A Royal Champagne Brunch!!

     My fun BFF, Donna, decided to hostess a Royal Champagne Brunch  for her girlfriends.  Sounded sooo fun to me -- and since I never did get that invitation from Buckingham Palace, I was in!!!  Everyone was asked to wear a hat which made it extra fun!  We also were supposed to try not to watch any of the wedding coverage before the party so we could watch together for the first time (easier said than done since it was all over the internet, too). 
     The champagne mimosas were flowing, a great spread of quiches, cucumber sandwiches, crumpets and lots of other goodies were available, door prizes for things like best hat, closest birthday to William and Kate (I won for having a June birthday closest to William - a lovely bracelet - yeah!).  All the while, the Royal Wedding was playing on the "telly"!!  We also played a fun little game where you figure out your "royal" name by taking the title of Lord/Lady, then your grandfather/grandmother's first name, then your first pet's name, followed by the street you grew up on.  Well, mine starts out good and then (thanks to my first pet's name)....is just sooo NOT royal sounding!!!  Here is my pretend royal name:

Lady Elizabeth Gizmo Lochdale

     I saw most of the coverage of the wedding itself and the two kisses later on!!  From what I saw, it all appeared to be very lovely...except for one thing that really stood out -- Fergie's daughters (below)!! 
     I can't wait to watch the Royal Wedding with my daughters!  What was your favorite memory of the royal wedding?  More importantly, what is your royal name? 
Thanks for a good time, Lady Sophia!!

Trying to look serious in my "royal hat" **

My BFF and Hostess, Donna (Lady Sophia)
with her Royal Mimosa!!

The Royal Wedding on the Telly

The Royal Crowd

Royal Flowers for the Hostess from Lord Rick

Really Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice??

Image Credit Time Magazine

** Made the hat by spray painting my Target $2.50 straw hat and safety pinning ribbon, flower and obnoxious beaded embellishment.  :)

Congratulations William and Kate!!

     Just in case they decide to read my blog today, right!?!?  I'm off to celebrate with the girls...  Details to follow!!  Cheerio!!


D.A.R.E. Graduation

     Recently, J and K, along with their classmates, graduated from the 5th grade D.A.R.E. program at school.  The school and local police department teamed up to host a small ceremony to celebrate the completion of the program.  The principal and the DARE officer spoke to the class, the students received certificates, t-shirts, and a few students read their DARE essays to the class.
    I think this program is so important and, like most mothers, I pray that my kids will make the right decisions and follow the advice learned in DARE and "resist" the peer pressure that sometimes exists today.  I am proud of my kids and the essays they wrote about DARE!  Feel free to pray along with me!!

Kristin Receiving Her Certificate from her teacher,  Mrs. Maxwell
(Jacob's picture was too blurry)
Principal, Dr. Thorin
Speaking to students about the dangers of drugs and alcohol

My kids DARE essays
(if you can zoom in, you will notice that Jacob is worried 'cause drugs
can make people kill their parents...now I' m worried!)

Jacob's Certificate

My twin DARE grads in their t-shirts!!
(That's Jacob's hands on hip "girly" pose he likes to do!!)


SO WHAT! Wednesday

It's SO WHAT! Wednesday and I'm linking up with Life After I "Dew"
to tell you what I say So What to!  Here we go....

So WHAT if:
  • I treat my dog like my fourth child....I LOVE him, too!!
  • I have my mom folding all my laundry while she's staying with me...it keeps her busy and it's less work for me!!
  • I watched my daughter's soccer game from the car on Monday....it was pouring rain!!!
  • Our anniversary is coming and so far the only plans we have are my kids' baseball pictures and a soccer game.
  • I am supposed to make something for a Bake Sale tomorrow and I don't even have the ingredients yet...
  • I sometimes drive my kids to school in my pjs and a coat...usually because of last minute rain!
  • My morning guilty pleasure is the 20 minutes alone with Regis and Kelly and a cup of coffee...right after my kids get on the school bus  :)
  • I like SO WHAT! Wednesdays -- it feels good to say SO WHAT sometimes!!!


Happy First Birthday Lucky!!!

     In honor of our "puppy".....Happy 1st Birthday!!!  We love you Lucky!! 
You have brought us sooooo much JOY!!!!

Our "Lucky" Day
July 2010
The Car Ride from the Rescue to his Forever Home

*NOTE:  Lucky is feeling much better than my last post!!


At the "Hop"!?

     Let's go to the "Hop"??  No Easter Bunny involved in this one.  My kids elementary hosts a Sock Hop every few years or so.  The last couple of years they replaced it with a "Hoedown"...so I thought maybe the Sock Hop was dead.  Then a few weeks ago a note came home about a Sock Hop.  Normally, this would be no big deal except for one thing....I had just gone through my kids clothes and made a huge donation pile.  I was anxious to get rid of a lot of stuff so I remembered purposely putting my oldest daughter's poodle skirt in the donation pile thinking....oh, they'll probably never have a Sock Hop again!!??  Oops!  The clothes were loaded up in my car to bring to the Salvation Army.  I literally ended up digging through all the clothes in the Salvation Army parking lot to find that poodle skirt I had "made" before handing over the rest of my donations.  By "made" I mean, I found a poodle applique and "stitch witched" it onto a skirt that....ironically, I had found at the Salvation Army about ten years ago.  I think I actually did sew the poodle's leash on the skirt by hand, though, and that probably took me forever!
     The kids always enjoy the Sock Hop and it is their last year of elementary school (we haven't missed one yet) so they had to go!!  There is a DJ, rootbeer floats, popcorn, cotton candy, a silent auction of gift baskets...as well as a teacher auction.  When my kids were in 1st grade the teachers auctioned off their time and we won the chance to go to Build a Bear with their 1st grade teacher!!  That was a special day!!
     It's funny how when they were younger I could dress them so cute.... and now that they are 5th graders...Jacob wore cargo jeans, his Student Council shirt and a sweatshirt jacket over it!!??  So NOT 50s spirit.  Kristin was happy to wear the poodle skirt but could care less when I told her she should wear bobby socks..or what shoes or jewelry she should wear.  That's okay...fun was had by all and more great memories of elementary school were made....at the "Hop"...

School Invite to the Sock Hop
5th Grader Kristin at the "Hop"

Jacob...at the "Hop"??
Kristin Hoppin' with friends

The Old Days


So What! Wednesday

It's So What! Wednesday and I'm linking up for the first time with Life After I "Dew" to tell what you what I say So What to!  Here we go....So WHAT if:

  • I didn't even know what "link up" meant until today (thanks Jennifer)...I'm a beginner blogger!!
  • I'm making a better Easter basket for my dog than I am for my husband!!!!
  • I am secretly happy when my kids sports practices get cancelled for bad weather -- I like a break now and then!
  • My 10-year-old son's room is such a mess that he couldn't find his class shirt this morning to wear on his field trip (and neither could I)!!
  • I accidentally mumbled "I hate math" to my daughter while helping her with her Algebra.
  • I use to run the subdivision Easter Egg Hunt and go all out when my kids were younger, and this year I just got out Mrs. Bunny and my Easter tree and that's all I'm decorating!
  • I wave to my nosey neighbor when I catch her staring out the window at me and my friends chatting!
I'd love to know what you're saying "so what" to this week!!


My Lucky is Sick...

     So, if you have been following along, you know that we recently had a vacation.  We made arrangements for my 11-month-old Goldendoodle "puppy" (Lucky) to be boarded in a fun place while we were gone.
     Apparently, when Lucky was picked up the staff mentioned to G that there was a virus detected in the facility and to just be aware.  I asked him for details and....he did not have any.  Meanwhile, Lucky was happy to be home and see everyone and played almost like usual.  However, he was pretty tired (slept a lot!) for especially the first two days.  We attributed that to all the doggy playtime he had.  Day 3 he "coughed" a few times in a weird way....but not a lot.  Day 4 he "coughed" some more like he was going to get sick....but never did (remember, he chews sticks and whatever he can find...everyday).  Day 6 we came home from being gone about 3 hours and poor Lucky had kind of "spit up" a few times in his crate....and then again when we let him outside.....
     At my insistence, G made a few calls and then took him to the vet with Jacob.  After blood work, consult and x-rays*, we learned my baby doggy has pneumonia!! :(  (Thank God he didn't eat any household items and have to have emergency surgery...)  But pneumonia is as sad in doggies as it is when my Megan had it...3 times.  He had a temperature, was dehydrated and was very lethargic when he came home.  He would not eat or drink ANYTHING....his breathing was rapid and labored...and he could barely move around,  Very sad to see him change like that seemingly overnight...it can happen fast with kids, too.  After trying salami, cheese, doggy sausage, peanut butter, baby carrots, treats, Frosty Paws, ice, etc.....we eventually did get him to eat some Gerber baby food (Beef with gravy to be exact).  He licked it right out of the jar that we fed to him while he was slaying on the couch.  We were relieved he at least ate something.
     Day 2 his appetite started coming around and he seemed to be on the mend.  Megan was an awesome doggy sister and he eventually slowly ate another Gerber baby food, his breakfast and dinner....and two Frosty Paws (one peanut butter one vanilla).  He LOVES Frosty Paws.  He is taking medication -- Clavamox 2x/day.  Tell your pets to keep Lucky in their doggy prayers....but we think he will be just fine!!  He knows he has a big day coming up very soon!!!!  We love you Lucky!!!

A Healthy Lucky!

Lucky with Cheese on his leg, baby carrots, salami, doggy sausage,
peanut butter, etc...in his food.  Still not eating!

Lucky's Big Sister, Megan, Feeding Him a Frosty Paws treat!

Kids Are At School, I ate my Breakfast,
now I just need some peace and quiet!!!!!!

This morning....enough energy to steal a shoe, just not enough to chew on it...yet!

*Oh, and it cost $552 to find out, ugh! 
 (And yet, we would pay more!!!)


Monday "Memories" with My Mom...


1 -- Memory loss that disrupts daily life
2-- Challenges in planning or solving problems
3 -- Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, at work or at leisure
 4 -- Confusion with time or place
5 -- Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships
 6 -- New problems with words in speaking or writing
7 -- Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps
8 -- Decreased or poor judgment
9 -- Withdrawal from work or social activities
10 -- Changes in mood and personality


     In an attempt to raise awareness and share my personal experiences, these are some of the things that Alzheimer's Disease has caused my mom to do.....

Send me a Mother’s Day card for my Birthday
Call me four or more times in one week to ask me my address 
Set her thermostat to 81 degrees on a hot summer day
Post reminder notes all over her house, many with the same messages
Ask what restaurant she is at three times during a family dinner
Ask how she got mail on Sunday (when it's really Tuesday)
Ask what's for lunch shortly after eating lunch
Lose one of her telephones
Compliment her grandson six times about the same thing in the same day
Lose her life alert bracelet
Become disoriented in my house even though she's been there hundreds of times

These things are caused by the disease, not the person.  There are many many more examples, but my intent is not to embarrass -- only give a glimpse of the reality of AD.


Spring Break Family Vacation - Part 4 (The End)

     Enjoyed sleeping in a place with our own individual/quiet rooms and cozy beds (no offense Holiday Inn)!  Being able to do some laundry and make our own breakfast and coffee isn't all bad.  Oh, and I would be remiss (lol) if I didn't mention that our Holiday Inn rate was about $90/night and our Scottsdale Links condo was $125/night (both before taxes)!!  No comparison.  Thank you Travelocity (or the "Gnome" as G would say).  Major bargain for 2 bedrooms/2 baths/laundry/kitchen/dining room/living room/balcony...  
     Our last couple of days were spent mostly relaxing poolside in Scottsdale.  This is my idea of a vacation....although a bonus would have been cabana boys bringing drinks, etc...but it wasn't that kind of place -- and it was a family vacation.  :)   The resort had activities and the kids participated in tie dying some shirts.  They turned out pretty good and they had fun.  G also took the kids to the Desert Botanical Gardens -- while I stayed by the pool :) (I mighta done a load of laundry while they were gone!  How exhausting, right!?)  Had a great dinner at the Yard House which G knew of from his AZ travels.  We got there in time for Happy Hour and G ordered a bunch of 1/2 off appetizers like a pro!!  Also, shopped one of the neat malls in Scottsdale and mostly just relaxed.  G and the girls went to The Cheesecake Factory one night for dinner....my kids are really into that place and can't understand why there isn't one in Michigan.  Jake and I had a date night carry out dinner back at the condo.  Our last full day in AZ we headed to In-N-Out for lunch -- I had never been and I had heard from my cousin and others how good it was so we wanted to check it out.  It was yummy and now I can say I was there!  I especially liked their fries.  Then off to one of G's co-workers houses (Jenn) to pick some grapefruit in her yard.  My kids all LOVE grapefruit -- especially Megan -- and couldn't wait to do this.  We find it amazing that people can go pick a fresh grapefruit in the morning and have it for breakfast  The kids saved room in their luggage to bring some home.  Turns out we got white and red grapefruit and some lemons, too!  Thanks Jenn and Steve!! 
     That evening (our last full day), the kids went and played "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader" in the activities center at the resort.  (Two of my kids are in 5th grade...  I guess they each won a round.)  Then later, they were showing the movie Tron and the kids enjoyed that, too.  The parents enjoyed a couple hours break from the kiddies.  One last night in the pool and hot tub before we headed home Saturday afternoon...
     After seven great days of nice weather, Mother Nature tried to make it easier for us to leave.  It got chilly and rainy the morning we left and there were actually weather advisories in Northern Arizona (Grand Canyon) area.  Our flight home was slightly delayed and made a connection through Salt Lake City.  (Apparently, Delta overbooked our return flight and contacted us a couple weeks before we left.  We scored a $2,000 voucher for the inconvenience of changing our return flight and making this connection!!  So, to us it was well worth it - especially since we used our miles for the trip!  Thank you Delta!)  Watched Little Fockers on the flight back and got in around 11 pm.  Back to life....back to reality!!!
     What I like about Arizona is that there are so many climates in one state...at the same time of year..and the landscape can change just within a short drive.  You can literally see snow capped mountains, pine trees, palm trees, cool rock formations, cactus, be in 40 degrees and 90 degrees in the same day with just a short drive.  As far as I can tell, the only thing missing is...the Ocean and beaches!  If they can get those, I would probably move there.  Or California (minus the earthquakes) or Florida (minus the hurricanes).  We all had a great family vacation and the rest and relaxation couldn't have come at a better time!!  We LOVE Arizona!

It's nice to have a kitchen on a family vacation
Home away from Home
Living Room - Jacob Already Watching TV!
Master Bedroom

Dining Area

The Pool
(woulda looked better if I actually got outta my lounge chair to take the picture)

Yard House=Good Food-Good Times!
Kristin took this pretty picture at the Botanical Gardens

Botanical Gardens
Kids in Front of Chihuly Art Glass Piece
(I love Chihuly art and met him when I worked at Guardian)
Scottsdale In -N- Out...Good Stuff!

The Kids Picking Grapefruit with Jenn and Steve

Our Last Night at the Pool
(Complete with mood changing lights)

The sad rainy trip to the airport :(

My Souvenirs - I'm a simple girl...
My "Sun" charm, magnets, pen and a cool
 Rubiks-like photo block of the Grand Canyon
(the kids fought over that like it was gold)

Don't Worry Arizona - We'll Be Back!!!



Spring Break Family Vacation - Part 3

     Up early, packed up and on the road by 9 am.  Destination:  Sedona!!  (One of my personal favorites!)  Definitely a postcard city!!  The drive we took was on a very winding road...but also very scenic.  I did not know it, but G had promised to take the kids to Slide Rock State Park for some action.  Unfortunately, when we got there it was not yet open (which was fine with me 'cause I just wanted to go to Sedona)....!! 
     By 10 am we were in Sedona and everyone (except G) was anxious to shop the strip for souvenirs and goodies.  We were selective and went in and out most of the stores.  We knew it would not be long before G would lose his shopping "enthusiasm" (he is a terrible shopper)!! 
     By noon we were thirsty and hungry for lunch, so we stopped at a nice looking Mexican restaurant called Oaxaca.  They have a nice rooftop covered patio with a great view of Sedona....and chips and salsa!!  (If the kids weren't with us, I could have stayed all day and drank Margaritas!!!!  Next time!)  Everyone had a good lunch, bought some goodies, and then wanted to go back to Slide Rock for some swimming and fun.
     We arrived back at Slide Rock and it was open.  We walked a rocky (get it?) trail to the rocks the kids can slide down.  Unfortunately, I had patent leather wedge flip flops on and was not prepared for rock climbing....afterall....I was dressed to SHOP....in Sedona!!!  It was a pretty park and the kids said the water was freeeezing.  But, that never stopped them before.  They are in Lake Huron all the time and that can be pretty cold.  Us Michiganders are pretty hardy folk -- a little "chill" in Arizona is nothing.  There were many people at Slide Rock.  We stayed about an hour.  Long enough for the kids to take several turns sliding down the rock (by the way, don't tell the kids, but I think what gives you the ability to "slide" down the rock is the moss on the rock!!  Yuck!!).  Now we were anxious to get to our final destination.....Scottsdale.
     By 5 pm we arrived at the Scottsdale Links Resort...checked things out....  Finally, a kitchen, dining room, master suite, 2 baths, kids room, living room, balcony.  A quick swim, then dinner.  After our big Mexican lunch, I wanted a salad for dinner.  G suggested Sweet Tomatoes.  It was great!  They have a huge salad bar and lots of other goodies (Why are all the healthy restaurants on the West Coast...with all the beautiful people!!??  Coincidence?  I think NOT!)  Then off to Albertsons for groceries to stock our kitchen...  Return to our cozy/separate rooms.  Looking forward to the relaxation part of the vacation....the agenda for the rest of the week?  Pool+Sun=Fun!!  Our vacation is almost done...

Beautiful Sedona, AZ

One of the Pretty Views from the Sedona strip
Jacob and Kristin learning how the candles are made

Oaxaca Mexican Restaurant, Sedona

The 4 Little Pigs!??
(Sedona streets are decorated with these guys...)
Slide Rock State Park

The Rocky Trail to Slide Rock

Jacob taking a trip down the rock!

The Girls Floatin' Down the Rock

Look to the right....it's 90 degrees in Scottsdale!!

Home Sweet Home (I wish), Scottsdale, AZ