Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Bragging Rights...

Today we received the announcement to our darling Chloe's graduation!!
On May 23rd she will graduate with "highest honors" with her degree "Master of Science in Child Life" I am so proud of her I might burst. She decided after graduating from her 4 year college,she really had it in her heart to get her Masters and become a "Child Life Specialist" Her internship is almost done and she will be home to start her new career. She has had such extensive teaching and has endured so many hours of training. The twelve hour days,writing reports and grueling rounds are almost over.She did it!!
Can you imagine the fear a child would have knowing they are facing cancer, or some other life threatening illness. And I cant think of anyone better suited to sit with a patient to comfort and share the answers to every question they might have. Doctors simply do not have the time for this one on one treatment,so they send in someone like Chloe.What a gift she has and such a heart for people. And she got her Masters in record time with Straight A's~I hope she can hear us cheering from here. I am one proud "Thia" and this auntie just had to brag!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Please excuse Karen from her blog today. She is under the weather, down for the count, unable to crawl to the computer.Thankfully this morning I took a hot shower, put on clean fresh jammies, and watched some of our church service online. But then I crawled back into bed to watch the Food Network and Golden Girl re-runs (you will be missed Bea Arthur). Its been a while since I felt this crummy and though I have much to be thankful for this week ,I seriously don't have the energy to think of them. Today I am thankful for my comfy bed, my sweet nurse of a husband, Tylenol extra strength,cranberry juice, heating pads and magazines. Wishing you all a good week filled with love and giggles. And no sick days

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Tag you're it...

I got tagged...They are always fun to read but sometimes a chore to do. So if I tagged you,please feel free to ignore the request.But if you have a free minute come join in the fun. Even if you dont have a blog you can answer the questions in my comment section! You know how I love random things so here are my random answers

Eight Things I'm Looking Forward To:
1. Meeting Chloe and the family on her way HOME for Mothers Day weekend. Five days of fun and getting caught up! I will be a true Greek auntie with hugs and cheek pinching galore
2. Adopting a new dog
3. Meeting up with the book babes for laughs,yummy appetizers,always something decadent and chocolate and of course very intellectual book discussions(now that last part is almost funny)
4.Being a YaYa (I know I've mentioned that before but it bears repeating)
5.Christmas~~ It's only 244 days away!! (just kidding,I ran out of ideas)
6.Chad marrying the girl of my his dreams
7. Planning my next 'bucket list" cross off. We are going to go somewhere but haven't decided where yet. But I love all the dreaming and planning.
8. When my precious friend has been in remission long enough to be called "cured."

Eight Things I did Yesterday:
1. Got up at 3 am for work
2. Napped after work for 2 hours (those party girls kick my butt)
3. Greeted the hubby with a kiss and dinner
4. Talked to Silly Sarah (I LOVE my niece)
5. Cleaned the fridge (love to do that on trash day eve, another weird quirk )
6. Giggled!! When I am tired I get ridiculously slap happy.
7. Ate a piece of my leftover yummy dessert
8. Then wondered for the umpteeth time why I cant lose weight?

Eight Things I Wish I Could Do:
1. Sing~
2. Remember things...Its only getting worse
3. Be addicted to exercise
4. Hug my sweet parents one more time
5. Visit Boston again and cruise all through New England this time with my family.
6. Keep up! I always feel like I am letting someone down by not being available enough. But with work, family, and friends life is sometimes too hectic.
7. Live closer to my kids. I would love "drop bys" on their way home and impromptu dinners.
8. Be in two places at once. Live here but work at the Gear Foundation with Dave and the kids everyday. That would be my ideal life!

Eight TV shows I watch:
1- Survivor
2. Bonnie Hunt
3. Dancing with the Stars
4. Celebrity Apprentice (that Joan is a kick)
5. The Soup
6. Regis and Keli
7. Golden Girls
8. The Office
Eight People I Tag:
1. Nancy
2. Holly
3. Melanie
4. Sarah B
5. Kami
6. Ash
7. Kaci
8. Kori

That was fun~ Thank you Kathy!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

It all started with some dice...

I promise I wont talk about the bunco girls every month but we had such a fun time last night I just had to write a bit.It's funny when you grow up without sisters, you always wish you had one. No one loves their brothers more than me but I always wondered what it would be like to have sisters. And I can say I have been so blessed with amazing women in my life that have filled that role.I have my precious sisters in law, good friends, and my BUNCO girls. I have never felt a second of criticism or judgment, competition or awkwardness with this group of silly ladies. We just have fun! And you always leave their company knowing you are loved and accepted. What a blessing to have those friendships in life. Often when you have 12 ladies it can be catty or gossipy but there is none of that.It's a blessing that I never take for granted!! Here are some photos of the fun last night.....

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Sunday Six... Things for which I am grateful!

It has been another busy week, and I have struggled with that old familiar 'let down' feeling of everyone being gone. It always takes me a bit to recover from so much fun and find joy in the everyday things. But once again I have so much to be thankful for!! Here are six that come to mind.

1- I started the week with the biggest "To do" list ever! I had set everything aside to have fun last week so this week I had a ton to do.But thankfully there is only one thing left! I get so stressed when I have too many loose ends. But now I can be ready for another week and feel caught up. I have the Bunco girls for dinner Tuesday night so much cooking will need to be done. But I am very excited to see my friends again.

2-When I heard the story of the Navy's rescue of Captain Phillips I literally had goose bumps and tears of thanks. What a incredible story. I am so impressed with our military that they could parachute into that situation, position themselves on the water, and all three strategically fire the shots needed to rescue a fellow American. I was also incredibly moved by the captains humility and courage,offering himself as a hostage to save his crew. Those kind of stories just make you so proud to be an American!

3-Costco~ Don't you just love Costco? I simply can not host any event or holiday without this fabulous store. Today I even found the hair straightener that I have been wanting for such a good price, memory foam pillows which my family all swear by(they have the 2 pack for only $39.)I love their brand of shampoo,and the Costco tuna is the BEST ever. I found a nice shirt for Carter and we had the rotisserie chicken for lunch. Yep I'd say we are big fans!

4- As I was planning my menu for dinner Tuesday I went searching through all my old recipes. I came across so many from my Mom and Aunt Kay. At one point I almost put them all on my computer in a program but now I am so glad that I didn't. It brings me so much comfort and loving memories when I see their handwriting and little notes in the margins.I have some really old ones on Albertsons receipt tape from customers when I was first learning to cook. Those scraps of paper mean so much to me and I love looking through my old box.

5- Uncle Angelo gave me an old Greek icon that he has had for over 25 years. It belonged to my YaYa's mother, then my YaYa, then to Angelo and he gave it to me on Easter Sunday. He is one tough guy but he got so emotional when he told me the history of this old piece. I guess in the old days they didn't have birth certificates so they would write down the day of their children's birth on the back in the wood. It was the only way to know how old someone was. So my YaYa's birth is on the back along with her sisters and brothers.He really cherished it and I cherish that he has now given it to me. I will find just the right spot to hang it in my home.

6- My bike! I really love my bike and with the weather being so good I love to drive around on it. Even Sandy got in the fun while she was here. I just feel like such a kid when I take off on my bike and let the wind blow through my hair. The hills are still bustin my butt so I try to avoid them at all costs. It is super warm here today so as soon as it cools I am going off again. I love to ride in the evening and peek in the front windows and see what everyone is having for dinner. Yep Mrs Kravitz and her bike.

Wishing you all a fun week filled with love, joy and giggles.

Friday, April 17, 2009

"Designers lets make it happen"

That was the phrase I heard from my brother all last week. He would even say it with the famous Tim Gunn lisp accent and clap of the hands. First off lets meet the designers
My sister in law Sandy~
And my brother Dave~
Dave has a hard time sitting still and loves a project.These sweet relatives of mine decided they were going to help me "update" my house a little. My new furniture arrived on the morning they did and once you get new things it gets you in the mood to spruce things up. Dave took me to the paint store and tried to give me his vision of what he wanted to do to my oak tables.
When it comes to vision I am a bit impaired. But trusting their instinct I let go. Wow he did a great job! First he painted the tables barn red,then green over that so when he antiqued them the red would show through. Then he stained them and put on a finish coat. The result "Fabulous" All the while he was painting Sandy gently helped me purge some old stuff. I guess doilies are out? Who knew?(apparently everyone but me) I had a few more than I thought. She kindly asked if any of my friends had any in their homes (no) did maybe some of their grandma's ? I got the point. So after throwing about 8 of them away she found two more in my linen closet. Also my amish prints were screaming 80's, my room needed a rug, 6 new pillows were needed for the family room couch,my white cottage living room needed some color, and the dried flowers on the table were not dried but DEAD. So after at least 5 trips to Homegoods and much rearranging I have to say the place looks great. I thought at first they just watch way too much HGTV but now that I look around I agree they have quite an eye for home design. Thanks designers for all your hard work! Your sweet touches in my home are a lasting blessing and joy.
Pictures of the family room to follow soon..

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Very Excited!

Today is tax day...April 15th. While normally mine are long since mailed I don't usually give today much thought. But due to an error with Chads W2, then our tax man thought Chad was still a full time student and that we could "claim" him,both sets of taxes had to be revised. So today I picked them up,signed them to be e-filed, and now we are just waiting on the BIG return to arrive!! We spent $215.00 getting them prepared by our long time accountant.We owed the State of California $3.00 which I felt weird about writing a check for.I wanted to just send them 12 quarters. We get $235.00 dollars back from the Federal, so we have a whopping net of $17.00 coming our way!! It's only fair to split that with Steve so I have about 8 dollars. What ever am I going to buy? I wonder if they will send me a IOU or just bite the bullet and mail my big check right out to me? Either way it buys me a little time to dream about how I will spend my wad.

Monday, April 13, 2009

a MOST wonderful Easter!

Wow what a week! As I sit in my quiet house tonight getting caught up on laundry & cleaning the house feels much too empty. I have decided there are few things better in life than a really full house! Dave Sandy and Sara left today after such a fun week. The tears started as soon as we approached the airport and they seem to keep coming back. Oh but the fun we had!! Our week finished with a wonderful Easter celebration! The kids were home all weekend, and nothing spells fun like a big ole slumber party.Eight people and one adorable little puppy.Then the Greeks and Ashlyns family arrived and the fun continued. We "grilled out"(as they say in the south) and enjoyed good food and really good company.It was so awesome of her family to make the long trek to join us. And I have to say, no holiday will feel complete now without them here. What an amazing family Travis has married into! It was a beautiful day filled with all the things an Easter celebration should have....
Baseball games in the yard, sunshine and smiles galore, beautiful homemade sugar cookies(thank you Sarah) cousins arm wrestling, aunts and uncles all talking at once,an adorable new puppy nipping at peoples toes, cheers for "puppy pad" successes, church service with all my family in the pew,lots of laughter and teasing,fresh flowers and sweet strawberries,a Princess cake for Sara's birthday. And 26 people in my kitchen holding hands and saying a prayer of thanks before dinner while I tried hard not to cry at how incredibly blessed we are~

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!!

Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, He has risen.
Luke 24:5

This Easter I hope you believe with all your heart ....

Thursday, April 9, 2009

We have exciting baby news!

We are thrilled and excited to announce the newest addition to the Carter Family!!!
"Bentley Carter" has arrived to two adoring parents Travis and Ashlyn. You can imagine the sheer joy we feel at becoming grandparents to this delicious, adorable little guy.We get to meet him face to face on Easter and we can hardly wait...

Darling David...

Even a drive to Target with this brother of mine is so much fun!!!
I am loving having my family here and the laughs and fun never stop! I promise to blog again soon but for now we have places to go,

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Dreams really do come true.....

Sara met Tinkerbell! A life long dream...They chatted about pixie dust,angels, fairies, and their matching wings. I loved seeing Disneyland again through her eyes. Life is sweet......

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Sunday Six...

I can hardly believe that another week has passed.But it was a week of blessings and fun! Here are six things, The big and the small that I am grateful for. The bible says "in all things give thanks" and I do with all my heart...

1-Easter week...I have always loved Easter and when you stop and ponder the true meaning of this holiday it brings you to your knees. The Greeks always greet you with " Christos Anesti" and then you reply 'Aleithos Anesti" It means "Christ is risen" and the reply is "Surely He is risen" I was raised with this tradition since I was a little girl and it really says it all. Christ came and died but He is risen! And we celebrate this week with humble hearts for all He has done. Palm Sunday, Good Friday and then Easter Sunday. It is all so much more significant than bunnies and eggs. I wish you all a wonderful Easter Week!

2- The wedding video!!! We finally got to see the wedding video with the kids last night and I loved it! How fun it was to re-visit one of the happiest days of my life. It was the most perfect day and Trav and Ash were so blessed. I cried the second it started and cried the whole way through. I am still just overwhelmed with gratitude that the Lord brought them to each other.Like Ashlyn said in her vows, They are not perfect but they are perfect for each other.

3-The kids...Steve and met up with all three of them for dinner and fun. There is simply nothing that makes me happier than time spent with them. Chad looks so healthy and happy and it was great to see my favorite life guard. Travis is the cutest, happiest husband! And Ashlyn is such a sweet homemaker and wife. She made us all homemade strawberry shortcake that was delish. It was a super fun night. Those three are truly my biggest blessings!

4- Steve's company celebrated a Sonic Burger Grand Opening and Steve and I attended. It was his baby and he did such a great job! I was super proud of him and the owners were thrilled that he got it done in record time and under budget. That's my man! There are so many buildings and stores open with his expertise all over them. I probably dont brag near enough about him. But today I will, Good Job You!

5-I am thankful that I have always been able to work part time. I always tease that it takes a lot to run this house well, so part time is all I can do. Well this last week I worked 40 hours while my friend and boss Trish took a much needed vacation week. It was a good reminder how good I have it. Who feels like cooking, cleaning, and errands after working all day? I admire wives and moms who do that every single week.I realize what a blessing my part time job is and I am extra grateful for it this week!

6-Blog comments! I am so thankful that so many of you leave me little love notes on my posts! It means so much to me and is such a encouragement to keep writing. You know how I am about mail and when I see a new comment it feels like mail in my box! I even got a comment from the writer of another blog that I visit. She is kinda 'big time' so I felt like a celebrity had dropped by. I love you all for reading and still wonder how my boring life could be of any interest to you. Maybe it makes you extra thankful for yours!! You can leave thinking 'Well at least I dont have big calves, bushy eye brows, crazy random thoughts and a weird addiction to cupcakes' But no matter the reason you stop by, I am glad you do...
Wishing you all a wonderful week filled with love, joy, and giggles.


I got the sweetest email from my friend Paula~ And I just have to share! She is one of my bunco buddies and such a sweetie. We have always asked each other "why are we not best friends?" We dont see each other often but when we do we always have so much darn fun! She is such a ray of sunshine and is always happy! Only Paula would think of putting this much work into making other people smile. This was the context of her email....

It's really no big deal, but I love it. I made it behind my house as you come from Day Middle School. It's on the hill right in front of you as you make the curve. I told Lon it is absolutely ridiculous how happy my Happy Face has made me. I am sad now that it is fading so quick with no rain. When I was home I carried buckets of water with miracle grow to keep it going growing-green. Does it sound like I have too much time on my hands?!!

No friend, it sounds like you enjoy bringing other people joy and I adore that about you. And I have to say every time I drive by, I have a big ole smile and think of you! If they still gave out the good neighbor award you would surely win for this one. "Literally" thank you for the smile. ♥ Happy Spring!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


I just want to preface this post with this: If you think I am a kind hearted auntie or a sweet sister, this post will change ALL that. This has the potential to wipe away any kind thoughts you might have about me. Which is why I have been tempted to never tell this story. But my blog is my real life, and it aint all good. Like Chad says we are not the Cleavers! But I am going to break you in slow with the little stuff first. I am such a kid at heart and still love a April Fools joke. I grew up with prankster brothers and married a huge prankster! So this morning in all seriousness I gave my boss my two weeks notice. I was dead serious and just explained that Steve and I no longer needed the money. He was sweet and then said I couldn't quit (which I love him for, I might have been sad if he reached for the paperwork and had me sign) I had him going for a quite a while, but when I mentioned that I was finally going to be able to live the princess life that I was destined for he began to sense it was a joke. I giggled "April Fools" and cracked myself up! I played a couple little pranks on others too, and thought I was pretty darn funny all day. But now for the joke with the punch, but no punch line!! My family puts lottery tickets in each others stockings every year for Christmas. Well they make these fake ones that look exactly like the real deal. I thought perfect, I will give one to Chloe. We all sat around opening gifts and she calmly scratched off 10,000 dollars! Chloe cried, Kenny cried, there was screaming and joy all around. She said something about paying off her student loans and I began to get nauseous. Then I cried....What did I just do? and to my sweet Chloe. Of course she thought I was crying because I was so happy for her. It was the worst!! It seemed like a funny idea at the mall....but not so much after this reaction.

(video used with permission, evidently time does heal all wounds)
Thankfully I have a great family with a wonderful sense of humor so after a thousand apologies and hugs we did what any other family would do. We began plotting who to get next. So Paul got the next one. He arrived a couple hours later and he too WON 10,000 DOLLARS! Up until then Paul had the worst prank on record for our family but I now have taken the title. I still have two more un-scratched 'pretend' tickets but I have learned my lesson. I have confessed, you have been my group therapy, and I am cured. And most of all I have a niece who surprisingly still loves me!!! But if you should want the tickets?.....