Thursday, December 31, 2009

A year in Pictures and a few goals

2009 was an interesting and extremely busy year. In 2010 I plan to pay more attention to my health.
Not just weight loss and fitness (those of you who know me
KNOW those are at the top of my list!) but health in other areas too.
I do intend to re-focus on my healthy eating and working out. I miss it and I know I look and feel better about myself when I am trying to live healthfully.
I intend to spend more time with Eric and the kids.
Less time stressing about things I cannot control.

And I intend to be more forgiving - of myself and of others.

2010 will be a challenging year! But then - who doesn't love a challenge??

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Oh this was DOUBLE good!

We had our cast party for ECS (Every Christmas Story Ever Told and Then Some) last night. I decided to try and bring something that was both extra healthy and hearty and hopefully - super delicious!! Thanks to Diana Dyer's website I was able to easily modify one of her Great recipes for my purposes. Diana is a THREE time cancer survivor and encourages healthy eating as a major preventative measure in the fight against cancer.

Here is what I made:
Lentil Soup with Sausage and Kale

1 teas olive oil
1 pkg. Italian Turkey Sausage
1 med. onion
4 large carrots
4 red potatoes
1 large bunch (about a lb) Kale, washed and torn from the stem
1 cup rinsed lentils
10 cups veggie broth
1 teas sea salt

Brown sausage and use spatula (or other) to crumble into bite sized pieces. I had Eric run the onion and carrots through the food processor for a quick and easy prep. You can do this or chop by hand. Add veggies to sausage and soften. Add lentils, broth, salt and potatoes (rough cubed). Finally add Kale. Bring to a boil for about 60mins. Keep warm either on the stove top or transfer to crockpot until ready to eat.

It was a rich chunky soup with great color! ABSOLUTELY yummy and healthy!!!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

My 100th post!!!!

I should really do something spectacular for this one right??

But I can't really think of a spectacular post - so I'll just say that blogging and reading blogs has become an interesting and fun part of my computer 'life'. Cheers to all of you bloggers that keep it up faithfully! As for the rest of us . . . . lol.

And so a couple cute pics that mean absolutely nothing other than I like them!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

New Crockpot!!!!!

I am so easily excited!

It is sad to report that the Birthday Crockpot cracked and died. I was a bit miffed about this as I have not yet had it a year . . . . I went online to see about replacements and sure enough I could get a new crockery for free!! As long as I included the $25 in shipping.

And so, I'm proud to introduce my NEW crockpot - on sale for only $17!!! (I love me a good deal!)

The maiden meal:
6 red potatoes rough cubed
2 Lean Smoked Turkey Sausages rough chopped
1 package sliced mushrooms
1 can healthy request Cream of Mushroom soup
1 tbs. olive oil
Kosher salt and Black pepper

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

What does Christmas mean to you??

It has been a heck of theatrical year for me! I have had the great fortune to direct some of the most difficult and inspiring plays of my directorial career (thus far) Steel Magnolias and WIT - being heart-wrenching and lovely and hard among them. In addition I also played Susie in Wait Until Dark and had to study and learn all the intricacies of being blind - fending for myself in the dark and facing some personal demons (on the home invasion front and the short skirt wearing front)! A blog for another time . . .

Currently I am at the directorial helm of a Christmas Comedy - and unbelievably enough, unlike most Christmas fodder - its a genuinely hysterical, touching, laugh out loud, wipe your eyes, hold your sides, think about it after you go home, dang GOOD, Christmas show. Christmas and FUNNY dont always go together - but this script happens to weave the hilarity of X-mas silliness with the loveliness of Christ's selfless birth all together in a seamless blend of festive frivolity.

If you are anywhere NEAR Vancouver - come on out and see this show. Seriously funny. And Surprisingly touching. God Bless us Everyone!

Every Christmas Story Ever Told (and Then Some)! Runs Dec. 3-19th at the Magenta Theater. 606 Main St. Vancouver WA.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

'Secret' family pastry recipe

This is my mothers grandfathers pastry recipe. I am guessing it to be easily 70yrs old. The trick is to handle it as little as possible once the wet ingredients go in. Flaky, old fashioned, hard to screw up goodness.

3 cups flour
1/2lb lard (I use vegetable shortening)
1 teas. salt
1/2 teas baking powder

cut with a pastry cutter until crumbly.

in a separate bowl or measuring cup add
1 egg
2 tbsp. vinegar
cold water added to the above to equal just 1/2 cup.

beat lightly and add to crumbled mixture. combine until just dough. roll on floured surface. makes two, two crust pies

Sunday, November 8, 2009

depression cooking lessons for a recession??

if you are anything like us, your finances have taken a big hit over the past year. despite tightening our belts on daily expenses and kiboshing the luxury 'extras' (like dishtv & starbucks), things are tight. uncomfortably so!

and if you are anything like us you and your DH/DW have been discussing ways to either reduce costs or increase income - maybe both!! I came across this very cool utube site called Depression Cooking with Clara. Clara is a 90+ spitfire who goes back to the basics of cheap cooking - sharing recipes from when she was a kid in the great depression. she also is incredibly cute and entertaining when sharing her life stories.

according to Clara, a family who had chickens and a garden actually ate pretty well during the depression and if you were lucky enough to be able to afford such luxuries, a sack of flour and a sack of potatoes - you had everything you needed to be healthy.

hmmm, a sack of flour and a sack of potatoes - luxuries? and here I am be-moaning the loss of my DVR . . . . makes you think. and be grateful. not to mention - many of her recipies look very scrummy! as Clara says 'eat and enjoy!'

Friday, November 6, 2009

Brunch with friends

A few days ago I had a couple girlfriends over for brunch. What a fun, fun time! I just love cooking for people and trying new recipes. I suppose entertaining can be stressful at times but this was easy, easy, easy and gave me a good excuse to clean up the house too! Maybe this will become a monthly thing???

Along with a fresh fruit salad, here is what I served:
Turkey Sausage w/ Potatoes and Veggies. This is a super easy overnight recipe I stole from one of my favorite blogs - a year of slow cooking. The link to this blog is on my list. Here is the link to the original recipe:

I followed it almost exactly but used turkey instead of chicken sausages and added one package of sliced mushrooms. I don't really measure anything but I cant see how anyone could screw up something this simple! It smelled great and was very tasty!

The other thing I tried was a baked French toast dish. There are a ton of baked French toast recipes on-line. I just read a bunch and then tried to come up with something that looked good to me. These look like alot of work but you do everything the night before let it sit in the fridge over night and then just pop it in the oven - so EASY!! This was so yummy I think I may do it again for Christmas morning!!

Dorinda's Apple-Craisin Baked French Toast Casserole:
1 loaf fresh multi-grain bread cubed
2-3 small apples washed, cored and chopped (I left the peels on but do what suits you)
1/2 cup craisins (dried cranberries)
1/4 cup butter melted
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 cup brown sugar (divided 3/4c plus 1/4c)
1/4 cup butter (cold for dotting the top)
6 eggs
1 cup milk or fat free half & half

Toss cubed bread in a large bowl with apples, craisins, cinnamon, 3/4c brown sugar and melted butter. In a smaller separate bowl beat together the eggs and milk with a fork. Pour over the bread mixture. Mix well to coat the bread. Place into a lightly greased 9x13 pan - you may have to pack it down a bit. Cover with foil and place in the refrigerator over night.

The next morning lift the foil and dot the top with butter, 1/4 cup brown sugar (and a sprinkle of cinnamon if you like). Bake at 350 for 30-40mins or until 'set'.

The online recipes suggested serving your baked french toast with maple syrup but the girls and I all agreed this is plenty sweet on it's own. I bet my kids would have put syrup on thiers though!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Re-blogging Body image and the beast

I have a few things I want to blog about but never seem to find the time!! So here is a reposting from last year. It is still applicable and something I still think about. Also it occurred to me - I really don't have weight problem - I have a depression/body image problem that I medicate with food. hmmm . . . . something to think about. What about you?

First I must make two statements:
Women struggle with body image
I am a woman


I am a person who has been very fat. And a person who has been relatively thin. Here's what I have learnt from my experience:
- I have felt fat and ugly at both a size 6 and at a size 16
- I feel strong & powerful & sexy when I exercise regularly no matter what the scale says
- I know the difference between healthy, wholesome foods and junk
- I often choose to ignore what I know

A while ago (after taking a piece of chocolate) I confessed to a friend that I knew I would be much happier if I just lost these last (nagging, persistent, resistant, frustrating, infuriating, want to crawl under the covers and cry) ten pounds. Did I mention that I was eating chocolate at the time? This friend looked at me like I had suddenly taken all leave of my senses - he looked at me like I was completely crazy. He sighed, paused and then said very carefully (being married and therefore having some experience with female sensibilities) "If you will pardon me saying so - you are perfect. I mean lose weight if it makes you happy . . . but to me, and probably to a lot of people - you are just perfect." Now it was my turn to look at him as if he had completely lost his senses.

Now here's the thing. This is a good friend that does not lie and does not say things to make people 'feel better'. I believed him. Kinda. For about three minutes I actually believed that I was better than okay, better than fine. But one good look in a full length mirror later was all it took for the ugly beast of insecurity to rear its head again.

I know so many women like this! I know so many beautiful women who think of themselves as average, so-so or even ugly! A good friend that is one of the most beautiful women I've ever known who hates her own thighs; another beautiful woman who despises the size of her hips; another that feels if she could just 'fix' a certain facial facial feature she might just be pretty. What the heck?!? These are all gorgeous women - what is wrong with us?

I wish that all women would turn that focus into living positive lives.

Eating to sustain and nourish instead of eating our emotions. Exercising to build muscles and strong hearts rather than to burn more calories. Loving and taking care of ourselves a little bit more instead of harping on our flaws and taking care of everyone else.

Boy that sounds good. I just hope I can take my own advise to heart!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Hanging on to emotional dissapointments

So I have read (and heard) about folks hanging on to emotional disappointments. You know what I mean - the boy that never called, the teacher who never understood you, the parents who didn't give you your due credit . . . there are probably a million examples.

Today I have been thinking about another kind of emotional disappointment that often weighs me down - its the guilt that accompanies an unkind word or thoughtless gesture that I may utter on any given day. Or the crappy joke that turns out to be too close to home for someone. Or the held-onto disappointment that come with expecting to be adored or admired and then not receiving that.

Once, in grade six, I made an off-hand comment in choir that a song would be much easier to master once the accompaniment was down pat. It was not intended as a slight or even directed at anyone in particular but the piano teacher (an adult) rose from her stool and told me that I was disrespectful, the piece was very challenging, and I should learn to keep my mouth shut. Ouch. that was a painful lesson for a socially inept child. But it was the beginning of a life long lesson in the power and effect of WORDS.

So many I wish I could take back! So many I wish had come to me in the heat of an argument. So many I wish I had the fortitude and forthrightness to say in a moment of need. These are the emotional disappointments that can weigh me down. Most often I am disappointed in myself.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

100% day

on the Nutrisystem website 100% days are much lauded and much sought after. They are rare and enviable and hard to achieve!

In spite of Nutrisystem having covered all basic components of meals, providing concise lists of what add-on fresh foods are available, giving a pretty comprehensive list of 'extra' and free' foods, free - online and over the phone consellors 24/7 AND community website support . . . it seems that sticking 100% to the diet can be a real challenge!

Doesn't that seem to be true of everything lately - lol?? I have everything I need to keep a clean and organized house. Stay on top of the kid's schedules, prepare healthy meals for my family and deliver 100% on my out of the home commitments. Yet despite my efforts - I hardly ever hit a 100% day.

I try not to be too hard on myself - but I do tend toward an all or nothing personality. Must learn to cut myself some slack - but not tooo much - LOL

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Holiday exchanges

So when I was newly married (almost 15yrs ago), I had all these fanciful dreams of how domestic I could be. You know the ones - beds made in the morning, supper on the table, freshly washed shirts for the DH and of course never a store-bought cookie or Christmas tree ornament would cross my threshold. I think it only took about a month for all of those idealistic ideas to fade into oblivion. I am, after-all, a messy, disorganized, stay up late, sleep in late, hopelessly optomistic actress . . . lol!

Now I know you are saying - wait a minute - Christmas!? It isn't it even HALLOWEEN yet?? Yes I know - but the thing is, Halloween gets me looking forward to Christmas. Really! As much fun as dress-up is, for me, IMHO, Halloween is just the sugar holiday leading up to the all the fun and good stuff holiday - Christmas!! With its magical, mystical, powerful story of salvation through the tiny babe and the good ol' jolly ho, ho, ho of Santa, its do-gooding and elves and treats and magic . . . well - what can beat that? (especially when it is cold and miserable outside?)

Anyway - on to my point and yes I do have one - Christmas Exchanges. This is something I hosted or participated in every year until I moved to the US. Hand-crafted Ornament exchanges and Hand-baked cookie exchanges. Getting together with other idealistic women who dream of having tree decked out and plates overflowing with their love-in-action handicrafts. I wish I could whip up several dozen different kind of cookies and a few dozen different kinds of ornaments for my tree but bah humbug - who has the time?????

I'll tell you what I have time for - ONE batch of cookies or ONE afternoon of crafting. And then ONE evening in December where I meet a bunch of my best girl-friends to exchange said holiday pleasantries and take them home with (almost) equal pride. 'Those cookies are homemade you know' as you place a heaping platter before guests . . . . 'we just have SO many memories on that tree' as company gazes at your be-decked fir . . . . well you get the idea.

So much fun and so much reward - who's on for a cookie exchange this year???

Monday, October 12, 2009

Here comes the rain again . . . .

Hannah and Nathaniel enjoying a rainy Vancouver day in February a couple years ago . . .

So the weather forecasters are predicting the start of the rainy season. And while I really want to complain about the upcoming weather, this past summer and fall have been just excellent weatherwise with far, far less rainy days than previous September/Octobers I have lived through here in the Pacific Northwest.

It does put a damper on the outdoor walking though. Trails that are super fun in the dry months become slippery with mud and leaves. City sidewalks and streets can often be spotted over with little rivers trying to find their quickest way to the drainage systems. And inevitably every year there are several neighbourhoods whose streets become backed up and flooded with rain and tree debris.

Every year about this time I remind myself that I am waterproof - well at least water resistant;). After living here for the last six years I now own several umbrellas. While parkas and boots are no longer necessary, good waterproof shoes and a warm jacket are. Really what kind of Washingtonian am I if I let a little rain (or several months of drizzles and downpours) spoil my outdoor fun??

So this year I am going to try and take the Swedish proverb to heart: “There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad coats”.

Monday Memories

Engagement photos - 1995. Hard to believe it has been that long!!!

Even harder to believe - I learn to love this man that God gave me, not more each day as the cliche goes, but in deserts and storms, dry spells and floods, joys and sorrows, heartfelt and heartache.

Love you E.

Friday, September 18, 2009

It's arrived

My HUGE box of Nutrisystem foods arrived yesterday. What fun! It took some sorting and moving things around to find space in the kitchen for everything.

Now I just have to stick to it. That shouldn't be too hard. Except when I get bored of the food. Or have a really stressful day. Or want to go out with friends. Or . . . . LOL!!!

No really, I can do this!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Interesting . . . .

Olivia Bucks, The OregonianAfter a day at the office, the Rev. Dave Brauer-Rieke, bishop of 43,000 Oregonians who are members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, tends to chickens and goats at his home in Milwaukie. Brauer-Rieke is determined to listen to all perspectives as congregations respond to the denomination's recent decisions on blessing same sex unions and gay and lesbian clergy.

Last month, more than 1,000 members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America met in Minneapolis to decide whether partnered gay and lesbian people could become pastors. Two long lines formed behind microphones designated "yes" and "no."

"Every 20 minutes, we'd stop to pray," said the Rev. Dave Brauer-Rieke, bishop of Oregon's 43,000 ELCA members.

During breaks in the testimony, people from each line reached across the aisle, put their hands on each others' shoulders and bowed their heads, he said. "People listened, heard and prayed together. There were no protests, no lockouts, no placards. It wasn't a town-hall meeting about health care."

Civil discourse prevailed at the churchwide assembly, even as 1,045 voting members passed the following controversial resolutions:

• Acknowledging disagreements over blessing same-sex unions and calling gay and lesbian pastors but deciding to pursue options for interested congregations

• Asking the national church council to create a blessing for same-sex unions

• Deciding that gay or lesbian people involved in monogamous, life-long and publicly accountable relationships may be "rostered," or considered as potential pastors of congregations.

The resolutions are connected to an over-arching social statement called "Human Sexuality: Gift and Trust," which the ELCA has been studying and revising for seven years. The statement passed at the assembly with a close two-thirds majority, Brauer-Rieke said.

The ELCA, with 4.7 million members, is the largest Lutheran group in the United States. The second largest, the 2.4 million member Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, believes that the Bible condemns homosexual behavior as intrinsically sinful. The ELCA is the most recent Protestant denomination to change its policy on gay and lesbian clergy. In July, a national convention of the Episcopal Church recognized that gay and lesbian members are involved in ordained and lay ministry and moved toward blessing same-sex relationships, though they have not adopted an official rite.

Back in his Northeast Portland office, Brauer-Reike tries to be even-handed as he hears from ministers and church members who object to the changes and those who applaud them. As bishop of 115 ELCA congregations that include a variety of viewpoints, he doesn't talk about his own perspective.

"It's my job to ask, 'How are you doing? If you're madder than hell, tell me about it. If you're happy, tell me about it,'" he said.

In a recent interview, he talked about why these decisions are difficult to make and live with. His answers have been edited for space and clarity.

Q: For some Christians, gay or lesbian sex is an abomination. Others argue same-sex relationships are acceptable. Is it a yes or no question?

A: It's not a black and white situation for hardly anybody. Someone may have a niece or a nephew who's gay and they're happy that the church is moving this way. And someone else has a niece or nephew who's gay -- and they do care about them -- but they don't want the church to change.

It's a complex collage, and it doesn't help to describe people as in favor or against the changes. It's not about good people or bad people. It's a matter of how we understand the Bible.

Q: How does the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America understand the Bible?
Faith Cathcart, The OregonianBishop Dave Brauer-Rieke, who serves 115 Oregon congregations of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, participates in Communion at St. Andrew Church in Beaverton in January 2009.
A: We take Scripture very seriously. We're defined by the ecumenical creeds - the Apostles' and Nicene creeds -- the Lutheran confessions, the plain meaning of Scripture -- how it was understood in its day -- and the principle that Scripture interprets Scripture. If Scripture says two things, you look for hints within Scripture to resolve the difference.

The Bible deals with same gender sexuality as a violation of assumed, heterosexual norms. But it also says to welcome the stranger, love your neighbor and bear one another's burdens.

Q: What implications do these decisions have on the church's understanding of marriage?

A: For Lutherans, marriage is a secular reality and a religious rite. I won't marry people if they won't sign the documents at the courthouse. A couple has to be publicly accountable; there may be children involved, cars, houses. It's a way of ordering a relationship.

Such public accountability, which benefits everybody, is not always an option for same-sex couples. This is what civil union or domestic partnership laws seek to provide. Our question as a church is how might a religious rite of blessing also serve to strengthen same-sex couples or households led by such couples.

Q: As bishop, will you recommend gay or lesbian candidates to a congregation searching for a pastor?

A: Only to congregations that are open to such a placement. Thirty-seven years ago when we started ordaining women, some congregations didn't want to call a woman pastor. A congregation could say no. In the church, that would not be a violation of civil rights, as it would be in a secular context.

Q: What has been the reaction to these changes as you visit Oregon congregations?

A: Some people want to talk about it. Some don't. It's not on everyone's agenda.

Q: What is?

A: The economy.

Q: When the conversation does turn to same-sex relationships, what do you advise?

A: I encourage pastors to be sensitive, to find out where people are and have conversations with them. We're engaged in a process that won't happen overnight. We need to take a deep breath and keep talking.

Q: Will some congregations leave the denomination?

A: There may be some. But I don't expect a lot of division. I am proud of my church for two reasons: for being willing to tackle these questions and the way we tackled them. We are called to bear one another's burden. That's the core of what the church is called to be.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Took the plunge . . . .

Been struggling with my weight this year - down to 140 back up to 150 (PLUS) Dont ask dont tell I say . . . . lol

Anyway today after an encouraging chat with my hubby who loves me chubby but loves me BETTER when I am happy with myself . . . . I decided to order Nutrisystem online. Not sure if I will like it but I noticed my friend K has had very good success with Medifast (which is similar) - so I thought it was worth a try!!!

So today I actually ordered the food. Not sure yet WHEN to expect it - but I am anxious and motivated all at the same time!

I've made the decision - I've ordered the food. Now I wait. I've never been particularity good at waiting . . . lol!

In the meantime I am on the NS site setting up my page and trying to read as much as possible. I hope to get a workable grocery list and some much needed encouragement!

Here's to the beginning . . . . . :)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Back to school - back to crockpotting!

Nothing says back to school in our house like a crockpot meal (or several) I love crockpot cooking! It is the fastest prep and easiest cooking method I know of - other than eating out!

Today was Labour Day - or is that Labor day in American?? And Eric and I have decided to get back on track with diet and exercise habits we have let slip over the summer. To commemorate I made Weight Watchers soup. If you have ever tried WW you probably know what this is - but to those of you who haven't it is basically WW's version of a cabbage soup. It's a tasty all veggie and basically calorie free soup that you can eat as much of as you want. Which actually ends up being a good thing because you get hungry again pretty quickly subsisting on cabbage tomato and zucchini (the main ingredients)! But I digress . . . .

We had this soup for supper and there were a ton of leftovers (it's a huge batch). I wasn't really looking forward to leftovers and so wondered what I could do to jazz it up. Inspiration hit me in the form of a frozen lb of Italian seasoned ground turkey I found in the freezer. So here is what is simmering in my crockpot overnight.

4-6 cups leftover cabbage soup (veggie broth, cabbage, zucchini, tomatoes & tomato paste, carrots, onion, green pepper, garlic, basil & oregano)
2 cups V-8 juice
1/2 onion diced
teas. minced garlic
1 ripe tomato chopped
3 med. potatoes scrubbed and diced
1lb Italian seasoned ground turkey (I browned this on the stove first but that was probably not necessary)
dash of cayenne pepper
ground black pepper
teas. Kosher salt
sprinkle of oregano

That's better - protein from the ground turkey and a bit of bulking up with the added potatoes and veggies. Looks and smells fantastic. This will be lunch and supper tomorrow!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Where have I been???

yeah, yeah I know . . . .

I have been an absentee poster
a dysfunctional journal-er
a MIA writter


I could give a bunch of reasons why I needed a break but I wont. I am back and determined to blog every now and then - if not every few days.

I miss reading these everyday and staying caught up with everyone. I promise to do better - really!

Friday, July 31, 2009


after a nine year hiatus I finally have a wedding ring again! These are not great pics - snapped on my cell but soon I will take some good ones to post!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Just bring it to the northwest I say~!

Thursday, July 23, 2009


There seems to be a spirit of malcontent in my house lately. The kids are bored and complaining. I suggest fun things for them to do but they don't feel like it. If I make them do chores I am a big meanie.

The hubby is tired, overworked and cranky. No time or energy for fun (much less romance). Keeping up with the kids, the yard and the chores leaves no time left for him to relax.

As for myself - I hate to be a downer but I seem to be on a streak of offending, irritating and annoying everyone around me.

It is possible to be lonely in a crowd. Bored when you are overworked. Frustrated when things are seemingly going your way. Why this malcontent in the middle of what should be a glorious summer break with the kids??

I think I need an intervention . . . or is that vacation?

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Catching up!

SO many things going on right now its hard to keep up with my blog!!

on the theater front:
WIT auditions July 19th & 20th. Roles for men and women - ALL ROLES are open!!

Wait Until Dark Auditions are August 10th. 1 woman, I girl, six men. All MALE roles are open!

Magenta Improv Theater - open classes Tuesdays at 7pm. Shows upcoming for those not brave enough to play!

on the home front:
Thaniel has begun his weekly Sensory Integration Dysfunction therapy, plus we have started his brushing therapy at home every two hours.

The kids are home from school and it has been a cool start to the summer but we did manage one day at the Klineline beach. Hope to get back there soon

Our new roomies are moving in this week - shared baths and kitchen. Extra people always makes a house busier, noisier, messier and definitely more fun!

And speaking of noisy and fun - July 4th party at our place is shaping up. So far 40+ people confirmed!! Including my Mum and Dad who are coming up for 10days or so. Can't wait to see them and catch up on everything that has gone on this past year!!

And FINALLY I have convinced Eric to get away with me for a night. So while grandma and grandpa are entertaining the kids - we are headed off to McMenamins Edgefield for some R&R!!

WHEW! :)