Thursday, December 31, 2009

Just A Little More

We got all of the furniture & beds moved yesterday and most of everything.  I just have a few more things to bring down to our new apartment today - mostly packs of diapers and extra blankets and a couple boxes of books.

My feet were killing me last night and my back was sore.  I was walking a little humped and really slow last night and Tom said, "Why are you walking like an old lady?"  LOL  I have major problems with my feet, but they only bother me when I stand or walk for long periods of time.

When I was working at the doctor's office, it got really, really hard to be on my feet all day.  What a difference it was when I quit to stay home with Bonnie and Homeschool her full time. 

Okay, I'm done whining now.  Actually, I'm really, really, really excited to be in this bigger apartment.

Happy New Year to everyone!  If you are going out tonight, please be safe and smart.  Don't take any chances or risks driving if you've had any alcohol at all.  And watch out for the other driver who thinks he drives better after he's had a few drinks.

Hugs, Janis

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Funny Bonnie Story

We are moving from an apartment on the 4th floor to an apartment on the 1st floor.  It's a good move because the new apartment is much bigger!

Bonnie and I are loading up a cart with wheels and going back and forth between the 2 apartments this morning moving stuff while Tom is at work.  Just trying to make things easier for him.  He'll have to move the furniture and mattresses and stuff that I can't, so I'm trying to make it as easy for him as possible.  Bonnie is having so much fun pushing the cart. :)  She's a fun girl.

Let me interrupt myself to tell you guys who aren't aware about our special daughter, Bonnie.  She's 15 years old, has special needs, probably on the cognitive level of 1 1/2 - 2 year old in most areas, still wears diapers, has a LOT of Autistic characteristics though not enough to say she's Autistic, extremely limited speech,  and a bundle of fun and laughter.

I was downstairs in the new apartment in our closet unloading some shoes and things and didn't hear her making any noise.  So I said, "Bonnie?"  I faintly heard, "In here!"  I walked out into the den and said again, "Bonnie?"  Still faintly I hear, "In here!"

She's not in her new bedroom, the bathroom, the kitchen.  The lights are off in the laundry room.  I'm befuddled.  I said, "Bonnie, where are you?"  I hear her giggling and again, "In here!"  I opened the closet door in the laundry room and she's in there with the light off, giggling as she hides from me.

I laughed too, but she scares me sometimes!  She's so playful.  She loves to hide things from us like our cell phone, the TV remote, etc.  I just love her fun attitude toward life.

I will be off line today as they move the internet service to the new apartment.  Hopefully, I'll be able to get back on line tomorrow.

For those of you who has asked where my Mama found the cute sock chain purse in a post from yesterday, she laughed and said she can't tell you all her secrets.  (She got it at the Dollar Tree.)  And she said she ordered the Snowman scissors on line and doesn't remember from where.

Hope you guys all have lots of fun today!  Hugs! Janis

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Fun From Mama

My Mama is so much fun at Christmas!  We just got a box from her and Daddy with a few goodies in it.  They gave Bonnie a small change purse in the shape of a sock.  Who thinks of these things?!  It's so stinking CUTE!!  They put some quarters in it so it would make a jingling noise, which Bonnie loves.  She won't let it go.  However, I'm going to have to figure out what to put in it besides quarters that I won't worry about her putting in her mouth... not that she would do that, but I would worry about it.

Mama also sent me a pair of interesting scissors.  I've never seen any like this before.  How adorable!

And she used gorgeous ribbon on the packages.... that of course I saved.... I mean really, you didn't expect me to throw it AWAY did you?  LOL

Merry, Merry!

Joy Card

I love the "From My Kitchen" Cricut cartridge!  And I think the telephone cut is my favorite!

Yesterday I made this card.  It's hard to tell from this picture, but the card base is on dark purple cardstock.  I placed a DCWV textured paper on next.  The dots and swirlies were added freehand using an ultra fine permanent Sharpie. The "JOY" sticker was from stash.

I thought this would be a cute card to send to our kids.  I love getting phone calls from them - it gives me so much JOY!

The message on the inside?

"Call your mother... you know she worries."     LOL  Or maybe just my phone number written really large.  LOL You know, in case they've forgotten it.  :)

Have a fun day!!  Janis

Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of  Should Be Reading.  Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
*Grab your current read
*Open to a random page
*Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!) Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

I am starting "Ladies of the Lake" today by Haywood Smith.  I don't know much about the book except that 4 sisters find out their grandmother died and they have inherited the Hilltop Lodge at Lake Clare.  But there's a catch...  they have to all live there together for 3 months.  Sounds to me like this could be a really funny book.

" 'Does Mr. Slocum ever get out of his chair?' I asked Great-grandmother from behind my hand.  'He must,' she answered, 'he has eight children.'  I didn't get the connection, but all eight of the Slocum kids materialized like shy forest creatures, peering through the open windows and from the edges of the house."  page 77

Monday, December 28, 2009

What's For Dinner?

Thought I'd start keeping up with recipes I liked to boost grocery list ideas when planning for the next week's meals.  I'll keep a running link list to recipes in the sidebar.  So if you ever need some ideas, check it out.  :)

Tonight we had:
Pineapple Baked Chicken Thighs
Cheesy Potatoes
Corn on the Cob
Dessert:  Fudge

I peeled, and cut up some potatoes and put them in a pot to boil.  When they were nice and soft, I drained them, but them in a casserole dish, sprinkled some salt and freshly ground pepper and covered it all with cheddar cheese.  Then I popped them in the oven just long enough to melt the cheese.

This recipe is from
2 lbs. chicken breasts (4 breasts)
2 tbsp. melted butter
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
8 3/4 oz. can drained, crushed pineapple or pineapple tidbits
1 c. packed brown sugar
1/4 c. lemon juice
2 tbsp. prepared mustard
1 tsp. soy sauce
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In ungreased 9" square baking pan, place chicken pieces skin side up. Brush with melted butter; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 30 minutes. Prepare glaze; pour over chicken. Return to oven and continue baking 30 to 40 minutes, basting occasionally until deep golden brown and tender.To prepare with drumsticks and thighs: Bake 20 to 30 minutes after glazing. Wings: Bake 10 to 20 minutes after glazing.

Currenty Reading

Hi guys!  Scroll down for other New Posts from today including the Mini Book Series Page #2 Theme.  Don't forget to include a link to your page in the comment section so we can all drop by and check it out!

What are you reading this week? is a weekly event hosted by J Kaye's Book Blog to celebrate what we are reading for the week as well as books completed the previous week. Feel free to pile on a little extra.

Um, I'm a bad girl.  Didn't finish any books last week.  I spent way too much time doing other things and didn't have anything new from the library.  However, I did read some of this book:

It's a book my mother-in-law actually mailed to my husband, but hey, we share.  :)  

Since this is the first time I've participated in What Are You Reading Monday, I thought I'd throw in a couple of other books my husband and I both read a few weeks ago.

Daniel X is definitely a "read in one sitting" book.  Next was interesting.  I enjoyed them both.

I'm normally not the kind of person to start a book and then not finish it.  But I made an exception with "Ladie's Night at Finbar's Hotel."  Sorry.  I thought it was that bad.


I'm currently reading "Strange Brew".  It's a book of short stories based in the supernatural realm.  It's easy to read, and hopefully I'll be finished with it today.

This book was picked up at our local Anchorage library.  I used to belong to a book club and received about 4 books a month.  I always loved when my books would come in!  The library is my sole source of reading material right now.  The only time Tom and I will actually buy books now is if it's a new release we've been waiting on and it's not available at the library yet.  For instance, when the last Twilight series book came out, I went and grabbed that sucker!  And when the final book in the Harry Potter series came out, we actually bought 2 so Tom and I wouldn't have to share reading it!  LOL


Tom & I both want to read Dan Brown's latest novel, "The Lost Symbol".  The library has it, but it is checked out with multiple holds on it.  This may be one we have to purchase soon.  :)  

I enjoy reading books that are part of a series.  These are my favorite kinds.  Do you know of any you'd like to recommend to me that you thoroughly enjoyed?  I'd love to get some ideas from you.
Tom is currently reading "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy".  It's a book we've both read before, but he enjoys it more than I do.  

Bonnie is currently "reading along" with the video "The Great Longneck Migration".  It's really cool because the words are shown at the bottom of the screen and as the narrator reads each word, it is highlighted.

Happy Reading,

Support Your Local Library

I will be combining this challenge with the 100+ Books Challenge for 2010.

We go to the library every Saturday.  We all love to read in this family!

You can find out all the details and sign up for this challenge at J. Kaye's Book Blog.  Here is the jest of the challenge:
1. Anyone can join. You don't need a blog to participate.
2. There are four levels:
--The Mini – Check out and read 25 library books.
--Just My Size – Check out and read 50 library books.
--Stepping It Up – Check out and read 75 library books.
--Super Size Me – Check out and read 100 library books.
(Aim high. As long as you read 25 by the end of 2010, you are a winner.)
3. Audio, Re-reads, eBooks, YA, Young Reader – any book as long as it is checked out from the library count. Checked out like with a library card, not purchased at a library sale.
4. No need to list your books in advance. You may select books as you go. Even if you list them now, you can change the list if needed.
5. Crossovers from other reading challenges count.
6. Challenge begins January 1st thru December, 2010.

Have fun!  Read something fabulous today!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Mini Book Series #2

Make a list of all the things you accomplished in 2009 or things you and / or your family did that you don't want to forget.  Or you may just want to pick one memory, elaborate on it telling the whole story possibly writing it on a journal page and then sticking it inside this page.

Whatever comes to mind is great.  These themes are to be used as guidelines, not hard rules.  Have fun with it!

Don't forget to leave a link in the comment section to your created page so we can all come visit and be inspired.

Have fun!

Currently Reading

UPDATE:  I couldn't do it.  I can't finish this book.  Maybe it's because I've read so many books in my life, I know what a good book is, and this is not one of them.  It's awful.  I had one Room and the Penthouse chapter left, and I just could not force myself to read another page.  

This is one of the books I got from the library yesterday.  I had seen another one of my bloggy friends was reading it and thought I'd check it out.

WARNING:  This book is not for all audiences.

Instead of chapters, the book is divided into rooms at the Finbar's Hotel.  Each room's story is independent of the rest of the book.

When reading the first room's story, I was shocked and wondered if I would continue to read the rest of the book. Yes, I'm almost done with it now, and would already be done, but alas, I slipped into a nap this afternoon while reading.

Tomorrow I'll post the theme for Page Two in the Mini Book Series.  I hope you guys participate and leave  a link in the comment section showing your page for tomorrow's theme.

Until then, Janis

Saturday, December 26, 2009

2010 Reading Challenge: 100+ Books

 Are you guys working on your 2010 Goals, Hopes, Dreams, Challenges?

As many of you know, my husband and I love to read.  A lot of the times we will read the same books, but not always.  Every now and then I want to read a juicy romance novel... Tom never has those urges. :)

I found this challenge on Jenner's blog (click link to go directly to her blog).  The challenge is actually hosted by J. Kaye's Book Blog. (Click link to go directly to the 100+ challenge post).

Here are the very simple rulse as posted on J. Kaye's Book Blog:
1. The goal is to read 100 or more books. Anyone can join. You don't need a blog to participate.

2. Audio, Re-reads, eBooks, YA, Manga, Graphic Novels, Library books, Novellas, Young Reader, Nonfiction – as long as the book has an ISBN or equivalent or can be purchased as such, the book counts.
What doesn't count: Individual short stories or individual books in the Bible.

3. No need to list your books in advance. You may select books as you go. Even if you list them now, you can change the list if needed.

4. Crossovers from other reading challenges count.

5. Challenge begins January 1st thru December, 2010. Books started before the 1st do not count.

This year, well, next year, well, most specifically in 2010, I accept this challenge.  I'm pretty sure I can do it!  It will be fun to keep a list of books I read.

Would you like to join the challenge?  I'd love to see what you all are reading.  What you just read may be what I read next.  You never know.  It could happen.  ;)

Hugs, Janis

The above 3 pictures found through Google image search "reading".

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all my dear bloggy friends!

Thank you for leaving me such nice comments on my blog.  I appreciate all of them.

I hope you all have a blessed Christmas.
I hope Santa is good to you.
And I hope you have loved ones near to share in the excitement of the season.

For all of you who have put out your Manger Scene, don't forget to add the Baby Jesus to the manger tonight.

Hugs,  Janis
Picture provided by

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Feeling Crafty

Yesterday Tom, Bonnie and I went to Office Depot to look at kneeling chairs for Tom. While we were there, he bought me some binding rings.  YEAH!  I was out!  I thought I would get a small package of them, but the only small packages were very large rings (like REALLY large) and I wanted the smaller ones.

So I got a container of 100 1-inch binding rings.  They were $3.99 at Office Depot.  I'm sure they are probably cheaper where you live.  Everything is a little more expensive here.

I plan on making some mini albums today.  I'll post later with some pics of them.

Have a fun Sunday!
Merry Christmas,

Friday, December 18, 2009

Keri & Aaron and Baby to Be

Here is a picture of our daughter, Keri, and her boyfriend, Aaron.  This was taken at Thanksgiving.  Aren't they the most beautiful couple?  We just love Aaron like he's our own son.

Now look at Keri's current baby belly pic in the post below.  It's amazing to me how much that baby has grown just since Thanksgiving!

The doctor said the baby is growing perfectly and is a little larger than the average baby at this time in the pregnancy.  I guess he's going to be tall like Aaron. 

Just to give you a little perspective, Keri is taller than me.  (I know.  I'm short.  Just 5'2").  My hubby, Tom, is 5'11" and I'm not sure how tall Keri and Aaron are, but they are both taller than I am.  So I guess this little baby to come is going to be tall too.

I love that picture of them!  They are a good fit.  Always laughing and smiling.  What a happy family this baby is being born into.

Jingle Bells,


It's getting up to 1 today.  LOL  It's -2 right now. These pictures were taken at 9:25 this morning.  Sunrise isn't until 10:12 today and sunset today is at 3:41 this afternoon. 

We are having soup and grill cheese for lunch.  Sounds yummy.  Of course, I'd rather have Chinese.  I haven't had that in forever.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

32 Weeks

Look at my oldest daughter's 32 Week pregnancy belly!  OH MY GOSH!  She looks huge!!!
You do realize that's got to come out, right?  :)

More Snow!

Tom's truck this morning before he brushed all the snow off.

Day 4 of the continuous snow floating down.  This is a picture of Tom's truck this morning after he brushed all the snow off so he could get in and drive to work.  He said the snow in front of the truck went above his knee!

The temperature, Lizzy, was 7 when this was taken at 7:30 this morning, and said it felt like -3.  Eeee gads.  Bonnie and I will be staying in and just enjoying the picturesque view from our windows.

It's just so amazing to look around.  The sky is a very pale whitesh blue, the trees are white, the buildings are white, the cars are covered in white, the ground is covered in varying degrees of thickness of white, the street lights, light posts, road signs.  And the white stuff keeps floating down.

There is a blind man that lives in our building.  Everyday you can see him walking with his stick down the road to the walking trail.  I just saw him walking by and I wonder how in the world he can still venture out when the ground terrain is so different with all this snow on it.  How can he still tell where he is?

Now for my silly side... just a couple things to help your brain do some pondering today:

1)  If NASA sends a pregnant lady into space and she gives birth, is her baby considered an alien?

2)  What does Geronimo yell when he jumps out of an airplane?

Jingle Bells,

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

December Update

I know it's been forever since I've updated this blog.  Thank you to all of you who emailed or Facebooked me asking about it.  Your kindness swells my heart!

WARNING:  This will be a long post since I have so much to catch you up on.  Grab a cup of coffee, hot chocolate, or eggnog....

We are enjoying Alaska very much.  This is the 3rd day in a row that is has been snowing and snowing and snowing.  We are suppose to get 7 more inches by 4 o'clock this afternoon.  It's beautiful.  I fear if I were to lay down to make a snow angel I'd disappear for days.  LOL


  Here is a view of Tom's drive to work this morning.

I decided last Friday I'd drive in the snow for the first time.  Bonnie & I ordered a pizza and drove down the street to go pick it up.  It wasn't so bad.  I thought, "I can do this."  Keep in mind, I've NEVER driven in snow before.  Tom has been taking me everywhere I wanted to go because he really didn't want me driving in it either.  And that was fine by me, but I had gotten a little stir crazy, so Bonnie and I ventured out.

On Saturday, I told Tom I was going to go to the craft store.  It was barely snowing, so I thought, "I did it yesterday, I can do it again."  Well, leaving the parking lot with a short incline (not even a hill) and my 5 speed little toy car, I was spinning and fishtailing after the light turned green.  OK!  That's enough snow driving for me. :)  I mean, really, why drive anywhere when I have a personal driver willing to do it for me?  LOL


You all know Tom bought me a Cricut Expression several months ago.  I have not been able to buy any additional cartridges since then because, well, we do live on a budget.

Considering this, I hope you can understand how excited I was when I was able to buy "From My Kitchen" last weekend.  I mean, to me, this is a BIG deal!

Remember I said I drove myself to the craft store... I was looking at the Cricut cartridges and noticed "FMK" was on sale.  This is one I have had on my Wish List since I saw all the fun things my friend, Mary had created with it.  (Check out Mary's blogs!  Click here. She has more than one blog, so be sure and check her sidebar for the others.)

As you know suggested retail on Cricut carts are $99 which I think is ridiculously high.  (When asked to participate in a Cricut survey, I conveyed my dislike of the high price in a very nice way.)

The particular store I was at normally has it carts for $69.99.  And guess what?  The ONLY cart it had on sale the day I was there looking at them, was "FMK".  It was on sale for $39.99.

I called Tom and asked him if we had $40 I could spend.  He said sure.  So I grabbed that sucker!  I also had a stack of 300 pre-cut and pre-scored cards in various colors.  There was a store coupon hanging there for 20% off, which I also snagged.

I practically giggled my way to the check out and since I only had 2 items I swaggered into the self checkout.  Only the scanner wouldn't scan my 20% off coupon.  So I trotted over to the docking station with the little guy there to help, and he scanned it for me from his machine.  I swaggered back over to my checkout lane and noticed not only did it take 20% off my stack of cards, but it also took 20% off my Cricut Cart!!!!!  I was practically dancing in the store. :)

Here's the cutest little rooster I made with it that you've every seen.  I just love this cut!!

And of course he has a googly eye!

Remember when I said we didn't bring a lot of extra stuff on our move to Alaska?  That would explain why we don't have a Christmas tree up this year.  I wish we did, but that's OK.  I cut out some different size and shapes of snowflakes from the Cricut Home Accents.  Bonnie and I used glue dots and stuck them to our window.  So festive.  So pretty.  Tom's comment was, "It wasn't enough that there is snow outside?  You had to bring it inside too?"  LOL

Our photographer daughter, Kati, did some experimenting with her new camera.  Here's my favorite of the pictures she took of her Christmas tree.  It's my new desktop background:

Wade & Heather are good friends of ours back home.  Very nice people.  They are gentle, kind, and always smiling.  We miss them a lot.  We got a surprise package from them this week.  They sent us the South Carolina symbol in the form of a Christmas ornament.  They said they wanted us to have something to remind us of our friends back home.  How sweet is that?  I told them since we didn't have a Christmas tree to hang it on, that I hung it in the kitchen from a coffee mug hook.

As you know, our oldest daughter, Keri, is expecting her first baby in February. 

I hope no one is offended by this picture.  Keri is 32 weeks now.  She has had several trips to the hospital having contractions and they have had to give her medicine to stop them.  At the last visit on Sunday, the doctor told her it was time for her to quit work.  And we all agree.  Working at the restaurant kept her on her feet all day long and when she worked double shifts, it was even longer. 

He told her she didn't have to stay in the bed, she could still go shopping and do things, just not be on her feet all day long.  He said the baby was growing perfectly and everything looked really good.  :)

Our son, James, is currently on U.S. soil!  Unfortunately, he's in South Carolina where all our friends and family are, so we don't get to see him, but that's okay.  I'm glad he is able to visit and relax for several days before going back to the desert to chase bad guys.

He has decided to extend his stay there for an additional year.  I think that will put him in Iraq for 3 years now.  Please continue to pray for him and all of our military.  They live a sacrificial life for us.  That is love.

Thank you to all who sent Jimmy goodies!  I don't know who you are, but I know he said he got a few boxes while there.  Please don't forget him over the next 3 years.  If you ever have the time, continue to send him cards or goodies once in a while.  It doesn't have to be much at all, but if it is, he'll share with his buddies.

Tom's aunt has been in the hospital for weeks and weeks.  We heard yesterday that the doctor didn't expect her to live through last night.  Again, another prayer request... please pray for her husband who lives for her.  We are very worried about how he will react and live without the love of his life.  Their son is also in the military in Iraq and is trying to get home to her.

My Mama has gone from a wheelchair, to taking a few steps with lots of help, to walking with a walker, to walking with a cane, to be able to take a few steps around the house unassisted.  YEAH!  She still has a ways to go, but progress is progress and all of your thoughts, prayers, and cards have been so encouraging.  She has fallen a few times and it scares my daddy half to death every time.  But her attitude is good, her mood is positive, and we are all in a much better place than we were a while back when this tragedy first occurred.

I pray for you guys.  I think about you even when I'm not on the blog catching up with you.  Sometimes I get very lonely.  And then there will be an email in my box from someone I haven't heard from in a while (thanks, Lizzy).  Or I will get a beautiful message from someone on Facebook (thanks, Erin & Terri). 

God is good.  He knows what we are struggling with, what our hopes and dreams are, what our fears are, what our needs are.  And He helps us.  He comforts us.  He provides for us.  He opens doors for us.  He protects us.  He empowers us.

I can't explain to you how very relaxing and soothing it is to sit here at the computer or on the couch and watch the snow drifting down from the sky.  It's like a blanket of love from heaven.  It fascinates me.  I have never in my life experienced snow like this.  As much as I used to love rainy days in the South, I love the snow in Alaska.  It's beautiful.  Peaceful.

It's snowing so heavily today that it almost looks foggy outside because of the dense snow coming down.  We don't get much daylight these days.Sunrise is at 10:10 today and sunset is at 3:41 this afternoon.  When the air is filled with clouds and snow this heavy, it really doesn't get too bright outside.  It's like dusk all day long.

Because I know how much it means to me to hear from a friend who asks about me and my life, I encourage you to reach out to a friend of yours today.  Someone you haven't heard from in a while.  Not to tell them your latest adventure, but to hear about their's.

There are people who are hurting but would never say a word of it to anyone.  You just might be the light in their day.

Merry Christmas, everyone!
Jingle Bells,