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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

I heart camera straps

A few months ago I won a blog giveaway for a camera strap!  I picked out the camera strap I wanted -- and I was tickled pink when I got it in the mail!

The only thing that concerned me was that it was a slip on camera strap.  A year ago, when I ordered another camera strap, I didn't order a slip on because I wasn't sure if it would stay in place!  So, I opted for a camera strap that had the attachables with it --  

Well, this time, it was a slip cover, so I was VERY intrigued as to how it would work.  Let me say, it works GREAT!!  It's SO much cheaper to get a slip on cover and you can change it up to match your outfit that you're wearing, etc.  It also has a lens cap holder -- and trust me, that's a must have if you want a camera strap!  I am forever misplacing my cap!!  I do believe this strap is very well made!

The giveaway I won came from Tootsie's Place == created by Sarah & Mel.  I believe the prices are VERY affordable (between $10-12 dollars!) plus they have some cute accessories like flowers to adorn the strap!  I love that it doesn't move around on my strap!!  So, check them out -- and tell 'em I sent you. :)

Houston... we have a winner!!

The winner of the Hershey's Field & Games giveaway is #3 ....

Brendan, Calli, Taylor, Keaton, and Brody said...

We are all about taking family walks, and just got into riding bikes together. That way the kids (and myself) are getting a good workout in without feeling like it's work!

Way to go Calli!! 

Email me your address so I can turn it in!!

Monday, March 21, 2011

when life gives you dear friends....

When life gives you dear friends, you have lunch with them and celebrate your friendship... and their birthdays!

**edited to say that I have already WRITTEN this post & published it, just not sure WHERE it went?!!  GRR!**

I have this amazing group of friends that welcomed me with open arms when we moved here to San Antonio almost three years ago.  (GASP for air!  man, that was a LONG sentence!).  Coincidentally, four of them all share a March birthday, so this year we all celebrated in style... on a Saturday late morning at a new cafe that is right down the road... La Vie.  Very awesome (and totally yummy!). 

Sadly, we were missing our fourth birthday girl ... she was on a house hunting trip.  We sure missed you Mandi!


I ate this .... an "Albuturque" sandwich which had mesquite turkey, avocado, tomato, some kind of cheese, a hatch chile, with a jalapeno bread w/ Aioli (or something like that...) spread.  It was delicious!  I ordered the sweet potato fries, and boy did they not disappoint!  Yummm!!


and my little gift I got my dear friends Katie, Jenn, Rebecca & Mandi?  Since they're all SO old, I got them all the Classic Edition of Uno.  :)  I did a pretty poor job of playing w/ the words so that it went w/ the Uno game.  :O


Friends really are the best!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Building a mother in laws quarter part 1

Since we bought a piece of land last spring in eastern Texas, Mike and I (I use the term I loosely, since he's doing most of the word) have been working on the land to prepare for a cabin.  But first, we needed a small garage/mother in law quarters in order to house our materials, and a place to stay in while we (he) builds the cabin.  The building of the cabin, I predict, will take years.  MANY years. 

You can read about the start of our journey here and here .

Back in December we enjoyed New Years at the property.  Mike also took a huge log in which the electricity is hooked up to, and between Mike, Katie & I, we managed to place it in a hole.  Let me tell you, this job is not meant to be done between a married couple.  I repeat.. if you want to preserve your marriage, do NOT place an electric pole in a hole.  Let's say that it is very VERY heavy.  It took us FOREVER to get the stinking pole to go in the hole! We backed the trailer up, moved it around, tried everything.  I was also praying very very hard that I wouldn't have to drive Mike to the ER.  I had no clue where the hospital was.  But, all ended well, and Mike ended up with huge bruises on his shoulder from where the log crashed down on him -- but, happy to say the electricity is hooked up now!

Last week Mike & Katie took a 3-4 day trip back to the property, and worked some more.  Mike went previously without us, and set up pillars (I am sure I am not even saying it right, but there's concrete pillars in the ground, or above the ground b/c the ground is so sandy, it has to be built that way).  So, he went to start the plumbing so it was ready, and to start building the frame.  {{this is where Mike would come in really handy in describing the journey, but since he doesn't blog, I will have to narrate what I think is happening in the pictures, whether it's correct or not!}}

Katie did a great job in capturing the events that transpired. 


See Mike dig.

Dig Mike dig!!


and we pause for a second to admire the beautiful self portrait Katie took of herself. 


and this is what it looked like when Mike & Katie left to come home.  He needs to finish going around....


The next time Mike goes up, he is going to place plywood down, stain it (paint it?  varnish it?) so the wood won't rot, and then start working on getting the little garage/mother in laws quarters framed.  The goal is to get it done by the end of this year.  Then, we will have a small kitchenette, place to sleep and bathroom with storage space!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

I was kissed... by a beluga whale!

My sister in law Tiffany & her family came down to San Antonio for spring break.  We've loved having them here!  While they were here, we made a trip to Sea World.... and since I have a dear friend who is one of the animal trainers at Sea World (specifically the beluga whales & dolphins), I was able to score a backstage view of these gorgeous animals!! 

You can see Valerie in action here:


Then afterwards, we went backstage and managed to touch or even KISS the beluga whale!!
Thanks SO much Valerie for the sneak peak!  Trust me, it was THE highlight of everyone's day!!

For the record, Katie was being a .... teenager..... and wasn't all that sure about the whole scenario of kissing a beluga whale.


and of course... I was not afraid to kiss a beautiful beluga whale!!


Katie & Tiff waiting to watch the 4D show

Maddie & I getting ready to watch the show....


This next set of pictures cracks me UP!  See how sad and bored all the kids look...

Now see them!  Once the ride goes down, they all smile & laugh!


Friday, March 11, 2011

Highs & low's in my life this week

This week has been a difficult week for me. 

I haven't felt very well (thank you Mr. Sore Throat, Ms. Tickle Down Your Throat, Mr. Ear Pressure, and Mrs. Snot -- you really are a snot!). 

I got news from Katie that she might not be interested in taking Highland Dance anymore. There goes 7 years of training.... :( I am OK with her stopping, but since this was the first I heard about it, I'm kind of have mixed feelings. So, we might be taking a few months off of dancing for a break.

I didn't exercise like I wanted to this week due to activities every single night this week (thank you Katie's Track practice every day, dance lesson on Monday, monthly dance lesson Tuesday night, Young Women on Wednesday night, and Primary Meeting & Book Club on Thursday night). 

Oh, my schedule??  Wanna know how my schedule went this week?

Monday:  Pick Maddie & her friend Tressa up from piano at 4:30 .... race to take Tressa home and pick up Katie 25 minutes late (she gets out at 4:30 also)... then force feed my girls a banana (for potassium according to my dad - when you sweat you eat a banana) and a small 100 calorie pack of Cheezits because that's all I had in my house for a snack  Cheese(its) and banana!  It's the perfect diet!  NOT!  But, oh well, whoever said I'm the perfect mother?  Not me!  Oh, back to my driving:  ....race down the street 4 miles following every single boneheaded slow driver to get the girls to dance (we're late since it starts at 5:00).  Go home, exercise on the elliptical for 30 minutes, then race back to pick them up.  Get home by 7:00 and start on dinner (chicken quesadilla, the gourmet dinner of the week, seriously!).  Fall asleep by 9:00.  Seriously!

tired yet?  Just wait...

Tuesday:  Pick up Katie at track at 4:30, race home in rush hour traffic to make dinner, and leave by 6:30 to get to their monthly dance class.  Stay until 8:30, leave and make it home by 9:00.  Whew... OH, I did manage to fold a few loads of laundry in between this time!  Dinner???... didn't make it.  Made the girls fend for themselves (please, nominations for Mother of the Year award this way!!). 

Wednesday:   I was supposed to have a Primary meeting tonight, but since I received a phone call from the Stake Young Women Presidency asking me to take pictures for their Fashion Show, and that they wanted Katie to be a "paparazzi" actress that night, we have to be at the church by 6:30.  No biggie....  My Primary meeting got cancelled b/c 3 of us are sick w/ sore throats/sinus infections, but I'm still expected to be at the church.  Leave church by 8:15 and get home by 8:45 (yes, we live a good 20 minute drive away from the chapel.  It sucks.)  Oh, in case you are dying for what we had for dinner, it was burritos. OH, my recipe?  So easy!  Open a can of refried beans, a can of green chiles, a can of roast beef, stir and slap on a flour tortilla... instant dinner!  Like I said, perfection at its finest!

Thursday:  Primary Meeting at 6:30 ... over by 8:15, dash over to Book Club (I really went there just for the food, I didn't even read the book.  Slacker, I know!  But, with a schedule like mine, who has time to read?  Anyone?!)   Leave Book Club by 9:00 since I have Maddie with me and she's making these "I'm DYING over here" looks with her face and it's really embarrassing me.  Dinner?  Subway... (not Subways like I'm always saying, it's SUBWAY! But seriously, SubwayS just sounds so much better).

Friday:  Take work off a little early and go sit at the RediClinic to see what in the heck is wrong with me.  Get a prescription (sinus infection), get it filled and walk around the grocery store like a zombie trying to figure out what in the world it is that I need in my refrigerator.  Unload at home, dash to get Maddie from Sign Club, go home.... clean up house.... order a pizza and refuse to pay the $2.20 fee to deliver the Papa John's pizza, so it's carryout for us tonight... pick up Maddie's BFF Tressa for a fun playdate..... dash to get the pizza (with the gas prices going up so high, I probably should've just had them deliver)... made brownies, and let the girls basically do whatever they want (makeovers, hair, and yes, they asked to give me a shoulder & foot massage, and really, who is going to refuse that?!)

If you think this week was bad, you should've heard about my week last week!  Ha!!  This week was easy peezy compared to last week!  (but I did have a major High that week, I went to Wicked!!!)
I realized that I placed "Highs and Low's in my life", and I'm currently struggling to figure out what was my high this week.  Hmm....  trying to think......


................thinking some more.............

I might have to change the title of this post to "Low's of my week" because I really can't think of anything positive that happened this week -- only that I'm exhausted and could use an entire weekend to stay in bed and eat bonbons (OK, totally kidding on the bon bons!  I meant fruit!!   Or rather, I meant chocolate with fruit!). 

Oh, I lost 1.6 pounds at Weight Watchers, but I had also gained 1.6 pounds the week before (thankyouverymuchAuntFlo) ..... so that kind of was a given, in my mind.

.... to be continued when I find a High!!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

friendship pins

Maddie's 3rd grade had a Country Fair a few weeks ago.  We got a letter from the teacher telling us about this event, and that the kids needed to create crafts from home. NO problem!  I remember some of the stuff the girls came home with in the past two years from their fair: homemade slime (well, that's the only thing I can remember them coming home with).  I signed her up and said "we'll make washer necklaces!"

Then, I completely forgot about it.  

Two days before her Country Fair, Maddie said "Mom!  I need to take a sample in on Wednesday (which was one day before the Fair) and show the teacher!"   ::gulp::  I forgot.

So that night, I ran around trying to find my washers that I had bought a LONG time ago, and couldn't find them.  So I grabbed three washer necklaces I made a year ago -- they were fancy.  I thought I was done.

Then.... I went to dropp off Maddie at her friend Tressa's house.  Tressa's mom Mandi said "whew!  We JUST got done w/ our project!"  I inquired about the whole "what did you do?  How many did you make?"  Well, we only made three, and we're supposed to make.... a lot.  Apparently.  I didn't get THAT memo! 

So, Katie and I brainstormed on what we had on hand that we could make (Maddie went rollerskating w/ Tressa that night).  I remembered we had a TON of beads.  Hmmm... what could we do w/ beads?  That kids might want to buy?

I had it!  Let's bring back FRIENDSHIP PINS!!  Yeah!  So, Katie and I spent over an hour making all kinds of pins out of the beads we had.  The next day, I bought more safety pins, and we spent even MORE time making friendship pins. 

Mike took Maddie to get two more boxes of safety pins and she worked all night on making more.  She wanted me to wake her up at 5:30 in the morning to finish making them.  She was going to charge .25 for 3 of them, and she was SURE it was going to sell like hotcakes!  They were AWESOME!   I mean, they were hot stuff when I was a kid!


at 5:30 a.m. .... yawn!!!


The final result!!


So, the day came of the Country Fair.  I came home, and saw Maddie sitting on my bed, with her container that she used to store her friendship pins.  I said "so, how many did you sell?"  She said "30", with a very sad face.  She made almost 200.  My heart broke for her.  She said one lady came to her out of pity and gave her a $5 bill.... and only took a few of the pins.  She said "she felt sorry for me".

She said other kids didn't earn any money at all -- and she said "I felt even more bad for them than for me!"

While the ending result was a sad one (they were making money for charity)... she (and I) had a wonderful time making these pins.  She even said she saw other girls at school who made their own and were wearing them on their shoelaces and shoes!!  I got to relive my elementary school days, so that was a plus for me!  I guess all her friends will be getting friendship pins for their birthdays now!  Bring back those friendship pins!!
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