Tuesday, December 30, 2008

We gots our groove on...

We started a new tradition this year thanks to Chloe and Lindsay! They just loved this scene from the movie "This Christmas" So they requested that we dance the final dance scene with the family.They made a CD with the song looping and we all lined up in the living room.We just told everyone we had a new game. No one knew what to expect but they all were game to try once the music started.I think the memory of them dancing will last me a lifetime. Aunt Teresa and Uncle Lloyd tore it up,(they do have a unfair advantage because they live at leisure world and go to all the dances,so stinkin cute) Uncle Pete was hysterical and everyone took turns being silly and having their moment in the center.I am hoping to add some video that Travis took,It was sooo funny and something you had to see to believe. We are so weird,but we all agreed it will be a new tradition every year.Thanks girls for the "groove"y idea! Madear loved it!

A fun family!

We had so much fun on Christmas day! I love my family with my whole heart.And this year we were able to add our amazing new daughter in the fun! Ashlyn brings us so much joy and it was so fun to have her and Travis both here on Christmas Day. She seems to cope pretty well with our crazy group,and she is loved beyond measure by everyone!! We played games, danced the scene from "This Christmas" with a congo line,(thanks to our DJ Chloe) played our "doubles" dice game and fought greedily over gifts,played Left Right Center,ate great food and felt perfectly content to spend hours in each others company. I feel so blessed! We are not a quiet crowd but if you spend anytime at all with them they will forever treat you like family. We were glad to have our friends the Daigles stop by and they were met with warm hugs and love. It is something I will never take for granted. We sure miss my mom and family who passed away but I know they are smiling and thankful we all still get together and keep the traditions going.The only thing missing was the Tennessee Krikacs! I couldn't think about them or the tears would fall.Please come "home" for Christmas next year? I love our Big Fat Greek Family and can hardly wait until the next holiday!

side note..I'm not that round! My sweatshirt is huge! But it's such a cute pic of the fam I had to add it,in spite of myself.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Someone opened the front door, threw in a bunch of presents and then shook it like a snow globe!

I only wish it was easy to remove Christmas decorations from my house as it was from my blog.One click and the background was changed and the tree was taken down. Here's what my house looked like just a couple days ago. But I love it because it's the remnants of way too much fun!! We had the BEST Christmas ever. Our 3 kids are still here,so the blogging and cleaning will wait while we play.I cant even list my 'Sunday Six' because I am still living my top six moments with everyone here!! I sure hope your Christmas was wonderful too! I promise pictures and stories will follow soon. You know those Greeks there will be stories!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

What did Santa bring you?

One of my favorite days at school was "show and tell" There was something so fun knowing it was your turn to get up and share something exciting. I guess my blog is a grown up version of show and tell. So how fun would it be if we all shared our favorite Christmas gift! What memories do you have of Christmas mornings full of excitement and joy as you saw what Santa left...So I decided to send out a email and ask my friends what their favorite gifts were,and then post it on my blog. My favorite surprise had to be my Easy Bake Oven! Nothing better than cupcakes cooked with a light bulb. I would spend my allowance running to Kress to get extra mixes. And I also loved my roller skates! Those rickety metal wheels and we would skate all day.My first pair were the metal ones you clamped onto tennis shoes, and then we got the fancy white ones. What were your favorites? Here's a few of my friends responses....

Olivia~I do remember getting my silver piccolo. I was first chair in the band as a junior in high school . There was a competition to win the "Linda Denny Silver Piccolo Award" but I did not have one so I couldn't compete....until I unwrapped that beautiful silver instrument. I didn't win but I sure will remember how I felt that Christmas. (this one made me cry)

Katie~My parents weren't really into Christmas and being the youngest of seven, they were pretty much over the WHOLE gift giving thing by the time I was growing up. The sooner we didn't believe - the better. So Ellen & I would wrap up stuff from around the house to make it LOOK like we actually had presents under the tree and then open them on Christmas morn & pretend they were great gifts! The last year we did believe we got one of those cardboard grocery store play sets with the fake little cans of veggies, etc... we thought it was pretty cool. Of course, Amy O'Brien got the really cool cash register with her set, so we mostly played at her house(Katie this is why you are always so kind and generous.Your story was precious and I am glad you had a sister to make magic with)

Nancy~There were so many! My absolute favorite and biggest surprise was a jewelry box with a ballerina twirling to "Oh, What a Beautiful Morning" and the other would be a "chemistry magic" set. Honorable mention would have to be the "Flower Power"(remember with the cooker and the goop? (I had one too thanks for jogging my memory)

Marcia~ My first doll under the Christmas tree. Both my sisters received dolls as well but they were all different and I loved mine. Funny thing was that I named her Nancy....just as I would name my first real live doll some years later. My other favorite toy was this mechanical dog with a tray of buttons in front and each button you pushed caused some reaction, the tongue would stick out or the ears would sister broke it and I still have not forgiven her...though I know this time of year with all my precious Lord has had to forgive me for, I probably should. I'll think about it! (Marcia writes like she talks, full of details and I love that about her. Plus she really loves me)

Kat~ Two of my favorite gifts were those glass balls on a string that you could bang together,and my first bike with an am/fm radio attached to the handlebars! (my sis in law, funny thing is Paul had those glass balls too)

Casey~"Baby Tenderlove" I loved that doll so much I put blue eyeshadow on her and pink lipstick and use to kiss her all the time!, And the Barbie airplane,I wanted to be a stewardess, just like my mom when I grew up (so sweet Casey just like you)

Kathy~I loved the Lite Brite and getting a brand new box of crayola crayons-the 64 color box that my horrid little brothers and sisters where not allowed to touch. I loved the year I got the Skipper doll to go with Barbie(Kathy I loved my lite brite too and Skipper was such the cool sister)

Abby~ American Girl Dolls and My Saint Mary's Necklace engraved by mom (love you Abby)

Lynn~ My favorite gifts were my basketball hoop and a dirt bike(what no baton?)

Ashlyn~ I would say my “oopsie daisy” doll and also the “My Dear Diary” Hands down! (I can so clearly see her mothering her dolls.I LOVE my DIL)

Janice~ My dear uncle always gave me "boy" gifts. One year he gave me a shooting arcade. It was a smaller version of the carnival shooting gallery. I loved it. (Sarah Palin probably had one too, love you Janice)

Holly~ I would have to say mine was the Easy Bake Oven for sure! I was always amazed when that little light bulb would bake me a cake whenever I had a hankerin'! The other favorite was the doll that cooed and cried! I think you could feed her too! Not like a Thanksgiving feast, more like a jar of baby food (Holly you make me laugh like no other)

Thanks for sharing everyone! I loved reading your memories! I hope the magic of Christmas is just as wonderful for you all this year. After hearing Kate Winslet speak about" Father Christmas" I just fell in love with that name for Santa.With our kids, most of the tags were from Jesus! I wanted them to know it is only because of Him,His grace and mercy that we have anything at all.
I am hoping Father Christmas leaves you a fun surprise this year,and that your day is filled with magic, love and joy!
Happy Birthday Jesus~And Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night...

Sunday, December 21, 2008

To Karen....From Bonnie

Guess what?? Bonnie Hunt gave me a fabulous Christmas Present!! It was such a fun surprise, and something I will have for years and think of her.It's an amazing vacuum that sells for $750 dollars! Wow what a gift(but after all we are pretty good friends now) Sure,she gave one to others in the audience too but it would have been weird if she didn't.Her mom probably taught her what mine did "unless you have enough for everyone don't give one to anyone" So we all got one! We went to her taping last week because I just had to see her set all decked out for Christmas.And it looked so pretty and festive.She came into the audience and we chatted just a bit. Then I saw Holly her BFF and waved and said Happy"Holly" Days.She was super sweet and smiled and waved back to us. I know I'm a true dork and even Chloe asked how long I had worked on that cheesy line. I brought her audience manager who get us our fabulous seats some "Atwood" wine and he was thrilled. I wrote since he gives us such a fun taste of Hollywood, I wanted him to have a taste of the best of Temecula.Her mom Alice was on the show and she sang "Silent Night" and I cried...She is so darn sweet and reminds me so much of my mom. I know some of you might think it's a bit odd how often we go, but I just love her and her staff so much! And of course being a Krikac everyone now has a nick name. Her big security guy is named "shoulders" (frankly they are huge) One intern is "Indiana" because that's where shes from. The other one is "cubby" because he always wears his Cubs outfit. So now they kinda know me too. Its like we're they're one big family...and I am the weird aunt. It is always a fun day...and I promise I wont go back until January.

January 5th she returns from hiatus!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Steve...My beloved precious elf

I was thinking back this morning about Christmases Past.Chad said I sure get nostalgic at this time of year and I agree.It just seems to bring out the best in people and the memories are priceless.Going through my holiday box I found this" to-from" tag from Steve that I had saved. But first the story....
When I was in high school my Dad bought me a striped ski sweater. He was usually the "slip you a 100 dollar bill" kinda guy..and my mom would do most of the shopping. Well one year he went and picked out a striped ski sweater for me.And I think I wore it every single day in January. It was the sentiment behind it and the fact that he went shopping,picked it out and wrapped it for me!! So of course Steve and the boys had heard this story and remembered it.So a few years back,(card is dated 2004) Steve bought me a striped ski sweater and this card was attached.
"To my pumpkin, you are the love of my life and this small present is my way of reminding you of how much I love you. I will try to pick up where your Dad left off so you always feel treasured and loved.He was such a good hearted man and he loved you as much as I do"
What could possibly be sweeter?? Another Christmas morning with the boys watching Mom cry as we open gifts. But it is a sweet reminder of what is important with any gift. The heart behind it...

Friday, December 19, 2008

Karen? Well she twirls the baton!

Growing up with three brothers and being the only girl was usually pretty nice. I was the baby of the family and maybe a little spoiled. My Dad would always say he only had one little girl and she was going to stay a little girl. So as the boys got older and they raced motorcycles I wasn't allowed to. Again,only one girl she was to stay a girl. But after going out every single weekend to ride watch them ride I finally coaxed my dad into a bike for me. He bought me a Yamaha 125 and a pink helmet! They had put me in ballet, dance class, brownies,girl scouts and I had to get my hair curled and 'put up' every Christmas at the "Mop Shop" beauty parlor by our house.They made it impossible for me to be a tomboy. But I was finally able to talk him into getting me my very own motorcycle.
 But my dads biggest joy was that I twirled the baton! I was a proud member of the Hawthorne Twirlers(notice the HT on my fabulous uniform) We would march in parades and perform at grand openings. The boys endlessly teased me about my "big talent" If we were with friends or family my dad would often say "honey go grab your baton and twirl for them" And he was serious!! As I got older it became a family joke. Dave graduated from college, Kenny was a harbor patrol officer, Paul was a sheriff and Karen, she twirls the baton.Sure I had a few accomplishments but it always came back to "she can sure twirl a mean baton" To this day they endlessly tease me.So last week I wrote how excited I was to take some old 8mm film to Costco to put on DVD. I was so hoping it was something really special of Christmas mornings, or of my Dad laughing. But guess what it is?? Footage of Karen twirling her baton!! Yep...footage of me and my friend Tracy in a funky parade with my Dad obviously running alongside filming me.I spent twenty good dollars preserving memories of the one thing no one ever lets me forget! So you can bet when my family is all here this holiday we are going to pop some popcorn, and watch it twice. Since it seems to be my only real claim to fame...We may even watch it three times.

Monday, December 15, 2008

For unto you a child is born...

"My whole life has turned around
I was lost but now I'm found
A Baby changes everything"
Lyrics to Faith Hill's song; A Baby Changes Everything

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Sunday Six...Things that made me smile

This has been a GREAT week! Excitement and anticipation were palpable--you can feel it in your bones, when you know that you are going to smile hard and roll in clouds of laughter with friends. And even though this weekend was filled to the brim, it was all about people~Splendid people! Christmas is nearly here and I have truly loved every minute of the season. And I pray that you have too....Here are my favorite 6 smiles this week!
1- My nephew Kory graduated from nursing school!! We are so proud of you Kory and wish so much that we could have been there in the stands to cheer and blow air horns.We send hugs and congratulations from all of us!
2- We had our moms dinner Thursday night and it was wonderful! We had the best time, chatting, laughing and sharing stories.The 3 girls who didn't come last month got embarrassing Christmas panties so they make sure and never miss our dinners again. We didn't do our ornament exchange this year and really missed it! So next year no excuses girls...theres nothing like fighting with friends over gifts.

3- Friday night was our "Bunco Christmas" at Carols. Wow can she put on the show! We had such a fabulous time in her gorgeous home and we were all there! 14 because 2 of our alumni came. We had a fun secret Santa gift exchange and everyone received lovely personal gifts. The night was filled with laughter,great food, and love overflowing. My idea of a perfect evening! A big Thanks to my secret Santa Dori ! I received the most beautiful fresh wreath.It's amazing and hanging on my living room wall, a cute little sleigh, and a cup cake tree complete with sprinkles and holiday holders. It is a darling gift from a treasured friend.

4-I love seeing my kids be Santa~ Something about the idea of them out shopping and wrapping with us in mind just warms my heart. Every single thing they have gotten me over the years means so much to me.Just this week I wore two pairs of earrings from my boys, gingerbread ones from Chad and darling silver ones from Travis. I am thankful they find joy in buying people surprises.

5- Saturday night our fellow "Book Babe" Nancy and her sweet husband John had us all over for some holiday fun! They moved back to Temecula to a wonderful new home and we are thrilled to have them back in town. It is so fun that the hubbies all get along great too, we had fun talking and munching homemade goodies.I feel terrible that I never took out my camera to snap some photos. Thanks for a great evening everyone! Maybe we should make the guys start reading and join us every month? Nah....But last night was a treat

6-Chad and I felt like the Griswolds putting up our outdoor lights! We would no sooner get all the lights up and the whole strand would go out. We replaced the fuses,tightened the bulbs,plugged them in, gave each other high fives when they lit up, put the ladder away, and five minutes later it was dark. We must have done this at least four times. And our house is two stories so each time he had to get back on the roof. All the while the new little boy across the street (who is a true Dennis the Menace) would yell "Lady,Your lights don't work" It takes a lot to ruffle Chad but even he was a tad frustrated!(the new neighbor boys name is Stevie, how cute is that. He has taken a real liking to us and I think we will be seeing a lot of him,and his dump trucks,and he usually comes complete with a corn dog in each hand) But along came Steve to save the day. Turns out it was the extension cord we were using. Now as I turn the corner and see all the lovely lights I appreciate them even more.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Now you know how much I LOVE my jammies...

After working in the market for years, I have seen it all!! But no one has believed me when I would tell them about the 'outfits' people wear to shop in. But thanks to my camera phone, the proof is in the pudding(or in the robe in this case) We have had some doosies! (let me start by saying this was taken at Ralphs and my name is Sophia) Last week this lovely lady came in to shop in her jammies and a bright pink robe. She completed the outfit with no bra, smeared under eye make up and bed head at its worst. Now it was only 8:30am and she did slip into some sandals to dress it up a bit(rather than her slippers) But my goodness? She wasn't running in for medicine or a thermometer,she was grocery shopping! When did this become OK? And I just love that I was able to snap the picture when she stopped off at the lottery machine on the way out to 'try her luck' It just completes the whole picture. We also have the middle aged ladies who come in with the "juicy' or 'pink' sweats. Maybe I am a prude but my take is... if you have graduated Jr high it is no longer acceptable attire unless in your own home. This is not cute!! I can still hear my mom saying" Honey you need to get up and get ready for your day" That meant we had to shower, brush our teeth, and get dressed before going anywhere. I taught it to my kids and I think it's a good rule to live by. OK, for the rest of the month I am going to be "good for goodness sake"No more of these silly posts. But I almost cant help it,people just give me so much material for my blog.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Sunday Six...Things that made me smile.

1- I realized on Monday how much I LOVE Chads laugh! I kid you not ,that boy has the sweetest laugh and he laughs ALL the time. He is going to be home for a couple months and it has been so fun having him here. His joy is simply contagious..Chad,thank you for the giggles, folding my towels,emptying the dishwasher without being asked, dancing with your weird mom in the bathroom to Celtic music, and for belly laughing everyday!

2- Our house is super cozy! And I so love it decorated for Christmas. I hate to ever turn off the lights. Pictures don't do it justice,but it's so sweet at night. It isn't professionally decorated, but its home and I am thankful for it. (yipee we have '5' stockings now : )

3- My brother Kenny taught today at his church and it was awesome!! He really is such a good pastor and his message was beautiful! I am super proud of him and loved sitting in the pew listening to him teach from the word and from his heart. I thought about it the whole way home and smiled.

4- My work always adopts a few kids from the homeless shelter near us for Christmas. Somehow over the years it has become my job to shop and wrap for the kids. Well this year we got 8 names! I feel awful that I complained about having to shop for so many. How selfish of me and I am glad the Lord changed my heart quickly! It has been a joy to buy gifts for kids who would not be getting one. And fun to shop for bargains so we can buy them even more. The names on my list have become a part of my heart and I have been praying for them everyday.

5- We love and appreciate our gardener Crestancio so much.I know that sounds silly but he is such a sweet hardworking man. Every Friday I try to be home when he comes so I can give he and his son snacks and drinks. They always smile and say thank you. They are just the most kind hearted people. He has been helping us with our yards for almost 20 years. And he wont raise his price! He says he appreciates all the people we have referred to him.Sometimes he even comes on Wednesdays too, for extra weeding and pruning. So now we just give him extra cash taped to our green barrel so he will have to take it before he fills it.

6- Steve~ I love you! Thanks for the sweet message on my phone, for getting up with me at 5am to talk while I put on make up and get ready for work,for being so good to my brothers and their families. You are not a good shopper (1/2 hour tops and you are done) you are terrible at wrapping,you maybe hung 7 ornaments, but you are a good Elf in every other way and I love you!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Memory Lane~ Christmas

Christmas Eve with new pajamas and home made cookies! Just what memories are made of...
Used to be when the boys were small because they were so close in age everything was either green or blue. Because that way they could tell which one was theirs. Travis was green because of his green eyes and Chad was blue for his blue eyes. So funny as I was buying some things this year for stockings I had to buy Green, Blue and now Pink!!! I love including Ash in on all these little details. Even though she wont have a pink sippy cup, I still have the old blue and green tupperware ones.I know the boys no longer live at home but I still find myself picking those colors..I just love when little memories come back, and they seem to flood at the holidays! Enjoy every detail in life...they add up to a very full heart.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Bah Humbug

If you came here today looking for holiday cheer,you might have to look elsewhere.I am usually full of Christmas cheer! I love the season and I adore buying gifts. The last thing I want to do is complain..BUT
What is the deal with the kiosks in the mall? And when did the sales people become so darn aggressive? I stopped in to get two quick things on my home from book club,and was met with someone wanting to straighten my hair(on a bar stool smack dab in the middle of the aisle,with the same tool he has no doubt used on countless others) The T Mobile guy who almost scared me to death when he jumped out asking if I needed a new phone.The creepy man who wanted to rub lotion on my hands.But the worst is the Israeli guy who sells face creams. (From the dead sea or placenta I don't know I was trying to escape) He would not take no for an answer!! I know you are there, I can see what you are peddling selling. I promise if I like something I will stop and look, but please let me shop leisurely and enjoy the carols playing and the cute Santa. I think next time I am going to pack my water gun and just let em have it. Or my bike horn? I am not going to complain about Helmart Walmart anymore. The greeter is sweet,never jumps out at me and sweetly says "hello and welcome"

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Sunday Six...things that made me smile

I didn't realize until I posted,This is my 100th post!! Wow it seems like yesterday that I was contemplating starting a blog.I am so grateful for this outlet to keep in touch, to say thanks,to rant,and to document our life. I hope to keep blogging for years to come ...
1- What a fun Thanksgiving we had!! Everyone ate a lot, laughed a lot, and we all were so thankful to spend the day together. Pictures soon to follow...

2- Tomorrow is December 1st!! I loved when the boys were small and they could start opening the doors on their advent calendar. The official countdown to Christmas! The excitement would build with each new day and they loved having the little treat inside. I want to savor the joy every day until Christmas as the days count down. My beautiful tree is up, and the house is full of pretty lights and Christmas fun...It truly is the "most wonderful time of the year"

3- Kenny Lindsay and Chloe stayed the Thanksgiving weekend. We just LOVE our sleepovers! We went to the movies,took walks,ate out, and we walked around old town and enjoyed seeing the kids with Santa, the carolers with their old time costumes, and the horse drawn buggy rides. It really felt like Christmas! It was such a fun weekend and we could never tire of them being here.

4-I found some old 8mm films from when we were kids. So I took them to Costco and can hardly wait until they come back. I am hooked on Costco's service of putting old movies onto DVD. On Thanksgiving we watched one from Kenny's wedding 25 years ago,it was so fun to see the Greeks dancing and having fun! This next one will be a real surprise since I have no idea what's on it. But the anticipation is so exciting! Hopefully it will have some footage of my Dad and his laugh. I want to post a clip so you all can see "Big Paul" and his big smile!

5-Speaking of Costco you have to try their Nonni's gingerbread biscotti! Casey told me about it and it is wonderful! What a fun treat to share with a cup of cocoa or coffee. It is only here for Christmas so try some soon!! Yummylicious (thats Casey's word but I love it)

6- Tuesday nine of us went to see the Bonnie Hunt Show! It was super fun once again to be there together and we had a great time. We got to see Bob Barker. He is such a sweet man and he really is such a hero to animals.He talked about his efforts rescuing elephants and how much they need to have freedom for a quality life.He is such a kind man. Mario Lopez was there too and I have to say he is quite easy on the eyes! During the commercial Bonnie reminded the audience,you never want to date a man who is prettier than you. So funny...but true.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Warm Thanksgiving Blessings To You!

Everything is almost ready,but I wanted to wish you all a Thanksgiving filled with family and friends,great food and fond memories! I am most thankful that my house will be full and my heart will be too. I just loved this poem when I read it, and thought today was a great day to share it.....
Love and friendship to each of you Karen~

I've never made a fortune, and it's probably too late now.
But I don't worry about that much, I'm happy anyhow.
And as I go along life's way, I'm reaping better than I sowed.
I'm drinking from my saucer, 'cause my cup has overflowed.

I haven't got a lot of riches, and sometimes the going's tough,
But I've got loved ones around me, and that makes me rich enough.
I thank God for His blessings and the mercies He's bestowed.
I'm drinking from my saucer, 'cause my cup has overflowed.

I remember times when things went wrong; my faith wore somewhat thin.
But, all at once the black clouds broke, and the sun peeped through again.
So, God, help me not to gripe about the tough rows I've hoed.
I'm drinking from my saucer, 'cause my cup has overflowed.
by John Paul Moore

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Sunday Six...things that made me smile

With it being Thanksgiving week it's extra special to say Thank You for all the blessings in our life.Why wait until Thanksgiving to be grateful! It's so much better to live with a thankful heart all year around...
1- My sweet neighbor Jan knocked on my door to say there was something in my front yard? So out we went and guess what was there?? MY CASTLE!! I am telling you the girls at work are crazy! After all this princess/queen stuff they have kicked it into full gear. Not only was there a princess castle but it had a 8x10 picture of me with my tiara pasted on the front door! Trish and Midge you guys are killing me with laughter these days. So since my Christmas tree isn't up yet I have now placed my castle in the living room with all the gifts around it. I kinda like it..Wonder if lights would add a magical touch? (kinda scary but we may find out)

2-We had our moms dinner Thursday and it was so fun! Had lots of giggles and girl talk. There was only 5 this month because everyone is so busy but it was kinda nice cause we were able to really chat. And the restaurant was so great Steve and I met up there Friday for date night. Yummy chips & salsa and great margaritas.

3- Tuesday was bunco and Karen Farmer made the most amazing dinner.And all 12 of us were there!!! It seems like most months we are missing at least one. We had a beautiful sit down dinner at her nice big table. She even had a "Thanksgiving tree" It was her artificial tree but it was all decorated for fall! What a fun idea(not that I would ever steal it because the thought of decorating a tree twice is overwhelming to us non Martha types) But her house was really special and I am sure her family will love it on Thanksgiving day! I love you girls and am super thankful for each of your friendships!

4- We watched the movie "The Bishops Wife" And it was so sweet! It starred Cary Grant and Loretta Young. What a sweet Christmas movie and I am happy to have it added it to our collection! I think I was born in the wrong era for sure. I would have LOVED to wear her hats.

5- Uncle Pete is making his homemade Greek bread for Thanksgiving! It is simply amazing!! He doesn't do it very often anymore because it is so involved, but we all love it so much! Such a distinct flavor and there is nothing better than a piece toasted the next day!!!

6- So crazy ..I mentioned once before about the rose bush that my dear friend Krissy gave me when my mom passed away. And it blooms at the strangest times. I know people can be weird with toast that looks like Mother Mary etc. But this beautiful plant is so amazing. It bloomed on the day of the Wedding, Mothers day, and now this week after being all cut back before winter it has huge flowers on it for Thanksgiving. (4 of them, one for each of us kids)I miss my sweet Mom the most at holidays because nothing made her happier than being here with all her family. So crazy as it may seem I know my Mom is saying 'I love you all and she is blowing us kisses from heaven

Look at the joy on her face! She Adored Holidays!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Christmas Cheer

Because nothing says Christmas like the Jib Jab elves...
I just never get tired of them. Make one of your own and smile!!
Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Thursday, November 20, 2008

What's in a name?

OK, I need to preface this post before I write another thing!!! I mean no disrespect, and there is not a single unkind thought toward anyone who has a funny name (funny being simply a matter of opinion) The super cool Jolie-Pitts just named their kids Knox Leon and Vivienne Marcheline for goodness sake. But my family and I have a standing joke and we call each other with funny names we hear. My Besties hubby and I have always done it too. And because we both work at the market we have had some ringers!! He once called me after taking a birthday cake order and we almost peed our pants. The name was " Shithead" pronounced "Shitheed" We have a growing list,Roshanda-Jermajesty-LaQuisha-Fallopia-Mercedes, Chandelier, and even Prada (yes, I met a girl named Prada, and it was one of the worst days of my life.) So of course this morning I couldn't resist sending Chloe and Dennis this picture that I took at my Wal Mart! I was just minding my own bizness picking up my Christmas movie (The Bishops Wife) when upon the wall I see
And I couldn't help myself. Out came the camera phone!
I am sure she is a very valuable part of the team,and good for her for this lovely award...
But my goodness how did her parents ever think up this name?
And why?
It sure makes my Karen/Sophia/ names way too ordinary! I am switching full time to "LaQueenda"

PS I just found out this morning Ashley and Pete named their new boy Bronx Mowgli!
Wasn't Mowgli the kid from jungle Book?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Memory Lane~Christmas!

I will honor Christmas in my heart and try to keep it all the year. ~Charles Dickens
I thought for the few weeks leading up to Christmas I would reminisce about Christmas joys! I have a whole album of Christmas Photos that I put out every year and I love to pour over them. So many happy,fun,magical moments.And I love being able to add even more memories and photos each year! When the kids were small they were awful about shaking their gifts and trying to guess what was inside.So we started using Reindeer names for their presents.You would not discover who was Blitzen,Comet or Cupid until Christmas morning.Over the years we have used them all and mixed them up each year.I just asked Steve if there are any girly reindeer names because this year we need one for Ashlyn!!Even though they are much older,that is going to be a lasting Carter tradition.All of Steve's gifts from me are for "Mr Claus" from "Mrs Claus" I have saved so many precious to-from tags over the years.The ones that say 'To the best Dad ever from your son' 'To the greatest Mom love Chad Carter' (loved when they would add their last name)'To the love of my life from Santa Steve' But before a single gift is opened we always sing "Happy Birthday" to Jesus.It is only because of Gods Grace and goodness that we are able to give at all. What are some of your favorite memories? I would LOVE to hear about yours too.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Sunday Six...Things that made me smile...

With a heart full of gratitude I want to stop and say Thank you for all the blessings in my life this week!
They are too numerous to count but here are six...

1- A weekend get away with my hubby!! Always so fun...Steve's company hosted a Christmas Party Saturday night.They got all the employees a beautiful room at the Marriott. Right on the water in San Diego,and it was a gorgeous sunny weekend.It was fun to see everyone who is such a big part of his daily life.I even won a terrific raffle prize!!

2- I was sick a couple days this week, but after hearing how much worse the flu hit my sweet friends I am so thankful mine was over quickly. Nothing worse than losing a few days being stuck inside.Feel better everyone!!

3- Stopped by today to celebrate with friends Karen and Mark! He has been battling cancer and they held a remission party! It was great to see them both and Mark looks happy and strong.Karen is such a sweetie and she sure has been there every step of the way.I love you both and wish you a year filled with more joy and great news.

4- I wrapped Christmas gifts!! There is not much that makes me happier than getting fun gifts for my family and friends. I just couldn't resist wrapping any longer. For any of you who say it is too early, Karen had her house all decorated and one of my blog buddies has their outside lights up! So I say let the season begin!!

5- It is going to be a fun busy week! I have Bunco Tuesday and Moms dinner Thursday, I am going to shop for Thanksgiving dinner, have my brows done, go with my brother Paul to the Dr, help Chad move some stuff home, and start painting my bedroom furniture shabby chic white! Want to be all ready for Thanksgiving before next week so we can all go to Bonnie Tuesday! (VIP tickets of course)

6- I am thankful that we are thankful!! It is so true that life is sweet when you are grateful for the little things. I know that my Mom modeled that for us. She appreciated every little thing. I didn't always appreciate her enthusiasm at the time,but now as I look at things the way she did, I smile. I will never forget the time she slammed on the brakes to notice the fall foliage! My friends still remind me of how funny it was when I showed them what she did. But you know each time I drive by that street near my house I think of her, and find myself slowing down to appreciate the beautiful colors too.

Friday, November 14, 2008


This blog post is for the girls at work who just crack me up! Somewhere I started this "thing" with Super Star.It made me laugh on SNL and over the years it has kinda become my trademark. Can't tell you how many pictures I have of me with my family and friends doing Super Star. At work if someone says you are going a great job today,it is always replied with the "Pose" and "Super Star"(ok,sometimes it's in response to a simple hello or good morning)So you get the picture here...So one day I asked Steve a very honest question "honey who first named me super star? and he replied "I think you did" What??? No way??? Did I??? I also am known as "Queenie" or "Princess" at work and they all swear that I gave myself those names too? It's on the office door at work, the file cabinet, and Trish writes it on my coffee cup every morning so we know which one is mine.They even doctored a photo and made a poster of it to hang on the wall. (sure I made copies to give away but that was merely a compliment to your craftiness) But with all the teasing ,I don't want them to think I am serious. Now girls I am fully aware that the only person who ever really thought I was a Princess was my daddy(maybe at times my brothers and husband,perhaps a few close friends) And Queenie?? I didn't ask to be queen but the tiara fits? Last week Midge made me a couple of fun CD mixes which I love! She thought it would be funny to wrap them up with a gift card photo holder. She put a picture of herself in there, but they thought I would want to buy them for my gifts with a photo of me inside(perhaps with my crown) First of all they are much too small. I would need them to be 8x10's to hold my glossies from Glamour shots! I guess for a girl who knows full well I don't have a thing going is fun to pretend I do.I am glad to have such silly friends at the palace and I want to thank them for being so fun to work with.This Christmas I am going to stitch them all darling pillows with my picture on them. I was thinking they should say...
"Don't hate me cause you aint me "

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

This blog stuff is serious bizness

OK, now that I have been blogging and surfing others blogs I have found out there are a LOT of blog pet peeves!! Who knew?? Someone wrote a few peeves down and the two at the bottom of my page had the most amens! Quite a few people complain that words are misspelled, others complain that there are too many run on sentences (I am guilty on both counts) But honestly folks I write like I talk, quickly and with both hands flying in the air. I'm Greek and that's the way we roll. Growing up with four kids you had to talk loud and fast.Even now before holidays I always warn my guests if you want to speak, don't wait for a break in the conversation because there will not be one!! Just jump in....There is always a minimum of four different conversations going on at all times and you have to listen to each one so you wont miss anything.So I am quite sure my blog will be all over the place, and those bad conversation habits will follow in my writing. My grammar will be 3rd grade at best.But this is supposed to be fun,not homework! So if you keep reading,I will keep writing.The first complaint I conformed to, I removed word verification from my blog because I found it annoying also. But whats your take on the music? That complaint surprised me. Whats your vote? I will oblige. After all I want my friends and family to sit long & read much....Here are the complaints as written.
1-Listen up, if you have Word Verification, TAKE.IT.OFF.NOW. It takes the fun out of leaving a comment when you have to type "xyxoodoasmnh" 10 times because the "m" is actually two "n's" and the "w" looks like two "v's."

2-Music on blogs. I used to have music on my blog, but then I realized I was turning the volume off when I was on my own blog. Music I liked. Music I picked. Then I realized that you may not like my music, and I may not like your music. So please turn the music off

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Sunday Six...Things that made me smile...

This week I talked Steve into teaming with me on "our" Sunday Six~ We truly have so much to be thankful for and It was fun to hear his too! (he dictated and I typed verbatim, promise I didn't add the sweet stuff about me in. He is such a pumpkin )
1-I am mostly thankful for you and the boys being in my life. I am still happy to come home at the end of a day to see you. And I am thankful for you taking such good care of me

2-The ability to work and still have a good job. In our economy, I never want to take it for granted

3- Conquering Spider four deck !!
Let me explain, Steve loves "spider" and the boys and I have teased him forever on how much he can play that darn game. Well this week he tried the highest level? Four decks? He has now won three games and feels like a super star(I said he was a pumpkin but I left out that he is apparently a nerd)
1- I put my down comforter on my bed and I sleep so good! I love to be really cold, but cozy and tucked in.

2- The memory of being "tucked in" When we were little we used to always have my mom tuck us in. She would sing songs from Sound of Music or at Christmas the "Little Drummer Boy" She would scratch our backs during the whole song. You could hear all of us kids yelling "mom tuck me in next" I loved being able to tuck in my boys at night also.That was the hardest part for me when the boys went away to college was going by their empty room at night not being able to tuck them in.But I sure cherish every night I was able to. To this day if I go to bed before Steve I will ask him to come up and tuck me in. He always sweetly obliges!

3- Kenny and Lindsay are off to their 25th wedding anniversary cruise! They are going to Australia and it will be their very first cruise. I am so excited for them I can hardly stand it! We called ahead and ordered a little gift and love note delivered to their suite! But I don't think I have EVER gone two weeks without talking to my brother in my whole lifetime. It will be so weird but I am glad they left the phones at home. Bon Voyage kids! We love and miss you already!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Giving Thanks

It has been almost two months since the wedding and I am still so darn happy that our life includes a sweet daughter in law! I was thinking back on when I started praying for her. If I remember right it was when Travis was in first grade and Chad was only 4.
I joined a group called "Moms In Touch" We would meet every week for a hour and pray for our kids.We prayed for honesty, integrity,obedience,kindness and wisdom in raising them. One of the ladies began to pray for her child's future spouse. And something about that comment just stuck in my heart. What a great idea!! I knew my mom would often pray for my husband long before Steve came into my life. So every week when we met,we added that to our prayers. I began to pray for the boys future wives. That God would prepare her, bless her where ever she was,whoever she was,watch over and protect her,bless her family,and keep her in His mighty grip.I am thankful to this day for Sally, Anne, Lori, Nancy, Marsha, and all the moms who prayed along with me for years. I know that God answered our prayers by sending Ashlyn.She could not be any more perfect for my son or our family. We are so thankful and blessed! And to learn that her parents and grandparents were doing the same for Travis years before they met him. I asked Ash to send me a photo of her in first grade so I could see the little girl my heart began to love even then... How precious is she!! God is so good and we love you and your family so much! I can hardly wait to meet Chad's wife too ,I know shes out there .....

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Memory Lane~

I just needed this memory today~peace, contentment and joy

Monday, November 3, 2008

Our Vote is our Voice

I cant seem to write about anything simple or fun when so much is hanging in the balance for our country tonight. And in spite of what the media is saying it is NOT over yet. They have been wrong before! I am confident to hope that who I vote for - and who you vote for - will not keep us from being friends.
I appreciate our differences. They make me, me. And you, you.
That being said I am hoping that we all vote our conscience.For me my faith plays a HUGE part of my decision. How ironic that just today, a sweet friend at work shared a photo of her miscarried baby at not even three months old. The photo clearly showed her baby's eyes, arms, and spine. I can't ever vote for a candidate who allows late term abortions claiming it is not a baby. Also because of my faith I believe that traditional "marriage" is a marriage between one man and one woman. So I will be voting yes on Prop 8. I hope that we all examine our hearts and vote for what we believe even if it's not popular. I also believe that no matter who wins, no matter who is sworn in, no matter who addresses our nation for the next four years...that God is still God. He is indeed the same. Yesterday. Today. And Forever.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Sunday Six...Things that made me smile...

Another Sunday to thank God for the blessings in my life this week..There is so much peace in being content!
1-Had a fun dinner with all "three" kids Saturday night.It was great to see Chads photos and hear all about his trip.The new Carters got their wedding pictures back and looking through them brought back the wonderful memories of the greatest day!Once again Steve and I smiled the whole way home. We love spending time with our kids!

2-I joined facebook at the urging of some friends and family. And I am so excited to have found a old friend from grade school.Grace and I spent so much time together as young girls and I have so many memories of her family. It will be so fun to hear what they are all up to! The Internet really can be a blessing.

3- Five Christmas presents bought!And if I had my way they would be wrapped and stacked in the living room. But I am not prepared for the weird looks from quests, so I will leave them in bags in the office for now. But soon!!!

4- Chloe rented a cute apartment in Tennessee for her internship. I am so happy that she feels settled and has a darling place just waiting for her. And the timing was perfect! God is good

5- I love having an extra hour this morning! I have a busy day ahead but here I sit doing my Sunday Six, drinking coffee and enjoying an extra 60 minutes.

6- Yet another yummy pumpkin recipe! Ashlyn made the most amazing pumpkin Whoopi- Pies! Click here for recipe..I am going to stop off on the way home and get the ingredients(just one more case of canned pumpkin) and make some for work.I know that I'm pumpkin addicted but admitting a problem is the most important step right? I think this week my Starbucks name will be "Libby" instead of Sophia~