31 December 2008

I am resolute

As a child I heard the statement "Can't never tried" more than I ever wanted to. It was a response from my mother when one of us said something was too hard, or that we couldn't do something difficult.

In church we have a scripture that says "The natural man is an enemy to God". For the longest time the hippie chick in me said, what??? What is wrong with being natural. Finally I got it. There is nothing wrong with embracing nature, or going green or however you want to phrase it. A natural man is (as I interpret it) one who falls back on the excuse of "being born that way" and not being able to overcome difficult traits or habits we currently bear as humans.

I have resolved, this year, to embrace my mother's voice and attempt to put off my natural self. For too long I have wallowed in behavior unbecoming of me. I am more overweight than I want to be. I am less task oriented than I'd like to be. And, I'd like to be able to be more fun.

I can do it. I can be in better shape. I can combine work and life in general. It does not have to be all or none. I can extend myself and become a better self. A less natural self, a more refined self. I'm going to like this paradigm shift.

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30 December 2008

Stocking Swap 2008

Okay, so I lied. I didn't get to the pictures until this morning. We had a family party meet-up with family members yesterday in Vegas.(not my favorite place at all, but it was in the middle) We had a great lunch and a fun little party, gifts were exchanged and tears were shed. But on to the stocking swap!

christmas stocking

This little swap was so fun! I knew it would turn out great, because hey - mom's are professional stocking stuffers! My stocking was stuffed by Cindy of at The Babbling Brooks. WOw what a stuffer! She had me pegged very well and I got all sorts of neat, stuff!

The picture shows my stocking - my red and white reindeer - and all the stuff! Not in any particular order I found all these things inside: Protector sheets for the viewing window of a camera, a lens cleaning brush that is so cool because it has a brush end and then a spray end filled with cleaning solution - it also came with a nice lens cloth, suncreen (banana boat), hand lotion, a cool bookmark with a bird on it, a compact mirror with a little brush - which is the coolest thing ever! Some m&ms, some bath and body gel, a cute set of highlighters that look like cats, a mini frame, the must have chapstick - isn't it everyone's stocking always?!, a small photo journal scrapbook that is personalized and some trident. Neat!

Cindy obviously took the time to go through my blog a bit and learn some of my obsessions. I think the only thing she left out was the airplane ride and free weeks stay in Montana!

Thank you Cindy. It was so fun to wake up to such a thoughtfully filled stocking! Thank you Tara for getting us all together to do this. I'm definitely in for next year too!

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28 December 2008

2008 Stocking Swap

I know many of you are wondering how the stocking swap went. FAB U LOUS!!!

Come back after 7 tonight and I'll have the full post. With pictures!

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25 December 2008

Merry Christmas!

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Remembering the real reason for stopping, and pausing today. May youfind Joy in this message too. Merry Christmas to all of you, my readers.

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21 December 2008

The stockings were hung... 2008 Stocking Swap

Tara, of The Well Rounded WOman put together the neatest thing for Christmas. I read about it and decided to join in the fun. The premise was that Moms usually stuff their own stockings at Christmas. On occasion, someone else will get the job done, but that is a rare thing indeed. Tara asked if we wanted to stuff someone else's stocking? And then someone would stuff yours.

That sounded like a good thing to do, so I signed up and waited for my swapper's name. I got Jane, frome What About Mom. If you haven't read her blog you should! I spent about three days stalking her and reading up so I could get her some neat stocking stuffers. I put together a few niceties and sent it off on it's way to her home.

Last night, I arrived home to this: A package just for me. I instructed the husband that the contents of this package would be put in my stocking on Christmas eve and I would have a full stocking on Christmas morning like everyone else!

His reply: "I already put stuff in your stocking". Bonus!!!!!

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18 December 2008

Work, it's why it's called work.

Work is kicking my behind! Who would have thought that taking a year off would have such an impact on my feet! Aaack, they are crying the blues of not standing 8 hours a day for the past year. Wowzers.
Break from work

I spent the last week in a seaside town at an outdoor mall. Fun. The people watching was the best. My feet killing me was the worst. The above picture is during a break.

Well, tis the season and all my packages are wrapped and under the tree. Well, not all some are still in the mail. I tried as I might to purchase all handmade items this year. However, the electronics portion of the purchases would have been hard to obtain if I stayed true to that hard and fast rule.

So instead I did give Amazon some of my money. A good deal of it was spent at Etsy though. So do you all want to know who I'm working for? I asked my trainer if it was okay, and she said as long as I wasn't divulging corporate secrets it would be okay.

Godiva. Yep. Godiva. A week ago I couldn't afford their chocolates and now, I'm selling them. They are very good. I especially like their dark dark chocolate. It is wonderful. So for the next few months I'll be sharing corporate secrets with y'all! Not really, but that should make them wonder! Work will take getting used to again, but maybe I'll have some fun along the way too. It can't always be work!

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10 December 2008

And so it begins...

I finally got all the paperwork cleared for the new job. I begin tomorrow. I will be training in a store on the coast!!!! How fun! They have reserved a room for me at a local hotel, given me a per diem quantity for food and told me to be there at 10:30 sharp.

Working is work. I'm not going to fool myself. It kind of gives me the willies to think I am going to be a slave to "the man" again. But then again "the man" is going to give me money. Yep, I get paid to be in a room full of superb chocolate everyday. Well, and the fact that I am going to be managing the place and people around me too. It should be a great place to work.

I'm not sure I'm ready to tell y'all exactly where I'm going to be working quite yet, as I have not seen the employee handbook and all. And before I get "Armstronged" I better make sure I can talk about where I work before I do.

It will make Christmas a bit more, what's the word, hmmm. complicated? That is about the best way to put it. I am not even sure how many days off I'll have between now and then, thank goodness I did the full court press and ordered just about everything I need for the celebration. If I still need to pick up a few things, I'll be working in a nice outdoor mall. So there should be plenty of opportunity to arrange a quick shopping excursion.

Here's to work! Here's to chocolate! Let the games begin!

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08 December 2008

American Girl

Friday, I got to go to the most wonderful place. It was at The Grove. You see Little Miss is looking forward to receiving a baby doll for Christmas. So Bri decided that the best place to go get a baby doll would be American Girl. There is a store at The Grove.Molly I blame it all on Molly.

In 1987 I had been working at a brokerage firm and passed the series 7 and became a stock broker. I was now making a decent amount of money and decided to splurge as Santa that year. I had stumbled upon this new little company that had the cutest dolls. They were wholesome and simple. They had cute stories that went with each doll. Each was from a different era. The stories were so compelling they were hard to resist! And Molly? Molly wore glasses. That was the clincher for me. As our Bri had to wear glasses.

My two younger daughters would get a doll. The oldest, well, she was too big for dolls, she would say (I should have bought her one anyway). So Molly and Kirsten joined our family. Kirsten

Wowzers! The store is just beautiful. I took a bunch of pictures (they don't mind) and could not believe how the line has expanded. What a wonderful store for little girls, and little girls at heart. The store is a plethora of pink! Everywhere you turn are shades of red, pink and white. Each doll has her own "room". The room is filled with the story of that doll. Each doll is from a different era in time, mostly divided by decades. They are portrayed as strong, wholesome girls who've endured trials in childhood. Kirsten moved to another continent. Molly was a girl during World War II.

YOu can now have a "Just Like You" doll made for your. There are 20 different characteristics that can be customized for a doll with dreams, hopes and aspirations, Just like You! I love where this company has taken the dolls. It is a good way for girls to play and learn. I applaud the American Girl company for its wholesome dolls.

The store was filled with little girls, their mothers, grandmothers, and the occasional dad. There are so many things to do in the store. You can read about the dolls. You can take you doll to the hair salon and have her hair fixed (what girl doesn't need some pampering now and then?) or you can get your photo taken with your doll int heir photo studio. There is a cafe where you can have lunch, a movie theatre to see one of the American Girl movies. There is a bookstore filled with stories of each of the historical characters. From history to contemporary, you can find a doll that meets the needs of a little girl you know.

I thought back in 1987, when I purchased our dolls, that they were very expensive. Woo, I had really splurged. Well yes I did. But these dolls have seen they're day and still look new. They were played with a lot! And yet, there in their boxes waiting for bigger girls to get them out and begin new play times they look almost new. I am sure they will be joined with others from the collection and will spend many years making believe with little girl dreams and hopes anew. It was worth every penny.

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05 December 2008

Fire Scrambles, fused glass and cover-ups

Just your average day here at the 1963 remodel. I have been fusing ornaments four at a time for this seasons ornament. The design is nice, I like it a lot. Most people have used the design for plates (have I already said that?, possibly.) But I like the ornament idea, it is heavy though. Definitely a lower branch ornament.

What has really taken my time though is the fire scramble.

I had a friend of s'mee's call me wanting some vinyl cuts for a Relief Society project. I did those, and she called and needed more. She also mentioned she had a Christmas project to do and coudl I help her with it. I always like to help, can you know, I'm a giver! (well and the fact that she's paying me doesn't hurt either - amazing how that works) She asked if I could cut a fire scramble. A what? The picture above is what she tells me is a fire scramble. It's cool. You can see the hook, the ladder, the horn, the axe, and of course the helmet. My nephew is a firefighter, and so it is neat to learn a bit of the lingo.

Wendy wanted them cut from vinyl that looked like frosted glass. I did them and they are really cool. Other than the fact that they are seriously difficult to see! Hmmm clear frosted vinyl against a white background, could that be hard to see? Yep! But I got them weeded (that's cutters talk for removing the unwanted vinyl in the picture) and sent off - none too soon - yesterday afternoon. S'mee caught wind of what I was doing so asked if I could do one for her, and since she's my sister I sent her one too. Hopefully, she'll take a picture of her finished project and we'll all get to see how it turns out! (ball definitely in s'mee's court!)

And, then, I decided that the four year old and I have to come to a meeting of the minds. She can watch cartoons in my office/scrapping/vinyl cutting all purpose room, if and it's a big if four a four year old, she doesn't get into things. Well remember she's only four. Curious and curiouser makes a four year old mind develop the forgetful bug. After too many hours of saying "you shouldn't be into that" I decided to make it easier for her to enjoy herself and not get into what grown-ups call trouble. First thing I did was make this: Pretty eh? Well, it was some left over fabric, and it goes so well with the chocolate colored walls who could resist? (yes I'm being cheeky!) But it now covers up the vinyl cutter. 1 temptation down! Then I put away my things, and will get them out when I need them. Put the scissors up high and cover the computer with a towel. I think we're making progress. Well, for a few days anyway.

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02 December 2008

House remodeling - 1963 architecture.

We have spent many hours thinking, pondering and wishing for the opportunity to remodel our current home. It is the only home on our street that is a two bedroom home. We took the opportunity a few years back to downsize from a four bedroom with few regrets. The added bonus of going from large home to smaller was the yard size. In our other home, we had very little yard. This house came with a large yard, so large that if we do decide to add a third bedroom, it will still leave lots of yard for outdoor fun.

We are seriously adding the room. But the fun part is the fact that there isn't a foundation. We have a crawl space under the house for plumbing repairs and other fun stuff. That's where we are hesitant to move forward with the remodel. However, Thanksgiving brought another reason to be thankful.

Yes. Another reason! Wednesday evening, well pretty much throughout the day we replaced the dishwasher. Yes, amongst the other things happening in the kitchen, Tuesday was the day we discovered the dead dishwasher. It had been installed by the former owner (who should never be allowed to purchase items from a do it yourself hardware store) without much knowledge of electrical or plumbing standards. This is a picture of how he chose to get electricity to the dishwasher!
Yeah. He just drilled a hole through the tile and fed the wires through to take up a plug on the counter side. Arrgh! In 1963 there wasn't a lot of things to plug in, coffeepot, mixer on occasion so you didn't need a lot of plugs. By taking this one out for the dishwasher, it has made using a food processor, a crockpot, an electric knife, an ice cream maker and many other appliances kind of difficult.

Sigh. But alas here is the newly installed dishwasher. I had wanted to wait to do the complete kitchen remodel (which will begin in January 2009) before installing a new dishwasher. We are relocating it to a different wall and taking out a bank of cabinets. But, for some reason the rest of the family didn't want to wait for a new dishwasher until then. It is a pretty basic model, but it does have the sanitize option. I like that option. As you can see, the stainless steel front is going to fun to keep finger mark free.

All in all, I am glad we did have the money available to just go out and buy a new dishwasher. Thankfulness abounds here!

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