Be Happy Anyway

Be Happy Anyway
From Brave Girls Club

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Here They Are

...the Christmas pics you must have been anxiously waiting for. I know I was.

Friday I got up at 5 a.m. and had the kids in the car by 5:30. Unfortunately my bank was not cooperating with my desire to be on the road early. There had been some problems occurring out of state on people's Texas ATM cards so they blocked all out of state transactions without telling us. Fortunately, the credit card that pulls directly from my checking account still worked, or I would have been stuck. It wasn't until I was on the road for 3 hours or so that I got a hold of the bank and heard the whole story and the teller was able to pull the block on my account. After that, everything was smooth sailing.

Santa was driving a big rig!!

Eleven hours later (blech) I made it to my destination and was able to meet with my good friend for dinner. Every year she and I have a standing engagement to get together and exchange gifts and enjoy good food. I was so glad to see her and share what's been going on. It's a lot better than trying to converse via text. (By the way, I hate texting.) We then went on to my mother's place to crash.

The next day, we went on a shopping spree to get last minute Christmas gifts and to get my son new jeans. (Never let your husband pack for your children or they may have to go naked for the rest of the trip.)

Sunday the kids got up at a decent hour (7 a.m.) and we opened presents before mom went to mass. We all got great presents from mom and from my brother. (He is the great gift shipper.)

 Yes, that was THE tree.

Ooh, is that gift from me?? 
(They were art supplies from brother dear.)

When mom got back from service at her church we piled in the car and went to my home church and enjoyed a nice service and hugged a few necks

Most people will have some sort of turkey/ham/big meat dinner. Not us.When we got home we got to making a yummy Christmas breakfast complete with fruit, pancakes, eggs, sausage, and bacon.

Seeing this table setting really is making me miss this lady...
...and her table decorations.

Unfortunately, I work at a year round school. (Fortunately I have a job I can complain about.) Because of the strange schedule, we only get the actual holiday off so I had to drive back to Missouri on the Monday after Christmas. It took a lot of caffeine, sugar, and potty breaks. I also kept my oldest awake to talk and sing and laugh at the comedy station on the satellite radio. When we arrived, the kids found what Santa had left at our REAL house. They were very excited, but it happened so quickly, I didn't get to take any pictures.

I don't know if I will post before the new year, so if I don't see you,


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

It's Alive!!! computer that is.

My children killed my computer again. It took some major intervention to revive it. I hope it lasts for a while now.

What did I do while I was disconnected? Mom stuff, creative stuff, work stuff. Let's take a look.

 White chocolate dipped Rice Krispy treat pops.

 M&M cookies
 Tissue paper art
 Yes, those "paintings" are made entirely from tissue paper and black Sharpie poster paint markers.

Yesterday, I finally got around to putting up the tree. What was the delay?? We couldn't find the Christmas decorations. I believe the packers took them out of the clear Rubbermaid containers, wrapped them individually and packed them in a cardboard box. I am sure I am thankful that they were so careful with them. I am wondering why they didn't label the boxes, though. What's a mom to do then? We strung popcorn and Cheerios and topped the tree with a random angel.

After tomorrow, I will be away from the computer until Monday night. The kids and I will be off to my mother's for Christmas and she is still not connected to internet yet. Just know that I will be thinking of you while I am gone. I will stop by and visit each person who leaves me a comment. Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

December Daily 8

Wouldn't you know it? The moment I hit send (well it felt that way) my battery charger showed up. I was in the process of turning my nook under the stairs into a more office-like environment, and I was pulling things out of a tote bag that came from the other apartment. Lo and behold, there it was! The wayward charger. I think the act of purchasing a new one took the worry of my dead camera away freeing up space in my mind allowing me to remember where it might be. Maybe. It could happen.

At least I was able to charge the battery and get a picture of this:
A moment captured in time. A cold moment, but a moment nonetheless.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

December Daily 7

I have two cameras. One I can't find, and it doesn't zoom anymore. (That feature broke a year ago this month.) The other camera I lost the USB cable to a LOOOOONNNNG time ago. Now, I can't find the battery charger. Today, I ordered both the cable and charger from In the meantime, I am trying to eek out one picture a day out of the deadish battery so I can keep up with my December photography.

This morning it was 18F degrees, and I just couldn't get warm. Something warm seemed in order.
Oatmeal in my favorite new bowl with my favorite silverware and my currently favorite new place mat.

Stay warm my friends. Stay warm.

NOTE: Just my luck. I have been without that charger for weeks and have looked in every bag and box I could think of. Today, after I have ordered a new charger, I look in the same bag AGAIN and lo and behold, there it was. My camera battery is charging as we speak. As for the USB cable. It has been gone for years. We shall count it lost.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

December Daily 6

Prettige Feestdagen! We received a great Sinterklaas gift today.

I am glad when we woke up this morning we found this instead of finding that Zwart Piet had carried us off. Now to work on being good for next year.

If last year's winter is any indication, I am sure I will be tired of this white stuff after a while, but coming from Texas where this would have delayed school for two hours, it is quite a novelty. At least it gave me something to post for December Daily today.
So to answer iHanna's question on my calendar journal post: Yes, there will be snow in December! Haha.

Monday, December 5, 2011

December Daily 4 & 5

Day 4: From the Sketchbook Challenge's Theme: Trashed, Ruined and Decay.

These are the candle sticks that sit on my fireplace. I bought them in El Paso quite a few years ago. I went there to buy southwestern furniture and accessories. I came home with these and a pine end table. The store that sells them is known for their wrought iron. They keep most of it outside 24/7. Everything sits out in the elements which is what gives it character. When you buy something there, you usually buy a can of clear coat to preserve the rust and grime. And so we did, but not without it being rained upon a little more on the 10 hour ride home. Anyway, I decided to try my hand at painting the candle sticks rusty appearance. It was fun. Since then they have been dropped by my son more times than I care to think. He also thinks they make a cool sound when banged with whatever he can find lying around. The top on one is quite crooked. I don't think they will ever hold candles again.

Day 5: The coldest day of the year, yet one of the most pleasant because out of the blue, my husband invited me to breakfast and then for a morning of shopping for a winter coat, sweaters and other fun things. Very confusing. When I came home, I decided that it was a good day for this:
And I was right!!!!! I love quick and easy meals.

Directions are below:

Saturday, December 3, 2011

December Daily 3

Let's be thankful that I could eek out some photos from my wonky battery for our trip to the museum.

Here is my favorite photo of the day. It's not from the museum.

What better way to finish a cold and rainy day than with a stack of hot pancakes for dinner. There was bacon, too, but I burned it. (That's what happens when you try to talk to a friend overseas and cook at the same time.) We ate it anyway.

Happy December Daily.

What Do You Do...

...when it's a raining cats and dogs outside, all your chores are done and your daughter has an 89 in art!?? You head out to the Nelson Atkins Museum in Kansas City to get 20 points extra credit. That's what you do.

In order to earn the extra credit, she had to visit an art gallery, museum or art show and turn in a two page report about the experience and include a brochure from the museum and throw in a photo of herself for good measure at the exhibit.

Fortunately, this museum allows photos as long as you don't use a flash. Oddly enough, they don't like sketchbooks, though. (She is not holding a sketchbook, it is a notebook so she remembers what she liked at the museum.)

We made our way through the driving rain, wipers going full force, thanked the parking gods for indoor parking and began our pilgrimage through the museum (all three floors.) It was quite an experience considering I had a six year old in tow. (I thought her father was coming along to be the boy wrangler.) Surprisingly enough, the boy was well behaved. In fact, the two of them were so civilized that I didn't know if I had accidentally picked up the wrong children while I was checking our coats in. After a double check and some photographic proof, I was relieved to see they were my own children.

There were some wonderful and diverse exhibits including a collection of Rodin on loan from the Iris & B Gerald Cantor Foundation . I asked Caitlin, "Who has THIS just lying around the house?" (If that link doesn't work click here to watch the video.) The collection was amazing and definitely worth seeing more than once, especially minus the six year old.

All in all, it was a lovely visit. I can't wait to go out with the two of them again. I think James will get to pick the destination next time. Something with a little more action.

Friday, December 2, 2011

December Daily 2

Well, December Daily is up and running and me without my camera! What's a girl to do? Get out the sketchbook while sitting at the mechanics (again!) and sketch what I see in front of me.

This was an older woman with what I think was an Australian accent (based on her pronunciation of "battery." LOL!

This was a challenge for me because:
1. I don't do real people.
2. I only had a brief moment to capture her without staring at her.
3. I don't do furniture either.

Yes, I spent my morning at the garage, but I am crossing my fingers that we are DONE! The one thing I will say is that they have been very nice and helpful. I had joked earlier in the week that I was going to place my name on a chair because I had been there so much. When I saw the owner, he was walking in with packages and he said, "Oh, you came in before I was able to get your name on the chair." It was a good laugh. When I left, I only had to pay for the parts. BONUS!

Afterward, I met a new friend for lunch. We had a nice long chat. It was a good way to spend a Friday. It made the day feel like a Saturday.

I am going to try to post a little bit of something each day this month, but don't get used to it. When January comes, I will be back to the work mode so will try to figure out a doable posting schedule.

See you tomorrow.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

December Here! Time Keeps Marching On

...whether I am ready or not.

November was a busy month, so busy that I would forget to write on my calendar journal page. I fortunately was able to go back and fill in most of the days.

Here is next month's calendar.

If you would like to play along for December, head on over to The Kathryn Wheel to see what everyone else is doing.

December should be okay. Come mid-month, I will add an extra hour a day to my workday. That's a good thing. At the same time, the kids will  be home for Christmas Break...(I'm sorry, Winter Break! What the heck?!) Well, we will celebrate Christmas nonetheless. I am looking at making a trip to Chicago to visit my aunt and hopefully my mother will go up there. The problem with Chicago in December is the weather. You never know what the roads and flights will be like. I have only been to Chicago twice I think. It would be nice to see a different part of the family. It's still up in the air.

I still have to work on my Sketchbook Project. Actually, I have to get started. I need a long stapler. I don't know why I don't remember to buy one when I am out. It's kind of like remembering to get my oil changed. My house is not near anything, so if I forget to do something when I am out, and it can't be taken care of at the grocery store, it won't happen until the next time I am out. (NOTE: I bought one since writing this.)

In other news, to add to my busyness (in a good way) I am now the assistant editor at FEATURING Magazine. Marit announced the team members who will be contributing articles to this exciting project. I am just happy that we are in the "I can talk all about it" stage. I am also delighted to be productive and to be able to use my writing skills for more than just my own personal use.

Just 24 more days until Christmas. What are you doing to prepare for this special day? Are you participate in December Daily? I haven't decided. I don't have a working camera other than my phone. Gotta find that battery charger NOW. I look forward to seeing what you are doing this month.
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