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So Thankful For....

Happy Thanksgiving!

I can't wait to share good food and good company.

I find it hard not to feel grateful at this time of year! During the other 364 days of the year, I try to write in my journal at least 3 things I'm thankful for. And at our Thanksgiving meal, I try to bring a little notebook or (if I've had time to make one) a scrapbook so everyone in attendance can write what they're thankful's fun to look back on.

So for fun and because it's slow at work today, here's my abridged thankful-for list, in pictures, all courtesy of Google. Some items are silly, some are serious, some are basic, but I'm blessed by them all:

I am so thankful for:

The country I was fortunate enough to be born in:

The place within that country that I was raised in and get to live in:

my stash of fabric, and the possibility of things to be created with it:

Faith and a place to go to feel connected to something bigger:

Lovely rainy days:

Memories of visiting beautiful places:

The fog bank that frequently rolls over the coast and makes the air cool & moist (or what John Coleman and I call a "Coastal Eddie":

This lady {sniff sniff, tear} and the time I have left with her! :o(

Whole wheat / Whole grain bread (& pasta),
cause it allows me to eat healthy without giving up my love for toast & spaghetti!:

Knitting! Crochet! Emrboidery! Sewing! Scrapbooking! All those things that I do whenever I can, that keep my hands busy and ease my stress:

This simple pleasure of mine, the only substitute for Dr. Pepper that I actually enjoy:

Thankful for these beauties that make me happy everytime I step outside of my house:

Thankful for a fresh start whenever I want it. Didn't eat healthy? I'll start over again. Was crabby w/ the girls? I'll do better next time.

I like to buy things, but I don't like spending money. Well I don't feel comfortable spending over $25 at one time. If I spend $15 at 3 different stores, that's fine. But if a purchase is over $25, I feel uneasy. And if it's over $35, I probably won't buy it. Or if I do, I usually feel a little sick to my stomach and certainly don't blab about how much I spent! But this next item, I am not ashamed at all to say it: This thing cost me $150. And it's the best money I've ever spent in my life.

My down comforter: Happy mail days, like when one of my magazine subscriptions comes in:

Books on raising kids, books on losing weight, Oprah's Book Club books, craft books, books in french, biography books...I love them all and just looking at my bookshelves makes me happy:

My friends:

Tucking sweet little tinies into bed at night:

My job.
The fact that I have one at all. And that I'm lucky to have the one I do. At it's best, it's exciting and entertaining and dramatic, but even at it's worst it's never not interesting:

Being tall. Because being this weight on a smaller body just wouldn't be right!
Good teachers for my girls.
The kind that make you feel special and make you like school and love learning.

My sewing machine and all the fun things it helps me make:

And, though it goes without saying, my family. Extended and immediate, and especially these guys:
(well, except for myself)

The happiest season of all...

Besides being Christmastime, which is always happy and exciting, it also seems to be Baby Time...

so many people I know are either pregnant or just had a baby.

So in between the Christmas gifts that I'm feverishly trying to get done, I've made a few of these receiving blankets w/ crochet trim:

(That one's for a boy!)

I got a bunch of yards of flannel from Jo-Ann's when they were on sale, I trimmed the corners to round them, made the smallest hem I could manage around the entire yard, got the tiniest crochet hook known to man, poked holes around the edges (this is what took the killed my fingers and my hands), then crocheted all around w/ crochet thread and did a scallop on the second time around. Et voila: a light-weight receiving blanket which I can technically call "handmade".

This is my girly one:

All wrapped up and ready to give to the mom of Arissa's friend from school (a friend she's had since "way back" in 1st grade and who's parents Jesse & I are friends with) who just had a sweet baby girl last week.

They're the 2nd family we know and love who, within the last month, joined our club:

the three girls club.

It's rough sometimes and the club dues are kind of high, but the blessings are many as well.


Light the Night

Friday night we participated in the Lukemia & Lymphoma's Light the Night Walk @ Qualcomm Stadium:

It was our first "walk for a cause", and here's how it came about.

Been trying to exercise. Well, I should say I've been trying to get motivated to exercise. That's really the hardest part, I think for most everyone. Well when my own health and appearance weren't enough, I figured maybe I could start by doing one of these walks.

So I searched for one that was:

1) taking place in the near future

2) not a race or triathalon

3) less than 5k

4) nearby

and I found Light the Night, taking place in two weeks (from the time I was googling), a 2 mile walk around Qualcomm. I figured 2 miles isn't too challenging for the all 5 of us could do it together. I decided to do it in memory of my mom, although she died of a brain tumor, not a blood cancer. My dad's father did die of a blood cancer, so we walked for him as well. My mom's dad died from cancer too....and as I thought about it, there were many many people that we added to our "walking for" list. It was kind of sad, but it did motivate me to get off my butt and walk...which was the main point in the beginning.

We had to set a fundraising goal. Considering we only had two weeks until the event, and considering it's Christmas-shopping season and the way the economy is, I set our goal at $100 and figured we'd probably raise $20 or less. But that didn't really matter to me.

So Jesse sent out emails and posted it on facebook, and in two weeks we raised
not $100.
not $150 or $200.
Not even $250 or $300.
We raised

*** $335.00 ***

I was shocked and amazed when I saw that number. It may not be the biggest number, but considering we did it in only 2 weeks, and that the donations came from people who I know don't have an extra $20 laying around, people who I haven't talked to in over 7 years, and even some people I've never even met (people from Jesse's work)....I thought it was amazing and each time I got an email saying a donation had been made, it brought tears to my eyes!

Not to mention it felt really awesome to exceed our goal. It started at $100, we exceeded that so I raised our goal to $200, and we exceeded that again. Who knew that raising money that I couldn't even spend could feel so good!

So here's our night:

Each walker who raised $100 got to carry a balloon (in memory of their loved one, if they were walking for someone). It was really cute; they had little lights inside and when you turned them on, they blinked.

Our first stop, after picking up our ballons and t-shirts, was the hot chocolate booth where the girls found somebody they wanted to take a photo with:

(The extra kids in that picture are Arissa's Drill Team buddies: Olivia & Vanesa, who came along for the walk as well.)

There was also a booth handing out snacks:

and balloons:

It was such an awesome thing. It was chilly, but once we got walking I don't think any of us noticed. I explained to the girls why we were doing it, and that they might get tired but they should feel happy if they feel tired...because we're doing a good thing and raising money for people who would probably give anything to be able to be out there in the cold, walking a short 2 miles.

And I think they got it for the most part. Mariah did ask "can I complain just one time?". I said sure, one time. So she goes "my feet hurt, my feet hurt, my feet hurt!". :o) And that was that.

SDSU Cheerleading/Dance training

Recently, Arissa's drill team (minus 2) participated in the (apparently annual) SDSU dance clinic (along with probably 500 or 600 other cute little girls from San Diego county and beyond). For $35, the girls learned a routine and practiced w/ the SDSU dance team & cheerleaders, got a snack, a t-shirt, and got to perform at the halftime show of the SDSU football game at Qualcom stadium that night!


(This group of photos are courtesy of the photographer extraordinare: Andrea Flow! I didn't even attempt to use my wee little would have only ended in frustration.)




The dance clinic ended at 4, and the game didn't start till 7.

So what else is there to do in the meantime?

Well honestly I would have liked to go shopping at the mall nearby, but then we would have had to pay for parking when we came back. :o(

So instead, we tailgated!

Arissa & Vanesa:

Arissa & Kassie:


We BBQd and talked & laughed....killed a car battery listening to music....the girls messed around and practiced their routine they had was a lot of fun.
(Side note: maybe I'm just simple-minded, but it always strikes me as kind of amazing when we do these drill team get-togethers that when we signed up for this group, it was all for Arissa but Jesse & I have come out of it with a whole new group of friends. And I'm sure that happens to lots of parents when their kids are in activities like this...but I know it doesn't always happen because there are some other activities that the girls are in that I would definetly not want to hang out or tailgate with those parents!)

Then we headed to our seats for game:




I don't care about football at all (or the teams that were playing for that matter), but I guess it's more exciting when you're there instead of watching on tv. Cause we had a great time in the stands.

This is the big performance:


And this is the best picture of the night! (Again, thanks to Andrea):

The girls w/ the SDSU mascot:


Thanksgiving dinner #1:

...was at Church last Friday night!





Enough said! :o)

Veteran's Day 2009

On veteran's day we hit up the park:



(love the static hair after going down the slide...Mallory didn't get why we kept smiling at giggling at her):




Then for our salute to Veteran's past and present, we made these:

I realize they aren't the best lookin' things....and that is why I hardly ever make sugar cookies!! Love to eat 'em, hate to bake 'em.

I have no surface to roll them out on. So I have to put wax paper on my table and try to hold the paper down while rolling, no matter how much flour I use the dough always sticks to my rolling pin and every other thing that touches it, and if I do manage to get it rolled out, it never fails that when I go to cut the shapes (which in this case was just going to be rectangles), it falls apart.

So we made circle flags. :o) The girls did the stripes.


So they ended up being hardly antomically correct at all, and they caused me a lot of strife to be honest, but we did talk about Veterans while we made them, and apparently they tasted decent which is all that really mattered to the girls:

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