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Mysteries, polka dots, California Rolls, TJ Maxx, cozy blankets, rainy days and getting the first spoonful of peanut butter out of the jar make me smile. Spiders, rude people, cold fingers and toes, baby leashes, people that don't wrap their packages before going to the Post Office, poison ivy and Math (pretty much all of it) make me want to scream. My perfect day would be spent with my wonderful husband and sweet girls- watching movies in our jammies! Of course, having the movie theater to ourselves would be great, too. Please pass the popcorn and M&M's.:) I am saved by the grace of God. He is my constant companion and hears my every prayer. What a blessing! I'd love to hear from you! Lori at toosillysisters@cox.net

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Tea for Four

The other day was absolutely gorgeous!  Unseasonably warm, I would guess in the low 60's.  Some friends stopped by and Mandy decided to host a tea party in the little yellow house.  She served her special strawberry tea from Santa along with some blueberries.  Not bad, for a tea party on the spur of the moment!:-)  The girls had such fun!  I had to peek in and take some pictures....

Mayan Adventure

The girls and I attended the opening party for a Mayan museum exhibit last week.  It was quite the adventure!  Medallions were made, pyramids were built, and Mayan ruins were explored.  We also enjoyed chocolate candy, Corn Nuts (corn was very important to the Mayans) and Mexican beverages.  Katie's favorite part was walking across the bridge at the entrance to the exhibit and Mandy's favorite part was spending time with her new friend, Bridget.

Birdy Num Nums

My parents thought up the term "birdy num num" when I was little and it has stuck with me.:-)  The girls and I have been busy making "birdy num nums" the past few days.  We are studying birds and we love watching them "dine" in our backyard.  We made pine cones with peanut butter and bird seed- always fun.  Then, we tried a new "recipe" that included fat mixed with birdseed, bread crumbs, cookie crumbs, etc.  First poke a small hole in the bottom of a plastic yogurt container and thread a string through the hole.  This is so you can hang it later.   You take melted fat (we used the fat left over from bacon, sausage, etc.) and add whatever you have handy- birdseed, cookie crumbs, etc.  Mix together and pour into the yogurt container (we used Yoplait). Put in the freezer until solid and then hang outside for your little bird friends!  

She makes everyone smile:-)

Starbucks coffee (and cocoa!), video games, and Disney movies are all part of the fun when Mandy goes to the orthodontist!  The girls ask me, quite frequently, "When do we get to go again?"  The people are all so friendly there and, most importantly, Mandy's teeth look fabulous!  Her favorite part is picking out prizes.  She accumulates points for arriving on time, wearing her t-shirt (yes, she has a special t-shirt!), taking good care of her teeth, etc.   We don't have to go back for 6 months, but I have a feeling we may have to stop by at some point, just to say "Hi" (and get some hot chocolate).:-)

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Snow, crafts, cooking and John Boy

We are supposed to get some winter weather tonight and I am really excited!  As soon as we get our schoolwork done, we will head to the store and get stuff for making soup and cookies!  Then, I plan on us watching some of the new "Little House on the Prairie" and "Waltons" DVDs I got for Christmas- thanks Annie!  It will be fun to break out the board games, too.  We have the game "Great States" that we have not played yet (summer yard sale purchase) and it got great reviews from Family Fun magazine.  Snow and board games- yes!!  By the way, Martha Stewart had the CUTEST mitten animal craft today on her show.  I think the girls would love some of the pony mittens...  Check it out on marthastewart.com.  The templates are on her website!

Breaking Up is Hard to Do

I can almost hear Neil Sedaka singing, "They say that breaking up is hard to do...".  Now I know, I know that it's true- la la la.....  I really like my doctor, but our relationship is becoming a struggle.  She has changed offices and no one there seems to know what is going on.  They can't even tell me if they take our insurance or not!  That should not be a tough question.  Anyway, I needed to have some lab work done before my next appointment but, get this, they don't have a lab yet.  SO, I had to drive to their office yesterday to get my lab order. Well, the appointment lady hands me the paper and tells me, "I think you have to go to the hospital."  Not my favorite place and one that I avoid, if at all possible.  So I squeak out, " Can you check with the nurse?"   I have visions of the girls and I wandering the hospital begging someone to please take my blood- shudder.  Anyway, she comes back and tells me that, yes, I will have to go to the hospital. Good Times.  We hop into the car and toddle off to the next stop on our scavenger hunt.  We arrive at the hospital and ask the nice volunteer lady where the lab is located.  Then, we march down the hall and are greeted by a sign stating that "you must register before being seen."  Huh.  Back we go to the entrance of the hospital where all the lucky ladies and gentleman sit waiting for various forms of torture, I mean, surgery and such.  At this point I call Jeff and ask him if I should just change doctors.  He tells me to go ahead and complete my mission.  So, I register (which did go quickly and the man was very nice) and am awarded with my prize- a plastic hospital bracelet!  We head back to the lab where I get to play "I Spy" with the girls while I pretend that my right arm is not part of my body.  (I do this to avoid passing out- I'm a wimp).  Mission accomplished!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Miss America

When I was young my Mom, my sister, and I liked to watch the Miss America pageant together.  We would make lists of our favorites and we were quite vocal about who we did NOT like!  It's a girl thing.  Last night I saw a few minutes of the new "jazzier", as they are calling it, pageant and I was disappointed!  First of all, the girls were all homely!  I know this makes me sound shallow, but I kept checking to see if it was some other kind of bizarre, unheard of event.  Nope.  Then, the talent was pitiful, too.  The singing- ugh!  Miss Virginia did do a wonderful ballet number from the Nutcracker, though.  I am sad to say that I did not have any desire to watch until the end.  Maybe I just needed my Mom and sister so we could make catty comments??  Maybe I'm just getting old- ugh.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Roasted Chicken

What would I do without roasted chicken?  I tried 2 new soup recipes this weekend and they were both really yummy.  One was easy to make and the other was simple- just my style.  Let me share:

Chicken and Corn Chili

1 large onion, chopped
1 pound roasted chicken, shredded
2 cups chicken broth
1 jalapeno chile, seeded and chopped
1 3/4 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
3/4 tsp. salt
1 can diced tomatoes
2 cups frozen corn, thawed
2 cans white Northern beans, drained and rinsed

Combine everything and cook at medium for about 15 minutes, then simmer for about 30 minutes-stirring occasionally.  Enjoy!

Chicken Soup as good as Grandma's (No- but close, and fast!)

3 1/2 cups of chicken broth
dash of black pepper
1 medium carrot, sliced
1/2 cup uncooked extra wide egg noodles
1 cup shredded roasted chicken

Heat broth, pepper, and carrot over medium high heat to a boil.  Stir in noodles and chicken.  Reduce heat to medium.  Cook for about 10 min. or until noodles are tender.  Enjoy!

Happy Ho Ho

This is Happy Ho Ho.  I don't know why I call him this, I just do.  Katie got him at a yard sale and, at the time, I couldn't figure out what she saw in him.  He is solar powered and slowly moves his head from side to side when the sun is shining.  I guess he just makes her happy, and, after all, that's the most important thing when choosing a man, right?  Hopefully, in about 50 years, she will do a good job choosing her husband, too.  I pray he makes her happy but also has a job.

Hot Chocolate and Crayon Hearts

It's cold outside.  All summer long I tell people how much I "love cold weather."  Right.  I can't seem to get warm without a mug of hot chocolate (with whipped topping), a hooded sweatshirt and a fire in the fireplace.  Anyway, the girls and I had a blast drinking hot chocolate and making these crayon hearts for Valentine's Day!  We will no longer throw away broken crayons (unless they are the cheap generic kind you get at restaurants- no good)!  You can melt them together to make tiny "masterpieces."  Stop by familyfun.com for directions.  So many fun ideas, so little time...

Thursday, January 17, 2008

The Silk Road

The girls and I love World History.  We use the book The Story of the World by Susan Wise Bauer and it is so interesting to read!  Plus the activity book has amazing ideas.  We are currently studying Ancient China and we just covered the Silk Road, the Forbidden City, the Mongols and Kublai Khan.  Fascinating stuff.  The girls did some Chinese writing one evening and then yesterday took a "journey" on the Silk Road.  It took Marco Polo 4 years to get there on his journey, but we made it in 10 minutes!  The girls traveled through the Gobi Desert, Loyang-Shih, the Taklamankan Desert, Tun-huang Shih and down the Yellow River (Katie is pictured paddling down the river with my broom as an oar) and finally made it to Peking (now called Beijing).  At the end of their journey they found silks, gold, jade, ivory, wine, spices (such as cloves and ginger) and exotic animals.  At first they weren't sure about taking this adventure but they ended up having a great time!

I had the most wonderful birthday!  Jeff took the day off and we all hit the road!  The first place we went was a bread store/restaurant that I had been wanting to try.  They make their own bread- different varieties each day.  We indulged in raspberry/white chocolate scones for breakfast.  They were unbelievably delicious!   Then we purchased the Cinnamon Swirl bread (which I later made into french toast) and their Woodstock bread which has pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, etc.  I chatted with the manager and told him that I'd like to take my Mom and Dad there next time they come for a visit.  

Next we went geocaching, which I am actually starting to enjoy.  I like buying the fun little items for the girls to trade.  Anytime you can incorporate shopping into something you can count me in!

After that, we visited some local animal shelters.  We are always on the lookout for the "perfect" dog, if there is such a thing.  We would love a dog, but he/she would have to be housebroken.  I am too lazy to do this part, truth be told.  Does that make me bad?  Well, it was my birthday, so I could wish!  

Then we went to lunch at the Fish City Grill.  Their food was fabulous!  I ordered a crab cake sandwich and Cream of Roasted Jalapeno Soup (recommended by my friend, Susan!)!  I can't wait to go back!  Anyone want to join me?:-)

We ended my fun day at home with a Holly Hobbie birthday cake and lots of gorgeous packages.  My parents sent me the most lovely gift box full of LUSH products- heavenly!  I'll have to keep a close eye on them or they will end up in the girls bathrooms!  And I must not forget the Wii- too fun!  My sister sent me a subscription to Victoria magazine, which I can't wait to start receiving!  Jeff and the girls gave me gorgeous "grown-up" headbands that were featured in In Style magazine and a lovely tiger's eye necklace (worn by Jennifer Anniston in In Style magazine!) plus a Victoria's Secret gift certificate and a mug and tray set by Carl Larsson!   John and Patty sent me birthday money and I used it to purchase a subscription to Mary Engelbreit's Home Companion magazine plus some indulgent items from Sephora.  Mona Mom and Baca sent a huge tin of Moose Munch!  Thanks so much, everyone!

At the very end of the day I watched the suspense movie "Joshua."  Pretty spooky!  Watch, if you dare!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

The girls and I went out to lunch yesterday at Famous Dave's restaurant.  While I was in the restroom, the girls got a chance to meet our waitress.  When I came back to the table Mandy and Katie both said, "You're going to like our waitress!  She likes pink and she has a purse that has candy all over it!"  Well, I have to say I was intrigued.  Marlena soon appeared and she was such a burst of fun, sparkle and energy!  Within 30 seconds she told us about the menu, her daughter, and her hopes and dreams.:-)  I remarked that I loved the sparkles on her face and she told me that it was her eyeshadow!  Urban Decay's "Midnight Cowboy Rides Again" eye shadow at Sephora for $16!  I told her that would be my next stop on the way home.  After all, I did have some birthday money from John and Patty- thanks guys!  I put the eye shadow on this morning and it made me feel so special- like a little star.:-)

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Girls' Day Out

My friend, Sue, and I took our girls out to lunch and a roller skating Christmas party (with our home school group- TLA) over the holidays.  We started with lunch at the Marketplace restaurant which was so fun!  Sue and I got to visit and the girls chatted, colored and played the Littlest Pet Shop games.  Everyone was happy!  Then we were off to the skating rink for more fun.  There were refreshments and an ornament exchange (no pipe cleaners this year, Sue!) and the party ended with the always entertaining "Cha Cha Slide."  The kids really get into the dance and could care less how they look- I love it!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008


I love buttons.  Their shapes and colors make them so fun to play with!  I am drawn to all sorts of things made with them- frames, doll's eyes, ornaments, etc.  They even make a pleasing sound when they move around with their "button buddies!"  Please save your cast off buttons and pass them on to me.  I will treat them well and give them a purpose.  After all, they don't ask for much and give so much in return.  Tiny works of art, that's what they are.  

Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day is coming sooner than you think...  The girls and I are already discussing what kind of valentines we will make this year.  Isn't this idea darling?  I love the fact that candy is not involved, but flowers are! 

Good Intentions

I have such good intentions.  There are so many things that I want to accomplish, but I overwhelm myself with these great ideas (from friends, magazines, books, etc.) and then I just, I just...  ahhh...  I need a nap.   This year I will attempt to establish a set schedule for school, instead of flying by the seat of my pants.  Monday will be World History day, Tuesday will be Treehouse day, Wednesday will be cooking day, and Thursday will be "Keepers of the Home" day.  Every day we will finish our other classes, too- Science, English, Math, Spelling, American History, etc.  Throw in field trips and other classes and your head starts to spin!  Never a dull moment.

Fun at the Library

I love our library.  They provide so many great activities and, of course, fabulous books!  We spent the other day having lunch and enjoying the library with some friends.  There were crazy games, a winter wreath craft and even prizes!  It was great seeing my friend, Roxanne, and her children.  The kids had so much fun together and it was nice to be out of the cold.:-)

Monday, January 7, 2008

I'm glad that's not MY sister...

Somebody had a huge fit today.  Their most favorite headband blew into the creek  at the park-way out of reach- and there was nothing to be done.  Somebody's sister said, "There's_____ headband in the water."  Oops.  We had the whole park's attention, let me tell you.  Somebody's sister then said, "I'm glad that 's not MY sister."  Good times.

Prince Caspian!

"Prince Caspian" is coming in May!  It's the next movie in "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" series.  We saw the preview at the theater the other day and, I have to say that, it looks like it is going to be absolutely fabulous!  I feel vindicated after all the hype with "The Golden Compass."  Christians rejoice!

Saturday, January 5, 2008

10 Things You May Not Know About Me

1) I love scary movies.  I love movies in general- many different kinds- but there's a part of me that loves getting scared (and being able to turn the TV off if I get TOO scared).
2) I love having my hair brushed.  I wish there were places I could pay to get this done.  That would be better than a massage any day of the week.  My girls brush my hair and sometimes I fall asleep when they are doing it.  Heaven.
3) Salty foods are better than sweet in my book.  I choose chips and salsa over a hot fudge sundae. Delicious.
4) I dream of owning a bed and breakfast and hosting mystery weekends.  Jeff treated me to a mystery weekend for our anniversary years ago and we had the best time.  I even solved the mystery!
5) In general I don't like to talk on the phone.  I prefer e-mail.  Exceptions are my Mom and Mona Mom (my special, "kindred spirit" grandmother)  I hate "dead air" and tend to babble if this occurs.
6) I really want a dog, but I have no luck with potty training.  I would love an older dog that has been potty trained.  Aren't there people that do this?? I dream of a lazy Golden Retriever or a Golden Lab.  In the meantime I just talk baby talk to other people's dogs... 
7) I am addicted to books.  I can't get enough of them.  
8) "The Karate Kid", "Dead Poets Society" and "It's a Wonderful Life" are three of the best movies ever made.  I could watch them over and over- and I do.
9) Life would have no passion without music.  It's amazing the emotions that music brings out in us- happiness, excitement, sadness, joy, etc.  I adore Josh Groban, Enrique Iglesias, Enya, Tchaikovsky, etc.
10)  I love blogging, but I'm sure you already guessed that.:-)

39 in less than a week...

It's hard to believe that I will be turning 39 in just a few days...  Time flies when you're having fun!  I did not become a detective as previously planned (during my Nancy Drew days in grade school) although I have hosted a few fabulous murder mystery parties!  I did not become a paid writer, although blogging counts as writing (minus the money), don't you think?  I am raising two beautiful and loving daughters and I am loved by a handsome and fun husband, which was and is really my hearts desire.  You just don't share those dreams with the world when you are young.  I feel love all around me and I know that I am truly blessed.

Yard Sales in January??

I have a secret passion. I absolutely love yard sales. It's kind of like hunting for treasure. Most of the time it's endless searching, but sometimes, if you don't give up, you get lucky. I used to be such a snob about yard sales (I would NEVER look through someone else's castoffs!) until I realized I was missing out on all the fun!  No one else will tell you this because they're afraid you will get hooked and find all the good stuff before they do!  I still love shopping at Nordstrom, but if you want to find me on a Saturday morning I'll be the lady driving around town looking for "hidden treasure".  In fact, I saw some signs today....

Friday, January 4, 2008

Happy Birthday Jeff!

Jeff celebrated his 40th birthday on December 31st. He's starting to make groaning noises when he gets up off the floor and he does whine about a few aches, but besides that he is still the same great guy I met all those years ago.:-) Grandpa John and Grandma Patty came down to help us celebrate and we had so much fun! We started that morning with French Breakfast Puffs, fresh berries and mimosas- divine! Then the boys took Mandy and Katie geocaching and Patty and I got to go shopping (Kind of felt like it was MY birthday). Later we met for lunch at Mimi's Cafe and then we were off to a game of bowling. You may notice that my initials are not on the screen- well, someone had to take the pictures...:-) We ended the day watching the movie Ratatouille (a Christmas gift from John and Patty). Such a charming movie... I love it when Remy runs back to Linguine instead of escaping. Anyway, I think Jeff had a nice birthday. He certainly is having fun with the Wii my parents bought both of us for our birthdays! But that is another entry...:-)


My sister made me a wonderful photo book for Christmas and I absolutely LOVE it! It has pictures from many family adventures and even a few photos from when we were little. It means so much to me that she took the time to do this. I thought you might like to have a peek at what's inside. Thanks Amy for one of my most favorite gifts- ever!:-)

A Long Winter's Nap

I have some wishes for the new year and one is that I get more sleep. This is tricky, though, because I am by nature a "night owl" and this cuts into my "me" time. But, boy, does it feel good when I wake up feeling rested! I was up at 7:30 this morning (unbelievable!) and ready to go! I also wish to take better care of myself, as in more exercise, eating more fruits and veggies, reading more (by a warm fire, preferably) and not feeling guilty if I go shopping by myself a bit. I wish to have more fun with my family and be more willing to do things they like to do. I will once again be a member of the Fearless Four! (Our geocache name) I wish to do more scrapbooking, have a monthly night out with my girls individually (Mandy calls it "You and Me Time"), and to have a weekly night out with my husband, Jeff. I wish to stay home more and not feel obligated to "do" so many things. We are all happier in our warm, cozy home. Sometimes I am jealous of my cat, although he likes to break free from time to time and escape...

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Happy New Year!

Hello Everyone! I am not starting the new year off with a bang as I had anticipated, but the year has just started so there is still hope. I don't mean for that to sound negative at all. I'm just like the turtle in the Tortoise and the Hare story- slow and steady wins the race.:-) The girls and I are doing school already with fun activities scattered here and there. We have enjoyed movies, lunch, and outings with friends and family and I will share those pictures with you later.

A few of you have mentioned that it is difficult to leave comments on my blog, but I think that I have fixed the problem! Please try and leave a comment and see if it is easier now. It's always nice to see what you have to say!

I'm off to see what the pantry holds for dinner!