Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving Dinner! (On Friday)

As you know, we had to delay our Thanksgiving dinner to today, Friday because Mr. Man worked on T-day night. That was a great blessing as it bought me another day to prepare and make most of the meal. Well, I was still late because Mr. Man and I slept in after he got home and I woke up at 2 and dinner was at 6! And in the process, I miscounted the placesettings so I changed my original tablescape to this more subtle but just as effective look.

But when it came time to eat, all was amazing! We dined under candlelights and on homemade bread, soup, butter and game hens, as well as sparkling apple cider and white grape juice. L-Infinity made the soup, J-Pony helped with the cupcakes and I-Dude helped taste everything! What a helpful bunch! :-)

I made french bread, but I wanted to do something different, so I braided each loaf! They turned out great on the table and everyone loved just pinching off the loaf rather than waiting for slices to be handed them. The butter was fresh and creamy. What a combination!
I made my own Chocolate Pecan Pie. It was delicious! I will have to cover the crust next time as it almost burned... I gave it a "vine and leaf" decor but because it was so dark, you couldn't even tell. Oh, well...
And here's the dessert table! Aside from the cream puffs at the top, the cupcakes and the pie are all homemade. Yum!
And here's the dining crew! Elder Taggart, Elder Clark, Daniel and my darlings, L-Infinity, Mr. Man, J-Pony and I-Dude. (Kila had to work, but her beau, Alex, had her over on Thursday night with his family so she also had a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner.)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

I'm Grateful For... #25

Energy and Good Health! For anything that I get to do... I'm so glad to have the focus and energy to get things done.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

I'm Grateful For... #24

Psychiatrist-Blog dot blogspot dot com

Sleep!!! Any amount I relish... I've been an insomniac since my hubby went on nights and my children were born. Now that they are older, I can sleep for at least 1-4 hours at night and when the hubs is off, I sleep in!

Monday, November 23, 2009

I'm Grateful For... #23

Crafts and creativity!!! They are so fun and beautiful things are born everytime!

I've been browsing some blogs a couple of weeks back and I couldn't help but admire dressed up mantles now that I have one, so tonight I decided to "dress up" mine. I wanted to have separate shades of Fall this year, so this is my ORANGE side of Fall. So glad the kids and the hubs loved it...

On each end of the mantle are two significant pictures in my life. The small one on your left is of my dad's; his only clear picture I own. On your right, is of me and Lisa; taken in November 1996 at Mr. Man's parents' home. We look very happy because we became a part of a new family, the best kind- an eternal one...

Sunday, November 22, 2009

I'm Grateful For... #22

Sabbath... It is the Lord's day and our time to reflect on his love and kindness. What a wonderful gift to mankind.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

I'm Grateful For... #21

Party and Get Togethers!!! They're fun, loud and memorable!

I had a lot of fun (and muscle aches) from co-hosting (and catering) L-Infinity's birthday dinner party. So glad Mr. Man was home!

Just two of the food items in the menu: Lumpias and Pancit (mini eggrolls and noodles)
We also had steamed rice, tocino, bbq ribs, calamansi juice, sparkling cider, shrimp and snow peas, and Cheesecake Factory sampler boxes from Costco as her cake. She asked for a Filipino themed dinner which meant three days worth of prepping and cooking for me!

Got these toasting glasses from Kohl's FREE- all 12! I had two @$10 giftcards that the store gave out thru their postcard ads. On Friday, I bought a box of 6 for $9.96 making it FREE then on Saturday morning, the price was down to $8.96! The napkins were from a Target clearance find back in 2007, so again, FREE! On the label, it said, 48 cents for 20-ct. Love that!

Here are some of the activities- Beatles Rockband on the Wii...
Switching of instrument use...
Waiting for the cheesecake...
Matt and Cori Adams, enjoying the food... Matt came late so Cori joined him again. :-)
Mr. Man borrowing their baby...
Me babysitting on my downtime...
Taking a group shot- after the cheesecake and sparkling cider toast. I videotaped the toast. Everyone raised their glasses and yelled out, "Happy Birthday, L!" and "Hajza!"
Some I-Phone and MP3 video viewing... L got a scarf, earrings, argyle kneesocks, a personalized bedtime stories book and Eeyore. She loved them!
Tyler and L, listening to some music...
Our family feels blessed when we open our home to friends, neighbors and loved ones. That's why we host parties, we want the unique spirit each person brings...

Friday, November 20, 2009

I'm Grateful For... #20

Friendships... Mainly the great and lasting ones. Sometimes, real friends do not need to hang out with you, they just need to be there when you need someone to be a friend.

Lasting ones are those that time, distance and age cannot destroy. The kind of friendships where each party find ways to connect and reconnect.

We all need friends, even just one, so find one that good one...

Thursday, November 19, 2009

I'm Grateful For... #19

Hands!!! I love that I'm able to multitask with them.

Glad I have both to help me cook, bake, hug, love, direct and feel... I feel talented when I'm able to complete a task. Despite my current state of having back and jaw pains, my hands are able to take direction from my brain and heart and proceed accordingly.

Love that!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I'm Grateful For... #18

from Crivitz dot com

Having enough resources... Today, I was quietly reminded to be grateful for having enough for what we need.

I was at an Asian market this morning and though I was in a hurry, I chose the middle checkout girl who already had a customer. She only had 5 small items so I didn't mind. I watched her watch the screen intently and after the cashier hit "TOTAL" , this lady started questioning the cashier about what she bought. Then she gingerly swiped her card and I guess it was denied because the next time I looked up, her transaction was suspended and she was running toward the front of the store. The cashier told me what happened; I smiled and excused myself for forgetting something I needed to get. When I got back, the lady was back and I noticed two items voided out, her swiping her card again and even paying with some coins.

The card turned out to be a Food Stamp card and she didn't have enough in it, but she didn't know that she didn't have enough. It made me wonder if those things she left behind, she needed just as much as those she bought...

We've been in the same boat many times than I care to admit, but one thing that stood out to me was my difference with her- I always knew when I didn't have enough and I would pray that Heavenly Father would not let my family suffer from our lack of resources.

I am so grateful for having enough this year, especially of faith. Faith was what kept us holding our heads up even when we didn't have enough.

May you all have enough of what you truly need in life.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I'm Grateful For... #17

Clean rooms!!! For the past six months, we have done nothing but plan, sort and reduce every room in our apartment. Frankly, I'm sick of it, but it's gotta be done, you know?

See the above picture, as embarrassing as this is to show, I want to prove how stressful this swap had been for me alone. This is the short work, I mean short- only 1 month, of two busy teenage girls, a month after Kila moved in back in mid-September! I was so shocked when I saw this room that I had to take pictures to believe it myself! After I managed to close my mouth and breathe again, I put my foot down, opened our wallets, got in the van, made Lowe's and Ross rich and saved my sanity. For their consequence, I made the girls work all night on Halloween after we got back from trick or treating! I made sure the main bones got put in place before we called it quits; but until now, completion is still ongoing. (Darn multiple schedules!)

Our smallish kiddos swapped their two daybeds for a full bed and moved into the girls' room and vice versa. Kila and L now have their own beds while the kiddos share one bed. Surprisingly enough, my room redesign was on the money! Mr. Man was impressed! (So am I! LOL)

Here's a sneak peek at our Room Swap: L-Infinity's side

She needed her own shoe cubby... and had to choose only 18 pairs out of over 20 she's got! (The sandals on the top end are giveaways.)
Mr. Man put up shelves everywhere and we organized her clothing...
Then I had the hubs put in individual sconces for each girl and more shelves.

Tonight, I gathered her clothes to be washed and straightened up the closet (took off the sliding doors that kept getting jammed and replaced them with drapes) and her bed. We found cute polka dot matching blanket for her and Kila (hers is dark brown). As you can see in the picture below, I put their bed backs against each other, and soon it'll be further separated with more drapery. Each girl has a desk and they share the closet (halved by stackable plastic bins) I kept the color scheme neutral and earthy since this is just to keep us all sane before we move!

It's still a work in progress as Kila is still figuring out how to "dress up" her side of the room. But L's is simple, organized and will be continued to be streamlined for maximum space output. (I can hear the bigger storage groaning already; oh. well...)

How do you like it? I want to know so let me know, ok?

Monday, November 16, 2009

I'm Grateful For... #16

Science, especially Biology!!! Look at this experiment I tend to perform with petunias. This was from last summer. The white petunias bloomed first before the burgundy and light purple ones.
Then when the other colors started coming in... I showed my two little ones what I normally do when I have petunias to play with. ;-)
I sprinkled the pollen of these two colors into each other. Then I waited until they died down and opened up the flowers for the seeds. I sprinkled the seeds into the soil.

This was the other original plant in another pot from the same flat.
Look at the difference between the plants. I rescued this original plant by replanting it in the same soil after cleaning and aerating it. It's very spindly and is barely producing any flowers.

This is the new variety; my genetic take on petunia. The purple color was more dominant in this one rather than the burgundy, but slightly lighter in shade.
Look at how big it is and much hardier- it has endured several storms we've had since summer. This is one plant! It grew about a month after the original plants died from the first set of summer storms we had.

Learning is and should be everywhere and anytime. The world is our ultimate teacher, cherish each day you learn something. God must truly love us to give us such beauty amidst our chaotic life.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

I'm Grateful For... #15

Family Home Evenings!!! Spending time with my family is just the best time, every time, especially during the silly times! (Pardon the mess on the table; we are in the sorting phase of our "storage packing" projects.)
My new VT sent us this "Pilgrim Hat" Cookie kit and we put them together tonight for FHE.
We also used the message by Elder David Bednar; "More Diligent & Concerned at Home" from the October General Conference. Look at all these fun ideas the kids had:

Turkey by L-Infinity, Flower by I-Dude, Person by J-Pony, and Frog by Kila.

Of course, since Halloween was just a couple of weeks ago, the kids were all "sweets" out. But the orange Tic Tacs didn't make the grade either. Oh, well... At least they take cute pics!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

I'm Grateful For... #14

Cute and Modest clothing!!! They make any beautiful young woman shine that much brighter!

(L wasn't keen on the camera snapping away...)

Tonight, L-Infinity, Kila and her new beau, Alex, went to the Stake Youth Dance and of course, I bought them new clothes (and shoes) for that! (Do I have good taste or what? ;-D)

They both look so adorable!

I did L's make-up; all that black needed just a touch of red on the lips and pink on the cheeks. Beautiful! Her new haircut goes so well with that houndstooth sweater dress and those peep toe stilletos. She looks so darling in it, the shoes complete the look and that smile is just lovely! Ross rocks!

I chose Kila's dress for modesty and the simplicity of the look. No extra frill to detract from her cute face and figure. She loves stilettos with cute fronts, just like me, so we both fell in love with that pair she has on. Alex was impressed with both ladies. I know Mr. Man and I were...

And... since I got both shoes and dresses at Ross, you know they were very inexpensive! *woot*

Friday, November 13, 2009

Happy Birthday, Mom!

from AA Gifts and Baskets dot com

A delicious and beautiful cake for a wonderful mother (in-law). Sometimes, a girl is just that lucky; when she snags a great guy who was raised by a great mom!

We love you very much!

"Psst... I know it's late at night, so enjoy it tomorrow instead. Save me a slice!"

I'm Grateful For... #13

Courtesy of Moline Elementary, St. Louis, MO

Education... Being able to go back to college after having three kids, over a decade later, and actually graduating have been nothing short of a continuous sense of accomplishment for me. I am grateful that both of my parents went to college. My desire to go and finish never waned; and now that my own daughter is in the process of choosing a college, I couldn't be more pleased that I can share in some of her future experience as a college student.

I love this scripture passage; it is one I abide by to instill the need for continued learning in my family.

D&C 93:36 - The glory of God is intelligence, or, in other words, light and truth.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

I'm Grateful For #12...

Hosted by "Tales from Bloggeritaville"

CVS dot com; I got the one on the end

FREE Stuff!!! Last month, we got a coupon from CVS for a FREE $25 giftcard per new or transferred prescription. Then we had two to fill, so we got a $50 giftcard!

A few days ago, I needed more toiletries, so we took up CVS on their gift and found...

3 boxes of Halloween LED lights-75% off...

1 pair of Pantene Nature Fusion shampoo and conditioner...

And the following Aveeno face care!

On top of that, they accidentally LEFT ON the shelf an expired sale tag showing "EXTRA BUCKS for $2 for any 1 Pantene purchase", which they had to honor... PLUS, since I paid for the Pantene bottles separately, it kicked out another "$5 off $15 purchase" coupon, which I used for the Aveeno products! Both deals gave me an extra $7 savings!

FREE plus AMOUNT OFF deals, just plain, "sa-weeeet!"

My total with tax, $49.50! Yes, I still have 50 cents in the card!

Gotta love that! Leigh, thanks a bunch for hosting and to all who visited, "you are awesome!"