Thursday, December 31, 2009

My new crockpot

This is a Christmas present to myself - a programmable crockpot. Isn't it beautiful? I just love new appliances, especially ones that will save me time. When school starts back, I will be using this almost every day. It's so nice to come home and have most of your meal cooked. This is a Hamilton Beach programmable crockpot with a meat probe. It also has handles that you can lock to carry it anywhere without it spilling. It's a good think!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Grilled cheese sandwiches, anyone?

Feast your eyes on this baby – a Presto Grill 04740. Dennis gave this to me for Christmas. I had wanted one forever. It makes the best grilled cheese sandwiches ever! (I see lots of grilled cheese sandwiches in our future!!) It also does a good job on eggs and bacon – we had that for Christmas morning breakfast.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

It's my party and I'll cry if I want to....

Hmmm, not sure why Nikolai is sitting all puffed up at the world. I suspect that he was mad at his brother and was taking a time out. Or, maybe he was mad that Barbie was on the way to get married to his newest SWAT action figure (named Jack) and that she dumped Ken. Ken, being the good sport he is, officiated the wedding. (Or, maybe Ken was glad she was finally moving on!)  All the pirates, army men, and Rescue Heroes were in attendance at the wedding (held in the kitchen floor). It was the affair of the season. Barbie only met Jack on Christmas Day. She moved pretty fast to get Jack to marry her. I guess she got tired of waiting on Ken all these years! It was a hurried affair. Poor Ken.

This is Barbie on her way to the wedding.  She is riding in on Nikolai's new skateboard.  If you look at his picture above closely enough, you can see where he fell off the skateboard and skinned his nose.  I am not sure if he will ride it again or not.  But, it does make a cool Barbie car!  Oh, I almost forgot, Barbie is watching Deniska's DS on the way there.

This is Jack.  He doesn't look too happy to be his wedding day!  I hope he knows what he is doing. 

Monday, December 28, 2009

My Mom

Two years ago today, my mom died from Alzheimer's. It was a day mixed with joy and sadness. Joy that she was reunited with her family and in the presence of God, and sadness that I would never again be able to touch her or talk to her. I miss her so much, even though I know she is much better off. Alzheimer's is an awful disease that robs the whole family of their loved one. This is a picture of her two surviving children, my brother Larry and me. I don't think she knew either one of us that day. This was a few weeks before her death. She has that far away look on her face. One thing that I am grateful for is that the Alzheimer’s allowed her to relive her favorite times and days. She was a young mother and a young girl most of the time that I went to see her. She was happy. I am fortunate to have grown up in a Christian home with a mama and a daddy that loved each other and that loved the Lord. You just can't ask for more than that. Merry Christmas Mama. I love you.

All packed up!

My little tiny living room is once again in order. Deniska and I took the tree and all the decorations down this morning while Nikolai and Dennis cleaned the rest of the house. I don't know who got the better deal - I think Dennis and Nikolai. Deniska and I were tired by the time we finished. I did leave the tree up in the bedroom. I am not ready to totally get rid of Christmas. It's a small tree so it won't be too hard to take down and store. I think I will leave it up until January 10th. That was my daddy’s birthday and he LOVED Christmas.

One of my favorite Christmas presents that I received is my new WIRELESS printer. We can print from any computer in the house to this printer. No cables involved make it a dream. She is compatible to my Vista and the other computers who are all XP. And, she prints in color!! We haven’t had a color printer in the house in years. She’s a HP Photosmart All-in-One printer. She prints, scans, and copies. Woohoo! I've named her Vera. She is my newest best friend!!  (And, I know she is a girl because she works so hard and is always waiting on everyone else!)  Isn't she beautiful? 

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Heidi's Generosity

My friend, Heidi, lives in Holland and is one of the most talented, sweetest people that I have the privilege of knowing. Several weeks ago she decided to share some of her talent with the readers of her blogs. I was fortunate enough to win one of her coaster sets! Aren't they beautiful? Thank you Heidi. I apologize for not posting these sooner. The holiday rush and season got in my way! They are just perfect!!!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Day After

We had a wonderful Christmas. Santa was more than good to all of us. The boys got a Wii which took the day. I don't think either one of them ate all day because they were too excited about playing with their new toys and the Wii. The only dud gift was a guitar we had ordered for Nikolai. It was terrible and will be on its way back to the company for a refund. We will have to buy him another one that's better quality. They both got lots of board games for Family Game Night. I used great restraint and did not get either one of them a book or anything that resembled school! They were appreciative of that fact. I think they both thought that would be all they would get. I took lots of pictures but these were the only three that were not blurry. *sigh* Did Santa leave my camera at someone else’s house?? Oh well, we are all happy, healthy, warm, and together. That’s all that matters. God has truly blessed us more than we deserve.

Christmas is over for another year. We are blessed that we do not owe anything for Christmas. I don’t say this to be bragging. Dennis and I planned what we wanted to buy and looked for bargains all year long. I did most of the shopping on-line and took advantage of free shipping and sale items. We have already started saving for next year; I love my Christmas Account. And, I have already started thinking about gifts for next year. I’m making my list and checking it twice….. The one thing that I regret is that I did not make many Christmas gifts this year. I love handmade gifts. I had great plans but never followed through. The only gifts I made were for the boys’ teachers.

I had planned to leave the trees and decorations up until the end of the Christmas season, which would be February 2nd with the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord in the Temple. But, I think since we live in such a small house, that we will take the trees down next week and maybe just leave out a nativity scene. I need to start looking for a nice nativity scene to buy. I’m thinking I can find one on sale since it’s after Christmas. We all return back to work/school on January 4th.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve

This afternoon we went to the 4:00 PM Vigil Mass for Christmas. It was packed with many people standing. The children put on a Christmas pageant of sorts to the reading of the Gospel. It was cute, as is anything that young children are involved. Then, after Mass, we went to Applebee's for our traditional Christmas Eve meal. After all, we have done it two years in a row, so that makes it a tradition - right?! Then, we rode around and looked at lights and commented that some people must have more time than we do. Nikolai said that he was too lazy to put up lights because that was too much work. At least he is an honest child. Finally, we arrived at home.

Deniska has been in a surly mood all day. Before church, I asked him what was wrong. He said that he was afraid that he had not been good enough for Santa to visit him. He stresses over any type of extra activities such as birthdays or Christmas. So, I assured him that his name was right at the top of the "Nice" list and he would indeed have a visit from St. Nicholas. Then, he was concerned that Nikolai would not make the list. I assured him that even Nikolai had made the list as well - just barely! Now I know that some of you reading this might not agree with believe in Santa Claus, you can just keep your opinion to yourself. Dennis and I see no harm in allowing a child to experience the magic of Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy as long as possible. As for myself, I still believe in Santa Claus and the magic that he gives us each year.

Anyway, back to the evening. Dennis and I decided to let the boys open the gifts they received from relatives who will not be with us tomorrow. This includes their Grandma Joyce, Dennis' Sister and her family, and "Grandpa" and Lillian. They had a great time opening the gifts and I think it helped to ease Deniska's mind that he would indeed get more gifts in the morning.

Both boys got a movie and a bear claw from their Aunt Deanna, Uncle Darrel, Christian and Anthony.

Grandma Joyce sent each boy a Rubik's Cube.  Their daddy will enjoy playing with that!

Dennis really likes his money clip from his mother.  He saved the box as well since it was such a nice box!  Looks like Nikolai kinda has his eye on his daddy's money clip!!  Dennis also got black socks.  This is something he needs and wanted.  At church tonight, I looked down at Nikolai's feet and he had a pair of his daddy's black socks on.  They came all the way up to his knee!  So funny.

Grandpa and Lillian sent each boy a gift certificate to Wal-Mart! 

Anna wanted to know if that gift was hers?!  Silly cat!  That's Dennis' gift, not yours!

I got a lovely Laurel Birch bag and earrings from Dennis' mother.  I love both of them.  Dennis and I got a Christmas CD from his sister and family.  I love Christmas music so it will more than likely get played all year long.  It was a nice way to end the evening.  Both boys are in bed already but both are excited.  I don't see sleep coming anytime soon to anyone in this home. 
Merry Christmas everyone.  I hope Santa is good to you this year!!

PS - I just noticed that the date on my camera is wrong.  I really do need a new camera!!!!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel

The boys and I went to the only movie theatre in town to see Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel. I have to admit that I enjoyed it very much. Of course, I am a huge Alvin and the Chipmunks fan! I have been all my life. The movie sold out – that’s a big event in our town. The theatre was filled to capacity with parents and children and adults. It would be hard to know who enjoyed the movie the most. I would not mind seeing it again. My boys wanted to wait until after the movie to buy their snacks. This was good since the seats went fast in the theatre. So, they ate their popcorn and drank their drink on the way home. Silly boys! They even used their own money. Would you believe that a kid’s snack was $5.10/each! That’s a lot for a handful of popcorn, a small skittles, and a small drink. I guess it’s been a long time since I have been to the movies; I was in shock at the prices for drinks and popcorn. I saw many folks who had smuggled in their own canned drinks and snacks. Our afternoon at the movies ended up costing $16.50 admission and $11.02 for snack for a grand total of $27.52. But, time spent with my boys – priceless!

O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!

O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!

Thy candles shine so brightly!

From base to summit, gay and bright,

There's only splendor for the sight.

O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!

Thy candles shine so brightly!

This is an alpine tree that I have in the master bedroom. It only has handmade ornaments. They were made by the boys, my friends, and me. I love this tree being close to me as I pray for each of the people nightly. Each ornament was made with love and returned in kind.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Dentist report

No cavities for Dennis, Deniska, or myself! We brush our teeth!! Nikolai has a few cavities but the dentist said they were in his baby teeth and he would be losing them before long so he was not going to fill them. I really appreciate him not doing unnecessary procedures. I am not sure that another dentist would have done the same thing. Now, if we could only get Nikolai to brush his teeth like he is suppose to, we would be set! The other day I caught him putting just a tiny little drop (about the size of a pinhead) of toothpaste on his brush. Now I make him show me the toothpaste to make sure it's enough to do the job.

We're off to see the dentist

This morning we all have a dental appointment.  Deniska is anxious to show his new tooth coming in.  I think I might have a cavity, I hope not.  I thought I would share a picture of Deniska decorating the Christmas tree.  I'll show you the finished tree later - when I get that new camera!

Monday, December 21, 2009

December 21st -really?!!

I cannot believe it is already December 21st.  I would like to tell you why I have not posted in such a long time.  I honestly can't point to any one reason.  Just busy, busy, busy!  We celebrated Deniska's 9th birthday on December 13th.  He requested brownies instead of a traditional cake.  Who am I to argue with the birthday boy?  So, brownies it was!

He is such a sweet child.  He has not felt well in the past week or so.  He has a terrible cough but no other symptoms, so I have not taken him to the doctor.  He has a 9 year old check-up the first of the year.  He got a brand new bicycle for his birthday.  It's orange, like everything else since he is Clemson Tiger fan!

This past Friday, the boys had their Christmas program at school.  It's the first year that they have asked us to come or even told us about the program!  The whole program was wonderful but I must admit that this class was the best!  (Spoken like a proud Mama!)  I made pictures but they turned out blurry.  I really, really need a new camera - (Dennis, are you reading this?!?!  It's not too late for a Christmas present!) 

We put up the Christmas trees this past Friday and Saturday.  They are both beautiful.  The boys decorated the big tree in the living room all by themselves.  Lots of ornaments on the very bottom branches and not so many up high.  Still, it is lovely and I wouldn't change a thing about it at all!  We have a smaller tree in the master bedroom filled with handmade ornaments from the boys and dear friends of mine.  This is the tree I love since so much love went into each ornament.  When my camera battery gets recharged I will take a picture of it and post on here.  I really need a new camera!

In the morning, we all go to the dentist for teeth cleaning starting at 7:30 AM!  What a way to start the day!  I could take pictures of that too if I only had a decent camera!  OK, I will stop with the camera envy!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Deniska's Motorcycles

This past Friday, Deniska celebrated his birthday at school with his classmates. His birthday is not until Sunday. Anyway, neither of my boys are big cupcake fans. I think because I am not a big cupcake maker fan. I find cupcakes rather a pain to make. Silly, I know. I just can never get that batter in those cups without spilling some and they all end up different sizes. That may not bother many people, but it really irritates me! Anyway, I decided to make these candy motorcycles for Deniska to give to all of his classmates. My friend Gail and I ended up making 25 of these little motorcycles. My high school students (the boys at least) thought they were way cool! No higher praise was needed!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

chicken and rice soup

Ham steak, biscuits, eggs, cheese, grits

I work late this night, I will have to think about this one! Something in a crock pot or Firehouse!!


Meatball Calzones and Salad (didn't get around to making this last week)

Egg salad sandwiches

Spaghetti and garlic bread

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Ice skating

Dennis took the boys to see Christmas lights last night after church. The folks has an ice skating rink in which the boys really wanted to skate. They had never been ice skating before. It must be in their blood, since both of them took to it naturally and really enjoyed the time spent there. Dennis took these pictures with his cell phone to share with me. I was home with the stomach flu (the sickest I think I have ever been!)
Only Nikolai would ice skate in a tie! And why did Dennis let Deniska wear jeans to church???

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Oh, my achy, breaky FOOT!

It's official. I have a fractured bone in my foot requiring a cast for the next few months. I broke this bone in my foot about 3 weeks ago and today was the first day I have had time to go to the doctor. He x-rayed my foot in 3 different positions and found the fracture. So, now I have the lovely new footwear. This is also my Christmas present since it will eat up the rest of our budget. Sorry Dennis, it's your Christmas present too!

Doctor's orders were to stay off my feet and rest. Hmm, this is not the season to stay off my feet and rest. Wonder if we could postpone Christmas for a few months, I don't think so!!

I must say that after he put the cast on, my foot has felt the best it has in weeks. It does cut down on the pain. This is a really painful experience. So, I would really appreciate your prayers for a quick healing and patience for my family as I recuperate!!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Celery boy

I went to town on Sunday and bought groceries for the week. While I was at the grocery store, I saw a huge bunch of celery. I don't always use celery right away but I had plans for it in my coming week with various dishes. Unbeknown to me, Deniska had been taking celery for his snack at lunch. That was OK, I still had plenty of celery - after all, this bunch was HUGE! Tonight, a mere 2 days later, he informs me that he has eaten all the celery and needed more. He said it was the best celery he has ever had. What? Isn't celery all the same? Apparently not! So, I suppose the next trip to the grocery store will find me buying more celery!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

Taco Soup, corn chips, cheese, sour cream

Chicken tenders, rice, gravy, green beans

Meatball Calzones and Salad

Ham steak, biscuits, eggs, cheese, grits


Shrimp, hushpuppies, slaw

Tater Tot Casserole

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Christmas Lights

Last night, after Mass, we rode over to the Roper Mountain Holiday Lights. All monies collected go to children’s charities and educational programs for the Upstate of SC. And, we are all about charities and education!! The boys really enjoyed the time spent there. They got a balloon animal/hat, cotton candy (which I NEVER let them have), and most importantly they got to stay up past their bedtime! I am sure they felt naughty about that one. But, having cotton candy (which their daddy bought for them) and a regular bedtime do not go hand in hand. It was a good time and one of our Christmas traditions.

Thursday, November 26, 2009


I am thankful for a good doctor and medicine. Deniska slept with me last night so I could keep an eye on him. I think he finally fell asleep after midnight. I did not sleep very much at all. This morning, Deniska told me, "It's a miracle! One dose of medicine and I'm cured!" He's so funny. I suspect he will try to sleep with me again tonight. That's OK too! I am very thankful that he is doing better.
And, I am thankful for Nicholas, who sleeps with me every night (on top of my face and pillow). He has been with me for 13 years. I hope he is with me for a long, long time!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Oh my throat!

Does this look like a child running a 100+ degree temp and was diagnosed with strep throat today? No, I say. But it is. Poor little Deniska quit eating yesterday morning. He said his throat hurt last night. Dennis and I knew it was strep throat. The child gets strep throat at a drop of a hat. A throat culture was done and sure enough, he has strep throat.

What are the symptoms of strep throat? The most common symptoms of strep throat are:
A sudden, severe sore throat. (No, he did not have that.)
Pain when you swallow. (No, he did not have that.)
Fever over 101F. (yes, he did have that)
Swollen tonsils and lymph nodes. (the doctor said it was slightly swollen on one side)
White or yellow spots on the back of a bright red throat. (the doctor said he did not have that)
You may also have a headache and belly pain. (he said his stomach felt funny)

Less common symptoms are a red skin rash, vomiting, not feeling hungry, and body aches. (no,no, yes, no)

So, we are hoping that we caught it in the early stages and the medicine will do the trick.

Monday, November 23, 2009

sniff, sniff

A new box of tissues, a swig of dayquil, anda comfy bed, all equals.......
a day home from work with a cold. Yuck!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Project post

The boys both had projects due at school this past week. I thought I would share these with you!
Deniska's Desert project looked a lot better when it went out the door Wednesday morning. He told me that he had given everyone on the bus one of the animals. One of his classmates told him there were too many animals. Deniska told him it was a family meeting and everyone came! Quick thinking on Deniska's part! He worked really hard on this project and did it all by himself (with a little help from Mom!)

Nikolai had a brown bag book report. He drew this picture all by himself! He's a good artist to just be 8 years old. He wants an art kit for Christmas and art lessons this summer.

I am proud of both boys!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

This week

Monday - work
Tuesday - work
Wednesday - work
Thursday - work
Friday - work
Saturday - work
Sunday - REST!

St. Therese

St. Therese, the Little Flower, please pick me a rose from the heavenly garden and send it to me with a message of love. Ask God to grant me the favor I thee implore, and tell Him I will love Him each day, more and more.