Wednesday, December 31, 2008

My resolutions...some of them

1. Stop putting stuff off

2. Scrapbook once a week

3. Learn all of the lyrics to Putting on the heart

4. Read the entire Jane Austen collection

5. Enter my roses and photos into the County fair

6. Try one new recipe a week

7. Learn to keep my trap shut

8. Have a baby, maybe. Who knows.

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Jeff's Village

I figure I have a few more days to get away with doing a Christmas post. I wanted to put pictures up of Jeff's Christmas village.

I think it needs to be stated that Jeff is big on tradition. In fact, one of the things he was looking forward to the most when we got married was starting our own traditions. Having a Christmas village was one of them. He liked the thought of it being "Dad's village".

So, for our second Christmas together, he mainly had village pieces under the tree. He adds to it every Christmas. A very important and long awaited skating rink was added to the display this year. I knew I couldn't make him wait for Christmas to open it. He was very excited. He kept playing with it and coming into the room to look at it. I did good. : )

Well, on the day that it kept snowing and snowing, I played around with my camera to see what kind of shots I could come up with. They probably would have turned out better if I had a tripod, but they're not too bad.

By the way, I got a tripod for Christmas! Yay! Here are the pictures that came about from a snowed in woman with nothing better to do. I hope you enjoy.

Some of the windows have scenes in them. I was trying to get the perspective of someone walking in the tiny village.

Did you know that Scrooge lives in our village? He's right there getting visited by Marley. Note the chains on the figure standing.

Jeff's aunt Leah got him a little Mickey train set a few years ago. It fits perfectly.

I couldn't get a good shot of the new skating rink. This was the best one.

I did this closeup with my niece in mind. She LOVES Mickey.

Thanks for looking. I hope you guys all had a great Christmas and will have a happy New Year!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Dancing at the Spokane Club

Lindsay's ballet class was invited to preform at the Spokane Club for their members.

The building is so cool inside. I don't think I took enough photos of it, but it was very rich and very exclusive.

Lindsay's class did a Hungarian folk dance instead of a ballet dance. They also wore party dresses instead of recital costumes.

Umm, I am tired. My writing seems really robotic right now doesn't it? Ya, it does. So if it seems like my heart isn't into writing this post now, you would be right. I just want to go to bed. So I am going to post this and some pictures and go to sleep.

I really was excited about it though and she did a really good job. She dances beautifully and she takes it very seriously. OK, good night. :)

Friday, December 19, 2008

And the snow, snow, snow came down, down, down

We had a record breaking day in snowfall yesterday. We have a total of 29 inches, but in one 24 hour period we got 19 inches!!!

We are totally snowed in. Like Jeff had mentioned though, we have plenty of food, warmth, and water. We even have a fake fire and great music to relax to.

I believe I will bake today. I am felling like today is a sugar cookie, spritz cookie, orange glazed shortbread, fudge, and cherry and lime popcorn ball day! Now, if I do all that I will be amazed. I know I'll get some of it done though. I would make caramel corn too, but I don't think I have everything for that.

Back on subject, here are a bunch of pictures to show you the magnitude of what we have in our neighborhood right now. I will also include the photo that KHQ6 put on the news as their favorite snow photo. I submitted it to them and they put it on the air! I am still a bit giddy over that.

here ya go

Our van and the Taurus left out in the street

The snow made our lights look like snow cones. Awesome!

The winning photo!!!

All of the snow that Jeff shoveled by hand. What a man!

Snow deep enough to cover a fire hydrant!

I think Lindsay looks like Randy from Christmas story
"I can't get up! Ralphie!!!"
Yes. That is Abbey's leg strait down to the bottom of the snow.

The tunnel that our neighbor built, and our
peaceful winter wonderland!

Thanks for looking at all of our photos! I hope it showed a good enough impression of what we have over here. Let's just hope we can leave by Monday to make it for all of the Christmas festivities. I am hosting a table at a family dinner after all.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

My first TAG! And a bonus. You just gotta look!

I was tagged by Lisa. I am supposed to post the 4th picture in the 4th file of my digital photo storage. I am not sure what that means, so I am going to do what I think it means. I will count 1, 2, 3, 4 folders I pick the 4th picture? I am a total nerd. I think I am just tired and need to go to bed. Alrighty, here it is.

Lindsay will dress up in her ballet costumes and dance. This was last year around the same time. She is so funny. This was her kelp costume for the Under the Sea ballet.

Oh, and guess who's picture was just picked to be shown on the news?.?.? ME!!! HA HA YA! This is the one they used.
I tag my Mom and uncle Mike.

Snow update

A quick update. The storm subsided around 3:30pm. At last count around here: 29 inches. Relocating 120 cubic yards of snow without a blower hasn't been fun . . . yet. Snow forts are destined. We'll have photos tomorrow.

All in all, it was a great snow day. Sure we are trapped in our home and neighborhood, but we have food in the fridge and pantry, electricity and gas is functioning, snow gear for the girls to go CRAZY outside, and we even found a crackling fireplace/Christmas music screen saver on the On Demand feature of our cable so Heidi and I can relax to the fake fire. Great snow day.

School is obviously canceled tomorrow. It looks like Christmas break came two days early.

White Christmas

Just a quick post from Jeff. After shoveling yesterday (twice) to keep up on the snow, I woke up to the walks and drives looking like I hadn't touched them. 20+ inches without drifts and still snowing. The Weather Channel is showing that it will snow through this afternoon. School is canceled and most workers are staying home if they can. Our neighborhood is at the end of the plowing priority list, so it might be a couple of days before we get plowed out. Until then we are stuck in the house because the snow is too high to drive in our streets. Days like this make me wish I had a large truck.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Not to do another sappy post, but I LOVE my family!

I am so blessed to have a caring and loving family. I was really worried about what we would do for Christmas this year. Present wise. I didn't need to worry for long, my mother-in-law gave us money before we left Kennewick after Thanksgiving. She said she was giving all the kids the same amount to just go buy the presents. She doesn't drive and Jeff's dad just had surgery to try to remove the cancer in his body. Now, I believe she is giving all of her kids cash to go get presents for their families. I think she gave us a bit more because of our situation though. I was really touched. It was enough to buy the girls almost everything on their list. I was able to find everything they wanted on super sale too.

My mom is really great to us too. She is getting Lindsay a new wardrobe practically. She grows like a weed and we usually have to buy her new clothes around this time anyway. Not having the money to get her clothes was a hard realization. She has already outgrown what we got her at the beginning of the school year! My mom is always concerned about my girls. She likes to buy them really cute clothes. I buy them clothes too, she just gets the the really cool stuff that I can't justify buying when I am on a budget.

My sweet sister Lisa. She is a great person. She wanted to help us this Christmas too. I can't tell you how touched I was. I am tearing up a bit right now as I type this. I would do anything to help them and apparently they feel the same way. I don't know what else to say about it, I would just be redundant in repeating the same sentiment. I love you guys!

Finally I want to talk about my uncle Mike. He sent me Christmas CD's this year and I love them. It was such a nice surprise. It really picked me up when I was down. I am glad that I am getting to develop a relationship again with Mike and Cindy. I am happy that I have him for an uncle and Cindy for an aunt.

I am happy and it is because of the family that I have.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A humble request

Every year we like to do the giving tree at one of the local grocery stores. The girls really look forward to this tradition. It really lets them know just how blessed they are. They love to pick out a little toy or a piece of clothes for the boy or girl they select. Lindsay and Abbey both know that this may be the only thing the needy child gets for Christmas.

Our circumstances are a little different this year. With Jeff out of a job and finances being tight, we didn't know if we could do the giving tree. This really bothered the girls. Abbey and Lindsay both came to me and offered their own money to get something. I think together they had like 3.50 between them. They even said that I wouldn't have to get them anything because their Grandmas would be taking care of them. I was really touched. So we went to pick out a name.

The pickens were really slim this year, which I thought was odd. In these times shouldn't there be more families in need? Maybe more people had decided to help those who are less fortunate and took names off the tree. Well, we found the child that we were going to help. It was partly that she was a 7 year old girl and that what she was asking for was so sweet and humble you couldn't help but to pick her.

This was her wish list:

Socks, slippers, shampoo, lotion, and a small stuffed monkey.

What a simple wish list for Christmas. I could tell that this is a little girl who is truly in need. She isn't asking for and expensive toy (which some do) Her luxuries this year will be what some of us consider necessities. How blessed my children and I are, that we do not have to wish for socks and shampoo. I was just touched and overwhelmed with the spirit of Christmas, when we as a family, went to the store to pick out her things.

Abbey and Lindsay carefully selected each item for her. They picked out socks that could match everything and be very warm at the same time. They smelled each kids brand of shampoo, before selecting the best scent. They picked out a "fancy" lotion to give to her, it was vanilla butter cream. They also found her a little stuffed monkey that was holding a pair of slipper-socks. The final gift was a little tootsie roll bank. Every kid needs a tootsie roll bank.

The girls brought the stuff to the customer service counter and Lindsay proceeded to pull out and have the lady check off everything on the list. The lady thanked us and especially the girls. We left the store with the special spirit that only doing good works can give you. We came home and had some dessert. The girls were talking about how much that little girl was going to love what we got her. Lindsay remarked, "We got everything on her list! We even got her something that wasn't. She will be so surprised!"

I hope that little girl will be as happy with her gift, as my kids were with giving it to her.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

11 years and counting

Today is my 11th wedding anniversary. I don't know what I am going to do today. I have a friend that is going to watch my kids for me. Is it sad that I really don't want to do anything? I would just like to make a really nice dinner, rent a few movies and cuddle on the couch. I don't think I can convince Jeff of that though. He wants to go out and do something. Oh, well.

I wish I had a scanner. I would upload some cheesy wedding photo. Here are a few facts about us instead.

Did you know that a terrible wedding day and reception is supposed to be good luck? It must have been what's helped us all these years. I think the real low point was being left at the hairdressers, begging for a ride from someone there at the hairdressers, having to scale my parents snowy roof to get into the second story window with my new French tip nails, because I needed to get my veil and shoes. Ahh, good times. :)

Did you know that our wedding anniversary is exactly 12 days before Christmas? We sometimes get or do little things each day to keep celebrating.

Did you know that we also picked the 13th so we could have a few Friday the 13th anniversaries? We did, we're kind of funny that way.

Did you know that I prayed to know who I was going to marry when I was in 8th grade? I did. I was in Miss Money's English class and I had a voice tell me very plainly, "your going to marry Jeff DeCoursey." I looked over at the chubby kid with glasses who was probably wheezing at the time, I snorted and said something along the lines of "whatever!"

Did you know that I married my best friend? I did. Jeff and I were best friends for about 2 years before I ever felt romantic feelings for him.

Did you know that I fell in love with him at a cemetery? Yup. I went to visit Grandma Elva and Grandpa Jess's graves and feed the swans. Jeff took me and we brought a picnic lunch. We sat on a bench and I heard something in my head say, "You love him, you need to be with him." I instantly fell in love with him. Like snapping your fingers. We were married 3 months later.
(my mom thinks it was Grandma Elva being the meddling matchmaker)

Well, I am glad that I married my best friend. We have been through ups and downs together and we have faired pretty well. So here's to 11 years and counting towards eternity.

Friday, December 12, 2008

This song rings in Christmas for the Sorenson children

Please take two minutes out of your busy day to enjoy a snippet of this movie. If only to share a childhood memory with me.

I hope you liked it. I introduced it to Jeff a few weeks after we were married and he fell in love with it. His Christmas is not complete unless he gets to watch it.

If you have never heard of Emmit Otter's Jug band Christmas, you are truly deprived. I suggest finding it and watching it, even though you can't find a complete original copy anymore. Still, edited Emmit Otter is better than no Emmit Otter.

It was part of our Christmas tape that was watched over and over during December. I took the tape a couple of years ago and last year I tried to put it on DVD to surprise my siblings with their own copy. It didn't work though. I don't know what went wrong with it, but the DVD will only play the first two chapters and then freezes up. So if anyone has any ideas of what the problem might be I am all ears!

Oh heck! Let's do another one! I think this one is my mom's favorite song. It shows little snippets of the movie through out it. I believe it's Emmit doing a duet with John Denver. In the movie it's originally sung by Emmit's Ma.

Thanks for watching. You just slipped back into time with the Sorenson kids.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Our Elva tree.

Our Christmas tree used to be done in all silver and crystal. I it was beautiful, but to my husband it lacked character. He had grown up with a tree with all sorts of decorations that the kids had made or what ever his Mom would buy at the base. It had charm to it, but I didn't really love it. I still lacked something.

My Mom always had a matching tree. It was always pretty. The down side of that though, is what ever ornament you thoughtfully made at school, wouldn't be placed on the tree....(unless you hid it in the back) So naturally when I got to be old enough to have a tree of my own, I had grand plans of a beautiful coordinated tree. I did a country craft tree for a few years until I found the prettiest silver set of Christmas glass balls. Then that became my tree afterward.

Well, Jeff requested about 4 years ago if we could just try having a mish mash tree. It was only fair. I also was getting stuff the girls made in school and they always would go on the tree, but they were throwing off the perfect balance.

He really changed my mind when he asked me if I had any memory of having a colorful tree. I had to only think for a second before my beloved Grandma Elva sprang to mind. She was my Great Grandma and if there ever could be a candidate for sainthood this woman would have been it hands down. I could go on and on of her perfections, but what I will talk about is her love of color. Her house to the outside eye would appear to be tacky. She had orange and white striped wall paper with brown flowers on one wall and a different paint color on the others. All of her furniture was different colors too.

So when her tree would go up, it was so fun and whimsical. It had bubble lights and other different shapes of lights in all different colors. The ornaments were an assortment of things their kids had made or things they had collected over the years. When we would go to their house, which was often, I would just sit in the chair and stare at the tree. I thought if Santa has a tree, this is what it would look like. Ahhh, memories.

That inspired me to go ahead with what I like to call the "Tacky Tree" It's bright, colorful, and filled with new and vintage ornaments. I like to collect the 40's-60's era of ornament. I settle for recreations too. Before I buy an ornament I think, "Would I see this on Grandma's tree?" If it's a yes, I buy it. I know that people may look down on my tree for not being sophisticated and styled, but in my mind it is. It's Elva styled, and I don't think you can do better than that!

I can never seem to get a picture that shows it off all the way. I think I need to study my camera manual more. The tree has about 800 lights on it. Since the tree is a real one, that's as strait as we could get it. I still love it.

Abbey and Lindsay do most of the decorating on their own. We do move stuff around afterward though. Don't most parents?

You can see Bruce's ear in the corner of the shot. He's on my lap.

My mom got me these trees last year. I wanted more color for my tacky display. It also creates the perfect scape for the Santa Abbey made. I made the wreath on the stand this year too.

I hope you enjoyed my lovely Elva inspired decorations. Jeff wants me to show his Christmas village in a post sometime. Maybe I will do that next.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I made it all by myself!

This Christmas one of my Christmas presents was a real tree. I have wanted one for quite a long time now. When we were first married we always had a real one. We had a tree farmer in our church that would let the poor college students have a tree for 10$. So we would pack Abbey up and go out into the snowy hills of his property and saw one down.

We have had a fake one for most of our married lives and I just don't think it holds the same charm and tradition a real one does. I remember going to the tree lot when I was little, or Ernst hardware and picking out the tree. I looked forward to picking out the tree almost as much as getting the stuff that was under said tree. We seemed to always go at night too. So the lights of the tree lot would make it really special. I thought I needed to tap into those feelings and memories this year. Jeff and I packed up the girls and went to a tree lot to pick out our tree.

Well, I will write about the tree in a later post. Anyway, we not only got our tree from the tree lot, the guy offered us all the loose branches we wanted. We took quit a few, and I made a wreath with them! Mind you, I have never made a wreath before. I didn't know what I was doing. I have a friend that I called and she gave me a step in the right direction and I think it turned out AWESOME!

I love it even more because I made it myself. I am a creative and crafty person. I just haven't felt like creating anything lately, so this was a nice kick start to my desire to make stuff.

This is what was left over from the project. I am trying to think of something to do with them too.
I don't think I have mentioned our pets, but this is Bruce. He is Jeff's cat, but he doesn't agree. He has devoted himself completely to me and follows me wherever I go. As you can see in this picture. Most pictures I take, he is in there somewhere. It's kind of like where's Waldo.

My constant furry companion. He is a good cat. Usually the favorite of everyone. Lisa and Abbey prefer Mookie, our other cat. I should do a post about them. I am just worried that I would look like the crazy cat lady or something, I do love them a lot you see.

All right, well that's my project I did on Saturday and if you want to know how to do a wreath I am more than willing to share my MacGyver like tactics with you.

Merry Christmas Everyone !

Monday, December 8, 2008

Not to be

Jeff was supposed to find out if he got the job with Expedia today. They called, it's a no. They said it was that it seemed that he didn't want the job enough. I just don't really know what to say to that. Did he need to have banners and a lighted sign that says "I REALLY WANT THIS JOB!"? I can't help but think that his illness played a roll in that. He was at the height of a really nasty flu bug during his 4 interviews. I suppose it's hard to really sell yourself when you are in that state. Maybe he got some of them sick and this is payback. {heh heh} Well, I am really disheartened. I am feeling myself plunge into the depths of despair. I can't let myself though, I have to help find a way to keep this family afloat. I don't know how, but I will find a way.

I made a cool wreath this weekend. I was going to post about that, maybe later. For now I am going to go and comfort my husband some more and probably cry some more. I am so SICK of crying.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Believers and Nonbelievers

I know that my children want to believe. I think Lindsay still really does, even though there are a lot of "nay sayers" in her class. You can just tell that she really has a pure belief in Santa Claus. She just has that excitement that you can really only have when you are still a true believer.

Abbey on the other hand, I don't think she really does any more. I think either last year or the year before that was her last year. It's really hard to tell. Neither of them have come to Jeff or I and flat out asked if Santa is real or not. Abbey asked about the tooth fairy this year. She took that pretty well.

When she was three, she told us Christmas morning that Santa wasn't real and that Mommy and Daddy put out the presents. THREE!!! To young in my opinion, so we did some quick thinking and vowed to run a tighter ship in the future.

Now that Abbey is ten however, she won't just come out and ask about Santa. Everyday we have to hear about it in one way or another. I think her way of asking is to think of the hardest gift for him to deliver and see if he comes through. One year she asked for a photograph of Rudolph. Which she got I might add, with a bit of effort on my part. After the Polar Express came out, she wants a sleigh bell. She starts to obsess about it. She wont stop bringing it up.

They both also repeat what kids in their class say. Which is a huge pet peeve for me. I can understand if a child doesn't believe any more, but do they have to make it their mission that no one else does either? Abbey had kids in kindergarten telling her he wasn't real and that it was the parents. There are also the kids that don't celebrate Christmas and have never had Santa in their lives. So, ok, fine. Whatever you tell your own kids is fine. I just wish parents could try to tell them not to let the secret out of the bag for the other children. Maybe some of them do and it's just in a child's nature to correct another child's incorrect thinking.

I know that when I finally found out from my mom, I was also told not to ruin it for those that still believed. "Well of course not!" I thought. "What kind of jerk does that?" I hated it when kids in my class would say things about it so I would definitely not be part of the "nay sayers".

So, I think I need to take Abbey aside and have a talk with her. Her incessant need to talk about his realness is starting to bug Lindsay, and I think she might ruin Lindsay's potentially last year if I let her continue. I think Abbey really wants to know, but she just wont come and ask because there is a part of her that doesn't. With those of you with kids out there, how have you handled this touchy subject?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Thanksgiving, just a tidbit after all.

Well, I thought I would have pictures to show of the day and I really don't have much. I really think that is the sign of a good time. I cooked the meal with a great deal of help from my sweetheart. He is my kitchen helper every year. He and I made that pact a while ago. I was not interested in cooking such a huge meal and cleaning up after myself while I did so. So to keep me cooking the dinner that he looks forward to most during the year, he helps with anything I need to get it done! I also had my niece Alexandra be my shadow this year. I really don't mind that because I love my nieces dearly and she has always had a little piece of my heart.

I have to say the turkey was one of my best this year. The rolls turned out really great too. The pies, not my best. The gravy....let's hope I do better for Christmas. All in all I think the meal was great and I loved best of all to share it with my family.

After the dinner we gathered in the family room and we passed around a little box that had cards inside with questions on them. They would be questions about things like what your thankful for and other such things. Lindsay made it in activity days and was determined to have everybody join in. She would stand by each person to pass out a card and when they were finished she would put the card aside so as not to repeat it. She was very serious and sweet about the whole thing. I thought it was adorable. My question was 'Who in your life should you thank more often?' My answer was my children should be thanked more often. Now, I started to think of this more thoroughly and I know I could have answered that much better. I know I need to thank my parents more. They are always there for me when I need them. Always. I also should thank my Heavenly Father more. I don't know if I can ever be greatful enough, but I want to try. So, ya, just a little revision on my answer.

We even played a little American Idol afterward. Shawn really loves that game. I don't know what next year brings for us, but I am glad that this year was good. I hope I can remember it fondly, even though I don't have many pictures to help me.

Oh, and give your congratulations to my uncle Mike and family for the new addition to their family. Welcome Danee!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

I have many things to be thankful for. I will probably expound on them tomorrow and have pictures to show as well. I hope all of you have a very good day and spend it being with family and friends. I want us all to remember and be thankful for what a blessed people we are to live in the best country in the entire world!

p.s. Mom, have a happy turkey day. {smirk}

Monday, November 24, 2008

Shave and a haircut, two bits!.....My foot.

I kind of took a few days off of blogging. I am really gearing up for this Thursday. I love Thanksgiving. Some of my best memories are of Thanksgiving. As a grown up, I like to think of it as the Olympics in cooking. I am excited for it. I will most likely do another post about it later. So anyway, I had parent teacher conferences at the school today. Really, not so painful this year. I usually have one that is stellar and one that I feel like I have to explain what is wrong with my child. They seem to switch every year. This year is Abbey's year to be good. Oh, and it was. She is doing really well. She has all A's and B's. She even got and "E" in P.E. That's exceeds expectations people! I did a double take at it. "In P.E. you say?" This is the child that usually gets a "N" for needs improvement. I was shocked and pleased.

Oh, Lindsay. My little Lou Lou. She is doing really good in everything except math. I don't know what went wrong. Last year she was so ahead of the curve they were thinking of putting her in an advanced class. This year, DUD. Her teacher thinks that she just needs to apply herself more and she will do better. Isn't that always the answer? What store sells apply? I know that she is very smart. Her tests and teachers tell me she is very smart, but she needs to apply herself. (Sigh) I will do what I can. What that is, I don't know yet. So a little improvement is needed there.

I am realizing that they are under more stress than usual this year. Their Dad doesn't have a job and they are worried about it. Also, if Jeff gets a job, they are worried about moving away. So maybe that could be a contributing factor. On a side note, I saw a sample of her writing and I was blown away by how good it was.

OK, so afterward I am heading to the store to get them some flash cards to bulk up on their basic math skills. I am in line getting ready to pay and Abbey wants to know if she can get her hair cut. She has been bugging me about this for quite a while. At this point I just want to pay for the cards, go home, and relax. My first answer to her is no. Then it starts. The little voice in my head. It starts telling me things like, "She might really need this for a little confidence boost" or "She did do a really good job in school so far" and also "Her hair has been looking a bit raggedy lately" I do this all the time. I really need to think it through before I just give my gut answer.

So, there is a hair cutting place in this store. I try not to ever go there. I just have a feeling that it won't end well, but I just have a feeling that it's really important for Abbey to do this. We go in. We are ignored. I walk around to find the women that work there. I let them know that someone wants them to do something other than drink coffee and talk about dancing with the stars.

Alrighty, Abbey hops up and the lady asks me if we want her hair shampooed. Since it's included you betcha I want her hair shampooed. As she's walking her back she stunned me by asking, "Do you want her hair conditioned? That's a dollar extra."
WHAT? How cheap are you to charge for conditioner? It would have served her right if I had said no! Abbey has famously snarly hair that is impossible to comb through without the aid of conditioner. I was going to say no just to make it harder for her. Yes, I really would have too, if Abbey didn't also have one of the most sensitive heads on the planet. I grudgingly agreed to be robbed of my one dollar.

The haircut went quickly(thank goodness)and she asked me what I thought. I really couldn't tell. Her hair just looked wet. I pointed this out and she informed me it would be 3 bucks if I wanted her to dry it.....uuuhh WHAAAT? Does this include you styling it or is that just you making it not dripping wet? I asked her that very question. She informed me that if I wanted it styled it would be even more, the 3 bucks is just to get it dry. I just couldn't believe this place. Are you kidding me? Not to mention that it's cold outside and probably not a good idea to send clients with wet heads out there.

At this point I just wanted to pay and go. I felt violated after I did. It's the kind of violation you feel when you are trying to turn left and you have a red arrow in your lane, a green if you go strait, with no one coming in the opposite direction and you are STUCK waiting there!

Not to forget to mention, Lindsay wanted a bang trim. I asked how much a simple children's bang trim would be, 9 dollars! That is one big reason I HATE bangs! I am really trying to convince her to go back to the good old days of no bangs. I just can't make myself pay for them to be cut right and I do a really crappy job.

I think I need to have some me time and relax.

My next post will be happier. I promise.

stress toy Pictures, Images and Photos

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

For we need a little Christmas, right this very minute!

This year has been a good year for our family. The last month and a half however, have been stressful and hard. Now, I know it will only get better. I have received very good advice and insight from people that are older and wiser than me and that have also gone through this. If you don't know what I am talking about, Jeff was laid off at the beginning of October. It's been scary, depressing, and disheartening. Through it though, we have become closer as a family, become closer friends, learned some great life lessons, and I think that within six months of this, we will be thankful that it happened. I believe that this will be a change for the better, I really do. I believe that Heavenly Father is watching over me, blessing me, and this is what was supposed to happen. I am feeling like I have built an even better relationship with the Lord through this process.

Now back to the tittle of this post. I felt like I needed to preface it with a bit of background. As a tradition in our family, we put up all of the Christmas stuff and go full tilt into the holiday the day after Thanksgiving. I feel that gives us enough time to really take in everything that it has to offer. I look forward to going to church each week to sing Christmas hyms and listen to Christ centered lessons. I love to make many different treats and goodies for us to eat and pass out. We also like to have a service project as a family. The girls look forward to getting a name off of a giving tree so they can buy a needy child a present. All of our family home evenings are about Christmas as well. Oh, and let's not forget the music! Every kind of Christmas music get played around here.

With all of this to look forward to in a little over a week, the waiting was getting kind of hard. Last Monday, we were finishing our family night, when Lindsay asked when we could start listening to Christmas music. I told her we could do that pretty soon. Maybe after Thanksgiving would be a good time. She just kind of smiled her little pirate smile that she has and said she would like some now. Later on in the evening, Jeff let it be known that he would like a little bit of Christmas to start early. "I just love the feeling, and I could use some of that feeling." he said. So I instantly start to hear Angela Lansbury start singing in my head:

Haul out the holly;
Put up the tree before my spirit falls again.
Fill up the stocking,
I may be rushing things, but deck the halls again now.
For we need a little Christmas
Right this very minute,
Candles in the window,
Carols at the spinet.
Yes, we need a little Christmas
Right this very minute.
It hasn't snowed a single flurry,
But Santa, dear, we're in a hurry;
So climb down the chimney;
Put up the brightest string of lights I've ever seen.
Slice up the fruitcake;
It's time we hung some tinsel on that evergreen bough.

So, I sang that to him and he just turned and smiled at me a said, "Exactly!" That means that the DeCoursey's are doing it earlier this year folks. We have already broke out the music and made our first batch of caramel corn. I don't think we will decorate till we usualy do, but the spirit is getting strong. The girls are making their Christmas lists, drawing up plans for gingerbread houses, and watching for the giving trees to appear in the grocery store. I guess I am wondering if anyone else has felt this way this year. When do people generally start their traditions for the holidays. When does the official gauntlet drop? For our family it was the 9th of November. (I have to say I saw someones tree up already on Halloween, that's pushing it)

For we need a little music,
Need a little laughter,
Need a little singing
Ringing through the rafter,
And we need a little snappy
"Happy ever after,"
Need a little Christmas now.

Disney Christmas Pictures, Images and Photos

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

All I wanted for Christmas was an EZ Bake Oven

I don't know why, but even as a child I was very interested in baking. I think it might be genetic or something. I know one of my favorite things in the world as a child, were the few times I got to have real homemade bread. It tasted better than anything else. I knew for sure you couldn't buy that taste. I was always interested in how to make cookies, cakes, breads, and cinnamon rolls. Which not to toot my own horn, I make the best I know of.

So you can imagine my delight when I saw a commercial for the EZ Bake Oven. Little pans, little oven, and big fun! You could make all sorts of things with it. I know I bothered my mom for a while about getting one. I really don't remember when I got it (Christmas, Birthday, Arbor Day ect) I'm pretty sure it was Christmas because of the story I am about to relay. I do remember the excitement however and wanting to try it out. I would constantly ask my mom if I could use it. The answer was always,"I have to help you with it so you will have to wait for me." I was incensed! The kids in the darn commercial didn't need any stinky adult lurking around to help them! I was a very capable kid. Why can't I don it my self? Well I was good and waited. Looking back now, I should have just opened it and went it alone and took the consequences after. I made the mistake of going to play at my friend Kristy's house all day. She had a yard with lots of untouched snow and we spent most the day playing in it. Before I left, my mom told me that we could do the EZ Bake when I got home. Yes! Today is going to be a great day! So after lot of playing and fun at Kristy's house I make my way home just before it gets dark. I came into the house with red cheeks, sniffley nose, and great baking expectations. Our dining room was just off to the left of the front door. What do I see on the table? My oven. Not just my oven, but all of the packages of the cakes and cookies and frosting packets open. And to my horror, the pans with baked on remnants of batter and dough, just sitting there, EMPTY! Tears sprang to my eyes. I ran to find out WHO DID THIS! I found my mom, I thought for sure she would feel as upset as I was. There would certainly be justice dealt today in the Sorenson house! I told my mom of the circumstance. Before I had even finished, she told me something along the lines of, "Well I was ready to do it, and you weren't home. We didn't know when you were coming home, so Donald and Kelly did them."......TRAITOR! THIEVES! RUINER'S OF CHRISTMAS PRESENTS! I was full on crying and spittin' mad at this point. I did try to look on the bright side, there might be some left for me to eat. So I asked where the rest of the goodies were. Then my mom let me know that they had eaten them all and that I didn't miss out on much, they weren't that good. Oh, sadness and bitterness filled my little heart. I was so disgusted over the incident that I didn't want anything else to do with the oven. Not that I really could do much anyway. The mixes were gone, but so was my desire.

(I want you to know though, I have been through this with my mom and she has since apologized and I have forgiven her. I know that experience has made me a more sensitive mother to my children's feelings and things. So, good things can come from bad things.)

Well, it wasn't until quite a few years later. I think I was 11 or 12 and it was Thanksgiving time. My mom was making pies for Thanksgiving. I think my mom makes wonderful pies. She does a great pie crust. Anyway, she was making an apple pie. She had some left over crust she was about to throw away. I asked if I could have it. I told her I wanted to make a pie too, with the EZ bake. She didn't mind, so I fashioned a pie pan out of foil, peeled and sliced some apples, and she told me how much cinnamon and other such spices to use. I don't remember if I miss heard her, or if I just thought it needed more, but that little apple pie had a LOT of cinnamon. I showed it to my mom and she told I should probably start over. I was confident it was going to be great! I took my little pie up to my room and popped it in my little oven. It took forever. At least an hour and a half.
This pie wasn't just for anybody. This pie was for my mom's dad. My Grandpa Brinkerhoff. I think out of pity for her father, she tried to get me to throw it away. I was determined that he was going to love it and thank me profusely for making such a flavorful pie. After dinner, I presented him with his pie. He was very thankful and told me how delicious it looked. Now, I don't remember if he ate it strait or if he put ice cream on it, but he ate it! All of it. He told me it was delicious. Even with my mom telling him that he didn't have to eat it. He probably said something like,"Oh Susan, don't be silly. Of course I am going to eat this delicious pie Heidi made me." That little moment of triumph for me, really encouraged me to pursue my love and interest in baking again. My husband is very great full as well.

Now, guess what Abbey and Lindsay want for Christmas this year. Yup. EZ Bake Oven.

easy bake oven. Pictures, Images and Photos

Monday, November 17, 2008

Insanity runs in my family.... It practically gallops!

I love movies. I watch more movies than anyone I know of. I average about six a week. I also have movie Friday. I go to what ever is opening that Friday while my kids are in school. We have an AMC Cinema. The nice thing about them is that you get 5$ movies on the weekends before noon. They also have a free V.I.P. card. I get anything from free popcorn and candy to a night out at the movies for two! I haven't been able to enjoy movie Friday as much since we've been trying to save money. Never fear! I have Netflix! I have developed a system that allows me to turn my 3 at a time movies into 6 a week. It takes coordination and determination and sometimes doesn't happen. :)

Now, I watch ALL sorts of movies. Any genre, black & white, and rating is usually only up to PG-13. I do watch some that are R. Not many. I think some are very noteworthy. I am completely aware of the naughtiness that it is too. Since this can be a hotbed of a topic among people I will just let it be.

One of my movies I watched last week included a gem called "Arsenic and Old Lace". This is a really funny black comedy made in 1944 and directed by Frank Capra and staring Cary Grant...(swoon) It was originally a stage production.

arsenic and old lace Pictures, Images and Photos

The basic plot is Mortimer Bruster (Cary Grant) , a seemingly confirmed bachelor, is secretly getting married at city hall to his sweetheart. After getting hitched he heads over to his dear old aunties house to tell them the good news. We soon learn that old Martha and Abby have a very serious secret. They do a "kind" service to lonely old men that come to stay at their boarding house. They poison them and bury them in the cellar! Now, it's a public service mind you. They are doing it out of the utmost respect for the poor and unloved gentlemen. Oh, not to forget Teddy. He is, I believe, Mortimer's brother. He believes he is Teddy Roosevelt. This is a little snippet of line from the movie about that:

Reverend Harper: Have you ever tried to persuade him that he wasn't Teddy Roosevelt?
Abby Brewster: Oh, no.
Martha Brewster: Oh, he's so happy being Teddy Roosevelt.
Abby Brewster: Oh... Do you remember, Martha, once, a long time ago, we thought if he'd be George Washington, it might be a change for him, and we suggested it.
Martha Brewster: And do you know what happened? He just stayed under his bed for days and wouldn't be anybody.

Well, good old Teddy is in charge of digging the graves for the poor fellows. He of course believes them to be yellow fever victims. All of this is going on and no one suspects a thing. That is until Mortimer comes by and accidentally discovers a body! Trying to get down to why they would have a body in the house, they have this funny interchange:

Mortimer Brewster: Look, Aunt Martha, men don't just get into window seats and die!
Abby Brewster: We know, dear. He died first.
Mortimer Brewster: Wait a minute! Stop all this. Now, look, darling, how did he die?
Abby Brewster: Oh, Mortimer, don't be so inquisitive. The gentleman died because he drank some wine with poison in it.
Mortimer Brewster: How did the poison get in the wine?
Martha Brewster: Well, we put it in wine, because it's less noticeable. When it's in tea, it has a distinct odor.
Mortimer Brewster: You mean, you... You put it in the wine!
Abby Brewster: Yes. And I put Mr. Hoskins in the window seat, because Reverend Harper was coming.
Mortimer Brewster: Now, look at me, darling. You mean, you mean you knew what you'd done and you didn't want the Reverend Harper to see the body?
Abby Brewster: Well, not at tea. That wouldn't have been very nice.
Mortimer Brewster: Oh, it's first-degree.
Abby Brewster: Now, Mortimer, you know all about it and just forget about it. I do think that Aunt Martha and I have the right to our own little secrets.

So now he is saddled with what to do about this predicament and what to do with his new wife. Of course hilarity ensues and we even get a surprise guest. Mortimer's mad man brother Johnathan has come back, and he has something of his own he needs to hide.

It's a twisted and crazy movie with some of the best lines I've ever heard. I think finding a dark comedy from the 40's is a rare and great find. The actors are really wonderful and great to watch. Cary Grant delivers a stellar performance. I don't think he got enough credit for his comedic abilities. I suggest you pick it up and watch it if any part of this has appealed to you. I think I will leave you with one last quote from the movie. It happens when Mortimer is at his wits end with his aunts, he just can't seem to communicate to them that what they have done was wrong. Grant drops this line with great comedic timing and prowess.

Look, you can't do things like that. Now I don't know how I can explain this to you, but it's not only against the law. It's wrong! It's not a nice thing to do. People wouldn't understand. He wouldn't understand. What I mean is, well, this is developing into a very bad habit."

I hope you enjoyed my first movie review. I will list the other movies and give them a grade rating. I think I will only review the ones that are really noteworthy.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Fall Colors

I know that I am not alone when I say that I love Fall. The cooler weather, the warmer comforting food, holidays, pumpkin edibles, and of course the colors. I feel really lucky to live in a place with loads of trees that turn from green to Technicolor.

I think people have an impression of Spokane as being ugly, industrial, and cement covered. I had that opinion too, but that's because I had really only been up and down devision and that is a really ugly and looooong street. If you go to the outer edges of Spokane it really is quite pretty. I especially like where we live and the South Hill. Our area is all pine trees, but the South Hill is lot's of little neighborhoods with tree-lined streets and parks. One of the parks is the Japanese Gardens in Manito park. I love to photograph it every year. The colors are amazing, and sometimes hard to believe. One of the trees is so bright red, I just stare at it for a good 5 minutes before moving on....hey, you would too if you saw it! Anyway, I didn't get many pictures of the girls in them this year (not being very cooperative) but I did get some great stunners. So, I am mostly making this post a picture post. I hope you enjoy my pictures of this beautiful treasure in Spokane. Man I sound sappy don't I... ; c P