Tuesday, December 30, 2008

My Garden -

I've tried to grow gardens before, but it's never quite worked out. I usually end up growing things that I don't anticipate or plant.

So I wasn't really surprised when I looked inside of my green garbage barrel the other day.

Our green barrels are meant for grass clippings, plants and tree branches ... that kind of stuff. So Gary wasn't too far off when he decided to throw out his celery and carrots, without any sort of container ... definitely a plant type item.

I don't know exactly when Gary discarded these beauties, or how long they had been morphing into something else ... but despite our frigid temperatures down here, this was the vision I beheld. Like I said, we grow things.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

I'm Dreaming of a Wet Christmas -

This Christmas seemed different. It was a year of change due to the economic drama that surrounds all plumbers, so we set out to be smart (something that doesn't always come easy to us)! I need to apologize to all of you who were sitting on your front porch waiting for our annual delivery of Krispy Kremes on Christmas Eve and for those of you who are still checking your mailboxes for our Christmas cards ... not this year. We didn't do any gifts for my parents or siblings (it was a unanimous decision made easily by all involved). Gary and I bought absolutely nothing for each other and we bought very practical presents for the kids. So why does it seem like it was the


It all began last night at Grandpa Vince's house. We walked across the street to enjoy a delicious dinner that was almost a perfect replica of Thanksgiving and exchange laughter & gifts. I still can't get enough of that "Chex Mix Heaven in a Bowl"! Then we stuck to our favorite traditions. Christmas Eve the kids were actually excited to open their very predictable Christmas Eve presents from us ... pajamas, undies and socks.

This morning, after a sleepless night for Garrison who woke up at 1:00, 2:00 and finally 5:00 a.m., we opened our "smart gifts" like;

Matty - a repaired guitar
Kacey - new tires for her car
Keaton - a big boy bed
Jake - a large hymn book and a metronome
Garrison - new shoes

They got some fun things too, and they were all extremely grateful for everything they received.

We then headed over to my Grandma's house for our annual Christmas breakfast of pancakes, sausage, breakfast potatoes, scrambled eggs and juice prepared especially for us by my parents. This year was a treat because we had some of our Utah family here too. Hopefully they'll entertain the thought of making this their new tradition!

Following the feast, the infamous White Elephant Game. I cracked myself up with a beautifully wrapped, framed photo of Obama! Ha!

Following Grandma's house, the most amazing nap that I've had in years!

And now, it's raining. Gary is in the kitchen making his homemade chips and bacon ... perfect combination for the arteries. Matthew is playing his guitar and singing ... and it's raining!

I suppose that most of the world wishes for a white Christmas, but for me, this would seriously put a damper on my day. I do not like to be cold, and snow is cold. However, rain, aaaaaaahhhh rain. Rain smells amazing, it relaxes me, it creates the perfect mood for a nap and it makes my town beautiful. It has been the perfect day.

So I'd like to offer a toast to this economy. Thanks for beckoning me to be smart. Thanks for putting things into perspective. And thanks for inadvertently creating the best Christmas ever.

And all thanks be to that baby Jesus who became our Saviour and the light that we will need more and more in the days to come. What a gift that we have all been given!

Merry Christmas Everyone!
Love, The Shakers

There's your card!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Shout out to the Gift Card -

Saturday, as with most Saturdays, was a busy day. We had everyone hustling off to work, Scouting activities and play. I was determined to get my room cleaned, like super cleaned and chores had to be done. In the midst of it all, my little red got lost, lost in the shuffle of busy. Garrison had finished his chores, his friends were all gone and he was in a funk. Little red was blue. Did I mention that he had a black eye? So I made him an offer he couldn't refuse. If he would climb up on top of my plant shelf in my room and give it a good dusting, I had a gift card that we could go experience together. That frown was quickly turned upside down and we were off to
The Outback
for some pretty tasty beef from down under!

We went early, which helped us make the most of our very generous gift certificate with Happy Hour! That's right, we got the Bloomin' Onion, we got salad, two amazing helpings of steak and ribs AND we got dessert ... all accompanied by a coloring book! It was the best day ever that day and nobody appreciated it more than Garrison. He savored every bite bringing my attention to the large portions and the perfect seasoning. The boy knows food. He was the perfect date!

This is definitely not the time to be splurging and taking in such tasty luxuries on a whim, so I have to say how grateful I was to have such a fun gift card from my in-laws.

A gift that says ...
Eat amazing food!
Let somebody else clean up ...
after they prepare this marvel!
And take someone with you ... it's on us!

What a fun gift! It started out being a kind deed for Garrison, but it turned out that we both needed it. It's easy to get lost in the shuffle this time of year, and sometimes it just takes a little down time to find that extra recommended breath. And breathe we did.

Thanks Vince & Carol!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Thanksgiving 2008

Here is just a glimpse of my favorite tradition ... Thanksgiving at my Grandma's house. This year everybody was together for the first time in a long time (except for Gary who showed up right after the family picture). If you click on this scene, you will see some funny expressions and lots of fun detail ... but just look at my Grandma (in the lovely blue shirt)! She's a babe!

I love going over to her house, I love her food, I love her soft, rust carpet. This picture is priceless to me because it not only encompasses our whole family, but it is presented in front of the home that has brought me nothing but good. I hope that I can be one smidgen of the Grandma that my Grandma has been to me!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Heartbreak =

Now we know a bit of how the Patriots felt. Mountain View had an undefeated season, we just had to win one more game to be playing for the State Title on the Cardinal's football field.

Have you ever seen a pack of grown boys sobbing? Sigh.

It was a great season my boy.

Darn it.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The birthday is over, let's move on to Australia -

I had a nice birthday. I went to lunch with my girls from the office. I got a nice bouquet of flowers, some cash, some homemade fudge, a lovely piece of framed art, a beautiful Poinsettia, a sweet gift card to Outback, a magnificent pink hammer, many kind wishes and to top the day off I got to hear Matt sing and Jake play a fine tune on the piano for our church talent show. Now it's time to move on to more serious matters.

Last weekend, I saw the movie AUSTRALIA (with the lovely Hugh Jackman). I loved it, I loved him, I loved her (Nicole Kidman), I loved the story line, I loved the little boy, I loved everything about it! This evening, I got very close to having my first altercation as a 43-year-old woman when a young lady began to tell me how much she disliked this film. WOW! I was flabbergasted! I could barely rally to my feet to defend the flick, but I managed.

So here's my question ... Have you seen it? Did you like it? Was I just taken in by the lovely Hugh Jackman's pearly whites which I could stare at every day for the rest of my life and never tire of? And if you haven't seen it ... please go so that we can discuss this! I need to know (yet I would not be surprised) if I am simply judging my movies based solely on the loveliness of the leading men! Oh Hugh.

It's My Birthday!

Today is my birthday and I feel like a kid. I don't feel 43-years-old. When I was a kid, the thoughts of ANYTHING new or celebratory kept me up all night long in anticipation of what was to come. Well apparently I was filled with this frenzy last night, because I was WOUND UP!

This is very typical for me, but usually I can fall asleep eventually ... not so last night. I try to stay clear away from any kind of sleeping aid since they aid me just a bit too much. But I was desperate and REALLY wanted to be rested for my big day of pretty much the same stuff as every other day. So I gave in. I took ONE Tylenol PM, just ONE!

This morning my fingers can barely find their way across the keyboard. They are swaggering as if they were trying to climb from the gutter up onto the curb. My head is heavy and my eyelids even heavier. I have things to do (work)! Places to go (the grocery store) and people to see (the mailman). I worry about my birthday today and much like the average drunk ... I hope I remember it tomorrow. I am 43!

P.S. Thanks to Carol Jean, Cynthia, Kayla, Melanie and Andrea for your early birthday wishes already!

Monday, December 1, 2008


I've been trying to get the family together for some updated pictures ever since Matthew got home and before he grows his hair out too long!

So why is it so dang hard to just gather the children and the husband around, have them gaze into a camera lens and smile?

I don't know why it is ...
but it is!

After fourteen arguments, three threats, one punch and a small fit ... this is what they gave me. Brave little boys!

Visit Kacey's blog for more~

And if you missed my post before this one ...
it's worth a visit!

Check this out!

So I happened upon this new blog called ...

Typically I just think these are cute and move along to the next item on my stalk list. However! Something on this one caught my eye!


That's right. I have entered to win $100 at one of my favorite stores this side of the North Pole and you can enter too! I know that this time of year (especially this year) this may seem too good to be true, but I think this one is very real and is going to be my new addiction.

AND, just because I gave you this tip, AND since my birthday is Wednesday ... you can enter me as your referring friend!

Woo hoo ... it's a great day!

Now get going!