Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Ice Storm

We've been "under the weather" the past week due to an ice storm. The weathermen definitely got this one right. The storm came...and delivered...big time. The pics I'm posting are of the "pretty" ice. The pictures from the destruction caused by the ice aren't pretty at all. So much of the area here looks like a bomb exploded near the trees, or that a tornado came through and ripped the trees. FEMA has been in the area and declared a state of emergency. Clean-up is expected to take quite some time.

All school districts in this part of the state were dismissed early on Monday due to the weather conditions deteriorating, and remained out of school for the remainder of the week. Even the U of A closed, which is a rarity.

The heavy weight of the ice downed power lines and trees throughout the area. I don't know the final count, but on Tuesday over 100,000 homes were without power. My parents lost power at their home on Tuesday morning, and STILL have no electricity today. :-( We lost cable and internet service late Tuesday night, but weren't too worried because we still had power. Once the ice began melting though, it was a different story. We lost power for 3..long.. days. Amazing how long the days/nights seem when you stay indoors and play game, after game, after game with the kids to keep everyone from going stir-crazy. :-) OK, so the kids did venture out to play on the ice for awhile, but not for long.
Today I'm thankful....for so much.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Secret Pal Gifts

Our agency DTC group decided to keep ourselves busy with a little gift exchange each month through February. Our first theme was bath time, and this was what we received from our secret pal....the cutest puppy dog towel. :-)
Our second theme was toys, toys, toys. Look at all of this fun stuff to play with.
The third month's theme was Chinese New Year, and we received a really cute family photo album (which we think would be a great thing to send along in a care package once we receive a referral).

Thanks to our secret pal family!

Catching Up

Just a quick recap of our latest happenings....

Last week, all three of the girls received news that they made the 2nd quarter Honor Roll. Claire was so excited that she was finally in a grade where they give certificates (& a coupon to Taco Bell). The photo is horrible as Claire and the teacher were standing in front of a window, and the room was crowded with this was the best I could get.

Emily and Allyson's classes just gave out certificates to the students during school. An assembly for parents will be held near the end of the year.

On Thursday while big sisters were at piano practice, Claire and I walked to the old bridge nearby. I had my camera with me, so I grabbed the opportunity for a few shots.

During the Sunday evening church service, Randy was ordained as a new deacon in our church. I didn't take my camera with me to the service (I know, I know...can't believe it myself!), so I made him pose with his official certificate when we got home. He had already changed out of his suit by the time I made it home, but was nice enough to put his shirt/jacket (minus the tie) back on for the photo. :-)

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Help one of China's Children Return...

Instead of posting our own adoption raffle, I would like direct every one's attention to THIS BLOG. Kennedy is a 13-year-old girl who is raising money so she can return to China for a birth land tour. Her orphanage is having a big 20 year celebration, and sent her an invitation for the event. Kennedy isn't trying to raise enough money for her entire family to go on this trip....just enough for her and one parent to attend.
Please take a moment to check out her blog and help if you feel lead to do so. It makes my heart happy that this child is working so hard for this...a trip of a lifetime. I'm off to make my donation to her fund now.
Thanks in advance! :-)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Getting Organized

I've spent some time this week reorganizing things in my scrap room. I just haven't had any creative juices at all lately, and I think it's due in part to the "chaos" of my supplies. I went through every sheet of scrapbook paper I own -- put a lot into a donate pile, but still kept a lot. I put collections together in vertical storage boxes so they're easier to locate, and then re-categorized all of the miscellaneous patterned paper in the horizontal paper rack. Ahhhh, now that feels SO much better...not to mention it's fun to look at! Yes, I do know that I didn't put my papers in ROYGBIV order. :-)

Now I just need to work on all of the little embellishments. Currently, I have them sorted by type, but am seriously considering changing to a simple, color-ordered system. I think maybe the problem is that I simply have too much stuff...or is that really a problem?! lol Anyway...if any of my organized scrapping friends have great ideas for organizing all of my little embellies, please feel free to share!

Boiled Eggs

I now know for sure that you *can* burn a boiled egg. :-( Thinking that I would treat Allyson to one of her favorites (tuna sandwiches) before an overnight school trip, I put some eggs on to boil. I forgot to set the timer though, and got busy with other projects around the house. Later, I heard a very loud POP - a pop that sounded like a metal pan breaking. Realizing what I had done, I rushed to the kitchen to find that the pan was bone dry, and this delicious-looking product was all that was left.

Yes...I did put more eggs on to boil, and I *did* set the timer!! :-)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Oops, She Did It Again!

Except there was really no "oops" about it. :-)
Emily has worked hard at playing the flute in her school band. She had another chair test yesterday and got first chair again! Way to go Miss E!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A Visit to the Chocolate Factory

Claire was invited to a friend's birthday party over the weekend. The theme was Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory (complete with a golden ticket in the invitation). The first activity was to "build" their own mini factory using chocolate graham crackers (& lots of icing of course!). Once their structure was standing, they decorated the "lawn" with all kinds of candies. Then, the REAL fun began as the kids discovered the chocolate fountain! I think they dipped everything they could find in the chocolate! LOL (At least one mommy in attendance thought the strawberries dipped in chocolate were especially good.) :-)

So Stylish!

Claire received these cute little frog slipper socks for Christmas, and they have been a big hit. She loves to wear them with fun socks for bedtime. It's important to look good all the time right?! :-)

Friday, January 16, 2009

Goodbye Dear Friend

So sad to read that one of my favorite scrap mags is shutting down. :-(
Simple Scrapbooks made the official announcement yesterday that the May/June issue will be their last. It seems the tough economy has made it mark on this industry as well.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

No School!

Brrrr, it's COLD outside!! We knew it was going to be very cold today, but we weren't expecting any precipitation. Imagine our surprise when we saw a little bit of white stuff flying around outside this morning. We didn't look out front toward the street the kids continued getting ready for school, and dad went off to work. About 15 minutes later, lunches were packed, coats were on and the girls were heading for the door to watch for the bus. The phone rings and dad says the roads are very slick and we might want to check to see if school is cancelled. The girls run to turn on the tv and I quickly check the school website...we are OUT of school TODAY!! WOOHOO!!!
We're off to put our jammies back on, make hot chocolate, and have a lazy day! :-)

A Great Deal

Everyone loves a great deal right? Here's one for you.....for a minimal amount, you get a nice set of coasters, and the person making them gets a little boost in their China adoption fund. What a nice combination! :-)

If you have time, please check out Debbie's blog. Debbie (& her husband) is in our next China travel group. The money she raises from the sale of the coasters will help in their quest to bring their daughter Darci home from China. Go take a look at her blog...the link to her items is on the right side.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Pocket Calendars

EDITED: This should have read "inexpensive gifts"...not expensive!! LOL

My calendar

I've been playing with my digi scrapping a little lately. I helped Allyson make a calendar for Emily's Christmas gift, and then decided I wanted a calendar for myself. :-) I also made one for my sil Kim. These were super easy as they are templates from Shabby Princess - all we had to do was drag and drop our photos, print it, and glue to a store-bought calendar (which usually cost under $3). They make great, inexpensive gifts. If any of my friends/family (you know who you are! LOL) want a calendar, just email a few pics to me, and I'll get it printed and delivered to you. :-) Of course, yours will print at 300 dpi - these pics are sized smaller for the blog.
This is the calendar Allyson made for Emily.
This was for my sil.

Oreo Truffles

I made Oreo truffles during the holidays, and they were a big hit. They were super easy and everyone LOVED them. I made one batch with fudge flavored Oreos, and another batch with the regular Oreos. I drizzled white icing over the regular batch and they looked so pretty (the fudge were all that was left for a photo though...and the girls had tossed these around in the container quite a bit taking them in/out of the fridge).

Here's the recipe:

1 pkg. Oreos (but NOT the double stuffed kind)
1 pkg. cream cheese (room temp)
melted chocolate almond bark or semi-sweet chocolate pieces
melted white almond bark

Blend Oreos to a fine powder consistency. Mix in cream cheese (mixture will be thick...a pastry blender works best). Chill mixture for at least an hour. Form into 1" balls and dip in melted chocolate. Drizzle with white chocolate if desired (I just put mine in a ziploc and cut off the tip of a corner). Let set until chocolate is firm.

I found that it worked best to chill the balls again BEFORE dipping into the chocolate mixture. I also found that using 2 forks to dip with worked much better than a toothpick holding the balls.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Happy New Year!

I hope everyone had a safe and happy New Year! Our new year celebration was pretty low key and uneventful. We made a few goodies and went to visit dh's relatives for the evening. We snacked on and off all night, and played several games. It was fun seeing all of the adults act out words playing Guesstures. I think spoons was the favorite game though...lots of fun! It's amazing that one of us didn't lose an arm playing that game! DH and I got a little competitive at one point, and "he says" I knocked him out of his chair (much to the delight of all the other players...I didn't think we'd ever stop laughing so hard!). I hold firm to my belief that he was pushing me back and lost his balance on his own and simply FELL out of his chair.
My brother-in-law saw everything as he was on the opposite side of the table, and he's on my side of the story! lol I think the only other incidents from the game were a few scratches from the mayhem of everyone grabbing for the spoons. :-) We were so busy with the game that we didn't get photos, but we still have the memories.
We played until 11:00 when the ball dropped in New York. The kids obliged me by wearing hats and blowing horns for pics. :-) Then, we quickly packed up and headed for home....wanting to get off the roads before other people left their parties. Awww...we're *such* exciting people huh? lol

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