Sunday, December 13, 2009

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

I really miss having a Christmas tree, and having the whole house decorated for the season. When I was younger, I didn't even realize it, but I'd get so excited decorating the tree, and helping decorate the house. Nathan has never really cared much for decorations, so we have never had any. Now that we have Raia, we both think it will be neat to decorate the house with her, and have fun decorating the tree, etc.

I was bound and determined to get the little table top Christmas tree my Mom got for me last year up and decorated again this year, along with one of our nativity sets. We recently got a nice little entertainment center from my friend Rita, and I thought that would be the perfect place for both! Some might think it would be a little cluttered for all of that, but I have a dog who eats anything!! I have to have it high enough that he can't reach! (Just the other day he jumped up on the counter and snagged my oven mitt, and proceeded to eat the entire lining, leaving me only the outer green sheath :( Um, Gibson, I can't get food out of the oven with that, buddy! Good thing he's cute!)


So anyway, I started with the tabletop tree :) I don't have many ornaments for it; it doesn't really need many. Nathan's mom got Raia a set of 4 Winnie the Pooh ornaments, and I have several others from her first year on there as well. I *tried* to let her hang her first ornament, but she wanted nothing to do with that, LOL! Here is the finished product!


Onto the nativity set! We have two nativity sets now, and both are so cute, I will either have to display them in different parts of the house each year, or, alternate. This was a gift from my sweet sister-in-law, Suzanna a year or two ago. Family and friends reading this ~ you all know that Nathan is very much a cat person, so I think this nativity set was more for him than for me, hahaha, but I just LOVE it!!!



Here is my favorite one:



Aren't they cute?? I think Gibson wants to eat them. LOL!

You know how all this time i have been griping about our camera? Well, Nathan and I decided to get a new one for our birthdays to each other...to share. It is a Canon Power Shot A1100 IS, and so far so good :)

One last thing before I go, I am thinking of starting a new blog just for my cakes. I have all of my cake pictures on facebook right now, and I'd like to keep that just for friends and family. I don't want to add potential customers just so they can peruse my cake album. I have done that twice already, and WOW, some people are just wacko! Glad there is a "Delete this person" button LOL! Anyway, to avoid all of that, I'd like to start a new blog just for my cakes. I am stuck on a blog name, though. Please help me think of a name!! Here is my latest cake, I just finished it tonight!


Kinda makes me want to play Twister LOL! That is NOT what I intended, though, oops! Hope no one else sees that! It is for a baby shower :)

Ok, thanks for checking in!

xoxox~

Friday, December 4, 2009

SNOW!!!

This doesn't happen very often here! We got snow this week! I had to work that day, and Raia was with me, so she only got to play in it for a few minutes. It was so busy (and chaotic!) at work! I can't believe people were actually coming out in that mess.

Raia was so excited to go out, she bolted out the door before I could flip her hood up!


Finally got her to slow down long enough to put her hood up!


This is the "back yard" at work, about an hour after Raia came in from playing in the snow. I took this right before we came home.


I HATE driving in bad weather.


When we got home, I went to check the mail. I saw something red out of the corner of my eye amidst all the white in the neighborhood (I might add here that our yard was the only yard with minimal snow because we have so many trees!! Raia will be disappointed in years to come if we ever have snow again.) Anyway, here is what caught my eye...

One lonely rose on our brambly rose bush.

I had to take Raia in for her nap, she was exhausted. **By the way, I have figured out our sleep problems (YAY!!!) She used to like the TV to be on for background noise, but when I was getting so frustrated, one night I finally just turned it off, and I had her asleep within 10 minutes. Yeah, that's right, you read that correctly....10 minutes. Talk about a lightbulb moment! So now, there is no TV or radio on at bedtime, and she usually falls right to sleep within 10-15 minutes. This goes for nap time, too.** Okay, back to snow day. Took Raia in for nap, got her down, and I thought I should take Gibson out and let him check out the snow.

I think he is pretty well camouflaged here, don't ya think? He was trying to determine if snow was friend or foe....still undetermined.


I am so over all this cold weather. If anyone wants to send me a plane ticket to a warm sandy beach, that would be just fine with me. Once the temperature drops below 70, I just stay cold, brrrrrr!

Onto the Christmas surprise I promised :)















My sweet friend Jeni, of Jeni Hendricks Photography took these for us. She has always been so good to us. We will be forever customers of hers! I am truly blessed to have her as a friend, also. If you are in our area, you should book a session with her. She is a great woman, mom, friend, and last but not least, photographer!



Ok, I think that's about all I've got for tonight's edition. I do want to add that Nathan and I are doing much better. So thank you to those that have had us in your thoughts and prayers! Things are looking up, and we are looking forward to having a nice vacation at the end of this month with my family!!

xoxox~

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Busy Month

I have a busy month ahead of me. The last Sunday of November I made this cake for Raia's little friend Jayden, he just turned two:




My friend's little girl is turning six tomorrow, and loves High School Musical! Here's what I came up with:




This weekend I have 24 cupcakes to do. Next weekend I am doing a pretty big order for 60 people for a baby shower. The next week I have two friends' birthdays! And somewhere in this crazy month Nathan and I have to age another year, too! And let's not forget Christmas! Are you tired yet?? I am.... I also realize that I am truly blessed for this talent, and this business that is heading my way! Lord knows I need it!

Sorry for the short post tonight, it is all I have time for. More to come this week! Promise! (And psssst....it's a Christmas surprise!)

xoxox~

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!



I'd have to agree...."WOOF!" Haha! I know it is a few days early, but I probably won't get a post up before Thursday.

This past weekend, my beautiful, intelligent, sweet sister-in-law got married to a wonderful man! It was such a lovely wedding, and I cried as she walked down the aisle, and again as my other sister-in-law gave a toast to the bride and groom. WOW...I am getting choked up yet again, it was that powerful! Anyway, it was just beautiful and I am so very happy for them...


Nathan was an usher and was all dressed up, I hardly recognized him, LOL!

(Sorry for the not-so-good cell phone pictures. Maybe someone will send me better ones.)

In other news, Raia is having sleep issues. It is taking me almost 2 hours (or more) to get her to go to sleep at night. Sometimes we start at 9pm, and most times I don't have her down until midnight. And her naps? Well...they are just a struggle. A normal day we wake up between 8 and 9am, depending on when we went to bed the night before, and if I have to go to work. Her nap usually falls around 2,3, or 4pm, and can last anywhere from 30 minutes to 3 hrs (if she falls asleep at 4pm, there's no way I'd let her sleep for 3 hrs. - that is a very RARE thing). So please keep her in your prayers that she gets this worked out, I am getting very frustrated. I am absolutely convinced that her sleep problems stem from her still being in the room with us at night. For some reason, Nathan doesn't want to finish her room so that we can move her over there and let her be the Little Miss Independent that she wants to be. He isn't known for being very quick about doing things, so maybe by the time she goes to college....

Remember my posts about losing weight to raise money for SMA research? Well...I lost 12 pounds!!! I feel great, but honestly, I think it had more to do with the Topamax I am taking for the headaches than anything else, but I did exercise and eat better, and portion control was a big thing too. I was going for 15-20 lbs, but I will take 12!!! I had 6 sponsors (thank you ALL!!!) and raised $150 total, isn't that awesome?! My friend Devon lost 10 pounds, and she did great!!! With all this hard work, one day SMA and SMARD will be a thing of the past!!! Speaking of which - if you have NOT signed the petition online, please go there NOW and sign it, it takes 30 seconds of your time. The Petition to Cure SMA will help pass legislation to end the #1 genetic killer of infants and young children. You do not have to be 18 to sign this petition, ANYONE can sign it, so it is important that everyone in your household sign...each signature is important!! PLEASE take that 30 seconds to go sign! If you can't click on the blue link above, Google 'Petition to Cure SMA', or click on any of the Gwendolyn buttons I have on the right hand side of my blog.

One last prayer request for tonight. Baby Jonah needs prayers. Although he has been eating much better the past few days, he will probably still need a G-tube. Jonah has EB (Epidermolysis Bullosa) which creates painful blisters with the slightest friction on his fragile skin. He is 9 months old. I do not "know" Jonah, but through this wonderful blog world, I have gotten to know him and his wonderful family. I have a "Pray for Jonah" button on the right hand side of this page as well, you have probably seen it a million times....just click on it and go visit his blog and read about him, maybe leave a word of encouragement for his sweet Mommy and Daddy. I have had them on my mind a lot this week, hoping things get better.


Ok, that's all I've got for tonight, thanks for checking in!

xoxox~

P.S.
Raia has had to have a "kee-toe" every night before bed for the past, oh, I don't know....3 weeks? "Cream on her toe", WITH a bandaid! And it is always the big toe on her right foot. Gotta love this child of mine!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Headaches

I don't have much to update. I have been MIA for a few weeks because I haven't felt much like being on the computer. Weekend before last I got the worst headache, and by day two when I was practically in tears and felt like my eyes were melting in their sockets, I finally asked Nathan to take me into the ER. The Dr. gave me a shot and sent me home, but the medicine in the shot made me pretty sick the next day, blah :( So I called my neurologist. I have seen him already twice this week. He increased the dosage on my Topamax from 50 mg to 75 mg, and gave me a nasal spray called Stadol to try for severe headache. Since my headache has still never completely gone away, I tried the Stadol. UGH! Bad mistake!! He told me it would knock me out, make me sleepy, but I was awake for hours!!! Felt like I'd drank coffee and taken drugs at the same time! So I called his office again and they made me come back in - another co-pay, dangit! He ended up putting me on another medicine that is working much better, so far anyway. It's call Fiorinol. I am not so sure the Topamax is working so great, but I am still on a very low dose. The side effects are killing me! The maximum dose of Topamax is 400 mg, and I am only at 75 right now. I am experiencing numbness in my fingers/hands, toes/feet, I forget words or letters while talking/typing, and I am losing weight (that could be a good thing though!), among other various things. We will see what happens over the next couple of months, I guess. I am just thankful I have insurance.
I will try to take some pictures this week of a cute little girl I know, and I might even try to get them posted. I am working a lot of extra hours this month, trying to save up for vacation, so please forgive me if I am not as frequent with my posts this month as I usually am. Also, Nathan's sister is getting married this weekend, and we are all *planning* to be there. How was that for a random paragraph?! Blame it on the Topamax! Haha!
Ok, I am off to rest my weary head(ache). Thanks for checking in!

xoxox~

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Videos

The first video is of Raia doing her forward roll. This is something she taught herself! She had already done it a few times today, but while we were putting clean sheets on the bed and then making the bed up, she decided to show off and use that as her gymnastics mat / floor. I'm telling you, this child will have me gray before I am 35. She was attempting to do these off the edge of the bed today, and when I screeched "NOOOOOOOOOO!!!" I thought I had broken her little heart into a million pieces :( I just want her to do it safely!

video



The second video I'll post is the one where she is singing her ABC's! Now don't get too excited, she can do it much better that this, and all the way through. I don't know why she was only doing part of it, I'm guessing she was just camera shy, the little stinker!

video


Thanks for checking in :) I'd post a little more tonight, but just posting those two videos took more than two and a half hours to upload, and I am TIRED.

I will share this with you though - I went grocery shopping again today, spent $52 and got all this:

I already threw the receipt away, but I know I saved more than $60. I have no idea how many items it is either, I wish I had saved the receipt, oh wel! I'm sure just by looking you can tell that all that for $52 is pretty darn good :) *You can click on the picture to enlarge it to see everything I got!

Ok, off to dreamland! Hope you enjoyed the videos!

xoxox~

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween '09

This was Raia's first year to go Trick or Treating! She wasn't nearly as excited as I was, and never really "got it", but we all had a pretty good time anyway.

The day started out like any other day, Raia and I had breakfast in bed (always LOL). Nathan was still in Denver, and due to arrive home by 4pm, so the rest of my day was spent doing laundry, cleaning the house, doing dishes, and last but NOT least, giving the costume a final trial run.

Aaaaand, her model pose:

I couldn't decide if she looked like Tinkerbell or an angel. So we went with Tinkerbangel :)

Nathan made it home a little early. He took Raia out in the stroller for a walk to try to get her to take a nap before our big night, but it just wasn't happening. At around 6pm, Raia and I headed over to a friend's house. A couple of us ladies from the resale shop where I work got together to let our kiddos go trick or treating. After all the pictures, we only got to go to about 5 or 6 houses.

Here's the gang:


Before we got started:


This was one of their first houses:


Raia's boyfriend (haha!) Jayden - cutest little turtle ever!


My friend Brandi's little girl, Jordi and Raia. Jordi is about the sweetest, most mature 10 year old you'd ever meet. Always so helpful, very respectful, I hope I can teach Raia to be as respectable as Jordi is. Love you, girl!




I had to leave at 7 to take Raia to Nathan's parents' house. We swung by the house and picked Nathan up, and headed over to the in-laws. Once we were inside, Raia didn't want to leave! There is too much fun stuff to do at Grandma's house! Add in a cranky baby who has had no nap, and yeah, she didn't want any part of more trick or treating. I really wanted to take her to a few more houses, just because Nathan missed out on our first round. I really wanted him to see how cute and bewildered she was when these people were dropping candy in her bucket! We did finally manage to get her out the door and down the street for more trick or treating, and once we were there she was fine and had fun! Maybe once Nathan's mom gets a chance, she can email me some of those pics and I will post them.

After her evening of trick or treating, she crashed at around 8:15pm. That is unheard of for this child; I am usually up until around midnight with her, at least since I have weaned her. So I thought I was in the clear! Get a bite to eat, check a few emails, play around on facebook....oh wait, who is that stirring? None other than Raia, at 10pm. We were up until midnight. So I guess she got her nap afterall, it was just a very late nap.

This morning we woke up refreshed. Thank goodness she doesn't know what candy is yet, or else she'd have wanted that for breakfast! Instead, we, (did ya catch that?....WE) yes, she and I made muffins, or as she calls them, "muppins".



She is becoming quite the little helper in the kitchen! A few weeks ago when we were doing one of the bake sales, she was helping me make some of the Amish Friendship Breads. She never forgot how much fun we had, and every chance I get, I try to let her help me, even if it is just to stir something. She loves it! Her grandma bought a cute little apron that says "Queen of the Kitchen in training". So cute!

Still a little big, yet, but I think we can make it work :)

Well, that's it for today's update. I DID happen to get her on video singing part of her ABC's, but I will have to post it at another time. It take 14 years to upload video, and I've got a cranky 2 year old to deal with! I think Nathan is ready to clock out!

xoxox~

Friday, October 30, 2009

Nathan has been sending me some great pictures from his cell phone. Not great quality pictures, but the scenery looks amazing.



I don't know if you can tell, but those are big horn sheep. We don't get those just scampering across the road in these parts....




This is my favorite pic so far ^ ^ ^ ^



As pretty as it is, I don't think I could ever live somewhere that cold. I'm freezing when its 70 degrees or when the air conditioner or fan blows directly on me.



Even a note to Noggie!

He seems to enjoy being in the cold weather, it doesn't bother him. As long as he doesn't bring it home with him just yet!!! Can I hang on to summer/fall just a little longer, please??

Other News :)


I got these beautiful earrings from my blogger friend Devon over at The Daily Dakin. I joined "weight loss forces" with her in an effort to raise money to Pound Out SMA. I have lost 7 lbs so far (and seem to be stuck), and every pound I lose earns money toward finding a cure for SMA. Her precious little guy, Dakin, is about to be 2! He is a Halloween baby!! You should go read about him, and wish him a Happy Birthday while you're there!

I have been doing the Grocery Game for several months now. I've posted about it before HERE. This week I did pretty well at Kroger.

That is 42 items. I spent $50.13. My coupons and discounts saved me $45.62, a 47% saving! I did even better at Randall's but didn't take a pic. I got 23 items, and spent $16.51. Coupons and discounts were $22.20, a 58% savings. So altogether, I spent $66.64 on 65 items; that's just a little over one dollar per item, tax and all :)

Now, I know that grocery shopping may not be exciting to everyone - I used to hate it. But now it is like I am playing a game, trying to see just how much money I can save, and usually I walk out feeling like I ripped them off LOL! It does take a little work, you have to look on line on the day you are going shopping and clip the coupons it tells you to clip. My biggest problem with it right now is trying to keep my binder organized; I need a better binder.

In the theme here of saving money, if you are reading this blog, leave a comment and let me know one thing you do to save money. Here are some of mine:
~One thing I do to save money is cleaning with vinegar. It is so cheap, and you can pretty much clean anything with it, and it is perfectly safe around children and pets.
~We also water down our hand and dish soaps, about 50/50. This makes it last twice as long, and works just as well.
~I don't buy the Swiffer cloths, I just use wash cloths instead. This way, I can use whatever cleaner I'd like on my floors (vinegar), and I can wash and reuse the cloth.

Thanks for checking in!

xoxox~

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Lots of pictures

It has been a long time since I have updated. Not a whole lot is going on here, but I do have lots of pictures to share.
This past weekend we had two birthday parties to go to, and Raia had a blast at both of them. They both had the bouncy houses for the kids to play in and Raia just loved it!







Here is the cake I made for one of those parties; it was a two year old princess party :)




Here are some other pictures of Raia taken at the park. Nathan was so nice to take her for the day and let me work on the cakes I needed to do (like I said above, we had 2 birthday parties, but actually had 3 birthdays to celebrate).








Can you tell that someone likes to slide? She is becoming a master! And so independent, my word....she is growing up too fast.


On Saturday we went to a local pumpkin patch. I thought it would be a neat thing to do for Raia. Actually Nathan had mentioned it a few weeks ago, but it finally worked out for us to go Saturday.










Raia was really enjoying all the pumpkins; she loved touching each one, and picking up the small ones to "share" with us. They had a cute little bench for photo ops, as I'm sure you saw. Anyway, Nathan selected a nice sized pumpkin for us, and it was time to head home. Raia screamed and and kicked her legs, I had to almost drag her to the van, poor baby. I know, we are horrible. She'd have stayed there all night if we'd have let her.
Nathan worked hard carving the pumpkin, and did a great job. I don't think Raia really knows what to think of it; she keeps trying to blow the candle out, haha!





A few weeks ago I bought three of the tiny little pumpkins at WalMart, one to represent each of us. I drew faces on all of them, and the mommy one is the only one that really looks horrible, I couldn't think of anything distinctive about myself to draw onto a pumpkin face. Oh well...I guess black lopsided lips will have to do! Raia totes these things around all over, and calls them her "baby punkins".



I'm pretty sure Raia is going to be Tinkerbell for Halloween, unless its too cold and I can't find anything to go underneath her costume.



That is a handmade costume made by my friend Kim's mom. She made it for Kim's daughter Madison (Raia's best friend) last year for Halloween.

Here are a few more random pictures.






And here she is lovin' on Jayden (isn't he precious?!). I work with his Mommy at the resale shop - that's where this pic was taken. We are so lucky to be able to take our kids to work with us!



I think that's all the pictures I have for right now. I realized the other day, as I was looking through the 359 photos on my phone, that I really needed to delete some of the pictures and email some of them to myself to post here. So, sorry if all this cuteness has overloaded your computer. You know you were missing it though, since it had been so long since I last updated and all...

Raia is talking so well now. About a week or so ago I heard her singing, and realized it was the alphabet! Granted, its not perfect, but geez, the ALPHABET?! I will try my hardest to get that on video, but this little stinker stops doing anything cute the second the little red light comes on....bummer.

The other day I made waffles for breakfast, and when I came in to sit down, Raia said to me with the sweetest look (while patting the seat next to her), "Mommy, sit. Wapples!" I've told that story to everyone I know because it is just so cute, and now she says it all the time LOL! Silly goose!

Last night I was getting pretty cold, and asked Raia if she was cold, and she promptly said to me, "Git unner da cubbers, Mommy!" Hahahaha!


On another note, Nathan is out of town again this week. He says this will be the last time he has to go out of town. He is actually in Denver, Colorado.
He sent me some really pretty pictures today, but I haven't uploaded those yet.




He and I are still going to counseling, and if you've got a minute and a spare prayer, I would really appreciate it. We could really use it.

I think that's all I've got for now. It is almost 1 am, so I better get to bed! Thanks for checking in! And again, I welcome any and all questions or comments, any topic suggestions for my blog would be great, too :)


xoxox~