Thursday, January 29, 2009

My Dad

My Dad recently got his first ever laptop, he is just learning how to use it. I think he loves it so far, he is always emailing my sister Shelby and I about things that he's been up too. I am so glad that we are able to communicate with him this way now because it's so easy to shoot him an email during the day at work. He hasn't figured out how to get a blogger profile to comment on our blogs, so if you see anonymous comments they are probably from him.

Last week I was talking to him on the phone and he asked me about Kelly and Harper. I don't even know Kelly I just love reading her blog. Anyway, he said that he was looking at her blog because I had posted the link to pray for Harper. He was so concerned about both of them we spent a lot of time talking about them, their families and what they are going though during that phone call. It was really sweet that he was so concerned about them. Good news Dad they are both doing great and they should be going home next week!! Here is a picture that Kelly posted on her blog. I love this picture of sweet Harper!
My Dad is coming to help us with our landscaping in May! I am so excited I have always hated the ugly, overgrown bushes in front of our house. Here is a picture of them. I think our house would look so much more open and big if they were gone. I also think it would look better if we got new outside lights, I think the ones we have now are too small.
My Dad asked me to look on-line for some ideas and I found this one on HGTV last night. I love the landscaping of this home. I am hoping that we can add bushes, mulch and a lot of flowering perennials.
My Dad and I always joke around about me painting the dining room table. He gave it to us when he sold his house. I absolutely love the table. When my Dad had it in his dining room we had many great meals sitting around that table. It was hand made by the Amish that live in Illinois. My grandma, and aunt (who have both died), my mom, Graig's family, and a lot of friends have had many great dinners and long talks around this table. I would never, ever want to part with it because it's wonderful . I am not crazy about the light oak color. I think it would look great painted or stained a different color. Dad while you are here we can redo my dining room table...Isn't this great!!
Picture taken from www. Thanks Allison!!

This is the color it is now, this was taken at our New Year's Eve party.
Dad I am so excited that you are coming to visit us, we are going to have a great time doing lots of projects together!!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Snow Day!!

Today Brock and Ava had a snow day! They were so excited to be able to stay home. I stayed home from work and we didn't go anywhere all day because it was too snowy and yucky outside to get out and do anything. Brock and Ava stayed in their pajamas all day long! We did a lot of relaxing, watching TV, and playing Wii. I actually got a lot of work stuff done too. I finished two reports and caught up on on my emails-yeah!! Ava and I made banana bread, it is so good! It's my friend Erin's recipe. It is so easy and it's wonderful, it doesn't last too long around our house!

Erin's banana bread
1 stick butter and 1 cup of sugar (creme together)
2 eggs
2 large bananas
2 cups flour
1 teas. baking powder
1/2 teas. baking soda
mix all together, put in a loaf pan and cook at 350 degrees for 1 hour. I made 4 little loaves and cooked them for about 35 minutes

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Home Sweet Home

For the past couple of months Graig and I have been trying to decide what we should do about our future...I know heavy stuff. It's been a stressful couple of months and we really weren't sure what we should do. In our minds we had 2 options.

A) Leave our current town, Graig and I would apply for higher paying jobs at other Colleges/Universities. This would allow us to move up the ladder of higher education. We would move over the summer so we could all be settled before school starts in the fall.

B) Stay in the town we've been in for almost 10 years, stay at the College where we have worked for almost 10 years, and were our kids have grown up. Stay in our house that we have been in for almost 5 years.

Well we decided that the best decision for us and our family would be to stay where we are in NY. In my heart I think I have always known this is the best decision for us and our family. Graig feels the same way too, I think the allure of more money and more prestigious jobs are appealing to both of us, but it's not worth it to us to move from a home we love, jobs we love, and friends and family that we love.

I love the fact that Brock and Ava are going to have the same friends in high school that they did in preschool, Ava is going to go to the same dance school, Brock is going to play baseball with the same kids, we know the parents of all their friends. I am so happy with the decision that we made!! This is going to be our home sweet home forever! BTW, I took this picture at about 7am this morning...our neighbors probably think I'm crazy!!

Ava's teacher, Mrs. Andrews, put these on her class blog, they are from their Chinese New Year party! I love that she is learning to use chopsticks, how cute!!
Happy Tuesday everyone!!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Rah Rah

Saturday night Ava particpated in a Cheerleading clinic sponsored by the high school cheerleaders in our town. She had so much fun! She loves cheerleading. The girls were junior cheerleaders and got to perform during the basketball game on Saturday night. I love the shirts they gave the girls, the yellow is so cute! The cheerleaders also put cute blue and yellow bows in the little girls hair. Ava can't wait to do cheerleading when she gets older!Brock was so proud that a picture like this one was in the paper on Saturday. Last weekend his basketball team won a basketball tournament and the boys on the team were so happy! I think it's funny how most of the boys aren't smiling...they are trying to be tough.

Saturday, January 24, 2009


I am so happy it's the weekend! It was such a busy week, I am ready to relax!! Last night, Brock and Ava were with friends so Graig and I had the night to ourselves! We don't get a night alone very often so it was fun to hang out and be together. We ordered Chicken Parm from our Graig's favorite resturant. After we ate I finished making my pillows. I like how they turned out, they were so easy to make!! I also (finally!) put the adorable pictures that we got of Emma and Owen in frames. I got this frame for $3 at Wal-Mart. I think these are great pictures of them!

I also put up this picture of Emma and Own with their fabulous parents (and our BFF's from Illinois) Scott and Erin! I love this picture of their family. Congrats to Carrie (Buzzings of a Queen Nee) and her family, she had a little boy named Henry yesterday. I love reading her blog, she does so many cute, crafty projects!!

Today Ava is going to do a Cheerleading Clinic at the High School. After her clinic she gets to cheer at the basketball game tonight! It will be fun to watch her perform!

Friday, January 23, 2009


I made this centerpiece for our dining room table. I wasn't sure what to put on our table, so when I got home from work I went out to our backyard snipped off some little branches off a bush and put them in a crock. I added heart fabric and a heart ornament in the middle. I love the way it turned out!! This weekend, I want to go and get a red table runner to complete the look. My friend Allison bought me this cute bag for my birthday! I love it so much. It's the perfect size and I love the colors!!

I love purses so I bought this bag tonight, its a Vera Bradley bowler bag in Purple Punch. I love all the colors in it and this bag is so big it will hold all the stuff that I carry around all the time!!
I was trying to get a nice picture of Brock and Ava to send out with our Valentines Day cards. This is the best one I have so far. I love how Ava's top teeth are just coming in.
Happy Friday!! I am so glad it's the weekend!!!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Blog Headers!

My sister Shelby just started a blog It's fabulous!! She loves to decorate, cook and entertain. I can't wait to see what she writes about everyday. Anyway, she asked me to design a header for her new blog. I just learned how to do this using scrapblog. I love using this to make headers for blogs. It's so easy and I think they turn out really cute. Here is the one I came up with for Shelby. I use the templates on scrapblog, once you choose a template that you like everything else that you need to do your header goes along with your template. You can add stickers, frames and embellishments. They also have a ton of great fonts. Shelby sent me color pictures but I changed them to black and white and added an effect (I forgot what it's called) to make the pictures darker on the edges. I love making these, if you have a question about scrapblog leave a comment and I will try to help you figure it out.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Valentine Day Decs and a Cute Giveaway!!

I finally got around to putting up some Valentine Day decorations yesterday. I love decorating for Valentines Day, I only have a few things but it's fun to get them out every year. I am still trying to think of something for a centerpiece for our dining room table. If anyone has any cute, simple ideas let me know.

This is on our hutch in our dining room.

Hearts, Hearts...everywhereI got this little bucket at the dollar spot at Target, so cute!!
I love these hearts hanging from our chandelierI love this heart ornament!

This is a little table in the corner of my office at work.
Monogrammed Teacher is doing a fabulous giveaway in honor of her 100th post. You can go here to sign up. The cute bag she is giving away is from Monogram Chick
Happy Wednesday everyone!!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A birthday and an inauguration!

Today is Graig's 37Th birthday! I can't believe that he is 37 already...we started dating when he was 24...yikes time flies!! Anyway, Graig is a wonderful husband, father and provider for our family. He works so hard each and everyday! Graig is the hardest person in the world to buy for, so every year for his birthday I get him a framed picture of a memorable event that has happened in the last year. This year I picked the one below. It's of Graig and Brock right after Brock's team won the Little League tournament in our town. Graig was the coach of the team and he was so proud of Brock that day, I love this picture of the two of them!
Happy Birthday Graig, we all love you!!

Today is the inauguration of Barack Obama! I am so excited, I have been waiting for this day since the election. I wish that one of my kids were sick (just kidding!) so I could stay home all day in my PJ's and watch the coverage on CNN! At work, we are going to have the inauguration on all day so students can stop and watch between their classes so I will get to watch it. I can't wait to see what Michelle Obama and her sweet girls are going to wear! It is going to be a great day!!

Monday, January 19, 2009


Yesterday Brock was in a basketball tournament. His team one two games and they have another game (or two if they win!) today. Here is Brock after his first game. Poor thing he gets so sick of me taking his picture all the time. He must get this from Graig, he hates taking pictures too!

My friend Sabrina gave Ava an adorable hat that her Grandma June made. I took this picture of Ava and Eliza yesterday at the basketball game wearing their hats, I think they look so cute together! My mother in law Janice took us out to lunch for our birthdays, mine was last Tuesday and Graig's is coming up on Tuesday. Anyway, we had pizza, wings, and salad--delicious! Here we are at lunch.
Last night Brock and Ava spent the night at Grandma Jan's because today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. (What a great man he was btw, two summers ago I went to the Civil Rights museum in Memphis, so interesting and inspiring!) Graig watched football and I made this cute pillow. I love this fabric, I got it at Wal-Mart! It was only 2.50 per yard. I got 1 1/2 yards because I have two pillows that I want to cover in this fabric. I can't sew so I got this idea from A Soft Place to Land. She always has a ton of simple, great ideas for your home.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Our week in review

Tuesday-My 33rd birthday!!! I can't believe I am 33...I remember (not so long ago) when I thought 33 was SO I think it's fabulous. I am so happy with where I am in my life so I know being 33 is going to be a great year!!

Wednesday-My Dad got out of the hosptial! Our whole family is so happy that he is at home. His roomie at the hospital is the local weather lady's best friend! My Dad was so excited to meet her, he loves talking about and watching weather on TV. I too am obsessed with the is my homepage...I totally get this obsession from my Dad.

Dad with Judy Frazier!

Thursday-At school Ava made the 1000 scroll club! She was so excited!!This was posted on her teachers blog.

Friday-Three of my friends took me out for dinner to celebrate my 33rd b-day! We had such a good time laughing and talking. I love my friends so much and we had so much fun being together!

Saturday-Was sooooo cold! Seriously, it was around 0 degrees! I took Brock to soccer practice and Ava to ballet in the morning. In the afternoon and evening we just hung out at home because it was too cold to do anything else!

I am still thinking and praying for Kelly and her baby Harper! I keep checking her blog for updates and so far today she hasn't posted an update. I hope they are doing OK.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Please Pray for Kelly and baby Harper!!

Please pray for Kelly and her baby daughter Harper who was born yesterday. Baby Harper is having some trouble and was transferred to a hospital in Tulsa. When I started blogging last summer Kelly's blog was one of the first ones I started reading everyday. She is such a sweet person and I look forward to reading her posts everyday. Everyone who reads her blog knows how excited she is about becoming a Mom!

Monday, January 12, 2009

House Cleaning and Yummy Potatoes!!

Yesterday, since we were snowed in I thought all day how I should clean our house. We all love a clean house and I love to keep ours clean but lately I can't seem to bring myself to actually clean up. Here's what usually happens, I start cleaning a room, then I get distracted (by the computer, by Graig, Brock or Ava, a good show on TV, etc...really anything can distract me from cleaning) and then nothing gets cleaned up. I have tried to do a big cleaning on the weekends but that doesn't work because A) I like to sleep in and B) I like to relax on the weekend so it doesn't get done.

So to solve my problem, I am going to do a little cleaning (like 1/2 hour) each night after work. Right when we get home while dinner is cooking. That way after we eat I can clean up from dinner and then I will have time to help Brock and Ava with their homework and relax.

That's my plan...I will let you know how it turns out. What do you do to keep your house clean? I need advice, I am really struggling with this lately!!

One day last week I made these delicious potatoes. They are like loaded baked potatoes that you get at a restaurant. They are so yummy!! Here are the ingredients that you need (I thought this was like Pioneer Woman, she is my cooking idol!!)

You boil about 4 baking potatoes until they are tender. When they are done, drain them and add a spoonful of sour cream, a couple of pieces of precooked bacon, a little garlic, and some shredded cheddar, add salt and pepper and a little milk and butter and mash them with a potato masher. I don't measure anything with this recipe just use as much as you think would be good. They are delicious and so easy to make.

I am really liking Twitter, I posted 5 times yesterday. I can post really quick from my iPhone.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Sunday randomness

Ava's gymnastics meet went OK yesterday...I don't think Graig and I need to worry about where the Olympics are going to be held in 12 years...but Ava had a good time. She said she wasn't nervous at all and she remembered what she was suppose to do (most of the time). We couldn't take pictures during the meet so I took a picture of Ava when we out to eat to celebrate after her meet.

Here's Ava with her ribbons.

My Dad is still in the hospital, his kidney biopsy is scheduled for Monday, thank you for all of your kind words about him in my last post. His spirits are good, and my sister Shelby is still with him. We are all hoping and praying that the biopsy results are good and that he can go home on Tuesday.

I started twittering! My twitter name is BrockandAva. It's like a mini blog, I am going to try it out. I will let you know how I like it.

I only did one small craft project this weekend. I made this clipboard for my work. I didn't take too long to paint, and I love it painted up!

Today, we are snowed in!! We are going to stay home, I am going to clean our house and tonight I am making poppyseed chicken for dinner. I have read on so many blogs how good it is so I want try it out!!

Drum roll please...the winner of the 2009 family planner is...Shannon!! Brock and Ava picked the winner Friday night (sorry I didn't post this yesterday, we were super busy!!) Congrats, email me your address and I will mail out your planner this week!!

Friday, January 9, 2009


I am so glad it's Friday!! It has been crazy busy at work this week, and I am trying to get everything ready before the students come back next week.
Today is the last day to sign up for my 2009 Family Planner giveaway. Go here to sign up or leave a comment below to sign up. Brock and Ava will pick a winner tonight!!!
Please keep my Dad in your thoughts and prayers this weekend. He is in the hospital, he has HSP a kidney disease that is more common in children than in adults. His doctor is going to do a kidney biopsy to see if he has any kidney damage. My Dad is in great spirits and I talked to him a couple of times yesterday on the phone. My sister Shelby and her husband Ryan are at the hospital with him. It's times like this when I absolutely hate living 1000 miles away from my family!!
My Dad with Brock and Ava in Wyoming this summer

Shelby and Ryan

Ava's first gymnastics meet is tomorrow! She is so excited. Since it's her first meet and her coach said the girls could wear their favorite leotard. Ava wants to wear this one because it's her favorite. It should be a fun day! All parents have to sign up for a job to do at the meet, I am going to be a scorekeeper. I don't really know much about it but I do know that I get to sit in the front so I am super happy about that. Have a great weekend everyone!!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Before and After

Rhoda at Southern Hospitality is hosting a 2008 top 1o before and after projects. I am so excited to see what everyone did last year!! I wish I had 10 projects to show, I have 3 to show from 2008. One of my New Year's Resolutions is to do more crafts and home projects in 2009!!

My friend Sabrina is so talented and creative and 2 of these projects were her idea, she always comes up with the best crafts for us to do! I wanted to give her a little shout out because she doesn't have her own blog...yet. I always try to talk her in to starting one. Here is Sabrina with her husband Shawn and their sweet baby girl Eliza at our New Year's Eve party.

We made this out photo holder and bulletin board out of an old shutter. This shutter cost about $10 at a used furniture store. I really love how it turned out! Another one of Sabrina's good ideas! We made this mirror out of an old, yucky nasty window. We measured and got the mirrors at Lowe's. This was my first time working with mirrors in a project and I was a little nervous. The window was free and the cut mirrors were about $15. (sorry about the glare on the second picture)

I found this at a garage sale for $30 for both the drawers and the hutch! It looked terrible. Sabrina and I sanded it down and painted it black, then we painted a brick red color on the top and wiped the brick red color off with old rags. Graig (my hubby) added the handles. This is one of my favorite pieces of furniture! I absolutely love how it turned out and it's perfect in our dining room.

I hope you liked looking at my projects from 2008! I can't wait to see all the projects everyone did and get some great ideas for 2009. Don't forget to sign up for my New Year's giveaway below, Brock and Ava will pick the winner on Friday!