Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Sealed with L-O-V-E. I started a new family tradition last year. While visiting family in Iowa, I heard about this wonderful idea featured on the news. The post office in the small town of Valentine, Nebraska will stamp your Valentines with a special heart postmark. I placed all of my Valentine cards, stamped and addressed in a larger envelope and sent them off to the post office in Valentine, NE. My family members each received their hand-cancelled, sealed with love Valentine. Doing a search on the USPS website, I found that 11 other romantically named cities also offer this service. Listen to the names of these: Bliss, NY, Heart Butte, MT, Juliette, GA, Loveland, CO, Loveville, MD, Loving, MN, Romance, AR, Romeo, MI, Sugar City, CO, Valentine, TX and Valentines, VA. Surprise your loved ones with their Valentines this year.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

IT'S BOOKCLUB DAY! I mentioned that I was in two bookclubs. One of them is getting smaller and smaller with members moving, starting new jobs, etc. and the other one is new. I actually finished both of the books on time which is a huge accomplishment for me. The Kite Runner is a book that really makes you appreciate living in a country where you have freedom. At first I didn't enjoy being in a bookclub. I never would have chosen most of the books to read, but after a few years of being a member, I have grown and now enjoying looking at things on other levels, deeper. Angry Housewives was a really fun read. Lots of pages, but fun. We are meeting to discuss Angry Housewives after school today. Last, but not least, Seeking Him, is the book that my biblestudy group is reading.I feel like I'm back in school, doing all of this reading, but it's a good thing, as Martha would say. We are always looking for new books. If you have a recommendation, please let me know. Happy Reading!

Monday, January 29, 2007

L-O-V-E is in the air. It's getting closer. Only 16 more days until the most romantic day of the year. We went to Scottsdale today to see an art exhibit and visited my favorite place there. This amazing LOVE sculpture is outside the art museum. I took both of my kids there a few years ago. I always do a Valentine photo shoot for family cards, but last year Cole begged me that it could be his last year. I guess he hung in there long enough! Lucky for us, the letters are located right next door to the art exhibit that we were going to visit.
I would have loved to have lifted her up to the letter "O" but they are too tall. Each letter stands about five feet tall. What a fun afternoon we had. The City of Scottsdale commissioned this artist to replicate their city in jello, yes I said jello. It was amazing. It was difficult to get a decent photo because there were people standing around the tables.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Sharing Some L-O-V-E. Have you checked out the dollar section at Target lately? These wonderful, pink, glittered garlands are only a dollar. They also have these, begging to be altered, magnetic stands complete with the red glittered heart magnets. Gotta love Target.

Monday, January 22, 2007

I have a new toy. I spotted these heart-shaped tins in the Valentine section at Michaels about a week ago. I immediately had the idea of attaching magnets to the back and putting them on a magnetic bulletin board in my scrapbook room. I ended up buying a piece of sheet metal from Lowes. I stamped the edges pink, of course and have been having so much fun filling them up with embellishments. I'm even thinking of going and buying a second set. After all, you can never have too much storage, right?

Thursday, January 18, 2007

I've been tagged by Andrea to enlighten you with five things that you may not know about me.
Here we go:
1. I am a hopeless romantic and feel very lucky that my first date with my husband was on Valentine's Day. Next month will be the 21st anniversary of our first date.
2. I was on the gymnastics team in high school. My speciality was the uneven bars. I can't believe it now that my body was even long enough to reach those bars!
3. I love to read everything I can get my hands on. I adore magazines and am a member of two bookclubs. We are currently reading "Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons" and "The Kite Runner".
4. I have a love/hate relationship with myself when it comes to entertaining. I am very social by nature and love to entertain. However, I keep myself sooo busy with commitments and hobbies that I don't entertain as often as I would like to.
5. I love being a Mom and am cherishing these wonderful days with my children. I fear that I will be one of those "lost" women after my children grow up and leave home.
I'm tagging Anastasia and Lauren.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

34 degrees at 7:30 a.m. For the Phoenix area, that is unbelievably cold. Yesterday, at this time, it was only 20. Too cold for me to go outside and take the picture. We are wimpy here. We are all wearing layers, cranking up the heat, turning on the fireplace and piling on the blankets. Phoenix has been breaking all kinds of records for this cold weather. That was definitely not one of the reasons I moved here from Iowa 22 years ago. The day I graduated from Iowa State University, one cold December day, it was 18 degrees below zero. Now that's cold! All of the girls were required to wear panty hose and dresses. I distinctly remember how cold my legs were. There are alot of homeless people here in Arizona. I've had a hard time getting to sleep these last few nights. I've been praying for them, hoping that they are finding a way to stay warm. Also, there's a town within 12 miles from us, Maricopa, that has hundreds of brand-new homes. Southwest Gas Company ran out of gas and several of those homes were without heat last night. I've never heard of anything like that happening before. Southwest is our gas provider too. We take so much for granted, just flicking the switch on our fireplace and cranking up the heat. Stay warm!

Friday, January 12, 2007

Nell Hill's. Have you heard about these books?? Or the boutiques? Dorothy was lucky to have lived in Kansas. Mary Carol Garrity lives in Atchison, Kansas and owns a few home furnishings and accessory boutiques that she named after her grandmother, Nell Hill. Lucky for me, she has written books and so generously shares with those of us who aren't near Kansas, her style and vinettes. I've been collecting these books for a few weeks now. Would love to visit her shops someday.

Her Christmas book had some wonderful ideas in it, including using an urn for your Christmas tree instead of a stand. If you enjoy home accessorizing as much as I do, you won't be disappointed in her books.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Lots of fun was had yesterday when my two great friends, Tina and Carmen came up from Tucson. We try to get all of the kids together over Christmas and summer break and I'm so glad that we make this effort. We took all six of the kids for an afternoon of lazer tag. I made arrangements earlier for we moms to use the birthday party room to scrapbook while the kids played their games. Amongst all of the chit chatting, we managed to squeeze in a little work. We later went to dinner at the entertaining Organ Stop Pizza. They do a great job of entertaining people of all ages. They play everything from Phantom of the Opera to The Little Mermaid soundtrack. Can't wait until we get together again.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Let the Games Begin! Happy 2007. We had the type of New Year's Eve Celebration that I love. Just the four of us at home, dining on party foods for dinner, sitting in front of the fire, playing board games, watching movies and planning our vacations for 2007. I keep a stash of party poppers for the kids for New Year's Eve. We started with English crackers and of course, we all wore our crowns. Then the kids went out every hour, on the hour to pop their fireworks. I made them quit at 10 because thankfully we live in a quiet neighborhood. I also filled in my calendars, another great New Year's Eve tradition. I remember when Mark and I would get dressed up and go to New Year's Eve parties. I definitely enjoy our new way of celebrating.