Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Blog Birthday Contest


I'm running a contest.
It's easy.
And fun.
And you can win.
Win free stuff.

I love free stuff.

I am competitive.

I hope you are, too.
My contest is kind of like a scavenger hunt of sorts.
You can be entered into it in lots of ways:
Chance 1: Read through all my posts and pick your very, very
favorite. Comment and tell me which is your favorite and why.
Chance 2: Comment with your name and a list of 5 blogs that you
stalk daily. I'm always in search of a good blog to stalk and would love
some recommendations.
Chance 3: Comment with a recipe. Remember...I am not queen of
the kitchen - but, I am cooking a lot these days and the Cuties and Hottie
are sick of the same old thing!
Chance 4: Have someone that you know comment with your name. (you'll get a separate entry for every person that comments on your behalf!!)
Chance 5: Comment and tell me why you started blogging. I know
why I blog, now I wanna know why you blog. And, if you don't blog (it's
okay, you can still enter, Dad) tell me why you don't blog.
That's it!! If you do all of the above, you have 5 chances to win!!!
p.s. I only have about 3 readers...so your chances of winning are EXTREMELY HIGH!!
Now, for the important part.
The prize.
Did I mention I love free stuff??
The winner of my
Blog Birthday Contest will win.....
A basket full of my favorite things:
1. Gold Canyon Pomegranate candle

2. Chapstick (yep...I have them stashed all over the place)

3. Almond Joys (the very best candy bar)

4. Celebrity Magazines (gotta have my gossip!)
5. Twilight paraphranelia (you know I'm obsessed)
6. Bath & Body Works Lotion (YOUR CHOICE!)
7. Bath & Body Works Kitchen Lemon soap

Lastly, the contest ends at Midnight on Tuesday, October 6th!!
I will announce the winner next Wednesday!!
Just a couple more things:
1. I love contests and since I can't play - I need you to play!
2. I really have very few readers - so you've got a REALLY good shot!
3. I'll ship your basket (if needed).
4. Good Luck!!

Can You Say Tired???


Yep. Brades fell asleep...
in the middle of showering.


School = EXHAUSTING!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Copycat Savings

I've done this before.
Found something I loooooved in Pottery Barn Kids.
Snapped a picture of it.
Re-created it.
Saved lots of $$$.
The first time was with this canvas painting
of a baseball jersey for Brady's room.
He still has it hanging up.
I love it.
I saved over $100 by making it myself.
Today's copycat savings was for Lily's room.
A few months back - I saw this gigantic picture at PBK:
Cute, huh?
A butterfly on canvas, made of buttons and paper.
Not sure of the exact cost...but, roughly $99+ for the size I wanted.
$99 is waaaay too much for my pocketbook.
I bought a canvas at Hobby Lobby during a sale...with a coupon.
Cost = $7-ish
Everything else I had at home.
The cuties and I spent yesterday "crafting" this up.
I think it turned out great!
And...I saved over $90!
p.s Lily loves this. She calls it "my butterfly" and tells everyone about it...my dad when he came over this morning, my doctor at my visit when she tagged along, Bryan when he got home from work, even the check out gal at Walmart. Too funny. She must be so proud!

Weekend Favorites

These are my favorite pictures
of this past weekend.

Brady and Lil...my two Cuties.
Lil heading out to dance class.

Mommy and Lil waiting for dance to begin.

3 of my oldest and dearest friends
at dinner & bowling with the hubby's.
Why am I so short?
I think I have my dad to thank for that!!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Golden One

Today is a very special day.
50 years ago...yes FIFTY years ago was the marriage
of my Aunt MaryLou and Uncle Bobby.

Wow....Happy Golden Anniversary!!

A 50th wedding anniversary is a rare occasion, and marks a half-century of commitment, love, respect, togetherness, and strength. I learned (in my research for this post) that you can even request a personal greeting from the United States President who will then send to the couple a card of congratulations.

Let's reminisce back to 1959.

  • Minimum wage in the U.S. was $1.00 per hour.
  • Dwight D. Eisenhower was President.
  • The cost of a postage stamp was only $.04.
  • Alaska becomes the 49th state.
  • Hawaii becomes the 50th state.
  • The Barbie Doll is revealed by Mattel.
  • Popular TV shows included: Bonanza, Rawhide, and The Twilight Zone.
  • Popular movies included: Ben Hur and Some Like it Hot.
  • The Boeing 707 Jet Airliner comes into service.
  • The first pictures of Earth from space were taken by Explorer 6.
And, lastly...a beautiful young Pasquel girl married her long-time Hessler love. Congratulations Aunt MaryLou and Uncle Bobby!! May you have many, many more years of wedded bliss!
In celebration of such a momentous occasion - many other relatives wanted to share their own memories and well-wishes.

Dear Mom and Dad,

Although fifty years have passed, may this be a very special anniversary as you look back on all the happy memories that will last a lifetime. Precious treasures that that we will always hold dear to our hearts that you've shared in your marriage together and with your family. I think the first words ever spoken fifty years ago were, "I Do!"

Happy 50th Anniversary!

Love always with love,

Mare

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

What an inspiration the two of you are. 50 years - amazing! Congratulations! Thinking back over the years I remember how much I loved (and still do) New York. And, the fact that the two of you lived there...my very favorite place in the entire world. You were always willing to "take me in" for one of my trips and give me a place to stay. You'd take me around and make sure I was enjoying the city. I remember your many trips to Arizona in which you'd always bring us boxes and boxes of Devil Dogs. Oh...we'd freeze those things and eat them for months...delicious. I always loved when you would visit - it always meant we were going to do something fun - like the East vs. West softball games.

I remember sitting in one of the spare bedrooms at Nan and Pop's house looking through the old photo albums. Every single time...I would open your wedding album and just stare and stare. I would sit there and look at Aunt MaryLou in her wedding dress - oh how pretty she is....My very favorite picture is the one of Aunt MaryLou and Uncle Bobby sitting down on the ground with Aunt Mare's big, beautiful dress seeming to engulf them. I can still see it now.


Congrats again to you both. You truly are special. Love, Dawn

They are the best grandparent. If you ever need anything or are in trouble, they would be there for you in an instant. They always put everyone before themselves. Family is very important to them and they are great role models of how to care and provide for family. Love, John


When Georgie broke his leg and got out of the hospital after after 6 weeks, Uncle Bobby would come over in the evenings with the station wagon and load Georgie in the back. He was in a full body cast, so Uncle Bobby would plop him up with pillows so he could see out. He would take him for a ride to get ice cream and just drive around until he got tired. I was always so thankful.


On "grocery shopping" day Aunt MaryLou always insisted that Aunt Karen and I come to her house for lunch. Of course we wanted to go out and eat--after all how much fun was saving money and eating in???? We would go to her house and eat, then stop and eat out on our way home. We were both pregnant at the time and the doctor couldn't understand why we were gaining so much weight. Oh to be young and foolish again!


You were both there for me in hard times and I've never forgotten any of them, please know how much I appreciated your help. Thank you. -Cindy

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

It was a blessing that you met each other more than 50 years ago. Your marriage came with many bonuses...such as two beautiful children, 3 fabulous grandchildren, and a wonderful daughter-in-law. I hope to have 50 wonderful years with my wife, too. You have set very high standards which I hope to follow. Thank you for being the parents you are. I couldn't ask for parents better than the two of you. Not only are you loving, but selfless. Here's to many more years together. Love you always, Bobby, Laura, Michelle and Jennifer

Dear Nan and Pop,

Thank for everything you have done for us. We love you both very much. Thank you for taking us on boat rides, to the movies, and watching us. Happy 50th Anniversary to our loving grandparents.
Love,

Michelle and Jenny


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Congratulations, Aunt MaryLou and Uncle Bobby! 50 YEARS TOGETHER! Wow! I am so lucky to have been part of that history. Thank you, Uncle Bobby for being such a wonderful Godfather. Your generosity and hospitality through the years never went unnoticed and was much appreciated. I loved all my visits to NY and was always made to feel so welcome in your home. Aunt MaryLou never let one of my clothing items or utensils be dirty for more than a fraction of a second. I remember such great times taking the train, going into the city, going to the beach, clamming, going out on the boat, and much more.. I miss you both. I hope you have another wonderful 50 years together and look forward to seeing you soon.
Love Always,
Robin




~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

My best memory of Uncle Bob and Aunt MaryLou was the night of Dawn and Bryan's wedding. I had drank just a little to much and was getting out of my mother's car....on all fours...when all i could hear from Uncle Bob was, "Kare would you look at this guy!" with a big smile on his face. Or, at least I think that is what had happened...as i said earlier, I was just a little drunk! Love, Dougie


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

First off, we’d all like to say, “Happy 50th Wedding Anniversary” to the both of you. It’s hard to believe you’ve even been married that long…time sure has a way of flying by.
What an outstanding accomplishment. Don’t see many 50th Anniversary celebrations taking place these days.

As a child, I can remember swinging on the swings in our backyard making songs about Bobby coming home from Tule Greenland. And when he did come home, he gave Donna and I each an Alaskan Doll (which I still have today). Visiting them at their apartment was very exciting. They didn’t live far from us. I thought they were so rich, new furniture, such a nice apartment and the wonderful Lazy Susan dish on the coffee table filled with tootsie rolls and little Hershey candies! Mommy always purchased the store brand candy, it was cheaper and if she did purchase Hershey’s, it was for Daddy. Little did I know they didn’t even own a car, took the bus to work and ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch!!! Hence, I can thank Bob & Marylou for my addiction of having pretty candy dishes placed throughout our home.

As I got older I really enjoyed the frequent visits they made to Scottsdale over the years. I know how much mommy and daddy looked forward to them visiting. They were greatly missed.

As years passed, I dated Mart, got married and then gave birth to Marty and Misty. And even though Marylou and Bob lived 2500 miles away, it was like they were always close by. Mart remembers the many trips that Bob arrived with the Styrofoam ice chests filled with, octopus, clams, oysters, mussels, etc., nothing like fresh NY fish. Or, Mart’s cross country trip with daddy to NY, one winter. Mart was so excited to see Marylou and Bob’s new house for the first time, shoveling snow for the first time, eating lobster and lots of fish. Or what about the many trips down the Salt River. Marty and Misty recall the great time Uncle Bob wanted everyone to have. We floated with so much stuff we could have been a floating convenience store! Aunt Marylou, Marty and Misty can remember her always cleaning…cleaning…cleaning and always willing to listen to Marty’s entire long winded stories. A memory Misty wanted to share is Uncle Bobby asking her to dance at Bobby & Laura’s wedding. She felt so big and special!

Does everyone remember what my wonderful brother-in-law Bob pulled on me after Marty’s wedding???? Well, if you don’t let me refresh your memory. Everyone was over, we were having a BBQ the day after the wedding. Bob came up to me and said, “Hey Rene good luck here’s a scratch ticket for you.” I didn’t think anything of it, as Bob was always so generous. Well low and behold I scratched the ticket in the dining room; little did I know Bob & Mart were watching me from outside the window. I was so excited, screaming that I’d won $10,000!!!! What a great thing to happen after we just finished paying for the wedding. Mare was so upset with him…..she made him come inside and tell me it was a fake ticket. I’ll never forget him and Mart dying laughing. Bob is always enjoying life.

How many runs were made each time Bob visited from NY to either Whataburger where he couldn’t believe you could order a burger the way you wanted it, have only the condiments you wanted on it and how good they were, or going to 31 Flavors Ice Cream. I can remember how excited the kids would be that they could choose from such a large assortment…not like the smaller selection of Thrifty Ice cream at Yellow Front. And what about the trips to Park and Swap; Bob was like a kid in a candy store. Lots of items were packed and taken back to NY…you’d think they didn’t sell things in NY. Ask Bob about Smitty’s …this was his favorite place to grocery shop, shop and shop!

I could never ask for a better sister than Marylou. It’s sometimes hard to believe we are so many years apart. Growing up she seemed so much older than me, but as time has passed and I’ve gotten older, for some strange reason the age span has decreased. She is a great sounding board, doesn’t judge you and is always there if you need her. Her and I share something that the others sisters don’t. She is my Godmother!



I cherish the many sister trips taken over the years with Marylou as we were always paired up to share a bed; as our sisters would say we (Mare & I) had “issues”. Enjoyed the many talks and of course laughs before going to sleep.

I better stop here, I believe I’ve taken more space than I’ve been allocated. My family and I could go on and on with the wonderful memories we cherish of both Bob and Marylou.

May your next 50 years together be better than the first 50 years! Enjoy life and take time to smell the roses. We love you both very much! Congratulations!!!

Love, Mart, Doreen, Marty, Misty, KateLynn & Carley Fox


WOW!! Fifty Years, can I remember back that far? Yes unfortunately I can. September 26th, 1959. I was a Junior Bridesmaid, got to wear a Turquoise dress with Terry DeFini as my partner. Boy, were we excited. A Honeymoon in Florida,and then back to Whitestone to start their new life together. Did I mention that Marylou was just 17 and Bobby 21. Babies by our standards today. It was so exciting to go to their apartment on 19th Avenue, I even hung around long enough that I got to have their first dinner with them. Sorry, talk about ruining the ambiance.

Looking back though, I can't remember a time when I didn't know Bobby Hessler. The young man that lived on 11th Avenue, while we lived on 10th was always around. I remember him sitting at the kitchen table with my mother drinking beer talking and laughing, while Mary Lou did her homework. This would go on every night until about 9:00pm when it was time for Bobby and MaryLou to walk up to Artie Quick’s to get the newspaper and a huge Hershey’s chocolate bar for Daddy. This was a nightly ritual, and each night as Bobby handed Daddy the candy bar, Daddy would say What’s this?” Like he didn’t know that he was getting the candy bar. By the way he didn’t share it.

When Mary Lou and Bobby were dating, I spent a lot of time with Marylou because my Mom worked nights at Lilly Tulip (a factory that made cups). Bobby and his friends would hang out at the Candy Store and since Marylou,the ever responsible one, always had to watch me, I got to go with her. As we would be walking down the street Bobby would smile at his friends and say here comes big Witch and little Witch. That name stuck.

It is no surprise to anyone that MaryLou was, and still is the clean freak of the family (Dawn and Bryan are close seconds). She thought it was a great time on Saturday’s to help my Mom clean the upstairs. Since she loved this so much, I got to help. Hurray for me. She was a difficult task master, making me redo the beds, bathroom etc. if it wasn’t done right. Marylou did and still does make a bed so tight she would make a staff sergeant proud. You certainly could bounce a quarter off of her beds. Any time that I would spend the night at her house, I would find myself getting up in the middle of the night to loosen the sheets. I felt like I was in a straight jacket. No wrinkles in her beds.

When I was 17 Bobby was the one willing to teach me how to drive. He took me all over Whitestone, showing me how to parallel park, three point turns, and stay on the right side of the street. He was as proud as I was, when I passed my drivers test and was able to drive. Of course I couldn’t drive Pop’s car, he rarely relinquished the keys except if Cindy asked for them (but that’s another story).

In 1972 I moved to Arizona. Bobby and Mary Lou including kids were the ones that showed up to help us move four rooms of furniture, up and down four flights of stairs. Talk about cardio exercise. That began a new part of our lives. Many visits cross country started.

1973 started the beginning of Mary Lou spending the summer in Arizona. It was great to have her and the kids, especially since my house was directly behind my parents where Mary Lou was staying. I of course, had to work, so Mary Lou always looking for something to do would wash my windows, floors, and anything else that had to be done. It was great coming home and having your own personal house keeper.

After that Little Bobby and Mary Lou would spend the summer with John and Robin and I. We had a great time when I got off of work, doing all the free things that Scottsdale had to offer then. Bike riding, Concerts at El Dorado, Zoo Nights, Climbing hole in the rock, and swimming in Nan and Pop’s pool. At the end of the summer, Bobby and Mary Lou would drive from NY to AZ to pick up the kids. Cross Country trips became the norm. Bob, Mary Lou, kids, Mrs. Hessler, and sometimes Uncle Ray all loaded into the Station wagon to visit Arizona. There was always a stop at A&W Root beer the frosty mug was a huge draw. Thrifty Ice Cream each scoop of ice cream was 5cents. Getting a triple cone was the best.



One of MaryLou's favorite things was to pick grapes and dry them into raisins. If picking 10 pounds was good, 100 pounds was better. We spent an entire day taking grapes off their stems, spreading them out in Nan and Pop's backyard to dry out, and sanitizing them in the oven. We had enough raisins to feed the neighborhood. MaryLou packed at least 75 pounds of them into a garbage bag and put them in her suitcase for the trip back to NY. When Bobby got to the airport to retrieve his family, he almost got a hernia picking that suitcase up.

Everyone was excited when Bobby and Marylou came to visit. We knew that we would be doing all kinds of fun things in this Wild West Town. One that Bobby loved was horseback riding. I remember riding through Papago Park with the kids when we realized BJ had lagged behind. Before we had a chance to head back we could hear BJ screaming UNCLE BOBBY, UNCLE BOBBY. BJ’s horse decided to stop in the tunnel and not move an inch. Bobby went back and saved the day by dragging the horse by his rein. BJ did not move far from Uncle Bobby after that.

Arizona Summers can be brutal upwards of 110 degrees. Any activity that involved water was not only fun but a necessity. Floating down the river was one of our favorite things to do. The water was cold, tubes tied together with tons of beer and food to eat. Who lives better than us? Bobby loved it so much and encouraged everyone to go. One year he took a friend of his from NY Aunt Ida, I think at the time she was upwards of 70 + years old. She had a great time. I can still see Bobby and Uncle Ray floating down the river with a cold beer in their hands laughing and having a good time.

One of our favorite trips was Hiking Havasu Falls. This is an Indian Village in Northern Arizona. Picture 15-20 of us carrying at least a 30-40 pound pack on a 12 mile hike. The terrain is varied, sand, rocks, hills and streams. The hike is not easy. By the time we got to the bottom we were ready to swim in the icy cold water and climb down Mooney Falls slick rocks. We were exhausted, but what a sense of accomplishment we all experienced. Even though, we were camping we all laughed watching Bobby shaving looking in a metal dinner plate at the camp site. Ask Eileen about her first helicopter ride or Barbara about the red ants. Good Times and great family memories.

I could go on and on. The trips to Disneyland, Las Vegas, Lake Mead, you name it we did it. Our entire family has worked hard to be a part of each others lives. We all work and play hard. Whether it was being a part of an East versus West Softball team (a trophy to prove it), post wedding Bowling team or spending time on a Cruise ship for Thanksgiving, we have cherished our times spent together. Thanks for the great memories. I can’t think of two better examples of hard working, family oriented people than you two.

Congratulations Bob and Marylou on this incredible 50 year journey. You have and always will be a vital part of our family. May you both live as long as you want and never want as long as you live. With much love and affections. -Karen

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

MaryLou & Bobby,

It does not seem real that FIFTY years have passed since your wedding. As they say when you're having fun the time flies by. As I look back there are so many things that stand out about the two of you and the love you both have shared with all of us.

I remember your first apartment and how very proud the two of you were with it. Your first house and how both of you worked so very hard on it and how beautiful it turned out. I can still see you, Mare, taking a shower before I took you to the hospital to have MaryLou. How very nervous I was and you calmed me down. How very proud I was to be asked to be Bobby's Godmother.

No matter what we were doing, you and Bobby were always there to help in any way and to say, "what can we do?"There have been good times and bad times through the years, but you two were always together.

I would like to think Rich and I will reach that goal in life, but only God knows. We wish you both all the happiness and many more years to follow.

We love you both very much,

Eileen and Rich

MaryLou and Bobby,

Where do you begin a beautiful love story, about two exceptional people? Please bear with me as I reminisce not only on MaryLou and Bob's 50th Anniversary, but my memories of them as well.

Memory #1 - MayLou and Bob at my parent's home in Whitestone. Bob in his white t-shirt and MaryLou running around the kitchen. Bob with beer in his hand, having a great time...bull s******* with Nan and Pop. Bob smiling and kidding, and MaryLou yelling, "Stop That!" Young love, how beautiful it is!!

Memory #2 - Bob coming home from the service, again at Nan and Pop's in Whitestone. MaryLou so excited that her husband is now home for good!! Let the fun begin.

Memory #3 - The Firehouse Great carnivals. (Bob, did you tell them to let me win??)

Memory #4 - White Castle hamburgers. Thanks Bob!!! You always had to buy 50-60 of them!

Memory #5 - Visiting their house with Mom and Dad. It was so beautiful. Everything so new and fresh. Loved it!!

Memory #6 - Entenmann's coffee cake and hot tea at the kitchen table...any time we got together.

Memory #7 - MaryLou's 50th birthday party!! Oh yeah! Do I love New York! Thanks for the great time!!

Memory #8 - Easter Egg money for the kids' golden eggs. Without this...there would be only candy. Thanks! All the kids loved it and we had to keep the adults away...(beer money).

Memory #9 - Grandparenthood. You both were contagious in your excitement of it all.

Memory #10 - Any party...here come Mare and Bob with everything you ever imagined you would need. Thanks for the beer, soda, chips, and anything else needed.

Memory #11 - Endless time with the kids. Always beautiful memories.

Memory #12 - Sister retreats...LOVE the banker. (and thanks Bob for the stripper!) See you in October!

With all of these memories and thoughts, I now know why you both have not only cherished and rejoiced in your 50 plus years together, but have encouraged others at the same time. We love you both and will always cherish the many moments that are not only spoken, but felt. Many, many more years are our wishes to you both. Happy 50th!!

Love,
Donna & Bill

Some of my fondest memories are about Boosters Beach in Whitestone - we would hang out there often. I was always trying to teach MaryLou how to swim. We'd sit on the big rock by the Lighthouse and wait for high tide. Then, MaryLou would have to swim back to shore...she still doesn't like the water. One time Bobby and I swam to the Bronx side as Mary Lou sat on the beach waiting for us to return.

Also, hanging out at the candy store on 8th Avenue. The guys would play cards, and we would just hang around. They all wore Dungarees (that's what we called jeans back then) and white tee shirts with their cigarettes curled up in their sleeves.

We walked all over Whitestone, up to the village, Bertlesens Ice Cream Parlor - the place we we first had egg creams. We'd go to the Whitestone Pool on the nights that it cost 25 cents. We swam or danced to the juke box.

Boy, just reminisching makes me want those "simpler" times again. Where has the last 50 years gone?

Congratulations to you both! Love you,

Barbara

50 years together.
I think I can speak for all of us and say...
Congratulations!!
We love you.
The two of you are inspirations.




Thursday, September 24, 2009

Funny Lily Talk

I'm driving home with Lil tonight.

Just Me & Lil.

She wants to sing.

Yes, of course Twinkle.

And ABC's.

And Itsy Bitsy Spider.

And Old MacDonald.
We sing.
And sing.
And sing.

Finally...I'm all sung out.
I suggest she sings the ABC's alone.
She sings....and ends with
"...W-X-Y-and Zeeeeeee
Now I wonder what you are, up above the world so high,
like a diamond in the sky....."


Later, after dinner - she empties out her bag from Ashley's.
She finds some hand-me-down flip flops.
ooooohhhhh she's in heaven.
This is the conversation next:
Bryan: Where did you get those Lil??
Lil: I buy 'em at Ashy's house.
Bryan: You bought them at Ashley's?
Bryan: How did you buy them?
Lil: I have monies.
Seriously...the cutest!!

please excuse the picture of the owie.
brady was sooo not having a picture of feet without it!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Our Little House

This weekend while the Hottie was out of town the Cuties and I went to dinner with Ashley, Rylee, Jake, Robin, and Lincoln. Red Robin...of course, yummy!


On the way home (since we were by our old house) we did a drive-by. Brady is the only one of the Cuties that lived there. We moved just shy of his first birthday. In fact...we were living at my parents over his first birthday waiting to get into the house that we are in now. Sheesh - I digress. Brady doesn't remember that house. But, he knows it from pictures.


Oh....how we loved our little house.

When we were very newly married we lived just down the block from that house. One day, the Hottie called me at work and said "your favorite house is for sale." I told him to go over and buy it...jokingly. Little did I know we would be doing just that when I got off of work that afternoon.

We moved in about 6 weeks later.

We loved that house. It needed work - and that is what we gave it. In the 3.5 years we lived there...we did a lot:
  • We changed out the southwest, pink-ish carpet,
  • Changed the shiny, shiny tile
  • Painted it...white (this was before the Hottie finally gave into color that he now loves)
  • Updated the bathrooms.
  • Changed out every kitchen appliance. one. by. one.
  • Painted it inside and out.
  • Changed out the counter tops from this matching shade of pink.
We didn't have a lot of room - but, it fit us perfectly. I miss a lot of things about that house...the "dungeon" room that we constantly had, the many visitors that moved in for a bit, the yard (the Hottie did an excellent job keeping it up), the oleander tree in the front (that has not looked the same since we left), the front sitting room (that never got any use, but was nice to have), even the way I could walk out of my bedroom and literally be ONE step away from all 3 bedrooms in the house, and lastly the mortgage...it was VERY little.

We drive by this house every so often. Brady thinks it is fun. Lil...she doesn't really care - but, I don't blame her one bit. I always prepare myself for it to look...well...not as good as I remember it, because it never does. But, this weekend it actually looked clean and nice...and even the big oleander tree was very pretty and full of flowers.

We miss you house! But, surely the one we're in now is even better for it is bustling with the sound of both Cuties running rampant.

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Hottie is Back!

Thank goodness the Hottie is back!!
(From his boys' weekend in San Fran)
The Cuties looooove craft time.
So, Sunday night before bed...
we "crafted" a sign for the Hottie.
Brady also included a coloring that he made at Nanny's.
Lily drew a picture of circles.
They were very proud.
And...the Hottie loved it!
What makes it even better...
Brady excitedly had the Hottie
close his eyes for the SURPRISE
when they entered the house from his arrival.
C-U-T-E!
Welcome back, Babe!!
Love ya!
p.s. yes...Brady has a thing for seahorses...but, that is a whole other story.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Slumber Party Time

When the Hottie goes out of town,

(boys' weekend)

The Cuties and me partake in a slumber party.

Friday, September 18, 2009

I am NOT a Blog Addict!


As I was looking for a picture for my last blog...I found this:

click the image above to read

HILARIOUS!!! Isn't it???

And, just so you know - they DO NOT all apply to me.

So, I will argue that...
I am NOT a Blog Addict!!

Thursday Night & Friday Morning Ritual


Thursday nights...
I mentally tell myself I will get up and clean early Friday morning.
I dream about an early shower after cleaning.
I make a promise to myself that Lil and I will be up and out of the house early.

Friday mornings...
Make breakfast (for all of us).
No, it is normally NOT fancy - toast/cereal/juice/milk.
The Hottie leaves with Brady for school and work.
Cartoons for Lil - yes...as long as it is Dora.
Dora is all she will watch.
Early start...make all the beds.
At this time, I am mentally reminding myself
of my Thursday night promises to myself.
After finishing my bed...I see the lonely computer.
I turn on the computer...with plans to just pay bills.
I pay the bill.
I check my bank account.
(I neurotically check it multiple times throughout each day).
I think of my Thursday night promises.
I think of all the blogs that I need to get caught up on.
I think of my Thursday night promises.

The end result....






The blog wins.
Cleaning can wait.
Shower can wait.
We've got the whole day, right???



Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Lil's Favorite Song

Lil loves to sing.
This is pretty new.
She loves ABC's and Itsy Bitsy Spider.
But, her favorite....
Well, just check it out:

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Blog or Book

Yippee!! I am so excited!

This site now FINALLY offers the ability to convert your blog into a book. This means I'll actually be published. Well...if you call I pay for it and I'm the only one that reads it published.

Hooray!! I know what Santa will be bringing me for Christmas....

Friday, September 11, 2009

Meet Baby Ruth

Have you ever seen the movie, The Sandlot? Yes, the early 90's movie about a group of boys and their love of America's favorite past time.

This movie was in Brady's stocking from Santa. The Hottie has literally been waiting to buy this for Brady since...well, long before he was even born. Ever since Christmas, I'd say we've watched it at least 150 times, NOT kidding! It seems to be on a running loop in the van.

Lily...HATES TV. Maybe hate is too strong a word. She just is really not interested. But...when it comes to The Sandlot - she is ALL ABOUT IT! She loves the movie. So, between the two Cuties, it is playing non-stop.

Thankfully...and FINALLY, potty training is going very well. We were struggling with poop (sorry, TMI) but, she seems to be slowly mastering it. In celebration of big girl undies, Lily got to pick out a baby doll at Walmart. Of course, she picked out a Baby Alive doll...she is IN LOVE with Rylee's, so the choice was obvious.

This morning, Lily was super excited to show off her new baby to Rylee and Kate. During the car ride this morning to Ashley's house, she was talking about her baby doll and of course, watching The Sandlot. Lil told me her new baby's name is Presley. This was not a surprise. Right now, Lil is in the habit of naming all of her dolls Presley, due to the fact that our very, very good friends have a little girl named Presley that was born just a little over 4 months ago.

You may be asking yourself....how are The Sandlot and Lil's new baby doll related?- here is how:

Today at Ashley's, it appears that baby doll, Presley, had a change of name. Ashley told me that Lil has been calling her Baby Ruth, all day. To you, this might seem like no big deal.

But, Lil didn't mean baby, Ruth...
she meant "Babe"-y Ruth.
You know, "the greatest baseball player of all-time?"
Seriously...do you think we watch The Sandlot too much, or what?


Needless to say, without further ado, I now introduce you to the newest member of the family - Baby Ruth:


p.s. Rylee called Brady tonight to excitedly tell him that they got The Sandlot today in celebration of her first T-ball practice. Brady and Ry both were screamin' psyched!

p.s.s Have you checked out my upcoming contest?? I need contest suggestions and prize ideas!!! It will be freeeeeeeeeeee!!! So...please respond with suggestions!

33 Years

My parents have gone from this

to this



Congratulations!
Happy 33rd Anniversary!
We love you!
Love,
Bryan, Dawn
Brady, & Bugs

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Dandelions

While cabining - the kids loved searching for dandelions.
The rain did NOT bother them one bit.
Rylee won the award of finding the largest dandelion.


I remember making wishes on dandelions as a child...watching the pieces scatter in the wind.
Memories.....

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

It's Almost My Blog's Birthday!!

The Campbell Cuties turns 1 on October 6th...yep, less than 30 days away.

With prompting from my sister Ashley, I'm throwing a party.
Well, not really a party....more a virtual contest & giveaway......
Yes, you can win something. I will mail it. Or hand deliver it. If it involves food - the Hottie will make it :)

This is what I need from YOU:
** Contest ideas
** Giveaway suggestions

Since I have a whole load of readers (seriously, about 3 regulars) I am expecting each one of you to at least give 1 or 2 suggestions!!!!

The contest will be free to you - and I love free stuff....so please, I beg you, respond with suggestions!!!

Our President & His Speech

Tuesday, at Brady's school, they listened to the speech of our President, Barack Obama. Brady loved it - remember how he loves Rock Obama? Yes, he did think it was very cool that he got to watch TV in school to listen to the President.

Oh, I'm sure his mind wandered during the speech...remember he is 5 years old, but he did say that the President told him to stay in school and learn.

As a mom...isn't it true that your own kids listen MUCH, MUCH better to other people than you? Well...mine totally do. Brady will listen to his teacher and Nanny and Poppy way before he listens to us. But...I suppose this is very common. So, needless to say, I was very excited to hear our very own President encouraging kids to stay in school.

Brady thinks the "President" job is pretty cool....although he doesn't really understand the true meaning of this job (but do any of us, really?) The Hottie made sure to tell him to make friends with everyone, listen to the teachers, and learn...and then, maybe when he is in the 6th grade he could be Class President. Like Mother, Like Son.....

This past Friday, the school sent home a little paper advising the parents that GPS made the decision to play the speech in every classroom. Being the bad mom I am - I just skimmed it and thought it was going to be pretty exciting for all of the kids to take part in this experience. Well, Tuesday night as Brady was doing his homework I sorted through all of the papers in his backpack. This prompted our "President" conversation from above in which I thoroughly read over the paper that was sent home from the school. The paper included the notice (that I had previously skimmed) as well as a permission slip-type paper that parents could sign and return if they DID NOT want their child to take part in the watching.

Wh-wh-wh-what??

Ok, so I do get permission slips...I mean it is TV...in school. But, I promise there would be no brain washing going on. And, isn't it a good thing to teach children to at least be respectful to our President? Regardless of your own beliefs? We definitely do not have to agree with him - no one could agree with anyone 100% of the time. The paper from the school even stated that the President "will challenge students to work hard, set educational goals and take responsibility for their learning so they can compete in the global economy for good jobs and live rewarding and productive lives."

I don't see anything wrong with that.

Pied Piper Photography

Doesn't she have talent??
Check out her site...and her contest.

Whoa...

Lily continues her love for photography.


Yikes! Watch out!!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

2 Birthdays to Celebrate - Part 1

Dear Dad,

Happy Birthday!! I won't tell you how old Brady thought you were turning today - but, to make you feel better he thinks I turn 100 every year....so, his word doesn't mean much.

I am so very grateful to have you as my dad. I know every girl says that - but, I think Ash, Cori, and Billy can confirm it. You (and mom) have always put everything aside to make all of us your priority. We know that. We felt it. And, we appreciate it greatly.

Thinking back over the last 30 years....some memories that stick out most are....(in no particular order):

1. Nursing you back to health after surgery when I was around 4.
2. Riding around in the red and white VW Bug.
3. Learning to wrap presents with you....just right and perfectly every time.
4. "Helping" you shop for mom.
5. Endless "tampon" runs....or, using that as our way to get $$$ out of you - SORRY!
6. Working with you at Infiniti - and showing everyone what a softie you really are.
7. Your love of golf...and beating Uncle Brad's score.
8. Cross country road trip - need I say more??
9. You walking me down the aisle.
10. Your knack for "doing first and asking for permission later." Bryan is still trying to master this skill....unsuccessfully.
11. The fact that I know I can write you a letter on my blog and you will actually read it.
12. And, lastly - your constant love and support. Even when I have needed help.

Happy Birthday Dad!!! I hope your birthday is SUPER SPECIAL!!!

I love you,
Dawn

2 Birthdays to Celebrate - Part 2

Happy Birthday AJ!!!!

AJ is our very first nephew. AJ was born just several months after I met the Hottie. So, yes...I have known him literally his entire life.

Today AJ turns 10.

10.

Wow.

It does seem like yesterday that I called the Hottie from a payphone (yep, no cell phone for me just yet) at ASU. Skipping my last class to head over to the hospital only to wait for the next several hours for his birth. How excited we were.
Happy Birthday AJ!!!
Visit soon!

Love,
Uncle Bryan, Aunt Dawn
Brady & Lily

Monday, September 7, 2009

Cabining is Over.




Remember how I thought that I was preparing for a long weekend full of Fun.Relaxing.Family? Well...it did not happen EXACTLY like that.

Fun? - Absolutely.
Family? - Yep...perfect!
Relaxing? - Not so much.

While sitting outside on the porch chatting with my sisters, my mother kindly advised us that RELAXING vacations only occur with adults only. Hmmm....

After thinking this over. I would definitely agree. Cabining is a family activity - and yes, the kids had a great time...but, there is always something to worry about when vacationing with kids....

Is everyone getting along?
Is someone left out?

Is everyone sharing?
Who is crying?
Are they hurt?
Are there any dangerous areas?
Is the baby gate up?
Where are the kids?
Is everyone having fun?
Silence?....means either they're missing or they're doing something they
know very well they should not be doing.

And, those are just a FEW of the things to worry about when traveling with kids.

All in all, we did have fun. It sure rained a lot - but, the kids really did not seem to mind...even if I thought they did. Saturday was filled with morning tire swings, games, and lots of rain. Sunday morning and into the early afternoon was perfect - we ventured out to the park in Pinetop. The kids loved it. The boys golfed and were able to fit all 18 holes in before the rain kicked in. Following dinner, the McMahon crew came over for games.

The best part of the weekend was 1) of course, family... enough said, 2) the smell...I love that fresh air and fireplace smell, 3) Aidyn's LOVE for the swings at the park, 4) the tire swing that brought endless entertainment (and mud) to the kids, 5) the 60-days worth of food that my mom purchased for our weekend stay, 6) the weather...even though it was literally frigid and raining....it still beat 115 degrees, and lastly 7) coming home to a clean house.

The trip is over. Luckily for me, the Hottie had cleaned the house while I worked Friday morning....isn't he the best??....so, all that was needed upon return was laundry. And, boy do I have a lot of laundry to do. I'm worried that I won't be able to salvage the socks that Brady wore over the weekend. I'm not sure what it is about boys...but, my goodness even with tennis shoes on - their socks still get as black as can be.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Fun.Relaxing.Family

We're going on a mini camping trip.
Well...I wouldn't call it camping,
but more like cabining.

Yep, we're headed up to Greer, Arizona.
Fun. Relaxing. Family.
All my favorite things.

We used to go to Greer annually.
We haven't been back in a few years.
This year - we've got a whole crew going with us....
My Mom, Dad, Billy, Courtney...
Ash, Brett, Jake & Ry...
Cori, Mike, Aidyn...
Us 4...
Pam, Kevin, Jamie, Robert, & Hayli
Yep...we've got a bunch going.

We don't plan on doing too much.
The less scheduled = the more fun
We do plan on sitting back, playing games (lots), laughing, eating, drinking, roasting marshmallows, playing wiffle ball, and of course snuggling with the kiddos.
The boys have made a tee time.
We expect them to be gone all day.
I plan to take a nap when the kids go down....
Is that sad or what? I'm dreaming about a vacation in which I plan to take a nap.
I've gone from age 13 (Twilight) to 70 (naps) in a matter of weeks.

Needless to say we are VERY excited.
Brady says Poppy told him that he doesn't have to go to school Friday.
Lil is excited to eat 'Mores...or Suuuuuhhhh-mores (I'm not sure if she's ever experienced them)
Me...I'm just excited for Fun.Relaxing.Family.

Yippee!!!!!

Oh...and check out our home for the weekend...the one that us Griswold's will be stuffing full of people......

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Are You....


Missing Me Yet????


As I am enjoying....













(yes - there are fields of sunflowers in BismarCk)

and












(yes, my flight will be on this mini-plane)

Why don't you take a look at some of my faves.........

Ashley
Design Dazzle
Nie
Etsy
Pink and Polka Dot
My First Kitchen (because I would love to love to cook)
Polka Dot Chair
One Pretty Thing


p.s.....I got word that one more of my relatives will soon be starting up a blog of her very own!!!!