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Showing posts from August, 2007

It's Lindsey Appreciation Day!

Yes! That's right. Today is the day we adopted our little baby girl, sixteen years ago when she was a month and two days old. We call this day, as the title says, Lindsey Appreciation Day.

Lindsey is such a JOY and a blessing to our family! I plan to have Gabby take some professional photos of Lindsey sometime soon, but for now, these will have to do.

What a beautiful girl Lindsey is. So many parents talk about how horrible the teenage years are and were for their kids, and I have never experienced that with my sweet Lindsey. She is such a "good girl" and has the best attitude of almost any teen I know. She always looks at things from a positive perspective, and is rarely critical of others. She sets a very good example to me in many ways.

She is very fun to be around, and is very playful and sentimental. She loves music and has been in choir since the fourth grade. She is good at making little shrinky dink art pieces and is very tidy.

Her bedroom is usually very well kept …

Coconutty Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Since I bake these cookies ALL the time, I decided to post them on my blog. Please enjoy this step-by-step view of my favorite cookies, starting with what the dough looks like after I mix everything together in my cherished Kitchen Aid Mixer, which I have had for 14 years. Love it. (Edited on 15 October 2010: My old mixer died and I replaced it withthis new one.) I used the small scoop this time. Sometimes I use my medium or large scoops too.
Gee, my hands sure do look "veiny." This was a tricky shot, taking this photo myself with my left hand (as I'm right handed), while I posed with my right hand.

This small batch makes exactly enough for two baking stones full of cookie dough, a total of forty delicious (if I say so myself) cookies. I used a well-loved rectangle stone and a newer, less seasoned one to show the difference of my two stones in this size. A cookie sheet will work also.
I let the cookies rest for a few minutes on this raised cooling rack before removing them…

First day of the new school year

Christopher started fourth grade today and Lindsey started tenth grade. This will be the first year that we've felt like Christopher is old enough to ride his bike to school. Kelly and I rode along with him today. Here's the smiling, eager student, with big hopes for another exciting school year with a new teacher.
Since my foot is still recuperating, Kelly walked Christopher upstairs to his classroom and bid him adieu, while I stayed near the crosswalk with our bicycles. By the way, my foot is still swollen, and I wore my ugly boot for ten days straight. I'm thrilled that biking doesn't hurt my foot, and I plan to bike home with Christopher after school today too.
The high school starts more than an hour later than the elementary school, so Lindsey left after her little brother. Here she is after getting all dolled up for day one of her sophomore year. She rides a bus to school and will start seminary next week, so she will get to sleep in late for one more week.

Married for twenty-one years on the 21st

Twenty-one years ago, Kelly and I married each other for time and for all eternity in the beautiful Salt Lake Temple. Here's a picture of us, the newlyweds, on the evening of our wedding, where we had a gorgeous layered cake, garnished with fresh roses at our reception in Utah. Yes, we did get married in the eighties, as you could have easily guessed by my big permed hair, Kelly's gnarly mustache, and my swooping accessory on my veil, and the 1980's vintage wedding dress, which I purchased from the small inheritance money I had received from my granddad, who had been tragically hit by a semi truck and killed instantly while driving on a country road in Oklahoma in his compact car. Ironically, my granddad had worked as a truck driver his entire life. (Wow, that little side story makes for a sad introduction to a happy day! Sorry about that. I just was thinking about those details, remembering Granddad, as I was typing and reminiscing.) It was indeed a beautiful wedding and …

Happy anniversary Marc and Penni

Here you see me with all my siblings together two years ago at my brother's wedding, listed from left to right in our birth order. Tracy (first), Julie (fifth), Marc (second), Kelly (third), and Valerie (fourth). My sisters and I talk on the phone often, and we email each other frequently, but we don't get to see each other enough, as we're spread out in different states. The girls are always excited and surprised when Marc emails us or calls, and it's such a treat. Guys aren't as good at "shooting the breeze," as my dad says. I love each of you very much! (Tracy, aka Monalisa, wasn't crazy about this picture, but I still think she looks pretty with her ever so slight smile.)

Congratulations to Marc and Penni, on your two-year anniversary. I bought this photo from the photographer, plus one of Marc and Penni, which is framed and I still need to scan it.

My personal assistant

Now that my foot is supposed to be having a break (no pun intended), I am so glad that Lindsey is home and can help me. She's awesome. She painted my one wall in my office that I've been wanting to have repainted for seven years. She taped the trim off and painted everything neatly except for the very top, which she couldn't reach. Hopefully Kelly can do that for me tonight.
I'm so sick of this faux finish and was thrilled to finally get the solid yellow on it. Good job, Lindsey.

What is wrong with this picture?

Besides the fact that looking at feet is disgusting, can you see how my left foot is swollen and puffy? It's been like that for about five days and it is freaking me out. Walking is extremely uncomfortable and I'm finally going to the doctor later today. Hopefully this does not gross you out too badly (can't be much more sick than the Giant Redheaded Centipede I posted last week). If you have any idea what my problem might be, I'd be curious to hear what you know. AFTER the doctor appointment: I came home wearing an ugly "boot" on my left foot. I had my foot x-rayed and it looks like I have a stress fracture that happened a while back, which hasn't healed yet. Since foot pain is something I suffer from frequently (plantar fasciitis), I didn't notice anything out of the ordinary. I do remember it hurting really badly recently, with different pains, but did not have a clue why, so I just ignored it. At least I know what the diagnosis is now and will tak…

Welcome home, Lindsey and Christopher!

Our kids have been in Colorado for two and a half weeks and I missed them so much! I just picked them up from the airport tonight and we hugged for almost a minute. They were so happy to be home too, even though they had a blast visiting their cousins, aunts and uncles, and Grandma and Grandpa. Lindsey was very grown up and responsible and got the two of them off the plane, then to the restrooms, gave me a quick call to let me know they had landed, then to the baggage claim to pick up their luggage, then out to the curb for me to get them. This picture was taken outside the Riverlodge Apartments seven years ago where we lived while our house was under construction when we first moved to Texas, one day after church when Lindsey was nine years old and Christopher was three years old.

Sneak preview

Have patience, Little Butterfly (aka, Tina). I'm working, sorting, shopping for containers. It's a big job transforming my piles of crap into something functional, organized and not an eyesore. I found these little jars and CD holder baskets at Target. I've been to three different Targets in search of the right sizes! Isn't it festive to have my ribbons sorted in the jars by color?

Furniture deliveries--YAY!!

On Monday, my new bookshelves arrived for my office and they're already filled, but not in a presentable fashion that I want to show off yet. That will take some more time, but in the meantime, here's the store's floor model. It looks beautiful with my desks and credenza. These next two pieces will arrive tomorrow for our master bedroom. These are from the showroom too and I'll show them in my room after it's all spiffy looking.

The kids will get our contemporary white dresser and chest of drawers from our bedroom that we bought several years ago before I could define my design tastes as they are now. I'm excited! I hope they match the bed fingers are crossed.

There's no place like home, there's no place like home, there's no place like home

For years, I have dreamed of what I would consider the perfect vacation. While I love to travel to exciting destinations and stay in wonderful places, one vacation I have always wanted to experience was to be at home, by myself, and send Kelly off with the kids to somewhere. Not for a really long time, but long enough for me to get some of the things done that I never seem to prioritize highly enough to.

This past week, my dream came true. Kelly's parents booked flights for Lindsey and Christopher to visit them in Colorado for a couple of weeks this summer, as they love to spend time with their grandkids. Kelly kept saying how he wanted to go out to Colorado too, so I bought him a plane ticket to go out visit his parents and the rest of the family, but just for a week. Last Saturday, I dropped the three of them off at the airport and waved good-bye, then as I was driving away, I did a little happy dance similar to the one I do on the first day of school each year.

I have kept…

Day seven of my dream vacation

I slept in late today and was excited about a day without responsibilities or commitments. I had big plans to make my own cards from last night's card camp, along with some for a swap that are due tomorrow. What a perfect day. However, as I was lounging around in my pj's, the phone rang. I was asked to help out someone from church who was moving from a house they were selling, into a rental house that needed some clean up work.

My task was to wipe down all the cupboards and drawers in the kitchen. There was a sticky, rough texture, and I just couldn't stand the thought of my friend putting anything on that tacky, or even furry-feeling surface. As a house warming gesture, I decided to make a run to Home Depot and buy some solid white Contact brand paper to apply to the kitchen cupboards and drawers. I then stopped by my house to get a few materials to do the job, such as a step ladder, measuring tape, scissors, and cutting mat.

The smooth vinyl-like texture was looking good, …

Day six of my dream vacation

Since Sierra is moving to Houston and has been coming to almost every card camp since she moved here, I wanted to send her off with a celebration. And Robin's birthday was two days prior, so we also threw in some birthday wishes with the cupcakes I whipped up for the crafty card makers. We made some lovely cards, complete with sewing machine stitching, which I happily did for everyone. Card camp was fun, and there were 15 people here. Just beforehand, I had two unfortunate events to deal with. The first one is still creeping me out. Refer to the picture following the cupcakes.I was heating up my dinner in the microwave and stepped out of the kitchen briefly. I walked back in, and looked at the microwave and let out a squeal when I saw a disgusting MILLIPEDE (*edited to correct the name of the's a Giant Redheaded Centipede...see Jillian's comment) crawling from the vents of the microwave and I panicked. This is definitely a moment of missing my husband! I had …

Day five of my dream vacation, continued

Since I ended up up staying up all night last night, basically, sorting through things in my office, getting distracted easily, I didn't go to bed until 6:30 am! The birds woke me up at 11. Then I had a luncheon and Relief Society presidency meeting at Chili's. We have a tendency to enjoy each other's company, so these meeting are lengthy and pleasant. Afterwards, I went back on my shopping quest, searching for a few specific pieces of furniture, not returning until late this evening. I found what I was looking for and can't wait until it arrives next week. Patience...

Day five of my dream vacation

(Edited UPDATE: Disregard this. My treasure has been located.) Unless it's hidden, I have an uneasy feeling that my cherished Swarovski Large Crystal Pineapple with 14 kt. gold leaves has been snatched by someone. It was awarded to me by the president and founder of TPC a few years ago for my hospitality. Two awards are given annually, and it is from nominations from other consultants. (My sweet blogging buddy, Julie, is one of the consultants who nominated me, by the way.) I am very upset that I cannot find it and have been searching between my office and the family room, where I have my collection of crystal and glass vases. I used to keep my crystal pineapple in my office under the lighting of my credenza, but didn't think it was getting enjoyed by enough people, so I moved it into the family room. Now it's gone. Who would take something that doesn't belong to them? I really hope I am mistaken.