Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Do it!!!!!!!!

I have been discharged from physical therapy!!!!!!!!!!!
Well... sorta...

I have to go back every four weeks to get "realigned" by my very handsome Physical Therapist... (shhh... don't tell Leo :).

Mr. Jay... the very handsome Mr. Jay... has demanded two things... 5 pounds off every 4 weeks and an assignment:

I think Yoga is great but... the last time I did it... I went with a bunch of girlfriends from the school I was teaching with at the time... and...




I confessed this to Mr. Jay... and now, he is thinking POWER YOGA.

When he said that, he lost a little bit of his "cute."

He's right for reminding me that weightloss is the key to my painfree living. And... I did overdo it once we crossed the Kentucky line and headed towards IL... So... all craftiness aside... I need to drop 5 pounds. It's going to be a long Spring with Mr. Jay.

And Mr. Jay... I got news for you:
When you go to crack someone's back and they tell a joke; don't drop them from laughing... 'cause that means I will have to have more therapy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I mean really... the joke reduced him to tears!

Friday, March 27, 2009

party for one


Anyone care to join me? Yes, it's all going in one bowl... it's been that kinda day.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Passing of Birdman...ode to a Stonebridge resident

If you ever followed our personal blog, you know all about the birdhouse fiasco across the street from our old house in West Virginia. Leo and I would plot and devise way to rid ourselves of the 14 birdhouses across the street from our home.

I remember vividly, the day a most brilliant storm whipped through our area and knocked the poor "gourd" house down... I was immediately on the phone with my fellow neighbors rejoicing in the event... only to look out my window mere moments later to see that it was being repaired and placed back into an upright position, once again.

The male owner of this birdhouse became sick before we left our first home. He always had back problems so we assumed we hadn't seen him due to his back hurting... but no, it was an aggressive form of brain cancer. And... despite our differences over the birdhouse (and their infamous driveway where their van lost control one day and nearly took out our garage) we enjoyed the birdman and it was always something to talk about... like our cars looking as though they were parked at a beachside resort from all the droppings.

Yesterday, we received the call from Boomer's Godparents (they lived right next door to us)... the owner of the birdhouse died. He is gone... second neighbor in about a year. Both to cancer. One neighbor suffered for years and the other had little time to battle... virtually inoperable. It's a sad day here at the Goosie and Boomer house. Despite differences that you have with someone, you NEVER wish to hear of someone's loss. He was a brother, husband, grandfather, son, and neighbor... Now, he flies with his friends, the birds, soaring through Heaven.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

My First Dress!


I have done it! I completed my first dress for Goosie! I even made a small tote bag for her! Of course, she needed a hairbow and some fabric covered button hair clips to match! I cannot believe I did this! Granted the material is VERY easy to work with and required only a hem at the bottom and a seam up the back. I added the ribbon straps, ribbon along the bottom, and matching buttons for embellishment... in an attempt to make it look like it came from a boutique. I am nearly finished with my first pillowcase dress for her. That dress cost a total of $4.00 to make! I cannot wait for the warm weather and watching her parade around in her new dress!!!!!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

across the beautiful spectrum


This was the view from our patio this evening! What a beautiful double rainbow. This picture really doesn't do justice to the magnificent colors... but, I grabbed the camera in such a hurry!

Our neighbors saw us bounding to the door and they flew out of the house as well... everyone was looking to the sky and enjoying the colors of nature.

This is the second time we have witnessed the double rainbow here... each time in the same exact spot!

Goosie stood at the patio door and sang her rainbow song... what a great evening... as they say, "after the rain, sunshine appears."

Monday, March 23, 2009

dressy donation


Over the weekend, Mr. Rondeau went to Minnesota for work... so... I took the time to complete three tutus for Goosie's school. They have a dress up closet for exploratory time and I had offered to make some tutus for the school. It is my hope that many dreams are created and fun times are had by sending these to school for the little ones to play!I have made the decision to sell tutus such as these. The cost is $25 each plus shipping (I use three layers of tulle). If you are interested, feel free to contact me through this post or email me: hils12ac@yahoo.com. I am currently exploring the idea of working on items for a small show. I would love to customize a tutu for you and your little ballerina!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Yummy treat


Yesterday evening, Mr. Rondeau and I took Goosie and Boomer out to dinner and ran some errands.

When we arrived home, there was a bag hanging on our door.

These Mandarin Oranges were in the bag!

Our friend, Miss Daniela, left them on our door...

Some went in the fridge for lunch the next day... and some just had to be put in my favorite glass vase!

We had some for lunch... I don't think the others will remain in the vase for long...

These oranges are delicious...

As sweet as the surprise!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Grateful List

On my other blog... which seems to have lost readers and will be shut down soon if traffic doesn't flow again... I had started a "Grateful Journal."

As Mr. Rondeau was sleeping last night, the rain was falling hard on the window next to me and I thought about the day that had come to an end.

The day that ended was wonderful and this is why...

*After dropping Goosie off at school, I took Boomer to the little park across the street and he squealed with joy in the baby swing!

*We came home and were surprised with girlfriends as the door! The first stop for a friend that had just returned from a long journey!

*Mr. Rondeau called twice to chat during the day!

*Goosie and Boomer gobbled lunch and played soccer in the yard!

*Ironing complete!

*Goosie and Boomer napped... not a stir was heard.

*A dear friend called to "chat" :).

*A package arrived... a St. Patrick's Day gift was at the door from Boomer's Godfathers!

*Boomer smothered me with hugs and kisses

*bubble bath for Goosie and Boomer

*Mr. Rondeau talked to a man about a fence!

*There are a pile of projects to be sewn or created... that means gifts are to be given!

*Stories were read... in abundance... and three were read by Goosie!

*We have a roof over our heads, food in our tummy, and love in our heart!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A part never shared...

Last year, I flew home. An emergency flight home because my Grandmother was very sick and facing amputation of her leg.
When I arrived at the airport, my Dad suggested we go right to the hospital. When we walked into her room, she took a drastic change... very sick and a sea of doctors and nurses running down the hall. A vigil began. I didn't want to leave her. I stayed as long as MY body could handle helping with hers. I have never seen this beautifully strong woman so weak...
I remember watching her every move and wiping her beautiful face with cold cloths and quenching her dried lips with cool water. My family would write down everything we could about her medications, progress, and down turns.
We never left her... no one left her... but... I had to leave right after her surgery... literally, I saw her in recovery and then had to fly home to nurture my children and love them just the same.
The past year, I mourned the loss of one Grandmother, the loss of friendships, the loss of my first home as we moved onward in Leo's career... but, in our children... I have always found the strength to make sure that things move smoothly for them through all these changes.
And... I have been reading this. It's amazing how you can find strength through others. I love The Neinei dialogues and I hope you will, also.
And by the way... my grandmother is standing at her PT and doing the most amazing job ever with her recovery. And... we will be heading "home" to see her soon!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

A Declaration has been made... and we LOVE it!

A declaration has been made that 2009 is the "Year of the Military Family." Please see article.

The recognition means tons to those of us that are part of a military family!

I'm anxious to see just what this declaration will mean in terms of support for military families.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Cheap or Thoughtful... I WANT your opinion!

This year... I'm starting EARLY!
I have a plan.

I PLAN on saving money and making Christmas gifts this year. I would like to work on items a little each month but then I have to question myself.... over and over.

Will people think we are being cheap or will they actually like getting something homemade???

It is such a hard call. See... we would like to purchase a car this year. We would like to purchase it with cash so we have "buckled down."

So... what is your take on the "handmade" gift? I have over 40 ideas in my "favorites" and I am anxious to start... I promise... it won't be a handknitted reindeer sweater that you will feel absolutely mortified to wear :)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

I want country ham, on a biscuit, and I DON'T want it "sugar glazed."

That's right...

I want ham... NO...


I want COUNTRY HAM! It isn't to be had here in our little world right now.

Leo tried tracking it down... ONE place had it... and it was sugar glazed. I don't want it sugar glazed... I want it salty and on a biscuit.

Call me hillbilly... I'm okay with that... it reminds me of home. I want a "Taste of Home."
Side of Mac N' Cheese?????????? sure. But, the ham biscuit will do for me.

I'm counting the days till I see West Virginia and I'm headed to the store to get COUNTRY HAM!
I'm probably bringing a cooler... to bring some back... yes, I will haul it back to IL...

Anything regional your craving????????? Share it with me... we can crave together!!!!!!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Spring, Treats, and soon to be... tea time!

With the unusual warm days we have been experiencing, I was just ready to begin thinking of Easter and new beginnings. Goosie and Boomer have been doing their daily Lent readings and enjoying the breeze flowing through the open windows. My dear husband worked all weekend so I had been itching to make some shortbread and took advantage of the time! I can't wait to sit with some tea and enjoy the shortbread and creamy peppermint chocolate mints, too.

I miss the days of the April Cornell Outlet, too... so out came the napkin and down went the three tiered stand that I'm "holding" for my Mom... we have used it MANY times and Goosie loves the look of the colors in the glass.

The "infamous" M&M jar is now holding the Easter treats... it seems to get filled with the color of the holiday and hubby likes the treat as he passes through the living room. It seems as though St. Patrick's Day took a clear second to the Easter trimmings this year.

The dining room is ready for tea and treats with friends!

Creamy peppermint chocolate mints:

1 bag of candy melts

approx. 1 Tablespoon of vegetable oil

peppermint extract to taste

favorite candy molds (found at craft stores or WalMart)

Combine all ingredients in a microwave bowl

Microwave at intervals of 30 seconds, stirring after each interval until thoroughly melted.

Fill each mold with the mixture and tap on the counter to remove air bubbles.

Place in fridge until firm and tap mold upside down on counter to remove... and COMPLETE!

The Easy Chocolate Shortbread only takes four ingredients... but a hint... I would make it a bit thicker next time I try this recipe.

I'm thinking scones next... hmmmm...

Monday, March 9, 2009



There are days in our lives where we look for strength. As humans, as men and women, and as mothers and fathers.

These past few weeks... with the flu, crazy work hours, etc. The word strength was needed very much in our home.

Thursday morning, Goosie became very sick with the stomach flu. I have never seen her this sick before. Holding her body as she was exhausted and limp, I just needed a glimmer of strength. We knew it was just the flu but being so tired from all the other nonsense that we get caught up in daily... we were just getting so tired.

Then... Boomer comes up to Goosie on the couch and hands her her thermos of ice water to drink. Then, he brings her a doll. He bends down close to her and says, " You okay?"

At two, he is strong for her... even though he is the little brother.

Yesterday, they had been up and down the stairs due to tornado sirens... and... they took it in stride. Goosie goes to sit on the bench near the window and Boomer decides to join her. And... I was snapping some photos around the house. I look over and I snapped this picture. They were together on the bench holding hands.

In our children... we find our strength.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

No Sew TUTU!

I FINALLY attempted the no sew tutu for Goosie! I had sworn to do this for Christmas and never got around to accomplishing that goal... so with Spring around the corner... there was no better time than to try this out for sure! I did two because I wanted to experiment... the first attempt... I did it with a ribbon waistline and the second time... an elastic. To be honest, I prefer the ribbon but I am sure that is a matter of taste. On the ribbon waistline, I used velcro. Now, once Goosie recovers from the stomach flu... it will be photo time!!!!!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

The Tea Towel Skirt is D.O.N.E.

I have accomplished my FIRST ever sewing project! The Tea Towel skirt... instructions in previous post, is DONE! I feel as though I have jumped a major hurdle. I know it was a simple project but one that resulted in a $2.50 skirt that my daughter can wear. I added some ribbon trim... which added to the tea towels... I have to say that I can't wait to find a few tea towels that are a bit more adorable but I am so glad that I pulled out the sewing machine and started!

Goose was happy to oblige me by modeling her new skirt :)

Sidebar: when I posted this... the slideshow would not come up on blogger... feel free to click "view all images" and they will appear! THANKS!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Stand back... better yet... save yourself!!!

I am about to break out the sewing machine! Save yourselves!!!!! From my teeth gritting, quiet cursing (there are children in the house), and frustration. I am going to attempt THIS!

Leo took Goosie out on the search for dish towels and did not find one as cute as this tutorial... but the ones he found had lines so that should make it somewhat easier. IF I can accomplish this skirt... it will cost no more than $1.50... because he found great deals on tea towels at T.J. Maxx. Since I had bronchitis... and now, pleurisy to boot... they went on the search.

I have bought a self healing cutting mat and a rotary cutter... and now I regret not paying attention to my Grandmother in her sewing room when I would go to Virginia and spend a week with her in the Summer. She was a seamstress and people would bring their sewing to her throughout the week. She had a room at the front of her big brick house that was just for sewing... and I believe, Soap Operas, too :). She would make all types of things along with my Great Grandmother... if they weren't baking pies and frying chicken... they were sewing. My children go to the park to this day with one of the quilts that my Great Grandmother made. We use it, eat picnic lunches on it... and feel like we take a part of her with us to enjoy sunshine and good food.

If I can pull this one sewing project off... WATCH OUT, Ladies and Gentlemen! It could be as bad as the Cricut bug I seem to have!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

What's YOUR fortune?

I do not proclaim to be a talented scrapbooker by any means but... I came across this neat project when "surfing" blogs one day and it is one of my favorites! I found the instructions here.

If you use your Cricut, I found that doing the circles in 3 1/2 inches gave you nine circles per 12x12 page. I know that the instructions in the link said 4" circles but I made mine a bit smaller to maximize the use of paper. I liked that the link had fortunes included if you wanted to use them. AND... I liked that it isn't a gender specific craft! Also, I used a hot glue gun to keep mine together and it worked perfectly. I didn't have the adhesive tape the instructions required so I tried my trusty glue gun and it worked!

Now... I want some Chinese food :)!

Monday, March 2, 2009

She loved it!


Aside from the extremely cheesy pose... it did look really cute! I know that most of these are made for babies but I adapted this for my Goosie since she loves flowers and all things pink!

We added the touch of a "side pony tail" and off she went to a birthday party!

I made one with a smaller flower so we will see what types of poses we get from THAT headband!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Weekend Craft Projects

Staying inside proved to be a good thing this weekend! I was able to get a few projects done yesterday. I cut vinyl for the first time with the Cricut and Alden and I made a birthday present for her classmate, Lexi. Lexi is having a birthday party today and we wanted to personalize her gifts so the vinyl and these finds from Michael's made the project an easy one!

Lexi loves to draw and color so we cut the vinyl to personalize her craft station and filled it with items such as a sketch book, crayons, watercolors, washable markers, construction paper, etc.

I had time, while resting from that darn bronchitis, to take two headbands (for kids) from WalMart and embellish them. I found some polka dot ribbon and made it into korker ribbon. Then, sewed coordinating buttons onto the headbands and TADA... new spring headbands! The flower ones were SUPER easy... I did stitch the flowers on a bit and then hot glued to reinforce.

We are headed to the fabric store before the birthday party to find the smocked material to start making Spring dresses!