Monday, April 30, 2007

Too much stuff- again~ plus, it's summer season :)

As most of you who know me, know that I tend to like order and simplicity (most of the time:), you would understand why this picture does not do much for me!! It is our basement, and we have just a couple of weeks to go through everything in hopes of a huge yard sale. Little by little, right?? Box by box.... bag by bag....... child by child..JUST KIDDING!!

On a happier note... the spring season is officially here, as noted by the presence of the tent~ the children's favorite summer activity. They had their first campout of the season with Daddy, complete with smore's. Don't think they're completely roughing it-- notice the laptop/movie center in the corner of the tent. Thank goodness for extension cords hanging out the window :) Here's to summer!

Saturday, April 28, 2007

What will 15 thousand dollars get you???

Thankfully, for the first time in days, I was able to get up and off of the couch! Unfortunately it was to head off to the funeral director's office yet once again in the last few years. On our very dreary, drizzly drive (what- you mean it does rain here in Pittsburgh??), I was observing the beautfiul green emerging from the grayness- the signs of new spring life all around. It couldn't help but to bring little glimpses of joy and hope amongst the grayness of loss. Now, if only Monty could understand the 'new life' cycle!!!
~Life-- new life, new hope, living, dying- but then moving on to a much happier place in total peace~
While in the funeral director's office, he gave us a 'federal' price guide to show us all of the bell's and whistles for Grandma's arrangements. Listed on the casket information were the prices of $3000-$15,000- yes 15 THOUSAND dollars for a casket ALONE. I had to ask-- 'could you please show me just what a $15,000 casket might look like?' The kind director obliged, and then told me he's sold one for $30,000. It was made of entirely pure gold. OK, then. Even if you are a millionaire, surely $30,000 could be put to much better use than being buried in the ground-- that's entirely my opinion and not worth squat, but that's what blogs are for, right? :) As we were nearing the end of the meeting, and after seeing the break-down of costs incurred (COME ON PEOPLE-- $800 HUNDRED dollars for the RIGHT alone to bury someone-- that should be a crime!) PapPap assured me that when it was his time, he would promptly go and dig his own grave a week or two before departing. :)
Great Grandma will be missed by all-- may she rest in peace.
Thanks to our great friends and family for being there- phone calls, visits, good 'ol chicken soup, and goodies! That's what life is about! Being there!

Thursday, April 26, 2007


After a day of Mommy down and out in bed with the flu, the children, not being able to have structured school, came up with their own class of Engineering 101. I was quite impressed with their tent home- although they weren't too thrilled about having to tear it all down. The biggest downfall of being sick is that I came down with it yesterday when the house was totally quiet and empty- just me and Jacob. What a way to enjoy that :(

Wednesday, April 25, 2007


Hi all- today is just a 'rambling' of sorts. Been having computer difficulties- but thanks to our awesome, extremely highly-paid computer tech (aka PapPap), at least I can get online again. Thank goodness I don't have to figure any of this out-- I'd never be able to even get online myself:)! Still having some trouble that's puzzling all of us, but we'll take this for now! Just a side-note: I did find out that if you're having trouble with the font being broken up on my LiveSpaces site (, if you use Mozilla Firefox rather than Internet Explorer, the font is fine. For whatever reason, it's not liking IE.
And now for your Eastern US weather update: Yep--that would be rain- lots of rain--- the 4 little sunshines didn't last long- oh well. It's no wonder the stupid praying manits eggs don't want to hatch! Lauri-- I'm really NEEDING a visit to your part of the country!!! I'm trying, but can't get Mark to budge :) (yet-- ha ha!!) At least it's getting warmer. Have a great Wednesday all!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

A picture is worth.......

OK-- just an update on Monty, (aka DUDLEY) the pet praying mantis: Need I say more?? >:I

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Road Trip

Welcome Spring! It was BEAUTIFUL here today- no clouds at all and warm enough for shorts! May not sound that exciting, but for the weather of the last few weeks, it's a BIG deal :) Last week at this time my Mom was getting married in snow.
After visiting a new church, we all decided to go for a drive-(after enjoying a yummy breakfast buffet- I had nothing to do with it-- really-- ha ha!!!) we headed to the lake and found a special ice cream stand on the way. (That one I TRUELY had nothing to do with- totally Mark's idea!! ...for real! You all act as though you don't believe me:) Anyway... it was a 'delightful' day and the little ones are tuckered out. There'e nothing like the sun to lift your spirits! I'm getting anxious to plant some flowers, but know it's way too early.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Green Belts!!

We passed-- blue belts out, green belts in-- yeah!! Half-way, but a LONG way to black!
We also have PapPap's bike verdict-- "it's not worth it, there's nothing to prove, so no new or old bike for now"-- (I think I'm deep down pretty happy about that decision, but shhhh don't tell:) Maybe next year- we'll see. OK-- now let's focus on that house addition!!!! Right PapPap??
I'm heading to bed-- the karate test was late and took a lot out of us- we're just plain pooped! Love ya all!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Flightless fruitflies and DUDLEY

As I was observing Monty (I do think we will now change his name to DUDLEY-- thanks Lauri!) the pet praying mantis to be-- I also observed the flightless fruitflies purchased from the biochemical/medical supply company, and THEY are multipyling like crazy! (NOT appetizing AT all!) Sure am glad we purchased them, and they arrived TWO WEEKS BEFORE THE STUPID THING HATCHED--- IF IT EVER DOES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
On a happier note-- had a great day with our Chinese adopting friends-- their baby is absolutely adorable-- almost rekindles that infant mothering instinct-- almost :)
AND-- we now have 4-- YES FOUR bright sunshines on the weather predictions AND temps in the 70's--- I'm tellin ya- I was meant to live on a beach (with a second home FAR away when the hurricanes come of course:) -pocket change I tell ya-- pocket change!

Excessive-Compulsive Hoarding Disorder

I couldn't believe it when I opened a magazine a few moments ago-- after talking about having to have so much STUFF- there is actually a disorder called 'excessive hoarding disorder'-- complete with a website- Maybe overcoming a hoarding compulsion would be the solution to all of life's troubles-- I wonder how many garbage bags full of clothes it takes to be an excessive hoarder?? Of course we must be careful-- I believe there is also an excessive neatness disorder-- those who know me may think I tend to fall into that category:)

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Too much STUFF!

As Mark and I (and our little helpers) have spent the previous 2 days cleaning out his Grandmother's house (she will be unable to return to her home here), it is amazing to me just how much STUFF the average American has. (me included!) Do we REALLY NEED 10 truckloads of bags full of nick-nacks and what-nots? Do we REALLY NEED 3 different sets of china (again- me included)? How about 3 garbage bags of shoes???? Nine boxes of tupperware??? It is no wonder that most countries view us Americans as a greedy, lazy, gluttonous nation.
Well, time to get dinner ready using my every-day set of common China with the basic silverware set, of course. Enough serious stuff for me for awhile :) ~have a great night all!
PS--- Monty has done NOTHING yet!!!!! Maybe it's a dud egg sack?!?!?

Monday, April 16, 2007

Don't Try This At Home

For all of you who have been waiting~ These are photos of a brand new 2007 Honda Goldwing with less than 500 miles on it. Yep-- PapPap's brand new 2007 Honda Goldwing with less than 500 miles. Ooops! Thankfully he walked away with a little scratch on his knee and some bruising in his chest that pretty much went away within a week--OK, with the help of some Advil for a day or so, but being quite stubborn about it. As he lay on the ground looking up at the spinning wheels, he thought- 'this isn't good'-- which brings us to another chapter-- will there be a new bike, an older, smaller bike, or no bike??? The drama at home is never dull :) Welcome to real life- the good, the bad, the up, the down, and being able to laugh at it all! That PapPap is one strong dude- for an old guy :)!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

The Morning After

Hi all! We are finally home-- 2 gallons of hairspray washed out, 1 load of laundry done, bridal flowers organized neatly for the returning honeymooning couple (they have decided to drive West and see where it takes them), 3,000 cookies later, and little ones neatly tucked in bed for an early night.... the excitement now over. It was a fun, delightful celebration, and we're all thankful for the blessings granted! This is what the morning looked like with my little zombies :) My sweet princesses were definitely princessed out! Elisha was just thrilled he was able to do an hour of quad riding -hence, the load of laundry! PS-- Monty is still unchanged!!! We took him the WHOLE WAY there- FOR NOTHING!! He'd still be there if Mark hadn't remembered him >:0

Saturday, April 14, 2007


Wedding went great- off without a hitch- unless you count little incidents such as: the boys walking down too early, then returning and going back again, Lydia leaving without Elizabeth and Elizabeth yelling 'Lydia- you wait for me!', Elizabeth walking down, now with Lydia, then yelling 'Hey PapPap!'-- but that's what makes a wedding! I told Mom that we should have worn jeans- eveyone's eyes will be on the little ones anyway! The bride and groom looked great as well- have to change honeymoon plans- they were headed to the Northeast, but with the snowstorm don't know where they're headed now. I have pre-wedding picts- the 'formal' ones will come in the next weeks. Interesting tidbit- the girls' hair stylist had a black eye- she was hit with a foul ball at the Pirate Home Opener- 1 in a 39,000 chance- should have played the lotto that day. Check out my live spaces site for picts- address in previous blogs-- Good night!!!!! I'm pooped!!!

Friday, April 13, 2007

Rehearsal pictures

Rehearsal and dinner went great-- kids are pooped and were a bit bored- pictures posted on

We're Here

Hey all! We arrived safe and sound- even Monty >:I I had a picture of him traveling, but it got deleted by accident- oops! He'd better behave or I might delete him, himself:) So, here he is resting on Mom's bookcase. And look at what great help the guys are!!!! Send y'all picts. tonight from the rehearsal.

And We're Off!

Final Status Update: Ironing: Complete Baths: Done Packing clothes: Done-- it was however a bit difficult after realizing all suitcases were already packed for Disney-- oops Packing the gas-slurping SUV: Done (Does it matter if we forget just 2 children?--JUST KIDDING) Remembering the movie for the DVD-player in the gas-slurping SUV: Check Remembering MONTY and the flightless fruit flies just in case it actually hatches: Got it >:I Wedding suits, shoes, undergarments, camera: Check, Check, Check Baby dolls, play trucks, Elizabeth's Black Beauty horse that's really white (Don't ask): Yup Last minute workout: Finished Money for stress-relieving Caribou Coffee on the way: you betcha! We're Off!!!!!!


Just an update--- made it until 1:30 am-- then Elisha woke up because of a dream, came in bed with me and had me up until 3am, when I finally sent him back to bed.
Status report: packing in 33.3% done, nails 90% done (no need of polish until all baths and dishes are finished:), ironing is still 0% done, and all children are still in need of baths! Thankfully I can finish that here because it is way too cold and wet for them to get muddy 4-wheeling at Gma's house, and then have to bath them there. (Like there is really any time for quad riding anyway-- poor Elisha is a little upset on that because as you know--"Mom, I'm just not that excited about the wedding- it's just not a guy thing-- now what I'm really excited about is 'that' 4-wheeling!" Sorry bud!)
3 hours until departure so I'm off to iron- and attempt a very last minute workout-- karate green belt test is one week away-- no added pressure there-- ughhhhhhh!
Oh-- our awesome family member from the west has come up with the praying mantis sack's name--- Monty! As I write, Monty is perched on his stick, not having moved or showed any sign of action.................................... need I say more???

Thursday, April 12, 2007


It's midnight-- I haven't started to pack yet, the ironing isn't done yet, my nails are in a serious state of disaster, it's not even my wedding to be in an uproar about, and it's now less than 48 hours away. AGHHHHHHH! And why am I here blogging, instead of making any headway? I have no idea-- there's always tomorrow morning, right?? Maybe I'll just stay up all night? Nahhhh.... PS-- Just checked on the praying mantis sack again------- and there it sits, JUST LIKE IT HAS FOR TWO WEEKS NOW!! WHO TAKES A PET PRAYING MANTIS TO A WEDDING EVENT?????????????

Wednesday, April 11, 2007


Knowing that my Mom's wedding is this weekend, it didn't seem quite so close as it did today when I realized that it is less than 72 hours away--- yikes!!!! The girls ask me every day 'how many more days til the wedding Mommy-- is that long??' I guess I can now honestly say 'No' to that question! I'm thinking it might be a little late to lose 10 pounds :) ~maybe instead a date with Ben and Jerry is in order tonight during the latest episode of LOST. Here's to pre-wedding 'daughter' jitters:)
PS-- Still, the praying mantis sack lays............. doing NOTHING!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Not impressed!

Call it a lack of patience maybe, but this praying manits pet is a bit unimpressive! Here it is STILL hanging from the tree branch. Now, since nothing has happened, we will have to take it on our travels to my mother's wedding this weekend-- I thought this was going to be a low-maintenance affair! The vials of flightless fruitflies are less than appetizing as well-- this thing had better liven up, or the chlidren will quickly lose thier praying mantis zeal~ maybe we should buy a goldfish???

Monday, April 9, 2007

New Site Update

Hi all--- just wanted to update the previous blog-- you DON'T have to sign in to view the Windows Live Spaces-- I changed the settings and have posted Easter pictures on the site-
Had a great day yesterday and surprisingly the children aren't sick from all of the candy they ate:) --neither is Mom-- not that I ate that much candy.......really!!

Sunday, April 8, 2007

New site

Hi guys-- I've been playing around ---maybe you could call it too much excess time???-- hardly :) -- and my final (for now) blogger site is up and running. It is my favorite site of the 3 and should have really nice photo capabilites. You will have to sign up and sign in to view it- but it's fast, easy, free and junk-free! I'll probably put all of the wedding pictures on it. We'll see how everything turns out-- have a great day!

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Happy Easter Again!

Everyone had a fun night-- the children all made their own specialty eggs :) Of course, all of Elizabeth's were yellow (her favorite color) and all of Lydia's were purple-- but Mom's eggs were the prettiest- Ha Ha! It can be so much fun to do old traditions that remind you of your childhood- coloring eggs was always one of the fun memories of my parent's and I- then my dad and I broke out Mom's yummy peanut butter eggs- only when she wasn't looking. (Quality control purposes, you know!)
We started a new 'tradition' and made Empty Tomb Cookies to be eaten in the morning. (OK-- so Mom couldn't wait and had to see if they worked after the kids went to bed- they worked:) The recipe can be found at They are great to portray the Christian Easter Story with your children. When opening the oven in the morning and biting into the cookies, they will be hollow, just like the tomb. The following pict. is of Jacob 'beating' the pecans- please don't ask what ice-cream cones have to do with Easter :).
At least the ice cream cones are in Easter colors. That's Elizabeth investigating the 'tombs.' Have a great Easter tomorrow all! PS-- Welcome home Bennett family!

Friday, April 6, 2007

Happy Spring and Happy early Easter Everyone! Yes-- it is April, yes this is what is looks like outside--- the children all want to go sled-riding again-- at least it's a lot greener everywhere :) I do love the 'snow-globe' snow- just prefer it in late December :)

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Easter Break a bit early

After awaking a bit late to a yummy feast of french toast- (yeah-- Daddy's home!) and watching the praying manits egg doing absolutely nothing, I had to step away and assess the morning. The children watched Charlotte's Web last evening, and upon waking this morning, Elizabeth IS NOT Elizabeth! She is NOT a girl-- 'Mommy I'm a HORSE!' Black Beauty to be exact- how that goes along with Charlotte's Web, I haven't a clue~ This is all complete with sound effects, of course! Jacob has decided he is a jockey and is riding Elisha's zebra- thank goodness Elisha is on an outing with PapPap- that one wouldn't go over all that well. And as I sit down to blog a bit, Daddy comes flying around the corner on his hands and knees-- The Stallion has arrived-----my assessment is now over. I'm thinking it's a perfect day to declare an Early Easter Break! I can just tell that not a whole lot would be accomplished today :) There is always tomorrow..........
So-- off to a 'week before' the big wedding 'crash workout'!

Monday, April 2, 2007

After having the side-porch/office/school-room rebuilt and finished for over a year now, we finally have curtains! Not wanting to ruin the beautiful, new, 'open' windows, I've been searching for curtains for what seems forever- and found the perfect ones in a catalog- only a little over $500-- pocket change, right? A bit too steep for me. As I was shopping in good ole' 'Wally-Mart' one day, I stumbled upon these panels for $3 a window-- gotta love those bargains! The price was right- simple joys in life- have to love them!
Please also note the beautiful day outside with all of the spring buds-- remember this as by the end of the week we are supposed to have snow and high temps in the upper thirties-- UGHHHH!!! I'm not complaining-- really!

Sunday, April 1, 2007

I stand corrected

OK, OK........................ Here's the proof: Yes-- there is indeed a bud--- now-- mind you, there currently are only 4-5 buds. So- while, technically the tree is not dead, it is not abundantly alive either.