Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Year Reflections

Wow! A new year is again upon us. I'm not big on New Year Resolutions, although I always have the old standbys in the back of my mind-- you know, the ones about losing weight, being more active, finishing projects that have been started for years now (like certain websites...) and the list goes on.

This year seems to be a little different though-- different in that there is much uncertainty. Uncertainty, but new-found hope. The economy woes have hit home, but along with that comes a time to simplify and take notice of what really matters-- like 4 precious ones running around. That's what counts. It's a good thing to take time to reflect on things like: do we really need digital cable at $75 plus a month? Or would little minds be better impacted by playing a game together? What junk can we cut out of our lives? How resourceful can we become? How can we simplify our rat-raced pace? It's in seemingly difficult times that humans are forced to grow.

It's exciting to see what's ahead. We're looking forward to a year of possibilities! Happy New Year to you all! Here's to peace, prosperity, and health. And losing weight, getting active... :)

PS- Take this advice: do NOT stand on double-stacked buckets. It could just ruin your day-- or more- if you're lucky :)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Until Next Year~

From our house to yours~
Wishing you a Very Merry Christmas and many blessing in the New Year!

Enjoy your family! We're unplugging for awhile and signing off for a few days~ God Bless!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

B.E. Taylor Grand Finale

Greetings from the deep-freeze of the North East~

Our whirl-wind of December is coming to a close~ We've been thoroughly enjoying the sights and sounds of the season. From shopping and dining to the Nutcracker and Trans Siberian~ You just can't beat quiet moments in a coffee shop before the Grand Finale of them all~

After it's all said and done, the Christmas Highlight for the children (ok- mom and dad too) is still the B.E. Taylor Christmas event~

This year was no different-

Now, the question is: Does the concert rate above Christmas morning? To be determined...

Friday, December 19, 2008

Trans Siberian ....

After years of loving their songs on the radio and hearing the rave reviews about the show, we finally had to check it out for ourselves~

The stage show was unbelievably impressive~ and at most times quite beautiful, even complete with falling snow on a few songs. Sorry, I couldn't find a video of that.

If you can ignore the crazy traffic it took us to get there, it is an experience you have to see to appreciate. Mark thoroughly enjoyed his Christmas gift from me this year. I was only thinking of you honey. Really :)

Just a side note: if you don't like electric guitars and hard rock (which I'm usually not a big fan of), you might want to check out youtube videos before you spend lots of money on tickets. You also might want to do some double-checking before you take your little ones-- or just stick with a B.E. Taylor Christmas (click on the Christmas demo) to be safe. You can't go wrong there :)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I know you want one too!

Don't ya love early Christmas gifts?? We received this beautiful hand-crafted vase from our dear family in the west-- I told her she needs to go into business! You should see her stained-glass work! Let's hear it~ 3 cheers for the stained-glass wonder-woman!! Thank you!!

Saturday, December 13, 2008


Sometimes life throws you a curve-ball. Then you hear someone speak a timely word, or happen to 'just' come across an article that makes ya think- this one came from Site Build It- the web-site design site Mark and I are using to build our websites. Maybe it will touch you in a positive way too:

Choose Your Attitude
Michael is the kind of guy you love to hate. He is always in a good mood and always has something positive to say: When someone would ask him how he was doing, He would reply, "If I were any better, I would be twins!" He was a natural motivator. If an employee was having a bad day, Michael was there telling the employee how they could look on the positive side of the situation. Seeing this style really made me curious, so one day I went up to Michael and asked him, "I don't get it! You can't be a positive person all of the time. How do you do it?" Michael replied, "Each morning I wake up and say to myself, 'You have two choices today. You can choose to be in a good mood or you can choose to be in a bad mood.' I choose to be in a good mood. Each time something bad happens, I can choose to be a victim or I can choose to learn from it. I choose to learn from it. Every time someone comes to me complaining, I can choose to accept their complaining or I can point out the positive side of life. I choose the positive side of life. "Yeah, right, it's not that easy," I protested. "Yes, it is," Michael, said. "Life is all about choices. When you cut away all the junk, every situation is a choice. You choose how you react to situations. You choose how people affect your mood. Your bottom line: "It's your choice how you live life." I reflected on what Michael said. Soon after, I left the company to start my own business. We lost touch, but I often thought about him when I made a choice about life instead of reacting to it. Several years later, I heard that Michael was involved in a serious accident, falling some 60 feet from a communications tower. After 18 hours of surgery and weeks of intensive care, Michael was released from the hospital with rods placed in his back. I saw Michael about six months after the accident. When I asked him how he was, he replied. "If I were any better, I'd be twins. Wanna see my scars?" I declined to see his wounds, but I did ask him what had gone through his mind as the accident took place. "The first thing that went through my mind was the well being of my soon to be born daughter," Michael replied. "Then, as I lay on the ground, I remembered that I had two choices: I could choose to live or I could choose to die. I chose to live." "Weren't you scared? Did you lose consciousness?" I asked. Michael continued, "...the paramedics were great. They kept telling me I was going to be fine. But when they wheeled me into the ER and I saw the expressions on the faces of the doctors and nurses, I got really scared. In their eyes, I read, 'he's a dead man.' I knew I needed to take action." "What did you do?" I asked. "Well, there was a big burly nurse shouting questions at me," said Michael. "She asked if I was allergic to anything. 'Yes,' I replied. The doctors and nurses stopped working as they waited for my reply. I took a deep breath and yelled... "Gravity." Over their laughter, I told them, "I am choosing to live. Operate on me as if I am alive, not dead." Michael lived, thanks to the skill of his doctors, but also because of his amazing attitude. I learned from him that every day we have the choice to live fully. Attitude, after all, is everything. "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. After all, today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday." You have two choices now: 1. Delete this. 2. Forward it to the people you care about. I hope you will choose #2. I did. ENJOY LIFE - IT'S THE ONLY ONE YOU GET !!!

Friday, December 12, 2008


Walked past the beautiful gingerbread 'mound' yesterday and discovered something-- it just doesn't look the same.
This is what is looked like upon completion.

The boys' ginger-train was still perfectly in tact.

I asked the children what could have happened?? They all said they have NO idea. I know my perfect angels would ALWAYS tell me the truth...

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

play day in pictures

PapPap celebrated another birthday-- and what does that mean? Play Day! It's become a tradition to celebrate by heading into the city for fun. Pittsburgh's Strip District has plenty of that. Our newest discovery and JuJu's new favorite treat comes from~ The Pittsburgh Popcorn Co. Normally, I'm not a popcorn person- don't get me wrong, I like it (ok- LOVE it when a certain someone in TX makes it), but can live without it. Until I discovered this~ Reese's PB Chocolate Popcorn-- OH MY! We're talking better than Harry and David's Moose Munch!!
On to Pennsylvania Mac Co. for PapPap's favorite treats~
And time to go a little further into town. Pittsburgh is full of beautiful buildings, but...
while it may not be the prettiest on the outside, the Clark Building is any woman's dream :) Why, you ask?? Because of the 3rd and 4th floors-- one word sums it up-- BLING! We just didn't realize today's trip would allow us quite so much time to look around...Hour #1 at the best jewelers in Pittsburgh: Hour #2: Hour #3: Hour #4: And I kid you not-- Hour #5! Not just any jeweler would spend 5 hours sorting through old family jewelry to see what was of any value. Even after all that, Elisha claims he'd still rather sit in a jewelry store than go clothes shopping any day.Now, I could add some more with pictures from a great new natural food store in the Strip-- Right by Nature, and yummy dinner pictures from Belle Notte, but I don't want to bore you too much. Oh-- and let's not forget Cafe Raymond-- the BEST breakfast sandwiches and quiches EVER! But, this smile is what it's all about~ Happy Birthday! PS-- were the 5 hours at the jewelers beneficial? :)! No, we are not to be concerned with wordly, material possessions, but a little sparkle is always fun :)

Sunday, December 7, 2008

New Appreciation

I was brave today. I set the boys loose on a gingerbread train kit, and a gingerbread house kit for the girls. That's saying a lot from a mother who's very neat, organized, and doesn't do well with chaos and messes-- yes, I do have 4 children :) Here goes:
No, I did not start from scratch. Figured those nifty little kits would work just fine. Building away... Here comes the point when I realized "Houston, we have a problem." This house is in definite need of a extreme makeover~It didn't make it. After a few tears (from the girls- not me), the gingerbread candy-land 'mound' was formed. Elisha claims that his train looks much better, but he tells Lydia- "it's OK-- it's all in how you look at things." What a philosophical little guy-- until it's his train that collapses :)
I have learned an important lesson-- I now give those guys that enter the professional gingerbread contests MUCH more credit-- it's not as easy as it looks. As for ginger houses next year- we're undecided :)

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Christmas Help

If you need some Holiday help with baking or some neat things for the children- just found this site. I think every traditional, and not so traditional, Holiday recipe under the sun is listed, so if you're not planning a healthy Holiday-- you'll love this:

Thursday, December 4, 2008


Last night was boys' night out--- the feature show: Walking With Dinosaurs. The boys LOVED it-- especially little Jacob--
Check it out if it comes to your city-- great homeschool experience :)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Birthday Bike

I'm finally getting through some old photos-- today's post is from Jacob's birthday-- his favorite gift- a new big-boy bike.
I can't believe how warm and sunny it looks-- just a month ago. Could we have a few days of that back? Just a few??
Ride on...

Monday, December 1, 2008

If you like trees,

keep my husband away.
These picts were taken a month ago and I'm just now getting them loaded. Mark loves his chain-saw. The trees don't. One aftenoon later...
the forest is now a field.