Thursday, August 30, 2007

Look who's turning one

Baby Mark is turning one years old on Sunday. It's hard to believe it's been a year already. I decided to share a few pictures of the past year. I can't help but think back to this small baby being born with his intestines on the outside and his very long hospital stay at the start of his little life. He has not suffered at all after recovering from that. It has been a joy to watch him grow and learn all kinds of new things, as well as watching Brek and Brittany grow as parents. They have done a wonderful job and I'm very proud of them. We plan on celebrating his birthday with a small party at my house on Monday. I can't wait to see him...and John too. I miss that little family so much.
So what are your plans for the holiday weekend?

Monday, August 27, 2007

QVC and new banner

During the 24 hours of scrapbooking/crafts on QVC I showed serious restraint and didn't purchase anything...until close to the end and I caved. I was impressed with the metallic markers that write on dark and light paper WITHOUT having to shake them or anything. They write great! Then of course, who could pass up on 160 sheets of bazzill cardstock? Not me! It was so cheap and something like 12,000 packs sold out in minutes. It has 4 "seasonal" collections in it. Winter, spring, summer, fall. I don't have much 12X12 paper since I scrapbook in 8 1/2X11 size. I do however plan to do the grand babies albums in 12X12, so I'm excited to have a little assortment of colors.
Did anyone notice my new blog banner/header? As much as I love my old one that Amy's husband Brian made me, I decided it was time for a change. That one had been there for the past 19 months. This new one is not digital. I have NO idea how to do digital, so I resorted to good old paper and scrapbook supplies. I have no idea how to talk someone though putting up a banner. I made this one, scanned it, reduced it's size, saved it to photobucket so I could copy it's HTML code. I have the old template on my blog, so I went in and found where my old banners code was, deleted it and pasted the new one in it's place. I previewed before I published to make sure I did it right. I know the new version is suppose to be way easier. I think it has a browse button and you just put in your saved image. I don't really know. So what do you think of the new banner?
I finally made it to the grocery store today. We were out of so much stuff and down to 1/2 roll of toilet paper, plus the family thought they needed to eat or something. Went in with one cart...came out with two...nearly $260 dollars later and I didn't get everything I needed...crazy!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Are you ready for some football?

Mud fooball that is....

Saturday morning we got up at 5:00 a.m. to help my brother in laws family pack up their house and load the trucks so they could move to Seattle. I'm so sad they are moving so far away. We finished up at lunch time and took to boys to get a bite to eat then headed back to Maricopa. That afternoon they had flooded some of the farm land so that we could play mud football. Let me just say that there is nothing funner to boys than this. We were there for 3 long hours and they enjoyed every minute. I didn't play because...well...I'm a wimp. Mark didn't play because of his cracked ribs, so we sat on the sidelines and baked in the sun the whole time. We did however get splashed several times when they'd run in for a touchdown. I was really surprised to see so many teenage girls join in. It was pretty entertaining to watch. We made them ride home in the back of the work van and hosed them off in the back yard. Clothes went right in the dumpster. Not even worth trying to wash. After such a long physical day we all slept great that night. That's my life as a mom of a bunch of boys and I wouldn't trade it for anything.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Wax on...wax off...really really fast!!

Why must we torture ourselves in the name of beauty...or what we perceive as beauty? I haven't had my nails filled for at least 3 1/2 weeks, so they were way overdue and beyond ugly. So I go to the nail salon today to pamper myself in hopes that it would get me out of my crummy mood I've been in lately. I did it my nails filled, got an awesome pedicure, and decided I might as well get waxed too. Keep in mind that I am a hairy girl, so not only did I wax my eyebrows, I wax my lip and my jaw line too. A few weeks ago my brother in law was saying that he can't grow a beard. I came back with "well I can" LOL! Granted it isn't a burly man beard, but it's unwanted hair none the less. So I'm laying down in the little waxing room. My eyes are closed in an effort to relax. I'm talking to myself saying, it's will only hurt a little...and other lies like that. She begins to smooth on the hot wax, then apply the gauze strips, I hold my breath and she rips it off! My knuckles go white as I clinch them tightly. She continues this process all over my face. I was sure that she was not only removing the unsightly hair, but a layer of skin as well. My face was on fire. After she was done torturing me (that I paid her to do, mind you) She smeared some greasy stuff all over my face, in an attempt to put out the fire. Now not only is my face in pain, but it's red and covered in sticky goo. How's that for a day of pampering to get to out of a bad mood?!
***Disclaimer***I know my eyebrows are uneven. That's the Bells Palsy, not the waxing job.

Last night Brek came over to change the oil on his car. Him and Kyle were taking the bucket of used oil to Auto zone to dispose of it properly. They had it in Mark's work van. On a turn the bucket tips over. They pull over immediately and open the door. The bucket falls out spewing the rest of the oil. They quickly come home in an attempt to clean up the huge mess that they made, all the while leaking oil down the road. Since the trail leads right to my house, the authorities will know exactly where to find the culprits. They spent hours trying to clean things up. All of the carpet cleaning equipment had to be wiped down and the truck had to be scoured out. They put kitty litter on the oil spill that was on the side of the highway to soak it up. I felt so bad for them. I'll let you know if the police show up.
I went to bed before they were finished. I woke up to this little message on my computer from Brek. It says " love you mom! from your big boy" I love how he deliberately wrote some letters backwards and his exclamation point is dotted with a smiley face. Plusalso, he changed my screensaver to darth vader holding elmo. He's so funny!
Question??? I need a website that I can do a mosiac collage for my Christmas cards since Chad is gone and we can't do a group picture. I want something that will do 9 squares that I can print off in a 5"X5" square. Any advise? Wink flash does 5X5 prints, but now I need to be able to get the mosiac part done. Thanks in advance.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Meet Wendy and tag

I'd like you all to meet Wendy. She's on my blog list as Wendster. She lives in California and her husband is here on business, so her and her son Tristan drove down to Maricopa to see me. I'm so glad that they did. We went to lunch and came back to my house to hang out and visit for a little while. Wendy brought the little bride and groom ducks to send to Chad and she made him a very cute little ducky card while she was here. After she left Cole said, "WOW! She made that...I could never make that." He was very impressed. I forgot to take a picture of it before I put it in the box. Tristan made friends with Cody and Cole and was sad that his new friends were not coming with him when he left. If any of you visit Wendy's blog, go check out her archives. She is a very talented painter and has shared lots of her work. It was so great to get to know her better. She is a sweetheart and I really like her a lot.
Thank you Wendy for wanting to come spend time with me and thank you for the ducks for Chad. I appreciate it.
I was tagged a while back by Velvet Brick AKA Carol and I have yet to get around to doing it...probably because, what more could I possible tell you that you don't already know. I made a list on the back on an envelope, but I lost it, so here's a try from memory....which I try not to rely on often. To be honest I don't remember 1 thing on that sad! If I repeat some that you've already heard before, just ignore and move on or be open to a new reminder. :o)
10 unknown facts about me.
  • Fact 1...I got bells palsy several years ago and the right side of my face was paralyzed for many months. I couldn't blink, I drooled, I slurred my speech, eating and drinking was difficult, a smile was not possible. I looked freakishly ugly. I've got almost all of my mobility back. I still can't raise my eyebrow, and my eyes and smile are a bit off, but it sure beats the mess that I was.
  • Fact 2...My arms are covered in freckles and age spots, even though I avoid the sun at all costs. I imagine that soon there will be so many that they all touch and I will look really tan.
  • Fact 3...I toss and turn all night. Not your regular rolling over from side to side. I'm talking side to side then head to toe as well. I hurt while I sleep plus I get hot, so I'm always looking for a cooler spot. I set the AC at 74 at night...still doesn't help.
  • Fact 4...I suffer from depression. Betcha didn't know that. I do my best to hide it well. I do what I can to fight it and be upbeat most of the time. It really a hard thing to deal with, but I know my family deserves better than dealing with a depressed mom.
  • Fact 5...I would LOVE to decorate a little girls room or nursery. I never get to play in the realm of girly colors and oh how fun that would be! If I EVER get a grand daughter WATCH OUT!!! (not holding my breath though.)
  • Fact 6...I really have no desire to visit foreign countries. I'm more interested in seeing what our country has to offer. I'd like to visit some states that have stuff like trees, grass, water...Is that too much to ask?! No offence meant to you readers who live in other countries, It's just that I haven't even seen enough of this one yet.
  • Fact 7...Three shows I watch every week on TV is Big Brother, Kyle XY and Army Wives. When I just have the TV on, it's usually on the food network, TLC or HGTV.
  • Fact 8...I'm a girl who has lots of friends but feels like she has none. I like lots of people and I think lots of people like me, yet I have nobody that I go do anything with on a regular basis. It's a lonely feeling.
  • Fact 9... I was bit by my grandparents german shepard named King when I was little. He was not use to having visitors and protected the cabin at all costs. He pierced my ear. Apparently he didn't get the memo that my parents did not give me permission to have pierced ears.
  • Fact 10...I can't drive a stick shift...seriously! I tried. We bought a truck that was stick shift when we only had a couple of boys. My sister drove it to my parents neighborhood then let me try. I could not get through their security gates before they would close. I tried LOTS of times. My kids kept smacking their heads on the back window. It was bad. We almost peed from laughing so hard. The truck went back to the dealership the next day.

I'm tagging anyone who wants to play. No pointing fingers here. :o)

Monday, August 20, 2007

Progressive Dinner

The progressive dinner was tons of work, but a huge success. I had set up two tables then got a call an hour before dinner saying that a few more couples had signed up, so while I continued to cook, I asked Mark to drag out my 6 foot table that I use when I have people over to scrap. We set it up in the family room to make room for the extra people. The table cloth didn't get ironed but I didn't care. I had barely enough dishes to serve everyone. Nothing like a little added stress thrown in there at the end. :o)

I did end up making stuffed pork chops, garlic mashed potatoes, green beans with bacon and toasted almonds. I had Mark go buy rolls from Golden Corral. I only have one oven here so I couldn't make rolls. The pork chops looks kind of gross, but they were really good. I had the butcher cut pockets in them. I browned and seasoned them, stuffed them with stuffing and mounded some on top. Then poured over a mixture of cream of mushroom and cream of celery. They were large, so a few of us cut them in half to share with out hubbies, so there was plenty to go around. I have a weakness for really good mashed potatoes. I think they should be their own food group. :o) Everything tasted great and we had fun visiting with our guests. I do wish I could have visited with everyone, but you really can't with a large group.
On Sunday I was so tired that I slept dang near all day and totally missed church. I felt terrible about that. Mark took the boys. I woke up an hour before they got home. I really haven't been sleeping well at night so it all just caught up with me. I'm thinking I'm going to have to start taking Valerian root again. That stuff smells like stinky rotten feet, but it works and you don't feel groggy the next day. I can't continue to function on little to no sleep.
Brittany took John to the doctor today for a check up. He's doing great and that boy has gained some serious weight. He's already up to 8 pounds 13 ounces. I haven't seen them since last week, so I really need to go over. I miss them all.
Tomorrow (Tuesday) I'm having a guest visitor that I haven't met before. One of my blogging buddies. Tune in to see which one. :o)
I hate to end on a sad note, but one of our long time family friends passed away Friday night when a blood clot broke loose. Derral Hineman was our home teacher for many years when I was a young girl. (about 1st grade and up) He was not your ordinary home teacher that came to visit the family once a month. He came to see us all the time. Whenever he greeted any of us girls he's say "hello darlin' about a bear hug". Then he'd pick us of the ground in a big, gentle bear hug. (he was a big man) He always remembered birthday's and holiday's. He was just a special man. Our families had great times together. His grandson played baseball with one of my boys so I sat next to him at many games. He has been one of my parents dearest friends throughout all these years even though we moved often, we always stayed in touch. That sweet man will be dearly miss by all who love him.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Cole's room

When I posted pictures of Cole's closet with his school clothes, some of you commented on how clean it was. This is his bedroom. It does get messy, but for the most part he keeps it pretty clean. Cole loves all sports. Mark found 19 pennant's at a thrift store for a $1 each. They line his whole wall. They are pretty old since some teams aren't even teams anymore, but Cole loves them. I can't tell you how great it's been to finally have the boys in their own rooms. Peace prevails most of the time now. Since getting their own rooms we've discovered that Cody was the messy one. I think it has to do with his artistic interests. He's always making something. Creativity is messy and so is his room. :o)
We are having a progressive dinner on Saturday night. The main dinner is at our house. The appetizer/salad is at another and dessert is at another. We are having a total of 8 couples-16 people total. As I mentioned before my house has suffered since the baby came so today I've been well as tomorrow, because I didn't get nearly enough done today. I've been thinking about what to make. I think perhaps stuffed pork chops, garlic mashed potatoes, some kind of green bean dish and rolls. Makes me hungry just thinking about it. I have lots to do to get ready and procrastinating finishing painting the guest bathroom has come back to bite me in the hiney. Now I'm forced to get it done as well. Remember the before mentioned talk of Cody's creative mess....well my scraproom is suffering from the same affliction...on a much larger scale. With this room being on the main floor I need to tackle it as well. :o)

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

banana bread

I made 8 little loaves of banana bread yesterday. I had a big bunch of bananas that nobody ate because of the crazy week we had. I secretly love it when that happens because I love to make banana bread and banana cake with cream cheese frosting. Last time I made the cake so I opted for the bread this time around. Here are the recipes if you have over ripe bananas laying around. If you don't then buy some and hide them from the kids so you can make some. :o)
Banana Bread
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup softened butter
2 eggs
3 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 milk + 1/4 tsp. vinegar to sour milk
4 ripe mashed bananas
Add vinegar to milk and set aside. Mix sugar, butter, and eggs. Add baking soda to flour; Blend sugar and flour mixtures together. Add soured milk and blend well. Mix in mashed bananas and pour into 2 greased bread pans or 4 small bread pans. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour.
Moist Banana cake with cream cheese frosting
3/4 cup softened butter
2 1/8 cups sugar
3 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
3 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
2 tsp. lemon juice
1 1/2 cups riped mashed bananas
1/2 cup softened butter
1 8oz cream cheese, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Grease and flour a 9X13 pan. In a small bowl mix mashed bananas and lemon juice; set aside. In medium bowl mix flour, baking soda and salt: set aside In large bowl cream 3/4 cup butter and 2 1/8 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Stir in eggs one at a time add 2 tsp. vanilla. Beat in the flour mixture alternating with buttermilk. Stir in banana mixture. Pour into prepared pan. Bake for 1 hour or until tooth pick comes out clean. Some ovens take longer. Remove from oven and place directly in the freezer for 45 minutes. This will make it very moist. For the frosting, cream butter and cream cheese until smooth, add vanilla and powdered sugar. Mix until smooth. Spread on cooled cake. I think this cake taste best cold the next day. You can add nuts to either of these recipes. I like nuts...just not in my baked goods.
Thank you all so much for your advise. I took Brek and Brittany some food which included a couple of loaves of this bread. I played with baby Mark and cleaned up the apartment a bit. The ladies from church brought them in dinner Monday night and tonight. I feel so bad for Brittany. She is so sad and cries a lot. It's hard for her because she can't pick up Mark for a while, which makes her feel like she's neglecting him and she just doesn't feel good physically. It's so much harder than they ever imagined. I pray that she will recover and adjust to all the new changes quickly. I'll be there for whatever she needs along the way.

I picked this up today while grocery shopping. Getting ready to go watch it with Mark. I'm sure you can guess that Mark loved this movie. It's so funny! It reminds me of Chad because I saw it in North Carolina when I went to visit him.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Oh baby!

Thank you all so much for the sweet comments. They are appreciated more that you can ever know.
Brittany and John are home now. Actually they sent them home Sunday night. I wish they would have kept them until Monday, but what can you do.
Baby Mark is not not quite sure what to think about John. He is just too young to understand at this point. He has no concept of "easy or soft". Brittany's mom spent the day at their apartment yesterday to help out. When I talk to Brittany she says she's tired, but okay. When I talk to Brek he says she's not doing well and she is feeling completely overwhelmed. How can she not be? and what am I to do? I told her to call me if she needs ANYTHING, but I don't know if she'll call. Do I wait for her or do I just help with what I can? I don't want to step on toes, but I also want her to recuperate while she's trying to establish new routines and getting use to having two babies under the age of one. They really did appreciate the clean apartment and laundry done, so I'm glad we were able to do that.

Speaking of babies, this is Mark's new (used) baby. We both really miss the big black bike, but this one is so pretty and he is slowly making is his own with personal touches. I was suppose to go on a couples ride with him and several others last Thursday night, but I went to the hospital instead. Secretly I'm was glad they sent us to the hospital, because it's been way too hot to ride so it gave me a real excuse to back out. I would love to do it in the fall when the temps come down a bit.

Cody and Cole started school yesterday. This was the first time EVER that I didn't get first day of school pictures. I feel like such a loser mom. I didn't hear Mark's alarm, I didn't hear anyone getting ready...I didn't hear anything. I woke up to an empty house and I felt terrible! I know I've been overly exhausted, but I don't like letting anyone down.

My house is in serious need of cleaning and I have tons of laundry to do. I have hopes of scrapbooking this week once I get caught up around here. I really miss being creative.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

He's finally here

We all went to Brittany's doctors appointment on Thursday afternoon. She was huge, uncomfortable and 3 days over due. They checked her and she was dilated to a 5 so they sent us to the hospital.Just starting out in labor and still in a good mood.

Brek putting slipper socks on her cold feet. Her feet ended up swelling up so much that those hurt her so we ended up putting on hospital socks.

Brittany ended up having a very long 21 hours of labor. She progressed very slowly and almost went c section at the end. Brek, Alison (her mother) and I were with her the whole time. Brittany's dad and grandpa came and gave her a Priesthood blessing. I know that's the reason she was able to deliver vaginally. By the time we got to the pushing part her epidural had worn off and John was face up so so she had horrible back labor. Brek and Alison helped her with pushing during contractions and I stood there taking pictures and bawling my head off. I felt so bad. It was such a hard labor and delivery for her. The memories of me going through that 5 times came flooding back as she was going through it. My insides were shaking so hard. I'm just so proud of her. She did an amazing job.

John Ray George was finally born at 1:13 Friday afternoon. He had a really rough start. They had to use the vacuum to help get him out. The cord was wrapped really tight around his neck and it had to be cut off quickly. He wasn't breathing or crying. His 2 minute apgar score was a 3. I was crying and praying a begging for him to breathe. A dozen doctors and nurses rushed in the room for him. Brittany kept saying "why isn't he crying?" I finally heard a tiny cry. There was never a sweeter sound than that. After 4 minutes his apgar score was up to an 8. Our prayers were answered. No words can express just how much it meant for me to be there for my grandsons birth and to witness his first breath. My heart is so full of gratitude.

As you can see, Brittany is very pale and obviously worn out, but so glad to hold her sweet baby.
He weighed 8 pounds 2.2 ounces and 22 inched long with his cone head. He's a little shorted today since his head is shrinking.
The two proud/tired grandma's after it was all over with a mere 45 minutes of sleep in 39 hours...and not all at once. It was like in 15 minute shots. I left the hospital and took the long drive home so I could get Cody and Cole to their schools for meet the teacher night. By that point I couldn't even speak in clear sentence form. I'm sure I didn't make the best first impression, but after all of that, I was so physically and emotionally drained that I really didn't care.

We went back to the hospital today and we finally got to hold that sweet hairy baby. I know I'm his grammy, but isn't he just so cute?! :o) Brittany has had a really hard time. She passed out last night (Friday) and she's had a fever. She's lost too much blood. They've given her 4 units of blood today and have her on antibiotics. They are keeping her until Monday and I'm very glad they are. She really needs to rest.
After visiting them I took the boys to Brek and Brittany's apartment. We wanted to get it totally cleaned up for her and have all the laundry done too. 7 long hours and $30 in quarters later we finally got it done. Mark still needs to steam the carpets, but that's it. We brought baby Mark home with us for a few days until they get to go home. He is sleeping peacefully upstairs and that's where I'm headed too. It's 12:41 a.m. and I'm a little out of practice with babies, but I do remember they get up way too early!