Tuesday, December 9, 2008

I'm so behind . . .

I'm trapped under a lot of papers. Can someone dig me out?

Until then - I'll give you a few pictures to update you on our lives . . . can someone please get me out of here? ;-)

A short recap -

a month or so ago - my oldest ended up in the hospital overnight with pneumonia. I had such fun sleeping on a hospital cot with a night nurse who I swear was typing a novel on the room computer at 3 a.m.

A couple weeks after that - my Daddy had to go and scare us all and have a mild heart attack. He is doing TONS better now and we are all really glad he is still here to be ornery and make us laugh.

About a week later, Hunkahubby woke up with no feeling in one side of his face, which was (after a fun trip to the ER) diagnosed as Bell's Palsy. (Of course, he is still sexy even when half of his face isn't cooperating.) He is doing better - and if I can get him to hold still long enough - I'll add a current picture of him.

Somewhere in all of this - we destroyed a turkey. (And boy was it GOOD.)

My children decided what they want to be when they grow up.

My awesome talented husband participated in two art shows.

We had another baby.

I got a BLUE tree in my bedroom this year. (YAY!!!)

And I grew out my hair . . .

Okay - a couple of these aren't exactly correct . . . but it makes life interesting, right?

Hope you are all enjoying this holiday season - and just in case your friendly neighborhood retail clerk hasn't told you - I will . . . MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

It's Elfin' Time Again!!

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Oh my gosh, I can't believe I won something!

One of my favorite blogs The Pioneer Woman had a contest in her photography section yesterday. And I actually WON!!!! Woohoo!!!!

It's a good day!!

Thanks Ree!!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Promised Halloween Pictures

The kids had a great time Trick or Treating - especially because their cousin is close and can go trick or treating with them again.

Here they are on our first Halloween together in 2004 with their cousin when we all lived in a different town:

(yeah, I have a much better camera now . . .)

And here they are this year . . .

(she is so getting locked in a closet . . .)

Great fun was had by all!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Excitement - and not necessarily the fun kind . . .

This weekend was pretty exhausting . . .

My dear 8-year old daughter who was just a little bit sleepy on Thursday night, woke up with a fever, coughing, and wheezing so much I could hear her from across the room on Friday morning. SCARY.

I went to work while hubby took her to the ER - he later called me to tell me they were keeping her overnight for observation because she had pneumonia.

It was so scary to see my beautiful daughter looking so little in that big hospital bed, but she took it all in stride. All 3 of her nurses commented on what a polite and sweet girl she was. Mommy got to spend the night in the room on a very (NOT) comfortable cot. Neither of us slept much - but it was a bonding experience. She apologized for keeping me awake with her coughing and I apologized for keeping her awake with my snoring.

Sunday I declared it stay at home in our pajamas day and we vegged out and watched movies all day long. It was nice. And we all had naps. I love naps.

She is doing better - but I'm still being overprotective and not sure I'm ready for her to have outside recess at school. Luckily - her fall break is this weekend, so she only has 2 more days of school. I'm taking Thursday and Friday off as well so we can all have family time.

All the kids are looking forward to Trick or Treating, they've had their costumes for almost a month. Me . . . I love this time of year - and even though my aunt would be upset with me for jumping the gun . . . I started listening to Christmas music today . . . I can't help it!!!

Well - this post jumped around quite a bit - but I wanted to catch up . . . AGAIN. I'll be back soon to post pictures of the kids in their costumes.

Have a great week!!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Something to think about

Today Mark Salinas posted this about how we should not let things like politics ruin friendships.

I agree wholeheartedly with what he had to say in his very timely post. As I read through the comments though, someone else had something very profound to say.

Audra Krell from Krellfish said, "One other point is for people to look inward. As we get closer to the election, people become desperate and do and say things that they normally wouldn’t. We should all do an emotional check and see if possibly, our fears and other emotions are coloring our words and actions a little too much."

So far, in most of our conversations - those on the opposite side of the political fence have been able to have civil conversations with me, even when we disagree. And then there have been those times where I just wanted to enjoy being with my friend and I've said, "let's not talk politics today, okay?"

This election seems to be more charged than any other that I remember, and I hope that some people are not forgetting that we are all Americans and in the end - we have to all figure out how to work together whether we are liberal, conservative, democrat, republican or some combination of all of these things.

So in these last 2 weeks before the election I urge you to:
  • be informed and research everything - if a story seems biased, it probably is - so check the facts yourself
  • feel free to be passionate without being nasty
  • don't steal signs out of people's yards (I'd like mine back please!)
  • respect the opinions of others, whether you agree or not
  • Pray for our nation, its leaders - and whoever is destined to be our next President - we all have an uphill climb ahead of us.
Okay - political discussion done. For real this time. Maybe.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Would the Last Honest Reporter Please Turn On the Lights?

If you have a moment - please read this article - and spread the word . . .

This article was written by Orson Scott Card, a democrat and newspaper columnist - and I agree with what he has to say . . . (I'll say no more, because he says it all.)


Monday, October 20, 2008

Tag, I'm it! (And you might be too . . .)

My good buddy Rett tagged me - so I HAVE to do this for her (which yes, this means if I tag you then you have to do it too!)

The objective? List 7 random/weird facts about myself, then tag 7 others to do the same. I am really not sure I want to do this . . . but I will . . . for Rett.

1. I used to be able to write with my toes. I'm not sure I can do it anymore - and I'm afraid to try.

2. I don't mind some smells that others usually hate - like diesel fuel and . . . dare I say it? . . . skunks.

3. I am addicted to the crook in my husband's neck.

4. I am terrified that when some people look at me, they only see my mother.

5. I'm actually pretty shy sometimes and don't like being in social situations where I know very few people.

6. I dream of someday writing a best-selling novel, but fear that my procrastination and self-doubt about my abilities will keep me from doing it.

7. I have this reoccurring feeling that none of us actually exist and we are really just an overly elaborate dream that someone somewhere is having - even though I KNOW this is not true.

Yeah - that got a little deeper and weirder than I had planned . . . but oh well! Those were the first 7 things I thought of!!!

Now let's see - who do I want to know weird things about????

1. Barry @ Pike Speak
2. Kristen @ Shoutin from the Rooftops
3. Don Crane
4. Jaya & Arya
5. Beth @ The Funny Farm
6. Memaw @ Memaw Bake's Memories
7. Mizfit

I can't wait to hear how weird the rest of you are!!!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

A lesson for those who didn't pay attention in high school . . .

I am trying to stay away from politics in my blog - but I had to post this because it is informative and may help people to understand some of the things they keep hearing about in the media.

Recently, Senator Obama spoke to Joe the Plumber who had asked him why he would get more taxes for a small business that just happens to make more than $250,000.

This was Senator Obama's response:

“It’s not that I want to punish your success, I just want to make sure that everybody who is behind you, that they’ve got a chance at success, too. I think when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.”

Those words "spread the wealth around" have said to confirm some people's feelings that Senator Obama has more socialist policies than democratic.

What I've realized in my conversations with people my own age is this: no one paid attention in high school civics or government class and they don't have any idea what socialism is. And they really don't care! So I ran across this blog this morning which had a great excerpt from Mike Huckabee's book.

I wanted to share this lesson with you here:

“I once heard the various forms of government described this way:

Communism - you have two cows and the government takes both cows and gives you part of the milk.

Socialism - you have two cows and the government takes one of the cows and gives it to your neighbor.

Fascism - you have two cows and the government takes both cows and sells you the milk.

Nazism - you have two cows and the government takes both cows and shoots you.

Bureaucracy - you have two cows, the government takes both cows, shoots one, milks the other, and pours the milk down the drain.

Capitalism - you have two cows, you sell one and you buy a bull!

Our system, based on the capitalist idea, is intended to create incentives so there is a return on one’s endeavors. It has it’s flaws, but ours is still better than any other system on earth.”

I am hoping that this short lesson has helped some people understand these things they keep hearing on the TV but don't take the time to learn about.

I will leave you with a quote from Former President Ronald Reagan (which reminds me of a time when people had a respect for the one holding the office of the President of the United States . . .)

“All systems are capitalist. It's just a matter of who owns and controls the capital -- ancient king, dictator, or private individual. We should properly be looking at the contrast between a free market system where individuals have the right to live like kings if they have the ability to earn that right and government control of the market system such as we find today in socialist nations.”

Main thing: God is still God.

Be informed.
Vote on November 4th (or you do not have a right to complain).

(I am now finished with my political comments . . . until the next election.)

Monday, October 13, 2008

More Fall Photos

Rearview (by IzzyBeth)

(Photo by Hunkahubby)

(Photo by IzzyBeth)

Oh - and this is me attempting to get organized,
but Gracie wouldn't let me because she liked my new organizer too much. Bummer. LOL

Have I mentioned how much I love the fall?

Saturday, October 11, 2008

The leaves are changing and I'm so excited

More pictures to come in the next few days!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

No dropped calls!

My cousin Laurie sent this to me and it really made me go OUCH. So I thought I would share my "pain" with you. In these kind of frightening and unsure times - this is something I needed to read . . .

Ever wonder what would happen if we treated our Bible like we treat our cell phone?

What if we carried it around in our purses or pockets?

What if we flipped through it several time a day?

What if we turned back to go get it if we forgot it?

What if we used it to receive messages from the text?

What if we treated it like we couldn't live without it?

What if we gave it to kids as gifts?

What if we used it when we traveled?

What if we used it in case of emergency?

This is something to make you go....hmm...where is my Bible?

Oh, and one more thing. Unlike our cell phone, we don't have to worry about our Bible being disconnected because Jesus already paid the bill.

Makes you stop and think 'where are my priorities?

And no dropped calls!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

I love the fall!

Our family went to the orchard on Saturday. We had not been to an orchard in our area since we moved here. We got apples, apple butter, Amish popcorn, and of course caramel apples. (We'll go back and get pumpkins closer to the end of October.)


Oh yeah - and they had horse rides for $3. We weren't going to do it - but all three kids said they were willing to give up their allowance for the week to ride the horses.

They loved it!!


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Adorable kitties

I haven't given you cat lovers your kitty fix in a while - so I thought I'd better post some kitty pictures . . .

Happy Wednesday!!!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Catching Up

Here is what you might have missed in these past weeks where I haven't been posting . . .

My oldest went to church camp and loved it!

My youngest turned FIVE. :-(

My oldest turned EIGHT!

First day of school! (1st and 3rd grade)

Doing the happy dance because school started. (Daddy and daughter get to spend one more year at home, because she missed the kindergarten cut-off by FIVE DAYS.)

And finally - this weekend, we grabbed our tripod and camera and took our own family pictures. It was quite fun!!!

There . . . you're caught up . . .

Happy Monday!

Monday, August 4, 2008

7 Years of Blessings

My darling Hunkahubby . . . .

Can you believe it has been 7 years? At this time 7 years ago, I was probably just finished getting my hair done in preparation for walking down the aisle into your arms. I can remember waiting until 11:00 for pictures and being so anxious to see you in your tux. And that first moment . . . when you saw me in my dress and I saw you - we both cried. Although we had only known each other for a few months - we KNEW. We knew that God meant for us to be together. Isn't it amazing?

One of my favorite memories of our wedding is while Katie sang "If you could see what I see" - you prayed for us.

It all went so fast. And the next thing I knew - I was your wife. YOUR WIFE. And you kissed me for the first time as a Mrs.

The wedding reception didn't go by fast enough . . . although I was happy to see all the friends and family who came to share in our joy - once I was your wife, I just wanted to be with YOU!

And I still do!!

I love you more than I ever thought it was possible to love another person. You are my friend, my lover, the coolest Daddy to our 3 beautiful children, and the person I want by my side until I take my final breath.

Thank you.

Thank you for choosing me. For being you. For everything.

Here's to another 7 years, my darling love.

Happy Anniversary!!!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Really cool video

My buddy, Don Crane (who just started blogging) sent me this video today and I had to share it with you guys. Pretty cool!!

Happy Monday!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The American Idols in Concert

So, as you know - I saw the American Idols in Concert on Tuesday evening. The top ten contestants from this season's American Idol performed at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Before we left, I told Hunkahubby that I hoped I would not be disappointed. Oftentimes, things don't come through quite the same way on TV that they do live and in person.

I was right.

But in a good way.

TV did NOT do them justice.

They were AMAZING. Honestly. I was only disappointed with one contestant - which I'll get into in a minute.

During the 'warm-up' before the concert, we were treated to an appearance by POP-TART (Pop-Tarts sponsored the concert).
He was fun. (all pictures by Hunkahubby and IzzyBeth, Copyright, 2008)

Not so sure about the implications of a giant fuzzy Pop-Tart though . . .

Right before the show started, there was a little bit of activity in front of the stage and we realized that Hoosier top 24 contestant Luke Menard was in the audience.
Yes, the picture is fuzzy, but it is him. Several of the contestants pointed him out and one even dedicated a song to him.

The concert started and each performer from 10 to the winner was given the chance to sing at least 3 songs by themselves on stage.

The first performer was the contestant who finished 10th: Chikezie

I was extremely impressed with him. He talked of how blessed he was to be on the stage. He had awesome stage presence and he hit some unbelievable notes. He did not deserve to be 10th. He also did a great job of starting off the show and getting everyone pumped up. After Chikezie performed three songs (for a complete set list, click here) Ramiele Malubay got her turn.

Now I have to admit, that I really liked Ramiele at the beginning of the competition this year. But as time went on - she didn't show much personality. Well, unfortunately - that carried through to this concert. She is a tiny, cute girl - but she was not that great. And she acted bored to be there. I was disappointed in her stage presence and in her voice. :-( And I'm not even sure she knew what city she was in. But anyway - I made it through her 3 songs and cheered loudly when she was done.

Next up . . . a contestant that never should have finished 8th . . . Michael Johns.

During this season - I went back and forth on Michael. He seemed kind of cocky. But he was an amazing performer - and in this concert he did justice to favorites from Queen and Aerosmith. And he dedicated Aerosmith's "Dream On" to Luke Menard. Even Hunkahubby who was not a fan of Michael, said that he redeemed himself. He did a great job. (Plus, who couldn't love his Australian accent?)

Next up - the country girl, Kristy Lee Cook.

She had an on again/off again season and I really think it was nerves. She was often pitchy and I wasn't certain how good she really was. Well, she did a GREAT job performing. I didn't hear any pitchy notes either. And of course - she knows how to get the crowd by performing "God Bless the USA". Kristy is also the first contestant (beyond the top 2) to get a record contract. So look for her country album to come out within the next year!

Next was the performer that Hunkahubby and I were VERY excited to hear live: Carly Smithson!!!

She did NOT disappoint. :-) Go Carly. Carly has a magnificent voice. And she sang some pretty powerful songs. She opened with "Bring Me to Life" by Evanescence. And then she talked in her beautiful Irish lilt for a little bit. Then she caused my husband to drool and sweat a little bit by singing "Crazy on You" by Heart (He LOVES Heart). And she KILLED it. (Killed in a good way, obviously). She finished with Cyndi Lauper's "I Drove All Night." Awesome job Carly. Some idiot had better sign her to a label. She is amazing. (And all those people who are hating on her over the "previous contract controversy" - GIVE HER A BREAK, she was REALLY YOUNG. She's paid her dues. Geesh.)

Next up was finalist number 5 - Brooke White.

Brooke has the Carole King/Carly Simon vibe, which I love. I was a little worried about Brooke during the competition because I was afraid the pressure was going to make her CRACK. But she survived the tv season and did a beautiful job performing for us - including accompanying herself on piano and guitar.

Just before intermission - we were reminded about Idol Gives Back and how we can continue to help. The finalists who had performed so far came together to perform U2's "Pride (In the Name of Love)". Again . . . awesome. (I have to find a new adjective.)

During intermission there was a Guitar Hero: World Tour commercial featuring the idols - but I was busy standing in the horrendously long women's restroom line. But I searched for it on YouTube and was able to see most of it. (I won't post a link here, because none of the videos are great quality).

Hunkahubby and I got something to drink to help our parched throats (yes, we scream) and got back to our seats - and were graced with Mr. Pop-Tart's presence for a few more minutes. Then - BACK TO THE SHOW WITH . . . Jason Castro!

I love Jason Castro. He was always really laid back, and just a little bit awkward. But you could not deny that he was talented. He also did my favorite song of his from the season - Israel Kamakawiwo'ole's version of "Over the Rainbow." With a ukulele no less. :-)

The next contestant is a stunning girl and has a beautiful voice - but I wish she'd worn a little bit more clothes. Holy cow Syesha Mercado!

Syesha sang very well, and knew her way around the stage - but I wasn't DAZZLED the way I was with some of the other performers. Maybe I was too busy watching the security guy who thought he needed to police how far people's toes stuck out into the aisle. Or listening to the four adults who had way too much to drink in the rows behind us. (You couldn't NOT hear them, unfortunately.)

After this - the high pitched scary screaming started. The pre-teens were IN THE HOUSE. And they were there for David Archuleta.

Here is another one where I cannot deny this kid's talent. He has an incredible voice for a 17-year-old. He seems very comfortable "working" the stage - but when he stops to talk - he still seems really nervous and completely blown away that everyone is screaming for him.

David Archuleta (or "Archie") got to sing 4 songs, and my favorite was the last one where he sang Josh Groban's version of "When You Say You Love Me."

Now - the moment I had been waiting for . . . Yes - I am a "Cookie". I loved this contestant from almost the very beginning of last season. He was consistently good - and always did something unique with his songs. (And it doesn't hurt that he seems to be a genuine nice guy - AND has family from Indiana!) Yes - it was finally time for - DAVID COOK!

He was BEYOND amazing. He did a great job - and he was so REAL. During one part, he realized that his pants were coming 'un-tied' -- I think it was more on the side than anything that would have caused embarrassment. But after a song, he sat down and said he was going to fix it (and everyone booed) and he said "I can't believe you guys would BOO safety!"

He also talked about his guitar and that he bought it in Indiana. And that his Dad and some other family members were in the audience. (He made his Daddy proud!)

David got to sing five songs including:

His version of "Hello" by Lionel Richie.
His first official single - "The Time of My Life"
Aerosmith's "I Don't Wanna Miss a Thing"
The Foo Fighters' "My Hero" which he dedicated to his brother Adam (from Terre Haute, Indiana) who is battling brain cancer.
And Chris Cornell's version of Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean".

Hello and Billie Jean were definitely my favorites.

Everyone screamed the loudest for the 2 Davids (Carly, Castro, and Michael Johns got a lot of love as well.) And I thought the coolest thing was this gray-haired lady a few rows in front of me who tried to stand on her chair to get a better look at David Cook. When you've won over the Grandmas AND the teenagers - well, what else could you want??

All of the idols came out for one last song - Rihanna's version of "Please don't stop the music". Again . . . amazing. (heard that word enough?)

Oh - and I almost forgot to mention the fact that at the very end streamers shot out of the ceiling and I GOT TO KEEP A PIECE. (I'm weird, I know.) Hunkahubby is working on a collage for our wall from our AI Concert experience and the shiny streamer will just make it that much cooler.

It was a great evening and I didn't want it to end. I wanted to stay after to see if I could meet some of the idols - but Hunkahubby thought we should get home before it got too late. ::sighs:: OH WELL. I got some great pictures - and hopefully several of these people make it big and I can say I knew them when.

And the best part? An evening with Hunkahubby all to myself. I am so blessed.

Happy Thursday - TOMORROW IS FRIDAY!!!!