Friday, April 17, 2009

Pay It Forward

I was reading through my blog reader blogs yesterday and found a great idea - a Pay It Forward for my readers! Here's how it works:

Brave People Make Things so get excited and make things….

The first five (5) people to respond to this post will get something made by me. This offer does have some restrictions and limitations so please read carefully:

1. I make no guarantees that you will like what I make. Whatcha get is whatcha get!

2. What I create will be just for you, with love.

3. It’ll be done this year (2009).

4. I will not give you any clue what it’s going to be. It will be something made in the real world and not something cyber. It may be weird or beautiful. Or it may be monstrous and annoying. Heck, I might bake something for you and mail it to you. Who knows? Not you, that’s for sure!

5. I reserve the right to do something strange.

6. In return, all you need to do is post this text on your blog and make 5 things for the first 5 to respond to your blog post.

7. Send your mailing address - after I contact you.

IMPORTANT: This offer is null and void if I do not see you post your own blog to pay this forward. This text was used from

Thursday, April 16, 2009

8 Things...

Sherrie over at Boogers, Screams, Headaches & Dreams (I just love that blog name!) posted this and I thought it would be fun to play along...

8 things I'm looking forward to...
1. My younger sister's wedding next week.
2. Real spring weather (like today, it's just gorgeous outside!).
3. The weekend - I live for my weekends... Weekdays are just a mishmash of chores with 8.5 hours of work at the beginning to mess everything up, lol.
4. BLS Bash in Grand Rapids on May 9
5. Our second wedding anniversary - hopefully we'll celebrate with a trip this year!
6. Trying for baby #2 ;)
7. Finishing my current college class and starting the next one.
8. Our next family gathering since Easter was so awesome!

8 things I did yesterday (in random order)...
1. Worked
2. Visited with some friends
3. Picked my cat Rambo up from the vet after he was neutered (poor little guy!)
4. Watched South Park with my hubby.
5. Worked on #6 above, ha!
6. Checked on my mom - she's battling a flair up of her rheumotoid arthritis and has a pulled hamstring to boot.
7. Wished my Mom & Dad a Happy 31st Un-Anniversary
8. Talked to my son about the importance of being a kind and compassionate person.

8 things I wish I could do...
1. Win the lottery!
2. Fast forward my education so I can finish my degree and move on!
3. Buy our home... it will happen, I'm just not a very patient person!
4. Take our family to Disney.
5. End my work day early and get outside to enjoy the sunshine!
6. Lose weight - I've been battling it for ten years now :(
7. Move my entire family to someplace where it's warm and sunny all year long.
8. Take a trip around the world.

8 shows I watch...
1. The Biggest Loser
2. Heroes
3. E.R. (sniff, sniff)
4. The Sarah Connor Chronicles
5. Jon & Kate Plus 8
6. Chelsea Lately
7. American Idol
8. The Mole (Bring it back!)

8 people I tag...
1. You
2. You
3. You
4. You
5. You
6. You
7. You
8. Yep, you guessed it - YOU!

If you do decide to post, be sure to comment below and let me know so I can check it out!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


I know I'm a few days behind the mark on this post, but I wanted to share our Easter celebration with all of you. My mom and sister helped me with last-minute things in the kitchen (and another round of deviled eggs after my first batch got ate up within the first ten minutes).

After we hid the eggs (which took thirty minutes), we lined the kids up to start the big hunt (which took all of five minutes!). We let the smallest kids out first to give them a bit of a jump start.

They had so much fun running around, finding eggs in high and low places, between fence posts and in our newly sprung daffodil patch (my dad even snuck outside and half-buried some of them, ha!).

After the hunt ended and while the kids were busy cracking open their plastic eggs to find the sugary treasures hidden within, my dad started to carve the ham while my mom, sister, and I finished the last-minute stuff for our meal. We enjoyed two hams this year - one that was baked with a brown sugar and pineapple glaze, and one that was smoked all morning long. To this moment I can't pick which one was my favorite - they were both just so yummy! We completed our meal with mashed potatoes and gravy, roasted sweet potatoes, deviled eggs (the second batch), corn, and rolls - pretty simple stuff, but all of it was delicious!
After dinner, we gave the kids their goodie bags. The bags from my parents included kites and since it was a beautiful and slightly windy day, we decided to make a trip to the schoolyard to give them a try. The kids weren't as successful in flying kites as we hoped, but their interest faded quickly and they made their way to the playground equipment. However, my father and husband can testify to the quality of the kites - they ended up being the ones playing with them! :)

After we left the schoolyard, we all walked across the street to visit my maternal grandparents. Now, I'm not sure what happened while we were there, but the entire house shook after a loud boom and pictures fell off the wall. We inspected the house, inside and out - and found nothing to explain what we all saw and heard. It was the most bizarre thing! So, after wreaking our havoc on my poor grandparents (all 13 of us!), we headed back to my house for dessert.

This is where the bunny cake comes in. The yummy bunny cake... I'm usually the baker in our family. Birthday cakes, desserts for family gatherings... you name it, I'm typically elected to make a bring it. My grandmother even made sure to stock me with most of my baking essentials early on so I wouldn't have an excuse, ha! Well, this year my Mom offered to bring dessert (score for me since I was busy with the rest of the meal). Then she told me she was making a bunny cake. I have to admit, I was skeptical at first, but when she arrived with that cake, I could not have been more proud. It was the cutest thing! My dad was beaming and so proud of her... it was one of those great family moments that we'll talk about for years to come - Mom making her first novelty cake at the age of 40-something (yep, MY mom is 40-something and I'm 30-something... you do the math).

Isn't it cute?!
All in all, it was one of my favorite holidays to date. No drama, no tantrums, no bickering - pretty amazing considering we had seven kids there, ages 10 and under! Great memories and I'm thankful for each and every one of them.
Peace and blessings to all of you,

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Easter Preparations

Now that my parents and siblings all live within about five blocks of each other, holidays are so much more convenient! Our first holiday in our new (to us) home is coming up this weekend and we're hosting an Easter Egg Hunt for the kids followed by a traditional Easter dinner with our family.

My sister and I went shopping last night to get the goodies for the egg hunt. We fill the plastic eggs with candy and coins and I'll be making little goodie bags for the kids to take home with them. I also picked up a kit to make a Bunny House from the same folks that manufacture the Gingerbread House that I fell in love with last year! I'm saving that for Saturday so that my son can help me and then we'll dye our Easter Eggs.

Easter dinner is a bit of tradition for our family. There are certain items that MUST be on the menu according to me, my mom and my sister. Those things include ham with pineapple, roasted sweet potatoes, corn and rolls - everything else is filler. Except this year. This year, my mom has added Polish sausage to the mix and I'm hungry already just thinking about it!

So tonight I'll be heading home after work to start filling all of the plastic eggs and get started on the house cleaning. My hubby is supposed to be making sure the yardwork is taken care of and I really hope he comes through for me. The thought of spending Saturday morning raking twigs and other assorted yard debris just doesn't sound like the way I want to spend my weekend :) I also have grocery shopping to do! Luckily, I'm also officially on break from school for a week. The downside to that is that I have a final to prepare for as soon as we start up again!

What are your Easter plans? Do you have any special traditions? Comment and tell me about them!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Still Recovering

WARNING: Not all of the pics in this post are completely PG - just flipping of the big bird, but I wanted to warn ya ahead of time. Another disclaimer: I HATE to have my picture taken. I was not blessed with a photogenic quality, so it's a pretty big step for me to post any pics of myself, especially these ones... And now, on to the post!

I think I'm still recovering from Mission: Bleeding Ears, even though my hearing was thankfully restored when I woke up on Saturday morning. The concert was awesome, though the real highlight was meeting Zakk Wylde and the guys from BLS on Friday afternoon. Let me tell you, Zakk is a viking of a man - he looks intimidating as hell, but he was one of the coolest guys I've ever met - they all were! He was sweet and smelled OH SO GOOD! All of us that were there for the meet and greet got to go up to the band and were greeted with handshakes, hugs and kisses.

After my first hug and kiss, my hubby struck up a conversation with Zakk while I talked to the rest of the band. JD and Nick went into ninja mode and had me cracking up.

Then we lined up for my picture with the band and I got a BLS manwich... yummy stuff, for sure!
Then it was my hubby's turn... He was like a little kid on Christmas morning and I'm not sure yet if he's fully recovered from meeting one of his idols! Yep, that's my hubby with the guys flipping the bird to the camera... Isn't he a saint?! LOL

I have to say, there was more than one occassion when I felt truly touched by this band. At the meet and greet, a set of parents brought a little boy that idolized Zakk. He had drawn a picture for Zakk, framed it, and gave it to him as a gift. No autographs were given during the meet and greet, except for this one:

I should mention that Zakk's heart is really with kids. All of the proceeds from the VIP events go to the St. Jude Children's Hospital, where he makes regular visits and is a faithful donor.

As I said before, the concert was amazing. Zakk's tribute to Dimebag Darrell was heartfelt and there was hardly a dry eye in the place, which says alot considering the fanbase. He's not only a guitar legend, he's also pretty damn good with a set of piano keys under his fingertips.

BLS fans are a breed all their own. The band itself is still pretty underground, and we like it that way. We feel like family and that's because we are. We met a lot of people that share out passion for music and the simple joys in life. We look forward to meeting more of our BLS family along the way and are grateful for the new relationships we've formed.

We had such a great time that we've decided to make a trip to Grand Rapids to meet the guys again in May. This time we'll get to see the ninja, JD, perform with his own band (Cycle of Pain) too! Mission: Bleeding Ears 2, anyone? SDMF!