Thursday, December 27, 2007

It Was a Merry Christmas!

Our ever happy Cammi.


Kayla, who is so much fun to watch, she wears all emotion on her face.


Jade amidst an ever growing pile of presents.


Ben, who didn't care what was under all the pretty Christmas paper, he just wanted to open presents - all of them!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Are We Done Yet?

With the wrapping and cleaning, baking and cooking? Heck, NO! That's what the weekend is for! And I am rearing to get started. Though I have a feeling I am going to be at the office late tonight. Hence, my driving in and parking downtown.

This is Jade, my youngest Granddaughter. She was visiting the other evening. Such a busy little one.

We had Ben again last night. If you think being 2 is a terror, meet 3. He is too much!!!! Luckily Frosty the Snowman was on and that kept his attention (for a little while at least).

Kayla had Christmas with her Dad last night. Guess what he got her? A musical Hannah Montana Doll. That's 1 of 3 of those dolls that she will be receiving this year. She also got an educational laptop, some accessories for her baby dolls, a Pet Shop bunny and clothes. She came home very happy.

The workload is piling up. Have a great Friday!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Food Glorius Food!




Cold weather and cooking, ah, yes! I love to cook when it's cold out. Chili, Potato Soup, Fresh Baked Bread, Brownies, mmm mmm good. Now that the Christmas menus are set, Kayla and I are working on the New Year's menus. For the Eve we are thinking of Cranberry Meatballs, a Hot Cheese Dip, Favorite Deviled Eggs, a Fruit Dip, Chicken Enchiladas, and Chocolate Marshmallow Bars. For the Day, Tossed Broccoli Salad, Golden Potato Surprise, Sweet n' Sour Chops and that's as far as we've gotten. Kayla loves watching the Food Network. In particularly, Alton Brown, any cook-offs, and the Iron Chef. Mom is giving her a cookbook for Christmas and we vowed to assist her in cooking weekend meals this coming year.

This is Amanda holding the picture frame she scrapped. I am so proud of her. It's a lovely piece of work. I have been scrapping, I just have to get it uploaded. Using Basic Grey's Half Pint (12 x 6) chipboard book, some Heidi Grace winter papers and embellies, I scrapped the girls sled-riding. I also finally finished the Visit to Santa album. For that I used Maya Road's heart shape chipboard book and Daisy D's Christmas paper. I say finally because it was back in 2006 of November that I had cut all my heart shaped papers and cropped the photos. When I signed up for a mini crop in November 2007, I chose what I was going to scrap, packed wisely, and completed the two albums and a 1 page layout (I need to finish the 2nd page, but all the papers are cut and the photos cropped, gee, sounds familiar). Amanda and I really need to set aside some time this weekend to scrap the School Albums for the girls. I was hoping to have Cammi's ready for Christmas, but I don't see it happening. We had Ben last night and will have him again tonight, I still need to pick up two gifts, wrap a truckload, clean, bake and cook.

He's growing! The little man is now 14 days old. He is so adorable. Kayla continues to be a wonderful helper. Brendan has had many visitors this week. All of his cousins have now met him, Ben loved him and kept saying "my baby". Jade wasn't too sure. Cammi held him, but was more content to play.

Well, I've got files to open. Cleaning and cooking lists to make. The cable company to argue with and the countdown to quitting time. Have a Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Let It Snow!


Please! Yes, we want a White Christmas. Even if its just a dusting. This photo was taken earlier this year. It's Kayla and her Snowgirl. I need to upload new photos taken this week, but none will be of any snowmen or snowgirls. Not so far this week.

I thought I was done shopping and then I remembered my boss, and Kayla's teachers. We bought bookmarks for two of them but she has two others to buy for. Oh, no, lottery tickets for my folks (not my idea - they asked for them). I am hoping to complete that task tonight. Along with Kayla's room, my room, the halls, yada, yada, yada. I did work on the house some more last night, but we have too much stuff. And I've been purging! I can't seem to make a dent!

Are you working on your Christmas journal ala Shimelle? I bought the papers and embellies and have journaled every day. I just need to put it all together. I've really gotten into it this year. I'll post as I complete the project.

We picked up one of those acrylic picture frames and Amanda covered it with some adorable Rusty Pickle paper, Jolee's baby embellies, and little buttons. Then she added Brendan's photo, adorable! I am so proud of her! She is now working on a Trick or Treating book for Kayla. And together we are making Kayla and Cammi those School license plate books. Cammi's was to be for Christmas but I don't see that happening.

On our list of movies to see this Holiday: I Am Legend, P.S. I Love You and Alvin and the Chipmunks.

Okay, I need to go, just taking a small break. Have a great day!!!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

20.2

That's how many pounds I have lost since October 9, 2007. Woo Hoo!! That's the best Christmas gift I could give to myself! I now have 10 more to go to reach goal.

The closer we get to Christmas, the more excited I get. I love this time of year!!! Tonight, I need to finish up the bedrooms, Kayla's playroom and the hallways. And of course, more laundry. I also need to start wrapping gifts.

Kayla and I snuggled together and watched the DVD "The Karate Kid". My own loved this film when they were younger - still do. I knew Kayla would like it and she did. I also have on deck, "The Holiday" and "The Da Vinci Code". Book wise I just finished The 5th Horseman by James Patterson and I am looking forward to starting "Julie and Julia" by Julie Powell.

Work beckons. Have a fab Tuesday!!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Homestretch

This is it! The last week before the big day(s). Are you ready? I have to finish cleaning the house. Of course. But I really worked at it yesterday and its all coming together. Saturday morning was spent grocery shopping. Amanda and I only forgot a few things that she will pick up later this week. The menus are set, the invitations and Christmas cards have been mailed and I just have a few gifts yet to wrap. And we got some snow. Not a lot, not even close to what was predicted. Though the wind was pretty rough.

The baby is doing well. So adorable! Kayla is such a good helper. She is so ready for Christmas. We have been reading Christmas books every night before bed. Wednesday is the Santa store at school. Tonight she will be making her shopping list.

Well, office work beckons. Enjoy your Monday!







Kayla and her Mom.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Menu

LET'S BRUNCH
MENU

Orange Juice
Assorted Teas
Old Fashioned Hot Chocolate
Apricot Pecan Biscuit Pull-Apart
Apple Cinnamon Swirl Bread
Festive Breakfast Casserole
Potatoes Au Gratin
Sugar Cane Baked Ham with Spiced Apples and Pears
Fresh Fruit
Christmas Cookies
This is the menu I have planned for our Christmas Eve Brunch. Do you think it's enough? My biggest fear any time I entertain is that I will not have enough food. So seriously, do you think I am missing anything? The ham is a recipe of Emeril Lagasse. I found it at the Food Network website. The Apricot Pecan Biscuit recipe was found at Pillsbury's website and the Festive Breakfast Casserole I found in a cookbook put out by Roomful Express. The Old Fashioned Hot Chocolate is right on the side of the Hershey's Cocoa can. I have made this for my children forever and they still ask for it when they come over. The assorted teas are tins I picked up from a Starbucks located in Barnes & Noble. The White Christmas tea is delightful with vanilla and almonds. The Holiday Spice tea is just that - spicy goodness. Now I need to make up a shopping list. I've already wrote down the gift certificates I need to purchase this week. Once that is done, I just need to wrap, wrap, wrap. The Christmas cards will go out by Tuesday (late this year) and I think I only have 2 mail orders yet to be received. Otherwise, it's just baking and shopping from here on out.

On the homefront, Brendan is doing well. He is so tiny and sweet. Kayla has been a big help. Such a good big sister, though she is coming down with a cold as I write. It has been quite wet here again this week. Lots of rain.

Well, I will end here as it is almost quittin' time. Hope your day was special!


Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Tree is Up

The tree. Always, we always have a crooked tree. Ah, that just makes it all the more endearing and memorable. There are only a portion of ornaments up. We have boxes full but this tree will surely not hold all of them. The snowflakes are made by Kayla. She cuts until her little hands hurt, but she loves making these paper snowflakes.

She made these tissue wrap ornaments last year:










Every year we have her make a new ornament. I just love them. Amanda wasn't too happy that we brought out her toilet paper roll Santa Claus. That ornament is about 17 years old. How could we not include him. Or the macaroni picture frame? These are what makes our tree.

The painting on the wall behind the tree is a Kayla Original. My budding artist. I have another of a flower in a vase sitting on a chair.

The baby is doing well. He is a little darling.

Our 7th Annual Ornament Exchange was a lot of fun. Good food, lot's of laughter. What a joy to have everyone together. Now, I am working on our Christmas Eve Brunch. Brunch will be a new thing for us this year. I usually do a lunch and have the family over. Thought we'd try something new. Make new foods.

I lost another 1.2 for a total of 18 lbs. I made my 10% goal, now it's on to the goal itself. Not too easy with all these Holiday cookies and candies.

I hope you and yours are enjoying this most special time of year! Have a great Wednesday!

Friday, December 7, 2007

He's Here!

Brendan Christopher has arrived. Weighing in at 8'2", 21 1/2" long, Brendan was born at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, December 6th. Here he is with this big sister, Kayla. This photo was taken within minutes after his birth. Mother is doing well and I expect them both home tomorrow morning.

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas in these here parts. We've got snow and it's still snowing. Not a whole lot of accumulation but I'm loving the whole White Christmas feel.


This was taken early one morning this week in Market Square, downtown, PA.

And the next one was PPG Square. This is the only time of year, downtown looks so pretty.











Tonight is our Office Christmas party at Ciao, Baby's. I am looking forward to it. In fact, I lost enough weight to wear a jacket/skirt combo. Yeah, me!! Of course, I am only half weight to my goal, but my clothes are fitting so much better!!

Tomorrow has been reserved for baking and cleaning. Sunday is our 7th Annual Ornament Exchange party and I have tons to do!!! Sunday is the cookie exchange at Church.

Well, I have a few things to wrap up here before quitting time. Hope all of you are well!!

Stay safe! Happy weekend!!