Friday, October 31, 2008

A Grateful Heart

I don't know how to properly express my gratefulness to someone today. But I AM grateful and overwhelmed at the kindness of others.

Along with the 5 political campaign mailers in my mailbox yesterday was a small thank you card addressed to my family. Inside the note: $100 and the words "Thank you for being such a good example".

So, to the person(s) who sent this note: THANK YOU. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts! I don't think you'll ever fully understand what this means to our family. Brian and I looked at each other and had no words as our eyes filled with tears. We feel so blessed and thank YOU for YOUR example - times are tough for everyone and $100 is a sacrifice, not pocket change! We were able to breathe a small sigh of relief last night.

Thank you. No... really.... THANK YOU.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

20 years

Dang I wish I had photos for this entry.

20 years ago, my life pretty much changed forever. Not that I knew at that time it would... but it did.

You see... there were two best friends who attended different Jr High schools. Jenifer and Lorie both lived in my neighborhood, but one attended Evergreen Jr High and the other, Granite Park Jr. These two friends decided to put on a smashing Halloween Party in Lorie's backyard, inviting classmates from BOTH Jr High schools.

It was to be an OUTSIDE party - complete with food and dancing. I was terribly excited to attend and decided to dress up as "Cleopatra". I wore a long, purple dress that was my Mothers, sprayed my hair black and straightened it, and adorned my head with jewels. Thinking back, since it was such a cold night, wearing sandals was NOT the best idea.

I remember walking in to that backyard, amazed at how many people were there. So many I didn't know (since they were from another school) but so many that I DID know. People were talking, dancing, eating... having a great time. I was shy and stood to the side, watching my friends have a good time and wishing I had the nerve to join in on some of the fun.

Across the way was a boy, dressed as a Genie, standing with his friend, dressed as a baseball player. We glanced at each other every now and then for what seemed like hours until, FINALLY, the Genie came over and asked if I wanted to dance.

I accepted, and we did the "side step, jr high slow dance" and the song ended. I smiled, said thank you and walked back to my corner.

A few minutes later, the Genie came by again. Without saying anything, we started dancing again. And kept dancing. And dancing. My toes were frozen - he must have been awful cold too since he was wearing that Genie costume that consisted of puffy pants and only a vest for the top.

Too shy to say anything to each other, we never found out names. I would leave the party as soon as one friend came and grabbed MY Genie to take him to the gazebo to "marry" another friend. (grrrr Jenifer... can I ever forgive you for taking my Genie Man??? *winks*)

I left the party with only memories - no name but "The Genie". I knew he must be from the "other" school since he didn't look familiar, and I was pretty sad that I never found out who he was.

Years pass. We move on to High School where I become friends with a few of the Madrigal girls. We start hanging out when one of these friends introduce me to Brian - he's a funny guy and we hit it off right away. Mostly because he was diabetic and I "understood" him since my sister is diabetic also. Our group became GOOD FRIENDS, and I cherished them all. Brian especially. We would call each other after dates (we were both pretty serious with our boyfriend/girlfriend at the time...) and I'd go see him at work.

Sitting in English class one day my senior year I start talking to Jenifer - one of the girls that hosted the Halloween party. We start talking about the people that attended the party, and imagine my surprise when she says "Oh, and Brian was there".

"WHAT?!?!" I say. "You're kidding! Brian and I are great friends! What was he dressed up as?!?!"

And she says: "The Genie"


I couldn't wait to get to his work that night. (He was a server at Frontier Pies.) I asked to be put at his table and tell him when he has a second I need to talk to him.

As he sits down I say: "Do you remember a Halloween party your 9th grade year?"

"Yes" he says... "Oh, but don't tell me YOU were there! The only thing I remember about that party was dancing all night with CLEOPATRA ..."

And I yell out: "THAT WAS ME!!!!"

Brian and I remained friends for a long time. We were never anything more than friends for a long while. When I realized I had "feelings" for him I was scared. I didn't want to "be in love" with him - I knew that those feelings might ruin our friendship - and our friendship was AWESOME and more important to me than anything.

When I finally told him how I felt, I was excited to find out he felt the same. We made "rules". We DID NOT want to ruin our friendship, and we gave it a lot of time before we let the romantic side of our relationship show.

So here we are... married 13.5 years now. Still best friends. And it all started 20 years ago at a silly Halloween Party.

Happy "meeting" anniversary, Gene!

Your Cleo

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Halloween Party

Our neighborhood Halloween Party was this evening. It gave me the chance to take photos of the kids WITHOUT candy all over their costumes!

A few photos, and smilebox slideshow for those who want to see more. :)

Reagan as Little Miss Muffet:

All together: Jordan as "Spider", Reagan as "Miss Muffet", Taylor as "Wolf" and Madison as "Little Red":

The Wolf and Little Red Riding Hood:

The Spider and Little Miss Muffet:

Slide show:

Click to play Halloween 2008
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Halloween Costumes are COMPLETE!

Thank HEAVEN! I think I can put my sewing machine away (for a day or two anyway... *winks*)

This by far was the LEAST expensive Halloween! All my fabric, with the exception of Taylor's, was in the basement. Having to purchase Taylors *wolf* fabric, and then baskets to go with the girls costume brings our grand total for Halloween to: $8.58


Taylor is going as the WOLF from Little Red Riding Hood. There was no wolf pattern. His is completely original (and you'll be able to tell that... LOL) but I enjoyed the challenge and think it turned out just fine!

Jordan will be going as the Spider from "Little Miss Muffett". I was fortunate enough to have my good friend and neighbor hand me their spider outfit from years past. (Maybe I have a little guilt still not making his, but it was nice to have one costume totally taken care of.)

Reagan will be "Little Miss Muffett". It was a good excuse to make her a new church dress. The pattern was totally modified - the pinafore done freehand. Had to make two of the little hats because the first one was way too small. I love the bloomers and must tell you they look better ON then hanging there. :)

Madison is "Little Red Riding Hood". I couldn't have asked for an easier costume to make! I'm sure there was a better way to make her cape, but it turned out fine. I didn't make her shirt (thought about it... then decided... nah!) but it looked dumb sitting there with just the cape and skirt. Thought the little apples on the skirt fabric were appropriate and "riding hood-ish". Love her basket to go with it!

I'm glad to have it over! Can't wait to take pictures of them IN their costumes tonight when we attend the Ward Halloween Party!

P.S. Someone PLEASE clean the mirror in these photos! Good grief I didn't realize how dirty it was until the photos came through! ICK!!!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Will Work for MONEY!

How does one go about getting a LEGITIMATE, part time, possibly work at home, evening or weekend job???

Emphasis on LEGITIMATE?

Because I need to find something to get us through the next few months and everything out there is a total FRAUD!

Either that, or it's something during the day where I'd have to leave my children. It would be STUPID for me to pay someone to watch my kids while I work... I'd be working just to pay them!

So... ideas anyone? I think now-a-days you have to "know" someone to get anything. (Realize I've been out of the workforce for over NINE YEARS now! I don't know anyone!)

Someone lead me in the right direction...

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Date Night

I had a special date with a special guy last night:


Jordan's teacher is part of the Murray Symphony. He asked me a week ago if we could go.

For some reason, I wasn't thinking that just he and I could go... I was thinking that Brian and I should take him, but I knew I wouldn't have a babysitter. (My parents were going out for their anniversary... HAPPY ANNIVERSARY MOM AND DAD!!!... and Reagan just doesn't do well with anyone else... not that we try that much, but still...)

Yesterday morning at the breakfast table Jordan tells me: "I had a dream last night that we went to that concert. You and dad just found someone from Dad's work to watch Reagan so we could go."

Brian volunteered right away to stay home with the rest of the family, and Jordan waited all day for 7:30 to roll around.

The members of the symphony dressed up in Halloween costumes and the audience was encouraged to do the same. The director was fun and it is really nice to go somewhere that the ENCOURAGE children to be there. It's sometimes hard to introduce children to classical music because of the "sit still" factor. The fact that they WANT children to be exposed and don't mind the outbursts is fantastic!

Jordan was delighted to see both Maggie and Zoe from school there, and his teacher came to talk to them. (She's a GEM! She has been so wonderful for Jordan!) She showed them her violin and told them how happy she was knowing there were people in the audience just for her.

Jordan and I settled down next to Maggie and her mom for the first half of the concert. He opened his program and found Mrs. Blackburn's name. "Joan Blackburn" Jordan says. "That's my teacher because her REAL name is Joan, but we just call her Mrs. Blackburn."

Thanks for a fun "date" Jordy! I'm so glad you enjoyed the Symphony with me! "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" was by far the best! :)

Brooklyn's PJ's

Madison was invited to Brooklyn's birthday party last Friday. Note to self: Stop telling the 4 year old about upcoming parties... the days leading up will be filled with "is it today???" and "How much longer???"

Needless to say, she was SO excited to go!

Madison helped me pick out the fabric. Princess stuff and fairies... what could be better?

Hope you had a happy birthday Brooklyn! Madison had a GREAT time at the party!!! :)

Halloween Skirt

Found some Halloween fabric in the basement and HAD to make a Halloween Skirt for Madison! She wore it to dance class on Thursday, and will probably wear it to preschool on Monday. Gosh, they're so quick an easy! (No patternbtw for those that asked... I just threw it together - I don't know measurements or anything...)

Friday, October 24, 2008

Farewell, Meg

Our Meggie has gone to doggy heaven.

The poor thing was suffering so much over the past month or so. She had gone blind and was having a hard time walking up the stairs. So sad!

Meg had such a hard time moving here 6 years ago. Her "sister", Roo, had passed away just a few months before, Jordan was born and then we moved to a new place. I think we stressed her out BIG TIME.

But she was still such a fun part of the family. She was so devoted - you would pull in the driveway and she would cry and cry and CRY until you came over to see her in the backyard. She couldn't stand being in one place and you in another. She had a fondness for leftovers and I think she hardly ate dog food because everyone was willing to share the last little bit from their plate.

We'll miss you Meg-burt! Have fun chasing birds and knocking over the garbage can in heaven!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Real Quick...

I was busy blogging my last entry when Madison starts patting my arm.

I'm in blogging mode and her attempts to get me to listen are ignored.

She keeps on tapping and calling "Mom!!"

I don't answer until I hit "Publish Post". I turn to her and say: "Yes Madison?"

She replies: "If I were you, I'd start listening the FIRST time."

Maybe she'll send me to time out? *winks*


Oh the massive amounts of homework my 4th grader has today!!!

He was lazy and didn't turn a few things in. Now, in order to get credit, he MUST have them turned in tomorrow (only 75% credit) otherwise he gets ZERO credit.

2 rough drafts for his autobiography plus 2 finished copies...
math homework
book report
and studying for a spelling test tomorrow.

Since it's close to Halloween, his spelling words are "themed". I thought some people might get a kick out of what he needs to spell tomorrow on his test.


Oh! And he's supposed to know the definitions too!

Tonight, we're in for a FUN EVENING!!! (Didn't I promise someone something for tonight? I need to leave the house, right??? Someone help me out here!!! )

Monday, October 20, 2008

Twirl Skirts

My friend Char inspired me. I just HAD to sit down and make some twirl skirts!!!

Not the best photo of it, but here's Madison's in hers:

And Reagan's that I made this morning:

Thanks a lot Char! My girls are going to have many a skirt made out of all my scrap fabric!!! The pattern/color combo's are just too fun to come up with!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Life is just a bowl of.... cereal?

Reagan is funny.

She's ultra smart (not just sayin' that... she's *almost* potty trained - all on her own, she knows all her colors, can identify her shapes, can count to 10 even though she sometimes skips the number five, she uses big words like *annoying* AND it is no longer proper to term all sea creatures as "fish"... there are whales and dolphins and sharks... they're not FISH...)

So it should come as no shock to me that she's learned to open the dishwasher door so she can retrieve items she "needs".

The other day she grabbed 5 bowls from the dishwasher. I asked what she wanted them for and she looked at me like: "DUH!"

I went about my business because we never question her intentions and came in the other room to find THIS:

She was sorting cereal for all members of the family. (Not Brian because he is at work...) She's even given Taylor the largest ration in the blue bowl... she grabs a handful and carefully places it in each bowl, saying the name of who the lucky recipient is.

Do they have preschool for 2 year olds? I fear I'm going to be WAY too boring for her really quick... *winks*

Hey... at least she was SHARING her fruit loops!!! (Who got them out of the cupboard for her I wonder???)

Another Quilt

I know, I know... "not another one!!!"

But hey... If I post photos here, I'll know where they are when I "need" them.

This one was a "train" quilt for my cousin's little boy, Cayden. He just turned TWO and has a bit of a train obsession. :) This one (like the Nautical quilt I made before it) is bigger than the normal "baby quilts"... Toddler bed size, there about.

Front of Quilt:

Quilt Close-Up

Back of Quilt:

Ready to GO!

I like this one, but think that *maybe* it would have looked better in the squares vs. "lines". Next time I would try it that way, but it turned out just fine for a two year old, I think... :)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Madison's New Outfit

I had the sewing bug on Friday... Decided to stop making rag quilts for just a bit and sew something else.

So... I made Madison a new outfit. I had plans on making Reagan the same one, but I cut some of her fabric wrong AND had to re-do Madison's pants as they were too tight. I still will make Reagan one - just haven't had a moment to sit back down at the sewing machine!

I love the colors, and loved the price! Clearance fabric and I think the entire thing cost me $5, and that's with enough to make Reagan's top.

Let it Snow!

Crazy! It's October 12th!!! (Warmer weather next week, but STILL! )

Friday, October 10, 2008

Nautical Quilt

Madison is taking this quilt to a birthday party this evening. I'm fully aware that she might get the "most boring present taken to a 5 year old birthday party" award, but I'm happy with how it turned out anyway.

Hope Josh likes it! (Even though it *is* sort of a "boring" birthday present... *winks*)

Thursday, October 09, 2008

My Sanity

Possibly the best birthday present ever purchased in the history of birthday presents!

After everyone is at school (and sometimes earlier in the morning), Reagan sits playing with her dollhouse while I'm free to do the dishes, throw in a load of laundry, sweep a floor or scrub a bathroom. Without her in my other arm or pulling at my leg.

For real.

Thank you, thank you Fisher Price! I'm loving all the potentially harmful little plastic pieces! (Please don't anyone write and tell me the paint is full of lead... I might seriously cry if I had to give this little piece of heaven up...)

Sanity is being restored in our household!