I bought a new pair of boots and every time I wear them I feel like a total bad ass :) I love that the zipper is on the outside instead of the inside. Aren't they adorable?

date December 23, 2011

I said if I found another one I liked I would probably buy it...

date December 10, 2011

I have this problem. If I find something I really like I can never have just one. Be it shoes, purses, angels...or in this case nativity scenes. I have nine and if I see another one I like I will probably have ten...or eleven...or...

This particular one I found at a local craft show. It amuses me how you can't really tell which is Mary and which is Joseph.
This one I just bought this year, after I told myself I didn't need anymore. You can see how well I listen to myself :p
This is one of my favorites. Each figure is only about an inch tall at the most and it has the whole scene of the wise men and the shepherds and animals. I thought I lost it this year, but luckily I found it at the bottom of a Christmas tin...it is so tiny it would be easy to lose!
This one is one of my older ones, the stable was made by my dad so that makes it extra special. It is the centerpiece on my entertainment center every year.
This is the scarf on the entertainment center, it too shows the wise men and the shepherds. Not really a full-fledged nativity scene, but I still count it :)
This one is my all time favorite, the one I will never, ever part with. It was given to me when I was six years old, just before we moved to Marathon. Cheap plastic, but I love it!
Another oldie but goodie. Has been in Dan's family ever since he was a little boy. Cardboard and plastic, but it has held up really well.
Silent Night sits on my kitchen windowsill, tiny but adorable :)
The other new one I bought this year. I just thought it was so cute and almost childlike.
So obviously there is no doubt at my house where baby Jesus was born, although Dan likes to point out that since the wise men weren't really at the stable some of my scenes are wrong. Oh well, I love each and every one of them anyway.

date December 7, 2011

Today, on Brian's 23rd birthday, I can safely say I completely understand him.

He is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.
(Riddle-a question or statement so framed as to exercise one's ingenuity in answering it or discovering its meaning)
(Mystery-anything that is kept secret or remains unexplained or unknown)
(Enigma-a puzzling or inexplicable occurrence or situation)

This is the child that lives the life of a hippie but wants all the modern computerized accessories.
This is the child who can cook like a trained chef but loves fast food.
This is the child who hated school but is incredibly intelligent.
This is the child who no one will ever completely understand, not even himself. Yet this is the child who is no longer a child, he has become a man in the blink of an eye. I may never figure him out, but I cherish the 23 years I have had to try and look forward to many more.

date November 9, 2011

I am comfortable admitting I am a big girl...as in size, not age :p Therefore, some of the really cute clothes out there do not come in my size, but yet I want to stay "fashionable". So what is a girl to do? Become obsessed with things where size doesn't matter of course!

My current obsessions are:

Shoes - not really a new obsession, and they do matter for size, but not size as in body, just size as in foot, so that makes it easier. I think I currently have about 20 pairs of flats, four athletic shoes, a pair of boots and two pairs of heels. Loves me some shoes!

Purses - again, not a new one, but still thriving! I just bought a new purse, just plain brown, but it is so soft and roomy I absolutely love it! Gotta have a purse big enough for all my stuff, and whatever other things I throw in there and forget to take back out :p

Rings - once again, size does come into play here, but not if you are into the big rings that are now all the rage and have "watchband" style bands...makes 'em stretchy! I only have two so far, one is a big black flower and the other one is a bouquet of flowers with tiny colored stones in the middle of each. Every time I go somewhere that sells rings like these I check them out, but some are just too gaudy. Never fear though, I am sure I will find more :)

Fingernail polish - I recently decided I needed to stop biting my nails, and what better way than to make them pretty? I discovered polish that is just stick on, real polish strips that are sticky on the back and comes off with polish remover. My first try was zebra print and I was hooked. Now I have lots of colors to play with in regular polish such as red, pink, turquoise and gold. I painted them red the other night, then put some gold sparkles on top and now they look very autumn like :) I also have strips with hearts and some with purple leopard print!

So those are my current obsessions with fashion. This fall I have also fallen in love with Cinamon Dulce cappuccino, Vanilla Carmel latte and Carmex lime twist chapstick. Simple little things that make me smile :)

date November 2, 2011

Oh how I love Halloween! The one time a year you can dress up and pretend to be someone you aren't. You can be a superhero or a nurse or an animal or even president! I remember years of dressing up when I was young...the plastic/vinyl costumes we wore with our winter coats and the hard plastic masks with the elastic band that went around your head. These costumes came folded up in cardboard boxes with a see-through window so you could see the mask. I remember finding the costumes every year that were stored away and picking out who I was going to be that year. Putting on the mask with the eye holes that never quite lined up with your eyes and the tiny nose holes that really didn't let you breathe very well. But my favorite part was the little slit for your mouth...just the perfect size to stick your tongue through! Now that I think about it though, I wore costumes that were probably worn by my older sister or brother before me and I bet they did the same thing with their tongue...ummmm...ewww!

When I was little I so hated that I often had to wear a winter coat with my costume. Seldom did it fit under the costume so I had to wear it over. Well, really, what was the point of a costume if no one could see it? I had a lot of indignation over that at the time, but when my kids went trick or treating guess who made them wear a winter coat? Karma can be a bitch sometimes :p

Remember "trick or treat for Unicef"? I did it every year for many years, but to be honest, at the time I had no idea what Unicef even was. Now I do of course, but it is no longer something kids go door to door for...another childhood ritual that my kids never got to experience.

I made every costume my kids wore through the years...from the pumpkin they all wore their first year (Brian at almost a year old, Becky at 6 months and Kayla at 2 months). We had a devil, an angel, a couple princesses, Dracula, a clown, several witches, hippies, a pig, a 50's girl and a peanut M&M package. I must say, Brian as Dracula was the creepiest through the years...he really was scary! All the costumes are stored away in the attic, maybe someday a little person will once again wear some of them.

Halloween is indeed one of my favorite holidays...even though I HATE to be scared. I don't like scary movies, I don't like creepy things and I most certainly don't like haunted houses! I do however like to remember the year Becky, at about 2 1/2, held up a cookie with a spider on it and said "You 'cared of the 'pider mommy?" and the year high-school-aged Brian went to a haunted house, had a gorilla with a chain saw jump out at him and Brian yelled "AHHH girl pants!" and the year Kayla smiled for the first time ever...while wearing her little pumpkin suit. Yes, Halloween is indeed a scary good time.

date October 27, 2011

I need to rant about a few things, so you have been warned.

1. Pregnancy is not disease. I understand, and sympathize, that some people have difficult pregnancies. However, for the most part women breeze through the nine months "eating for two" and have no issues. But some women seem to think pregnancy is a condition, an illness, a "thing". It isn't! These women use pregnancy as an excuse to not do things, to make people feel sorry for them or to just plain bitch about everything. This annoys me.

2. Secrets. Secrets do not make friends, and they are not work-friendly. Taking a co-worker into the corner to whisper to them makes you look junior-highish and is childish. Stop doing it.

3. Over-zealous religion. I know I have complained about this before, but it continues to annoy me. There are people who are very religious and they not only talk the talk, they walk the walk. They do not bother me, they actually inspire me. But then there are the people who merely talk the talk...loudly! Do you really need to make every facebook post religious? Do you really need to comment that people who don't go to church are wrong? I don't think so...especially since you are just "mouthing it" yourself. God knows who is religious and who is not, so I really wish the fakers would just knock it off already.

4. People at sporting events that aren't there to watch the event. I paid money to watch this game, I don't need the "know-it-all" behind me talking throughout the entire game and giving commentary on what the referees are doing wrong. I also don't need the hipsters in front of me spending the whole game poking each other and taking pictures of themselves together, then laughing at the people who are in the picture behind them...namely me or whoever is at the game with me. Grow up and watch the game or stay home!

5. People who think their children are wonderful and perfect and special in every possible way! "Oh Johnny and Susie are so great and smart and they never do anything wrong, I just can't believe how blessed we are to have them!" Pardon me while I gag...no kid is that perfect. Maybe they haven't messed up yet, but give them time and they will...I guarantee it. Might not be a big mistake, but they will do something that will make you wonder just what kind of kid you are raising. Besides, the kids who are constantly told how wonderful and smart they are are the kids who grow up to be the loser in the corner who can't deal with the world because no one is constantly praising them. Help your kid out in the real world and let them grow up normal.

I believe that is it for now...of course there is always going to be something else sometime that will annoy me so stay tuned! Oh, by the way, if any of my writing here annoys you...feel free to quit reading my blog :) Have a nice day!

date October 24, 2011

Sometimes it is surprising the similarities between parent and child, but also the differences. My kids are a lot like Dan and me, and also like each other, but they also each have their own unique personalities.

I like to be surrounded by bright colors, so does Brian. But I also like things neat and tidy, Brian doesn't care. Dan and Brian could talk about politics for days, but Dan can't carry a tune in a bucket and Brian has a beautiful singing voice.

Becky and I could shop for shoes forever. Yet she would like to wear those shoes in a big city and I prefer my country living. While shopping, Becky would most definitely not be accompanied by Dan, who hates to shop...unless they were shopping for books, which they both love.

If I have the time, which is seldom anymore, I love to bake. Kayla took baking pans to college so she could bake. Of course, she could do her baking late at night because she loves to stay up. Me on the other hand? I am in bed by 10pm every night. Even though Dan won't admit to it, he loves our cats, as does Kayla (she admits to it!) Kayla also loves music, any and all music. Dan sticks to his "country oldies".

All three of them have great singing voices, they are all above average in intelligence and they all are kind, caring individuals. But Brian looks like Dan and the girls look more like me. Brian is determined and sometimes stubborn. Becky tries to keep everyone happy and is usually happy herself. Kayla is somewhat quieter, but can be outgoing when she needs to be.

All of them are the same as their parents and each other, but then again, they are all different too. What about your kids?

date October 20, 2011

I saw these shoes on a website and thought they were adorable, but then wondered where would I ever wear them. Then I realized...everywhere!

date October 6, 2011

I remember my 15th birthday, and for me to remember that far back it must have been something special. Actually, I remember the gift my grandma gave me for that birthday...a charm bracelet. Back in those days charm bracelets were very popular and I desperately wanted one. My birthday was often spent visiting my grandma (my mom's mom) because with an August birthday and a grandma that lived in a big city it just made sense to visit and go birthday/school shopping while there.

My grandma was one of a kind, the kind that loved me more than anyone else ever has, and she wasn't politically correct enough to not tell others that I was her favorite. So naturally when I told her I wanted a charm bracelet that is what she bought me. But this post isn't about the charm bracelet, which I still wear by the way, but it is about my grandma.

Grandma was born Roberta Elaine Marple, the youngest of six. Roberta grew up and married my grandpa, who died before I was born. Through the years Grandma was a bit of a rebel, she married and divorced a man, which was a bit of a scandal in that time. She then married again, and once again became a widow. All through the years though, Grandma was just a grandma to me...didn't matter who she was married to, or even if she was married, she was just grandma.

I remember growing up and visiting her, the minute I walked in the house I always gave her a big kiss..a smacker as she called it, right on the lips. She always said I was a lover, and she liked that. I also remember she always, always, always had Lifesavers candy in her purse, she knew what grandkids liked. Grandma had some little idiosyncrasies that live to this day, things we still mention when we think of her. She had a bad habit of mispronouncing words...Tupperware was too-perware. Mandarin oranges were man-deer-i-an oranges. I will never forget the time she was supposed to come to our house, she lived in Marathon by this time, and she put her salad on the top of her car while she put some other things in the car. Being a bit forgetful she took off for our house without taking the salad off the top of the car! The salad didn't make it out of town, so we didn't have salad with that meal :) There was also the time a police officer was following her, with his lights on for her to stop, and she made it all the way to the corner to turn to our house (about 3 miles) before she realized he was there. Grandma was never the kind of driver that was the "little old lady out for a Sunday drive", she was more the "little old lady out for a drag race!"

The year before she died I was pregnant with my first child. It was Halloween night and Grandma was getting older, having a difficult time getting in and out of her chair. At this time she lived in the retirement apartments in Marathon and she asked me to come to her apartment and hand out candy to the kids at the door, there was just no way she could get up and down so many times and she couldn't stand for that long either. I was 9 days away from having Brian, although I didn't know I was that close at the time, but I was still more agile than she was. About a year later, when Brian was just over a year old, Grandma died. I still remember getting the call from my mom that she had died, I can still picture standing upstairs at the old dial phone listening to my mom tell me the person I loved so very much had died. I was heartbroken. When we went to the funeral and burial we left one-year old Brian with friends...and while we were gone he took his first steps. At first I was upset that he did that without me, but then I realized Grandma had her final hurrah with that...she always did have an ornery streak in her and this was her way of saying good-bye, don't forget me.

When we lived in the old farmhouse by Marathon I would often stand by the sink in the kitchen washing the dishes, and I could feel as though someone was watching me. There was a door in the kitchen that led to the front porch, and it seemed as though someone were standing on the other side of that door looking through the window. I knew who it was, I could feel the presence of Grandma, and I knew she was watching over the new wife and mom that I was, telling me that it would all work out and that things would be okay. When we moved to the Albert City farmhouse I guess she thought I didn't need her anymore because I haven't felt her watching me since. I miss that.

Grandma was a bad driver, she had her cranky moments, she was forgetful...but she loved her family and she loved me especially. Grandma was one of a kind, and I still think about her and miss her every single day. If what they say about heaven is true, that the people up there can look down on the ones they left behind, then I hope Grandma is still watching me. I hope she sees the two great-granddaughters I gave her after she died, and the other great and great-great grandchildren that followed. I hope she knows I named Becky for her (Roberta Elaine became Rebecca Elaine). I hope she knows I miss her. I hope she knows that I secretly treasure that fact that I was her favorite (well, not so secretly perhaps). I hope she knows that our family has a hole where she once was. I hope she knows how much I treasure the things that once belonged to her that I now own. But most of all, I hope she knows while she was on this earth, despite all her bad habits and silly little annoyances, she was loved, even if we never told her enough.

(This post needed to be written, I am wearing my charm bracelet today, which made me want to write this. But, I am also writing it for Jennifer over at Getting Down With Jesus.)


Doesn't seem to matter where you go to church as an adult, because if it is a different church than where you went as a child it is just a church. The childhood church is your home church...no matter how many years you spend away from it. I am not a "Bible-thumper, shout it from the roof tops" kind of religious person, in fact I don't go to church on a regular basis, but that doesn't mean I don't have religion, and it doesn't mean the church doesn't mean something to me. (In my opinion, people should do a little less Bible-thumping and roof top shouting and just start living like Jesus did) I personally have been a member of three churches in my lifetime, but the one I consider "my" church first is the one where I grew up in, the one in Marathon. Sure the Albert City church is mine as well, the one where my children were baptized and where they were confirmed...maybe someday where one of them will be married, who knows? But the Marathon church is where I spent every single Sunday when I was growing up, every single one. The church with the big stained glass windows...

The church with the huge chandilier...I spent many Sundays hoping those chains were strong enough!

The church, where as a wife and new mother, I brought my family to visit.

January 21, 1989...Brian was two months old.

Yes, this church is my "home church"...well, one of them anyway...I have become pretty attached to my Albert City church too. But that is a story for another day.

date September 17, 2011

I bought these new shoes at, of all places, Walmart! Usually Walmart has zero selection anymore, and what they do have are plain, ugly or just weird and uncomfortable looking. However, these are incredibly comfortable and oh so cute! Love 'em!

date September 9, 2011

Well it is done...my house is empty. Kayla is officially a college student and I am officially an empty nester. Good thing I like Dan so much! :) The house seems quieter and emptier, even though between school and work she was seldom home the last year. I guess it is just different when you know the kids are all gone and only coming home to "visit". But, we raised those kids to be independent and I am proud that they are doing just that!

I am what is called a "helicopter mom". In other words, I tend to hover over my children. I do not apologize for this, in fact it basically defines who I am. However, it is much more difficult to hover over them when they live 2, 6 and 8 hours away :p Nothing brightens my day more than when one of the kids calls or texts or emails...even if they are having a problem, it still makes me happy just to hear from them.

Someday when I die and go to heaven and God asks me what I accomplished on earth I will just pull out photos of my kids and say "this!"

date August 22, 2011

After the previous post I felt I should do an update, after all, it has been 3 months since I started this adventure! August 2011 - 207 lbs

date August 18, 2011

I am currently trying to eat healthier and lose weight. I am not dieting, because that is not a way of life, it is just a temporary change. I am changing how I eat and what I eat. I am also exercising...although I hate that part of my lifestyle change...blah! So in order to be accountable to someone other than myself, I am putting it all out there on my blog. I plan to take a monthly picture of my progress, or lack thereof. I also plan to update monthly on how much I have lost, or gained as the case may be. This is a lifelong journey and I am only beginning...but I will make it and be healthier for it!

May 2011 - 225 lbs

date August 17, 2011

Got tattoos number seven and eight today...and I have made the executive decision that eight is enough. Well at least I think it is for now...I do not have any more ideas that I really want and I have most certainly almost run out of places I am willing to expose to the tattoo artist! Every single one of them is in a place that I can cover with ease, if needed. Although I don't want to cover them because I am proud of them! I guess I can't really reasonably cover the one on my finger, but it is not one that most people will notice.

It surprises me how mainstream tattoos have become. So many people have them, they are not just for bikers anymore! I guess the "tramp stamp" was the beginning of it all, but now the foot seems very popular, as does the wrist...for women anyway. I don't know if it is a trend that will continue, but I figure when I am an old lady I will be a very colorful one and have something interesting for the undertaker to look at :)

date August 13, 2011

I had a request from Becky to blog about her, so here it is! Not a lot of new things going on with Becky...she is still in Spearfish and still dating Nik, in fact he has moved in with her. Not because they are madly in love (although maybe they are, she hasn't told me one way or the other) but because he couldn't find a one-bedroom apartment that he could afford on his own in Spearfish. I said they should move in together, she said they should move in together and his mom said they should move in together...took Nik a little longer to figure it out :p

For Kayla's birthday Becky bought her her first tattoo...music related of course! Then Becky got a matching one...number seven for her. She now has a music heart on her side, an owl on her wrist, a peace-bomb on her lower stomach, a stack of books on her thigh, a shoe on her ankle a heart butterfly on her other ankle and a pin-up girl on her back. Becky is becoming the tattoo queen!

Becky discovered a website that sells shoes and purses at one set price for everything, you just have to be a member and buy something every month. Of course buying a new pair of shoes every month will be a huge hardship for her...not!! I must say, she does take after her mother :) On that note, she also takes after her mother when it comes to getting lost, or at least taking the "scenic route" when going somewhere unfamiliar. The gang (Ashley, Kayla, Fred and Haley) went to visit Becky over the weekend and she decided to take them to Mount Rushmore. On the way they ended up in Wyoming...just a little off track of where they wanted to go.

She has decided to change her major from English Education to something with business or library science. Her ultimate dream is to own a small bookstore with a coffee shop and sell old and rare books. I told her she could open the store and I would run the coffee shop and make muffins for everyone. Sounds like a good business plan to me...plus who doesn't love books?

So there is the blog post about Becky...who of course is my favorite child. Oh wait, that isn't right...I love them all the same (of course!). Hope you like it Wooboo Grill :D

date August 9, 2011


18 years old...wow...
In honor of my favorite band nerd turning 18 today I decided to list 18 instruments she can, or perhaps will, play in her lifetime. The first 13 she has already played, the first 4 she has mastered.

1. Clarinet
2. Bass clarinet
3. Trombone
4. Trumpet
5. Flute
6. Piccolo
7. Bassoon
8. Piano
9. Guitar
10. Recorder
11. Drums
12. Keyboard
13. Saxophone
14. French horn
15. Violin
16. Cello
17. Tuba
18. Sousaphone

Kayla has accomplished a lot in her 18 years and now is off to college to accomplish more. Her dream is to live and perform in New York City, and I see her doing it. Lucky for me she will have to do at least 5 years of college first so that will keep her closer to home! My band nerd has put so much determination and hard work into achieving what she has done so far...music is hard work and takes a lot of time and just plain talent to really do anything with it. Kayla has put the time in and the talent was God-given, so with the two she is a fantastic musician. I am looking forward to many more birthdays filled with "music presents" and dreams being fulfilled. Kayla was a shy, quiet little girl who turned into an outgoing, sometimes dramatic young lady...I can hardly wait to see the full-grown woman she turns into next.

date August 6, 2011

Sometimes I want to say something to someone, but it would not be polite. Therefore, I am going to release all my not-so-nice thoughts here :) Forgive me for being such a b*#ch...

1. Please just shut up and let me do my work. Just because you have nothing to do doesn't mean I don't.
2. Did you look in the mirror this morning at all? Your outfit doesn't match and looks ridiculous.
3. You are not a teenager, stop dressing like one.
4. Stop ASKING your kid to behave and TELL them to behave.
5. If you don't have enough money to buy this subscription then don't call me and ask for a lower rate. If you can't afford it then just don't buy it.
6. I don't care which political party you are for, just don't be bashing the other ones. Have some respect for your fellow man.
7. You chose to have these children, so quit your complaining and take care of them. Television is not a babysitter.
8. Oh you have a problem? Well so do I, plenty of them. I have no trouble listening to your problems, but if you have to keep repeating the same thing over and over and never try to fix the problem just please find someone else to complain to.
9. Yes I have tattoos. No I don't want your opinion on them.
10. Please, I beg of you...shut up!

date July 19, 2011

"Zombie Stomper Heels"...wear these and never again have to fear zombies! Such a good deal!

date June 22, 2011

I think this has to be the next purse I purchase...


I bought the green shoes pictured in the previous Tuesday Tootsies. They are adorable and even brighter green than the picture shows. I bought them to use for when I go walking, but the darn things gave me a huge blister on the back of my foot. Grrr! I can't use them to exercise in, but I still decided I would wear them for "everyday" just because they are too cute to give up. I wore them yesterday and got compliments on them from so many people...some complete strangers! I was disappointed they weren't going to work for exercising, but I am happy they are good for something :)


I guess it is that time again, time for a family update...mostly because I need to put something new on here and I have nothing else to write about!

Start with Kayla this time. She has been working a lot this week, several people are gone on vacation so that gives her more hours, which she appreciates. When you have a bass clarinet to pay off you need money! Every Tuesday night she has been going to Storm Lake for municipal band practice and then every Sunday afternoon they have a concert in the park. It has been beautiful weather for two of the three concerts and it is so relaxing to sit by the lake listening to music. Kayla is also looking forward to music camp at USD in a few weeks, followed closely by going with some friends to visit Becky followed closely by moving into college! She found out she will be going to London over part of Christmas break to perform in the parade on New Year's Day with the USD marching band...pretty exciting!

Becky is taking the summer off from classes and spending it working full time. She doesn't have a bass to pay for, but she seems to have inherited her mother's shoe and purse obsession so she needs money for that...and rent and food of course! She texts me quite often, usually with silly little things, but I am always happy to hear from her. If I want to know what the weather will do I just have to ask her what it did for her the day before...seems to travel to our area the next day.

Brian is still waiting to hear about the job he applied for and really wants. The lady told him to call in a week if he hadn't heard from them, then she leaves for three days when he is supposed to call! He sold his car, that no longer ran, so got some money to live on from that. Of course he gets to live rent free for the summer so only has to buy food...but he likes to eat so that could be a major expense for him. I don't hear from him as often as I would like...I usually have to call him to make sure he is still breathing. He is no longer on facebook, "just one more thing he is too cool for" as he says.

Dan got all the crops in and they seem to be growing well. He has sprayed the corn and beans once, has to do the beans again when they get a little bigger...or is it when the weeds get a little bigger? I have been working on eating healthier, which means so have Dan and Kayla, and exercising every evening. Well, okay, almost every evening! It seems to be working...the scale is going in the right direction...down!

So everyone is healthy, relatively happy and doing well...guess I can't ask for more :)


I am in need of a new pair of walking/running shoes and considering these. Opinions?

date June 14, 2011

Did you ever notice how sometimes nothing seems to go right? It can be a bad day, or that bad day can turn into a week or even months! But then all of a sudden things start to turn around and look better. Sometimes it happens all at once, sometimes it is just little things that start to add up. It really is a curious thing...is it fate or is it faith? Is it actions or is it inaction? I don't understand it, don't try to understand it. I just figure you can't have a crappy life all the time so eventually things have to turn around. But then I wonder, what if someone is having a crappy life and does nothing to try to improve it? Does their life stay crappy or does it magically turn better? The homeless person on the street for example...I am sure they would rather be working and living in a house but is it their fault they are not or is it the fault of someone else? Did they become homeless because of a job loss due to downsizing or because they pilfered the company's money and were fired? Whatever the circumstances, it happened, and this person probably is hoping for a better life...but do they have to make it better or will it just happen on it's own? Questions to ponder...I am just glad things always seem to turn around for me...don't know how, but they do and that is all that matters to me!

date June 9, 2011

The addiction has not been cured, in fact, it may be worse than ever! But isn't my latest purchase adorable? The zebra print even feels like a real zebra! (Well, I have never actually touched a real zebra so maybe it doesn't...but it is soft and fuzzy!) The inside of the front and back pockets are even the zebra print, as are the handles and bottom (this purse won't be sitting on the floor!). The bling in the center of the flower is pretty too. The bright pink of the purse was what first drew my eye...it was in the window of a store and once I saw it I just knew I was done for. They had turquoise, black and green as well...but pink is my color. I was actually going into the store for something else (I bought it in a health food store of all places!) but the purse was just calling my name, so I had to answer...when a purse begs me to bring it home I just can't say no :p

date May 30, 2011

Arnold Schwarzenegger had an affair.
The end of the world, the rapture, is coming today.
"The Donald" decides not to run for President (although he would win, according to him).

How are any of these worthy of the top news story? The first one should be private between the people who it concerns. The second one, and frankly the third, are just plain ridiculous. I really need to stop watching national news if that is the best stories they can come up with.

date May 21, 2011

If I had anything to wear with any of these shoes, they would so be in my closet!

date May 17, 2011

date May 13, 2011


Seven more days of school...

Thirteen more days until graduation...
One hundred one more days until college move-in...
One hundred twenty two days until first college marching band performance...

date May 9, 2011

Sometimes it is just better to say no than to promise something and then not come through. If something is going to make you uncomfortable then don't say you are going to come to it and then make excuses at the last minute. If you do this enough times you will cause people to think you are just making excuses, not really having something else to do. Promises made should be promises kept and if you back out you cause disappointment the first few times, but that disappointment eventually turns to anger and then the whole relationship can be ruined. Tell the truth in the first place and avoid the circumstances later.

DISCLAIMER: This is not about anyone I am related to, by birth or marriage!

date May 5, 2011

Osama Bin Laden is dead. That is a good thing for the world, since he was a terrorist and all. But the way people are celebrating is a bit much, in my opinion. Death is not something to celebrate, dancing in the streets, I don't care who died. Not saying I am not happy he is dead, just saying I am not celebrating.

People are having a fit because he was buried at sea within 24 hours of his death...I mean really, the body should be hung up for all to see and shoot at, pee on, spit on, throw things at?C'mon...have a little respect for the dead. Yes he was a horrible man who did horrible things, but does that mean we need to stoop to his level? What if someone we respected, but another country hated, was killed by the other country? Would we accept it if that country mistreated the body? Nope. So why should we not offer the same consideration to Bin Laden? People are also wanting to see pictures of the body and video of the burial at sea. What the heck? Gruesome! Trust what the government says, he is dead and that is all the proof anyone should need. He was a bad, bad man and now he is dead...let's just leave it at that.

date May 3, 2011

Now that it appears spring may actually be here I feel compelled to share some fashions that I personally find wrong. Granted, I am no fashion guru, but sometimes you don't have to be to see what is wrong with what someone is wearing. At times I wonder if these people look in the mirror before they left the house :) Please keep in mind, this is merely my opinions, not meant to offend anyone!

1. Socks with sandals...really? Sandals are for letting your feet feel the breeze on a warm day, so the socks kind of negate that.
2. Knee length shorts worn with knee high socks. Basically the same reasoning as sandals and socks.
3. "Daisy Duke" shorts. No one wants to see your rear-end sticking out of your shorts. The only kind of men you will attract by wearing these shorts are sleaze balls. A real man would prefer you leave a little something for him to imagine and discover later, in privacy.
4. Shorts worn with a jacket or long sleeve shirt. If it is chilly enough that you need a long sleeve shirt or a jacket then it is too chilly for shorts.
5. Skin tight jeans and/or tank tops on a "voluptuous" woman. The only thing you are showing off is the fact that you are apparently incapable of buying clothes in the correct size.
6. Cowboy boots worn with shorts. It is not sexy, it is not a "country look"...believe me, I live in the country and that is not how you dress to work on a farm.
7. Cleavage. Just because it is warm doesn't mean you can start wearing your low cut shirts without a tank top or cami underneath. It is not sexy, it is trashy. Please learn the difference.
8. Colored underwear under white pants. Yes it is good that you are wearing underwear, but I don't need to see proof of that fact.
9. Leggings are adorable, but only when worn under a skirt or long t-shirt. Leggings are not meant to be worn with an average length shirt, no matter how thin you are.
10. Swimsuits worn anywhere but the beach/pool. Unless you are a child, wearing your bikini top with shorts to the local store is just weird. Take the time to throw a t-shirt on.

So that is my list of "don't do" for spring and summer. I am sure my opinions won't make a difference to anyone, but I felt compelled to share them anyway :p Feel free to add to my list, or criticize as necessary :)

date April 29, 2011

Have to give the quick run-down of our little mini-vacation to South Dakota. Kayla and I set out on Sunday morning (a half hour later than planned, because Kayla didn't get up on time) and made it to Spearfish by 5 pm. Found the college and Becky's car, then called her to find where she was. She met us at the door of her dorm and was kind enough to let us in :) We sat around her dorm for awhile, I took some pictures and when the girls got sick of the camera flash we decided to go for a drive and some supper. Becky took us to Spearfish Canyon and it was gorgeous! I took lots of pictures there as well. After supper the girls went back to Becky's dorm and I went to my motel room...nice and quiet and HGTV to watch!

Monday morning we all slept in and then met for an early dinner. Becky had class in the afternoon so Kayla and I went to Mount Rushmore. The drive was through the National Forest most of the way so it was beautiful, very curvy roads and lots of going up and down the mountain. When we finally got there, after going through several quaint little towns, the view was breathtaking. We walked to the viewing area and took some pictures then walked around about half of the trail so we could get closer to the faces. We saw two people walking up near the faces, they looked really tiny! By the time we got around the trail to be close to the faces the two people were walking down the mountain...it was two police officers and they were looking for "evidence"...they were very excited when they found paraphernalia! Imagine, getting high on Mount Rushmore! After that excitement we went to the museum and learned some new things about the faces...for example the face of Teddy Roosevelt had to be blasted several times before the workers could get to good enough rock to carve it. Kayla was surprised that the faces didn't go in a straight line, but we learned why! After we were done there, and a visit to the gift shop of course, we headed back to Spearfish for Becky's concert. We had some extra time before she had to be there so she took us on another drive and we checked out the local cemetery (I love cemeteries). There were some beautiful areas fenced in around 4-7 graves and a couple of areas that had cement liners around the graves. One area even had a huge cement slab with little headstones on the top. Three of the graves had domed cement where they had to break the concrete to bury the people and then cement it closed again. One was so tiny, maybe 1 foot by 3 feet...a baby's grave.

The concert was awesome! The band played 8 songs and Becky was right on the end of the row so we had a perfect view of her :) It was so weird for me to see her playing in a college band. After the concert the girls went back to the dorm and me back to my hotel.

Tuesday I got to the dorm about 9 am and Becky took us to the BHSU bookstore. Kayla and I both got some shirts to show our BHSU pride and Becky even conned me into buying something for her. We told her good-bye and headed for home. On the way home we stopped at Wall Drug and got a few souvenirs and pictures, then we stopped at the Corn Palace and took lots of pictures there as well. At Wall Drug they had a giant jackalope so Kayla sat on it and I took a picture...it was a hoot!

We got home about 9 pm after a long day of driving. The way out was a lot more fun, we got to drive into the scenery, but on the way home the scenery was behind us so not as much fun. We are already making plans to go visit again, this time with Dan and Brian along. I keep teasing Kayla that she will be in college when we go so we could just go and she would never know... but of course we will take her along as well :)

We had a great time seeing where Becky goes to college (beautiful campus) and watching her in the concert. We also loved her taking us sight-seeing and doing some on our own. It was a great mini-vacation!

date April 13, 2011

Two decades ago, at 7:50 am, the world gained another person. Granted, probably more than just one, but the one I know about it the most important person born that day! In honor of my intelligent, beautiful and funny daughter's 20th birthday I will list 20 interesting facts/quotes about Becky.

1. Her full name is Rebecca Elaine, she is named after her maternal great-grandmother Roberta Elaine.
2. Her first smile was at 3 weeks :)
3. Her first word was at 11 months, it was "kitty".
4. At the age of 3 she put on play shoes and lipstick and then said "now I look like a real woman".
5. At 2 1/2 years she talked to Santa at Wal-Mart and then saw him again the same day at Santa's Castle, she refused to talk to him again because she had just told him what she wanted and he should have remembered.
6. When she was almost 3 she would close her eyes and ask "who turned out my eye lights?".
7. Three years old she proudly exclaimed "you are the best mom and dad and I won't ever buy another one!".
8. At 3 1/2 she was asked "what are you good for?" She answered "loving!" (She was right!).
9. Also at 3 1/2 she said "Santa's reindeer are magic if you just use your imagination!".
10. The day before she turned 4 she was a flower girl and when she was 14 she was a bridesmaid.
11. Brian made her mad when she was four and she came crying to me saying "Brian made me lose my temperature!".
12. Looking forward to joining Girl Scouts she wondered when she would be old enough to be a "cupcake"...i.e. Brownie.
13. When she was 4 1/2 she decided that when she was 7 she would know everything there was to know about being a mommy, but she would have to wait until she was MUCH older to be a real mommy.
14. At the age of 5 she got a book about learning to read but she was concerned that she would never learn how. When asked why she thought that, she said "I just have a feeling".
15. Once said "Christmas is not for presents, it is for sharing joy and laughter with your family" She was right and we remind her of what she said to this day.
16. When she was in 1st grade she asked me what "estimate" means. I said "guess", meaning that to be the answer. She said "But I don't know!"
17. She graduated high school number three in her class.
18. She works full time while going to college full time and gets good enough grades to be on the Dean's List.
19. She has had her hair colored at least four different colors...blonde, brown, red and whatever her natural color is :)
20. She is the most intelligent, funny, beautiful, kind, compassionate, loving 20 year old that I know :)

date April 9, 2011

I know it's not Tuesday, but these tootsies were too cute to not post!

date April 8, 2011

Last night at Swing Show Kayla gave me flowers. I cried. Kayla played a trombone solo in a jazz band song. I cried. Kayla sang a solo. I cried. Kayla sang in the senior song and they showed a video of pictures of the senior kids. I cried. Kayla presented gifts to the band directors. I cried. Kayla sang back-up for a friend. I cried. My final time to watch a swing show and I saw most of it through watery eyes. I am just a big crybaby...it gets harder to let go with every child that goes.

date April 2, 2011

Sometimes you just have to shake your head and not even try to figure people out. Some people just do whatever they want to do, whether it is right or not, even whether it is legal or not. Then when they get caught they have every excuse for why they did it. They don't confess that they made a mistake and offer to redeem themselves or the damage they did, they just make excuses. "I was told I could take care of that anyway I wanted to" or "I thought that was junk so was getting rid of it" or my favorite "Oh I destroyed your property by accident". When something like this happens it makes you wonder what kind of history these people have. Then when you check into it it is even worse than you imagined! I guess that is a life lesson for everyone...check backgrounds before you rent someone your property.

Live and learn. It is what it is. S#*t happens. All good platitudes to live by. But save yourself some grief and do the homework. Check strangers out that will be involved in your life, call the past people who dealt with them. Most importantly, don't be afraid to handle the issues that come up as they should be handled...DON'T. BACK. DOWN.

date April 1, 2011

Excitement at our house yesterday! Kayla was a participant with the LM jazz band at the USD Coyote Jazz Festival. Previous years they have gotten II and III ratings, in fact last year they were the only ones in their class (1A) to get a III rating. This year was a different story! They got put into the A class, where their small group of musicians should be, and came home with the first place trophy!! The bus had to leave because some of the kids had to be back for work, so Kayla asked me to stay and see if they placed. I sat and sat until they finally did the awards ceremony, not really expecting anything for LM. The announcer awarded the third place trophy, then the second place and I thought to myself, well this was a waste of time. Then he announced the first place winner as Laurens-Marathon! I looked around, no one was getting up and going down to take the trophy so I figured I must have heard it right...and went right on down and grabbed that big ol' trophy =) It took all my willpower to wait until I got to the car to call Kayla on the bus and tell her...she announced it to the rest of the band and the screaming began! They were so excited...but after we hung up Kayla called back a few minutes later to verify that I had actually said first =)

Last night we moved Brian into his apartment in the big city of Marathon. It is freshly painted and has a really nice little kitchen with new cabinets and counters. We got all his furniture moved in and his bed set up, he was very excited to actually get to sleep in his bed instead of on the couch! He still has a few little things he needs to get...like a shower curtain!...but nothing that can't easily be found at Walmart. I had forgotten what nice little apartments they are, his living room is good sized and he has friends right next door. The last tenant even left a nice grill outside his door, so he can barbeque this summer =) Kind of weird not seeing him on the couch this morning when I got up, but happy he is in his own place!

date March 18, 2011

Quick update...though not much going on.

Brian is loving his new job...yay! He is still dealing with the landlord at the Marathon apartments and trying to get in there. He calls her and she says the place needs to be painted before he can move in. He says he doesn't care if it is freshly painted, she says ok I will call you to meet me so we can look at the apartment and see if you want it. She never calls so he calls again and she says a faucet needs to be fixed before he can move in, but she will call him to come see the apartment. She never calls...this is getting old! He keeps bugging her...eventually she will let him move...just a question of when.

Becky decided work wasn't exciting enough, so instead of just cutting the sandwich for the customer she hacked off part of her thumb! She tells me it was gushing blood and ruined the sandwich. Of course, she felt compelled to text me a picture of the bloody thumb...bleck!

Kayla just competed with the show choir at a festival in Emmetsburg and they won first place out of four! Woot! Of course, it was because their "home room" was the Josephson room (it was the room of sister-in-law Kelly, and said Mrs Josephson above the door). There was even a personalized note on the board to Kayla when they got there...she was quite famous for the day.

Nothing new with Dan and me...no surprise there. The four kitties aren't doing anything new either :p

date March 8, 2011

I totally stole this from the internet, but I love it...

"Date a girl who reads. Date a girl who spends her money on books instead of clothes. She has problems with closet space because she has too many books. Date a girl who has a list of books she wants to read, who has had a library card since she was twelve.

Find a girl who reads. You’ll know that she does because she will always have an unread book in her bag.She’s the one lovingly looking over the shelves in the bookstore, the one who quietly cries out when she finds the book she wants. You see the weird chick sniffing the pages of an old book in a second hand book shop? That’s the reader. They can never resist smelling the pages, especially when they are yellow.

She’s the girl reading while waiting in that coffee shop down the street. If you take a peek at her mug, the non-dairy creamer is floating on top because she’s kind of engrossed already. Lost in a world of the author’s making. Sit down. She might give you a glare, as most girls who read do not like to be interrupted. Ask her if she likes the book.

Buy her another cup of coffee.

Let her know what you really think of Murakami. See if she got through the first chapter of Fellowship. Understand that if she says she understood James Joyce’s Ulysses she’s just saying that to sound intelligent. Ask her if she loves Alice or she would like to be Alice.

It’s easy to date a girl who reads. Give her books for her birthday, for Christmas and for anniversaries. Give her the gift of words, in poetry, in song. Give her Neruda, Pound, Sexton, Cummings. Let her know that you understand that words are love. Understand that she knows the difference between books and reality but by god, she’s going to try to make her life a little like her favorite book. It will never be your fault if she does.

She has to give it a shot somehow.

Lie to her. If she understands syntax, she will understand your need to lie. Behind words are other things: motivation, value, nuance, dialogue. It will not be the end of the world.

Fail her. Because a girl who reads knows that failure always leads up to the climax. Because girls who understand that all things will come to end. That you can always write a sequel. That you can begin again and again and still be the hero. That life is meant to have a villain or two.

Why be frightened of everything that you are not? Girls who read understand that people, like characters, develop. Except in the Twilightseries.

If you find a girl who reads, keep her close. When you find her up at 2 AM clutching a book to her chest and weeping, make her a cup of tea and hold her. You may lose her for a couple of hours but she will always come back to you. She’ll talk as if the characters in the book are real, because for a while, they always are.

You will propose on a hot air balloon. Or during a rock concert. Or very casually next time she’s sick. Over Skype.

You will smile so hard you will wonder why your heart hasn’t burst and bled out all over your chest yet. You will write the story of your lives, have kids with strange names and even stranger tastes. She will introduce your children to the Cat in the Hat and Aslan, maybe in the same day. You will walk the winters of your old age together and she will recite Keats under her breath while you shake the snow off your boots.

Date a girl who reads because you deserve it. You deserve a girl who can give you the most colorful life imaginable. If you can only give her monotony, and stale hours and half-baked proposals, then you’re better off alone. If you want the world and the worlds beyond it, date a girl who reads.

date March 7, 2011

Saturday Kayla and I went to USD for her to audition for admission into the music program and for scholarship money. Technically that is what the audition was for...she has already been admitted into the program so we are just waiting for how much money they are willing to give her.

I found it amusing that she is already so well known at the college by so many professors. Of course the clarinet professor knows her well, but so does the low brass/marching band professor and the Director of Bands. She did her audition (with Bb clarinet, bass clarinet and trombone) and then talked to the three on the committee. They all seemed surprised that she played a woodwind and a brass instrument and was accomplished at both. Kayla just laughed.

There are more scholarship auditions this coming weekend so no decisions will be made until March. But Dr. Haddad, the clarinet professor, told both Kayla and me that we could get ahold of her if we didn't want to wait until the official letters go out in early April. I guarantee I will be emailing her before then!

I think Kayla did great, but I may be a little biased. She is glad it is over with and now she just has to coast through the next few months and she will be at USD.

date February 21, 2011

  1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.

  2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
  3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.

  4. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

  5. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

  6. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.
  7. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.

  8. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
  9. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.

  10. It's OK to let your children see you cry.

  11. Don't compare your life to others'. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
  12. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.

  13. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.

  14. Life is too short for long pity parties. Get busy living, or get busy dying.
  15. You can get through anything if you stay put in today.

  16. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.
  17. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.

  18. Overprepare, then go with the flow.

  19. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.

  20. The most important sex organ is the brain.
  21. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: "In five years, will this matter?"

  22. Forgive everyone everything.

  23. What other people think of you is none of your business.

  24. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.

  25. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

  26. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.
  27. Believe in miracles.
  28. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.
  29. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.

  30. Growing old beats the alternative - dying young.

  31. Your children get only one childhood. Make it memorable.

  32. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.

  33. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.

  34. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.

  35. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.

  36. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.

  37. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

  38. The best is yet to come.
  39. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

  40. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.

  41. If you don't ask, you don't get.
  42. Yield.

  43. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
  44. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift...

date February 18, 2011

I really should keep this thing more updated, but there is not much going on!

Brian got a job, this is one I, and he, thinks he will really like. It is only temporary since it is working for a nursery but he is excited about it anyway. He starts tomorrow and it is supposed to go through November. I told him it has both the things he loves...being outside and playing in the dirt =) He is filling out his application for an apartment in Marathon so now we need to start going to auctions and finding furniture and dishes.

Kayla has an Honor Band coming up soon, just one of many. She also has scholarship auditions at USD on Saturday. She is auditioning with her bass clarinet, Bb clarinet and trombone...although not all at the same time! I figure since she is so flexible they should just go ahead and give her the highest amount offered right?

Not much new with Becker-Loo...she just keep plugging away at college and working...she is planning to come home for a few days in early March so that makes me very happy.

So that is all the update you are going to get...will have more after Kayla's audition and if Brian gets moved and of course when Becky visits. I guess a boring life is a good thing to have =)

date February 15, 2011

1. The only person that can ever truly make you happy is yourself. Stop depending on everyone else.

2. People lie, stuff happens. Don’t take it too personally.

3. Want people to think you’re amazing? Start believing you are, and then they will too.

4. Smiling is the ultimate anti-depressant. Smile and laugh out loud, it doesn’t look stupid, I promise.

5. The world is never just black and white, right or wrong, one way or another. Try and see things from as many points of view as possible.

6. "Let everything happen to you
Beauty and terror
Just keep going
No feeling is final"
Rainer Maria Rilke

7. Have empathy.

8. Gossip, problems of the past, events you cannot control, negative thoughts and negative people; time spent on these is time poorly wasted.

9. When you're jealous or find yourself filled with hate for someone/something, stop. The only person its hurting is you.

10. Although the newest, most expensive material things may make you feel as if you’re a better person, they won’t hold you at night or listen to you when you need it. Make sure your priorities make sense.

11. Step outside your comfort zone- it’s when you’ll really feel alive.

12. Don’t be afraid to be yourself, the people who really matter, don’t mind

13. Let your emotions out sometimes, humans have them for a reason.

14. Celebrate the things you have. Think only positively of the things you don’t (but would like to have) and they too will come.

15. Love unconditionally ♥

date February 8, 2011
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