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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Raindrops on roses & whiskers on kittens..

These are a few of my favorite things!

My brother Dave with Santa at the Hawthorne Fire Station. I just love his sweet little smile.And he still has it to this day....

The kids Christmas Card this year! I just think they are the cutest and I love this pose.


I LOVE LOVE LOVE my new Cocomotion machine! I got one for Ashlyn and Travis too.I know you're wondering "how much better could it really be? But it is! Perfect temperature, frothy, mixed evenly with no lumps. Mine ran all day on Christmas.If it cools just turn it back on and in a few seconds it is ready to go.Perfect with Stephen's Gourmet hot chocolate and milk.Trust me you will love it! (and a great price at Wal Mart)


For two kids whose favorite movie ever is "Dumb and Dumber" this pic just cracks me up! Chad got a new Vespa and he and Trav took it everywhere! My very own Lloyd and Harry!



I have been wanting one of these for so long and Ashlyn and Travis got me one for Christmas! It is more beautiful in person. It has the names of my three kids and I love wearing them near my heart.

How about you? What are some of your favorite things? Let me know so I can be happy with you!
Love and giggles.....Karen~

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Had a holly jolly Christmas!


Wow that was fun! We truly had one of the best Christmas's and I thank the Lord and my sweet precious family. This was the first year that Travis and Ashlyn came up for a few days before and woke up with us on Christmas morning! It was so magical having my three kids here for all the fun! We spent Christmas Eve day just getting last minute things done,playing games and Ashlyn and I got mani/pedi's.Our precious Kaitlin stopped by with her fiance to visit and that always makes us so happy! Then we went to church and out for a great dinner. We came home,put on jammies and played cards and cooked dishes for the following day. Christmas morning was so fun having everyone come down to open gifts and sing "Happy Birthday to Jesus"(our longtime family tradition) The kids gave us, and each other such thoughtful ,sweet presents. Of course I cried as I opened mine just picturing them out shopping for such memorable things. And my Santa baby Steve got me such great gifts! Christmas Eve he saw me struggling with my old mixer trying to get things done and came into the kitchen with a brand new Kitchen Aid! I have always wanted one and what a fun surprise! After breakfast and cocoa we started the clean up and prep for the Greeks. Ash was such a HUGE help vacuuming and helping me set things up. (love having a girl)The boys gave the puppies baths and even played a round of tennis. The rest of the family arrived around one and the fun continued! It is so loud and crazy and goes by much too quickly. But we all had such a wonderful time being together. Lots of games, football, gifts,back rubs(another tradition at every gathering) great conversations, and lots of fun! The last person left around 11pm and the kids left shortly after that for the drive to Ash's family. Lucky Travis to have another amazing family to go celebrate Christmas all over again. No matter what you buy...or what you serve...it all pales in comparison to just being together! I went to bed tired but with such a grateful blessed heart!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas Joy!


The kids are here and I am loving life! Sushi and checker games last night, today the boys are golfing with Steve, Ashlyn is at a photo shoot for Carter & Cook and I am listening to carols and putzing around the house. I am overwhelmed with comfort and joy and so happy to have some quiet moments to bask in Christmas!

In the spirit of Christmas & giving I have the sweetest story to share! At our annual Bunco Christmas Party we always have a fun gift exchange. It's the game where you can steal or pick from the pile. Well of course all the super darling gifts are stolen until frozen and cant be traded anymore. This years "hot" gift was the cutest Weather Vane planter box. I had it, but of course it didn't last long because of how darling it is (I might have even mentioned once or five times about how you shouldn't steal from a handicapped person)But it still made its rounds and went home with the Atwoods! We were all happy they got it! But a few nights later there was a text from Katie saying "there is something on your porch" so I ran out and found this!
The picture doesn't do it justice.It is the CUTEST !! Of course I called Katie right away and she said her and Dan wanted us to have it.But they wanted it...they rightfully won it....then they gave it away....and they gave it to me!
I just could just cry every time I walk by it,but it also sure makes me smile.What a sweet, generous gesture of love from precious friends with hearts of pure gold~
I will cherish it always
I love you both!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Oh what fun!

You just gotta love pulling up to a friends home for a party and having a reserved parking space just for you. This was a hoot! And yes I had my driver pull right in.(thanks Steve) From there the night only got better and better! We were invited to John and Nancy's for a book club dinner that was so much fun! They are the BEST hosts and you feel so at home the second you walk in the door. After sharing appetizers we each brought,we went into her lovely dining room for a wonderful dinner! She is the BEST cook and makes it all look so easy. Yummy Chicken Parmesan, salad and fresh bread! It was my first Holiday party with "poppers" and I think they're jolly good fun! We all wore our crowns, shared our prizes and laughed at the riddles and jokes! I'm not English but I think those Blokes are onto something! Then we played a fun game called "Apples to Apples" and laughed like a bunch of silly teenagers! Or maybe it was my first "hot buttered rum" that gave me the giggles? Sure is a delicious new holiday treat.When I first met these precious girls it was to share books and literature but I LOVE that we now share our lives! Steve agreed it was such a GREAT night! Thank you to our wonderful hosts and "Cheers" to a great new year!
I love you all tons!


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Memory Lane~


Etch a sketches...fishing poles...red jammies...Chad being silly with the "nose pick"...Travis with a darling smile...step haircuts fresh from the barber shop...precious memories for sure!!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Friends are the best gift of all!


Whatever would we do without them? I am thankful for so many friends who have blessed my life with holiday cheer! Jackie stopped by to say Hi and ended up fluffing the tree for me. (Steve & Chad seem to think it looks great straight out of the box? But it looked so much better after her girly touch! Sandy came and stayed for two days helping me shop and decorate. We had so much fun and only she could make me feel happy while in a motorized Wal Mart cart! We had lunch and shopped for 9 hours.Then while drinking hot cocoa at 11 pm she decorated my little tree that I just love! Last Thursday the girls from our once a month work dinner decided it would be easiest to have a pot luck and bring the party to my house. So everyone brought a dish and we had the BEST time!
Paper plates..pizza..and yummy desserts and it couldn't have been easier or more fun! We had a fun gift exchange,chatted,laughed, and ended the night full of comfort and joy!





Thank you to all my friends and family for the calls and emails ! You are angels and I feel so blessed to have you! Who could ever want or need gifts when your life is filled with the things that really matter!
I am drinking from my saucer cause my cup has overflowed!

On a side note...Chad also had some Christmas Fun! This year instead of the "Ugly Christmas Sweater" party they decided to have a dressy party. I just think he looks so darn handsome so of course I had to share!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Boring...

My view for the last few days.....
But at least I can get out of the house for a little shopping. I sadly know which stores have 'carts' and which don't. Khols you are one of my favorites but,you need carts for your older customers (or the darling young ones who happen to be hurt at the holidays :) At first I thought I would die of embarrassment but I am finding them to be a blessing!

I LOVE YOU amazon.com! You can buy almost everything on there and shipping is FREE with only a 25 dollar purchase. And nothing cheers the housebound like packages arriving on the doorstep everyday!

Wednesday I thought I would stop off at Chick-Fil-A for a large iced tea to get me going before my shopping trip! They have the BEST iced tea! Well they offered me a free "small peppermint shake" and all I can say is Thank You! (and darn you guys) I have thought of nothing much else since. Yummy peppermint ice cream with tiny chocolate chips and whipped creme with a cherry on top! (I didn't eat the cherry, trying to watch the calories) I seriously was almost mad with every yummy sip. But it was free! And you know us Greeks with bargains. Just cant pass them up!

My bestest friend is addicted to QVC and it's hilarious! I woke up one morning at 7am to the phone ringing. Of course no hello, just "hurry turn on the Q they have the best little flashlights on " She calls me all the time with the hottest selling items and some I have to admit look pretty darn nice. But Sandy if you are calling it "The Q" and your first thought when you wake up is tuning into channel 14 you may be close to the ledge.

Thirteen more days until Christmas and despite not feeling my best,I am loving the time at home! I cant really bake or run around like I love to do,but I am looking for the blessing and I think just having the time to be "home" is a wonderful one! I hope you are enjoying the days too!
Hugs.....Karen~

Monday, December 7, 2009

Glad I made you feel better.....(a tongue in cheek post)


One of the blogs I love to visit is Melissa at "Stretch Marks" She is so darn funny and I often feel like we are sisters separated at birth. She is a kindred spirit and I love her blog! I find myself laughing and thinking we have so much in common. Well,she did a post about losing her "Mother Of The Year" status because of her reaction to her precious daughter Remi. Being the kind hearted person I am and always wanting to" lift a sister up" I left her a comment about a time when I was not a very good momma to Chad....

Well I guess it made her feel so much better!

So much better in fact that she jumped up,completely healed and started writing a blog post all about how much worse a mother I was and shared the story!Complete with a link to my blog so everyone can stop in and see what a horrible mom looks like. Now Melissa, you are such a big deal in the blog world and while part of me feels so honored, I just want to let you know that its "game on" I hope you share another really embarrassing story soon and you can bet I will link to your blog. And if I'm ever in Texas I am going to put on my "bump it" ,do my hair real big, stop off at Chick Filet and get us lunch, wear my Twilight t-shirt,pack some sugary candy for the kids and stop on over for a little throw down!

You sure made me smile and I am glad to know that we all fail at times! So lets each make a "Mother Of The Year Crown", give them to each other and then we can in all honesty say " Look what I was awarded" and no one will ever need to know how we got them!
Stop over and see the post and add Melissa's blog to your favorites. When shes not busy being mean she is hilarious!
Melissa at "Stretch Marks"

Friday, December 4, 2009

My gum drop tree....


I have so many fond memories of my childhood and they seem to come out of nowhere! Last year I was thinking of all the ways my mom would decorate our house for Christmas and I remembered we always had a gum drop tree. So I sent out to buy one for myself. I think my moms was pewter? (probably from the 'Blue Chip Stamp' Store) So last year I found a plastic one and just had to have it. Of course it arrived on the 27th. So this was the first year I was able to put it up and I LOVE it! Little memories of things that made our childhood home cozy. Who knows what I'll want to buy next? An Andy Williams album....a carousel that spins from the heat of a candle underneath...a box of tinsel for the tree from Thrifty's...or a train around the tree?
I certainly share my moms love for the "Little Drummer Boy' She would sing us the "pa rum pa pum song" every single night at Christmas time! So no coincidence that I have lots of "drummer boy" ornaments. I hope my kids will always think back on their holidays at home and smile the way I do !

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Silly Sara~

I often mention my precious niece Sara! What a joy she is to be around and how deeply she LOVES her family! She was so cute when she heard about my leg she called to say she asked all her friends to pray for me. I said " Well thank you Sara" and she replied "Well you know my dog Lacy is still blind"
I cracked up...she didn't want to expect any BIG miracle and be disappointed just in case. So funny, tender and sweet (just like her) Well my darling Nephew Kory sent me this video today that he took of her talking to me and I LOVE it! Now that will cure whatever ails ya...
ps..you can pause the music on the right column of my blog
video

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Sunday Six...Thanks & Giving

This week to be honest was not all fun, some of the time I wasn't feeling very thankful.But as often is the case, flowers grow among the thorns and every rain brings rainbows. So I am focused on the good and found much joy!

1-As I mentioned before I am SO thankful to Chloe for coming and staying a few days! She truly is an angel.Our dinner was fabulous and everything tasted amazing!She did the stuffing, potatoes,jello,and she make a wonderful pumpkin dessert. She did however forget the sugar!!So we told the Greeks she made a "sugar free" dessert just for them. They loved it and felt so touched that she went out of her way. We laughed about it for hours.Steve's turkey was so tender and good and they all commented how happy they were that I was resting and letting them do the work. So even if I'm better, you bet I'm gonna haul the brace out for Christmas dinner : ) But I will shed it to do the dishes because my sweet Tietta did every dish and pan with Chloes help. I am quite sure they went to sleep that night completely exhausted. I will always appreciate having such a loving,giving family!



2-I am reminded how when you face a certain struggle it makes you so much more compassionate for others in the same situation. I will never take for granted feeling healthy and being able to walk up my stairs. And if I ever see someone on crutches I promise to ask if they need any help. It is so much more difficult than I ever imagined. Just putting on those leopard thong panties I wear is such a bummer (gotta find the joy..)

3-I was such a wreck to call in sick at my new store & right on the busiest day of the year! I was adjusting perfectly and they are so darn good to me! The guilt was unbearable. So I stopped by on my way home from the doctor and talked to my boss! He and the bookkeeper came out and completely put my heart at ease,covered all my shifts and sent me off with a big hug and wish to feel better soon. I cant tell you how much their kindness meant to me. Even my new front end manager called the next day and was so precious and sweet! I am most grateful!!

4-Sunday morning I woke up to this on my porch!
My friend Trish dropped it off for me and it was like heaven!My favorite iced coffee and croissant! She and Jamie have also come by twice to walk Brody! Sweet friends are the BEST!! Again I am overwhelmed with thanks for their giving~

5-Chad and Steve went away on a boys trip and are having a BLAST! Steve felt bad for leaving me but I assured them I was going to be on the couch with my leg propped watching movies all weekend. (although once or twice I have thought what was I thinking??) But they have called a lot and every time I hear from them I am so glad they went.Good quality "dad" time is so rare and Steve sounds so happy!

6-Travis spent Thanksgiving with Ashlyns family again this year and even though we miss them I am so glad that his life includes her sweet family and grandparents. New traditions and a whole new group of family who love and embrace him. Her precious grams lovingly makes all the food and Trav said it's amazing! I am thankful that they love their son in law the way I do Ash! They are blessed indeed.

What a great week it has been in spite of some bummers! I have so much to be thankful for and with a Grate-"full" heart I say " Thank you"
Wishing you a wonderful week filled with love, joy and giggles!

Friday, November 27, 2009

First Thanksgiving!


And everyone fell in love with him! Some of my relatives had not met our new baby and he was adorable all day long! I tell ya this dog has the sweetest temperament of anyone I know. And those eyes just smile all day long....

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

I promise to share the joys of this Thanksgiving soon after the family leaves and the dust settles. But for now I am most thankful for my darling niece who drove out after hearing about my knee injury and has taken over the cooking with Steve. They have been busy since yesterday cooking and cleaning while I sit on the couch barking orders. I feel like she is working in "hells kitchen" and I am Gordon Ramsey (ok maybe not that bad,but I can be kinda bossy and am having a hard time not doing all the usual prep) But I guess the Lord wants me to give up some control and enjoy the day without worrying about every detail. I am just SO thankful for my family's help. I was thinking of ordering out a Mexican feast for dinner. But thanks to many hands pitching in we will be having turkey with all the trimmings. Just like it should be! Wishing you a Beautiful Thanksgiving with your family and time to sit and enjoy the surroundings and conversations. I would blow you kisses but both hands are clutching my crutches to stay upright! That should certainly give me the sympathy vote with the Greeks don't ya think?
With a grateful heart....Blessings to you all!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Sunday Six...

With this being the week of Thanksgiving I find myself extra thankful for all my blessings! I am looking forward to a great holiday with my family. And I am extra thankful that the Greeks are all coming. They get so excited about our gatherings! I'm so happy that I was raised with a family who cherished each holiday and always got together no matter how far they had to travel.
Here are six blessings of my week when I smiled and said thanks....

1-I love social weeks that are filled with fun! First a great lunch with Trish and Rhonda and lots of time to catch up and be together. I'm so thankful that we continue to keep in touch and will always be great friends! Then I had bunco at Carol's on Wednesday and it was amazing. She had the most beautiful table settings and treated us all to a fabulous dinner! Her home is so beautiful and always decorated perfectly. It was a small group and we never even played, but had such a good time just being together! Then last night a fun impromptu dinner with three other couples.The girls played dominoes while the guys shot pool. We made homemade pizza and salad and I made brownies.When you put it all together it was a easy, perfect dinner with friends. It was a great night! Thank you Daigles for putting the plan together.We love you all!

2- One day this week my facebook status was "I am thankful for my new family and that my store feels more and more like home everyday" I am so grateful that my heart feels this way. There are so many great people there and my boss is awesome! Change is never easy but there are new adventures around every corner!

3- CHLOE PASSED HER TEST!!! She had to fly to Seattle for a HUGE test. It was four hours long and most people take it at least twice because it is so extensive. It's for her certification as a child life specialist. But not our girl~ She passed the first time! She is so darn smart and we are so proud of her. She has been getting so many kudos at work and many doctors request her for procedures because she is so great at her job. I am one proud auntie! Chloe hopefully you can hear us cheering for you from here!!

4-Christmas music! I love to listen to the music of this season. There are so many beautiful carols about Christs birth. I find myself singing along in my car with a heart bursting with joy!

5-I love Freebies! And this week my was full of fun free treats. Vistaprint had an offer of 250 free address labels for Christmas. I ordered some,they arrived and are darling! Totally free! Then edible arrangements had a coupon for a box of free dipped fruit. So we had 6 chocolate dipped strawberries that were so yummy! Yesterday we printed coupons for a free lunch at Wahoos because it was their birthday. We shared a soda and left a good tip and only spent 5 bucks! And of course I still love packages in the mail and lots of those came too for free samples and treats. Here are two of my favorite sites for freebies! Visit everyday and get some goodies too.
Free Samples
Free Savings Blog

6-I got lots of shopping done for Christmas! I love to search for the perfect gift for those I love. And when I find things that I know they will like I get so excited! I even wrapped and have things all stacked and ready to go under the tree. It's the most wonderful time of the year!

I wish you all a wonderful Thanksgiving filled with friends, family,love and joy. And a grateful heart for all that we have been given. Like the poem I shared last year reads " I am drinking from my saucer cause my cup has overflowed! This year I can honestly say the same is true !
Blessings and love....Karen~

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

If you see five ladies in velour jumpsuits run!


I was inspired by my friend Kathy's blog post about book club so I thought I would write about it too! Once again you cant make this stuff up! We decided to go to the Pala buffet because they remodeled and it's much nicer than it was. Frankly I didn't really notice cause once you walk in and see the dessert station, you lose all focus.It's like the "mother ship" calling me home. There must have been at least 50 kinds of desserts and two HUGE chocolate fountains (no we did not toss coins or frolic in it) But before dessert we had to eat dinner. So we decided to crack a little crab! Wow that's a lot of work,and more than once a crab leg was hurled across the room by crazy women who didn't know how to use the crackers! And I am quite sure I may have squirted Kathy in the eye once or twice.So we gave that up and had all kinds of random things instead. Tamales...potstickers...sausage...broccoli ? How did broccoli get on my plate? The regular buffet attendees of our group informed us to order water so you don't get full from any carbonation then you could have room for dessert. We were also told to wear your "turkey eating" pants! Oh good Lord turkey pants? We did pretty good and didn't eat too much.
Until.....
THE DESSERT.....
Then it got ugly! Not only was there cheesecake but it was dipped in chocolate and put on cute lolly pop sticks! And tiramisu in darling little cafe cups, cookies galore,pies, cakes, ice cream,and chocolate everywhere!! And it was all you can eat. Lets just say we did Paula Deen proud! After 30 minutes of complaining how full we were, we thought perhaps pineapple would help dissolve all the sugar so we went back for fresh fruit?? I swear you lose all sense of normalcy when faced with all those choices. We decided if we ever went again we wouldn't go so far as to wear turkey pants but maybe we should buy velour sweat suits(which makes us just one step way from taking the senior shuttle for the early bird specials) All in all it was a great night.Funny ladies, funny conversations and funny sounds coming from my stomach all night long. I text Nancy and said if we have any more book clubs at buffets I will simply have to quit! I'm all for widening my literary knowledge but have no room to widen my girth! Maybe next month we will meet at the coffee shop for just some iced tea? Oh wait,next month is the cookie exchange! OK well come January....

Friday, November 13, 2009

Teeter Totter


Friendships are such an amazing gift from God. Life would be no fun without the right perspective and advice from friends. Last night was our moms dinner which we do once a month. Sometimes it's all laughs and good news and sometimes one of us is hurting and needs support and tender care. And truthfully both nights are just as enriching. Either way it happens to be, you walk away thinking how lucky we are to have each other. Without someone to teeter with, we might be stuck on the ground needing to be lifted up. But with friends the next thing you know you are sailing through the sky with your arms raised up , filled again with joy and the problems of this life don't seem so bad after all.If you are ever sad I sure hope you call me! I will drop everything to come out and play!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Sunday Six...


It's been a while since I shared my Sunday Six and as always I have much to be thankful for! So here are six joys from the past week....

1- A fun sleepover with Travis and Ashlyn. They called and wanted to come home for the weekend and nothing makes us happier than that! We played cards, went out to dinner, took our pups on a long walk and just enjoyed being together! My sweet mom used to always say she was happiest with all her chicks in the coop. I know just what she meant....

2-The work girls met up for dinner.I miss being able to see them every day! We had a great time and even Kirk came by to join in the fun. We are excited to keep our little tradition going of meeting up monthly to chat and catch up! I'm already looking forward to next months dinner


3-We went to a fun party Friday night at our friends house for an outdoor concert. They found a new artist that they love and invited her to come and perform for their friends. Lucky us to be included! It was a great night sitting in lawn chairs, seeing old friends and listening to good music.

4-My sweet husband always makes me feel safe and loved. He just says the kindest things that give me such a feeling of peace and well being. How blessed I am to have a man who I adore! And now I see that same tenderness with Ashlyn. He sure loves his daughter in law and she can do no wrong! He tenderly reminds Travis to always be a sweet and thoughtful husband, but I think he has modeled it more than anything.

5-Today is Kenny's birthday and I am so grateful to have such a GREAT brother! He and Lindsay are such good friends to Steve and I and we never tire of seeing them. We had a chance to celebrate with them this week at his favorite restaurant and I baked him a really ugly birthday cake(It tasted yummy but I failed miserably at the decorating) Kenny you are such a wonderful, kindhearted, funny, loyal man and how lucky I am to have you for a brother! Happy Birthday Honey! (my mom said since I couldn't say my K's when I was little I always just called him honey) You are still my honey and I adore you!
6-I am so thankful for my computer! It eases my load and keeps me connected with friends and family! I pay all my bills online so I am never late, never have to buy stamps and always know whats due. I love being able to keep up with my friends and family with their blogs and facebook.Dave will send me a email pic of something fun or of Sara smiling ear to ear. I love being able to share in those moments even though we are separated by way too many miles.I really love email so you can quickly touch base even if it's late at night and cant call. What a blessing to keep in touch!

I wish you all a great week filled with love joy and giggles. Remember to be always mindful of Gods amazing grace! We have more blessings than I could ever imagine and with all my heart I say "Thank You"