Walked on Christmas Eve Eve

Walked almost 2 miles, 40 minutes. Nice leisurely stroll.


Here are some recent pictures of what's happening around here.

Mom came and helped make some curtains for our family room. Here we are finished cutting out the panels for the two dining room windows. Mom got one of her panels almost done.

Here's our setup in the living room. It's nice to have a room that doesn't have any furniture in it yet so it can be used in a project like this.

We got a new set of french doors! They are so cool because they have mini blinds inside the window pane. Now we can control the light coming in those doors.

This is the rhodedendron that fell over in the last wind storm. It's evident from looking at the trunk that it was pretty much dead. I told John, "oh darn, it fell over." I never liked it because it looked so scraggily. We were only keeping it because it blocked the view to the neighbors. Now we'll put something else in there.


Thursday 12/21

Walked almost 2 miles
30 minutes

It was nice and sunny this morning. I remembered to take my sunglasses!

I took it a little easier today because I've been sore since Monday. Last night I was very sore. This morning when I got up it was a little better.


Wednesday, 12/20

Walked 3 miles
50 minutes


Tuesday 12/19

Walked 4.5 miles.
One hour, 15 minutes.

I found a bridge to cross the river so it makes a loop to walk. Very fun.

New habit

Again, I'm starting an exercise habit. I'm going to walk or exercise every day. Yesterday I walked 3 miles down the river. This is day 2.

My goals are to walk or exercise from between 30 to 60 minutes. After exercising, I want to come home and stretch for 5 to 10 minutes.

I'm still trying to figure out how to fit in breakfast. Yesterday I ate a bowl of cereal then waited about an hour. Today I'm trying just one piece of toast with peanut butter and jam, and cup of hot tea, and I'm waiting just 20 minutes.

When I reach the goal of exercising every day (90% at least) for 21 days, then I will go buy nice comfy headphones for music. I'm listeneing to mp3's on my phone for now. Maybe when (not if) I keep this up for 3 months, then I could get a small mp3 player. At some point I would like to have dedicated exercise clothes, and maybe 2 or 3 sets.

Another goal is to keep a regular sleeping schedule. I would like to be in bed by 10 or 10:15, and get up at 7:00, maybe 6:00 eventually.

I'm starting this habit before the new year so I have a head start on the resolutions. It's not a New Year's resolution, it's just a plain old decision to do something better with my life.


Another Macy picture

Macy doesn't let curtains stand in her way to a good viewing window.


First snow

We got a little bit of snow this week. It didn't stay around very long which was fine for me.

Family picture

I am so thankful to be close to both of our families, both in miles and in relationships. When we get together, it's always a time we look forward to. And it doesn't matter what we do, just as long as we're together.

Here's my husband's family with both of our nephews.

Buns of Fire

A funny Thanksgiving story... We took rolls and buns for Thanksgiving dinner at my uncle and aunt's house. I usually put the rolls in a paper grocery bag, sprinkle it with water, roll down the top of the bag, and stick it in the oven.

There were two casseroles in the oven already heating up. I put the bag on the top shelf and it just fit. After a few minutes I thought I smelled something so I opened up the oven. Everything looked fine. This happened a couple more times. The next time I checked on it, I opened the doors (the oven's in the wall and has two side-by-side doors), and saw the corner of the bag in embers and smoking. I pulled out the rack, and, poof, it burst into six to eight inches of flame. I yelled "help, help, help!", each time a little louder, and the kitchen got very quiet as everyone noticed the fire. My uncle stepped in and put a kitchen towel over the bag. He waited a few seconds and lifted the towel to see the situation, and the bag started more flames. So he stuck it in the sink to soak it with water. My dad got a good picture of the bag on fire.

Because the bag was rolled down and the fire was in the middle of the rolled down part, every time my uncle thought it was out and unrolled the bag, it would start again. He finally soaked the whole bag. Then we took it outside because it was making a lot of smoke and their kitchen doesn't have a fan. The fire was out, and my husband and I were able to rescue most of the rolls from the bag. We put the burnt bag in a small metal BBQ with a lid they have for such situations.

I learned a couple of things from the ordeal. One, soak the outside of the paper bag, then put the rolls inside. This worked great for the second bag of rolls we had - no smoke or fire for that bag. Two, stay calm during a fire and use lots of water. It was my first kitchen fire and a good learning experience.


Mom and sons

Here's Ann with Tyler and Isaac.


An uncle and his nephews

Aren't they all handsome?


My nephew and me

We helped out with the new nephew for a few days, and I got lots of snuggle time with Isaac. He's very precious!


Meet our new nephew

This is Isaac. He is very sweet and hungry. Hee hee. He got a check-up on Wednesday and got a shot which he complained a little about, but besides that he's a pretty happy guy.


Fleece jacket finished

I bought fleece for a jacket for myself almost a year ago. The last time I was at my Mom's we sewed together, and I started putting the jacket together. I assumed I needed the large size, but it ended up fitting big on John instead. Although I do wear it when I'm really cold; I can put it overy any of my sweaters. It's nice and toasty.

Here's a very handsome model of the jacket.


Remember to vote!

I've been reading through the voters' pamphlets. Lots of measures to read, and lots of people to choose from. I want to remind everyone to vote because it's important!

New movie shelves

This past weekend John installed some shelves for our DVDs and VHS tapes. They look so nice! And he took some neat pictures to show the process. Way to go, John!


Quilt progress

It took me two days to cut out all the triangles.

Late last night I started making the squares.

I figured out it takes about an hour to make one set of squares, one of each color. At that rate it will take 28+ hours just to make the squares. That doesn't include putting the strips together, etc. The plan is to push hard through this first part. It's going to be so fun to see it all come together.

Night pictures of Vegas

Here are some "bright with lights" pictures that turned out pretty decent. This first picture is of the Bellagio and its "lake" in front of it.

Here's "Paris." I don't know much about the history, and we didn't go inside or up, but it's pretty cool looking. :)

This is the fountain/pool/volcano at the Mirage. The volcano wasn't that impressive during its show, but all the waterfalls and the foliage were absolutely beautiful.

And finally, here's our hotel at night. Almost like Disneyland on the outside.

Our second nephew!

Yesterday, Wendell and Ann's second son was born, Isaac Arnold. As soon as I get pictures and their permission, I'll post them. He was 8.5 pounds and 21" long. He has a little bit of fluid on his lungs, but he got to go home yesterday and will see the doctor again today. Mom is doing great too.


Dave Chihuly exhibit

John's conference was at the Bellagio. They had a Dave Chihuly exhibit in the lobby.

The glass pieces were in a recessed part of the ceiling. I leaned back in the benches underneath the exhibit so I could look up and soak in the beauty. Very cool.


New York New York

Across the street from Excalibur is the New York New York Hotel. It has a city line of New York City, and a roller coaster travelling along the edge.

I convinced John to go on the roller coaster with me, and we both had a blast. It has two big drops, a loop, a sideways twist, and a corkscrew. Pretty fun.

It even has the Statue of Liberty.


Rainforest Cafe at MGM Grand

This is a cool cafe/gift shop at the MGM Grand (kitty corner to Excalibur). They have several of these fish columns, and the ceiling is covered in greenery and stuffed animals and birds to give the rainforest feel. It even thunders with light flashes.

Here you can see someone cleaning the "coral." The pictures turned out a little fuzzy.

They also had an animatronic crocodile in a field of mist that growled and opened its jaws. Pretty neat.


Cool pool

There was a nice pool at the hotel. This is the view from our window.

At the end of the pool was a very nice waterfall. John's standing on a bridge over it.

And I'm on the other side.


Las Vegas

We just came back from a trip to Las Vegas! John attended a conference for work, and I got to tag along for fun. It was both our first time there.

Over the next several days I'll share some pictures. Today's picture is of us standing in front of a sign for our hotel. It's on The Strip at the south end. John's conference was at the Bellagio, one mile walk away.


New flowers



Over the weekend we bought some pansies and planted them in the front walk. The petunias were too overgrown.


Another project finished

Here's another project I finished recently. I created and stitched the Hardanger design for my cousin and her new husband. It's really hard keeping all these secret projects hidden!

The quilt is done!

I finished my parents' quilt last week, and my Dad hung it on the wall. I'm so excited to have finished it. :)


Macy wanted to help quilt

While I've been working on my parents' quilt, Macy has been eager to help. Anytime I set it down she tries to crawl under it. Here I set it up for her perfect haven.

My next project

I get to make another quilt! I'm so excited!

I love these bright rainbow colors. The balloon print is for the backing, and the block print (on the right) is for the borders. I'll take progess pictures as I go along. I'll starting washing the fabrics as soon as I get my parents' quilt done, which might be today. Yeah!


One project finished

I'm so proud to announce this cross-stitch project is finished. I started it in 1999 and finished the stitching of it last year. I got it framed when we got our house so we could hang it as our first picture. Even though it's for Christmas, I've worked so hard on it that we're keeping it out this year until then, and then we'll put it away.

Here's a close up.

I really enjoyed working on this Santa because of the bright joyful and cozy Christmas colors. My only regret is starting it on Aida. I'm doing all my future projects on linen.

I LOVE school supplies!

Every fall I long to buy fresh new school supplies, especially in bright colors. This year John's work had a donate school supplies thing, so I got to go shopping! I had an absolute blast! I found these cool folders, and I love the colors.