Friday, October 30, 2009

Birthday Madness

This year my youngest child turned 6. I decided to invite his whole kindergarten class to walk home with me after school for a fun backyard birthday.

(Yes...he loves Hello Kitty!)

On the menu was 140 chicken nuggets (all devoured), a veggie platter (barely touched), plain pasta, pineapple, lemonade, and enormous Costco cupcakes. We put together our homemade waterslide invented 3 years ago when we endured a week of 105 degree temperatures. Almost no one in Northern California has air conditioning! Our play structure slide with two twin blow-up mattresses stuck end to end under it, and a hose at the top creates the perfect redneck waterslide.

We also rented a jumpy house that said Happy Easter, because Andy loved the bunnies on it. After helping to change 20 children into their swimsuits (no easy task), the party began. A few moms graciously offered to hang out, chat and watch kids. I should have paid them! As kids grew tired they played Legos and drew pictures. My son had a terrific time hanging out with his friends.

Some of the improvements I'm considering for next year includes handing out tubes of frosting to consume instead of cupcakes. I probably threw out 17 cupcakes even though each child acted like it was life or death whether they got chocolate or vanilla. Almost every kid scraped the frosting off with their hands and ate it, or licked it off. Why not just comply with their instincts...Easy...NO Cake!

(Andy made these cupcakes over the Summer. So cute...he should blog!)

An hour into the party a couple of kids asked if there was anything else to do? I resisted the urge to tell them, "Are you kidding? When I was a kid we had family birthday parties. You had a family dinner, ate cake, maybe played a round of pin the tail on the donkey, and opened 1-2 gifts." I didn't know any other kind of party existed. I thought it was perfect.
It is different now. More fun in some ways I admit. One of the first "kid parties" I took Hannah to included snow trucked in and dumped in the front yard for kids to sled on. Many parties now have special guests like Darth Vadar or Snow White, pony rides, face painters, or animal farms brought to your home. If you can dream most likely exists. As for goodie bags...they are a popular invention of this decade. The kids love them, and now expect them. My theory is this...only buy them if you love them too. Some parents do! I don't! I handed out blow pops as the kids left and they seemed perfectly happy.

Isn't it entertaining to consider how times have changed? What I really want my child to know is that celebrating this special day marks a moment in my life when a new capacity for love was permanently engraved on my heart. A love so precious, tender, and undeniable that it forever changed who I am. Everyone deserves to be celebrated at least one day a year!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Tame The Lion

La, la, la, la, la, la, la (with fingers in ears) . We don't really want to know about our parent's extracurricular we?! It's possible to run across things we just can't pretend we didn't see. Charisse shares with us one of those memories for her. Giggles guaranteed!

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Scenes From The Season...

Glimpses of Fall...

Outside our home...

Hagdalena Magdalena Hoopensteiner Walendiner Hogan Bogan Logan was her name...
Funny song Andy learned in Kindergarden.
He made a picture of her and we taped it to our front door.

The pumpkin I chose was called a princess pumpkin.
It just made me happy!

Inside Our Home...

Things the kids made in years past...

laminated and used every year.

Fun to remember!

Just little touches here and there...

Autumn Festival Yankee Candle...MMM
Now sold at Target.

This display I keep out all year.

Bought these pumpkin candle holders years ago at Restoration Hardware...

Autumn leaves purchased at Target too!
Love that store...

Buying honey at a roadside stand.

Andy's favorite!

Off to the pumpkin patch...

If you could feel sad at this need prozac!

I have them all well trained.

I'm a picture junkie...

Years ago...


Looking for the perfect pumpkin...

Sword fighting demonstration at the pumpkin patch!
What fun!!

The perfect lunch...pumpkin pie, lattes, and hot chocolate...

Time to go home and make the Jack-O-Lanterns...

A true artist...

He doesn't like to touch the pumpkin guts...

The kids worked together to build this cute haunted house from a kit...

Hannah, Ben, and Andy's creations come to life!


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

I Can't Hear You!

Every mom on the planet has wished for an escape from the noise.

One day my mom was visiting, and she got tired of the chaos and decided to turn off her hearing aids. She commented to me, after I had shouted her name 3 times in close range, that she felt like she could have used the same easy access to silence when she was a young mom. Just like that it hit me! I wasn’t deaf but I could turn down the sound. I ran into our bedroom and pulled out a set of earplugs from a stash my husband uses on business trips. I put them in and walked around the house. It was a miracle! I could see everything and know everyone was safe, but the annoying whining/petty arguments/Barney songs/ just disappeared.

I warn the kids when I have them in so if something serious happens they can come tap me. I even carry a pair in my purse. It’s great if you want to read while at a child’s after school activity, or need to wait in the car and the kids are happily/noisily playing in the back. We all know there are “times in the month” when we are short on patience…yet another opportunity to tune out what might be driving you crazy. It is so easy to do, inexpensive to buy, and could save you from having your own childish outburst. You don't have to be 70 to enjoy some well deserved silence. Give it a try!

Monday, October 26, 2009

We're Smooth

Our first cooking costume no less! Hope you get a big belly laugh, and maybe an idea or two as we share with you how to make healthy smoothies for your family.

Happy Monday everyone. Leave a comment, become a Follower, tell a friend.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Awards Go To...

Love is in the air...Every sight and every sound...Love is in the la la

Thank you friends for an amazing week of reading, laughing, crying and cheering. It makes me feel so proud to be a part of this community. You all amaze me everyday!

The first award came from stirfryawesomeness. She's fabulous and snarky! Her brain works in ways that astound me...and I just hope if I keep stalking her one day I'll grow up to be her twin. Weird I know...anyhoo...thank you so much make this blogosphere a better place.
We bestow this award on the following fabulous blog.

MJ at dirtylilconfessions gave us this totally super cool, slightly psychedelic, friends award. How awesome is that? Super Awesome! We love being her friend...and darn should be her friend too!

In honor of MJ and her blogolicious fabulousness we give this award to...

Accolades to tattoosandteethingrings for giving us the next award. Her blog design is totally unique and so hot! Love it. Also love her posts and great comments. Go over and give her some love.

We think Sissi is Over The Top in the best possible way. Go enjoy her terrific blog.

Stephanie in the City gave us
We read her blog everyday...AND LOVE IT! We happily pass this award on to:

Thanks again to Willoughby, Midday Escapades, and Hillbilly Duhn for highlighting our blog on your websites during the last week. We appreciate the shout outs and the great sense of community that you lovingly encourage.

Looking forward to a great week with y'all. Love...Holly & Charisse

Friday, October 23, 2009

Like A Mouse In A Maze

A recent shopping trip has Charisse up in arms. Come see why?

Happy Friday fellow blogsters! Leave a comment, Follow us, tell a friend!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Bring Back The Monocle

You know you're curious. You've never chatted with your girlfriends about this topic before? Take off your coat, grab a latte and stay tuned for lots of laughs!

Have a wonderful day...we're so glad you came. Leave a comment! Follow us...won't you please! If coming here makes your day a little brighter...Tell a Friend!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

When I'm A Golden Girl

I have this idea called "The Old Age Diary." All of my friends have heard me refer to it. The concept is simple. Create a book, listing what kind of person I want to be when I am in my Golden Years. Here is a snapshot of what mine looks like...

1. Any trip to the bathroom should take minutes, not hours. It is NOT a field trip for heavens sake!
2. Routines are great. Break them often to make life more interesting.
3. Make myself valuable. Volunteer at the local school/library/church, go new places, take a city class, get a personal trainer, try to do one new thing every week.
4. Create a hand signal for my friends and family to use when I'm repeating a story like I've never told it before. Don't get mad or defensive, just laugh it off!
5. If someone or something made me mad and I'm still talking about it with venom a year later, decide to let it go...or get therapy.
6. I am not too old to learn new could make me feel more connected to the world and people I love.
7. Family and friends won't tell me what is really going on in their lives if I go into worry/fret mode. Worry is just another expression of fear, and they don't need MORE of that. Pray for them, encourage them, and ask if I can help.
8. Buy a new pair of "HOT" jeans...just because I can. Work it girl!
9. While I'm at some beautiful bras and panties. No grannies for this granny!
10. Call family and friends regularly. Speak less, listen more, ask questions, always leave them with encouragement.
11. Walk in the rain, stomp in puddles, explore, get messy, roll in the grass, play.
12. Allow people I trust into my life that will tell me the truth, and then really listen to them!
13. Refuse to live in fear. Jesus said "fear not" 365 times in the for each day!
14. Don't deny that it is time to use a cane, get hearing aids, or ask for help.
15. Allow more positive then negative words to exit my mouth.
16. Don't sit at home alone waiting for the world to come to me and make me happy. Get out there and find a place where I can interact with people and belong.
17. Laugh like it's my job...everyday!

I want to live each day of my life believing I have something to offer the world, engaging my mind, body, and spirit. My kids sometimes ask me, "When will I die?" My answer is always, "God has a long to-do list for each person in this world. When that list has been completed He says Well Done and rewards you with Heaven." Until the day that I meet God face to face, I believe He has a purpose for my life, and my to-do list is not finished. This means that He believes my life has meaning every day that I am on this earth regardless of my age. I choose to thank Him for every breath by giving, loving, serving, and showing others the joy He has put into my heart.

What would your "Old Age Diary" look like?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

In The Beginning...

We started taping our conversations back in January 2009 as a test to see if we were crazy, or if there was something entertaining there that we could use. Here is a sampling of our hilarious first moments together trying to figure things out. Enjoy!

*Wanted to send a huge THANK YOU to Hillbilly Duhn for making us her Follower of the week. It warms our hearts to get a shout out from such a fabulous blog. If you don't know her, get over there now! Seriously, stop picking your nose, wipe off your blogger-finger, and click on the link above. She cracks us up...and she loves anything "glow-in-the-dark". Our kind of gal...tee hee.

**Now, are you back from Hillbilly's blog?!
Great...Leave us a COMMENT, become a FOLLOWER, tell a friend!

Monday, October 19, 2009


How is it that at 41 I'm already starting to develop the mentality that I'm too old to do certain things? Three years ago I was in Hawaii with my family and this wonderful woman, probably in her late sixties, came by our in-law's home to drop something off. In conversation with her I learned that she had recently started learning to surf. SURFING! ARE YOU KIDDING ME? There was a twinkle in her eye and she looked so alive.

I saw in her a former me that was now knee deep in motherhood. So busy keeping little people safe that there wasn't time to unearth the part of me that was always looking for an adventure. A longing began to grip me.

Fast forward one year later. It's my 40th birthday celebration and 6 friends have flown to Maui to join me. I've never, in 10 years, left my family for an entire week! One morning we wake up, take in large quantities of Kaanapali coffee, watch the ocean for signs of whale pods, and someone suggests that we go surfing! I feel a swarm of bees, not gentle butterflies, in my stomach. There was an exuberance among these treasured friends that I had never seen, and we all basked in the excitement of taking part in something new, a little dangerous, certainly outside our comfort zone. We screamed and cheered for each other as one by one each woman successfully stood on their board and rode the wave.

If you are a busy wife and mother then probably you are also knee deep in family and community responsibilities. These are all worthy things to spend your energy on, but without time to reconnect to yourself it is easy to feel depleted.

So here is my challenge for you. Think about what makes you feel alive. It doesn't have to be dangerous, but it should give you butterflies to think about it. Maybe it's entering a race, taking a class, starting a business, riding a horse, finding a new hobby, whatever it is...get out there and do it. When you realize how good you feel, you'll be empowered to try the next thing. Each time realizing that with every risk there is an opportunity to explore more of who you are.

One year later my family is back in Maui, and I spend the better part of an afternoon teaching my husband and two of my kids how to surf. It's not just a surf lesson. I'm modeling an appreciation for life, and hopefully the message is getting across to my daughter that no matter what age she is, all of life's adventures are still there waiting for her. A surge of joy courses through my veins, and once again I feel free and alive.

Consider what is holding you back. Is it fear, a lack of belief in yourself, busyness, or something else that is stopping you from remembering who you were before you took on the roles you have now? Then plan a day, or an hour, to dream. Make a list of ideas that intrigue you and take action. Ignore the negative voices in your head because they're stupid and they're lying! Grab a friend to do it with you if you need encouragement. Because whatever it really CAN DO IT! Carpe Diem friends!

Leave a comment, become a Follower, tell a friend to come by for a visit!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Award Sunday Take 2

Hello Again Everyone! I really like doing awards on Sunday, and I dislike waiting too long to say a proper thank please...if you just tuned BOTH posts!

MJ over at sent us some Honest Scrap love today. I've admired that award from afar for quite awhile now, but now it's's really OURS! Thanks MJ! How did you know? Go on over and show her a little love for being such a great commenter and supporter. We adore her blog honesty.

Without further adieu we would like to give this award to...

We were also featured as the guest of the day at Thank you so much Willoughby for your awesome effort to support our blog community by highlighting and hosting guest blogs. Such a great way to encourage each of us in this zany world of blogging. YOU ROCK!

Lee at Hot Flashes...I wish you would stop getting so many awards so that I could give you one...DARN always have them all! Love you dear!! If you haven't been by to visit Lee yet...go there now!

Thanks for the Award!

Allyson of Pink Flip Flops & Wine mommyofmarshall gave us a Lovely Blog Award this week. Sooo sweet! If you don't know her, head on over there now. She is a doll. Her 100th post will happen next be sure to show up for the celebration. You Rock!


I'd like to give it to two beautiful blogs that I really enjoy...

Neva at gave us this super cute award the other day. Gotta love the whole dog motif! She said that Lafawnda her dog loves us "cuz' they VLOG which Lafawnda finds much easier to enjoy since she can't read, and they have Latte in their name and we love coffee!" So kind of you Neva. Thanks for thinking of us. If you haven't been to her blog, head over there gals to add a little bit of sweetness to your day.

We would like to pass this award on to...
*Ally & Lela at
*JennyMac at
*Jenn at
*Erin at The Mother Load
*Allyson of Pink Flip Flops & Wine mommyofmarshall

Gosh, I had to stop somewhere. Truly, I love you all (those mentioned and not mentioned). Thanks for being there, reading, watching, hanging out with us. This blogging thing has been a great experience thanks to all of our Followers. Have a wonderful Sunday everyone!