Sunday, January 30, 2011

Bubbers -down and out

Jeffrey Michael woke up yesterday complaining of a bad headache.  He had a slight fever but after some ibuprofen, he was running around as usual.  I just figured it was a random thing.

Sad to say it's not.  Yesterday afternoon he called from his friend's house to say his headache was back.  Jeff A picked him up and he was still warm.  More ibuprofen and a bubble bath later, he crawled into bed with me.  He was fast asleep by 8 pm.  My husband and his brother went to Beer Fest and I knew they wouldn't be home till the wee hours of the morning.  More on that story later!

Poor Jeffrey M was up every couple hours just so uncomfortable.  This morning he woke with a fever of 102.6.  I don't think I've ever seen either of my kids with a fever that high.  I gave him some ibuprofen and will do the acetaminophen/ibuprofen route if needed.  He is afraid that he is going to have a stomach sickness like Paige had last weekend, but I assured him his sickness was not the same.  Right now he is in his bedroom playing his DS game so I'm thinking the medicine is working.  I don't want to panic and take him to the ER but I also don't want to be too lacks about his fever.

He just came in to find a stylus for his DS and his little cheeks are so red.  He sure isn't acting like he has a high fever.  Fingers crossed he'll be ok by end of today!!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Date Night

Jeff and I went out together last night. Yah- a real date night just the two of us.  Though I almost backed out since the kids got their report cards and we usually take them out to eat to celebrate.  Jeff thought I was nuts!  But I really missed them since Thursday night I spent all evening at a friend's house rolling grape leaves. I felt bad leaving them again. 

Despite my mother's guilt, we dropped them off at Jeff's mom's house and headed out of town to go to a Japanese restaurant.  It's located in the mall, so I returned some things from Christmas.  We browsed some stores since we never go to the mall.  Jeff fell in love with Kirklands! 

After waiting what seemed like forever, we did get seated at the grill.  There was a group of families with their kids waiting too and their kids were so loud and rowdy.  I really didn't want to get seated with them.  Neither did Jeff especially after he sat next to them and got kicked and pushed the whole time! 

Luckily their group was so large that they had to wait and we were seated with other couples.  The couple to our left were really fun.  They were from Canfield OH (we were in Boardman, OH) and were big Steelers, Penguins, and Pirate fans.  You have to be alright to love those teams!

They were also out by themselves and it was a fun time!  Jeff thinks that they wanted to hang out more after dinner was over and we should have asked them if they wanted to go have a drink.  But we didn't. 

We headed back home to a local bar for a couple drinks.  The kids texted us and called us a few times, but it wasn't too bad.  In fact we were home by 10:30.  We had wanted to see a movie, but dinner took too long and we missed all the late show times.  Plus I would have fallen asleep!

So even though we didn't have any crazy adventures like the movie, it was nice to have time alone with Jeff.  He's going to Beer Fest tonight which might be why he took me out.  Hang over or not, he's still not off the hook tomorrow!!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Sick kid and Walmart

Its a little after 9 pm and I just crawled in bed.  Today was my half day at work.  I had totally forgot since I haven't been to work that long.  But it was a great surprise to get to leave.  It was also a God send.

Paige woke up Monday at 5 am.  SICK.  The kind of sick that I cannot be around.  Yah- it included to the toilet.  Luckily she didn't have any accidents and my husband was able to wake up to help her.  But poor thing got up again around 8 am for another round.  Jeff had called off at the school and we had a 2 hr delay again.  She was ok all day but late evening had one more trip to the bathroom.  Jeff took a half day Tuesday and I stayed home in the morning with her.  By afternoon she was much better and by evening she was eating and complaining.  Back to normal!

With my half day, I came home and cleaned her room.  I stripped her bed and sprayed her mattress with Lysol.  I also scrubbed her carpet (she didn't get anything on the floor , it just had dirt marks) since I was cleaning anyway.  I finally took down her Christmas tree as well.   All her blankets got washed and I threw Jeffrey Michael's in the wash too.  The bathroom was scoured and a couple loads of regular clothes were done too.

While it was great to have the extra time off from work, I am a little disappointed that I ran out of time.  I had wanted to read this evening, but instead had to run to Walmart for extremely necessary items such as toilet paper. 

I really don't like Walmart that much.  It just seems that all the wackos are there.  In my way.  It's not like you can't hear me walking down the aisle in my 3 inch spikey boots.  Yet you refuse to straighten out your buggy and move to the side to let me pass.  Seriously people.  There is etiquette to follow.  Keep to the right like driving a car.  If you must leave your buggy to get something on the left of the aisle, make sure you know what you are getting before you just stand there forever blocking the aisle for those of us trying to pass your buggy.  And when you are at the check out- don't go over the 20 item limit.  Or better, don't wait until the cashier has rung up your entire order to fumble around in you pocket book looking for your gift card/debit card/welfare card.  Have it ready!!

I better get off this computer and read the Bible.  I need help with my attitude!!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Bible in 90 Days Reading - Update

Last night was the Bible in 9 Days Twitter Party.  I really like logging in and getting other's perspective.  But sometimes I feel inadequate.  Others talk about these profound lesson's they've learned from the reading and I feel I am just getting the story.  Sometimes I get an insight to what God was doing, but for the most part it's just the story.

I am behind in my reading.  I am at 1 Samuel 8 and today's reading is 2 Samuel 12-22.  Ooops.  It doesn't help that we are going to be reading about all the kings soon and that can get very confusing!  Tomorrow is my half day at work and what ever I don't catch up on today I will definitely make a BIG effort to catch up or get ahead tomorrow. 

My husband asked if I wanted to go to the movies this Friday.  Just me and him.  NO KIDS.  But what does he want to see?   The Rite.  Yah. Ok.  Just what this little Catholic girl wants to see.  NO. THANK. YOU.  I've always been afraid to read Revelations and I certainly don't want to see a possessed Priest.  Heck even the Serpent in the Garden of Eden can be scary for me!!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Pittsburgh's going to the Super Bowl!

What a game!  Of course Pittsburgh always makes you lose your mind by making every game go down to the wire, but hey, they won and we are all thrilled! 

Super Bowl party at my house- bring your Terrible Towels!!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

AFC Championship Game- Steelers vs Jets

Game starts in 20 mins!

Lets Go Steelers!!!

Running out of gas

Literally.  In my husband's Envoy. Not happy.

Here's the story.  We own a 2005 GMC Envoy.  I may have shared the story about how the gas gauge is broken, not sure since I think of posts that I never write and then I'm not sure if I did or did not write them.  Save that for another posting!

It's a common problem in the Envoy and Chevy Trailblazers for the gas sensor to break.  It's also an $800 fix.  Because this is happening to so many cars, there is a movement by owners to get GM to do a recall, so far no luck.  Of course we are holding out for the recall.

So how do we know how much gas we have?  My husband uses the trip counter.  Every time he fills up the tank, he sets it to zero and when we get to about 295 miles, we know it's time to fill up.  We actually calculated how many gallons our tank holds to the miles/gallon it gets and came up with 329, but it's safer to fill up sooner rather than taking a chance.

Until yesterday.  I was on my way to pay some bills and grab some things at the store, when the truck stalled as I was turning the bend. On top of a huge hill.  A very busy 2 lanes each way hill.  Where people come up the hill on both sides!!  Yah- almost got hit several times as I tried to let the truck coast to the side of the road- read far right lane as there are no shoulders- and I fumbled trying to find the hazard lights.  I tried to start the truck but it wouldn't turn over.  First thing I thought was there was no gas, but the trip meter read 160.  So I called Jeff who came a few minutes later.  With our gas can.  He assumed I ran out of gas as he did not fill up the tank the last time he got gas and didn't think he was that low.  Because the gas tank is on the left side, he had to hide behind the truck and hold the can as he put in the gas lest he get hit by the cars whizzing by - did I mention the hill I was on.  I tried to start the truck and it still wouldn't start.  So I headed home while he called AAA. 

I called him to check on him and to ask him how much gas he put in the tank.  He said a couple gallons because he was afraid of getting hit.  And he thought it would be enough to start it up.  I asked if he thought maybe he should put more in since the sensor's broke and it is kinda on a hill so maybe it needs more to register. No- he said.  Something else is wrong.

Well, he was towed to a garage and after charging the battery- Jeff must have drained it trying to start it over and over, the guy started it right up.  He said that the sensor wasn't reading the gas that was in there because it's located in the back and being on any slight grade you need about 4-5 gallons for it to read.  Which was how much we had in the can.  My husband was so embarrassed and even told the guys at the garage that I had basically said the same thing.  He could barely tell me the story when he came home.  He was laughing so hard.

Jeff thought he had more gas in the car, but the guy even said that in the winter, you tend to use more letting the car warm up or in my husband's case- revving it up over and over.  Can you tell how much that annoys me!

Lesson learned- Jeff will always fill up the tank at 295-300 miles.  And I will use my Sunfire more often!!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Our Baskets

These baskets have been a fixture on my staircase from the time we moved here in 2002.  Each basket has my kids name in it- courtesy of Paige.  They have made it so easy to gather misplaced items on the first floor waiting to be brought upstairs to the respective room.  I even use them for things that belong to me and my husband or misc. things.

When the kids were little, they loved bringing the baskets up each evening before bed to put their things away.  Now, they kinda sit there for days filled to the brim waiting for me to issue the ultimate threat in order to be cleaned out.  But I still love their usefulness.  We even have one at the top of the steps for things to be brought down.  Yes, I could just make the effort each time I go up and down the steps to bring the stuff, but you know how that goes!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Reading the Bible in 90 Days

While on leave, I stumbled across a blog that challenged people to read the Bible in 90 Days.  I have always wanted to try to read the Bible straight through, but never made it passed Deuteronomy in the Old Testament and I normally just go straight to the New Testament. Seeing this challenge was a great way to motivate me, especially since there was accountability!

Like I said, I have tried to read the Bible but always get stuck around the end of Exodus and middle of Numbers.  Several years ago, I took some Biology classes at a local Christian College to refresh myself and thought it would be nice to take some Bible courses.  I figured it would force me to read the Bible. And I did, I just skipped a lot since most of the exam questions were taken from our class notes.  Yah- I pretty much cheated on reading!

But this time I am internally motivated to get through the Bible.  I don't know why.  Maybe God is trying to tell me that I need to work on myself.  And what better way than to read His Word.  My son motivated me as well as he said his New Year's resolution is to pray more.  He even carries his New Testament story book around with him to read the prayers at dinner. 

I have to say that it is challenging to find the time to do the assigned readings.  Especially my two "favorite" chapters!  And this past weekend was tough with Jeff's grandmother's funeral.  Last night I had to catch up on 3 days of readings which ended up being the entire book of Deuteronomy.  Even though it was Moses's speech to the people repeating everything from Exodus to Numbers, it was a good read and I knocked it out in a couple hours. 

Each week there is a check in to let the mentors know how you are doing and a Twitter Party Monday evenings to discuss what we read, what confused us, etc.  Like a book club I'm guessing.  I love it!!

We're at Day 16 of the challenge so it may be too late to join, but they are repeating in July and I highly recommend it for anyone. There is a 90 Days Bible you can buy, but I am using my Catholic edition Bible and find it works great. 

This is one of my resolutions for the year- to really read the Bible.  I haven't posted my resolutions, give me a couple days to regroup and I will!  Now it's time to get to reading!!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Steelers Playoff

Let's Go Steelers- Crush the Ravens!!

For the rest of the evening, my house will be rocking and rolling as the Steelers play the Ravens at Heinz Field.  Let's hope for a great Steelers win!

UPDATE- We beat the Ravens and now face the Jets at Heinz Field on Sunday 6:30pm! Of course we will be in Youngstown OH for a WWE show Sunday at 1pm- pray we get out of there by 5pm to get home for the game!!

Friday, January 14, 2011

The Simple Wife

Please keep Joanne Heim in your prayers.  She is a blogger that I have been following who needs everyone's prayers.  Tuesday morning she suffered a stroke and is fighting for her life.  Her husband has been keeping up her blog with updates on her condition.  You can read her blog at

She's an amazing woman who's chronicled her life- the good and the bad.  She has also written some books that I have.  She's been an inspiration to me and I am shocked at this unexpected turn of events.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

We'll Miss you Noonie

Jeffrey just called to say that his grandmother - whom we've affectionately called Noonie- passed away this morning. She was 94 years old and has been in a nursing home for the past several years.  She had advanced Alzheimer's disease and though she no longer remembered any of us, she was still a spitfire. 

Before her disease, she was an active member of my husband's church where she served as a Eucharistic Minister and was active in the ladies clubs.  She made the best home made ice tea (we think the secret ingredient was the cigarette ash that dangled for several inches before dropping) and salads that no one in the family can reproduce. 

We love you and will miss you terribly Noonie!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Happy Birthday Babe!

Today is my husband's 39th birthday.  As usual, the kids want to go to our local restaurant for dinner.  Then we are going to rent a movie on Netflix (acutally I think a dvd came today that we ordered but weren't expecting it to come till the end of the week - fun suprise).  A nice quiet evening at home!

Happy Birthday Babe- after 23 yrs together you still amaze me.  I will love you always and forever- just may not like you when you leave the bathroom a wreck - right Paige!!

Monday, January 10, 2011

What's the plan,Stan?

One of the things that I am really going to miss since going back to work is my accountability partner.  A few weeks ago, my son was hanging out with me as I was writing a post.  I must have been writing about getting things done around the house, as the next morning he asked me what the plan was.  I had no idea what he was talking about and asked him to explain.

He proceeded to ask me what my plan was for the day as far as cleaning.  I hadn't really thought about it, but told him I was going to do some laundry and clean the bathroom (I think).  As soon as he walked in the door after school, he wanted to know if I accomplished my plan.   I'm guessing he did as he was satisfied and went off to play. 

That started a new school morning habit, each and every day he would ask me before heading out the door, what my plan was.  And I'd tell him or make something up if I hadn't anticipated any cleaning.  Because I knew he was going to ask me or check to see if I finished my work, I actually made sure it or something was done for him to see.  Unfortunately, this also made him more aware of the cleanliness of our house as he then began observing his friend's houses and comparing them to ours.  He even came home from one of our friend's homes and cried saying ours was so filthy and everyone else's homes are spotless. 

At first we thought it was funny, but then we realized that he was becoming seriously upset about what he viewed in our home.  We asked him to explain, but all he could point out are the areas in our home that had things out of place- mail set down or shoes lined up by door - little things out of place.  We asked him to explain what he saw at his friend's house that was different from what he saw in our house and he really couldn't.  But we did realize that this was a serious issue to him.  We tried to explain to him that this time of the year with the holiday, people are spending more time cleaning their homes in anticipation of parties.  Many of the homes that he was referring to we know aren't always spotless (sorry friends but I've been to your houses too!). Not to say they are filthy or anything like that, but lived in with the usual clutter that a family brings. 

We've been sensitive to his feelings and been diligent about cleaning up after ourselves.  Saturday night, Jeffrey Michael even scheduled a meeting.  Of course we knew it was going to be about cleaning.  So we each decided upon a room that we would clean on Sunday.  We had all day until 7 pm to accomplish this task and promptly at 7 last night, Jeff called another meeting.  He reviewed our work and then requested a movie night.  Since my husband's birthday is Wednesday, this works out good.

While I want my children to be mindful of cleaning, I don't want them to be obsessive.  I do enough obsessing around her for all of us!  This morning, Jeff asked if I was going to work.  When I told him yes, he said, oh well then no plan for today.  No I said, not today.  I may have to come up with another plan for him to oversee. 

It really is good to have an accountability partner- even if it does lead to an obsessive 9 year old boy!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

You can ring my bell.....

 I loved that song by Anita Ward.  I was around 9 years old when it came out so I actually could hit some of the high notes. Ring- a-linga-ling
But getting to the reason for my post.  I told you about how I burned my pot and how the internet helped me salvage it.  In fact when I went to the store today, Giant Eagle had Bar Keeper's Friend on sale.  So I bought some and tried it on the pot- and it's almost like brand new!!!  The Lord really smiled on me today.

Ok, back to ringing my bell.  Using the internet for the pot reminded me about another dilemma I had.  Shortly after moving in to our house, I noticed that the previous owners had purchased and installed an inexpensive wireless doorbell.  I couldn't stand the look of it.  There was an old round brass doorbell on the front door and a large box on the wall in my bedroom (that I thought was the doorbell but turns out it was part of the elaborate alarm system- more on that in a later post).  I really like the look of the old door bell yet it didn't work.

So I headed to the computer and googled fixing doorbells.  I found a great site that talked about restoring old doorbells.  And it seemed as easy as removing the outer cover, removing the electrical wires from the leads and lightly sanding them.  Put it all back together and it could be the answer. And guess what- it worked for my door!  Oh the thrill and shock at finding out that this little box was actually my doorbell sound maker thing.  It makes an old fashioned buzzing sound that I love.  But then I had to figure out what the big box on my bedroom wall belonged to.

All it took was about 5 minutes to remove the cover and sand the copper wires to make an old doorbell come back to life.  Another reason to love the internet!

Hot Damn

Shortly after my last post on Thursday, I had a little kitchen accident.  You see, my son ended up staying home from school sick.  Totally messing up the whole day as I was suppose to go for my post op checkup. 

I rescheduled my appt and took to caring for him.  He wanted hot tea and so I put a pan of water on the stove and made him tea.  Problem is, I set the pan back on the burner and forgot to turn it off.  About 20 mins later I smelled something weird coming from downstairs.  I immediately realized it had to be the pan!

What little water leftover from tea making was completely gone and the bottom of the pan had black and grey marks. Great I thought, it's ruined and I'll have to throw it away.  Normally this wouldn't have bothered me.  I have even been looking around at buying extra pots to have for cooking since I usually seem to need more when I am making meals. 

It's just that the pots I have are from my childhood.  They were given to my mother at her wedding shower to my stepfather when I was 4.  And they are the only few things I have of hers since she's died.  She gave them to me years ago when I moved home from college.  They are wonderful, heavy duty stainless steel.  I did ruin (boiling away water again!) the tiny pot a year ago so to lose another really made me upset.

I had run hot water in the pot to try to cool it down so I could possibly stop the metal from becoming ruined even further.  Then I googled help on saving it.  There were a lot of tips and I tried them all!  Mostly I simmered baking soda and lemon juice (from concentrate) on medium high heat replacing the water every so often when it turned dark grey.  I did that for a couple hours and would scrub with a brillo pad every so often in between changes.  Almost all of the marks came off and then I remembered how my mom used white toothpaste to polish metals.  So I grabbed the paste from the bathroom and started wiping.  And that really helped!  For one, it took away the lingering smell from the pot and a lot of the remaining burn.  Now my pot looks presentable and usable.  The pot didn't warp and my husband didn't even notice anything when he used it later to make ice tea (I am too embarrassed to tell him haha).  The outside looks perfectly fine and while the inside may never sparkle and shine as before, I can save it and hopefully pass it down to Paige. 

Yay internet!!  Though now I am setting the kitchen timer when I boil water!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Cleaning out the pantry

After watching Extreme Couponing and seeing some really amazing stockpiles, I decided to clean out my kitchen pantry. Except I decided this 30 mins before having to get my kids to CCD.  Of course taking my kids to CCD was also the reason for cleaning up the closet as I wanted to donate any items that we haven't been using so it made sense.  Why I waited all day to do it is beyond me however.  It just seems to be the way I operate.  LAST MINUTE!

The good thing about my pantry is that it is organized.  A couple years ago I gave it a total overhaul and designated each shelf for specific items and tried to set it up like shelves in a grocery store. 

While my pantry may not win any awards, it is easy for my family to find what they want.  Plus it also makes it easy to see what I am out of.  It probably could be organized better and maybe I'm not using the space to its best potential.  I have arranged it so that the very top shelf is all my baking goods.  The next shelf down is canned items, followed by cereal and snacks on the third shelf.  The fourth shelf down is pasta, rice, and over flow snack items.  The shelf below that (picture on right) is condiments and drink items.  Then I use the floor for more overflow items and lunch items (lunch bags, utensils, napkins, etc.) 

I really love this pantry.  I have never had a pantry in any of my houses before -including my child hood home.  So it's really nice to have such a large space that is devoted to just food items.  Plus it allows me to use my cupboards for storing dishes and things.  I do not have a lot of cupboards and drawers so I would really be pressed for space if I had to store all those items with dishes! 

Having an organized pantry also makes it easy for the kids to help put things away.  Paige has even gotten into the habit of removing snack items from their boxes and putting them in the snack box located on the far right side of the cereal/snack shelf.  Though they may not always do a perfect job of putting away the groceries, it only takes me a minute to move items around.  If I don't keep up with this, then the shelves get very crazy and that leads me to yesterday.

I wish I had taken a before photo, but I wanted to get it cleaned in a hurry.  That's also the beauty of having my system set up.  I was able to go through the shelves, remove any overstock or unused items, and organize in about 15 minutes.  We took 3 grocery bags full of canned goods and extra pasta items to CCD for the food bank.  My son was thrilled as he had asked to do this before their holiday break and didn't think I would remember! 

Tomorrow I head back to work.  Not sure I'm happy about it.  I think I like being a stay at home mom!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Extreme Couponing

Did you guys catch TLC's extreme couponing last night ? I think it originally aired Dec 29th, so this was a repeat.  I accidentally landed on it right when it started and had to watch.  While I like to save money, I have to wonder about the practicality of these couponers.  So much time and effort is put into their couponing and I'm not sure if it's worth it.  Having some stockpile and getting the best deal is worth a little time, but buying so much that you have to insure it separately with your  homeowner's policy is too much for me.  And is it possible that they are actually hoarders?  Could they eventually end up on TLC's Hoarders- Buried Alive show?   

I do have to say that it is a lot easier now to coupon than it was when I was first starting out in the late 80's.  When I went to college (88 to 92), the internet was non existent to just starting.  While collecting coupons from the Sunday paper helped, the selection of coupons in the inserts were limiting.  I did try to save coupons and search the sales to make the best savings, but again this was before all the stores came up with reward cards and such.  I think those started around the mid to late 90's for my area.  Coupon clearing houses were the best way to go.  I remember stumbling across the idea in one of my Tightwad Gazette newsletters when I was still in college.  Anyone remember that newsletter?  I heard about it when the owner Amy Dacyczyn was on the Phil Donahue Show (anyone remember that show?).  I sent away for my own coupon booklet and couldn't wait to start selecting coupons.  Again, choices were limited, but it really helped me find great coupons especially for cat and dog food.  Each booklet had several pages that listed items you could check off to see if any coupons were available.  You sent your selections back along with the processing and handling fee and a sase (for those of you youngies self addressed stamped envelope).  Then you waited.

And waited.  And when your envelope came back, you hoped that all your choices were available.  Some times they were and sometimes they weren't.  Rebating was also a big deal back then.  You could subscribe to rebating programs that would send you lists of all the rebates available.  That's when you could really save money.  I remember getting a book from the library Ask the Coupon Queen by Mary Anne Hayes and being amazed at how much she saved from coupons and rebating.  Look at how old this is- 1979!

There was another book really popular that I read, but can't remember title or author.  This author also used coupons and rebating to bring her grocery bills down next to nothing.  Again a lot of time and energy went into this, probably more so than today since the internet and websites make it easier to obtain coupons and search sales.

While I do not coupon as much as I did years ago, I do still like to save money.  I probably won't have a stockpile in my garage taking over the space (we have a ton of outdoor toys that do that quite well!), I do still enjoy getting a really good deal and knowing that I did save some money.

Too bad I didn't start a website about couponing when the internet first started.  Heck, we didn't really think it was going to be such a big thing.  So missed a great opportunity!!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Still sick

Hope to feel better by tomorrow to catch up with everyone!

Monday, January 3, 2011

A really bad day...

It was a really bad day yesterday.  I am not looking forward to going back to work this week.  I totally screamed at my family last night and I can't shake this cold.  All in all, it was a horrible day yesterday and I feel so depressed today.  I hope I can get out of this terrible feeling today.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Christmas Review

Photos to follow later....

I can't believe my last post was over a week ago.  There is so much to tell but since I woke up with a miserable head cold, I'm just going to recap some fun things from the last week.

Starting off, I almost accomplished ( wait- there is a flock of geese outside the house!! They are quacking??? so loud- weird) all of my cleaning goals.  The only one that didn't make the cut due to running out of time is the office. Big surprise I know!  But while my house looks really great, my son does not think so.  More on that story later as it requires a post all on its own.

Christmas at my house was wonderful.  It was really nice and relaxing.  Everyone agreed it was more comfortable than being at my mother in laws.  She has a tiny house and we all crowd down in a basement that's about 10 x 10.  With over 20 of us, it's very tight and uncomfortable.  I overcooked as usual, so everyone had plenty of containers to take home.  The kid's cookies were a hit.  Though we still have a ton left over as well.

Paige and Jeffrey were very happy with all the gifts they got.  I don't think they were disappointed at all.  They got me wonderful jewelry from Santa's Lane and warm pj's.  All in all it was wonderful despite missing my mom.

After Christmas, I did a little shopping for clothes at the outlet mall.  I got myself a bunch of clothes for work ( I can't believe I go back next Friday!) and little things for the kids and Jeff.  I spent time with my one friend rolling grape leaves -over 500 for a local restaurant which we will be doing as a weekly order.   And just hanging around the house.  I woke up yesterday feeling a little sluggish and today I have a stuffy head and scratchy throat.  I planned on really cleaning out the office today, but I may just go through the paper piles and see if I feel better tomorrow. Right now my eyes are getting heavy and I feel a nap calling me!  Will post soon about some funny things that happened over the past week.  I don't know about you but I need some humor!