Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Where Did It Go????

You know I am talking about summer, right?  It just flew by.  School starts today for Elise & Jude.  I just went so fast.  It is like I took off running in May and I haven't stopped to rest.  I am tired.  On  the first day of summer we went out for breakfast and made a to-do list for the summer.  We really didn't do many of the things on the list.  Here are some of the things we did do: made tye dye tshirts, swimming in a lake, went to the zoo, water balloon fight, reading program at the library, went to the movies, had a picnic, went to West Virginia, went to Tennessee....

The neighborhood boys have been coming over and playing with my kids.  It is funny.  They play the Wii or go in the basement and throw these balls at each other.  Last week I took my kids to the neighborhood pool.  Two of the other boys decided to go with us.  I told them they had to behave if they walk in with me because then everyone would think they are with me and if they embarrass me I WILL embarrass them back.  They just laughed....  They were pretty good.  I did hear the one kid telling the life guard that I was his "guardian".  I denied it.  Jude is upset because I won't let him run around the neighborhood with them, without an adult.  Hey, when you do the work I do...you tend to be a little over-protective. 

Anyhoo....The day we got the school teacher list I was talking to the boys about which teacher they got (they are all 2nd graders).  Jude told them who his teacher is & the one kid was like, "Oh man....you are soooo LUCKY.  She lets you eat gum in her class AND you can even take it in the hall!"  That cracked me up.  I was thinking...I hope this lady doesn't give too much homework.  I HATE homework.  In another dimension - I am a homeschool Mom and my kids don't have "homework".  Well, I guess it would all be homework but oh so different. 

Last night Elise told me she does not want to go to Kindergarten.  I hope she doesn't cry or anything.  That would be bad.  I didn't cry when Jude went to school and I probably won't cry today.  You know what gets me???  When I am at school functions - like the first grade choir concert.  All these sweet little voices singing and being silly....so carefree.  So innocent.  I can look at them and see them grow up right before my eyes.  That is when I cry. 

Thursday is Open House.  Jake will be at work so I will be going alone.  Well, as alone as you can be with three kids.  When Jude was in kindergarten I realized there is a kid in his grade who's father I dated back in the day.  For two years I have avoided all contact with the guy.  This year the kid is in Jude's class.  Can you say awkward?  I don't know...  I want to erase that I know his favorite movie is Top Gun.  Honestly I barely knew the guy.  I knew his friends and that is how I met him.  The last time he asked me out he stood me up.  That is probably why I feel so weird, you know?  That is the ONLY time I was ever stood up.  EVER. 

Okay, one last thing.  I have decided to join the PTA this year.  I am not sayin' I will go to the meetings and all that but we'll see.  Baby steps....

Thursday, August 19, 2010

This One is Particularly Random....

I called a client.  She didn't answer her phone.  She used to have an annoying ring back tone.  I don't like those. I frequently complained about it to her.  This time she had a very nice voice mail that said "Hello this is xxxxx.  I can not get to the phone at this particular time so leave a message and I will call you back."  I laughed.  She told me she learned the word particular from me.  Only if you just how much progress that really is....

A couple of days ago Elise was playing and she said, "Mommy when we do that it is really random."  Yes....my five year old said random. 

I've been doing pilates for 11 days now.  I didn't want to do them today.  I was tired. Yes....I get tired.  Last night Elise and Avery were getting ready for bed.  They were in the bedroom on the floor.  I walked in and gave them a strange look because they were rolling on their backs.  Elise looked at me and said "we are doing our pilates".  Oh my.

Avery has this thing with boobs lately.  She wants 'em.  Dear God...Help.  She also wants to paint her nails everyday and get her ears pierced. 

Naked Barbies
Avery has 3 barbies she carries around with her.  They are naked.  Why?  Not sure why she won't leave them clothed.  She had them in the basket of her tricycle the other day.  It looked funny.

The Rooster & The Cat
A woman I work with lives on a farm.  She told me a story that she had this rooster that always hung out with a barn cat they have.  The rooster kept getting in the garden and pecking things and was getting annoying so.....her hubby took care of the rooster.  Now that the rooster is gone, the cat is lonely.  She has been coming around the house more.  I think there is a statement somewhere about how different people can be companions. 

The Crib
After writing my post about the crib I asked Jake if he read it.  He said yes, it was funny.  Funny!?  My eyes shoot lasers at him.  Okay...they didn't really but if I could have activated them well it wouldn't have been pretty.  Yesterday I mentioned the crib.  He told me to sell it.  I said what about saving it to pass it down.... He said, "what size bed is your mom bringing here"?  BTW...that is why I am cleaning the play room because it is going to be a "guest room".  As I told him I realized DUH....the crib turns into a full sized bed and that is what they are bringing.  So...I get to keep the crib for non baby purposes.  I like that. 

Thursday, August 12, 2010

All is Quiet in the Miller Home....

Because it is 4:30 A.M. and I am wide awake.  I am pretty sure I will regret this later.

I love summer.  BUT I was thinking yesterday, I need the winter to give me time to rest.  During the summer, I don't stop - traveling, kid activities, the garden, the flowers.....  Do I rest in the winter?  I think so.  Just a thought.

Work has been a little slow lately.  That is good because I was off two weeks in July.  I think it is starting to pick up.  I prefer it to be busy.  I think I do a better job when I have more clients.  I don't know, maybe I just feel like I do a better job. 

The kids go back to school in a couple of weeks.  Elise will start kindergarden.  Avery is starting preschool.  Jude 2nd grade.  All my babies are going to be in school.  It is bittersweet. 

Yesterday, I told Jake that I think we should sell the crib.  He said OK.  Honestly I wanted to have a discussion about it but he was cleaning off the desk and filing stuff and doing Jake stuff.  I went back to getting ready for the day.  I started thinking about it and then I convinced myself we should keep the crib. I went back and told Jake that I think we should keep the crib.  He said OK.  Grrrr....  My original reason for thinking about the crib was because it is in the playroom in the basement.  My parents bought a "guest" bed for us and that is where I plan to put it.  I need to figure out where to put the crib.  When we took the crib down we didn't sell it because I planned to adopt.  Notice I said - I.  I think if I came home with another kid, Jake would be cool with that. (sounds crazy but you never know) But as far as planning and adopting - well it probably won't ever happen.  I am okay with that.  I've accepted it.  I have my hands full as it is.  Avery is becoming more independent and I am really enjoying that.  No more diapers, diaper bags (oh thank God), potty seats, high chairs....  So, as I am thinking about the crib and where to put it I thought my original plan of keeping it for the next baby isn't necessary. So we should sell it.  But it is a nice crib and we could keep it to pass on to one of our children.  Is that dumb?  So, if I keep it....where the heck am I going to put it?  LOL - the vicious circle.  Perhaps I should have just asked Jake for advice on where to store the crib until I make up my mind. 

It is 4:45 and my alarm just went off.  Time to do my pilates.....gotta go! 

Monday, August 02, 2010

The Story of Steph....

Last year, my friend Stephanie (Norris) and I decided we should write a book about the adventures we've had together.  We haven't started it yet.  I think it would be a good read.  She and I met in the sixth grade.  We lived in Vermilion, a smaller country town on Lake Erie.  In our town there were three elementary schools that fed into two different middle schools.  We me at Sailorway Middle School in Mr. Karolak's homeroom class.  He was the funniest teacher.  He had one of those mustache's that curled on the ends and he would do things like slam metal film cases together if a kid fell asleep during a movie.  I remember the first day of sixth grade.  It was a new building and all kinds of new kids...new to me anyways.  Our desks were arranged in a double row, semi circle.  Steph and I were in the same row.  Funny how you remember stuff like that.  Back then she went by the name Stephie.  She went by that name up until high school.

Lunch time at Sailorway was typical of most middle school lunch rooms.  We were able to pick our own seats. But when we were done eating we had to wipe off the table and sweep the floor surrounding our table.  I can't remember how we would decided who got that job but I know it was one of the "new" and intimidating things about lunch.  On the first day of lunch I sat with some friends I knew from Valley View - my elementary.  There were a couple of girls from one of the other schools who sat with us too.  Stephie walked by.  One of the girls said, "She is so innocent.  She doesn't even know what an o***** is."  I thought....what the heck is an o*****? (I edited for some of my younger readers.)  But I didn't say anything.  Then another girl said, "She isn't allowed to say the word God.  She says Golly."  I said, "Really!?  Gosh, that is crazy."  Well, long story short, the next day I sat with her.  For lunch that day we had these brownies or something with a thick layer of powdered sugar on top.  One of the first things I ever did was take a big puff of air and blow the powdered sugar all over Stephie and the table.  She was so mad.  She took one look at me and told me I had to clean up the mess.  Needless to say, I wiped the table and swept the floor that day. 

It wasn't long before she and I realized our Grandparents lived one town over from each other in Tennessee.  This was great.  I can't remember if we knew it first of if we just ran into each other in Tennessee.  I do recall shopping at this store (before Oneida even had a Walmart) and seeing Stephie there.  That pretty much sealed our fate at friends.  That meant when I was stuck in Tennessee, if Stephie was at her Grandmother's then we could call each other and even visit each other.  I thought that was the coolest thing.  We have been in Tennessee many times together as kids and as adults.  In fact she was just there this weekend and she might be at my parent's house as we speak.  But I digress....  We are most likely related since the area our parents are from is pretty small.  Somehow our parents did not know each other but my Dad was involved in an accident with Stephie's Grandfather.  Small world, isn't it. 

Oh....I have lots of more interesting stories to tell.  Maybe Stephanie can be a guest blogger and tell a few of her own.

Monday, July 26, 2010


Life is short.  I guess I've always known this but recently it has been a thought weighing heavily on me.  Two weeks ago my father in law passed away in an accident.  I know any of us could go at any time.  I believe that and I don't shy away from even thinking about it.  But when it happened the shock and grief of it was just....awful.  His funeral was beautiful.  People told many stories about him.  There were hundreds of people there.  It has caused me to pause and really think about life.  I suppose that is part of the grieving process, for me anyways.  Paul lived a full and adventurous life.  I'd like to add a little more adventure into my own life.  Don't we all need more adventure?  Not just for a cheap thrill but for enrichment.  I don't know...just something to think about.

Currently, I am in Tennessee.  I like to visit here.  I could definately live in the south but I know I couldn't live in Scott Co., TN.  It is just so different.  I could maybe live in Knoxville or on the outskirts.  We've talked about moving to West Virginia.  The conversation started before Jake's father died and now the talk has increased. I could see living there.  It is close to stuff but man is it curvy.  I like Ohio.  And I like living in a neighborhood.  We walk around and everyone knows us...stops and talks to us.  I really enjoy that.  But we don't have enough green space.  I want a acre orchard (I have it planned out).  I want a greenhouse.  I want big gardens.....  I want, I want, I want.  Nice.  Also,  I hate slush.  I don't mind the cold.  And I don't care about the snow but I HATE when it melts and the snowplows throw all that grey/ black snow all over.  There are no leaves and no sun. YUCK.  Plus I am cold.  Seriously.  I don't even get hot until it is about 85 degrees.  I told my Mom I could open a Farmers Market in Oneida and sell fresh veggies, homemade canned goods & good cheese.  She said no one would shop there.  Stupid Walmart.  When I was in WV, I asked Steph & Linda if they wanted to open an Amish bakery.  They said no thanks.  LOL.  I guess I am on my own.  Just if I would get to work on that book.  I think I am afraid to start.  For now, I guess I will continue being a wife, mom and case worker.  Those are three pretty cool jobs.

Tomorrow Avery (my baby girl) is going to be THREE.  How did that happen.  It seems like I just gave birth to her.  She is such a big girl.  Last week our normal babysitter was out of town so we had one of the teens from our church babysit (Jessica).  She has younger brothers.  Jessica and her mom took the kids and did a ton of stuff last week.  One day Avery kept saying she was a "big girl" which sounds an awful lot like....Bagel.  They started calling her Bagel.  How cute. She is so ornery.  But at the same time she can be oh so sweet.  She loves to help me with everything. I'll post some pics later.

And for now....Goodnight.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Monday, May 03, 2010

"Hey Mrs. Miller, What Up?!"

Last week I picked Jude up from school one day.  Most of the kids in his class know me because I volunteer at the library once a week.  I did last year too.  There is this one little girl who is hysterical.  The last time I saw her she said, "Mrs. Miller you haven't been here in FOR-EVER".  I had missed one week due to my work schedule.  LOL.  FOR-EVER.  So, I go to pick Jude up on Friday.  I walked past her Mom's van.  She said, "Hey Mrs. Miller, What Up!?"   She's in first grade.

Life is just a full of stuff as always.  Jake's schedule is changing as of today.  He will be working the 12:30 - 9:00 shift.  It is only temporary, until the end of July.  It isn't ideal but it is going to work out okay.  We've worked opposite shifts in the past.  And it will be nice that the kids aren't with the babysitter so much.  Not that there is anything wrong with the babysitter.  It is just better for them to with one of us.  And maybe we can get a few things done around the house.

Work is very busy.  I have been working A LOT.  Our agency did get a new contract with Children's Services for a different program.  That is good news.  I don't think it really effects me but it is good for the agency. 

I am so happy the warm weather is here.  I have been pulling weeds, thinning and rearranging my flower beds.  I really enjoy that.  I planted peas, lettuce, radishes and carrots a month ago and they are doing well.  I also have some volunteer plants.  I am not sure what type of squash is growing but something is spouting up.  And I have a few green beans growing.  Somehow they have survivied the frost we've had.  I am planning a few days off mid May to spend in the garden. 

I know it isn't anything exciting but at least it is an update....

Oh, one last thing - GO CAVS!!!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Library Time....

I am a loyal patron of our local library.  I love it there.  Many of the librarians know me by my name.  I like that.  I usually go the library a couple of times a week.  I read a lot - read to myself kind of reading.  Plus, I read a lot to the kids - we have about a 10-20 book a week habit (as I like to call it).  When I stayed at home with the kids, we attended story time.  It was there that I learned the words and dance to Tooty Ta.  I borrow books, CD's, movies....... I am a library addict. I am sure you get the point. 

Because I am at the library so often I frequently run into people who I know at the library.  In fact, I can't remember the last time I went there without seeing someone I knew.  I like that, too.  Last week I posted on Facebook about how I saw an old friend there but I didn't talk to her.  I hid from her.  Behind a stack of CD's.  And then behind a computer monitor.  I know - there must be something wrong with me. 

Tonight I had to go to the grocery store, so I decided I should return my current batch of stuff to the library.  When I got there I remembered I had made a "reading list" of kids books I wanted to check out for the kids.  Again, I do realize this isn't normal but I've never claimed to be "normal".  I forgot my list but remembered there was a list of the librarians favorite children's books on the library web site.  So.....I went to the computer to search for the list. (I know this is long and detailed but I am getting to a point - so stay with me).  As I am standing at my computer waiting for my info I saw this guy - well, young man (he looked around 18) walking to the computer across from me. He had a few piercings, skinny jeans and converse type shoes.  He walked like it was taking every ounce of energy he could muster to just walk.  He sat down.  I couldn't help but look at him.  He looked so distraught.  I could feel his burden - if that even makes sense.  After a minute I saw this woman walking straight for him.  She may have been his mother.  Or maybe the mother to one of his friends. She said something to him - maybe his name.  He turned and he hugged her.  Now this is where we are going to pause.  If you don't know this about me - I am not a hugger.  I've always thought it was because I just don't like being that physically close to other people.  I don't want my boobs squishing up against other people and I just really don't like hugging.  I get teased about it.  But here is the thing.  I think most hugging is just unnecessary.  It is fake....."oh let me give you a hug".  I mean really does a quick squish and back pat really mean anything?  It is kinda like when you ask someone how they are and then you don't listen to the answer.  The truth is I don't mind hugging when it is needed - when a friend is hurt or crying or even when a client is very upset.  From now on I want everyone to take note - I don't hate hugging - just foo-foo hugging.  So, I watched this odd pair embrace (yes, we are back in the library).  It was not a superficial hug.  He grabbed on to her like he needed someone - anyone even - the give him that physical embrace.  I watched.  I couldn't stop.  He was gripping at her coat.  It was so intense that I felt tears welling up in my eyes.  I heard her say she tried to call him and that was it. I forced myself to walk away.  I did see him when I was leaving the library.  They were ahead of me in line.  I was waiting as the woman disputed some late fee.  He looked stressed.  I wanted to hug him.  Or cry for him.  I asked him is she needed money for the fine.  He said no.  Okay.  He probably thought I was some crazy lady - talking to him. I saw him smoking in the parking lot as I pulled away.  I just wonder what he is going through.  I wonder if he is okay.  It is just strange how you can witness something and just know.  Sometimes I wish we could know what is going on in other peoples lives - so we could help each other.  Other times I think it is best we don't.  I probably wouldn't sleep much at night.

And that was my trip to the library today.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Writers Block.....

I keep getting comments about how I don't blog that much anymore.  At first I denied it had anything to do with Facebook but it really does.  I can jump on Facebook and type a one liner that pretty much sums up what I am doing or what is going on and them I am done. Also, I get instant gratification because people leave comments.  I need validation.  I like comments.  People don't really comment on my blog.  On top of all that - I just have writers block.  I don't know what to write.  I do so much writing at work, maybe I use up all my words!?  Who knows.  I feel like I don't have anything interesting to say.  If I could write about work and all the crazy stuff that goes on there.....man - you just wouldn't believe it.  Every single day something UNBELIVABLE happens.  It is a good thing I have a sense of humor.  If all that wasn't enough (whine, whine, whine.....I know) - this weather is KILLING me.  I am so sick of the cold.  I don't mind the snow so much but it hasn't been over freezing in a month.  It is depressing. 

And life is busy as always.....Jake and I are both working.  Jake goes to school.  The kids go to school.  The dog....well, that is like having another kid.  We go to church.  We teach the youth group.  Cook.  Clean.  Homework.  Laundry.  Shovel. Groceries.  Wow.

I am still thinking about writing a book.  I know I just need to sit down and start.  Here are some ideas.  Tell me what you think.  And if you have any ideas blog posts tell me that too.... 

1.  A book about a newly married, first time mom who gets dumped by her BFF and her search for a replacement.  It will include quirky antics of being the outcast Mom for not caring about things like sending your kids to the best pre-preschool and tape on the walls.

2.  A story about the dating-capades of a twenty something woman - who doesn't quite have it all together.  It will include stories about falling down and farting on dates (or at a new year's eve party) and going on a blind date with a man she met by calling the wrong number.

3. Remember my series of blog posts called Ex-Men Monday/Tuesday.  This book could be a collection of short stories about guys I dated in the past.  I'd include more detail and change their names to something similar but not the same (ex. Ned instead of Ed, Anthony instead of Tony, Jerk Face instead of Mike - wait that might not work....). I'd call the book "You're so Vain, You Probably Think This Book Is About You".  Of course I would get permission from Carly Simon first.  I've probably put the most thought into this one but I don't know if I'd want my mother, father, pastor, children, youth group kids..... to read this.  I'd have to really add a bunch of stuff so no one would know what was real and what was made up!  LOL. 

4.  This one is a lot different than the others.  A book about a woman that is driving to work and sees another woman climb to the ledge of a bridge and jump to her death.  The story would be about how seeing that impacted her life and her search for answers about the dead woman's life & family.  Last week someone I know did see a woman jump from the Y Bridge in Akron while he was on his way to work.  His wife posted about it on Facebook and I haven't stopped thinking about it since.  Crazy.

That is all I have for now.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Hugs & Kisses

OMG....wait until you see the cutest Valentine's EVER!  I hope everyone feels loved today!!!

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Aldi Experience....

I've mentioned before that I like to shop at Aldi.  I've found they have quality products and fantasticly low prices!  I love that I can fill the shopping cart for less than $100 with healthy food!  One thing about shopping there is you have to pay 25 cents to rent a shopping cart that you get back when you return it to the cart area.  If you haven't been there you are probably wondering how they "rent" the carts out.  They have a little chain system where the chain from one cart connects to the second cart and so on. In order to unhook a cart you have to insert a quarter.  To get the quarter back you have to reconnect it.  Hopefully that makes sense because I am going to tell you a story about me and the Aldi's shopping carts.  Once I went there and someone had left a cart in the parking lot.  That rarely happens since people want to get their quarter back and usually return it.  I thought what a nice thing to happen to me....  It was a good day because that same day I thought I would treat myself to a Starbucks coffee.  I went through the drive thru and it took a few minutes.  When I got to the window they handed me my coffee and told me it was on them!  So I was in a very good mood.  Free coffee and a quarter to boot.  Well, the next time I went to Aldi I went to get a cart, which was right by the other carts.  In fact, it was in the cart stall but the chain wasn't connected.  Again, I got a free cart & when I returned it, after my shopping, I got a quarter for returning it!  Wow.  Two times in a row.  Well, if that wasn't exciting enough - the next time I went there was a man returning his cart, he told me I could take it.  I tried to pay him my quarter and he told me to keep it.  Now this is just crazy.  Is everyone going to Aldi to pay it forward, or what????  So, a couple of weeks go by and I go back to Aldi.  I have to pay for my cart.  I really didn't expect to get another free cart.  After I was done shopping and loaded everything in my car, I saw this man getting out of the car next to mine.  He was an older Asian man.  I said, "Here you can have my cart."  I am thinking it is my turn to be the cart fairy.  He said something in broken English and I waved him on (in my mind I was saying no - no, don't worry about the quarter).  He shook his head and said (again in broken, yet pretty clear english) You are something else!  I smiled.  I was feeling pretty good.  Until I saw him take the cart and leave it in the cart return area!  He entered the store without the cart!  OMG.  That man thought I was telling him to take my cart back for me.  He didn't understand I thought I was doing a nice thing by giving him my cart and my quarter!  It all made sense...."you are something else".  Well, someone got a free cart at Aldi that evening but it wasn't the man I gave it to!  These kinds of things always seem to happen to me!!!

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

New Year....

Maybe I will make a resolution to write more posts on my blog....LOL.  If it goes anything like last years resolution (to avoid fast food joints)...well, don't expect that many posts. Ha!

I feel like I need to catch you up on all the craziness of the Miller clan.  It is always a real ride, I'll tell ya.  Jake started a job in November at Allstate - remember when I worked there?  His first 5 weeks were training.  It was nuts.  Life was just a rush.  It was quite an adjustment for me to get the kids ready for school and to deliver them to all the different places (Jude to his school, Elise to her school & Avery to the babysitters).  Then work. Then back to pick Elise & Avery up at one babysitters and then Jude at a different house.  Jake had classes in the evening.  Wow.  After the training, Jake's schedule changed and now he delivers and I pick up. He is done with school for a few more weeks.  And we've had a babysitter change.  Now we will have someone come to our home - which I am so excited about.  It will make life a little easier.  

Christmas came and went.  I love Christmas so much but it really was stressful this year.  I was worried about so many things....that all worked out in the end.  Plus it didn't help that I crammed WAY TOO MUCH into my schedule....parties, events, baking and baskets.   Jennifer, Heather and I baked about 75 dozen cookies that we passed out to friends, family, clients, etc...  The week before Christmas I sent an email to our Church members to donate items for baskets for my clients.  I wanted to make 4 baskets - I ended up with enough stuff to make 9!  I still have lightbulbs and paper items in my office!  It was awesome!  Christmas day was great.  The kids really enjoyed all their gifts.  My parents and my sisters family were all at our house.  My Mom made enough food for an Army.  It was fabulous.  Jake bought me an MP3 player.  I'll probably listen to Books more than anything, although I already have 3 GB of music on it. 

We had a little excitement over the break.  We discovered our transmission is going in the van and we need a new one.  Really?!  Now????  Paul (FIL) found a transmission for about $1000 less than the transmission place was charging so he and Jake devised a plan that ended with Tim, Steph and their children stranded on Rt. 77 for three hours, in our van!  Long story.....

Also, Willow - our dog, decided she likes chocolate chips - so much that she ate 3 lbs. of them.  She ate enough to kill her.  She threw up a lot.  Chocolate dog barf.  Think about that one for a minute.  Let's just say she wasn't the only one barfing in the Miller home that night. 

We went to the Looman's for New Years Eve.  Bill, Sherry, Jake and I were playing Mad Gab when we heard Avery slip and fall upstairs.  I ran up and found a river of water on the Looman's second floor.  The kids were filling up plastic bins with water and spilled a few on the floor.  Right around that time water started leaking through the floor to the first floor ceiling - right were we were sitting.  It looked like it was raining.  This was all after Avery and Isaiah had locked themselves in Isaiah's room and ate all of Tyler's candy.  Never. A. Dull. Moment. 

Never - Ever. 

We haven't had Christmas with the Miller's yet.  I know, we are such rebels.  We are going there in a couple of weeks to have our Christmas celebration.  I probably will still wait until the day before to do my wrapping.  LOL.  It is more fun that way - that is what I tell myself. 

I will try to blog more often.  I am out of the habit.  I will really, really try.