Wednesday, January 30, 2008

New Members of Our Family

So Jordan and I pulled a fast one. A few weeks ago we were shopping at Meijer's and as usual we wandered over to the pet department to look at treats and toys for Seadra and Zoe. For some unknown reason we were drawn to these rodents. They are "dwarf hamsters". I had never heard of a dwarf hamster and we immediately fell in love with them. So started our scheming..... We didn't think that Craig would be so thrilled with our idea to have some rodents in the house so we decided to surprise him!!
For the last few weeks we have gradually picked up what we needed to make their home. We bought books about their care and learned all about them. We've been on the Internet looking at breeders. And so on.....
Last night was "the" night. We told Craig that we were running into town because we were getting him a big surprise (notice how we told him the surprise was for him). Back home with our new furry friends we quick ran upstairs and introduced them to their new home. Now it was time to bring them downstairs and introduce them to Craig. First thing Craig says...."What is that!!!". But let me tell you, it worked like a charm. Within 1 minute Craig was liking them.
We are thrilled with them and you can see from the photos that Seadra and Zoe are fascinated with them. Surprisingly they are very active. I thought they would mostly snuggle under the bedding and hide but they are running all over the place and you would think they were training for a marathon with they way they run in that wheel.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Jordan's oboe recital

Jordan had her oboe recital tonight. Jordan is center back. Jordan with Dixie, her oboe instructor.
I made a video of her performance that I was hoping to post but after waiting 45 minutes for the video to upload I gave up. Jordan sounded beautiful. In two weeks Jordan will have her regional solo and ensemble performance and from there she will go to state in March.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

We had a great time!

Just got home a few hours ago from our club ride up north in Baldwin Michigan. Here we all are Saturday morning right before we took off for one of our rides. In case you can't find me I am in the front far left (red and black jacket and green scarf).
This is the little strip motel we stayed at. Nothing fancy but clean and comfortable.
These are all our sleds parked at a restaurant where we stopped for lunch. On Friday's ride we had 23 sleds and on Saturday we had 28 sleds.
Here's a picture of Craig and I along the trail. It was absolutely beautiful out there. My pictures do not do it justice but some areas are breathtaking. So many times I wanted to stop and take pictures of the scenery but when you have almost 30 sleds together it's kind of hard to stop just because I want a picture.
On my sled. OK, so it's really Craig's new sled but he's so wonderful to me that I got to ride the good sled all weekend. He's so good to me!!
Some of us women on the ride (me far right).
One of our stops along the trail.
This picture was taken when we stopped for lunch yesterday. It's an awful picture of Craig and I but I love it because of our rosy cheeks and red noses. You can just see from the looks on our faces that we are having fun.
I was a bit nervous to go on the club ride. Unlike Craig who is an experienced snowmobiler, I am an inexperienced rider. I only got on a sled for the first time 2 years ago and I have never rode over 30 miles in one day before. With that being said........ I rode 115 miles on Friday and 110 on Saturday for a weekend total of 225 miles. I was really proud of myself!!!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

So much to do, so little time

Sledding in the U.P. last year
I have so much to do before we leave tomorrow morning and I am running out of time. I need to go grocery shopping, get a few loads of laundry done, pack my clothes, cook some goulash, order Caleb's senior pictures, and I need to do all of this before I have to be to work in 3 hours. And to make matters worse it snowed a foot last night and it's still coming down hard. Craig just called and said the highway is moving about 20 miles per hour.

And what am I doing but blogging. This computer just seems to suck me in. I have to make myself turn it off.

I'll be back to blogging and visiting all of you after we get back from our weekend of snowmobiling up north. Yahooooo!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

My New Friend & Tagged

I just happened to be surfing around some blogs the other day and came across Margaret's blog. I knew we would be friends because she also has a pug and a boston. How much more do we need to have in common when we both love the same kind of dogs?

Anyway, my new friend tagged me for this game:

4 Jobs I've held:
Steak House counter girl
Dental Assistant
OR Scrub Nurse
Urological Scrub Nurse

4 Movies I watch over and over:
Forest Gump (mostly because Caleb watches it over and over)
Gone with the Wind
Dances with Wolves
Anger Management

4 Places I have been:
(I've never been out of the US so my answers to this are boring)
Washington State
North Carolina

4 Places I have lived:
(So far I am a Michigan lifer. Again, not very exciting answers)
Benton Harbor, MI
Berrien Springs, MI
Eau Claire, MI
Hartford, MI

4 TV shows I watch:
Andy Griffith Show
48 Hours Mystery
30 Minute Meals (Rachael Ray)
American Idol

4 People who email me regularly:
Craig (we email each other everyday from work)
My doctors (work related stuff)
Sue... hardly a day goes by that she doesn't email me a joke

4 Favorite foods:
Corn on the cob

4 Places I would rather be:
At the log cabin in Grayling
In my hammock under a shade tree reading a great book with Seadra
Driving the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina
In the Alaskan wilderness (someday)

4 Things I am looking forward to:
Seeing Caleb in Guys and Dolls in March
Caleb's Graduation from High School this June
Vacation at the cabin in Grayling in Feb.
Club snowmobile ride this weekend

Now I am to tag 4 others:

Monday, January 21, 2008

Shane's Basketball Game

I finally got to one of Shane's (Jordan's boyfriend) basketball games tonight. Of course I brought the camera along. I was not pleased with my photos. I must have taken 200 and after weeding out the awful ones I only have a dozen that I like. These first two were my favorite. Not necessarily good action shots of Shane but I like that he's the focus along with the Indian logo on the gym floor.
Most all of the action shots were blurry. I've got to learn more about the settings on my camera.
I forgot what the score was but they lost the game by about 10 points.
Shane is a good kid and Craig and I are very fond of him. And Jordan is crazy about him and has been for almost 3 years now.

Happy Monday

This picture has nothing to do with my post today. I just thought it was beautiful.

I love it when I get a Monday off and today is one of those Monday's. I don't have it off because it is M. L. King day like so many other's do but because one of my doctors is out of town this week. I'm going to do some cooking, finish the laundry, catch up with some of our blogging friends.... it's going to be a good day.

We are having frigid temperatures right now. I don't really mind it. I'm all cozy in the house but I am worried about this coming weekend. Craig and I are going snowmobiling for 3 days up north with the snowmobile club. It's their annual ride they go on each winter. I usually don't get cold but when it gets in the teens and single digits I'm worried that I won't be able to stay warm. I'll just have to bundle up really well.

Which brings me to my next concern. We will be leaving the kids behind unsupervised for the first time while we are up north with the club. They are 18 and 16 so I have no worries what so ever that they can take care of themselves and I know they are good kids so I don't worry about them making bad decisions. It's little things like will they take care of the dogs and pay attention to their needs, will they wake up in time to get to school?..... They will do fine and we'll be calling and checking on them constantly.

I'm having car trouble. AAAGGGHHHH! One day last week I was late for work because I was well on my way and noticed that I had no heat coming out of the heater. I turned around and went back home and drove Craig's truck. We were hoping it was something easy but Craig has spent the whole weekend working on it and replacing all the small things that may be causing the problem. He has run out of the simple solutions and now thinks it has a cracked head. This is major and the whole engine has to be taken apart and possibly even a new engine. Great! Yes, my car is old, a 2000 with nearly 150,000 miles on it. But it is paid for and I was hoping to get a lot more miles out of it.

One thing that I am so grateful for is having a husband that is able to work on our cars. It has saved us so much money over the years. What would I do without you honey, you're the greatest.

Hope you all have a wonderful week.

Friday, January 18, 2008

What a day....

Two days this week I didn't get home from the hospital until 9:00PM and today was one of them. And being it was Friday it makes it all the worse. It's the end of the week, I'm tired and I just want to be done and home. So of course it was one of those days that never wanted to end.

Finally at 8:00 I walk to the parking garage and get in my car to discover a snow storm is going on. I white knuckle it all the way home and pass 7 cars in the ditch along the way. I get home and find out the kids are out in this weather driving with friends to the movies. All I want to do is "talk" to Craig about my day to get a little sympathy but he's busy with one of his buddies outside working on the groomer. I'm hungry so I grab a baked potato out of the fridge and stick it in the microwave. That was my dinner.

OK.... time to move on. It's the weekend and I have Monday off so I have a 3 day weekend!!!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

100 facts about me

1. I was born in 1965.
2. I have parents who are still married after almost 45 years.
3. As a child, I listened to frogs and crickets outside my window every night.
4. I graduated from high school in 1984.
5. I got married in 1986 (young).
6. Our son was born in 1989.
7. Exactly 2 years later to the day (1991) our daughter was born.
8. I graduated from nursing school in 1997.
9. For 6 years I worked as an OR nurse for the hospital.
10. Now I still work at the hospital but for a group of urologists as their OR nurse.
11. I see things in my job that most people will never see their whole lives. It's a privilege.
12. I get up at 6:15 AM.
13. I leave for work at 7:00 AM.
14. I NEVER eat breakfast (I've been that way my whole life).
15. It takes me 5 minutes to dry my hair and put my makeup on in the morning.. I like low maintenance.
16. I drive a Ford Taurus with 143,000 miles on it.... I'm shooting for 250,000.
18. I enjoy reading.
19. I like to cook and try new recipes.
20. I love veggies
21. I can't think of a food that I do not like.
22. I always cry at my kids activities (concerts, musicals, etc.)
23. I have the BEST kids in the world.
24. I am NOT a sun worshiper. You'll find me in the shade.
25. I would rather take a vacation to a winter wonderland than the Caribbean.
26. Hot temperatures physically make me ill.
27. I sleep with a fan on me all year round.
28. I have never been outside of the United States.
29. I don't have a desire to travel to other countries.
30. There are so many things in the US that I would like to see (Grand Canyon, National Parks, etc.).
31. I like to camp with my family.
32. I want a travel trailer.... I vow to have one in the next few years.
33. I LOVE photography.
34. I want to take a photography class.
35. I want to take an adobe photoshop class.
36. I like to cross stitch (I'm still working on the same project I started 3 years ago).
37. I'd like to learn to knit.
38. I got on a snowmobile for the first time 2 years ago (I loved it)
39. I like to read true crime books (Anne Rule)
40. I read every night to help me fall asleep.
41. I always read the local daily newspaper.
42. I love my bird feeders (hummingbird and seed).
43. I'm not very good at attracting unusual birds (my Dad is a genius at this).
44. I can't have a cat because my husband is allergic to them.
45. I love my two adorable dogs (I never even liked dogs until I got Seadra).
46. I like to garden, but I'm not very good at it.
47. I appreciate beautiful gardens and landscapes.
48. I love nature centers.
49. I love hiking trails.
50. I enjoy winter but I am always happy to see spring arrive.
51. I love living in Michigan (seasons).
52. I love antiques, although I have very few.
53. I love family heirlooms.
54. I like to walk through antique malls just to admire.
55. I love thunderstorms and pouring rain!!
56. I like to lay in my hammock and read.
57. I'm not big on candy but I LOVE "The Chocolate Garden" truffles.
58. I love my swing on the front porch.
59. I think I would like to go skydiving someday.
60. I would like to go para sailing too someday.
61. I love rides at Disney World... I'm not afraid of thrill rides.
62. I hate to exercise, I wish I didn't.
63. I only liked two cartoons as a kid, Flintstones and Scooby Doo.
64. I love "The Andy Griffith" Show.
65. I hate sci-fi movies (I've never watched Star Wars).
66. I love to blog (you didn't already know that, did you?).
67. I have never broken a bone (why I thought to say that I don't know).
68. I love to go out to dinner.
69. My favorite color is green.
70. I LOVE old historic homes.
71. I also LOVE log homes.
72. I am fascinated with Alaska (I read lots of books about the Alaskan Bush)
73. I love reading about arctic adventures, early settlers, etc.
74. I want to take an Alaskan cruise someday.
75. I get really excited when I see a wild deer.
76. I'm excited that the new "American Idol" is starting tonight (it's the only reality show I watch)
77. I am so proud of my son's musical talents. It's been a great joy in my life.
78. I am so proud of my daughter's band, track, dance.... she always makes me happy.
(OK, so 77 and 78 were really about my kids and not me)
79. I can't wait for Caleb to star in "Guys and Dolls" this spring (was that about Caleb again).
80. I panic when I realize I left my cell phone at home. I hardly talk on it much but it's my security.
81. I LOVE to have my back massaged... I absolutely melt.
82. I love old churches.... if walls could talk.
82. I love Jesus and my church.
83. I love old barns.
84. I once saw an old old barn fall from the effects of time. It was magical!
85. I was very shy as a child.... Still am somewhat. I admire people who never meet a stranger.
86. I love ice tea.. all year round.
87. I love fireplaces and fire pits.
88. I like the message version of the Bible.
89. I hate people that are always down and constantly complain.
90. I believe that you should try and make people feel better about themselves.
91. I believe that life is too short to let injustices eat away at you.
92. My favorite flower is the cone flower.
93. I love hostas!! All varieties.
94. I love vanilla candles.
95. I enjoy finding ways to save money.
96. I won't spend money on myself but I over indulge my kids (typical Mom).
97. I like to grocery shop.
98. I hate to clothes shop.
99. I love my husband.
100. I am very blessed.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Kitchen Gadgets

I rarely spend money on myself but for Christmas I got a few gift certificates so I did some shopping. I probably should have bought clothes but that is the one thing that I hate shopping for.... Clothes are always too expensive and nothing ever looks good on me. I think I'm turning into my Grandmother.

Anyway, I was so excited to get these. They are made by Chicago Cutlery, which doesn't really mean anything to me but I love to cook and I don't have any decent knives and my kitchen scissors from Pampered Chef have long worn out and won't cut a piece of paper anymore let alone trim my meat. This whole set was $75 but I got it for over half off at $35. Boy, I didn't know how nice a good knife could be. I love the whole set!!!

And this was my cheesy buy. It's called "The Vidalia Chop Wizard". Yes, it's one of those "As seen on TV" gadgets. I've seen the infomercial for this a few times and I wanted one the first time I saw it. But again, I'm usually too cheap to order something off the TV and have to pay shipping charges plus without actually laying my hands on it I never really know if it's what they say it is. I saw this in a few department stores around Christmas and actually had it in my hands to buy but changed my mind at the last minute. I finally gave in and bought it at JCPenny this week. I got it for $20. And I have to say I am pretty happy with it. It's well made and so far it has chopped everything I put through it really well. I haven't tried a tomato yet. This is my new crockpot that I bought the day after Thanksgiving for $19 (for never spending any money on myself I sure have a lot of new stuff). It's different from my other crockpots because it has latches on the side that seal the lid on for transporting. That sold me. And that's the hamburger beef barley soup that I made today. It is yummy!! I love throwing stuff in the crockpot and having it cook all day by itself. Dinner is ready when I get home. And it's nice to have stuff for the kids. Caleb is barely home for 10 minutes before he has to leave for work and Shane (Jordan's boyfriend) usually is over after school before his basketball practice.... Always hungry kids around.


Today is my day off. Craig was surprised to see me come downstairs at 6:30 this morning.

"What are you doing out of bed so early?"

"Well, the older I get, the less I feel like sleeping in."

"On your day off, you think you would at least sleep in a little."

It just make no sense to me. Why do I want to waste my day off? Is sleep more important than watching the sun come up, relishing the peace and quite of having the house all to my self when everyone leaves for school and work, or planning my day and getting a head start on it? I don't think so.
The sun is starting to rise..... it's going to be a good day.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Our upcoming vacation

I'm thinking about this every day now. This is the log cabin that we rented for a week up north a few years ago. In the worst way I wanted to rent it again last year but it never worked out for us. I decided that I didn't want another year to go by without vacationing there again. We just reserved it for the week of Feb. 17th. I can't wait to go again!!! It is my dream vacation.

It's all cozy deep in the woods, secluded, on a river, wildlife everywhere (the deer wander all around the cabin), a fireplace..... No cell phones, no computer, no tv, no eating out.....

It's so relaxing. This is how I want to retire. I wish we were leaving tomorrow.

It was fun while it lasted

The snow started New Years Eve and didn't stop for days. It was wonderful. By the time it stopped we had nearly 2 feet in the back yard. And being it was the holiday we had time off to enjoy it. Craig and I both went grooming but Craig was out there twice as much as I was. And when we weren't in the groomer we were on the sleds, the kids too and their friends. But....... all good things must come to an end.

It is nearly 55 degrees today and the snow is melting FAST. It just looks like a huge mud hole out there now. I keep telling myself that it's only the beginning of Jan. and that we have 2 more months of possible good snow but it is still disappointing. The best thing about snow is that it makes Craig sooooo happy. He's like a little kid. I love seeing him like that. If you go to my "Through The Viewfinder" blog you can see photos I took out on the trail this week.

Other than our snow disappearing, its been a good weekend. We stayed home for most of it. I got a lot of stuff done around the house and did some cooking. I made the best pot of beef stew today. It was actually one of those weekends where I feel like I am prepared to go back to work tomorrow. Seems like they are so few and far between these days.

The holidays are over and the kids are heading back to school tomorrow..... back to our normal routine and I am ready.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Senior Pictures

I put off having Caleb's senior pictures taken. Mostly because in the back of my mind I thought I could take them myself and save money doing it. Some months ago I ran the idea by Caleb but he did not like the idea at all. After talking to him and trying to convince him that we could do some cool stuff he agreed to give it a try. Well, time just went on and we never did try it. I think I was afraid of it since I am only a wanna be photographer... there is so much I don't know.

As we started approaching Caleb's last semester of high school I realized that we were running out of time, so I broke down and made an appointment with a professional. Only one other time have I ever had professional pictures taken of the kids.

Today was Caleb's sitting. He got to take 4 clothing changes and do indoor and outdoor shots. It turned out to be a lot of fun. Caleb was relaxed and enjoyed the whole session. We took advantage of it being winter and even took his snowmobile and all his snowmobile gear for a few outdoor shots. The photographer has this really cool 100 year old barn and we took some awesome pictures in there too. We even incorporated his guitar into some. And per my request I had some taken of Caleb in his suit and tie. He was so handsome!! I can't wait to see the proofs. We should have them in a week.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year

We woke up to a winter wonderland this morning so Craig and I jumped in the groomer and headed out to the trails. I lasted about 5 hours and then Caleb came and picked me up along the trail. Craig lasted about about another 5 hours. He absolutely loves it. I think he even likes it more than riding the snowmobiles. Craig had a lot of clean up along the trail with a heavy wind storm that we got a few weeks ago. We are not done yet. Craig and I are headed out again to do the South Haven trail after dinner. Zo-Zo, is that you?
Here's Jordan and Shane. They are out sledding right now. The white specks all over these pictures are snow. It's been snowing like crazy ALL day. Woot!!

Another shot of Jordan and Shane.
You don't think that these two like each other, do you? I love this pictures. It's just screams exactly what they are.... true friends.
What will our new year bring? Hopefully more of the same. We are so blessed to have each other, our families and our friends.