Saturday, November 29, 2008

Getting In The Spirit

The boys and I did our first of many "holiday" activities and made Frosted Reindeer Cookies today and we had a ball doing it. All I had to do was show them what one looked like, gave them the goodies to decorate and they went at it. I of course was in charge of the icing - made for less of a mess.

Here was our prototype:
Here's the results (not to bad huh???):

Here's the recipe if you are interested:

1 roll (16.5 oz) Pillsbury® refrigerated sugar cookies
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup vanilla ready-to-spread frosting
64 small pretzel twists
64 semisweet chocolate chips (about 1/4 cup)
16 gumdrops, cut in half

1. Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, break up cookie dough; work flour into dough until well blended. Shape roll of cookie dough into triangle-shaped log. (If dough is too soft to cut, place in freezer 30 minutes.)

2. With thin sharp knife, cut dough into 32 (1/4-inch-thick) triangular slices; place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet.

3. Bake 7 to 11 minutes or until set. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheet to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 15 minutes.

4. Frost cookies with frosting. Place 2 pretzel twists on each triangle near corners for antlers. Lightly press 2 chocolate chips into each cookie for eyes and 1 halved gumdrop for nose. Store between sheets of waxed paper in tightly covered container.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Our Thanksgiving Wish

From our family to yours.....we wish that God may bless you with peace, good health and abundance this Thanksgiving.
~ Tim, Libby, Jack & Mason

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

10 On Tuesday

1 – Sophie is coming home!

2 – Our phone rang at 6:30 am this morning! It was Tricia calling to tell me that they got their I-600 preapproval! Sophie is coming home!

3 – I’m going to have a new niece for Christmas! Sophie is coming home!

4 – Jack and Mason are going to have a new cousin! Sophie is coming home!

5 – We finally are going to have some more PINK in our family (it’s been a long time since we’ve had pink)! Sophie is coming home!

6 – Today is business day 60 for Hank and Tricia’s I-600 processing and it was completed! Yoo Hoo! Sophie is coming home!

7 – Can you say TERIFFIC TUESDAY? Sophie is coming home!

8 – The boys and I were evicted from our house tonight so that they can sand the drywall. YIPEE but at the same time ICK! There’s going to be dust everywhere (not that it’s not there already from all the work that Tim’s done lately). Tim told me that he’d call me and tell me when the boys and I can come home. So we’re headed to the Mall tonight for dinner at Subway and then to play at the Play place! Oh….and did I mention that Sophie’s coming home?

9 – I’m looking forward to Sunday. I’m driving to Columbia, MO with 3 other St. Louis Moms from my Mom’s group for a little "Get Together" as we call them. We’re meeting three other Moms for lunch and a bunch of girl talk for the day – just Moms, no kids, no husbands – can you say WONDERFUL! Most of us have met personally but some of us haven’t but since we all “chat” online with each other so much we feel like we’ve known each other for a long time. It’s going to be fun! And guess what……Sophie’s coming home!!!

10 – What is your favorite part of Thanksgiving dinner? For me it either has to be the Sweet Potato Casserole with Marshmallows on the top or the turkey skin! I know, neither one of them is good for you but you know what? You only live once! You never know what Thanksgiving might be your last so why not enjoy each and every one to it’s fullest!

11 – And because today is a good day! SOPHIE IS COMING HOME!!!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Here's MUD In Your Eye!

To some people it may not be a big deal but to me it is. When I posted my first post about our remodel/renovation project back in JANUARY of this year, I never imagined that we'd STILL be working on it in NOVEMBER! But here we are, November 23rd to be exact (10 months to the day of my first post!) and it's still going. Unfortunately, when you are at the mercy of your husband to get the work done and he still has to take paying jobs at the same time......projects at home tend to take on the personality of the Energizer Bunny, they keep going and going and going.

I've been trying to give Tim time on the weekends for the past month to get some stuff done during the day and he's made some great progress. Drywall is up and this weekend, we had someone come in and tape and mud!!! As messy as this process is, it's a welcomed mess in my eyes! I'll take it any day - if it means forward progress....bring it on.

So here it is.......drywall is taped and has it's second coat of mud on it. Hopefully this weekend, Tim will be able to prime and paint the walls. Then come the floors and then the cabinets, appliances, granite and lighting!!! Maybe, just maybe, by the beginning of 2009 I can say I have a BRAND NEW KITCHEN!!! Woo Hoo!

It's going to be so awesome when it's done!!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

10 on Tuesday

1 – I’m really excited! I bought an artificial Christmas Tree yesterday from someone on eBay who a friend bought one from. She said it’s a great looking tree so I’m taking her word for it and got one. It should be here TOMORROW! This means no more taking care of a live tree!!! No more pine needles everywhere, no more watering, no more daily vacuuming because the boys are touching the tree and knocking needles off as it dries up like a twig in our house! I can’t wait! I just hope I’m not taking away the FUN of Christmas by putting up a fake tree.

2 – I’m ALMOST done with my weight loss journey. I have 2.2 lbs that I have to lose to be at my goal weight. I’m tempted to say “I quit” but want to be able to say I did it. I just will have to sew my mouth shut for a week to do it.

3 – We started our Christmas shopping on Saturday night. It was great to get some of it done. Now I have to find those last few things that we need for the boys – a scooter for Mason, stocking stuffer items and a couple of more ideas for Jack. We’ll be sending Santa a “wish list” soon!

4 – My children need haircuts BADLY! I’ve been neglecting their hair and it’s gotten out of hand. They look like Alfalfa in the morning when they wake up – we’re heading to Snip Its tonight after school to get them looking ship shape again.

5 – Can you believe that Christmas is only 36 days away? Tim came home and said that a good friend already has her house bedecked for the Holidays (yes, you know who you are…. you are one of my readers!) I am not NEARLY as organized as she is! But it’s not even Thanksgiving yet!!!

6 - Tim made some headway on the remodel project over the weekend. Drywall is starting to make the room look like something as opposed to a giant empty space. One small step forward…..

7 – They just can't sit still for a picture for long!

8 – Sophie come home soon! Hang in there Hank & Tricia!!!

9 – I just have to share this picture because I think he’s just the cutest pumpkin out there. It’s a bit beyond the season but I just got it from my sister last week. My youngest nephew on Halloween! He’s a JACK O’Lantern!

10 – Have a great day - thanks for reading my 10 on Tuesday!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

A Birthday Wish

Today is Tim's birthday! Just wanted to wish him a Happy Birthday, again!
I love you, sweetheart! I hope you have a great day!

Friday, November 14, 2008


Everyone that knows them is getting anxious for my brother, Hank and his wife, Tricia, to go get their daughter Sophie from Vietnam. This week they were able to get their Travel Approval (the Vietnamese Government has said “Come on over and get your daughter!”) but OUR OWN wonderful government is holding up their I-600 in the UCIS! Hank, with additional help from family, has been in contact with just about anyone and everyone that he possibly could reach (US Senators, Department of State, Immigrations, UCIS in Vietnam etc) EXCEPT for POTUS to see if someone could pull some strings to see if they can get the LAST piece of their puzzle together so that they can leave.

This morning, as he was sitting watching cartoons, Jack looked at me and said “When are Aunt Tricia and Uncle Hank going to go get Sophie and bring her home, Mom?”. I’m telling you, the child is like a sponge. He remembers EVERYTHING and sometimes pulls things out of thin air and surprises the heck out of Tim and I.

When Hank and Tricia were first matched with Sophie. Tim and I tried to figure out how to explain, in as remedial terms as we could, to Jack, and Mason too, what was going on and how Sophie was going to come into our family and be Hank and Tricia’s daughter. We explained to them that Sophie didn’t have a Mommy and Daddy and that Hank and Tricia were going to get on a plane and go get her and bring her home and be her Mommy and Daddy. He’s asked “Who’s taking care of Sophie if she doesn’t have a Mommy and Daddy?”, “Where does she live?”, “Does she have toys like we do?” and other very inquisitive questions that a child would instinctively want to know.

So as I answered his question this morning, I said “Soon buddy! Very, very soon!” I then explained that Hank and Tricia just needed ONE MORE PERSON to sign a piece of paper that would let them get on the airplane and go to Vietnam and then they’d be bringing her home – he was PERFECTLY fine with that.

Sophie has been a part of our house since 6/13/08. We have pictures of her, talk about her, and have even already played with HER toys before she has (Sorry Sophie!) – we’re all as anxious as all get out for her to get here!

Please, please, please UCIS, get off your duff and process the I-600! We want our sweet, precious Sophie to come HOME!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

10 On Tuesday

And yes, I remembered that it's Tuesday! So here you go!

1 – Today is a cold and gloomy Tuesday. Fall is definitely here (at least for a bit). I like this time of year and the change of the Seasons, but hate it when it’s gloomy out.

2 – Tim started hanging the drywall in our new kitchen area this weekend. It’s forward progress! I’m excited that I can start to see a SMALL glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel.

3 – Tonight I’m taking the boys to PUPPETS TO GO through our Parents As Teachers Organization. I’m kinda excited as I will be taking them by myself so that Tim can work a bit on the kitchen (see #2 above) and get a few more sheets of drywall hung!

4 – Just made dinner reservations for Saturday Night at Stoney River for Tim and I. It’s his Birthday (47th to be exact) so I want to take him out for a nice dinner (just the two of us) – Now I need to find a Babysitter, hopefully one of the teachers from school can do it for me. Mmmmmmm – the thought of a good steak is making my mouth water.

5 – We’re STILL waiting for Hank and Tricia to get their approvals to go get Sophie. I can’t tell you how lucky that little girl is going to be – she has a beautiful room waiting for her and it’s FULL of clothes, toys and LOVE (CLICK HERE to see it!)!

6 – Check out - they helped my sister find her lost kitty cat who had been missing for 3 weeks! Her comment about her “Success Story” is even featured on their website!

My cat, Tootsie has been found! Within 15 minutes of your calls, I received a flood of callers telling me they had spotted her. One told me that it sounded like the cat they dropped off at the local shelter the previous Sat that they had found hiding in their tool shed. Ironically, the shelter called me just minutes after THAT call telling me that they had a cat that matched the description of the one I had reported lost their almost three weeks ago! It was Tootsie! I am still receiving calls several days since I subscribed to your service and I am so thankful and happy to report my kitty is home safe and sound after almost three weeks on the lam! Thanks so much,! I am going to tell The View and Regis and Kelly about you all with a note to their websites. It was money well spent!!!!

7 – What do you get your husband for his Birthday when he doesn’t NEED anything? (He doesn’t read my blog so I’m safe posting this) I’m so totally lost. I bought him two shirts from the boys and am taking him out for dinner but feel like I need to give him SOMETHING else. Friends have made a few suggestions that I’m taking into consideration but I’d like to give him something more “tangible” as well.

8 – We’re getting a FREE BIKE for the boys! Yes you read it FREE! This summer, KinderCare had McGruff The Crime Dog and Armadillo Fire Safety come to the school and fingerprinted the kids for FREE. If you signed up for a free Fire Safety/Preparedness Lesson at your home for your family, you could get a free bike. Well I totally forgot about that! We’ve requested that we delay the Fire Safety Lesson until our remodel project is finished and we have a fully functioning house to work with but they called yesterday and said that they need to get the bike to us! I am so excited. I doubt that we’ll give it to the boys now as I remember we requested a 2-wheeler and Jack’s nowhere near ready for one. But at least we can put it away until it’s time. Woo Hoo for FREE!

9 – Gas is down to $1.94 in our area! I can’t believe it! What is it where you live?

10 – Sending hugs and love to Fluff! I love you! Sorry you’re in a funk.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Fall Is Here!

Fall has officially arrived in St. Louis. This weekend we had highs in the 40s and our yard is (or should I say WAS) littered with leaves. We have pulled out the winter coats and are finding more and more to do indoors since it's harder to keep the boys out for any length of time.

We spent Saturday running errands while Tim worked on prepping our "project" to hang the drywall (YIPEE) and then spent a couple of hours over at Aunt Trica and Uncle Hank's house checking out all of Sophie's STUFF! To see my boys playing with PINK was quite a sight. They were quite amused with all of the new stuff that they will have to play with once their cousin arrives. Her room is precious and Hank and Tricia are SO READY to hop on that airplane and travel to Vietnam to go get her. I just wish that someone would hurry up and process Sophie's paperwork so that they can go get her and bring her home.

Other than that, just a run of the mill weekend. Laundry, groceries, relaxing a bit - you know....the stuff that we don't get around to during the week! We did spend $65 yesterday and paid two guys to blow all the leaves in our yard to the curb for pick up this week! They had left a flyer on the driveway and I called to find out what they were all about. Two cute Irish boys showed up about an hour after my call and told us it would be $65 to blow the entire yard - Tim and I in the same breath said "Go for it!" and in an hour (I kid you NOT), they had the WHOLE YARD done! It looks better than Tim and I could ever make it look - and saved us the back breaking, blister causing raking that we would have had to done to get it to that point. They'll be back in about 3 weeks to get the remainder of the leaves that will fall - that was the highlight of my day yesterday, as pathetic as it sounds!

Friday, November 7, 2008


Jack had his FOUR YEAR OLD Check Up yesterday afternoon. He grew 3 1/4 inches in a year and gained 4.2 lbs - can you say WOW! He's 45th% for both his height and his weight. He carried on a great conversation with Dr. Graham as she quizzed him as to what he knew and could do (she was quite floored that he can count to 100, knows how to spell his first and last name, can write his own name and can recognize all of the letters of the alphabet). She said he's a beautifully healthly 4 year old, with an attitude, and that his asthma is now considered mild and intermittent, which was great to hear!

But.......he got TWO shots! The second of his MMR and his Chickenpox vaccines. It was horrible. He clued in as to what was going on shortly after the nurse came back in. I had to hold him in my lap and keep him from wiggling out as he SCREAMED at me to let him go. I felt like such the horrible Mom. But I explained to him afterwards that we get shots to keep us healthy and keep us from getting sick and he seemed to understand it. He didn't cry for too long and I was able to redeem myself by buying him a treat at Target (new legos). Yeah, I know....not the way to handle it but we had to go anyway, so I just figured I'd be nice. We also scoped out what we we are going to ask Santa for for Christmas so it was a worthwhile trip through the Toy Dept.

So all in all, a great visit (minus the shots) - now if we can just make it through the winter without issue that would be AWESOME!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Our Day Out With Thomas - NOT!!!

Tim and I took the boys to A Day Out With Thomas this past Sunday - and it was a complete FLOP! Yes, you read it F-L-O-P! We had decided that we'd surprise the boys so we told them we were going on an adveture on Sunday morning but that where we were going was a surprise. they both seemed fine with it. We had a 45 minute drive to where DOWT was being held and the whole way there they seemed fine. Nothing too out of the ordinary other than it was a bit longer of a drive than we normally have to do to get somewhere to do something.

We got there and Tim dropped Jack and I off at the entrance and took Mason to park the car. Jack and I walked towards the entrance and I said "Do you know what we're going to get to do?" and he said "No" so I showed him one of the signs on the fence and said "Do you know who that is?" and he said "Thomas" and I said "That's right, it's Thomas. We're going to get to go for a ride on Thomas!" To which he proceeded to freak out and scream at the top of his lungs in tears "I want to go home! I don't want to ride on Thomas!". I figured that he was just a bit aprehensive about it but that as soon as he saw the train and Tim and Mason joined us he'd calm down and we'd be fine.

WRONG! Tim and Mason found us waiting at a seating area infront of the entertainment stage and he was still wigging out on me. He had at one point actually hit me as he was hysterically yelling "I want to go home! I don't want to go for a ride on Thomas!". They made the announcement over the PA that they were boarding our train so we walked towards the boarding line as Jack screamed at the top of his lungs the whole way there (by this time I was carrying him) as other parents looked at me like I was pulling my childs fingernails out one by one.

We proceeded to walk through the line, with Jack screaming the whole way until it was our turn to get on the train. He only screamed louder as we got closer so I just looked at Tim and said "Fine, you take Mason and I'll stay here with Jack!" but Tim said that he thought that I should take Mason since he'd want me anyway and that he'd stay with Jack so we swapped children. As I walked towards the train with Mason and said "You and Mommy will go for a ride on Thomas then, okay?" I looked at him to see him say yes to me only to find him starting to cry as well - I think trying to figure out for himeself what he was about to do and maybe Jack knew something that Mason diddn't know.

So..................$96 later........we left with ONE THOMAS TATTOO on Mason's hand and lots of parents looking at us like we had 12 heads! As we walked to the car we had people very nicely ask the boys "Did you have fun?" only to have Tim and I shake our heads No with the smirk of two very disappointed parents.

Who would have thought that a simple train ride could have caused such an uproar and freak a child out? From now on, Tim and I have decided that we're not springing surprises on the boys and that we're talking up things with them as much as we possibly can to avoid any further disasters in our family fun outings.

Talk about bursting Mommy's bubble! I had been SO excited about this as I know so many people who have taken their kids and had a blast so I thought we would too - oh well.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Our Halloween....It Was Quite A Haul!

The boys could not get their Halloween costumes on fast enough Friday night to head out for Trick Or Treating. I was able to snap a few pictures of them and with them (thank you Tim) and then sent them on their way with Daddy. They were gone for 45 minutes and returned exhausted and with BUCKETS FULL of candy! Mason kept asking if he could go again!

Jack was so proud of his candy haul!

Examining My Faith

I spent the weekend examining my faith in God and questioning why he does the things that he does. Why he puts beautiful, innocent children on the earth, only to take them away before they have a chance to live a full life; yet he allows people on the earth who steal, lie, cheat, or kill and then show no remorse for their actions. It just didn’t make sense to me.

All weekend, I looked at my two beautiful boys and kept telling myself how fortunate that I am that I do not have to endure the pain that my good friend is going through right now after loosing her son. When I would get angry at Jack or Mason for not listening to me, for hitting the other, or for stealing the others toy, I’d quickly find myself saying to myself that it wasn’t fair that I was able to do that but that my friend wouldn’t be able to do that with her son anymore because he was gone. Or that that sweet little boy wouldn’t be able to enjoy Halloween candy again, or enjoy swinging on a swing because his life was cut short. It just didn’t seem fair to me. If there was someway that I could take away the pain for that family, I would in a heart beat. But all I can do is offer my support and condolences and to me, that doesn’t seem to be enough.

I DO believe in God and I know that we are all put on the earth for a reason and that we all have a purpose in our life. What that purpose is we may never know. Our life is preplanned for us and how we live our days on the earth are up to us but ultimately, it is up to HIM to determine when our time is over and we are called back home.

But then it hit me that although his time on earth was short, that little boy touched many people in ways that he will never even know. He taught many people about faith, perseverance, hope, love, determination and strength. Whether it be his Doctors, his nurses, his Pastor, friends of his Mommy’s, his immediate family members or strangers who may have seen him during a visit to their local Zoo, without his knowing it he taught them to never give up and to savor every day that we have because you never know when it will be your last. He, through is pain and suffering, brought forth an awareness of Congenital Heart Defects and how they can impact a life and how much more needs to be done to hopefully allow another child to live longer in the future from what the Doctors may have learned from him.

I DO believe that he is in a better place now. A place where there is a cure for his illness and that he is no longer suffering or in pain. A place where the sun shines every day and he is smiling and happy and able to play and behave like a 3-year-old child should. A place where he is doing everything that he was unable to do because of his CHD. And at the same time, he is watching down over his family and is showing them signs of comfort and his well-being and will ALWAYS be their guardian angel.

Today my anger has subsided and has been replaced by sadness. Sadness that will stay until I find what it is that I can do to feel as though I have personally made an impact as a result of this loss. That something that will allow ME to always remember the impact that a small little boy made on MY life and hopefully share some of it with others.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Heaven Has A New Angel

A life cut short by CHD
11/15/05 - 10/31/08
A beautiful angel who now flies with God

My heart breaks for my good friend Amy, her husband Brad and their son Noah, for the loss of their sweet, precious Jack. God called him home last night. He will always be missed and forever in our hearts.

"Perhaps they are not stars, but the souls of our lost loved ones, shining down on us to let us know they are all right" - Anon.