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...