Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A blog is like a box of chocolates...'ll never know what you're gonna get.

I've recently recovered from an ear infection and a chest cold that seemed never ending, but now, I've been plagued with migraine headaches. To distract myself so I wouldn't seem so lazy from not being able to move an inch without tipping over, I either "buck up" and just get things done or stay put and "ride it out" until I beg for my Excedrin. Well, one of those "ride out" sessions, I chose to BLOG HOP so I can be updated on my friends' blogs and their life adventures. Boy, did I get a mix!

I love how though each of us have different lives, living on different parts of the neighborhood, city, state and even country, we are all women that "LIVE, LAUGH AND LOVE". Through our blogs, we connect, celebrate and lift each other up with comments of hope, love and friendship.

I've been having good Fall memories; some have funny tales while others' missive seem to beckon for my own personal reflection, but sometimes, I find myself reading about pain and loss...

Two of the blogs share tragedies; one was about a young girl that left a permanent void in her loved ones' hearts, and the other, about one who chose to live without rules, who crossed paths with my brother-in-law,while he was a passenger in the car this man hit. Both souls were summoned back to heaven; but their impact in our lives are much different- the young 16-year old who left a grieving fold of relatives will never be forgotten as her short life will be celebrated in those who will come yet. To the 29-year old who died because he chose to lead a risky life, his passing will bring an awkward comfort to those he'll leave behind and a sense of safety to the community he hid from because of his reckless behavior. Both souls will be in heaven, to be judged individually, but shown equally, the unconditional love that only Heavenly Father can offer through His son, Jesus Christ.

I am immensely grateful for Heavenly Father in protecting my brother-in-law and his friend; Gary is a great husband to his wife Kate, a wonderful father to Taryn and Carter and a faithful servant of the Lord. Though he was shaken from the accident, his faith in the Lord and his love for his family has no doubt been strenghtened a million times over. But my heart is equally heavy for my friend who lost her niece because this beautiful girl looks so much like my own niece, Taryn, whom I love very much... Ever since I saw her as a baby, I wanted to be a part of her life; it made my resolve stronger to be a Mathews so I can be her aunt, someone she knows who loves her. If anything happened to her, my heart will certainly be ripped again into a million pieces. She is like my own, though time and life doesn't always allow for me to prove that to her. My sister-in-law and her husband are doing a great job with her; she's growing up to be a beautiful, smart girl and I couldn't be more "WELL PLEASED" with her. My children are my life, and that includes Taryn...

I love and am grateful for my friends and their wonderful blogs; I hope that my comments in theirs convey that.

Ladies, consider this a gigantic hug from me to all of you, for all that you are, for all that you do.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Opposites Do Attract...

In honor of our 12th wedding anniversary, I thought I'd share some amusing facts about Charlie and I.

1. Charles (means manly) is a British adapted name while Carolyn (means beautiful woman) is an American adapted name(British is Caroline), though both origins are German.
2. He played with store-bought toys, I only had homemade paper dolls.
3. Charlie doesn't like to be called Charles, I don't like to be called by my nickname, unless you're family.
4. We met on August 25, 1993, dated exclusively on September 25, 1993, he proposed on July 31, 1996 and we married on October 26, 1996. (Can you say procrastination ruled?)
5. I turned him on to Star Trek Enterprise while he reunited me with 80s techno music.
6. He's been LDS all his life, for me,I started with, "LDS, what's that?".
7. I was single with a daughter, he was just single (typical LDS gentleman).
8. Back in 1971, he came out in January, I came out in December.
9. His favorite color is orange, mine is purple. (Yup! Opposite again)
10. He lived in Northwest America, I came from Southeast Asia.

And here's the kicker... I dreamt about him since I was 9 and learned about his name from a perfume bottle, while HE was told that he'll fall for a Filipina, when he was 19, just before he left for his mission- to the Philippines, and to where my father grew up!

We may be opposites, but we compliment each other so well that it becomes the highlight of our marriage. How cool is that?!

We do have similarities worth noting, but it's not as much fun to list. :)

Can you say we belong together? (Ok, this is where all the "awww!"s come in...)

Mommy, where are the costumes?


Ok, normally I'm pretty quick at deciding (or at least indulging) what my kids want to look like for Halloween, but this year, no matter how much they ranted and raved over a costume, I just didn't feel it... You know, like Halloween is still eons from now. I don't know why I felt this way (maybe because my budget is already screaming at me?), until we had to go to the storage and reclaim our winter clothes that I realized that I DIDN'T WANT ANY NEW COSTUMES! I told Jasmine that I won't be buying anybody a new costume. Unfortunately for me, that meant tears surfacing on faces and murmurings of opposition. But, with putting my foot down, I also had to raise the hand of compromise. This is what resulted from this impromptu but closed discussion:

Lisa will just wear a Halloween colored outfit- no costume, with black nail polish

Jasmine will be an angel using Lisa's old costume with pale white nail polish


Ian will be a French artist with a beret ($5) and Daddy's old white shirt splattered with Mommy's paints. His face will have drawn-on mustache along with a paint palette and a brush glued on.

Will post pictures soon - tomorrow is our Stake's Multi-Ward Trunk or Treat night. Charlie's carving two pumpkins- one for the contest and one for the "trunk".

Here's some pictures from Halloween last year- our initial Trunk or Treat participation.

Halloween 2007

Ian as Spiderman

Jasmine as Hermione

Lisa as Wednesday from the Addams Family

Charlie's masterpieces: Ghostly Jack, Giddy Jack and Cannibal Jack

I can't wait until tomorrow and see what we can come up with before we head out for our Trunk or Treat. We are also excited as we'll have two families that we love coming to have fun with us for a couple of hours! Better not forget the camera!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

It's official, it's been 12 years!

I know today's Sunday, but this is our actual anniversary day, October 26th. Twelve years ago, Charlie and I were wed at the Oakland LDS temple in California. I'm so glad that we lasted this long; our pictures now look so much better than our wedding ones!

Anyway, this anniversary slowly evolved into a little big deal- planning, shopping, arranging and not to mention getting over an ear infection and chest cold! We don't go out much on our own so this date is not only to celebrate our anniversary, but the sheer accomplishment that we've found time to go on a date! (I know what you're thinking, "how can I say that we don't normally go out?" Well, it just worked out like that the last twelve years. Going out for us always had a purpose other than romantic reconnection, so there; you have kids don't you? You know what I'm talking about!)

So let me take you back to how our last two days were like to get ready for this "momentous" event we call our 12th wedding anniversary...

- I was still sick but had to take a midterm, so I made sure that there was nothing on the calendar but my pathetic attempt at reviewing with "muffled eardrums" and snotty nasal passages. Sexy, huh?

- 4 hours later of no retention success (panic setting in...), I had to break the routine so I got on the Wii Fit. It was so happy that I remembered to use it again within two days (after 85 days of ignoring it), it said, "IMPRESSIVE!" (At least I'm doing something right!)

- Charlie's still asleep; good, more quiet time for me... I tried the "brain activities they laid out in the text. Did you know that you can see soundwave? Try this: listen to any sound, focus on it then close your eyes, lightly tap on the right eye and see something flash from the left eye to your right eye. That's a sound wave! Very cool! Tired brain made a connection!

-Kids arrive and I start to see if I remembered anything after 8 hours of studying. Lisa quizzed me and I failed! (Panicking imminent... Aaahhh!) Not good, so I had to calm down and take a warm shower, relax, sing and next thing I knew, I was spitting out most of what I studied! Yay, me!

-We head straight for the Dallas Public library where I was to take my test (running late, panicking again...) I look up when Charlie stopped at a light, and we were at the wrong branch! Aaahh!!! ( I looked at the clock and it said, "ha, ha, you're late now...") All I could focus on is calling Lisa to make sure she heated up the dinner I made Wednesday night and add the napa cabbage, cut 1-inch long strips. Panicking some more...

-Apologized profusely to my proctor, the beautiful and awesome Mary Jo Giudice, took my test and felt blanking out (panicking again!). Longest 1 hour of my week!

-Quickly came home and had a quick dinner, well mainly inhaled dinner because I couldn't stop my heart from beating 150 miles a minute. I was so sure I failed my test!

-Lied down, made sure everyone's finishing up for bedtime, gathered all to pray then Charlie went to work, and I focus on my next midterm- aaaahhhhh! (Yes, I'm still panicking!)

-Couldn't sleep, so what do I do, I tweak our Thanksgiving dinner one more time.

- Charlie took the kids to the bus stop and let me sleep in- TOO LONG!! Woke up at 11 am (Midterm @ 5 pm); haven't reviewed anything yet (streams of tears and declaration of stress coming out in muffled tones).

- Charlie felt so bad he slept on the couch to make sure I was ok and so he wouldn't go on a deep sleep just in case I needed anything. (I was still snotty and "muffled" from my ear infection).

- Couldn't focus so I just highlighted everything on the text that the study guide prompted. Will read later...

- Found out I did great on my Thursday midterm. Yay me, again!

- Lisa had a half day; had to tell her to be quiet several times-she had a good day. (Sorry, baby!)

- Picked up Jasmine from doing Safety Patrol, but no Ian! He took the bus; completely forgot that we were picking him up. (Panicking again!)

- Quickly returned back home to see Ian's panicked (sad then relieved) face when we pulled up.

- My ears finally "popped"! Yes, I'm getting better! (Yuck, more meds...)

- Turned around and headed to south Dallas to take my other midterm, but got there very hungry. Good thing, we were at the mall. Found yummy food, again inhaled!

- Told Jo about my test on Thursday, she's now officially my lucky charm, again, actually. I've done well with all of my tests with her as my proctor. How awesome is that?

- Took my test; somewhat panicked, but survived it! Whew! (Don't know how I did... Ok, panicking again...)

- Lisa and I cruised the mall by ourselves for 15 minutes; she told me everything on her half-day schedule. (Everything's back to normal. Aahhh...)

- Ian found his "chosen" Hot Wheels car that he's been hunting down for weeks! Of course it's about $1 more than normal, but he's been very patient, he earned it.

- Told Charlie we are headed next to Frisco- IKEA specifically because I needed a low and spacious bookshelf to house all of our living room extras. Found it right away. Yay me!

- Went to Ross afterwards; Lisa needed outfits for Sunday and her upcoming Choir concert. More $$ out the door... (bye...)

- Jasmine found a nice top and great Sunday shoes. Everybody covered; I think...

SATURDAY (The Day of the Date):
- Lisa had an AC/DEC competition, left the house @ 7:20 a.m.

- More shopping; Charlie finally grabbed a new wallet, and he really likes it. Great job, mahal!

- Also found two new casual shirts. Finally!

- I found the rest of my outfit for our date that evening, so we went home and relaxed.

- Had late lunch and a couple hours to get ready while Charlie picked up Lisa so she can babysit.

The rest, well... You didn't think I'd tell all, did you?

Only hint: Maggiano's for a romantic dinner

We were helping Lisa test out the camera

After we got all our "sillies" out...

What a great looking duo, huh?

Charlie and I are crazy about each other, but more than that, we are crazy about our children, so times like these, it's a big deal to us. We had a great time and we even remembered to get Lisa a gift card before we came back home. Afterall, it is her anniversary too; it was the day we became a family...

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

It's Jasmine's Turn...

Jasmine enjoying a cookie after a job well done...

Lisa has had fun in school choir since 4th grade back in Val Vista Elementary, but now that Jasmine's in 4th grade, it's her turn to sing her heart out!

Last night, we enjoyed an exclusive all 4th grade performance. It kept the audience small and intimate as most of the moms are volunteers, friends and PTA members/officers. The kids had an amazing time and those siblings that attended, why they were treated to some lemonade and yummy cookies!

Tuesdays are normally pretty laxed, but not yesterday (this is why I love reading my friends' blogs, they give me ideas to reflect on and reap another harvest of gratitude).

-Woke up feeling like a sick person again so Charlie had to take Ian and Jasmine to school to help him deliver his "Student of the Week" poster.

-Had to force myself to rest with my awful combo of steroid and antibiotic. I feel no hunger and not able to relax. Ears and head very clogged.

-Made sure the kids ate breakfast, got their backpacks and out the door. Thanks again, Mahal!

-Ate some more of my taco beef soup; it's still very delish!

-Forced myself to take a nap by lying down on the couch, but no such luck!

-Washed dishes and swept the kitchen floor.

-Felt a little better, was nuts enough to try the Wii Fit (after finding out that I gained 9 lbs. from my last doctor's visit)

-Felt woozy, but kids are already knocking at the door. They demanded snacks, so I shaped and baked the other portion of the dough I made the night before.

-Had to wait for Lisa to come home while making sure that Jasmine remembered to put her Choir uniform on (she changed to her playclothes)

-Had to wake up Charlie and make sure everyone got out the door as quickly as we can, no time to make dinner (didn't help that I was not breathing that well)

-Had to go to KFC and grab dinner, only they ran out of what we wanted and they forgot to add in Lisa's order, on top of that, I ordered the wrong thing for her!

-Jasmine starts to have a meltdown over her now raw nose from the progressing cold. She wanted instant relief and wouldn't take no for an answer.

-Gladly saw a Walgreen's next door from KFC, had to stop in quickly and grab Dayquil (Triaminic and the like hasn't done the job very well the last time they had colds).

-Got to school 10 minutes early; had just enough time to eat our dinner.

-Had to stop eating my dinner so I can take Jasmine in the cafeteria to find out where she needs to wait for her performance.

Here are the pictures:
Jasmine on her spot for the performance.

The stage where skits and a projector helped the audience keep up with each song.

Jasmine and Nathan Woodfield (our bishop's son and her classmate; during and after).

This is her trying to see if she has another loose tooth, while waiting for the skit to finish for the next song.

They sang about "Character Counts" and this is a "yes!" banner for being nice to others.

Mr. Drexler playing narrator

Jasmine and a friend after the great concert.

Brava! Encore! We can't wait until she performs with Lisa at her highschool in December. For November, it's Lisa's turn to belt it out again as one of the Belle Chanson all-girls' choir group.

The highlight of my day, managing to finish off the last homework before my dreaded midterms starting tomorrow! Yikes!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Taco Beef Soup- My Way

Back in July, when we were up visiting family in Utah, my sis-in-law, Kate was nice enough to give me a copy of her favorite Taco Beef Soup recipe and I've meant to make it since then, but life had other things in mind for me, until yesterday when I couldn't take it anymore and I just had to have some! Of course, Murphy's law of "when you really need it, that's when you can't find it" turns me to an aversive chef. But then again, I'm not a recipe follower so I put this soup together to the best of my ability and miraculously enough, it was really good! Here's the recipe if you want to try it for yourself.

Carolyn's Take on Taco Beef Soup

1-2 lbs. lean ground beef (73-80% is best, so it doesn't dry out)
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 1/2 tbsp. garlic salt (less if you prefer)
1 tbsp. black pepper
3 bay leaves
1 medium onion, minced or 2 tbsp. dry flakes
2 cans of kidney beans
1 cup of Jasmine rice
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 cup parsley or oregano
1/4 cup chives
Juice of 1 big lime
2 packets of mild Taco mix
8 cups of hot water or low sodium beef broth
Tortilla chips, crushed as topper and grated mexican blend cheese

Season meat with half portions of the taco mix (1 packet), black pepper, garlic salt, paprika and cinnamon. Marinate for 15 minutes.
Heat olive oil on med high then add in onions. Add in the meat and saute until no longer pink. Drain most of the oil, but not all.
bring heat back up to medium, add in the bay leaves, rice, beans, and herbs. Mix well.
Add in the other taco mix, water or broth, and simmer for 30 minutes on med low.
Blend in lime juice and serve hot with chips and cheese on top.

Very hearty, healthy and so, so good!

Student of the Week- Ian

Ian brought to school his poster highlighting him for a whole week in class. It's too bad it's only for a week, but it's alright, we know just how special he is:

Born: 2002, 3.5 weeks early; Mesa, AZ

Fun Facts:
- If born on or after due date, he would have been over 9 lbs.
- Even though he's allergic to nuts, eggs, milk and cheese, he can enjoy pizzas, mac-n-cheese and scrambled eggs.
- He can spend a whole day playing with only Legos and Hot Wheels if allowed.

He loves his Hot Wheels cars even though he can only get one when he's earned them.
He loves to share the jokes he reads or hears about.
He's very polite at home.
He loves his family.
He loves going to church and school.
He's very friendly.
He loves to read.
He loves playing Lego blocks.
He loves Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Being silly is his favorite activity.

There are many more to list, but you get the idea. Having his class enjoy learning things about him is such a wonderful learning experience for all of us. I had so much fun putting together his poster- I chose to give it a lighter side by having comical comments with each date and location. The blue background was littered with anything pertaining to vehicles and words associated with boys, as well the whole alphabet to show off his love of reading. It was a great trip down "mathews memory lane"...

Monday, October 20, 2008

Mommy's not sick...

Today, I was officially diagnosed with Middle Ear infection on the left ear. The reason why my simple cold, turned head cold, turned chest cold, hasn't gone away! But, do I get a time off? NO! (If you thought I did, either you're not a mom yet or you have the sweetest disposition.) Of course, hubby was quick enough to help when prodded, but I wish to have been somewhat spoiled. ;)

While sick, I still...

Got everyone's schedules all sorted out
Entertained a guest with a homemade 3-course dinner
Baked sugar cookies shaped in Halloween symbols
Took the same guest to a movie and more dinners
Helped a friend pack and move some of her items
Helped find a great armoire for the same friend, free!
Was still in charge of waking up the kids
Babysat the kids so hubby can sleep
Remind hubby to take me to a doctor
Plan anniversary dinner date
Shop for new suit for hubby and dress for me for anniversary date
Make Taco Beef soup from scratch
Finish up Thanksgiving dinner menu
Do few big loads of laundry
Gave away and bought a new couch
Do two homeworks and a test
And the whole time I'm sick, still managed to guide the day so my family wouldn't end up twiddling their thumbs for lack of things to do.

Thank goodness that moms can still function at the same level most of the time even when they're sick; I know I'm grateful though equally irritated. Oh, well... That's what I signed up for, huh? I'm just glad my family's feeling better and don't have to miss school too much. Only the two little ones needed to stay home today so their cold could take a day off!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

So you want to raise a Teenager...

One day, after another battle of "clean your room" and "do your chores, please", it hit me again that I am raising a teenager. It seemed that everyone else in the world know this about my darling Lisa (not to mention I have two more threatening to be teens someday themselves), but me! Of course I'm aware that I've been buying the special clothing, the endless requests for shirts, pants and Converse (she collects them) and now make-up, acne and braces, but I still see my little girl who was entirely satisfied with herself when she can grab a book to read in her chosen corner.

The boys are around the corner waiting to date her, she's a Junior in highschool at 15, paints her nails green, owns an MP3 player, has a cell phone, plays Guitar Hero like it's the only game around, has a busier schedule than I could ever imagine, but I still get positively giddy when she says "I don't like any boys yet".

Raising Lisa means being ahead of her smarts just a little, indulging her innocence as much as needed, knowing when to overlook her mood changes, having a healthy control on her wishes and putting a consistent front on her academic requirements and expectations (especially after she's changed her mind about which college she wants to go to, again!) It also means that because she knows she's smart, we have to constantly remind her to be even-keeled and be more considerate of others (though on her own she has no problem executing her best self). It amazes me how such a young mind can be so complex and simple at the same time; she loves to be held by me, but not by anyone else. She acts like a little child with me while acting like a "know-it-all" to the rest of the world. It is frustrating and eye-opening; maddening and humbling; tiring and refreshing, all at the same time!

Lisa is a teenager and I have to admit that; so despite the battles about the filthy room, mounting laundry, braces, acne, moods and hectic schedule, she is still the same Lisa I love and will love- forever... Waiting to date until she's 18 certainly overshadows all these monumental adventures with raising a teenage- and very smart girl.

So how do I deal with it, how should each mother, I think, should deal with a teenager? Teach her to be resilient, to be the best she can be, to have her accept that she is not expected to be perfect, but be on the lookout for her full potential, that she is loved no matter what, talk to and with me, share her opinions and from time to time, challenge her to challenge herself. Truly, all there is to do, is show a teenager all the beauty and love in the world, because they already see all the ugly and misleading parts of it, on their own, in their own growing, overwhelmed minds.

After Homework Downtime

So I've had this pretty bad headcold since Monday AM, but that didn't stop me from snapping some "much needed" down time of Ian and Jasmine after finishing another homework packet each. (It actually made me feel a little better, he, he...)
How can one refresh one's mind? Some people read, some people eat, some people watch, but my kids, nah... This is what they felt like doing-

Here's Ian refreshing his blood supply on the couch while Jasmine thought she'd imitate a ball or an armadillo (you be the judge).

I can't wait to feel better and catch more "down time" sillies. Now, if I can only catch Lisa and Charlie on the act...

Thursday, October 9, 2008

A Texas Autumn...

One night we found this bunny close to our front door, so we took its picture. Despite the flash, it only leapt a few feet away. Of course, we took that as permission to take a few more. This is the best shot.

It's nice having a cool breezy day and good friends. For us, it meant the kids wanting to see the "log" peeking from one corner at one end of the big grassy field from our apartment building. Of course, it wouldn't be fun enough unless the other "residents" caught our attention.

Jas, Ian, Megan and Megan; on the log.

Monarch butterfly perched on the top of the tree behind the log.

Beautiful blue-green dragonfly rescued from under a neighbor's shoe.

They played with the hula hoop, chatted and even spooked each other about the noisy coyotes and elusive bobcat that broke the night's silence on a daily basis since late August, but they didn't care; they were having fun.

Once back inside, Megan, Ian and Jasmine continued their fun with Legos while also squeezing in some homework.

A few weeks from now, we will be decorating with mums, pumpkins, hay bales, as well as scary or silly things to wait for Halloween and Thanksgiving. Soon, "trick or treating" and being grateful will be the norm and the nippy weather would again be considered either friend or foe. But the best part of autumn is when nature reminds us to slow down and when friends can enjoy each other's company without much care.

How are you enjoying Fall?

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Miracle of Conference or Growing Up?

Ian and Jasmine after General Conference, sitting on our new coffee table/toy storage

Today, we had thoroughly enjoyed being home, watching the 178th General Conference on BYU TV. We loved hearing from the prophet and his chosen speakers. Anyway, towards the end, Jasmine confidently makes this assessment, "Mommy, I used to think that General Conference went on for a long time, but now, it's really not that bad." All I can say was, "That's right, it's always been two hours each session" and she said, "yeah, but it's not that bad".

I guess when it comes to teaching your family "good things", the slow but sure nature of it seems never ending to a child, but consistency and faith will definitely result in more, "Mommy,... i'ts really not that bad".

"Unique" Is Our Middle Name

(This is from my other blog, "My Secret Candy", but I thought it would be best included here, our family blog.)

As my children drift off to dreamland, I couldn't help but be filled with gratitude for them and our little family. We consider ourselves unique because I personally make sure that we live "in" the world, but not "of" the world. To clarify things, let me list down what's special about my family. Of course, exceptions happen though they are few in between.

1. Sodas are only sipped on Friday nights. Under 4, NO sodas, under 13, only rootbeer for dark sodas.
2. 5:30 PM is the curfew, 6:30 during summer vacation
3. Reading is a daily activity. No exceptions.
4. Mommy & Daddy approves all visual and audio materials. NO exceptions.
5. We don't do Spring cleaning, we do Summer cleaning.
6. Library trips are considered summer treat.
7. Bedrooms have to be clean if going anywhere, even birthday parties.
8. Clearance is the only way to shop, except for necessities. Clothes, only clearance.
9. We don't go by brand names, we go by style and modest appearance.
10. Modesty is a must in all aspects of our lives, including how much we eat.
11. A pound of any meat is enough for 2-3 meals. Veggies we splurge on.
12. Ask first. No answer, ask again.
13. We are strict, but fair.
14. Guests are only guests the first time they come, other times, they are family.
15. You have to be honest about the food.
16. No gross topics at the dinner table or you don't join us.
17. No cussing of any kind. Substitutions that mean the same thing is a no-no!
18. Gossiping stops at our front door. You're not allowed to bad mouth anyone.
19. Hugs and kisses are our main currency.
20. Everyone's on a budget, no matter what the expense.

From today's LDS General Conference, we were taught not to leave "the fellowship of the Saints because of pride injured" and to be unified in our homes (Henry B. Eyring) while Bro. Robert D. Hales encouraged us to never be contentious in defending our faith to those that do not understand.

This is what my husband and I try to do, we don't claim perfection, but rather show the importance of family both for our mortal and eternal happiness with our children.

New Season, New Everything!

So we've had this old couch for two years now (we bought it from a friend), and it is on its last legs... Cece, our diva of a cat has already scratched the front of the right arm so bad that no amount of chenille can patch it up! Before that, our fireplace was found to not have been coated with a protective sealant, hence the paint peeled off slowly but surely. Our coffee table, though big enough to serve as a small dinner table, also takes up too much of our small living room and the legs' screws keep getting loose. So what do we do?

Fireplace- watched the guy scrape off the remaining cracked paint and do his job properly. The result, a beautiful textured facade for our fireplace! Now, if only we have time to clean the inside before it gets too cold... Time to stock up on Java logs!

Couch- we have yet to replace it but we found a good candidate, so we'll see!

Coffee Table- is being thrown away as we speak. We found a roomy ottoman to take its place without choking our small living room.

Of course, with Halloween and Thanksgiving just around the corner, the whole living and dining areas are getting a festive overhaul.

I love autumn and winter, they are my two favorite seasons and my family gets a kick out of my determined efforts to truly celebrate these seasons. What does that mean? More food and fun times, of course!

Happy Autumn!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Busy Bees!

I'm talking about Jasmine and Lisa:

Check this out:

LISA - HS Junior, 15

(AP English / AP US History / Choir-Belle Chanson / AP Physics)

Mon- AC/DEC Meeting after school
Tue- Story Time by Lisa @ 5PM
Wed- MATH CLUB UIL Meeting / Mutual
Thu- MATH CLUB Meeting
Fri- Story Time by Lisa @ 5PM
Sat- Typing up her teen fiction
Sun- Church

JASMINE - 4th Grade, 9


Mon- LEAP & Choir Practice after school
Wed- LEAP & UIL Spelling Practice
Fri- Safety Patrol after school
Sat- Playing & Reading
Sun- Church
She'll be competing in the Spelling UIL in December and joining the Chess Club again when it starts.

IAN - 1st Grade, 6

Mon-Fri - Homework & Reading with Mommy
Sat- Birthday parties and playdates
Sun- Church

Aaaaahhh... to be young!
He will be tested for LEAP qualification this month. I hope he gets in, if not, there's always next year.

Adventurous Fall

If you're wondering about the big gap in blogging, I can explain that...
1. Been busy with genealogy on my mom's side.
2. Been busy trying to get my family, mainly my kids, back into school time routine.
3. Been busy not getting too excited that this is my last semester before my AAEE degree.
4. Been busy finding names on my mom's side of the family in Facebook. Found quite a few!
5. Been busy listening to my teen's highschool adventure.
6. Been busy catching up with my shows: CSI(all series), BONES, MEDIUM, NCIS, NUMB3RS,HOUSE and BIONIC WOMAN.
7. Been busy helping at the kids' school and applying to observe a class in the nearby district.
8. Been busy keeping peace at the bus stop in the mornings.
9. Been busy trying to get rid of extra boxes in the apartment,and lastly,
10.Been busy trying not to go insane!!!

How about you, how's your few weeks been?