Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Almost Ready for Christmas

It's almost Christmas and I'm almost ready for it this year.  Almost.  I'm cleaning and baking today so that should just about be the last few items to check off my 'to-do' list.  Besides wrapping.  And finishing the laundry.  And cleaning out the cars.  Oh, and doing a mani/pedi.  And packing.  We're planning to head to the other side of the state on Friday to visit the family and celebrate Christmas with them.  I'll be bringing my marshmallows for my marshmallow shots.  Since we'll be visiting for most of the weekend, I got the bag of gigantic ones.

Friday, December 12, 2014

It's Glorious!

"Isn't that glorious?!  It's indescribably beautiful!  It reminds me of the Fourth of July!"   I love 'A Christmas Story' and I watch it every year over and over and over.  (Which means that Matt and Keaton watch it over and over and over with me.)  I've been wanting a leg lamp for a while and I finally ordered one for our front window and I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT!  It makes me smile every time I look at it.  Now I just need to get Keaton in the bunny suit...
Now we have "the soft glow of electric sex gleaming in the window" too.

"You should see what it looks like from out here."
(I have noticed quite a few cars driving by slowly looking at the lamp...
both during the day and at night.)

We love 'A Christmas Story' so much that we even visited the actual house used in the movie a few years ago. I want to go back so I can recite even more movie lines! 

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

New Sign

Here's my new sign for the garage wall.  My goal is to fill the entire wall with these signs.  I think they're funny and they make me laugh.  Maybe I have a different sense of humor than most people.  Maybe I'm just easily amused.  Whatever.  I know I love people to enter my home laughing...or, at the very least, smiling!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Let Festivus Begin!

We have a big Christmas tree.  (I wanted to take advantage of our tall ceilings.)  So, we approached the tree decorating like we have for the last 15 or 16 years with this tree...as a marathon.  We assembled it Friday night; we put the lights on it Saturday night; we took a break Sunday night; and we decorated it Monday night.  Whew!   (Keaton asked if we could wait to decorate it until he could come help.  I think with him being away at college the last four years, he missed out on some family traditions.  Insert smile here.)  So, Keaton came up and had dinner with us and then we turned on some Christmas music, grabbed the ladders, and got to work.  Let Festivus begin!

This is one of my favorite ornaments.
Keaton made this in pre-school when he was 4 years old.
His hands have grown a bit over the last 19 years!

So has his facial hair.

Cyrus decided to avoid me after I made him wear the Santa hat and he supervised the tree decorating from across the room. (I think he was just afraid I'd strip away the last of his dignity.)

Ta da!
(Notice the leg lamp in the window?  That will be in the next blog entry...it needs its own story.)

Friday, November 28, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving

How do we spend Thanksgiving?  We spend it just like pretty much everyone else in America does:  we study the Black Friday sale ads, we eat a lot of food, we watch the Lions...and we play pinball.

Breakfast:  monkey bread, skillet egg scramble, and bacon.

I figured I spent about six hours in the kitchen preparing food.
(and enjoying a beverage or two).

Thanksgiving Dinner:  turkey, mashed potatoes with gravy, stuffing (homemade),
two green bean casseroles (one without mushrooms so we didn't have to make any trips to the E.R.
and made with homemade french-fried onions because we're now spoiled),
sweet potato souffle, cranberry sauce, biscuits, and cranberry ambrosia.
Dessert:  cherry cheesecake, Snickers dip, and sugar cookies with cute little turkeys on them.

The Day-After-Thanksgiving Menu:  LEFTOVERS!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Post-Op & Birthday Weekend

Matt's vein procedure went well on Thursday and he spent the entire weekend in the recliner with his leg elevated and being waited on hand and foot...pun intended.  Keaton came home for the weekend and I spent the weekend cooking and baking.

Matt at home recuperating after his procedure.

I recuperated at home after sitting in the hospital waiting room with people coughing by killing any plague germs with Bailey's Caramel and Buttershots in toasted marshmallows.  Yum!

Since Matt wasn't up to going out and doing anything to celebrate his birthday, he spent the day eating yummy homemade food and being allowed to control the TV remote for the entire day! Happy birthday to him!!
Birthday Breakfast:  omelet, potatoes, bacon, & banana bread

Birthday Dinner:  crab legs with warmed butter, baked potatoes, salad,  & cheddar/garlic biscuits

Birthday Cake:  chocolate layer cake with cherry pie filling between the layers, smothered in chocolate frosting, and topped with more cherry pie filling and toasted almonds

Keaton got Matt a new rake since Sanford still uses a rake with half the tines missing.
Keaton and Cyrus took a nap together.
Cyrus loves when Keaton comes home to visit...and cuddle.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Bathroom Project

I believe couples thinking about getting married should not only attend couples counseling, but they should be required to complete a remodeling project together. That's a true test if you're compatible...being able to remodel without a huge fight or throwing a tool at one another. Matt and I have done a lot of remodeling together...we re-did numerous rooms in our old house, completely finished the basement in our current house, built a deck, and are now updating rooms in our current house. Don't get me wrong, we have our temper flare-up moments during a remodeling project. Matt gives me numerous sighs while I seriously wonder what would happen if I dropped the hammer on his toe.  But, we each take a deep breath and get back to the project at hand because, deep-down, Matt knows I'm right.  He also knows he's going to end up doing it my way and he better hurry up so I can get the house put back together before I go crazy. That's why we get along so well.

The current project:  Matt's bathroom.  It was functional, but old and out-dated.  We bought a new vanity, sink/counter top combo, paint, and floor tiles on Saturday.  On Sunday, we cleared out the bathroom, pulled out the old vanity, and Matt ripped up the old floor while I ran to another bathroom to throw up.  Seriously. I may have a new record for how fast I ran. There was mold under the floor from a leaking seal under the toilet and I am very sensitive to odors...especially musty smells. Gross. So, Matt had to cut away the sub-floor and will have to replace it.  That's added a few extra days to the project, but hopefully we can get back on track to get the bathroom finished and functioning by Thanksgiving. (Matt's having a vein procedure done on his leg tomorrow, so we'll have to postpone any remodeling until next week.)  I'm optimistic...and impatient.  I also don't like my house being messy.

So Far:

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

snow, Snow, SNOW

It's been snowing for days and days.  Sometimes just a little.  Sometimes quite a bit.  It's pretty..but it would be prettier and appreciated more if it was December 24th.  After our 12' piles of snow last year, we finally succumbed to peer pressure and got ourselves a snow blower over the weekend. It's all fancy and shiny and pretty...and still hasn't been used.  I'm old-fashioned and actually like to shovel. It's good exercise and a great way to clear the mind.  I really don't like all the noise and exhaust of snow blowers. I shoveled two driveways this morning and we only had 6-8" of snow on them. But, the forecast calls for another 8-12" of snow today, so we just might end up breaking in the snow blower later today.

Poor Cyrus has been a little chilly.  He's been keeping warm cuddling with a blanket or sitting in my lap. He's definitely not a fan of the snow.

Snowfall total from the last few days:  12 inches.  I'm thinking it's time to head to Disneyworld.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Happy Birthday, Keaton!

We celebrated Keaton's 23rd birthday with dinner at a hibachi grill.  Yum!  The chef was pretty spectacular and if I attempted using any kitchen utensil like he did, I'd end up with a black eye and/or a concussion.

Because it's Keaton, we (of course) had another birthday celebration with the family.  We enjoyed a seafood feast and finished his birthday celebration with a peanut butter ice cream cake.  23. Years. Old. Holy cow!

We're so proud of the intelligent, kind, loving, considerate, funny, thankful, handsome, thoughtful, responsible person he's become.  We never had any doubts of the person he'd become when we looked at him for the first time. Being Keaton's parents has been the greatest joy of our lives. I actually had a family member tell me last night that having an only child isn't really parenting.  Wow.  That really hurt. I think Matt and I were, and are, great parents. Keaton has always been our top priority and it's always been our job to support him; to encourage him; to teach him the difference between right and wrong; to know when to help him and when to let him help himself; to laugh with him; to wipe away his tears; to listen to him; to challenge him; to document his every waking moment (or just about); to teach him to always help others; to always tell him how much we love him. We always planned to have more children.  It wasn't the hand dealt to us.  So, we accepted what was and have always been so thankful for the gift we were given. I think we raised a good child because we made sure he always felt safe and loved. I think we raised a good child because we were involved parents, always volunteering at school and in the community.  I think we raised a good child because we made his education a top priority.  I think we raised a good child because we were firm and old-fashioned at times, not always letting him do what all the other kids were doing or trying to be "cool" parents. (We didn't allow him to have any friends in the car when he first got his license for six months.  We gave him rules and a curfew and expected him to abide by them. We didn't approve of the parties where parents allowed drinking. We didn't let him drive if the roads were really bad...and living in west MI, we get a lot of ice and snow.  Nothing earth-shattering to us, but apparently old-fashioned parenting.)  I think we raised a good child because we were his parents and not his friends.  That's parenting...regardless if it was one child or a dozen.

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!  I know it's a week late, but I've been having computer issues.  I guess I know what I'll be looking for on Black Friday this year.

Matt went to work as The Big Bad Wolf.  (This was supposed to be our couple costume, but I totally forgot to get a Little Red Riding Hood costume.  Oops.)

Keaton stopped by after work to borrow a costume for his night of Halloween fun.
Buddy the Elf...what's your favorite color?

So, since I didn't have a Little Red Riding costume, we decided to break out our throwback costumes from a while ago...Hansel and Gretel and the little bratwurst.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Fall Camping

We enjoyed a fun fall camping weekend with good friends!

We broke the no-TV rule of camping and actually had one set up outside most of the weekend.  We watched a hilarious movie, the U of M vs. State game, and the Lions game.  In between games, we went for a long bike ride, played pinochle and enjoyed some gorgeous walks. Cyrus loves his walks...but he may have a slight problem with authority.

Matt and I were up and out the door by 7:00 a.m. each morning for a sunrise kayak trip.  It was cloudy on Saturday morning, so we didn't get the spectacular color show we were hoping for.  But, Sunday was better...colder, but definitely worth the chilly wait!  I started emptying the motor home yesterday so we can winterize it.  They're predicting snow here for Halloween.  Yikes...that's scary!