Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Grandma Marci's 100th Birthday!

On Sunday, Grandma Marci celebrated her approaching 100th birthday with some close friends. Today, on her actual birthday, we celebrated together as a family. My Grandma does pretty well for being 100 years old. She lives alone in her apartment in Omaha with the help of a couple of staff and my Mom, she keeps up with the latest style trends especially if it means leopard prints, she has turned into quite the finicky eater eating mostly healthy things (walnuts and blueberries top her favorites chart), and she still cruises pretty well with a walker. I'm impressed. Her hearing is not very good. She can really no longer hear my voice (really, my voice is the first that people that have hearing problems can not hear. I must have a high pitched voice of something). It does make visiting with her difficult.

Imagine being 100 years old? Look at all that she has seen? The telephone was connected via an operator during her time and now she has a cell phone. The TV was invented during her time and now there are smart HDTVs. The radio, internet, computers, APPLE!!, cars look totally different (she gave her car to my Dad 2 years ago when she turned 98. She drove a Cadillac). Imagine how prices have changed? My Grandma was born right after the Titanic sank! Woodrow Wilson was President shortly after she was born. She lived through WW1, WW2 and the Great US Depression. She was alive when Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean.

In 1912 bread cost 5 or 6 cents!! In the 1920's, one could buy a house for $2000-$3000. Wow! We pay that a month in our mortgage! Average salary during 1910-1919 was $750 a year. Crazy!

My Grandma was a hair dresser before she retired. I do not remember her doing hair professionally, but I do recall Grandma giving my Mom perms many times. My Grandma lived in Shelby, Iowa before moving to Omaha and living in a home in Happy Hollow. We loved going to visit her as she lived close to the playground. Grandma, to be perfectly honest, never really liked kids when we were young. As she has gotten older, she now wants us to visit.

To celebrate her big 100th birthday today, we went to Charleston's Restuarant in Omaha. It was fabulous! They treated us with a big ice cream brownie sundae for dessert to help us ring in her 100 years. It was a fabulous dessert. The food and atmosphere were awesome, too. Grandma appeared to have a nice time, even commenting to our waiter that he was a fine looking young man (Never too old to spot the hot looking men, right?!).

Her key to longevity? I'm not sure, really. I guess she drank a lot in her day, partied hard (funny for me to imagine this). So, is that it?! Now she eats really healthy and has for a number of years. She loves regular Coke, too. In her free time, she watches and trades on the stock market, although she has slowed at this in the last few years.

I hope my Grandma had a great 100th birthday. I know how lucky I am to have her in my life for so long. I can not take the time we have with her for granted.

Happy 100th Grandma! She looks amazing!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Shades, Reviewed

I have now read the Shades of Grey Trilogy. To be perfectly honest, I like to read autobiographies. After going into work one night and hearing all the girls go on and on and on about this series, I had to see what all the hype was about. Seriously, I was reading the Steve Jobs autobiography and God's Little Devotional Book for Moms prior to Chris buying me the Shades trilogy for my iPad. The Jobs book is so boring I could not get into it. Gees, for a brilliant Man, I am bored. YAWN! So anyway...getting back to Mr. Grey.

Okay, here it is.

The book is intense, erotic, drama filled, immature, sexually explicit, not entirely well written (really, the girl is not a writer), but it kept my attention to the point where I could not put them down! Honestly, I have never watched porn or read anything that I thought was remotely close to it (see what I was reading above!), but this is what I would find to be literary porn. Seriously. Okay, maybe for boring people like me. People who get into that sort of thing probably would be bored. Who knows?!

Funny, since I have read it, it seems everyone I have talked to either has read the series, is in the middle of reading the series, or is really considering reading it. So, I guess I would have read it sooner or later just to see what all the hype was about.

In the end, I want an Audi, and any Audi would do (I would even take Chris' old TT again! :) ). I loved the attention Christian gave Anna, okay the good attention. I also loved how much his family loved her, but I could not relate. But, it is just simply not reality on so many levels. I guess it was a good escape from my reality where my husband is gone 50% of the time and the other 50% of the time he is here but not in spirit only. So...I guess I had a 2 week vacation during my reading time from reality. For that, I did not waste my time. It gave me something to look forward to, as any good book does. I look forward to the evenings when I have a good book to read and dread them when all I have to do is to put away laundry and sit alone watching nothing on TV.

So, would I recommend the series? Definitely.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Our Old House

I am so behind on blogging...sorry! Life is going at a faster pace than I am.

Last week we met our new friends Courtney, McCartney and Anna over at the splash pad in our old neighborhood. It was my idea since they live in Fremont, it was closer to her than the drive to Papillion (which is on a whole other planet). As we approached our old neighborhood, I began to get a lump in my throat. I wanted to drive by our old house, but I did not want to, ya know? Of course, I did.

Here it is...
From a distance

The tree in the front yard is HUGE and really blocks the house! All the trees our huge, really. A storm took out one of the 4 craps along the street, and one of the crab trees stands at an angle now. Overall, the house looks like it is being taken care of from the exterior. Really, we had just painted and had the yard completely landscaped...the new owners just have to maintain that what we did.

from the back.

Funny, it looks the same with bigger trees. I feel like a piece of me still lives in that house. That was our first home together, where we brought 3 babies home to, and where we started our lives together as a couple. If it had not been for our mean neighbors, we may still be there, who knows. With that said, I like our new neighborhood, nice neighbors (if you do not read the neighborhood facebook page), the size of our new garage, and we love the kids' school. So, all things considered, we are happy here.

The splash pad had changed, too, and was not too busy while we were there. We caught up we Courtney and her kids and also got to see my friend Jill and her kids (so miss you Jill!). It was a fun trip to the other world. But, I think I will stay away from the old neighborhood from now on. We have moved on, and there is no going back.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Friends Forever

I have had two close girl friends, forever. Yesterday, one of those friends came to visit us bringing her kiddos.

I have known Heather since I was 3 or 4 year old in Sunday School. We grew up together, playing together on and off, becoming closer friends in high school. I have done so much with her. She was in our wedding and I was in hers. Crazy! Who would have thought when we were chasing our boyfriends around in high school that some day we would be married (and not to those boys!), have kids, and our kids would play together. :)

They arrived in the morning and the kids got reacquainted. Heather works full time, so it is really difficult for us to catch up. She also lives on the complete opposite side of the area (I live on the WAY south end of 72nd Street and she lives on the WAY NORTH end of 72nd Street. She also has 3 small kids of her own and one step son who is a teenager. She is crazy busy!

It was fun to see them after so long. We had a picnic lunch outside before the kids got into our little pool to play. They played outside, moving inside, upstairs, downstairs, everywhere. They played the Wii (something my kids NEVER do), dancing a little in the cooler basement. More swimming to follow, dinner, and then more swimming. At 7, they had to packed up for home.

It was so fun to catch up with Heather. We chat on the phone, but seeing her is so much better. It is always like we never parted. We have shared so much over the having our kids play is so fun. We can't wait to see them again!

Crazy Sleepover Party Gone Wrong

While Daddy is out of town (yes, yet again), I decided to allow, against my better judgement, each of the kids to invite a friend for a sleepover on Monday night (thinking they would be able to catch up on sleep before Daddy's return). Alivia's friend was out of town, so she invited her BFF Zoe. So, Asher invited Zoe's brother Cameron (who is about 10 days older than Asher and has successfully stayed the night previously) and Addison invited her friend Kaitlyn.

It was nuts!

We picked up Kaitlyn at 3:30. Kaitlyn is such a sweet little girl. Addison and Kaitlyn get along well, play quietly, and seem to not be bothered when other kids arrive. Soon - Zoe and Cameron arrived. It was just loud. Six kids in our open floor plan house (I hate open floor plans now) just does not work. The noise was everywhere!

I had things pretty scheduled out, which did help. They made their own pizzas for dinner, which is always fun. The got showered up, played and then it was movie time. I had to make 3 things of popcorn to satisfy this army of kiddos! Once teeth were brushed, stories were read, they were tucked in. First, Cameron wanted to go home. I guess his Daddy was leaving for business trip in the morning and he wanted to see him. So, Zoe and Alivia walked Cameron home. Shortly thereafter, I got a phone call, Zoe wanted to stay with her Daddy, too, but wanted Alivia to stay. Gees, they are leaving like flies!

So, our party ended up small, with just Kaitlyn, Addison and Asher. It was so quiet! Weird.

We will try again...some day. For now, we are all good.

making pizzas

Morning "walk" with Kaitlyn.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Addison's Puppy Birthday Party

Yesterday Addison celebrated turning 6 with 3 of her closest friends along with Alivia and Asher. Yes, it was a small party. But, Addison likes to keep things intimate I guess.

The party started at 1pm. We started in the dining room where the kids did a build a dog activity. I wanted something much like the Build a Bear parties, but with dogs (since Addison is so in love with everything dog). I found the perfect little dogs to make from the Pink Moose Filling Station. Each kiddo made their own puppy, stuffing it, kissing the wishing star and placing it inside, and then zipping it shut. It was super cute and fun! Each dog came with 2 stars, so the girls wrote their name on one of the stars and gave it to Addison to put inside her Puppy so she will know everyone who was at her party. The dogs each came with their own birth certificates, making it even more fun. Each girl named their puppy, and I placed the name on the dog's tag, too, so the kids knew which one was theirs. I would definitely recommend building an animal at a party. It took 20-25 minutes to the kids to do, with help from Chris and I (definitely need an extra hand, too).

Next we moved outside for a bone hunt. I had 2 bones per child with their name. They ran around looking for them. It was so hot, I probably should have done this inside. The winner got a bag of bones (Scooby snack graham bones). They all had Scooby snacks in their goody bags and to eat during the party anyway.

Next up...the Puppy Pinata. I had filled it with candy Addison liked such as Starbursts, Milky Way, Kit Kat, Peanut Butter M&Ms, etc. Needless to say, this candy could not be outside long since it was probably 95 or hotter outside. Chris hung up the Pinata by our dog tie out cable from the swing set. Chris spun the the girls in a circle, quickly getting out of the way, before allowing them one swing. By the time the girls had their second try, the puppy had lost its head. Chris hooked up the headless puppy and let the girls swing again. This time it broke open...and Chris dumped the candy around. Yummy!

Once inside, they had a couple pieces of candy and juice, then Addison opened presents. She got a neat little zhu zhu puppies vet playset and puppies that was super cute. From another friend she got a ring, and from her other friend she got a Initial A purse from Justice filled with cute little girl stuff (Addison loves purses too!). Alivia gave her a stuffed puppy (big surprise) and Asher gave her a Magic 8 ball that was a big hit.

Addison was now ready for cupcakes! We served puppy cupcakes, puppy chow (also known as Muddy Buddies), Scooby Snack bones and juice in a puppy cup they all got to keep. As I find typical at kids birthday parties, the kids did not eat much. I come to expect that now.
Puppy Cupcake: Chocolate cupcake, chocolate frosting, nutter butter ears (PB removed), marshmallow eyes, chocolate frost eye balls, mini vanilla wafer for the nose, decorator chocolate frosting for details, M&M nose.

The decorated table. I purchased most of the things from Birthday in a Box (and I would recommend!).

After eating, Addison and her friend Kate played with the zhu zhu pets while the other kids played with the magic 8 ball. It was funny to hear the questions asked to the 8 ball (One was, "Why did Addison only ask 3 friends to her party?!" Others were, "Will I get BLANK for a teacher next year?" "Will I EVER get a puppy of my own?" LOL.

My lack of art skills making BIG dog prints leading up to the house.

Addi's big dog, outside and waiting for guests to arrive. Inside, I also made signs: Wipe your Paws, No cats allowed, Beware of Dogs, etc.

 The goody bags (not pictured) contained a bag of puppy chow, a little puppy, Scooby snacks, puppy bubbles, puppy stickers, and a bone straw. The girls also brought home candy from the pinata, a cupcake for their sibling(s), and the dog they had made.

It was a fun party! This is Addison's second puppy party, so I had to get more creative this year. Next year I will try really hard to convince her to do something else! I believe everyone had fun, and that is what is important.

Having a dog party?
I purchased my supplies from Birthday in a box. I loved that I could order, see how much I was spending, and it arrived in a box without ever having to leave my house. I opened the box, decorated and was done. So nice! The goody bag items were in the box, too, for the most part. The Build a dog idea was fun and an easy party idea. Alivia wants to do a cat next year (we will see about that). So, I may be doing it again.

Again, Happy 6th Birthday, Addison. We sure are off to a fun start!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

365 Project IN PERSON

Yesterday I finally met a member of the 365 project that I have been doing for a year and a half now (Far too long actually!). I have followed Courtney, her photos and her blog for a year now, finally meeting her. Someone in the same state!

We met at the zoo on Friday morning. I felt like I already knew Courtney! The kids were a little slow to warm up, well, at least the younger ones. I saw Alivia talking with McCartney pretty quickly (he is 7). Addison and Asher refused to let go of my hand most of the time, clinging to me like Saran Wrap. We walked through the jungle and butterflies before stopping for a picnic lunch.

After lunch, Alivia and McCartney continued to warm up to one another while Addi and Asher let go of my hand more. We walked through the packed aquarium, visited the giraffes, walked to the sea lions, played at the playground, before ending up at the dino dig. It was flaming hot!

We decided to call it a day. It was fun to finally meet up with Courtney and meet her kids. We will hopefully be seeing them again, as Alivia can not stop talking about how sweet McCartney is, and "When can we see him again?" She ran into the house to tell Chris that she met a new friend, a boy!

Until next time...

Crowded enough?

Introducing...Courtney (and the once in a blue moon time I am in a picture).

New friends