Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Last Post of 2008

Here we are just a little over two hours away from 2009! We are all settled in the house for the night doing our traditional New Year's Eve thing. NOTHING! Alright so not quiet nothing, we had the bad for you meal of wings-n-things and there has been television watching going on. Oh and I spent an insane amount of time picking out pictures for tonight's slide show. So very many people pictures to choose from. It doesn't help speed things along when I think about memories attached to the photo's. It was a great year for people coming for visits, meeting new people, just a really good people year.

I'm still not sure if I'm ready for 2009 to roll around here. Seems like 2008 just went by so quickly. My hopes going into the new year are the same as they have been for most of my years...That come the end of the year I can look back and see all of the good that the year brought clearly, and that any bad is just a foggy memory. I hope that everyone has a great start to the new year, and that there are many good things waiting for all of us. Stay very safe, and enjoy time spent with those you care about most. HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A Look Back At 2008

Been busy doing end of year clean up. Which mean after the cleaning up of all thing holiday related, I try to sit and make sure that I have backed up all of my photo's of the year. This year has taken me a lot longer than most because of having done so many portraits, trips, wedding, and so very many just random things. I'm happy to say that everything is backed up and ready to enter 2009 and all of the pictures that I'm sure I will taking. Of course backing up means I'm taking time to look at the pictures, so I picked just a few of my favorite sights of this year for a slide show. I think tomorrow will be pictures of people, and then animals for Friday.

I hope that everyone had a good day today, and tomorrow I hope everyone stays safe with ringing in the new year.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Putting off what I should be doing

Just a splash, originally uploaded by torri_g.

I should be trying to get my house back in order since Christmas is done, but I'm not. I should be trying to finish up laundry, but I'm not. I'm sure I can come up with a very long boring list of things that I should be doing, but let's just face it...I'm not doing any of them! The crazy up and down weather of the last few days has left me not feeling so great here, and I'm wondering if I'm ever going to get through the things that need to be done. Thank goodness they won't do themselves though. Because we all know that only Mom really knows how to get stuff done. The girls however are great at helping Mom do things that they view as fun. Like dropping the cherries into the sparkling cider so Mom can test out camera and lens. To bad for portraits yesterday they couldn't be as helpful. I swear I will never get the three of them to smile, have eyes open, mouths closed, not moving in the same picture.

Alright enough rambling from me this morning. Time to see if I can get motivated and start getting some stuff done that I really need to do. I hope everyone has a good Monday!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Last Sibling Sunday of 2008

Grimm Girls, originally uploaded by torri_g.

Since the end of the year is closing in on us very quickly, I figured the best thing for this sibling Sunday post would to have each girl sit down and share their best moments of the year with you and some things that they are each looking forward to in 2009. Usually I ask them to write it down for me but I'm going to give them the keyboard and let them tell you on their own. Going from left to right with the photo, so that means Little Bug is up first.

Hi! I'm Chey a.k.a Little Bug your most favorite character of all! Well, my most favorite part of 2008 was when we went up to the Grand Canyon with my Grandma and Grandpa K. I also liked when we got Puff one of our birds. I liked entering the 8th grade. I really enjoyed that I turned 13 this year, and reached my turn to be a teenager. I'm glad that I finally got off of my Depakote and that I'm going into 2009 being epilepsy free!
I'm looking forward to my Daddy retiring in 2009. I'm kind of happy about my sister Binky Sue graduating but not totally. But I am really happy that in June I will have my very last appointment with my doctor is Tucson. I'm also looking forward to starting my freshman year in high school. Oh and of course I'm looking forward to my next birthday because that will put me within two years of being able to drive! I so can't wait for that!
So this is my list of the best of this year, and the soon to come for next year.
Have a Happy New Year!
Little Bug

Hey Everyone! This is Sweetpea the super quite lovable character here. Well, let's see where to being. Since Mom just gave this to me I'm kind of at a loss as to what to say. I've had a year with a lot of free time on my hands, and I guess that is a good thing unless you think that means that I have no life. Going to the Grand Canyon for my sweet sixteen was an awesome thing. I like the fact that I'm actually passing in math this year. Getting my back to school make over was good. I'm thrilled that finals are over for this year and that odds are I only maybe flunked one out of six. Okay, okay...I know there will be more finals at the end of the school year, but that is 2009!
I'm looking forward to getting a pet lizard, which apparently in this household will be oh say....NEVER! Pretty much because all of the girls of this house act like big babies because of what a lizard would have to eat. I'm hoping to actually surviving French class and maybe learning how to speak English sometime this year. (Despite the fact that English is my first and only language that I'm supposed to be able to speak.) I'm also hoping that in 2009 my art teacher will finally start giving me back my projects that I keep pestering him about. I'm also hoping that I don't make anything as disturbing as most of my fellow art students. I'm still debating if I'm looking forward to my senior year or not. Probably best to just focus on getting through this year.

Everyone have a Happy New Year!

Sup! Dis is Binky Sue in da house! No that isn't really how I talk, I'm just trying to get into character and make everyone laugh. I want a title like my sister did for themselves but Mom said I had to keep this clean or be edited so how about *Beep* girl? Mom calls me smarty pants a.k.a. smart *beep*. I know...I'm the best funny character here on this blog! Alright now that I'm done with that let me see if I can think of anything else to type. Last year in 2k8 was quite interesting. I like how I scared my family when I told them I passed all my classes with A's. Especially in Algebra 2 and Physics. I don't see why she had so much of an issue with me taking those two classes at once in two consecutive hours I mean Sheeh. I found it funny when my own mother told me to have more fun. She was kinda against the whole Precal/Trig and chemistry. She usually gives my siblings a lecture about grades or don't be so sick as much *coughs*fakers*coughs*. But I get the lecture of "you have to have more fun" speech. There were lotz of funny moments from last year. Now I don't know if I made any of my new years resolutions. I made a list that was quite long but I lost it. What am I looking forward to next year? *thinks* Nothing...

That's right! NOTHING! I don't wanna grow up. I don't wanna go to collage and pay for it. For me to pay for it I have to find a stable job. I don't wanna get a stable job. I'll be a freaken legal 18. There is nothing to look forward to with 18. All that I am able to do is to go to movies that are rated 18 yrs or older.
(Huge rambling smarty pants rant edited out by Mom the owner of this blog. Binky Sue had been warned in advance I just didn't really think that I would have to use it. I will let it continue where she took it back to not so rant like in nature.) Never mind. I don't want an answer from any of you. No offense. Well I think my thing is long enough. Sorry for boring all of you attempting to read this. I don't wanna go out to the world. Whoever came up with "It's a Small World" was very very very very HIGH!

See ya,
Binky Sue.

Need warmth

Warmth, originally uploaded by torri_g.

I know we haven't been cold for as long as a good share of the rest of the nation, but I'm going to complain about being cold! In the last 24 hours if I don't have a cup of coco or coffee to warm my hands with, oh and the rest of me, I'm freezing. Taking the dogs out has become a very drawn out ordeal of me making sure I have enough warm layers on, and making sure that I'm taking Miss Mia out because she also seems to hate the bitter cold and wants to just hurry up and get back inside. I know I grew up in Nebraska, I know we have lived a great many places where winter is more than a couple of weeks long, but I swear after living in Arizona for four years now if it isn't over 60 degrees outside I feel like I'm freezing to death.

Alright that is enough complaining out of me this morning. I will be back later today with the standard sibling post. Before I can do that though I'm going to make the girls sit for some portraits. If you haven't guessed yet, I'm so completely loving the new camera Army Guy got me for Christmas. Even better though is he went out and picked up the second lens for it last night. By the end of today the girls will probably start looking forward to the end of their Christmas break. Everyone have a good day, and try to stay warm.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Snow on a Century Plant

IMG_0118, originally uploaded by torri_g.

Little Bug and Mom bundled up and went out looking for snow and ice this morning. What we found hiking out in Garden Canyon, and Reservoir Hill was small traces of snow, ice, and lots of cold! We were hoping to find a Prickly Pear cactus with snow on it but had to settle for the Century plant with snow instead. Little Bug was happy to give her new boots a test run out on the trails though. They are not Mom's idea of a good hiking boot, but then again I'm not thirteen years old either.

I hope that everyone has had a good day spent with family!

Morning Rainbow to Afternoon Snow

IMG_0555, originally uploaded by torri_g.

The storm that we had been hearing about since Wednesday finally rolled into town yesterday. We started the morning off with a rainbow and just went from there with it. Sprinkles, heavy rain, lots and lots of wind, partly clear skies with a little bit of sunshine, and a temperature that spent a good share of the day jumping 5-10 degrees in different directions. By late afternoon though the temperature made up it's mind to go down and stay there, right around the 36 degree mark. So soon the rain became snow that went for a couple of hours. We don't have any accumulation of it. We do however have a good share of ice on things though since we went down into freezing temperatures over night and are still hanging out there so far this morning. Two of the three girls were happy to see the snow falling, and were hoping for a lot of it to stick. I'm just happy that the winds that had been sustained at 20 plus mph finally have died. I'm also hoping to see the sunshine again here soon because it has been to gray for to many days now.

I hope that everyone has a good Saturday. Stay safe and warm.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Oh the day after

101_1877, originally uploaded by torri_g.

So what is the best way to spend the day after any major holiday? Resting! Eclipse was kind enough to demonstrate just how this should be done. You find a comfy spot to stretch out...for her it is on a human for warmth but any place will work really. Don't forget to squirm around to get yourself all settled into your spot. Then you just stretch and settle in. Now Eclipse recommends a spot that doesn't wiggle around to much under you because that just wrecks your own comfy sleep time. She also recommends that you have the television on something good so that if you don't sleep you at least don't have to move to change the channel.

Well, here we are at the last Friday of 2008 and it is Feline and Furball Friday time. Time to head over to visit Steve and Pickle and all of the great animals of the week. Remember if you want to play along all you have to do is post your own and leave a link in comments over there. I hope everyone had a great Christmas, and that there is just a lot of relaxing done today.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

A huge surprise!

100_0111, originally uploaded by torri_g.

Well, Army Guy wins hands down in the how to surprise me department. There was a deal made, a trade done, and me in complete shock this afternoon when it made it's way into the house. It may be used but to me it is the most beautiful thing in the world! There is one more lens that I can have with it, and boy did it need to be cleaned, but I have already driven the girls nuts shooting pictures of them with it. Oh and I should mention the poor animals that have gone into hiding to avoid me. One of my most favorite things on the camera is the grip and the fact that now when shooting with the camera turned to the side there is a shutter button on the grip which makes it so much easier. Now to make a list of all the places I need to head out to with the Canon EOS 20D camera. Before that though I better finish cleaning it up.

Army Guy, you are the best! Thank you so very much, and I love you!

Merry Christmas!

Christmas20081, originally uploaded by torri_g.

Just very short and simple here at this very early hour. We wish everyone a very Merry Christmas today. Stay safe, stay warm, but more importantly...enjoy a day filled with laughter, love and time spent with the ones you love!


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve

100_0062, originally uploaded by torri_g.

We are just a little over 15 hours away from Christmas here in Arizona. Today is going to be a full day spent in the kitchen here. Sugar cookies to be baked and decorated, dinner for tonight, meals for tomorrow to do some pre-prep work on. Army Guy is going to need to get some sleep today since they forgot to tell him that he had staff duty last night. Actually they forgot so well, that he didn't get a phone call till two hours of the duty had passed! I'm wondering if it will be possible today to keep the girls even semi quiet for him to be able to get some sleep. Those presents under the tree seem to be screaming out to them very loudly since last night. Sweetpea and Little Bug have their game plan set for sleeping tonight. Yes, they actually set up a game plan for sleeping on Christmas Eve. They have a yearly tradition of doing a slumber party with just the two of them. Sometime in the wee hours of the morning they will wake up and be out looking at the tree and the gifts trying to keep themselves from waking everyone else up. Sweetpea will tell Little Bug stories of...well we really just aren't sure of what, because they are not shared with the rest of us. I know for as long as I can remember with these two, I will get up because of hearing little sounds being made and find them sitting together in front of the tree. Sweetpea will have her arm around Little Bug and Little Bug will have her head laying on her older sister shoulder. The conversation will be far to quiet to hear, but I get to enjoy quietly watching the scene. At least until they realize that I'm awake and start asking if they can wake everyone else up!

I hope that everyone has a wonderful Christmas Eve. Stay safe, stay warm, laugh a lot, and enjoy the moments spent with those you love.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Standing Guard...Standing their ground

100_0038, originally uploaded by torri_g.

Alright it is one day seventeen hours and so many minutes ticking down till it is Christmas! May I just say a quick "WOW" this year's countdown has gone fast. I'm not sure how it passed so quickly, but the final countdown is just killing the kids here. I swear the presents under the tree have been rearranged, slid, touched, shaken, held, so many times that if the gifts inside them are still in one piece it will be nothing short of a miracle!
Last night I tried talking the girls into going ahead and baking the sugar cookies one night earlier. Boy did I hear an earful and then some about how they are the cookies that are baked on Christmas Eve, and I don't get to mess with the tradition of that. The majority ruled and set me back in my place. I was thinking since they kept talking about the sugar cookie dough that we could bake them a night earlier, and then decorate them on Christmas Eve. I will never voice this thought again though. The good thing about not having anything to bake tonight is I will have the day to do that final good cleaning of the kitchen before all of the cooking that will be going on. Hey maybe if I'm lucky I will actually get that last load of laundry done...oh wait that last load has grown into two loads again but still.

Yesterday was my last trip out into the world till after the holiday, and boy were they people driving aggressive out there. All I had to do was pick up ink for my printer so I could finish a senior portrait order, but just about as soon as I was on the road I had thoughts of what a stupid idea it was. Good thing though, the little shop that I go to for the ink had no one in it. To bad it sits in the same strip mall shopping area that I think half of the town was at! Portraits are all printed and packaged though and will be ready for delivery after the holidays. After getting home I went through and for the third time did the check to make sure that I had everything for meals so as to avoid any more trips out to stores though. I'm sure being out today will be more of a risk to life and limb than yesterday was.

So that leads to the question, are you all ready? A week ago I thought for sure that it would need a 2 month extension to get ready for this, but have managed to pull it all together and actually find a day were other than cleaning I can have a few hours down time. I hope that no one has to make the ever dreaded trip out to any of the stores today. I hope that everyone has a great Tuesday, and remember if you are thinking about changing a tradition be ready to hear all about how wrong that idea is.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Making even the little things matter

100_0021, originally uploaded by torri_g.

Here we are two days and about 15 hours away from it being Christmas, and I think I may have finally figured out why I've had a difficult time holding onto that Christmas joy of mine. Because every time I have found it, I seen or heard something else that just make me feel sad. Every year there are stories about things that make me feel sad, but this year there just seems to be so much more and it isn't from the news but from people around me. People who's jobs have been down sized so much in the last couple of months that trying to make ends meet is requiring a second job to third job and a draining of savings. Parents turning their backs and a blind eye to their children and their needs because of hatred toward the other parent. I'm sure it is really getting even with the parent that you hate when you keep the basic needs away from the children.

I know these are things that happen every day of the year, and they are things that make me sad year round. But during Christmas it seems to hurt more. When a little boy takes a home made cookie and hold on to it like it is the best thing that he has ever been given, it hurts my heart. When a single Dad and his sons get excited about a left over meal that's not even a complete meal, it hurts my heart. When a Father of boy that is your daughters friend gives me a hug and thanks me for doing so much for them and for being so kind to hurts my heart. It hurts because I want to do more. It hurts because I will never understand how a Mother can turn her back oh her children, just because of hatred for their Father.
It's not just during the holidays that people should care, it should be year round, and I know there are a lot of things going on right now that possibly no one could ever do enough to help with. But if we pay close enough attention there are many little things that all of us can to do that will matter a great deal to those we do it for.

I hope that everyone has a great Monday, and share some home made baked goods with someone, you might be amazed by the appreciation you receive for it.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Sibling Sunday...Three Days Till Christmas

Christmas2008, originally uploaded by torri_g.

"The way you spend Christmas is far more important than how much"
-Henry David Thoreau

Every year I'm slow in finding my Christmas joy. I've known why for a good while and it has a lot to do with the race and the rush of other people during the holiday season. Being shoved around and out of the way for someone to get that gift that they just can not live without, even if they are going to end being back in the store the day after Christmas return it. Something happens for me every year though that helps kick in that excitement. My Sweetpea makes a trip out to a store with me, and I hear my thoughts come out of her mouth about it isn't about the gifts, it isn't about rushing and racing, it is about family, memories, and love. This usually happens a couple of weeks before the holiday so I tend to lose motivation but come baking time I remember and find myself having the same excitement as any of my girls. Years of memories of much smaller hands helping to make the Christmas Eve sugar cookie dough, thanks Grandma G for sharing that recipe in the family cookbook oh so many years ago. Trying to scrape dough off of busy moving fingers and almost needing 8 arms of my own to get it done, but calling in the backup of Daddy for a good strong arm for help. Flour flying everywhere and of course me wearing something black so it can stand out the most. As each of them have gotten older they play more of a role in getting the baking done. They help gather what is needed, measure, mix and repeat. They still talk me into doubling a batch of cookies even though just one would be more than enough. They still want those cookies to be giant sized so as to make the baking time a guessing game for me. They all still want to be able to claim the title of "I had the very first cookie!" and of course they want it when they still have to blow on them because they haven't had enough time to cool. They don't test just one for quality, they have to test many...and I'm always surprised when we manage to get the sugar dough in the fridge to wait for Christmas Eve. without huge chunks of it missing. The things that they remember from Christmas's past make me smile, and laugh. Seeing Christmas through their eyes, hearing their laughter, is where I find my joy.

For this Sibling Sunday before Christmas I asked each of the girls to write a list or a letter with Christmas wishes.

Little Bug's Letter

Dear Santa,

I would like to be able to write better. Also I would like to ask for a better year next year for my whole family. But mostly for better writing...yep better writing.

P.S. Did I mention better writing?

Binky Sue's Letter

Dear Mr. Claus,

I am writing to you to discuss what I wish for Christmas if I was good. I have 3 wishes to tell. One, I wish for good health. Two, I wish for an even better year. It's not like I didn't like this last year, just that things could always be better. Third, my BIGGEST wish, is for me to never ever, ever, EVER to grow up. I don't think it's big. There are lots of people who wish for peace of Earth. Look at it now, no sign of peace. So staying young like how you live forever, can't be that hard of a thing.

I will write to you again next year.


Binky Sue

Sweetpea's List

  • For great Christmas memories
  • To be happy with family
  • To have a good meal (not sure if this means that she has never had one)
  • For it to snow (Umm...not very likely)
  • For EVERYONE to have a GREAT holiday season
I agree with Sweetpea on the last one. I hope that everyone has a great holiday season filled with memories and happy family times.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Busy house

100_0063, originally uploaded by torri_g.

With just four days left till Christmas my house is not anywhere near as peaceful as the houses in the Christmas villages. There is cleaning to be done, baking that was started last night and more yet to be done, those few lonely unwrapped gifts would like to come out of their hiding place too. I finally broke out my tripod last night though to get some steady pictures of decorations in the house. After the stress of making peanut brittle, because I always start the baking season off with the most stressful thing, getting the camera out was a great way to relax.

I hope that everyone has a good Saturday and that family that has been hit hard with harsh winter weather is staying warm and safe.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Gifts, ribbons, bows, and carols

100_9923, originally uploaded by torri_g.

I honestly have no idea how Binky Sue got Kiki to be willing to pose for this photo, but since I was able to capture it I don't really care. Kiki loved playing with the shiny things that Binky Sue drug out for her. The gold gift ornaments, the strands of beads with bows were all way to much fun for the cockatiel. Even more fun has been hearing the combination of songs that Kiki is starting to whistle. Ever heard a version of Jingle Bells with The Caisson song blended into it? It makes for some very interesting listening.

So here we are five days till Christmas, and this is the Feline & Furball with Feathers Friday entry. Time to head over to visit Steve and Pickle, and if you want to play along all you have to do is post your own and leave a link in comments. I hope that everyone has a great Friday and wonderful weekend!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

To distracted and no time

100_9983, originally uploaded by torri_g.

How is it possible that there are only six days left till Christmas? What happened to the last two days? Oh wait, run here, run there, surprise have to run to this place, opps surprise have to run to that place is where it has gone. Throw in there a small heaping of probably a million other good excuse I could come up with...better yet let's not. Good news is that once girls get done tomorrow with school, they are on break till the new year. I'm going to need my Sweetpea to start doing some real kicks to my behind to get me making the final push to get things done here.

Alright since I'm sitting here humming a song from the Grinch movie I think it is time to break out the post it notes and make the "To Do" list and try to stop being so distracted and get something done! I hope that everyone had a good Thursday, and see you tomorrow with another Feline, Furball Friday Christmas countdown entry.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Say Cheese!

101_0002, originally uploaded by torri_g. days till Christmas left! I didn't get around to taking pictures of much of anything other than my new favorite ornament. Of course while taking a picture of it I had to listen to Army Guy and his comments of it being like a photographer taking a picture of another photographer, but it was worth it. This ornament came in a box, and as soon as my girls saw it they all screamed out "That is so you Mom!" I'm thinking I like this little guy enough to find him a year round spot on my desk after Christmas decorations have been packed up and put away. I think on the shelf with my camera's will be the perfect spot! Since it doesn't have a hanger it gets to sit on top of the television facing out at everyone like they are non stop posing for the camera. I just have to say I LOVE THIS ORNAMENT!

Okay, now that I got that out of my system for the day finally...the real question is have you found or received a new ornament that you just so love? Even better question is how ready are you for the holiday? Binky Sue and Sweetpea went with me to the store today and we managed to find all of our baking supplies, so maybe tomorrow after school we may start the cookie baking marathon. Before heading out to the store today I took some time to look up a recipe for a desert for Little Bug to make for our Christmas dinner since she kept asking for one thing to cook all by herself. Since I know her sister's and Daddy read here I'm not going to share the secret of just what we will be having for dessert, but I'm sure my Little Bug will do a great job of baking it.

I hope that everyone had a good Wednesday, and I will be back to continue the countdown tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


100_9989, originally uploaded by torri_g.

Eight days left till Christmas and after talking to family today and hearing about the snow falling back home in Nebraska and Iowa, I figured pictures of the only snowmen this house will see would be perfect. The picture isn't all that great, but I haven't really taken the right amount of time to do great photo's here the last couple of days. However, being inspired by an ornament that was a gift, I'm hoping to actually break out the tripod tomorrow and get some great photo's taken of the decorations. That or get out and get some pictures of the snow on the mountains around us. There is talk that we could be seeing some snow fall down here in the valley area's sometime this week. everyone ready for Christmas yet? All shopping done? Presents wrapped? Treats baked? I'm suddenly picking up steam and making real progress in the right direction for this. Tomorrow is grocery shopping trip for the rest of the month, and I sat down last night with cookbooks to make sure that I had all things for baking on the list. The girls start half days tomorrow and run through Friday, so I'm still thinking about starting the baking come this weekend since the girls have finals and were already upset with me for wrapping so many of the gifts myself today.

I hope that everyone is had a good Tuesday, and everyone stay warm and safe if there is snowy cold weather near you, and if you are someplace warmer get out and enjoy.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Rushing around

100_9981, originally uploaded by torri_g.

Well there is at least a couple more hours left of 9 days till Christmas. Today just flew by and tonight went by even faster. Tonight Army Guy and I got the shopping done though with a quick stop for dinner for the two of us. The crowds were easy to deal with, and everyone seemed happy and was nice. I'm glad to be done with it all, and now just have to work on grocery shopping list for the rest of the month, then start the baking.

I hope that everyone is having a good week so far.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Sibling Sunday Ten Days Till Christmas

100_9914, originally uploaded by torri_g.

This year's countdown is just flying by. Ten days left and I just finished the decorating and have yet to move on to the baking? I'm thinking I will be ready for Christmas come say...February!

The girls are ready for it to be Christmas, actually they are more ready for it to be Christmas vacation time. The end of the first semester comes with the Christmas break, and the stress of finals week came walking into the house Friday afternoon. Binky Sue has spent most of her weekend shut in her room working on several different projects that are due this week, and that is after spending most of last weekend shut in her room due to projects that were due this past week. Sweetpea is stressed because of all of the finals that she is going to have this week, and says she thinks she may be losing her mind because of it. Her words "So Mom when I'm crazy over Christmas break at least now you know why!" Oh joy for me getting to spend two weeks with the soon to be crazy 16 year old! Little Bug doesn't seem to be to affected by the whole end of the semester stuff though. I guess middle school is just taking it easier on her than the high school is for the big girls. This past week was Little Bug's Christmas choir concert, which both Army Guy and I had to miss. He missed it because of having to make a trip to Ft. Bliss, which was anything but blissful for him. I had to miss it because of having to spend the night running the children in all their different directions. Two hours in the Mom shuttle bus what a lucky day that was for me! Sweetpea did make it over to her baby sisters concert though which made Little Bug feel good. I got there in time to pick them both up and make the final transport of children back home.

Since all of the girls don't seem to have anything on the board other than studying this week, I'm hoping to finally have time to get out and try to finish the shopping. Although with the way things have gone for me in regards to this holiday, I'm not about to hold my breath for anything! (Once again I feel the need to point out that I may not be ready for this till February!) I'm going to try tomorrow night though and if I have to I will drag Army Guy out with me kicking and screaming the whole way!

I hope that everyone has had a good weekend, and that you are at least a little more prepared than I seem to be this year.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Lights, lights, lights!

100_9958, originally uploaded by torri_g.

Here we are eleven days till Christmas and my frustration with lights just keeps growing. The new tree that Sweetpea and I bought came pre-lit with lights, but since we all like the lights so much, we put on two other strands. Now like anyone else, I checked them before we put them on the tree, and they worked! To bad later that night when we plugged the lights in those two strands would not work. Fast forward this week to Tuesday while I was working on the village set ups and once again lights worked before being put up but didn't work after set up was done. I've had it with lights! Tonight though was the very best of all...Sweetpea wanted to plug in the lights for the tree and sure enough those two strands that would not turn on flipping turned on and sparkled like never before! Yep...I've had it with lights!!

Friday, December 12, 2008

A kitty cat letter to Santa

Yuck! Cat Food?, originally uploaded by torri_g.

Dear Santa,
My name is Eclipse a.k.a. Miss Fuzzy Pants, and I have heard talk that you are the man to go to with requests for things during this holiday season. Now I know that I have never written to you in the past 4 years, but I was giving my Mom every opportunity to do right by me. However since she is failing horribly I feel the need to take this to a new level. First I would like to make sure that Mom is on your naughty list that I have heard so much talk about. Because Santa, she is just about as bad as they get! She expects me to eat cat food! I know you are probably shocked by that, but it is very true. That isn't all though Santa, and you should probably be sitting down to read the rest of this. She will not let me climb the Christmas tree, she will not let me roll around in the Christmas village, she will not let me chew on the garland that is hung, she will not let me eat candy, she will not let play on the stove top, she will not let me eat people food of any kind! Santa, I feel these are all things that you should know about, and you should make sure that she doesn't receive any gifts because of her very naughty behavior this year.
I know this may sound like I'm being a tattle tale, but I think it is for her own good. I'm not looking for anything for myself here, but if you would like to leave me some treats I would not turn them down. I personally love cookies, candies, breads of any kind (even though they say I have a grain allergy). I say the reason I get sick is just so I can leave gifts for my humans, Mom just seems to have this horrible reaction to it. I think maybe she doesn't really understand the whole thing about it isn't the gift it is the thought that counts.
Anyway Santa, I just wanted to let you know these things because I'm sure that they will affect your decision on just what to bring to her.

Sincerely yours,
Eclipse the sweet kitty cat

P.S. I feel I just need to mention that I've heard talk about leaving milk and cookies out for you and if that happens I'm going to have to take my fair share of it first. Don't worry though I will leave you a gift in return.
Oh and one more thing Santa...could you please take that stupid spray water bottle of Mom's away during your visit here to the house this year? Angel and I think that it is the kitty abuse and we have been unable to get rid of the thing. So if you could take it back to the North Pole with you that would be great! Thanks in advance Santa!

Now for everyone else reading my public letter to Santa, it is 12 days till Christmas, it is Friday, and that means time to head over to visit my friend Pickle. (I wonder if his human lets him eat all the things that he wants?) Feline and Furball Friday time, so head over and check out all of my fellow animals. If you want to play along all you have to do is get your human to take a picture of you, help them post it, and then make them leave a link in comments. Now if you will excuse me I have to get back to my quest to get human food, and trying to make that stupid spray bottle either disappear or break!

Pickles Place

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Christmas music

Well after lots of frustration with light strands, I'm happy to say that decorating for this year is done! I even finally got the Christmas music dug out and loaded some into the cd player. Which brings me to the topic choice for today. Thirteen days till Christmas and what is your favorite song?

I have two favorites...Silent Night and Little Drummer Boy. If you haven't guessed by the player that I added to the side bar, I love songs sung by Bing Crosby. My most favorite way to hear Silent Night though, is it being played with a flute, and just a flute. I started playing the flute when I was in third grade and played straight through high school. Sometime around fifth grade it became a Christmas eve tradition for me to play it for the family get together. The first year I was terrified beyond belief, and that pretty much stayed that way for the next couple of years. As each year passed and I got better at it the terror passed too. It was the same simple version every year and after the first couple of years I no longer even needed the sheet music to be able to play it. For whoever was hosting our yearly get together I would have a copy of the sheet music and make a decorated card with it in the center. I will admit that there were years as a teenager that I thought the whole thing was kind of goofy. However, a funny thing happened because of all those years...Every time I hear Silent Night playing I hear me and that flute. It doesn't matter who is singing it, or how good they are. I hear a flute playing it, and to me it is the most beautiful sound.

Little Drummer Boy...well that one was just my most loved song when I was little. I can remember my Mom having an record album (yes I typed record album!) that I would listen to that song over and over again. For the life of me I can not remember just who it was singing on the album, but I can remember that I just so loved his voice. There are several version by several artists that I love, but his voice singing it is the one that I want to hear.

Alright time to come out of the past and back to the present time. I hope that everyone has a good Thursday, and that all things holiday related are going smoothly. See you tomorrow for the Feline and Furball Friday post.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Construction Area

100_9896, originally uploaded by torri_g.

Here we are fourteen days left till Christmas, and my living room is still under construction, or maybe it should be declared a disaster area. It hit me while talking to a friend that it is the perfect topic for today's post. Usually I can't deal with this type of box mess. I mean I'm the woman who with each move we have made with the military in the last 19 years, has become obsessed about getting a whole house unpacked and set up in a few days as possible. Yet this collection of boxes have been sitting in the living room since Sunday. They keep having to be moved from place to place and one would think that would make me want to finish this project, but sadly that just isn't the case here. I'm starting to think that I'll be fine living with the mess and just call it my style for decorating this year. It is after all quicker and easier and hey all the stuff is out!

So my question of the day is what does your mess look like? Do you have plastic containers or are you a card board box kind of person? Does it take you days of having a small construction zone in your house, or have you been able to get it done the same day you started?

I hope that everyone is having a good Wednesday, and I'm really hoping that come tomorrow installment that I will finally have pictures of a completed decoration project.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Is it really 15 days till Christmas?

100_5892, originally uploaded by torri_g.

I really need to finish decorating this house so I at least have something to take pictures of. Until then I'm starting my Christmas countdown with pictures pulled from archives of Christmas 2007. Heck I may even end up writing an entry much like one posted a year ago about this picture. This little angel is one of the oldest angels in the house, and the only one that I'm willing to risk putting on the tree every year. The couple of angels that I have from Army Guys Grandma H, even though I could hang them I'm to afraid of them getting broken. This little angel was made by my mother when she was a child and I think she was the cause of my love for collecting angels. She probably needs a wing make over at this point in time because this little one has traveled miles and spent many a Christmas perched within the branches of several different tress. For most people it is the placing of the tree topper that signals the completion of the tree, but in my house it is when this tiny little angel finds her spot. For me she carries memories of all of my past Christmases, and every year when I take her from her "rest of the year" sitting place and find just the right spot for her on the tree there is a smile comes to my face because of those memories.

Alright the countdown has started and I challenge everyone who reads during the countdown to leave comments sharing about the topic for each of the days. So today would be what is the oldest ornament that comes out in your house during Christmas? If you want you could post an entry on your own blog and stop long enough to leave me a link so I can read it. I hope that everyone is having a good week and staying warm.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Cloudy Cold Monday Morning

100_9892, originally uploaded by torri_g.

I guess it is time for more of our "winter" type weather to start rolling in. I mean we have been pretty spoiled the last several weeks here in Arizona. Beautiful sunshine filled days with temperatures in the low to mid 70's. I'm not going to get into a debate with anyone about what cold is, because cold is based on where you live, and I live in the state of Arizona so cold to me is anything under 60. This morning with the wind blowing it is making the wind chill feel like 45 degrees and my only thought while out with the dogs was "I wish I had pulled my winter coat out of the closet to put on instead!"

I'm loving the colors of the day here though. Pretty blue sky, when it can peak through the cloud cover. Clouds of bright fluffy white and various levels of gray. Plus the specks of remaining green mixed with the mostly brown of grass of yards and field area's. We have rain, we have wind, and we have cold. I guess I should start giving some thought to turning the furnace on here soon. Although I have completely enjoyed turning the AC off in October and not having to run anything. Like I said we have been very spoiled this year.

I hope that the week is off to a good start for everyone. The quest to make it look more like Christmas time in my house continues today, and my annual 15 day count down till Christmas posting should get started tomorrow...if I can figure out what I'm doing with it this year.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Sibling Sunday...Trying to make it look like Christmas

100_5876, originally uploaded by torri_g.

I'm very slow moving when it comes to Christmas decorating. To be honest if it were not for Sweetpea and the never ending questions about when are you going to pull the stuff out, I'm not so sure that I would ever get around to getting it done. Don't get me wrong, I do love Christmas and the meaning behind the holiday. I don't care for the piles upon piles of insane decorations that seem to be the standard anymore. I really don't care for the rudeness that seems to come out of people during lead up to the holiday. The race for that hot item of the year that realistically a child's life will not end if they don't get it. Every year those things seem to be what I notice more and more, and every year it gets more difficult for me to find my holiday excitement.

This year even though I'm slowly getting there, I'm so happy to have my Sweetpea pushing me along through it. To listen to her talk about why it is her favorite holiday, and not hear that it is because of this gift or that gift, but because of special memories made me feel better and seemed to spark the urge to get this house looking like Christmas is near. Sweetpea and I had to start this decorating with making a trip out for a new tree. After a comment about needing duct tape and hammer from Sweetpea while putting the old tree up last year, it went out to the trash when it came done. Sweetpea was very excited about being the one that was going to be picking out the new tree, and had tons of fun making me wander the whole store picking up different odds and ends for decorating this year. Sweetpea's biggest excitement though is because she has been put in charge of the layout for decorating this year. Binky Sue, Little Bug and myself will be her crew, and is there anything better than getting to be the boss of everyone?

I hope that everyone is having a great weekend, and that with 17 days left till Christmas, we all find that much needed holiday spirit to get through everything that needs to be done.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Closing a chapter

Little Bug, originally uploaded by torri_g.

I've delayed on this post...well for several reasons and I'll leave it at that pretty much. As of last Wednesday and the long trip up to Tucson to see doctors, we are officially closing the chapter in Little Bugs life called "Living with Epilepsy". The first 250 mg of Depakote as dropped and all things are fine. Her second 250mg drop comes this Wednesday, and come December 24th on Christmas Eve, she will drop her final 250 mg dosage. Christmas morning will be the first time in 4 years 10 months that she is not going to have to hear me say the words "Did you take your medicine?" We will see the doctors one more time come June to see how she is doing with migraine issues, but after that we are done. Little Bug has the mutated migraines that may end up triggering seizure like activity, but that is just because migraines seem to enjoy messing with the women in my family by throwing in odd things. The other side effect of the last 4 plus years is having a Little Bug that seems to think that no matter what she is sick or needs to be sick to get the super amount of attention. However, since we are aware of just what is going on with that, and our full attention has turned to moving past that. There is a search for a good counselor going on via doctors in Tucson and a wonderful school nurse here to help us out. It has put me in a role of playing the mean Mommy that I don't think any of us really care to play, and I can say that doing the tough love thing is one that will make you want to stand up and accept the award for worst mother on the planet. I don't think that I am though...I think I'm doing what in the long run will be best for her. Now if I could just get her to stop throwing me such evil dirty looks. I do know that this chapter will come to close too, and hopefully before one of us has no hair left because of pulling it out from trying to deal with each other.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Fur family portrait

Fur family, originally uploaded by torri_g.

I know I haven't posted anything this week, and probably could come up with about a hundred reasons as to why, but the truth is...I'm being very lazy this week! However, since I had already captured a picture of all four of my four legged fur babies, there is no way I'm going to miss posting it for the Feline and Furball Friday meme.

Last Friday night I picked up the camera to take pictures of the only animal that was just laying around and looking cute. Something amazing happened though as I started shooting pictures, the other animals starting coming out and congregating near Trinity who was the one I was taking pictures of. First came out the camera ham known as Eclipse and she jumped right up near Trinity's head and started posing. Next was Miss Mia the attention monster who laid down on the floor right in front of Trinity. Last was stand offish Angel, who as we all know is not fond of having her picture taken, but for some reason climbed right into the area to sit. Now yes Angel is the more difficult one to locate in the picture, but she lined up right below her sister cat just like Mia did below her sister dog. I'm happy because let's face it I now have probably one of the only family portraits of this group that I will ever be allowed to have! They may not be looking the same direction, or sitting really close to each other, but they are all in the same picture!

It is time again to head over and visit Steve and Pickle for Feline and Furball Friday, and if you want to play along all you have to do is post your own and leave a link in comments. I hope that everyone has had a good week, and that there is a relaxing weekend ahead for all of us.