Friday, December 31, 2010

Goodbye 2010, Hello 2011

I am ready to start 2011 in a more positive way than I started in 2010. Even though I don't feel well today, fighting another bought of a cough and body aches, I won't let it get me down. I am picking myself up and doing something on my last day of 2010 that counts. I don't have any major plans to ring in the New Year. I am going to spend a few hours tonight watching Abby & Jack. My hubby will probably be in his lazy boy chair snoring. I feel like the new year is going to bring more jobs to people who need them. And I hope and pray my business picks up so we can call back the ones we had to lay off. I am looking forward to improving my health and well being by eating more sensibly and making it to Curves at least 4 times per week. My hope for you is a Happy & Healthy 2011 and may God bless you in ways you never thought possible. Ring in the New Year in a safe way and enjoy!
Now, share your New Year's Eve plans.....

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Power is mine

I had no desire to start a weight loss challenge 3 days before the New Year. I was going to start hard and heavy on Jan. 1, along with millions of other people, but my bestest bloggy buddy, Nancy, invited me to do this challenge with her. I feel like this is just what I need to get in gear for a healthier new year. The Shrinking Jeans have this new Challenge going on starting today and ending Feb. 23. This Challenge is all about being Number One and the Power we have in ourselves. We will weigh in every Wednesday and report our loss or gain. Hopefully I can report all losses. We are suppose to take a before picture. I have a list of 10 goals I am setting for myself during this challenge.
1. continue going to Curves every day the doors are open.
2. sit-ups on the exercise ball before going to bed each night.
3. walking as much as possible during the day and less sitting around.
4. drinking more water during the day.
5. watching my portion sizes during meals.
6. eating more fruits and vegetables.
7. making smarter snack choices.
8. when eating out, pay attention to healthier selections.
9. tell myself every day that I am worth this and I deserve to be healthy and happy.
10. stay in touch with my fellow challengers and get encouraged and encourage them.

The Power is up to me. No One except myself can do this for me. I am worth it. I AM #1 and will do the best I can. Thank you Nancy for encouraging me to give this challenge a try. I really want to feel better and I know that eating right and exercising is the Key. Now, I am going to get this started and report back next Wednesday, with hopefully some good news. Anyone who reads this and wants to join Nancy and myself in this challenge, hop on board and join us.
Dec. 29, 2010 is my new starting date to a new and improved #1 Me. Cause I'm worth it!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

The story of the 2 Chairs

Once upon a time, this past Thanksgiving, the family was sitting around my dining room table after we ate with the newspaper sales adds spread all over like a table cloth. Son-in-law, Jeff, opened up the Big Lots store add and admired a "set" of walnut leather tub chairs. He got so excited and said he would really like to put them in his New Office, since he recently got a Big promotion and is trying to decorate his new office. Jeff is usually not a person to mention that he wants things and I knew this must be something very dear to his heart. My wheels starting spinning in my head of what he will be getting for Christmas from us. And the price was right.
Fast forward to 7am the day after Thanksgiving.....I went to Big Lots in search of the chairs. I spoke to the furniture guy letting him know that I wanted to buy the chairs but I could only fit one in my van and in order to use the $10 coupon that was in the paper, you had to use it only on the following Sunday. The guy said there were plenty of the chairs in the storage room and that would work. I told him I would be back, first thing on Sunday to buy the other chair. When I got home with the chair, I had this idea that we would wrap it up to look like a present and sit our small tree on top. We would wait until all the gifts were passed out and then tell Jeff that his gift was "under the tree". And have the second chair in another room.
So, I go to Big Lots to buy the second chair and there were NO walnut leather tub chairs to be found in that store. My heart sunk. The furniture guy looked in his computer to see if any other stores around had any. He even made a phone call. There were none to be had. He said he had no idea if they would be getting any more before or after Christmas. So, I didn't give up hope. I did a lot of praying and even stretched my hand towards Big Lots every time I passed it and prayed for another chair to appear. (I'm crazy like that). I figured if I couldn't find another chair, I could always return the one chair and get Jeff shirts and ties.
Fast forward to Thursday, Dec. 9....I was on my lunch hour and decided to run in another Big Lots near my work. I spoke to the "Angel" lady in the furniture department and told her my story and how I need to find another chair. She immediately started making phone calls to other Big Lot stores and looking in her computer found that 2 towns had them. The closest Big Lots that had another one was 56 miles away. She got the guy on the phone and told him of my desperation to find another chair. He said he had One and is only suppose to hold it for 24 hours but will hold it until the following Wednesday. Thank you Brian at the Oakbrook, IL., Big Lots! So, hubby and I decided to drive out there on Friday night after work to pick the chair up. We were about 20 miles down the road and I called Brian at Big Lots to let him know we were on our way. Well, Brian was not working that night and No one at the store could find the chair he put aside for me, after holding on the line for 15 min....So...I turned around and didn't go, that night. I did give the guy my phone number for Brian to call me. Well, the next night, I called to see if Brian was working and I was so happy when he answered my call. He knew who I was and said YES, come on out, the chair is there. I was never so happy.
We got there and paid and loaded up the chair. A big lesson was learned from this. Buy it when it's available. Sometimes a coupon is not worth it.
Fast forward Christmas Eve....After all the presents were handed out, I told Jeff I needed him to go get the gift that I left in the other room, which was the unwrapped chair. He went to get it and yelled "I can't believe this" he was so surprised and excited. He still didn't know he had another waiting wrapped under the tree. So he came back in the room where everyone was opening their gifts and I finally told him "your other present is under the tree"....he saw the size of the box and knew it was the other chair. I got lots of hugs from him afterwards and I felt like my prayers were answered.
And they all lived happily ever after......
The end

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Abigail's Gift

My grand-daughter, Abigail "Abby" is only 3 years old but has the maturity level of a much older gal. She made the FRONT page of our local newspaper. Please read to get the whole story....
My heart is swelled with pride at this story. We met her for dinner after her haircut and she said "Mimi do you like my new haircut"? I said "I LOVE it"! I told her she did a great deed and will make some one's Christmas oh so special. She kept touching her hair and flipping it back and was so happy about her new look. I rushed to the door this morning to look in the paper box outside to see the article and was so excited that she made the Front page. This made my Christmas so much more special. I am so proud of her!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Gram's salt & pepper shakers still live on

I have a few very special treasures that belonged to my mother-in-law. One of the dearest to my heart is this little set of salt & pepper shakers. I can remember when "Gram" was alive, she would set out this cute set right after Thanksgiving at the start of getting ready for Christmas. I always admired them and got all warm inside when I would see them. They are made of hard plastic and very durable. All 7 of her grand kids at some point would play with them at the table and she was OK with this, but I could hear her say "be careful with the pepper and don't get any in your eyes". I had to retire them at being used for salt & pepper because the bottom to Santa fell off, but I still display them every Christmas as if they were filled.
I was at a store yesterday and came across this set of salt & pepper shakers that gave me that warm feeling inside and reminded me of Gram. I had to buy them.
I hope my grand kids will want to pick them up and play with them at the table. I will tell them "don't get pepper in your eyes". I love holding on to my memories of one of the classiest, special ladies that I had the pleasure of knowing. She was not only my mother-in-law, she was a Best Friend. If I could only be half the grandmother that she was, I will be oh so happy. So, this Christmas dinner, Gram's salt & pepper shakers will be joined by the new set and we will start building new memories and share them with the old memories.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The wee little chairs

Once in a while I like going to the half price sale at our local Goodwill store. You never know what treasures you might find. Last year I found this adorable white round table with 2 chairs "For the size of a doll to sit in" and it was brand new, still in the box. Who would have known it would be the biggest hit at Mimi & Grampa's house? All the grand kids love to sit in the wee little chairs and have a tea party with their favorite bear, brother or sister. It amazes me how strong these little chairs are. They have been put through a lot of abuse. The table has a habit of tipping over and it is still holding up too.
I babysat for Jack last week and was looking to see where he ran off to and found him in the dining room playing tea party, sitting in the little chair. It reminds me of the story "Goldilocks and the Three Bears" when I see each one sit in the tiny chair. I hold my breath that it doesn't break down.
Abby & Jack stopped by a few nights ago and the first thing they wanted to do was have a tea party and sit in the wee little chairs.
I hope they hold up for my Great Grand kids....

Monday, December 6, 2010

My Christmas wish list

The older I get the less I want. I'm a very easy gift receiver pleaser. If you know me, since becoming a Mimi 9 years ago, my favorite gift is always a framed picture of my grandkids or kids. For fun, I thought I would compile a list of things that I would want or need this Christmas. I would love for you to leave me a comment and let me know what's on your list this year.
1. Cucumber melon body wash from bath & body
2. Cucumber melon Dove facial wipes (they don't sell at the stores anymore)
3. multi colored knitted ruffled scarf for rose pink coat
4. small bible for purse
5. Simple silver hoop earrings
6. Open heart necklace from Kay Jewelers
7. Carson's gift card
8. Will and Grace Box set
9. medium non stick frying pan for eggs or omelet
10.Snowbaby 2010 ornament

Sunday, November 28, 2010

It's beginning to look alot like Christmas at Mimi's

My Saturday of decorating for Christmas started with dropping off Penny Pricilla for her Grooming appointment. When I picked her up she looked like a new dog. Even though she's a long haired daschund, we like to keep her cut short. Now she's all ready for the Holidays.I caught Santa in the corner riding the pony while I was putting up the tree.The Grand kids stocking were hung in the entryway with care.
We decided to go a little more simple this year and put up the small tree. Hubby's idea was to wrap a large box as our tree table. I wanted to make it fun, so I went with Toy Story 3 theme and put up my Disney ornaments. I like to change it up from year to year.
I love how this display turned out. I put some of my snow baby ornaments on a little tree. I wanted to display my Christmas cards after seeing how cute Steph's display turned out last year, by clipping them on a rope line. I'm going to add more greenery on the curio cabinets. So this is a little sneak peek at the start of my decorating. I feel like I can breathe a little better, now that this is behind me. Now it's on to the wrapping of gifts and finishing up the shopping. Thanks for coming by and checking out my Christmas. I would have offered you a cookie, but they sorta got burnt.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving memories from 2010

It was a very enjoyable day of family & feast. I adore my Thanksgiving plates that I get to take out of the cabinet once a year.
Miss Abby, pretty in pink

My son Nate with daughter, Abby. She is a daddy's girl for sure.

My lovely daughter-in-law, Elsa with Jack Jack...He is a mommy's boy! And loves his passy.
Noah brought the centerpiece for the kids table. He made it and was so proud.
My two beautiful grand-daughters. They never sit still long enough for me to get a good picture.
It's tradition that my son-in-law, Jeff does the first load of dishes. He is a blessing in our family. Look at little Gray in the background. He actually ate ALL day. I don't know where he put it. You know the old saying "he must have a hollow leg"? Well Steph was trying to remember the saying and said " he must have a peg leg"......cracked us up.
Gray enjoying Aunt Elsa's cream filled brownies.Carter and Noah watching Dora's Christmas show. Grampa got it for Ivy, since she is a big Dora fan, but the boys enjoyed it too.
Jack is sitting in my husbands old high chair that he sat in over 55 years ago. Jack looks like a little man sitting there.Gray created an interesting looking Mr. Potato Head.
At the end of the day, we passed a ceramic pumpkin around the room and pulled out a slip of paper with sayings that had what we are thankful for that each person wrote down earlier. It was so fun hearing all the interesting things of thankfulness.
Then the highlight of the night was when Steph read us a special Book "Thank You"....I looked at my beautiful Daughter and couldn't stop thinking, how thankful I was at that moment that I birthed such a wonderful, unselfish being.....I am truly thankful for this day!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Give Thanks with a grateful heart!

I struggled at what I would say on this Thanksgiving Day. This week has been one of the most stressful weeks in my family. Without going into details, I learned that even in your darkest of times and situations, we have a Heavenly Father above, with a heart full of mercy and a heart full of Love. He really cares when our head is bowed low. He picks us up when we fall. When the situation seems hopeless, he encourages us to never give up hope. As my tears flow off my face this morning, my heart is so heavy. I just have to remember and keep saying to myself, it's all in God's timing, not ours. We don't understand why chain of events happen and we can question ourselves and wonder why didn't we do this or that, or say this or that. I've learned that I want to be in God's will. I don't want to open my mouth to speak if it is not positive speaking. I want to stop and LISTEN.
Don't get me wrong, I am so very Thankful for the many blessings that God has given me. I am Thankful for my Savior, Jesus Christ. I am Thankful for my husband, family & friends. I am Thankful for a wonderful job and the best Boss & co-workers anyone could ask for. I am Thankful I have a home and all the comforts I need.
I am Thankful that I can count on special blogging friends who I have never met face to face, lift me up when I am down. Pray with me. You know who you are.
Today as we sit down with family members around a beautiful table, let's Give Thanks with a Grateful heart.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

He Cares

I started feeling out of sorts on Wednesday with a scratchy throat, then by Thursday it was in my head with congestion. I came home from work on Thursday and Friday and went straight to bed. I wasn't running a fever, so I went ahead and made it OK at work. I had my green tea, honey & halls. Saturday I spent ALL day on the couch. My hubby tried to see what I wanted to eat but I was just eating toast. So, he went to the store and later when I got up off the couch, I found this on the counter in the kitchen. He knows that when I have a cold I like to drink lots of pulp OJ. He also knows how much I adore sock monkeys. He not only got me 1 carton of OJ, he got me 3. He wanted to make sure I was really going to get well. I appreciated this little surprise so much cause it came from the heart. I am feeling much better today. I'm spending most of the day catching up on what didn't get done while I was down. I would much rather be up and around than lying on a couch....Thanks Mike for caring.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Mom's 77th Birthday party

We celebrated mom's 77th Birthday last night. Instead of going out to eat, I had her a little family party at her house. She didn't know what we were doing until we all arrived. I had ordered pizzas and made some munchies. I also made her Birthday Cake. I went overboard and made enough to feed the whole block. I wish the whole family could have been there, but that's OK. It was a special night, celebrating a very classy lady and one who would rather give than receive. I made her some special ornaments showing off 6 of her 10 Great-Grand kids. My sister had already made her some with her other 4 Great-Grand kids. My mom has a lot of medical problems and is in pain daily, but you would not have known it last night. She looked radiant. I am so thankful to have her with us another year. Happy 77th mom....I love you...

Sunday, November 14, 2010

I wanted time to stand still...

If only we could freeze time for just one day.....My sister made the fastest trip home she's ever made. Her and her hubby drove all the way from Louisiana to pick up a boat that her hubby inherited from his brother, who lives 2 hours away from me and our parents. So she got to hang out with us while her hubby hung out with his brother, but we only had 1 night and 1 day. Talk about trying to fit everything in that we wanted to. After I heard they were coming, I made her favorite, lemon bars.
She was in heaven....I love to make my sissy smile!

Steph, Ivy & Gray came over for the day and we enjoyed singing songs and reading books. Ivy loves her Great Aunt Diane.
I have never seen Ivy sit so still as I did while Diane was reading to her.
Saying good-bye to Ivy, Steph and Gray was hard for Diane. I know she was so happy to have the time with them.
A quick picture of the 4 beautiful women in my life who I adore dearly....four sister, mom, grand-daughter and daughter.....
I am so thankful for the time we were able to spend together.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A Nice Surprise

It is very rare that I get to see my sister, unless it is a planned visit months in advance. Friday, I will get to see her for 1 whole day and night and I am so excited. She is traveling with her hubby to his brother's house 2 hours from me to pick up a boat. So, it worked out that I am able to get the day off (I have the best boss). I will take our parents down with me and we will spend the night and leave as my sister leaves the next day to go home. Even though it is a short time together, it will be cherished time. We always make the most of the time we have. This has been a great year of getting to see each other in June, Sept. and now Nov. I hope the time stands still on Friday. I feel so blessed to have a Best Friend in my Sister.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Waking up to Snow!!!

My big plans to rake leaves this weekend will have to wait....We woke up to 2.5 inches of beautiful, pure white snow this morning. It filled my heart with such joy and happiness. I am a "Snowbaby". I love snow so much that I started a collection in the 80's, collecting Dept. 56 Snowbaby figures. I must have over 100 by now. I haven't counted. I keep them out all year because they bring me joy. I was outside in my flip flops snapping pictures at 7am. I yelled to the dogs to come out to play with me, but they didn't want to walk in the cold wet snow. I need to go doggy boot shopping today. I don't know what it is about snow that puts me in such a good mood. It's so strange to see the snow on the leaves that have yet to fall off the trees. By tomorrow it will all be melted, since we are expecting 60 degree temps. I will have to wait for the leaves to dry out and try to rake. Until then, I am going to enjoy this Saturday morning Surprise.....It's just what I needed! Let it snow, Let it snow......

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Rest in Peace Vicki

I met Vicki in October 1992. We were both judges in the first Elvis Fantasy Fest to raise money for Special Olympics. We developed a friendship right away and since she owned her own hair salon (Victoria's Hair Affair), and I was looking for a new hair stylist, I started going to her. She would always tell me she enjoyed doing my hair because I would change my styles often and she loved that I wasn't afraid to try new things. After going to her for so many years, she knew exactly what I wanted. I always loved our conversations and wanted the appointment to drag out because it was more like a therapy session. We were together thru so many stages in our lives, from our kids growing up, weddings, babies, illness and so many other events. I can always remember leaving her salon feeling more pretty than when I walked in. She made sure every hair was perfect. She eventually moved out of her salon into her home to set up her shop.
I will never forget the start of her illness. I walked in her home for my appointment and the shop area was dark. I thought at first she wasn't home. I walked in the shop area and she had her head down in her hands on her desk. She said she was so sorry, she couldn't do my hair, but she was having a really bad migraine headache. I told her it was no problem and I wanted her to feel better. She insisted on getting her appointment book out to reschedule, but I told her not to worry about that, and told her to call me when she felt better. She had a person there that was going to give her a massage. I patted her back and told her to get well.
Within the next few days I get a call from her daughter, who is also a hair stylist. She was in tears, telling me that her mom was in so much pain that her doctor sent her to Chicago for tests and found a brain tumor on each side of her brain. She would need surgery.
Vicki told her daughter to call me to have me come in for her daughter to cut my hair that week. This is the type of person she was. She cared more about me missing my appointment and getting taken care of. So, I went in and her daughter, Lisa, cut my hair. We cried and talked about her mom who was facing a difficult surgery. The road ahead was very very rocky. Vicki went through the brain surgery but they had to leave one of the tumors. She went through radiation and then later chemo. Her daughter and sister shaved their heads in support of what Vicki was going through. Then as if this wasn't bad enough, she fell and broke her foot, developed cancer on her back, leg and tailbone.
I will never forget during all of this, asking Vicki what she had a taste for. I named over things and she said she loved potato soup. So I rushed home to make her a huge pot and took it to her. She said it really hit the spot and tasted so good. I tried to send her cards of encouragement often. I didn't know what else to do except pray. I was watching this beautiful person change looks every time I would go in for my appointments, with now her daughter.
I prayed so hard for God to heal her. She didn't deserve this. I wanted my Vicki back. My hair missed her.
Then last Saturday I heard from my mom, who has her hair done by Vicki's sister, that it was a matter of time and she was slipping away. I had to rush over to her house to at least let her family know I was praying and to see if they needed anything. She passed away 3 hours later. At the funeral home, as I was hugging her daughter, she told me that her moms wishes were for her to carry on with her business and keep it going. I was thrilled. She told me to call her at the end of the week and book my appointment. I will continue walking in Vicki's warm home and sitting down in the same chair. Even though she will not be there, I'm sure we will feel her warm spirit. I am now feeling more at peace, knowing that Vicki is out of pain. Life goes on and I'm thankful that her daughter will full fill her wishes.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Wild Weekend

My weekend started Thursday night when Jack spent the night. It was his first sleepover with just him. He slept 10 hours....Then on Friday, my last Friday off work for a while, I met Steph and the 4 geese at my parents house for a pumpkin carving party. I stopped at the market and got bargain pumpkins for only 99 cents. I picked up some carving kits and we set up our work station outside within view, for my parents to watch. They really enjoyed watching the kids creating (with Mimi and Mommy's help) these amazing jack-o-lanterns. Carter is showing off the $1 he won at the pumpkin contest. Gray took home first prize....(it was my best work). Ivy was running around and too busy to pose for a picture. But I do have to say that "Jack" was the cutest Jack-o-lantern in the patch.....

After we were done with our pumpkin carving and ate lunch, we went to Lake George to feed the ducks. I tried to post a picture of me surrounded by gobs of feathered friends but it wouldn't load. We stopped at the bread store and got 3 loaves and within 15 min. they inhaled all we had. Saturday night the 4 geese came over while their parents went to the Bulls game (for work) and Carter ended up spending the night with us. He was so cute, he told me he was tired and was going to lay down in our spare bedroom, then minutes later he came to me and asked me what I was doing Sunday morning, which I replied, I can take you home if you fall asleep. So, he stayed the night and I ended up going to church with Steph and family, which was really nice. It's nice to have each grand kid stay one on one. He told me later he really likes spending the night. Is it because he gets what he wants for breakfast? He gets my undivided attention? He gets to watch what he wants on t.v.?
Fast forward to Halloween night...Abby was the cutest Butterfly and Jack was a Gorilla.
Abby showing me her wings.
Jack couldn't wait to open up his candy bar. He enjoyed the nestle crunch and Penny was waiting to see if he would drop a bite for her. At the end of the night when all the little ghosts and goblins stopped coming, my neighbor walked over to dump her remaining candy bars in my bowl. She didn't want to be tempted by them and knew I have 6 grand kids that would finish them off. I blew out the candle in the pumpkin and called it a night.
Like I said, it was a wild weekend, but filled with lots of fun activities and hearing the sweetest words come out of my grand kids, "Mimi, I love you".