Thursday, December 30, 2010

Shopping Days!

Without a doubt, the best time of year to shop is after Christmas, and while the sales extend through January, the week after Christmas is simply wonderful. Not only is there still plenty of inventory to choose from, it's available at steep discounts of 70% off or more. Stores offer those great deals trying to get rid of the prior year's product so they can bring in the next wave of over-priced gadgets and gizmos. As an added bonus, most people have already spent what they planned to spend, so they're tapped out by the time Christmas is over. Translation: More sale items for us.
To the Riddle clan: I vote that next year we celebrate on Epiphany, January 6th (the day the Wise-Men brought gifts to Jesus). Just think how much fun we would have cashing in on all the post-Christmas sales?! AND.......we could extend Christmas an additional two weeks by celebrating so late. I'm sure Lisa Dawn is on board with a Christmas extension. Who else is with me? :)

Friday, December 24, 2010

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Monday, December 20, 2010

5 more days! Is your shopping finished? Are your presents wrapped? Is your heart ready to celebrate the Reason for the Season?!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Be Prepared!

I’ve heard and witnessed so many things recently that were such fallacy they blew me away. It is our job as believers to know the Word, to be prepared to given an answer, and to refute things that are unscriptural. If all we do is turn a blind eye to the things of this world, especially things that seem godly, then we’re part of the problem.
2 Timothy 4:2-5

"Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry."
1 John 4:1
Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sunday School Christmas Party!

On Friday we attended the Sunday school Christmas party at church. It was a ton of fun, and I got some cute pics of the family to prove it! Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Checks and Truffles!

I walked upstairs today and saw the picture below. As it turns out, the girls were 'writing checks' to all their stuffed animals. And the line. Was. Long. Hmmmm? Kind of reminded me of our government. Not sure where they got the idea, but clearly they've seen Obama on TV one too many times talking about redistribution of wealth :)
Here are the employees themselves. Cayla brought in the 'clients' and Autumn wrote out the checks. It was too cute, she would ask, "How much do you want?" and Cayla would make up a figure for Autumn to make the check out for.
Look who cut in front of all the 'little animals' and went straight to the front of the line. In his defense, I'm pretty sure he just hoped they were eating something.
Unlike my niece, who takes beautiful, step by step pictures of all her projects, I have a mere TWO! The one below is the ingredients for Oreo Truffles. It's simple. Throw all this stuff together...............
........and you get these (look down). Cute huh? I have to warn you though, the recipe called for Almond Bark (gag) but I decided the Candiquik vanilla looked MUCH better. It was twice as expensive (over $4.00) for that bag and I only had one tiny square left, but it tasted sooooo delicious. These make pretty cute little truffles that taste wonderful. And one more tip....if you don't have a food processor, a blender makes a great Oreo-crusher. I won't be offended if you don't ask for the recipe, but if you do want it, let me know and I'll post it.
p.s. These make a gargantuan MESS. I had nonpareils from one end of the kitchen to another. Fortunately Hoover (a.k.a. Chuck) 'vacuumed' them all up for me :)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A different picture, as often as possible, to make your season merry and bright.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Sunday, December 5, 2010


Christmas Humor!

Friday, December 3, 2010

For Dad and Jim :)

Tonight, on the way home from my in-laws we saw a dog roaming the neighborhood, which sparked the following conversation:
Autumn: Mom, do dogs have to be on a leash?
Me: Yes
Cory: And cats do too, but nobody obeys that law.
Me: It's not even like you can build a fence tall enough to keep a cat in.
Autumn: Well, you could use a shock collar on it!
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!
Thought my dad and father in law would especially love this because of their DISLIKE for cats!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Snow and Thanksgiving!

We had a very nice Thanksgiving complete with snow, although these snow pics were taken after Thanksgiving. Just a few pics for family and friends to enjoy!
Snow pics taken 11/30 - the girls' play set covered in snow!
A tree in our backyard....with the girls' squirrel feeder which Autumn painted :)
The garage awning - just to give you an idea how much snow we have :)
Our backyard....pathway to the garage!
The 'teen' table at Thanksgiving! Clockwise from upper rt: Kelly, Jared, Lisa Dawn, Sierra, Katy, and EJ
Another teen, er um young adult, shot :)
Me, and my dearest friend Becky!
Intently watching the football game!
Adult table - tablecloth was Cory's grandmother's. I love heirlooms!
Whoa! My kitchen is a mess! And there I stand, doing nothing about it while my mom works! Hmmm?!
The kids' table - which later morphed into the dessert table!
Youth table, before the youth arrived!
It was a very Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Table Anatomy!

My husband made a beautiful, farm house style table for our kitchen. It's 8 feet long and seats 10. I am so excited. The best part? The entire table from the wood to the finishing clear coat was around $200.00. He's planning to make a bench for the side with no chairs, but that will have to wait a bit. At least we get to enjoy it for Thanksgiving!

This is the natural, unstained oak butcher block he used to make the entire table.
The staining process.
These are the legs, pre-stain. All 4 legs are pieced together, and this photo shows all of them clamped in place while the glue dries.
The 'greenhouse tent' he installed in the formal living room to create a debris-barrier and warm environment (there's a space heater under there too) to expedite drying times.
The finished product. No turned legs, no intricate detailing, just a beautiful, shaker style farm table designed to last a life time. I wish I'd taken a closer picture, but at least this way the entire table is shown. I really want some new chairs now :) The bench will come fairly soon, but chairs will definitely have to wait!
p.s. The top alone weighs about 300 pounds, so it was a chore to get everything into place. We had to use some creative engineering to allow me to 'help' without using any muscle (because I don't have any :)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Snow Thoughts!

Well, we've officially gotten our first snow of the season. It's only a couple of inches, but it's enough to blanket the city in white and it really does look incredible (we'll discuss driving in it in another post :)
The mildly humorous part about this is the other day Cory and I had the following conversation:
Me: "In holiday movies or TV shows, it's always snowing at Thanksgiving. Where do those people live? The movies/TV shows are made in Hollywood where it never snows. Why do 'they' assume everybody up north experiences white holidays? It rarely snows here at Thanksgiving, but on TV it's always snowy."
Cory: "It's possible to get snow here at Thanksgiving."
Typical Cory response. Limited to as few words as possible to make his point. And he made it. So, here we are with snow at Thanksgiving.
But it really does make me did the holidays come to be associated with snow? In Australia it's summer. Does Santa (or Satan as my niece so lovingly refers to him) wear board shorts? Does he have reindeer? Inquiring minds want to know!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Cory Boy!

I asked Cory what I should blog about and he said, "how cute your husband is." So, for your enjoyment, or amusement, whichever. Be entertained!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Giving Thanks!

It should go without saying that I dearly love my family and hope I do not take them for granted. But what about the little things in life? Those little luxuries that make life more enjoyable, and make the day to day routine a lot more pleasant? In 15 days we'll be sitting around a table with family and friends sharing what we're thankful for, so I wanted to get a head start with a list of 15 THINGS (not people) I'm thankful for:

1) The internet! I'm a research hog and I use it for everything. Just tonight I needed a one minute timer and was too lazy to go upstairs, so I just googled 'online timer' and voila, before I knew it I was counting down a minute.

2) Sharpies! No permanent marker writes as deep, dark and flawlessly as a Sharpie.

3) Automatic ice makers! I drink a lot of water, and I like it icy cold. So after many years of filling (and spilling on my way to the freezer) those stupid little plastic trays, I am oh so grateful for my automatic ice maker.....p.s. I think mine's on steroids because it makes a ton of ice!

4) Multi-ply toilet paper! If you think this sounds ridiculous, visit a restroom with single-ply paper. It's the scourge.

5) Fleece! It's wintery around these parts, so it made the list. But seriously, is there anything more delicious than the feel of a soft, fluffy, fleece, pick one....sweatshirt, jacket, vest, robe, etc.?

6) Silicone bakeware! From spatulas to muffin pans, it comes in a wide array of colors, can handle temperatures over 500 degrees and allows baked goods to pop out like they were self propelled.

7) Post-It Notes! No matter how much electronic capability I have within my reach, nothing reminds me of a priority better than a brightly colored 3 x 3 piece of paper stuck to my....again, pick one......mirror, microwave, refrigerator, computer, etc. :)

8) Facebook! Sure, this could probably fall under 'internet' but it's my list and I wanted it to be it's own category. Could I live without it? Sure! Should I live without it? Probably. Do I plan to live without it? No. I love having a super quick glance into the daily lives of my friends and family. From seeing the latest pictures of their twinkly-eyed offspring, to learning what they're doing at that precise moment, to realizing how frustrated they are with the salesperson who won't take no for an answer, it's a phenomenal way to stay instantly connected.

9) Target! It’s my happy place. I’m always in the mood to go there and I rarely leave empty-handed.

10) Fur-trimmed apparel! I’ll admit it, I pet the cuffs on my coat and the collars on my vests.

11) Notecards! I have a pretty nice collection of them. It’s a quick, thoughtful way to convey my feelings. And who doesn’t love getting mail?

12) Gum! I’ve considerably slowed down my chewing, but I still love a good piece of gum, especially bubble gum.

13) Blueberries! They’re a powerhouse! A super food. They’re especially good when they’re dipped in caramel; even if it does take away from the nutritional value.

14) Magnets! I love them. Whether they’re the glassy little gems you stick on your metal bulletin board, or the rare earth magnets that can secure a small child to the refrigerator door, they’re fun.

15) Hairspray! I’m guessing this one doesn’t need any explanation.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Gothic Gala!

Wow! Two posts in one day. What is this blog coming to?! You know I love Halloween, and I've always hosted some type of party. When the girls were smaller, it was pretty kid focused, but as they've gotten older, it's transformed into more of a dinner party with friends. This year's theme was Gothic, and let me tell you, I knew precious little about Goth, so I did some research. Lots of black and white, and I threw sheets over my furniture to give the room a look of ruin. No matter the decor, we ate all evening, played cards for hours, and we all had a great time! Happy Halloween!

Bathroom Renovation

As promised, I finally have before and after pictures of our main bathroom. So far Cory has re-done the master bath, the main bath and added a 1/2 bath in the basement (it's functional, but not complete). He's done an awesome job, seeing as how he's taken both baths down to the studs and the sub floors, and even had to re-do the door and frame on the main bath. In between these two, he re-did his parents master bath as well. I personally love the medicine cabinet. He custom made it so I could have a huge mirror and cabinet that worked with the bathroom's style. The first picture is the before pic, then the working phase, followed by a few of the completed pictures. I think we're done remodeling.....for a few minutes :)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

What about Halloween?

I've added a new poll to the right, so I hope you'll add your vote over there and put in your comments here. Do you celebrate Halloween, or do you avoid it like the plague? What about Fall Festival or Harvest? Do your kids dress up? Trick or Treat? Hand out candy? What about other traditions specifically acknowledged on October 31st?
I'm pretty old-school and traditional. While I don't like scary or evil costumes, I do let my girls dress up and go trick or treating in my in-laws neighborhood with my husband and father in law. I stay at the in-laws' home handing out candy (because my mother in law doesn't like doing it) and commenting to all the trick or treaters about their cute, scary, or inventive costumes. When the girls come home we indulge in home made pizza and sort through their loot.
So that's our Halloween, and I look forward to it every year!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Scaredy Cat!

Because Halloween is right around the corner, I thought I'd make a few true confessions....with a list of things I'm afraid of. And I don't mean things I hate. I mean things that scare me to death, make my heart race and my palms sweat.
1) Heights - I have a sincere fear of heights, real or perceived. Scenes from movies or television where someone is mountain climbing, skydiving, or working on top of a building...ewww! Even though I know the scenes are fake, I still can't handle them. The photo below is a vintage photo entitled, "Lunch Atop a Skyscraper" and I've always hated it.
2) Confined Spaces - Whether it's being trapped under water, in a cave or simply in a small, tight space, I have extreme claustrophobia.
3) Spiders - I can handle them if they're small and not on me. But heaven help the spider that makes the mistake of crawling on, or too near me. I'll never forget the time I was working at my computer and a spider dropped down on its web, right in front of me. I almost had a coronary.
4) Parasites - Particularly the kind that are difficult to rid, like lice, or bed bugs. Eeeek!
5) Plants - Not all plants, but any kind with a thick, fleshy stem or long, dangly leaves make my skin crawl. Think varieties like aloe, or the spider plant.

Friday, October 8, 2010