Monday, December 29, 2008
Kendall was up first Christmas morning. Usually, she is the sleeper but not that day. She's of the age that knows to get up early on Christmas. Santa got her a real guitar this year (and other things). It was precious when she said, "Daddy, Santa got me a guitar like yours!" Then she said, "I prayed to God to tell Santa to get me a guitar like Daddy's." I was feeling a little proud at that moment. :)
Clayton woke up complaining that it wasn't a real Christmas because there wasn't "wots" of snow. It kept bringing that up all day. The kids played all morning with their new toys.
That afternoon, we went to our friends, Lou, Peggy, and Michaela. We had a nice meal with them. I took my Buche de Noel cake.
I worked Friday and Pete took the kids to the movie. They saw "The Tale of Despereaux". I think it was a hit. Saturday, we went ice skating for the first time. I had been lots, but the kids had never done it before. Sunday, we went to church. There was one service at 10 am. I think that time agrees with me. Anyway, the kids sit in church for about 20 min before they are dismissed to their programs. Kendall and Clayton doodle during that time. Here is what Kendall came up with. This one is Baby Jesus.
Clayton drew this one but I don't know who it is.
Kendall drew this one and it's Mary with baby Jesus.
And this is the best one of all. Kendall did it and I just had to keep it! I didn't have the heart to correct her.
Sunday afternoon we actually flew kites. It was so windy and warm here. I loved it! For a moment, I was back in elementary school on our annual Kite Day. A perfect day.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Monday, December 22, 2008
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Saturday, December 20, 2008
The ever-prepared-husband is measuring the tree to see if it will fit.
Here is Clayton enjoying some ice. I hope it's not yellow.
And here is the tree. Pete cut it down with ease.
My mom still puts ornaments on her tree that were on there when I was a kid. There's the homemade ornament from my kindergarten or the Rudolph, the Red-nosed Reindeer from my mom's childhood. I have some special ornaments that will be up every year. Here is "I Dream of Jeannie" with her magic bottle. My sister gave this to me because as a kid, I loved "I Dream of Jeannie". I only saw it in reruns, but would run around the house pretending to be her. I even had an old perfume bottle that looked like her magic bottle. It's still at my parents' house. (Do you see the bottle by Jeannie?)
This ornament was made by a friend of mine years ago. She had visited a mutual friend in Prague and liked the egg ornaments so much she made some. It's amazing that this egg has lasted.
Here's the tree. I took the picture without a flash. It looks like it's glowing here.
But, here's the real story. After we came home with the tree, Pete decided we needed a new tree stand. The old tree stand I had was metal, and the trunk was too small so that it wouldn't stand upright. We went back to the shops after dinner. (had a great meal at Cozy Thai Bistro). Anyway, we checked Lowe's, no stands. We checked Target, again, no stand. The lady there suggested Home Depot and, of all places, CVS Pharmacy. We checked Michael's since we were close by, nothing. We knew Wal-mart was sold out, too. We went to Home Depot, nothing. So, off we went to CVS. While Pete was in the pharmacy, I called a friend to see if they had an extra stand. They didn't.
Meanwhile, Pete is looking around CVS and doesn't see a tree stand (he's a man and didn't ask for help). On his way out, the employee asked if he needed any help. "I was looking for a tree stand, but didn't see any," he replied. The clerk asked if it was for a real tree. Pete said yes. She then pointed to a display and said, "There's one over there--it's our last one!" Hooray! We got the sturdy new tree stand. We could put up our tree and decorate it!
After we had our tree all decorated, Clayton said, "It feels like Christmas." Yes, Clayton, it finally does!
Friday, December 19, 2008
I made cookies last night. I think these could be the most perfect cookie ever. The peanut butter and chocolate are so satisfying. Dare I say a perfect food group? There's protein, carbs, ahhhhh.
We are getting our tree tomorrow. I hope the weather is better for trekking around outside. I know it's supposed to be cold. It is December, after all.
I can't believe Christmas is only 6 days away...
Thursday, December 18, 2008
I liked the picture of the building looming overhead. I didn't take a lot of pictures of the windows this year. I guess I was busy keeping an eye on the kids.
I'm almost ready for Christmas. I need to wrap presents and we still haven't put up a tree. That is a project for this weekend. Pete likes to go out to a farm and cut one down. So, it will be a big outing for the family. I'm a little worried about the puppy and just how much damage she will do to the tree. I will need to put my good ornaments up high....
I'm off to the post office to send presents to Arkansas. My family draws names so it's not like I have to buy for a bunch of people. I really need to get into the Christmas spirit.
Monday, December 15, 2008
Here we are at Artisanal.
The Christmas tree at Rockefeller center.
Here is one of the windows at Bergdorf Goodmans.
The kids on the bus.
Sunday, Anne sent me to the Mandarin Oriental for a massage at the spa. I definitely got the royal treatment. Afterwards, we all went to Chinatown for Dim Sum and then for a quick walk around to look at the markets.
We then headed back to midtown. Pete, Clayton and I started walking back to Anne's place. We noticed two automobiles that looked like they were dignitaries or something. It turned out that it was the Secretary General of the U.N. and we walked within 10 feet of him! Pete's sister lives one block from the Secretary General residence. The cars drove up and he got out and was standing there talking with someone. We crossed the street and walked by him.
That's about it for our weekend. It was a quick visit.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
I have no clue what we are going to do today. I could bake and I know I need to tidy the house. Other than that, it's up in the air. I really need to Christmas shop for the niece and nephew in New York City.
Monday, December 08, 2008
We buy it from the son of a retired Penn State Professor. The son lives on the big island of Hawaii. We order every year.
Last year, the coffee didn't taste as good as I had expected but, to be fair, our coffee pot was old and it broke not soon after the new year. I think it wasn't working too well and didn't deserve to brew such wonderful coffee as Kona. This year we have a new fangled fancy coffee pot that my sister-in-law gave us. I think she felt sorry for us because of the crappy coffee pot last year when they visited for Christmas. I don't mind being pitied if it results in having a nice coffee pot.
Speaking of the sister-in-law, we are going to take a quick trip to "the City" (New York City to all of you outside of the Northeast LOL) this weekend. I really want the kids to see the Christmas decorations in the store windows. And we have a dog sitter! woo hoo. Life is sweet.
Saturday, December 06, 2008
Thursday, December 04, 2008
Monday, December 01, 2008
The Thanksgiving holiday was nice. We drove to Boston on Wednesday and while the traffic was heavy, it wasn't unbearable. We made it in 8 hours--with two kids and two dogs. Not bad, if I have to say so myself.
Pete's mom was a little worse than the last time we saw her. She can't see much now and forgets who is sitting right by her. Pete's dad can't take her on business trips anymore since she requires someone to watch her 100% of the time. So sad.
Thanksgiving day was a busy one with too many cooks in the kitchen, if you know what I mean. Nana arrived around 10 am and was busy giving orders and double-checking everything. She's still got it at 95. And we all know better than to argue with her. :)
My pecan pie turned out nice and I also made cornbread stuffing/dressing. Since I couldn't go home to the south, I had to make a southern dish. The rest of the food was delicious, too. Everyone agreed that Pete's sweet potatoes was the favorite. (except for Nana's turkey, of course.)
Friday night Anne (Pete's sister), Thomas (her husband), Pete, and I saw Quantum of Solace. It is the new James Bond movie. We really liked it. And it wasn't too long. (With that said, I would like to see Australia anyway). Pete's dad and Nana watched the children. Pete and Anne were walking around Harvard Square saying things like, "remember the shop that was in that building?" and "dad used to go to the barber in that building." I can just imagine how fun it was to walk around there as a teenager.
Saturday we left Cambridge with all the intentions of driving all the way home. We stopped about 4 hours down the road near West Point, NY. Pete's old HS and college friend, Ben, was visiting his parents. He and his wife and daughter were in the country from Taiwan and we wanted to see them. We ended up staying the night. One of Ben's brothers is in a band and we all went out to a dive bar to see him--5$ cover. I think Ben paid for us. Ben and another brother wanted to show their support. The band was actually pretty good. We had left the kids at Ben's parents house. So, two dates two night in a row. Wow! We stayed up until 2 am which didn't seem like a bad idea until Sunday morning around 7:30 am. Ugh.
I got up, didn't shower, drank some coffee and ate some breakfast. We woke up Kendall (Clayton, aka alarm clock was already up) and loaded up the car and drove another 4 hours until we arrived in good ole central PA. Needless to say, we were tired. I mean so tired it was impossible to be nice tired.
So there you have it. My Thanksgiving in a nut shell. And how was yours?
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Monday, November 24, 2008
I knew this woman when I lived in Wisconsin with my first husband. She is originally from Paris and her husband is from the south of France. Anyway, she would have these wonderful dinner parties and we would have the best time. They moved to Prague and then to Dubai. I did visit her once in Prague. I spent a week with her. It was between marriages and I took a friend with me to Prague. He hated traveling so it was a good thing we went together. We found out we were not for each other. I mean, I would almost rather travel than do anything else. Then they moved from Prague to Dubai one summer. It was the summer Kendall was 11 months old and my in-laws were taking us to France. I knew that Sylvie visited France every summer so I called her in Prague to see if we could set up a rendezvous in France. Yes, they would be vacationing in the French Alps for a couple of weeks. So, at the end of my trip with my husband's family, Kendall and I stayed a few extra days. My in-laws put me on a train in Paris and I took a 3 hr ride to Geneva, Switzerland. I sat by a woman who spoke no English and I couldn't speak French. I relied on the kindness of strangers to help me with the stroller, luggage, etc. I was so naive when I planned this trip to see Sylvie and her family. I had no idea how hard it was to travel by train with an infant. So, Sylvie and her daughter met me at the train station in Geneva and we drove an hour to the Savoie Region. They had rented a chalet. It was magical being there and seeing Sylvie and her family again. I was there for Bastille day. Three days later, I headed back to the train station and on to Paris. My in-laws met me at the station and we stayed in the Hotel Luxembourg. I flew back to the U. S. the next day.
I am a people person. I feel like I can never have too many friends. And then there are those people I never want to lose touch with. And when I do lose contact, I feel sad. I thought I had lost contact with Sylvie forever.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
I love having house guests. And to go to the football game, too, made this weekend a nice one. Pete's old friends from school (he's known one from even high school) made the trip to Happy Valley this weekend. Chris and Anh Schluep and Mike Skoglund arrived Saturday afternoon. The traffic was heavy coming into town so they arrived later than they had planned. We did make it to kick-off, however.
It was snowing at the beginning of the game. Above, they are using leaf blowers to move the snow during a time out. This is something that one must only see in the north! HA!
It was so cold! The lady next to me gave me some hand/toe warmers. I stuck them in my shoes because my toes were numb! We had great seats--on the 45 yard line.
This picture was taken right after Penn State won . They are Big 10 champs. I think I am still thawing!
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Friday, November 21, 2008
My mom is one of the wisest women I know. I have learned a lot from her example and I'm blessed to have her. She made sacrifice after sacrifice for us kids growing up so that we never felt like we were missing out. If she was having a bad day, I never knew it. She was brave and strong during her time with breast cancer and became stronger for it.
When I was a kid, she was the softy and we walked all over her. I think I only saw her get mad a handful of times. I wish I could be more like that. I'm not too old to try to be more like my mother. I know that to this day, whatever I need, if she can do it, she will without complaint. Happy birthday, mom! I love you.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
I've been through a divorce. That sucks. But, dealing with a medical problem sucks worse. Until last August, I was doing everything my way and not thinking of eating right, exercising, etc. And then, sickness struck. Originally, it was my gall bladder. A stone passed, supposedly, but I will never know for sure. What I do know is after my blood tests came back with elevated liver enzymes, my mind started questioning what was going on. So, what does a haus frau do all day when she has symptoms and a little information? Yes, you guessed it--you "google it". And when your search words are elevated liver enzymes, abdominal pain, nausea, fatigue, the thing that keeps popping up is Hepatitis C. I was shocked. Who, me? I do work in health care and with blood. I was a phlebotomist years ago in college and had a needle stick. But, really?
Days later I get a letter from my family practice doctor that says to come in and talk about my blood test. YOU BETTER BELIEVE I WILL. I went in and we started talking. He thought I had a virus and blah, blah, blah. I had to ask. "When I google all of this, chronic hepatitis C keeps coming up. Could it be that?" His reply, "You just don't fit, but I will order the blood test."
The other thing I'm guilty of? Prejudice. In health care, there is prejudice with certain diseases. At least there was for me and evidently, for my family practice doctor. He said I didn't fit because the majority of Hepatitis C infected people in the U.S. are IV drug users. The other common ways of getting it are from a blood transfusion before 1991 and occupational exposure.
So, the past few weeks I've had some tests done and visits with a GI doctor. I even went to Boston to see an expert. There is good news to all of this. I have a genotype that is not common in the US and it has an 80% chance of responding to treatment. And if all goes well, I should only have to do it for 6 months. Pills in the AM and the PM and a shot once a week. The side effects might be really yucky for a while, but in the end, it should be worth it. I most likely will start treatment the end of December/early January.
Why did I spill my guts about this? I've never been good at having a poker face and even in blogging, I've found that if there is something really weighing on my mind, it eventually has to come out. I can't explain it, I'm just that way.
Some other good things about all of this? I've found out that I have a lot more friends than I ever realized. I've had so many friends offer to help in any way they can. I am amazed and humbled. I am so blessed.
I made the mistake the other day of saying things happen for a reason. What I should have said is... And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28)
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
And today I got my 45 yard line tickets for the Penn St./Michigan St. game. Woo hoo! It will be a chilly one--the forecast is for snow and in the 30s. Oh well. I'm sure being smooshed (not sure how to spell that) in there with 110,000 of my closest friends will keep me warm! Some of Pete's friends are coming for the game, too. I love having company.
Well, I'm off to read some more of my new book. So far, it's great!
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Have you ever experienced Free fall? It was the summer of 1999 for me. I was dating a guy after my marriage was over. He and some friends wanted to go sky diving. I tagged along. Four of the guys did the static line. I opted for the tandem jump. I wanted to experience the free fall. I jumped from 11,000 feet and experienced about 30 seconds of falling to the earth. It was without a doubt, the most exhilarating thing I've experienced. The wind rushing past your ears is something I won't soon forget. To feel like I was jumping from the safe, known entity of an airplane into a world that can be frightening at times. I remember hearing this song and thinking "wow, I can relate." I had been in an awful marriage and finally was free. I was vulnerable, but free. I heard this song today on the radio and it still makes me think of how far I've come.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Where is your mobile phone? In my purse in the kitchen.
Where is your significant other? Dropping Kendall off at school and then out in the woods (It's a federal holiday and he is off work).
Your hair color? brown with some gray.
Your mother? In Harrison, Arkansas
Your father? In southern Arkansas deer hunting
One favorite thing? chocolate covered Brazil nuts
Your dream last night? I don't remember
Your dream goal? to be out of debt!
The room you're in? kitchen
Your hobby? cooking
Your fear? not being able to take care of myself as I age
Where do you want to be in six years? On a round the world trip!
Where were you last night? On the interstate driving back from Boston
What you're not? eloquent
One of your wish list items? cookbook holder
Where you grew up? Fayetteville, Arkansas (Go Hogs!)
The last thing you did? filled my coffee cup
What are you wearing? PJs
Your TV? Curious George
Your pets? Buddy, the cat. Cody, the black lab. Lilly, the tyrant (oops, I meant puppy).
Your computer? from best buy. windows, blah blah blah
Your mood? discombobulated
Missing someone? nah
Your car? Toyota corolla
Something you're not wearing? earrings
Favorite drink? coffee, coke zero
Your summer? not long enough
Love someone? of course
Your favorite color? green (after all, my name is Kelly)
When was the last time you laughed? this morning
When was the last time you cried? I got teary eyed last week, but a real cry, it's been a while
Friday, November 07, 2008
This is totally random today. Heck, I really have no idea why I'm blogging. But here is a picture of the kiddo's from the other day. Pete was burning some stuff and the kids were hanging out with him.
It's Friday and I'm so glad. I usually sleep in on Saturdays (wow! 8am), but tomorrow we are driving up to Boston. It seems I've been thrown some curves regarding my health and I have an appointment with a doctor up there on Monday. We'll hang out with Pete's parents for the weekend.
And if you have a Williams-Sonoma near you, walk, no run to it and buy this Maple Pecan spread. I bought this a few weeks ago in Harrisburg when I drove my mom to the airport. It is so yummy on toast.
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
I was new to this school and was out on the playground with my friends. We were doing Eeny many meeny moe when I inserted the "N" word and everyone gasped. I stopped and innocently asked, "what?" "You said ______." I realized that day that it was a bad word. When I saw my parents after school, I brought up my new found enlightenment. It didn't go over well for a 7 year old to be correcting her dad. I think that was the beginning of mine and my dad's strained relationship. And I know that we can't pick our parents, nor would I pick anyone different, but we can make decisions for ourselves. I do love my parents and am thankful for all the good things they have taught me in my life. I'm sure no one has perfect parents and I'm proof that it is difficult to always be the best parent.
In 7th grade English class I met a new friend. Her name was Tiffany and she was Black. We sat by each other and really enjoyed each other's company. One day the teacher gave all the students "money". She had written words on the chalk board like wealthiest person, smartest person, tallest, strongest, etc. She had written all kinds of values on the board and we were to bid for them. The one I bought was "to rid the world of prejudice." I remember Tiffany saying to me,"I'm glad you bought that one." Yes, Tiffany, I wish I could really buy it to this day some 27 years later. I've struggled with the notion that someone is better than someone else simply because of color.
I voted for Obama. I am a registered Republican but I like the party of years ago. The party of Lincoln, our greatest president. I am for responsible government but a government that treats everyone like the valuable person they are. I am for peace, another reason I voted for Obama. I like McCain but I feel like we would have continued to waste lives and money in Iraq longer if he had been elected. I feel like those innocent Iraqi lives are valuable, too.
It did not matter to me that Obama is Black or mixed-race. He just seemed like the right person. But for those people who have dealt with prejudice because of their color, I'm happy for you this day. I'm happy for my children, too. I hope this is a new day for us all--A day to rid the world of prejudice.
Monday, November 03, 2008
I'm hosting play group tomorrow (yikes! I have got to clean this house!), but did manage to make a new dessert that I've been looking for an excuse so I could make it.
Pictured above is the cake. It is really thin and I am spreading cream cheese frosting on it. Below is the finished dessert. It is called a pumpkin roll. I can't wait to taste it. I don't know why, but this year I have a hankering for pumpkin flavored desserts.
I found this dessert in my Southern Living cook book. There are pecans in the batter and then you roll it up as soon as it comes out of the oven. The white stuff is powered sugar.
I have another picture from this evening:
I can only imagine what is going through each animal's head.
Lilly: Dang door.
Buddy: Thank goodness for that door.
Friday, October 31, 2008
So, there I am enjoying the peace and reading my book, when a man and his wife enter the waiting area. At this point, there were some other people sitting around and the TV was off. The woman sits and starts to read. Her husband picks up the remote and turns on the TV. He settles on Fox News and Sarah Palin is giving a speech. Immediately, another woman asks in a very loud voice if he would turn it down. She was very rude about it. The man complied and said, "I'm hard of hearing." Now, he was older and the woman asking him to turn it down was probably in her 50s. I will admit I was enjoying the quiet, but I thought it just meant I would concentrate a little more on my book to block out the TV. Well, about two minutes later, the woman got up and went over to the man watching TV and said,"Look, there are four people sitting around and reading, do you need to watch the TV?" I couldn't believe how she was? I could tell he was getting annoyed with her. Something happened and next thing I knew I was saying, "It's not bothering me." The woman stopped what she was saying, looked at me, and sat down. I felt that rush of adrenalin you get when you confront someone. It was so great. I couldn't look at her after that. But, I thought she had no right to treat this man that way. I wonder if he had been watching something other than Sarah Palin would she have been so vocal?
The point is the woman was so arrogant to assume what she wanted is what the rest of us wanted. I think if she had been polite and told the man what she felt, it wouldn't have made me say something to her. How dare her think she knows what I want? After all, the TV was there and it was a waiting room. Get over it and stop trying to control everything, lady. Life is this way. We enter a room and get comfortable. Someone comes along and makes a change. We have to adapt. We can be grumpy and try to throw our weight around and annoy the room, or we can be polite and try to make change in a grown up fashion. In the end she looked like a jerk when she could have been so much nicer about it.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Tomorrow is Halloween. Kendall is going to be the same character she was last year. She just loves Ariel as a bride. So, I got off easy for her costume. Clayton wants to be Spider man.
There is a black and white picture of me when I was about 4 or 5. It's Halloween and I'm standing by my sister. I'm dressed as a hobo--over alls, corn cob pipe, and big freckles were drawn on my cheeks with my mom's eyebrow pencil. I would do anything to find that picture! I can still see it vividly in my mind. We were living in Harrison, Arkansas on a little street called North Pine. I'm sure it never occurred to me to be a princess or fairy like the little girls dream of nowadays. I guess my parents just thought it would be a cute costume using things we already had around the house. Years later, my mom would sew my costumes.
I'll be sure to take some pictures tomorrow night....
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
So, here we go. Brrrrrrrrrrrrr--gotta love it!!!