knoxville. More snow would also go a long way in helping me get into the holiday spirit, so far absolutely no decorating or cookie baking has gotten done.

This is such a FUN song from Celtic Woman!! Hubby & I watched their new PBS special last week & we will be going to see them when they come to Knoxville in April!!! I can't wait.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Rest in Peace Slippery

Yesterday was a very sad day in our house. Our cat, Slippery, had been "missing" since Friday evening and we were very worried that he had gotten locked in one of the neighbors garage. Instead we discovered that he had died in his sleep in a corner of one of the bedrooms. All pets are special, but Slippery was an especially special cat. Slippery was born in Marvin & Mason's bedroom closet in the Spring of 2001. His mother Destiny has always been an ill tempered cat, but Slippery was always sweet & loving.From the time he was a very small kitten, he has been Maggie's cat. She was less than a year old when he was born & they have always been inseparable. He would let her hold & cuddle him for hours on end. He rode in the doll stroller, he wore hats, whatever Maggie wanted, Slippery was the her willing playmate.
Our house feels very empty without his presence. The little girls are comforted by the idea that he is with our beloved dog, Star, in Heaven. The rest of us are still really struggling with the suddenness of this loss.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Pink Saturday...Snow

Happy Pink Saturday!!! Be sure to stop by How Sweet the Sound to check out all the links for Pink Saturday & say Hi to Beverly, our lovely host.

Look what we woke up to this morning in East Tennessee!!!
This is Sheba's first snow & she was very excited!!

The flash caught the snowflakes just right as they were coming down & some of them look HUGE.
This week we are supposed to be sharing one of our childhood memories about a special holiday....the one that keeps coming to mind for me is the first Christmas that my Mom, my little brother & I spent in California. We were thousands of miles from all our relatives and on a very small budget. We had a little tree in our apartment, but it was so warm & nice (not what we were used to for Christmas weather since we had moved from New Jersey the previous March) that my Mom decided we would go to my brother's favorite park to open our Christmas presents under the pine trees on the nice GREEN grass. I wore shorts & sandals and my Mom took pictures to send to our relatives.

What's your favorite holiday memory?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

And the Sugar Dipes Gift Certificate winner is....

Random.Org chose Attila & Tamara from Szogedi Home

Attila & Tamara said... 103


szogediek at yahoo dot com

I've sent an e-mail & they will have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen.

Take Me Back Tuesday...What a difference a year makes

This was Thanksgiving last year. Check out this post to see what they look like now.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Music Monday....One more Angel in Heaven

My Uncle Patrick died suddenly last Friday, he was only 53. This song has been in my head ever since I heard the news.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Tomorrow is the last day of National Blog Posting Month

I've managed to post every single day this month (some days more than once) and really it wasn't THAT hard. I already know what I'm posting for tomorrow (Monday's are EASY), so I have met the goal!!!! Every month I set a personal goal to have at least one post for each day of the month. Most months my number of posts is at least as many as the number of days in the month, but frequently I will skip a few days & then have several posts in one day.

Did you do National Blog Posting Month? How did you do? Was it FUN? Really that last question is the most important to me. It was FUN for me & I enjoyed it. I don't think I would want the pressure of needing to post something everyday for months on end, but for one month it was both challenging & FUN!

My goal for next month is 31 posts. With the holidays, I'm sure there will be some days that I won't post, but I'm also sure that there will be days that there is so much I want to share I will have several posts.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

A death in the family

In early November, one of my uncles was in a motorcycle accident on his way to work. The day it happened we were very worried. As time went by we learned that his injuries were moderate. He had to have major reconstructive surgery on one elbow, but his other injuries were less severe. He was released from the hospital after a week or so & seemed to be recovering well.

On Thanksgiving morning my Mom talked to him on the phone and other than being short of breath he sounded good. She came to Thanksgiving dinner at our house and we all had a nice time. Late that night I took one last look at Facebook before bed & discovered that he had been readmitted to the ICU after collapsing outside his oldest son's in-law's home. I called my Mom.

On Friday morning my Mom called me, he had blood clots in his lungs and there was concern about his kidneys and his lungs. About a half hour later she called me again sobbing, he had died. From what we understand he died from the blood clots. He just turned 53 at the end of October.

My Uncle Patrick was very much like an older brother to me when I was little. I spent a lot of time at my Grandfather's house & the only times I remember visiting my Grandmother as a small child, my Uncle Patrick was always with me. He was 10 yrs older than me & always seemed like a giant because he was so much bigger than everyone else. I remember being really sad when he got married & joined the Navy, it was really hard going to Granpop's and having him not be there. I moved to California soon after and I only visited my Grandfather for a week or two in the Summers, Uncle Patrick's visits home never seemed to coincide with mine. We heard through the family grapevine about him, but almost never saw him.

A few years after I got married he moved to California, near where we lived & we saw him much more frequently. I was always impressed with how devoted he was to his wife and children. While most of that side of my family is renowned for their tempers, I never saw him lose his temper with anyone. Anytime there was a family crisis, he was there to hold everyone together. He was our family ROCK, our roots & our comfort, I just don't know how we are going to manage without him.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Group pictures are HARD

We had a wonderful family gathering for Thanksgiving. Mason is home from college, Marvin & his family came for dinner & everything ran very smoothly. Just before Mason rushed off to hang out with his friends, I talked all the kids into gathering to try for a group photo. I'm hoping to get a good current picture for a new header & I would really LOVE to get a picture I can use in our Christmas card.
The left half of this one is GREAT, it's very rare to actually get Melanie looking at the camera with her eyes open, unfortunately the right half wasn't cooperating.
Then the left half decided to get goofy
This is probably the best from this bunch. Of course Melanie isn't looking at the camera & has her fingers in her mouth.
This is the best shot of the right half, so of course the left side decided not to cooperate.

It is rather rare these days to actually have all 6 kids together in one place, so I thought it would be nice to see just how tall they are in relation to each other.
Melanie decided she didn't want to be in the pictures anymore
Then we finally got Melanie & Lily to both cooperate....too bad Melanie's hair is in her eyes and she's got her fingers in her mouth again.

Melanie is only 4 months older than Lily, but she is a good 6 inches taller. Morgan's really been growing lately, he's suddenly about 5' 2" before long he'll be my height.