Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year's Eve :)

Hope everyone is planning to have some fun tonight. We are heading to my sister's house. It will be COLD! I am sure a good time will be had.

Just wanted to share a poem that my daughter wrote. It made me smile :)

I will be back with Christmas pics and New Years pics soon.

Where I'm From
Compliments to George Ella Lyons

I am from red sands,
From brown dirt and yellow leaves,
I am from the heat of the day,
(Comforting but blistering, it symbolizes home)
I am from the oleanders,
The giant mulberry tree
Whose smell stuck to me the longer I sat in it.

I am from 4-wheelers and luaus,
From Eula Mae and Grandma Barnes,
I'm from here-we-go-agains,
And the whatever-you-can-finds,
From "Brady-slap" and "Kameron Junior"
I'm from starting lines and running shoes,
Farmville and Sunday drives.

I'm from Talking Heads records and INXS concerts,
Caffeine Free Diet Coke and "something sour"
From the dentist tools my great-grandpa made,
And the ear "Grandpa Snickers" lost in a fight.

Black and white pictures cover the walls,
Of the rickety Mount Pleasant house,
The faces crossed the plains and settled valleys,
Coming from Sweden and Wales,
I am from the light of their eyes,
A dream they had a century ago.
-Meghan Simonson

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Life is a bit too hectic to be blogging right now. I have gifts that I need to finish up. A house to clean and MOUNDS of laundry to finish up. So, I guess that means no computer time for me. I am sure I will be back with all kinds of Christmas photos to share by next week :)

If you want to check out a few of my new projects that I have been working on this week (they are pretty cute!) then CLICK HERE :)

Until then, enjoy one of my all time favorites, Fall Out Boy's version of What's This. I love it! :)

Friday, December 18, 2009

I Think It Is Time.

This December has FLOWN by! I have been in school countless Decembers and have still managed to get everything ready for Christmas. This year, well, not so much.

We finally do have a tree. A real one that my daughter went up into the mountains and cut down by herself (no joke!). We haven't had a real tree in ages!!! One thing that I have found out from this is the fact that I am pretty sure that I am allergic to it. I know, it seems strange, but, ever since the tree has been in our house, I have been sneezing, my nose runs non-stop, and my throat and eyes are all itchy. When I leave the house, these symptoms seem to subside a bit. Has anyone else ever been allergic to a Christmas tree? Who would have thought?

The tree is up, undecorated, but in its spot waiting to be decorated. No presents have been bought. Lists haven't even been made. The only two things that I have accomplished this month were to get my Christmas cards sent and my neighbor gifts made and delivered. Other than that, nothing else is done!

I am finished with finals and I think it is finally time to get ready for Christmas, don't you???

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Wants VS Needs

Life takes on a whole new meaning when you start looking at it with a wants vs. needs perspective.

I think there have been times when I have spent way too much of my life going after all the wants. After a while it all starts feeling so shallow and empty. I can spend my time acquiring a big house, fancy cars, nice clothes, and possessions galore, but in the end does all of that really matter???

This year is a lean Christmas for us. In years past we have always spent way too much money and always spoiled the kids rotten. With me being in school and with trying to pay for two homes with Bryan up north and us down here and with all of the things that we went through this year with Bryan's job, we don't have a whole lot of disposable income. Are we starving, no? Do we have sufficient for our needs, yes. It just isn't what we are used to.

Last month we came up with our Christmas budget and then Bryan came to us and told us that there was a family that he knew (he used to work with the lady) that was really struggling. The husband is having health problems and is unable to work, they have an autistic son and a young daughter and a couple of older married children. They are barely making ends meet and all they were hoping for this Christmas was to be able to find a way to provide their young daughter with a gift or two.

Bryan came to the kids and asked them if they would be willing to give up half of their already lean Christmas budget to help this family. I am so proud of my kids, not one of them even questioned for a second whether or not they would be willing to do this. Each of them immediately said yes.

We were able to give this family some money. Bryan handed the lady the envelope and she was very grateful. She had no idea how much money was in the envelope, but she told Bryan how grateful she was and then told him how she was going to use the money to buy her autistic son some new church shoes for Christmas. Apparently he doesn't have any nice shoes for church and it is very upsetting for him to have to wear the shoes that he does have.

Before all of this started, I was feeling bad knowing that my kids weren't going to have the kind of Christmas that they were used to, and there was a family out there who wasn't even able to provide new church shoes for their son. It put Christmas in perspective for me. It really isn't about what we receive, it is what we are able to give, no matter how small, that matters.

It was touching to me to know that my kids were willing to give up part of their wants in order to help someone else out with their needs. They really do know what this season is about and I am so proud to be their mother! I think that this Christmas will mean more to them (even though they won't have as much under the tree) than any of the Christmas's they have celebrated in the past.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Neighbor Gifts, FINSHED & Delivered! YAY! :)

The neighbor Christmas gifts are finished and delivered! YAY! Maybe now it will start feeling a bit more like Christmas :)

If you want to check out the pics of what I made, CLICK HERE.

I have finals this week, UGH! I have one down and three more to go. Two tomorrow and one on Wednesday. . .here is hoping that I can stay sane!

After finals, I will be able to start getting ready for Christmas!!!! YESSSSSSSS!!!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Have YOU Ever???

Copy, paste, and bold (& add comments!) to what you have done!

Have you ever.....

*1. Started your own blog (Well, duh!)

*2. Slept under the stars (Many times)

3. Been to Key West, FL

*4. Vacationed in Hawaii (Three times and hopefully counting!)

5. Watched a meteor shower

*6. Given more than you can afford to charity (We are doing that this Christmas)

*7. Been to Disneyland/Disney World (Land, not world)

*8. Climbed a mountain (Yes!)

*9. Held a praying mantis

*10. Sang a solo or played a solo

11. Bungee jumped - no freakin' way!

*12. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment (Yes at Yellowstone. A man with about 5 cameras around his neck tripped and did that running forward thing with all the cameras swinging this way and that, I busted out laughing. . .probably not a good time to do that!)

13. Watched a lightning storm at sea

*14. Gone rollerskating (All the time in Elemetary school!)

15. Adopted a child

*16. Gambled in Vegas (Yes, when I was young and stupid!)

17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty

*18. Grown your own vegetables (nothing better than home-grown tomatoes!)

19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France. I WISH!

20. Slept on an overnight train

*21. Had a pillow fight

22. Hitch hiked

23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill

*24. Built a snow fort

25. Held a lamb

26. Gone skinny dipping

27. Run a Marathon

*28. Worked at a Cannery or Welfare Farm

29. Seen a total eclipse

*30. Watched a sunrise or sunset

*31. Played an instrument (used to play the clarinet)

*32. Been on a cruise (A few!)

33. Seen Niagara Falls in person

34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors

35. Seen an Amish community

*36. Taught yourself a new language (learning Spanish right now!)

37. Acted in a play or performed on stage

38. Been to Italy

*39. Gone river rafting (Colorado River & Green River)

40. Seen Michelangelo’s David

*41. Sung karaoke (All the time!)

*42. Seen ‘Old Faithful’ geyser erupt (Yep, read comment on #12)

*43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant (nope, but I had one bought for me once)

*44. Water Skied

*45. Walked on a beach by moonlight

46. Been transported in an ambulance

47. Had your portrait painted

48. Gone deep sea fishing

49. Been to Japan

*50. Rode a horse (not only rode one, owned one!)

*51. Gone snorkeling

*52. Kissed in the rain

53. Sailed a boat

*54. Gone to a drive-in theater

55. Been in a movie

56. Surfed

57. Started a business

58. Visited the Great Wall of China

59. Lived in a foreign country

60. Delivered Meals on Wheels or Served at a Soup Kitchen

61. Snow Mobile or Snow Skied

*62. Gone whale watching (two different times in Maui)

*63. Got flowers for no reason

64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma

65. Gone sky diving

*66. Gone Ice Skating

*67. Bounced a check (once a VERY long time ago!)

68. Flown in a helicopter

*69. Saved a favorite childhood toy

*70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial

*71. Eaten caviar

*72. Knit, Crocheted, Sewn, Quilted

73. Stood in Times Square

74. Toured the Everglades

75. Been fired from a job

76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London

*77. Broken a bone (my little toe 4 times!)

*78. Been on a speeding motorcycle

*79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person

80. Published a book

81. Visited the Vatican

*82. Bought a brand new car

83. Walked in Jerusalem

*84. Had your picture in the newspaper or been on TV (TV a whole bunch of times!)

*85. Done something you said you would NEVER do

*86. Visited the White House

*87. Been stung by a bee

*88. Had chickenpox

89. Saved someone’s life

*90. Sat on a jury (Well, I got called to jury duty for the Federal Courts, but I didn't end up having to stay for the trial, only one day)

*91. Met someone famous

*92. Joined a book club

93. Had to put someone you love in Hospice Care

*94. Had a baby (Yep, 5)

95. Seen the Alamo in person

*96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake

97. Been involved in a law suit

*98. Eaten suishi (a couple of times, but I don't like it)

99. Won the Lottery

*100. Read an entire book in one day

Friday, December 11, 2009


I am so glad that it is Friday!!! Next Friday I will be done with finals and will finally be able to get my house ready for Christmas. My kids CANNOT wait!

Today I am cleaning the house, doing the laundry, and then doing something FUN before I study for finals!

Wanna know what the FUN thing is? THEN CLICK HERE! :)

Hope everyone is keeping warm on this COLD day!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The End.

I have finals next week. Don't get me wrong, I am thrilled that the semester is coming to an end. It has been a semester that has kicked my butt! However, there is something that is a little different about the end of this semester compared to the end of the others I have experienced this far. This semester officially marks the end of all pre-core, pre-requisite, and general ed classes that I will take. WOW!

It has been a long, long journey. One that started after the birth of my third child. Just an FYI, my third child is now 14. Crazy!

After my third child was born, I felt this overwhelming feeling to go back to school. It seemed crazy. It seemed impossible. It seemed down right insane.

I think that the reality hit me that I was the mother of 3 kids (at that time) and I had been out of the workforce for quite a while. I had no education and some skills, but nothing that would get me enough pay to support my family if something were to happen to my husband. It was a very intimidating thought. I remember thinking that I wasn't sure that my husband would be supportive of me going back to school because he was so busy with work and we had three kids. Our oldest was only 4 at the time and we had two in diapers. It would take a lot of support from my hubby in order for me to be able to go back to school.

I remember the night so clearly. We were sitting at the dinner table and I told my husband that I really wanted to go back to school. He was very supportive. He agreed that it was a great idea and that is where my journey began.

It has been full of starts and stops. I attended night classes while my kids were young. Bryan would get home from work and I would head to school. I would do homework while they napped and homework while I waited in the car for them to be done with pre-school. It wasn't easy.

I attended school through two pregnancies, several moves, remodeling of two homes, building of one home, and quite a few other challenges.

Some semesters I would only take two classes and other semesters I would take three or four. Then finally in December 2000 I received my diploma for my AS degree! I figured that it wouldn't take me long to finish up my BS degree at that point. HA! Boy was I wrong!

I have changed my major a couple of times. As a matter of fact, I am only a few classes from having my English Lit degree. I figured I would finish up with that and then get my teaching certificate. Last summer with all the changes with Bryan's job, I once again went back to school, this time pursuing my Elementary Ed degree. Funny story, that is the degree I started toward all those years ago when my third child was born.

In January I will officially start "in the program". I have three more semesters of classes and one semester of student teaching. After that I will have that BS degree I have been after for all these years. I guess if nothing else at least I have been persistent! ;)

Monday, December 7, 2009

Feeling a Little BAH HUMBUG!

I really do LOVE Christmas. I really do LOVE decorating for Christmas. It is just so hard to get into the holiday spirit when you don't have any spare time.

I have finals until December 18th. I can't even think about shopping for Christmas or putting up my tree and such until finals week is over. At that point, I am thinking, what is the point of decorating??? Aren't the kids just more worried about their presents than the tree and decor anyway?

All of that hard work and time spent on decorating for a holiday that is only one week away. If I can't enjoy my decorations all month, why bother???

I had an idea. Let me run it by you. In order to save myself some time and still feel like the holiday season was in our home, I decided that we could make a tree out of paper. Yes, I said paper. Cute scrapbook paper. We aren't talking some little mini version of a tree. We are talking a 6 ft + paper tree. Then I was going to tape the cute paper tree on our BIG family room window. I would give my kids some craft supplies and let them go to town decorating the paper tree. That way all I would have to do at the end of the holiday season is tear it down and throw it away.

No pulling out the boxes and boxes of Christmas stuff. No sorting through strands of lights to see which worked and which didn't. No moving furniture around in order for a tree to fit. No hours and hours of decorating the tree. No stress, no mess! It sounded pretty great to me!

Unfortunately, my kids thought that it was the worst idea ever. *SIGH*. I guess that means I will pull out my Christmas stuff and decorate. Perhaps after I do, I will feel a little less Bah Humbug.

Maybe I just need finals week to be over with and then I can feel a little more of the holiday spirit. Here's hoping!!! (I still think the paper tree was a GRAND idea!)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Making Me HAPPY!

I found something new the other day that made me smile! It is something that I could have all kinds of CRAFTY fun with!

Wanna know what it is???

Then click on over to my craft blog

***Paisley Inspirations***

and check it out! SO FUN!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

And Now This Man. . .

This man was 23 years old when I met him.

This man stole my heart on our first date.

This man works hard to provide for his family.

This man is a wonderful father.

This man has given me the gift of 5 children. 4 boys and 1 daughter.

This man and I have been together on ups and downs and highs and lows.

This man has seen me laugh.

This man has seen me cry.

This man is always there when I need him.

This man has lived with me longer than I lived with my own family.

This man puts up with my craft addiction.

This man loves me for me.

Happy Birthday to my hubby!

I Love You!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

This Man

This man. . .

He (with the help of my mother) gave me life.

He changed my diaper.

He watched me learn.

He watched me grow.

He watched me succeed.

He watched me fail.

He spent countless hours worrying about me and probably many more hours being frustrated with me.

He made me ice cream shakes when I was sick, scrambled eggs with salsa when I was hungry, wiped my tears when I sad.

He tickled me until it made me cry.

He sang songs to me.

He was there when I graduated from high school.

He was there when I got married.

He was there to welcome each of my five children, his grandchildren, with open arms.

He is a role model.

He loves me for me.

He is my dad.

Happy Birthday Dad! May you have all the happiness you deserve and then some!

I love you!!! Thanks for always being there.