Thursday, December 29, 2011


3:06 remaining in the first quarter and Notre Dame is up by 7. That makes me happy. So happy, I think I need to celebrate with a nice tall Bacardi and diet with lime. It's the last Notre Dame game till next year.

I'm typing this on my new laptop. It's a Lenovo netbook that I bought from my nephew. So far, so good. It runs Windows 7 and I am used to XP, so that is taking a little getting used to.

It has been a pretty busy break so far. Some things I hadn't anticipated and a few day trips and lunches I hadn't planned on. Tonight, I have chosen to relax and enjoy the last game before the craziness commences again tomorrow. I am looking forward to the last days of break next week when I don't think there is anything going on and I can get some things done.

Enough for now. I just wanted to do a quick post on here and see how the new laptop did. I'll post again with lots of pictures from the break so far. See you then.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas

from our family to yours.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

You Capture / Festive

Finding festive wasn't too hard. I love Christmas. Now that I am finally on Christmas break, I'm sure I'll be finding festive all over the place. Here's what I found so far.

Poppa got in on some baking with the grandkids.
This is our new tree. I'm still getting used to the white lights and not as many lights as the old tree, but I think it's growing on me.
This is probably the most special ornament on our tree. It is one that we made for my dad when we were kids and it is always the first to go on the tree. I really miss him.

Natalie and Lizzy finally sat on Santa's lap!

I couldn't resist this last shot. This is what festive looks like when it throws up! At least The Polar Express was on when I was trying to unearth it.

Time to head to Beth's for the festivities.

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Boy With A Heart of Gold

Look at that face. Look at those adorable blue eyes. Is this not one of the cutest kids you have ever seen? Come on. You know he is. I think that Santa would bring him just about anything he asked for. He is that cute. But...this little man doesn't want Santa to bring him any toys for the second year in a row.
This boy with the big heart is asking for donations from all of us to give to Charity Water. He wants to raise $10,000. to bring clean, safe water to 500 people. Can you help him? Will you help him? There is no amount that is too big or too small. This is the season of miracles. Please help him with his dream. His miracle! Would you please share his story on Twitter, Facebook or your blog? If we all help, we can give this little boy his Christmas wish, his Christmas present, his Christmas miracle.

Go read his mom's post and then head over to Charity Water and dig in your pocket for a donation. I did and my grand kids did. I promise it will make you feel good. It's the week before Christmas. Don't we all want to feel good? Thank you so much!!

Friday, December 9, 2011

This and That

I can't believe how long it has been since I last wrote on this blog. Life is getting so busy and I keep finding less and less time for the things I really love. Hopefully, things will calm down in a few weeks and I have two weeks off school. That has to help, doesn't it?

Last weekend was really busy. We went to the book fair at Barnes and Noble for the school that I work at. Natalie and Lizzy decided that they weren't afraid of Santa this year. I wasn't planning for them to sit with him and all I had was the point and shoot camera I keep in my purse. Oh well, it's better than no picture at all. It melted my heart to see them up there. It's been a long time since I saw little people excited to be with Santa.

Saturday morning found Dick and I out and about in the shopping craziness. Our goal was to find a Christmas tree. We finally found one. It is the first time in 38 years that we don't have colored lights on our tree. It is hard to get used to white lights, but I'm getting used to it. I think that after a week, I can say I actually like it. Abby and her best friend Renee helped me decorate on Saturday night. Katie had come over earlier in the week and surprised me by putting up some of our stuff while I was at work.

On Sunday, my sister Polly took my mom and I out for lunch and to a local theatre production for our birthdays. We ate at a new Italian restaurant in town called Villa Nova. I had a yummy meal of pasta, steak, mushrooms and a blue cheese cream sauce. It was to die for. After lunch, we went to the local production of Man of La Mancha at the 4th Street Theatre. I was blown away by the caliber of talent in that theatre. I will definitely be going back for another show there.

This weekend is already proving to be just as busy as last week. Tonight, Dick and I went out for dinner and I came home and decided I needed to post here. Tomorrow morning, Sarah and I are going to Hobby Lobby. I need to get some things for some homemade gifts I'm making. I need to get those done, get my cards addressed and get started on wrapping my gifts. Sunday is my 57th birthday. Sarah has invited everyone to her house for the festivities. Natalie has already offered to help me blow out my candles and open my gifts.

One exciting thing that happened this week was my interview post with Ali Vincent on the Shrinking Jeans site. Ali was the first female winner on the Biggest Loser in season 5. You can read the interview here if you want. I was really excited last night when she shared my post on her Facebook page. I guess she liked it.

So...that's what has been going on around here. Hope you are all well and things aren't getting too crazy for you. Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

And for this..........

I am a very lucky girl. I have much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.

I am thankful for my own little family. My husband and daughters, the son-in-laws and boyfriend. Of course I am thankful for the most beautiful grandchildren ever.

I'm thankful for my mom and step dad. My sisters and brother and brother-in-law and sister-in-law. I'm thankful for my nieces and nephew and my great nieces. I'm also thankful for my in laws.

I'm thankful for my home and my job. I'm thankful for my friends. But this year especially, I am thankful for two very special friends who came into my life in an unconventional way.

Meet Sharon and Rhonda.
We met in the winter of 2009 in the land of blogging on the Internet. Blogging was a very uncharted course for me at the time. I had just started getting involved in it when these two very special ladies started commenting on my posts.

One of my very favorite preschool moms got me to try blogging. She said she thought I would love it and if I didn't, I could just delete the blog. So...I tried and I loved it. In the first month, I "met" Sharon and Rhonda.

Rhonda is a wife and mom and grandma, just like me. Her focus is her family. I quickly found out that Rhonda's daughter Steph was good friends with the preschool mom who got me started in blogging. We also realized that we lived 15 minutes away from each other. We met in person for the first time when we walked the March of Dimes Walk for Babies together in the spring of 2009.

Sharon is also a wife, mother and grandma. She is a very family oriented person. She is also the Energizer bunny of this threesome. You would not believe some of the things this lady has done. The problem with Sharon is that she lives in Rhode Island. I shouldn't say that is a problem, but I can't get to her in 15 minutes.

I am amazed sometimes at the bond that has formed between the three of us. We have so much in common. We all have adult children. Between us, we have 18 grandchildren. They are the lights of our lives. We have all been married to our husbands forever. We have all lost our fathers. Sharon and I in our 20's and Rhonda just a few months ago. The list goes on and on.

For the last few years, we would talk about meeting each other. Not over the Internet wires, but in person. How wonderful it would be to have all us there, live and in person in the same room. What a dream come true that would be.

Sometimes dreams come true!

I was reading a comment from Sharon on one of my Facebook posts. The last sentence said "What are you doing Sunday November 20th?" Ahhh not much. What do you want me to do? I couldn't believe that she wanted me to get a hold of Rhonda and meet her and her husband Barry for brunch. She and Barry were flying into Chicago for two days and then on to South Bend for the Notre Dame/Boston College football game. They would be heading back to the airport on Sunday and would be going right past my exit.

To say that I said yes would be an understatement. I was so excited, I couldn't believe it. This was truly going to be a dream come true. I immediately emailed Sharon and said absolutely yes. I then emailed Rhonda and she emailed me back almost immediately with a resounding yes.

I called a local restaurant known for their Sunday brunch and made a reservation for six at noon on the 20th. It would be Sharon and Barry, Rhonda and Mike and Dick and I. The plan was beginning to take shape. I emailed the girls and told them the plan. I couldn't believe that this was really going to happen. Could I really be this lucky?

Sunday morning came and I was as excited as a child on Christmas morning. I got in the shower and started the process of trying to look the best I possibly could. I drove two daughters crazy with the "Which jeans?" and "Which sweater?" questions. I was finally ready and Dick and I were out the door.

I will never forget seeing Sharon for the first time. We saw each other through the doors before I ever actually got into the restaurant. I could see her mouth say "There they are" and she was moving toward me as I came through the door. We hugged and then we looked at each other and hugged again. She said hello and I could hear her voice. This may sound silly to you, but it was such a thrill to hear her voice. Barry came and hugged me and introduced himself. Like I wouldn't know who he was! I hugged Rhonda and was sad to hear that Mike was sick and wouldn't be joining us.

We were seated at our table and the fun began. We talked and we talked and we talked. We talked about our kids and grand kids. We talked about our parents and siblings. We talked about blogging and how we met. We, of course took pictures. And then we talked some more.

As I sat with these two wonderful, witty, genuine, beautiful and inspiring women, I couldn't believe that it was all happening. Twenty years ago, this could never have happened. Not even ten years ago. We are so blessed that we live in this time of technology.

All too soon, three hours had passed and Barry said it was time to head to the airport. We hugged and we hugged some more. We said that we would do this again and I truly believe we will. This brunch was one of the best three hours I have spent in a long time. I will remember it for a long time to come. These people have made a mark on my heart that I am so grateful for.

Many people I know don't understand the blogging world. I've been told more than once that I waste my time with such nonsense and most recently that I should "get a life". Believe me when I tell you that I have an awesome life. Blogging is a small, but very wonderful and fulfilling part of it. Without blogging, I never would have met these fantastic people and that would be a tragedy.

On this Thanksgiving morning, I am thankful for my family and friends. My home and my job and all the other wonderful things in my life. But this Thanksgiving morning, I have Sharon and Rhonda in my life

And for this I am truly thankful!
A very special thank you to Barry and Dick for putting up with us with a smile on their faces.

My Cup Runneth Over

Sunday was a day that I will never forget. I am working on my post about it. I'm having a little trouble because I want it to do the day justice. While I write and rewrite, please read what two wonderful people had to say about the day. These two have a very special place in my heart.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

You Capture / Something Fun

We found something fun to do.

We went to visit Art the turkey.
We sat on the butterfly bench and Natalie ended up looking like a butterfly.
Natalie loved the turkey.
Lizzy maybe not so much.

But, the most fun I had was getting my new floor.

It looks awesome.

Check out all the fun at Beth's.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

You Capture / Fall

It's getting to be the end of fall.

The beautiful color on the tree outside school.
The last of the blooms in the yard.

The burning bush in my front yard.

The pumpkin, apple gourd and "ghostie" gourds on the front bench.

A little color at the Shedd Aquarium.

It's fall at Beth's.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Simple Thoughts

A few simple thoughts to start your weekend.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

You Capture / Cute

When it comes to cute, I don't think you can get any cuter than

my grand babies

and a scraggly little bird that was sitting on my mailbox.


Cuteness abounds at Beth's.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

You Capture / Fall (and a little family)

I really think fall could be my favorite season.

You get gorgeous colors and beautiful sunsets.

You get spectacular full moons.

But going on my first school field trip with Natalie and Sarah to the pumpkin patch was by far my favorite fall moment yet.

Check out the captures at Beth's

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Making Strides


Today was the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk in Porter County. It was threatening rain, but the sun came out and it was a perfect afternoon for a walk. I was excited for this day. I look forward to it every year.

Today I was a member of a very special team. We are Vickie's Chickies. It's kind of a silly name, but our Vickie is no silly girl. I have known Vickie for close to 30 years and she is without a doubt, one of my very best friends. We have been through a lot together in those years. Our girls are best friends. We have spent a lot of time together in very good times and very bad times. Her breast cancer was one of those very bad times. It is because of Vickie that I have become involved with theMaking Strides walk.

With the sun shining down on us, the walk started and I was walking by Vickie's side with her husband Paul and my husband and daughter. I was so proud to be by her side.

The line went on forever. There were so many people this year. I'm pretty sure this was the biggest year yet. Pink and brown as far as the eye could see.

We passed some beautiful fall colors and the biggest spider web I have ever seen.

Before I knew it, the walk was over and it was time for the closing ceremony. This is Vickie saying thank you to all of us and proclaiming being breast cancer free for almost 7 years.

It was time for a bunco babes photo.

All too soon, it was time to say good bye.

and we all headed for home.

I am proud to say that I raised $1085. for the American Cancer Society. My total will be more than that because I have a few more pledges coming in. It is one of the things I do each year that I think is really important.

I love you Vickie and I am so proud to be your friend!