Saturday, January 24, 2015

Stats

Let me tell you something crazy.  I started this blog in December of 2009.  I have been at it for about five years.  My posts have petered out, here and there, but I think I have at least written something once a month for the last five years.  If not, pretty close to that.  But sometimes I post way more that once a month.  Sometimes, much more.  Remember that stupid October I tried to post something I was grateful for every single day?  That was crazy town.  Turns out, I was most grateful when that month was in my rear view mirror!

Anyway, I was re-reading some of my earlier favorite posts this morning and clicked on the Stats button of my Blog.  I saw that I have had 157,000 visits to this blog.  What???  I think I probably checked that number a year ago or so and it was 22,000 or something similar.  Most of those were my mother, I am sure.

So I had to investigate further.  What in the world would explain that kind of traffic?  Guess what the most visited page is on my blog?

Christmas Fruit Tree

Remember when I took that fruit tree to Beth's Christmas party?  I wrote an overly descriptive, step by step process of how I did it on this blog.  Well, I posted a picture of it on Pinterest back when I first joined that site.  Since that time, 50,000 times someone has clicked on the picture in Pinterest and been linked to my blog.  In all those 50,000 visits no one made a comment, left a note, or probably ever came back!  HaHa!

I think that is so funny!

I am going to do a little further investigating to see if I can come up with how many times a visitor to my blog links back to my parents!  It is a big number.

Hope you have a spectacular Saturday!

P.S.  If you are interested in what my favorite posts have been...here is a short list:

All Vacation Re-caps
All Conversation with Chip and Harry
All Bob Chronicles
And one of my all time favorites is "A Gentle Leader" - that crazy day I tried to use that dog walking equipment on my boy Astro.  Cracks me up.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Getting Back to a Routine

Let's see if I can, at a bare minimum, do a weekly update, before it turns into another month long hiatus!  It's a new year....routines should mean getting back to a routine.

This week kicked off the start of Harry's second semester of college.  His buddy said during the Christmas break...we are already 1/8 done with college.  Ack!  So the second of eight semesters is underway and Harry said it was a good week.  He is thrilled that he does not have class on Friday.  Three day weekend - every weekend!  That is a sweet schedule.  Here are a few snapshots Harry sent me this week.


It's a great day to be in Phoenix.  Who am I kidding?  Everyday is a great day to be in Phoenix! 


Groceries!


Favorite new sandwich...steak and egg.  

I love getting these little peeks into his day.  I also received a great text from his roommates Mom, telling me a story about the two of those boys trying to jump start BP's car since the battery was dead after sitting over the holiday break.  It was hysterical and I could totally picture it happening and laughed out loud at her text.  BP's dad was trying to walk them through the process of hooking up the jumper cables and neither of those boys could figure out how to pop the hoods on their cars!  BP's dad told them to get their car manuals out, figure out how to open the hood and then call him back.  He was worried they might never call back.  They did figure that step out....but both boys were freaking out about the dangers of the jumper cables.  They got it done, the car cranked and there was celebration all around.  It was obvious to both of us that we would get an "F" in automobile maintenance preparation of our children.  We both agree that we are so happy they have each other!    

And in local news....back in the home state, I got back to the gym. About the time that I took a break from blogging, I also took a break from the gym.  I continued to do my early morning walking but didn't lift any weights.  Between my plantar fasciitis flare up, my freak back injury (remember that whole plugging in the phone thing?), being sick after Thanksgiving, busy work schedule...fitness took a backseat.  Monday was my first day back to working out with Mr. Knowledge About the Human Body.  It was not hard, but I knew I was going to be sore.  I was NOT wrong. I was sore the rest of the week, but it was good to be back.  I worked out again on Friday and we did some fun boxing stuff and slinging those big ropes that was great.  Not nearly as sore after the second work out, so hope the muscle memory comes back pretty quick!  Happy to be back to it.

Tuesday was basketball game day for Chip.  Always fun to hang out at the gym and pull for the Cougars with the other parents.  Our boys got beat pretty soundly, but they all played much more aggressive and it was a much better game to watch than the few weeks before.  Trying to find the positive.

Wednesday was Lakeside day!  Hubby helped me fill 168 cups with some goodies for each of the apartments at Lakeside.


Our dining room was an assembly line production center and it went pretty efficiently.  Cup, spoon, oatmeal pack, granola bar, Bible verse, Hershey kisses.  On Wednesday, I ended up delivering the cups door to door with my friend Nancy, instead of hanging out in the community room.  We were hosting a Bingo game instead of doing a craft so I didn't really have any set up or instructions to give out and we needed another team to do the floor deliveries.  It was great knocking on all the doors and inviting everyone down for brunch and bingo, but I sure missed the interaction with all the regulars!   After we got all of our cups delivered we did get down in time to visit.  It has been four years of serving at Lakeside and I am sincerely happy every time I walk in the door.  It feels good to do something that touches a heart instead of just pushing paper in a job or doing the same household chores.  Fills up the joy tank.  

The rest of the week was pretty quiet.  Chip had his buddy spend the night on Friday night.  A little house cleaning, laundry, shopping, cooking, the regular.

I did spend some time this weekend going through my nieces wedding photos.  She got some great ones.  Here is one of my favorites - taken with my camera phone on the computer.


Love this one so much. There were so many great shots!

I got in a little extra cardio workout with my girl Beth on Saturday.  Always better to workout with a friend!  Makes it go by so fast!


Today, I took my Chipster to get a haircut.  He needed it!   All cleaned up!

This afternoon we hung out with our friends and watch the SeaHawks in that crazy game they ended up winning.  Harry loves the SeaHawks and was super happy.


These are the kinds of snacks you take to a football game when you are back to regular workouts and sessions with Mr. Knowledge.  Tried a new recipe for some jalapeƱo bacon cauliflower bites I found on Pinterest.  Interesting texture and I think I loved them. Going to see how they reheat tomorrow before I decide if it is a keeper recipe. 


Chip and his buddy worked hard all afternoon moving logs, rocks, dirt to erect the start of a fort.  They have big plans for shooting bow and arrows and such.   Boy fun!   It has been a lovely weekend in Texas. 

The best news of all, we still have one more day to the weekend!  Woo Hoo!   

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Happy New Year!

Hi.

Remember me? 

I used to blog here pretty regularly, but then I got distracted by life and didn't feel much like writing.  So, I took a break.  Did six million other things.  Now I feel like writing again.  

I don't even know how to tell you what you missed...so I will just give a bullet list of what I can remember from photos on my phone.  Then we will just start fresh. 



  • Chip's first season of middle school football ended.  I love me some Cougar football!  Chip had a blast. He can't wait to do it again in 8th grade. 


  • Fall baseball also ended.  It was a busy autumn.  The A's played some great baseball.  Earned some trophies. This is the Chip and his pal MJT.  They both play trombone in the school band.  They anchor the corners of the baseball diamond.  They play football for the Cougars.  I love cheering for these boys.   
  • You know what else I love?  Crafting and my niece, Malarie.   Those two favorites were perfectly melded together when I helped host a wedding shower for her!  The shower was set for the Saturday after Thanksgiving, so I had to get everything ready to take to Alabama.  Here are a few shots of the shower/wedding crafts that happened this Fall. 


Mal and Brett were having a New Year's Eve wedding and I was helping with the New Year's Eve party favors.  I couldn't find any cute blowers and horns, so I made these!  Aren't they cute!  I made them out of scrapbook paper!  My sweet friend Karen helped me and we cranked them out in big volume!  Pinterest inspired! 


The wedding shower was actually a Brunch!  This little sign I made was perfect for the Mimosa Bar. 


"Happily Ever After" cupcake toppers handmade with love.


Banner for the fireplace made with my Cricket machine.  I shipped all the goodies to Bama so they would be ready and waiting when we flew in for Thanksgiving. 


  • We were able to check in on Harry while he was away at college by turning on the TV and tuning in to the MLB Network!  He was attending the Fall Baseball league championship game out in Phoenix and was on TV behind every right hand batter.  It was so fun to watch.  I kept sending him texts like "What are you eating?"  "Is Brandon having nachos?" "Quit looking at your phone and watch the game."  Can you imagine how much he enjoyed receiving my texts?  



  • Me, Hubby and Chip flew from Texas to Bama and Harry flew directly from Arizona to Bama for the Thanksgiving holiday.  We met him at the airport and we were finally all back together again!  It was great!  Thanksgiving Day was excellent with great food, fun games and wonderful people.  Bob had coordinated a full afternoon schedule of games and events - frisbee football, basketball shoot out, BB gun target shooting, frisbee target toss, Left Right Center for big money and Bingo.  He sent out an itinerary for the day that said "As you prepare for the Thanksgiving activities, please remember the family motto:  Show me a good loser and I will show you a loser."  Now if that doesn't provide a spirit of unity and thankfulness I just don't know what will! It was all done in good fun and we had a blast!  
  • The day after Thanksgiving was all about bridal shower prep.  My sweet sister, The Nice One, helped me make all the food for the brunch.  We were making it a vegan affair and we were whipping up lots of new recipes.   I couldn't have done it without her!  To repay her kindness, I agreed to help with a craft project for The Queen's room.

  • Aren't these so cute?  They were 12x12 canvas boards, covered with four different black and white fabrics and we cut out the turquoise felt into flower petals and then glued them directly on to the canvas.  Another Pinterest project for the win!  I loved the final result and I think the Queen did too!  
  • The next morning was the much anticipated Bridal Brunch!  My sister-in-law, Debbi and I had fun pulling it together!  Here are some pictures of the festivities: 











How is it possible, this is the only picture I have of Malarie with her mom and sister?  Terrible.  
We had a great turnout and a fun time was had by all! 
  • We all flew back home to our respective cities and all hell broke loose on the health front. Shocking, right?  A least it wasn't while we were on vacation!  I was sick with a cold.  Bob and Lana were sick.  Really sick.  Like two weeks sick, with multiple visits to the doctor and even a scary emergency room visit that turned out not to be too bad.  Callie was sick.  Harry got the flu while at school during finals week. Crap!  I hated not being able to be there to help nurse him back to health. Hard to be so far away from your baby when he is laying on the bathroom floor telling you how awful he feels.  It took a lot of restraint not to book a flight ASAP.  We stayed in close contact and his friends checked on him and he bounced back pretty quickly. Grateful. 



  • Back in Chip's world was a science project of a 3D model of a cell.  He knocked this one out of the park!  Good work Chip!  


  • The band holiday concert was excellent!  My two favorite trombone players.  I don't think I know any other trombone players...but don't tell them that. 



  • Chip also made the middle school basketball team!   Woot, Woot!  Everybody do that Cougar Rumble!  


  • Not sure if you can view this video or not, but here is my Chip #45 sinking a shot from three point range!  Cougars haven't had much to celebrate this basketball season as they have been struggling a bit, but we sure enjoy supporting them! 
  • Then it happened!  Harry was home for the holidays!!!  Harry and his buddy RV drove 14 hours to come home for the Christmas break.  I was so happy that they made it safely with no problems.  That is far!  



  • Hey, Homie!  Welcome Homie!  You cannot get a picture of this boy without him throwing up that Fork 'Em sign.  

  • It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!  Everywhere you go!  Sing along with me! 

  • Even though Harry was done with his school work, he was still doing his reporting job for the ASU women's basketball team.  He sent in three or four articles while he was home.  So proud of him!   



  • We didn't arrive in Alabama until December 23rd so there was lots of wrapping of presents to do!  The Nice One again came through and helped me!  Then a selfie session broke out.  The Queen tried to teach two old farts the art of selfie making.  It is not as easy as it looks.  


  • This was my favorite from our selfie session - mostly I just love the look on my sweet Chip's face.  Pure joy of Christmas on the way! 
  • Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were wonderful!  Again, surround yourself with great food, lots of laughs and people you love. It just doesn't get much better than that. 
  • The day after Christmas we launched straight into the wedding preparation countdown!  There was a lot to do, but we got it done.  It was a beautiful wedding and we had a blast.  I have some pictures of the festivities that I will share in a separate post.  



  • To wrap up this super long post.....It is 2015!  WHAT?  How is that possible?  We are back in Texas after a twelve day stay in Bama.  Ten loads of laundry done.  Suitcases put away.  The Christmas decorations are packed up.  Back to school.  Back to work.  Back to Basketball.  Harry just texted us that he arrived safely back to his dorm after two days of driving.  Sweet relief.  I had a wonderful, relaxing, 2 1/2 hour lunch with my girl Beth today.  It was a really nasty weather day today and we were one of just a few people in the restaurant.  We had much to catch up on and we did just that.  Loved it. 

I hope I do not have as long of a drought between blogs again, but no promises!  Hope you stay warm where you are and that 2015 is filled with good health for you and those you love...prosperity, joy, adventure, tons of laughter and that you give and receive some random acts of kindness!  Wouldn't that be a great year?  Cheers to the New Year!