Saturday, December 30, 2006

Year End Clean-up

We've been cleaning out drawers, doing laundry and getting rid of the old to replace it with much too much new!! Not that we aren't grateful for all of the lovely gifts we have received this season-it's just...well, sometimes it's just ridiculously too much! Mick and I really felt we had pared down on the gift-giving this year and still the boys have loads of new toys and gadgets from other family members. We are going to have them go through their toys and pare the load down in an attempt to control the clutter. Much of the items we will donate to the local Christian Foundation or Goodwill and Salvation Army. It always feels good to have a neat and tidy home-But I must admit that that event seems to happen with less frequency now with two boys, two dogs and a cat;)
Earlier this afternoon we stopped our cleaning to play a little game of Life-what a great tool for teaching the boys about some of the realities of adulthood.

Yesterday, while Mimi and Papa and the cousins were still here-we went to the matinee of Night at the Museum. It was the first movie I have been to since Phantom of the Opera almost two years ago!!! I have to say from 5 years old to 60 years plus-everyone enjoyed the film and recommended it wholeheartedly. It kept everyone entertained and laughing. There was some adult humor in it but it was well over the thought processing of our boys.

Thinking a lot now about the new year and what I want to accomplish. Books I want to read. Places I want to go to and to take the boys to. Definitely want to learn much more about digital photography, digital scrapbooking and investing. I want to attempt to get published with some of my scrapbooking. I want to invest more and save more. I want to spend less. I want to spend more time reading and less time watching TV. (I don't really watch that much as it is but reading is so much more fulfilling).I want to see more sunsets and gaze at more stars (and thanks to Santa-we can do that now with our new telescope). I want to give more of my time to church and to volunteering and more of my time to my BEBZ. I can't believe Fall 07 will mean Ethan will be gone all day! What a bittersweet moment that will be....(sigh).

So here goes:

  • I want to reread The Purpose Driven Life and read more of Suze Orman's Books and Robert Kiyosaki's newest ones. I want to read The World is Flat. I want to read through my new digital photography books and really understand them. Also, my PSE4 and Photoshop books.
  • I hope to save up money for some new lenses for my camera and for a new desk to scrap on. Sad to say my $100.00 Target particle board one is just barely hanging on.
  • Places to visit: Mexico and Jamaica,Florida, Wisconsin, Colorado and possible a trip with the BEBZ to some US landmarks. Well see about that one.
  • Play more tennis!!!
  • Spend even more time with the BEBZ, friends and family
  • Be much more organized.
  • Call a long distance friend at least once a month.
  • Remember each day is a gift from God and to cherish each one given to me.
  • Be more grateful, more thoughtful and more thankful.
  • Be more patient, understanding and compassionate.
  • Be less negative, less worrysome and less anxious.
  • Be kinder, more affectionate and more consideate of my BEBZ feelings and opinions.
  • Make a difference in my world and be more cognizant of others and their hardships.
  • Mail merge my address book (I think that's what it is called) so that when I send out mass mailings of Christmas cards next year I have everyones' addresses ready to go and to be made into labels for the envelopes.

I'll definitely need to add to this list-but I think it's a good start!

Thursday, December 28, 2006

repost of pics

Jail picture and Christmas Card photo (funny title huh?)

Some of you haven't received your Christmas cards yet-sorry! I wrote many of them out on the way out to CO but didn't get them mailed out before the blizzard came in and all mail delivery was halted for 2+days. So this year I really have a good excuse, huh? ;) I still think hearing from a friend or loved one, even if belatedly, is better than not hearing from them at all. My philosophy anyway, and I think I'll stick with it! :)
Hugs, Suz

Shopping and fun

Every year while we're in Colorado we've made it an annual tradition to go out to eat at Smokin' Moes-a quaint little BBQ joint at the downtown plaza. They always have great food there (large helpings too) and the atmosphere is fun for both the adults and kids alike. There's a train that runs around the ceiling-that the boys have affectionately named "Thomas". It is always great to see their eyes tracking it around the restaurant-sometimes they follow it as it winds it's way around the room-traversing tunnels and the like. There are places to play pool and foosball and even a jail-to lock up the little ones if they misbehave ;)!. The shopping is always fun too. We all made purchases for loved ones back home. I particularly loved the hooked pillows at one boutique. Simply beautiful and snugly. Makes me want to get back to work on the hooked santa pillow I've been working on(more off than on since yikes Ethan was in my belly! Ouch!! That's a longterm project indeed!) LOL. Another neat thing about downtown Winter Park is the ice skating rink that's open to the public near the entrance of the city parking garage. While no one from our group skated on it this year-it's still a neat little amenity (nothing like Rockefeller Center but neat nonetheless.)
Thursday evening while we were visiting the three of us (Mick Linda and I) went out to watch the Packers beat the Vikings at a local bar and restaurant called Randi's. We always have fun there. We sat by the fireplace and enjoyed the company of other Packer fans. Unfortunately, Scrooge himself decided to partake of his evening meal at the bar table just behind us. He was grumpily protesting our cheering of the game! Was really crotchety to say the least! I thought my sister Linda was going to get into it with him(like the not-so-nice smoker who was smoking into the NONsmoking section-2 years ago at the Pub-that was an interesting encounter to say the least-got a good glimpse of my sister's funny side)
Anyhoo...we behaved ouselves but were happy to see him and his wife leave so we could fully enjoy the game. Who goes to a sports pub and doesn't expect that there will be people cheering their team on?? Sorry, just don't get it. We figure the only reason they were in the bar in the first place was because they didn't want to wait in the line (that went out the door of the restaurant)that was for the restaurant customers only. Lord, please help me to never become like that man! Seriously, get a life! It wasn't like we were completely cheering at the top of our lungs or anything(ok, ok-we did do a wee bit o that at the end of the game-but he had already left!)
Other things we have enjoyed but didn't partake of this year were dogsled rides, the annual Torchlight parade, and Washboard Annie. Unfortunately for us, she no longer does her act in the the lobby of Iron Horse anymore. At least we got in a few good years of her entertainment.
We've got Mimi and PaPa here visiting now and soon the cousins and Aunt Angie and Uncle Bill will arrive as a surprise. The house will be fully loaded and activity will be busting out of the woodwork! Always a fun time with a full house.

Hoping you and yours have had a Merry Christmas and are enjoying time with those you love. Blessings and good health to all in 2007!
More later....Suz

Smokin' Moes and Downtown Winter Park

Winter Wonderland

Here are a few pics from snowy Winter Park. Unfortunately the CD I burned of pics downloaded to my mom's computer are corrupted-so I'll have to have her try and get me a new copy. But for now-here are a few:

Monday, December 25, 2006

And the stockings were hung... the chimney with care...

Well, you know the rest! Wishing you and yours visions of sugarplums-
Merry Christmas!
I'll try and get our Colorado Blizzard pics posted soon!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Blizzard Excitement

There's excitement in the air today as the Rockies-(especially our area) are set to get 24-30 inches of snow!!! Thankfully Linda and the kids got into the lodge about 11 pm last night after sitting in traffic for several hours due to a horrendous car accident-the victims were burned beyond recognition. Thankfully, by the time we saw it on the news, Linda had already called us to say she was stuck in traffic. When we found out what had happened, we calledd her phone back and left her a message as to what had happened so that they could prepare themselves for the long wait. She told us that, fortunately, the second row of seats in Mom's van was not locked in properly and so Linda stopped the van to do a safety check and to install the seat correctly which was probably a saving grace to keep them out of that terrible accident. We are definitely grateful that they were not involved in that accident. I said prayers last night thinking of those poor souls who lost their lives and for their family members. I always think, that could've been us-that could've been my loved ones. I pray that the impact itself killed the victims instantly-no one should have to suffer. I always struggle with losses like that. Good people losing their lives in such a terrible way. No different than us-going to vacation with family or friends-thinking of nothing but hitting the slopes and drinking some hot chocolate. I guess for those of us left behind-it's meant to remind us to cherish each moment- that none of us are guaranteed anything in life.
Ok, sorry for the heavy stuff- on to more cheerful things. Yesterday the BooBear became the first member of our family to attempt snowboarding. We had rented a board for him and had planned to get him into a board lesson. We went all through the lines, the paperwork, only to find out that they start giving lessons at 6 years old! Now, WHY didn't the ski rental peeps know that and let us know before we made the trek down to the base where the lessons were? Well, we decided that since Boo already had the board, we would let him give it a go. He actually did a great job-he's a born natural! It was fun to watch all the others snowboarders checking him out-watching with some wonder and amazement as the little dude made his way down the slopes. The other BEBZ went out in the afternoon for their first attempt at snowboarding. Needless to say, they had great attitudes and made good use of their derrieres on their falls. Everyone has sore calf muscles and is feeling the overexertion today-so I guess it is working out that we will "cabin up" for the blizzard and spend the day hanging out at the pool and hot tubs and watching Christmas flicks.
It's all good. Family, food, cozy fires, presents, giggles, laughter, smiles and love.
The past two days have been absolutely beautiful -the trees were just gorgeous-with a light, two inch dusting of snow. Tomorrow snow is still predicted but in lesser amounts and will be beautiful at week's end and through midweek next week. I took some pictures with my old digital but nothing like the pics I could take with my 20D. Need to do some of that too. Don't want the moisture to get at the camera though-so I 'll wait til the weather clears up.
Other news,I reinjured my back last Fri. after I sneezed (go figure)-so Ian decides to pull a funny to make me feel better and sings out an altered jingle to the diabetic monitor "One Touch" commercial. He sang, "One sneeze changes everything!" What a little witster!
Well, the cousins are now in full form-with pillow fights and the usual raucousness that comes from nearly a year between visits. I need to go tame the troops before it gets to out of control. More later!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Lovin' the thin air

here in The Rockies! We watched Pirates of the Carribean (not, of course, Mick who was driving at the time and I atttempted to write out Christmas cards.We safely arrived (no transmission tragedies this year, thankfully!) in Colorado yesterday afternoon after only a few brotherly spats between the BEBZ. We didn't have the extremelyhigh winds to drive through as in years past (no major tumbleweed disturbances as in years past) but we also didn't get to catch the beautiful meteorite shower that we were able to witness across the expansive Kansas nightsky as we were treated to in 2003. We got a late start from home -leaving about 6:15 and got to our hotel at about 1:40 am. Needless to say, we all crashed upon our heads' hitting the pillows.
The boys enjoyed driving through the tunnel in the mountain-it's also a mini-highlight of the trip for them each year. We stopped at King Soopers in Denver for lift tickets-they were outrageous this year b/c they moved up the holiday season to the day we arrived. Usually we are here for some of the preseason so it's cheaper. We might have to consider taking vacation earlier next year even if it means the BEBZ will miss school. As it is, this year they will miss 3 1/2 days.
Ethan managed to come down with the flu bug Thurs. evening before we left. This was the third year out of his 5 year-young lifespan that he's become sick over the Christmas holidays. Poor little guy! Gratefully it was a 24 hour bug and he's back into his spunky form again!
Go figure.
Upon arrival and unpacking I came to the unfortunate conclusion that somehow amidst the last minute details of departing for a week long vacation for four- Mick's ski pants didn't get along for the ride. Not sure HOW that happened-all ski gear was laying in the middle of the kitchen floor last time I saw them. So now, Mick is on his way into town to buy a pair-really bites as he has a perfectly fine pair at home. It will be interesting to see where they show up when we get home.
I still can't believe the whirlwind of Fri. Talk about running around like a chicken with it's head cut off and indulging in excess amounts of Diet Pepsi. I awoke at 7 Am and ran to Wal-mart to get Christmas cards developed at one hour photo-only to realize they didn't open until 9! Aargh! Dropped off van at garage to have them get rid of the whirring noise due to our recently replaced brakes. Then...
Home to pay bills and to continue packing. Also got teachers' gifts and cards ready to go. Back to garage to pick up van and then it was off to Wal-mart again to finish last minute gift shopping and to develop Christmas cards. Next, picked up dry cleaning and then went to bank to make deposit and to take out cash for the trip. Stopped by Ethans school to let him know he had the flu an wouldn't be attending class. Back to Wal-mart ot pick up Christmas cards Home again to find the kennel had called several times and wondered if we had mixed up times as we were to bring the dogs in at 9 for boarding. Therefore, I quickly cleaned out and vacuumed the van and loaded up the dogs to take in to kennel. Realized a mile down the road I forgot their updated vaccination papers-so turned around to get them. Returned home from kennel and grabbed teachers' gifts and chocolate cake for them. Dispersed all of the gifts and cards into their mailboxes and ran for home to finish laundry and to write note and leave thank you gift for Holly and Mark regarding instructions for the house and lights and kitty care while we're gone. Oh, did I mention I also managed to cut Ethan's hair amidst all of the hoopla?
Bakc to our travel. The good news...we had no traffic jams-only one loser maniac that decided he wanted to tailgate me through downtown Denver-needless to say he got a window full of my face and as he passed me at ridiculous speed- he nearly hit the siderail!! Complete idiot. To say my loving goodwill and Christmas spirit went out the window along with my gestures would be an understatement.
Speaking of Goodwill, when we stopped at King Sooper's, the Salvation Army bell ringers were at attention at the front doors. I gave each of the boys a quarter to place in the bucket. Ian skipped right on up and dropped his in. Meanwhile, Ethan decides, NO, he didn't think HE WANTED to put his in the bucket...but would rather keep it...for himself...and put it in his pocket!! The men working the bucket thought it quite comical (and I guess it KIND OF was) but Mick and I thought otherwise as we dragged his CharminShack rumpus off to the side for a small discussion of goodwill toward others!!! What an imp!!
Mick is off to town to get more groceries and to find some ski pants. We won't ski til Tues. b/c we have to ski consecutive days. So tomorrow we may try our hand (more like our butts) at snowboarding. The boys seem game for it too. We'll see how much lessons cost.
Later Gator!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Birthday Beignets

yep...momma's version...i made them for our lil BOO who turned 5 today. so hard to imagine...5 years ago today he entered this world- one extremely healthy (10/10 on the Apgar scale) screaming, full-head of hair,.. baby boy. And, let's just say our lives have never been the same since...

...constant laughter. smirks and smiles. loads of love. Full of antics and wit.

Look out ladies. We've got a charmer in DA HOUSE! :) Sorry about the pics being out of order!

Gotta love...

...SNOW DAYS! Not one but two. The boys were in their glory the past few days-staying up late and sleeping in. And, of course, playing in the snow. Here's a few pics...

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Lil Grandma's BD

while sitting here typing my first entry today-and seeing the date of the post-I came to the realization that it was Lil Gma's BD. She's been gone nearly two and a half years now. Miss her so much. Ironically she passed on Ian's bd, May 29, 2004. Family members always seem to do that-find a meaningful date in your life and pass away on it. It's happened more than once in my family. Any of you out there ever have that happen? I actually think it's kind of special-not sad. It helps me to never forget those that have passed on before me and to remember all of the joy and special moments that that person brought into my life. And for me Gramser and I shared a lot. Lots of snippets of time and love. Lots of Little "Good Morning Egg" moments that I will cherish always. Here's to you Gramser... today is and always will be ...special. :)

the latest Ethanism

...the other day I was serving up some dinner to Ethan and Ethan said to me, " Momma, just give me a tiddle of that please."
"A tiddle?" I queried. "Is that somewhere between a tad and a little?"
To which my nearly five year old replied, "Yep!"
Oh, and the other pic would be Ian's striking impersonation of-none other than-Jack Nicholson himself. Think I should send it in to Ellen's show for her funny pictures? LOL

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Hauntings

...just got back from an evening of trick-o-treatin' with the matey-os. Fun time. Cool, crisp October weather-good night to be knockin on the neighbors doors. I just barely completed carving the "punkins" in time. Of course the only people to enjoy them were the four of us and anyone who checks out this blog. Ethan was sweet when I picked him up from school today-"Mommy, I got loads of candy at my school party and when I get home I'm gonna share it with brother!'" awwww...............

They are upstairs now-divvying up there stockpiles and trading each other out-after much to do and negotiating-Ian managed to obtain Ethan's package of Runts (minus the banana piece-"because Momma, that's my favorite fruit!"). I told them they had to brush their teeth for a really long time tonight. Ian said "how long" I said, "Until your arm feels like it's gonna fall off" (or at least for two-three minutes!)
They were discussing their different likes and dislikes (in the realm of the candy world) and started differentiating hard candy (the kind that will nearly guarantee a trip to the dentist--which BTW, I surmise many dentists have nightmares about Halloween and all of the cavities it produces) and soft candy. Ethan was chewing on a really hard candy at the time-picking it off of his molar while Ian said-"That's a really hard candy you're eating there Ethan-it's a "Now and AFTER" got that right buddy-eat it now and be paying a trip to the dentist AFTER you're done eating it!

i guess I'll have to post pics later as my browser isn't letting me anyway.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Back to Business

after a trip to visit extended family in St. Louis. Always good to see the cousins...its loud, boisterous, busy and filled with good food and conversation. Here are a few pics from the visit:

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Good Read

Forgot to mention I recently read a good book-called the Memory Keepers Daughter. Good story-tragedy and triumph. Reads pretty quickly. now I'm reading to Feel Stuff-interestingly different in the way it is written-will wait til the end before I give it a full thumbs up. of my 2006 favorites was The Kite Runner.

Much needed R&R

Back from a weekend getaway to visit my ole friends from Chicagoland. I hadn't seen them in nearly a year. It was soooooooooooooooo good to catch up things-even though a lot of time has passed -we always pick up right where we left off. Funny how some relationships are like that. Comforting in the knowledge that you can look your worst and feel the best knowing they'll accept you just as you are. We always seem to have an evening of tears and an evening of goofiness and fun. Topics discussed range from the latest and greatest scrappin' supplies-to philisophical topics-religion and death-the whole gamut of mundane topics to parenting flops and hops all the way too controversial ones like assisted suicide. The hubbies may think we get away just to chat incessantly about makeup and clothes and material things-when in actuality-most of our discussions are thought-provoking and reflective.
I absolutely love this group of gals-those who you can bare your deepest fears to, your imperfections and insecurities--and still know they love you anyway. I think each of us would mutually agree that friendships like these are the ones worth investing in and are truly priceless.

And you know what? It all came to be because we all share the common love of scrapbooking and family. How cool is that?

First we shopped (of course) at this nice SB store called The Paper Moon. Everyone very friendly and helpful there. We ate dinner at a quaint lil Italian Bistro called the Brick Oven-downtown Washington(great lil bedroom community to Peoria-both of my parents were born and raised there and that's where many of my fondest memories with my grandparents took place!)We had appetizers and some pretty tasty pizza too! It had a nice ambience with a gorgeous Italian landscape mural adorning the wall..(I'd post a pic of it-but that photo is one Tanya's camera).
The River House was awesome! Great view of the Illinois River. Sunday morning we saw a huge flock of pelicans swimming upstream! Unfortunately, even with my telephoto lens they were fairly far away. (Here's a shout out to my dad's cousin and husband for loaning it to us for the weekend-Thanks so very much Carol and Charlie!)

I managed to accomplish a fair amount with my scrappin-completed an album for a Christmas gift and several other l/o's to boot! Looking forward to other holiday projects.
So, we shopped. We ate. We laughed and we cried and in the end it was a truly memorable weekend!

Just got back from Wally World awhile ago ($200 later-ouch!) and picked up a cute T-shirt that said "If you can read this...thank a teacher." I thought it was totally appropriate for Ian as we have so many educators in our families. Not too mention, it'll be a big hit on Teacher Appreciation Day! Anyways, when Ian saw it hanging up on the cabinet, he said, "Cool T-shirt-not like those other ones that say "sister for sale" or "and shut up, that's what?" (How cool a kid is he?)
Seriously though, who buys that for their kids? (sorry if I have offended anyone-but come on-a little more positivity in this world would sure be nice-and don't our teachers deserve a bit of gratitude from us?
Really. 'Nuf said.

Suzer, out!

Thursday, August 31, 2006

oh so tired

-where did the day go? Man! Post office and dry cleaners...library for three hours and working at home on book fair details-finally managed to get to Wally World for groceries and much needed dog food, snacks, lightbulbs and other miscellaneous sundries. (Did I mention we didn't eat dinner until 9:30 how bad is that? (The boys did have a nutritious and obviously fulfilling snack after school!) Working on computer again typing up reminders and letters for the book fair --contact lists and other stuff. Trying to catch up on housecleaning and gear up for the long weekend. Tomorrow tennis lessons and packing for long weekend at the lake. But before all that-my buddy Kelly is coming over to scrap a little-guess I better go run and straighten up my scrappin space. Gonna be a late night-I can feel it already! I think I need to start my IV Diet Pepsi drip now. LOL I'll leave ya with a recent pic of The Benjamin and his Momma(Holly).

Wednesday, August 30, 2006


busy! So much to do with back to school-Cub Scouts and tennis and coordinating schedules...filling out oodles of redundant yet necessary medical and personal information for the BEBZ schools. Packing lunches, ironing shirts for picture day...feeding the dogs...calling teachers to meet with them regarding a challenging curriculum for Ian...calling volunteers to help out with the Scholastic book fair coming up in two or so weeks(I'm co-chairing)...putting my time in at the library shelving and covering and checking in and out books...watching Ben...doing tangram like puzzles and baking with toilets and dusting and mopping floors...doing dishes and laundry and faxing and mailing and oh so much more...exasperation and exhaustion set in and then...

then...I reflect back on a little sliver of time in my day-when Ethan was riding in the car today on the way to pre-K and he said (quite out of the blue),

"Mommy, did you bake cookies when I was in your belly?"
(Where does the boy come up with this stuff?)
" Well, yes Ethan. I did. Why do you ask?"
"I was just wondering...cuz Little Bear's momma baked cookies when he was in her belly!"
...Out of the mouths of babes...
my little blond beauregard!

Monday, August 21, 2006

Post-first day-of-school-last-day with the momma depression finally sunk into the noggin today that my Lil' Boy Boo was off to his first day of formal schooling-PRE-KINDERGARTEN! just makes my heart sink coming to the realization that this was the beginning of the end. The end of hanging out with Momma all day and playing...and giggling...and errand-running...and stealing sugar smacks...and snuggling...well...

now that I think of it...I can still do all those things with just won't be in such the large quantities of time that I have in the past. Oh....and I was excited for him when I dropped him off at his new school and I saw his little face beaming with excitement-but then today when I picked him up from school and asked him if he "missed Momma today?" to which he impishly shook his head "no" (awww-cuts like a knife!) I then said it was "because you were so busy (gulp)having fun, right?" to which he smirked and nodded "yes!"
Ok.ok. gotta love the little dude-wanted to make the Momma feel a little better!'s a few pics from his and Ian's first day of school.