Shoe Dazzle!

By Trisha
This is an awesome site for shoes, jewelry and handbags and it is personalized just for you. Each month, you will receive your personalized selections and you can choose to buy or not. The best thing, everything is $39.95!! Even better, if you don't like the selections they make for you, you can look at other styles that aren't in your personal showroom. And it is all the fabulous idea of Kim Kardashian, a style icon.

I have not bought anything yet, but once I'm teaching and earning a paycheck again I will treat myself to some new shoes every couple months. I have many favorites.

This is my personal link, if you want to sign up and buy some fabulous fashions:

You can sign up and post your own link and invite your own friends and family to join. When they do and three people have purchased something, you will get a credit for a free pair of shoes, purse or jewelry! And who doesn't like free shoes?? Or free jewelry? Or a free purse?

Painted Shirts & Hat Boxes

By Trisha
Trophy Dad Shirt

Dragon Shirt

Hat Box Lids

Hat Boxes

Embroidered Shirts I've Finished

By Trisha
Fishing at the Lake

Fishing Out of Water

Fish Shirt

Elk Shirt #1

Elk Shirt #2

Duck Shirt-My Favorite

Cabin Shirt

Jewelry I've Made For Christmas

By Trisha
Red & Gold Star Necklace and Earring set

Dragonfly Ribbon Necklace & Earring Set in Purple & Blue

Dragonfly Ribbon Necklace & Earring Set in Purple & Turquoise

Fiath-Hope-Love Bracelet Trio

Hummingbird Ribbon Necklace

Heart Charm Bracelet Trio

Butterfly Ribbon Necklace & Earring Set

Black & Silver Ankle Bracelet


Christmas Is Almost Here!

By Trisha
And I'm almost ready. I have all the boxes ready to ship out tomorrow and by the garage door. I just need to put them in my car for the morning. The thing I need to figure out is how I'm going to get then all into the post office in one trip by myself.
After the post office to mail off packages and Christmas cards, I have plans to hit the grocery store to buy what I need to do my baking and cooking. I'm starting my baking today with Peanut Butter balls, because I have everything I need for them already. I might make the Spritz cookies today, too, but we'll see how long it takes me to do the Peanut Butter Balls. I'll bake tomorrow afternoon and through the week until I'm done. I have 10 treats I'm making this year and I'll post the recipes as I get them done and have time, but they will all be up by Christmas. Two a day is good and then I can deliver our treat trays on Sunday, but you never know. I could do more than that if time allows.
After the baking, I still have some shirts to do, but they shouldn't take long. That is once I decide what designs to do.
Our Christmas Eve dinner is going to be turkey and ham with stuffing, rolls and green beans. Christmas Day dinner, I'm following Culpepper tradition with a prime rib, mashed potatoes, gravy, salad and rolls. I'm going to make breakfast after we open gifts-candied bacon, hashbrowns, eggs and waffles. I'm going to make a pumpkin roll for dessert and pick up a chocolate silk pie and a cherry pie for Jarom.
I'm excited for Christmas but I wish we lived closer to family so we could spend the holidays with them. But we were really blessed to be able to spend Christmas and New Years with family the last two years in Oregon and this year I just wanted to stay home in our house. I had hopes family would come to us, but now such luck. Oh well. It will still be a nice Christmas and really relaxed.
I've been working on an afghan for my sister but it's just too much for me to get done before Christmas. I didn't start soon enough. I've been making jewelry and I've made some of my best pieces, ever, I think. I've embroidered a number of shirts and painted two. Hat boxes decoupaged. As I finished everything, I wrapped them and put them under the tree. Now, our tree looks sad with most of the gifts packed and ready to ship. Guess I better get busy on Jarom's stuff so it doesn't look so bare.
I hope everyone is having a great season filled with happiness and joy.

A Little Closer

By Trisha
I am a little closer to being done with Christmas. I have two gifts to finish that are on the "to be shipped" list; a necklace and an afghan. I have until next Wednesday to complete them. I know I can get the necklace done, but I'm really stressing about the afghan. Jarom had to remind me last night that when I make gifts I'm supposed to enjoy myself and I'm starting to stress too much and not have any fun anymore. He reassured me that if I don't get the afghan done we can buy something, and I can send the afghan later. Not really what I want to do, but I think that may just be what will happen. I started early this year, but not quite early enough. Oh well. I also had to scrap the table runners for our moms and those will be their Mother's Day gifts and the necklaces that were going to be Mother's Day gifts are now their Christmas gifts. And, sadly, I had to resort to boxed Christmas cards this year. My stitched beaded cards take about 1 1/2 hours to do each and when you have about 120 to do, it is a big time investment, so I will work on them throughout 2011 and they will be our card next year.

I've been burning the candle at both ends the last few weeks, too. And, Jarom reminded me that if I'm not careful, I will get sick.

All the gifts that are complete are just about all wrapped. I have about half a dozen more to wrap tonight that are done, after I'm done here that is. The rest of this week i will be working hard on that afghan and the necklace won't take much time at all to do. Tomorrow, I'm making a pumpkin roll for Jarom's Christmas party on Friday and one for our neighbors. I want to give them a day to really set up, so I thought I'd do it tomorrow instead of Thursday.

Next Thursday, I will get everything over to the post office and shipped off to their various destinations. I'll get all the grocery shopping done for my baking and Christmas Eve and Christmas dinner. I have 10 treats to make for our treat tray and I wasn't going to make anything new this year but I found three new recipes that sound fantastic and can't pass up-Oreo Cookie Balls, Cosmo Cookie Bars and Chocolate Filled Cookie Bonbons. They sound scrumptious! Those are in addition to my "old" regulars and "new" regulars from last year-Lemon Bells, Peanut Butter Balls, Spritz Cookies, Gumdrop Fudge, Cranberry Swirl Biscotti and Chocolate Fruitcake. MMMM! Yummy! I can't wait! I think this is what I'm really looking forward too and why I'm losing steam on making gifts; but I can't do my baking too early or they will go bad, so I'll start them all next weekend.

I've pretty much got our dinner list ready for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day dinners. We'll have all the traditional sides, but this year we are having turkey and ham on Christmas Eve for dinner and prime rib (Culpepper family tradition) for Christmas Day dinner. And I'll do that shopping next week, too, when I get everything for my baking.

And that is what has been happening the last couple weeks-working on gifts, creating grocery lists, crossing things off lists and so on.

Happy Holidays, everyone!!!

What a Wonderful Thanksgiving

By Trisha
Once again, this it's been awhile since my last post. It was a wonderful Thanksgiving. Although we had to travel, we didn't have to travel out of state, only about 3 hours south to Santa Cruz/Watsonville. We stayed at my Aunt Tracy and Uncle Dustin's house and had a great time. Thanksgiving and our days and evenings were spent at Aunt Teresa's in Watsonville. There were 18 of us this year. It was a bit cramped but it was cozy. I so love my family. I am so blessed with a big loving family that gets along well, and a fantastic husband. Two dogs and I cat I love and whom love me very much, a home, clothing on my back, food to eat, and great friends-and that is just the beginning of so many blessings I'm blessed with. I could never name or count all of them.

The days were spend together playing games, eating, of course, visiting, watching football and a little shopping early Saturday morning at Joann's in Salinas. I took a pre-made quilt with me for all of us to design a square with oil pastels and set it with a hot dry iron. I took an couple ornament kits too, but we didn't make them as a group, so I gave one to Coley and sent the other home with Madison and Emily. I tried to work on our card fronts but I only completed one and a half, so I have more than enough work cut out to do to get them done. I had hoped to get about 30 done to send in the envelopes with the finished family calendar and family address sheet that I finally finished. Mom and Dad were kind enough to take the Oregon calendars home with them and Uncle Derek & Aunt Michelle the Utah ones. It only took me a year and a half to finish the family calendar but they are done and all are out except for 4, which will go out in the mail when I mail our gifts on December 15th.

I forgot to take our camera so I don't have any personal pictures, but Coley took plenty and they will soon be on Facebook and I can transfer some over here in a few days.

I know tonight I should be working on Christmas gifts, but I have yet to put up out Christmas tree and decorations. This is the latest I've ever decorated. If they are not up the day after Thanksgiving they always go up the weekend after and here we are almost a week later and they are just sitting in the storage bins in the living room waiting for me. When I'm done, it's back to work on Christmas stuff. Tomorrow, hopefully I will get out and finish what shopping I have left for gifts/stocking stuffers and supplies for gifts and baking.

I'm not doing any new Christmas treats this year. Last year, I tried a number of new recipes and through that experience I found holiday recipes for this year and the years to come: Peanut Butter Balls, Chocolate Truffles, Lemon Bells, Gumdrop Fudge, Iced Pumpkin Cookies, Cranberry Biscotti, Spritz, and Chocolate Fruitcake.

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving, too!

Den's Welcome Home Party

By Trisha

Paul & Oriana's Wedding in Oregon

By Trisha

Brycen & Kylie's Wedding in Utah

By Trisha
Hillary, Coley & Me

Coley & Tori-Tori got frosting on Coley's Nose

Our Family (And this is only about half of us)

Coley & Me

Whitney, Ada (our newest cousin) & Coley

Coley, Emily & Me (on a mission for some flowers and headpiece for Tori)


First Hug As Husband & Wife

Little Johnathen with my Mom & Dad

Tori, the beautiful flower girl

The G Crew


Busy Summer Right Into A Busy Fall & Winter

By Trisha
I'm sorry to all our friends and family that regularly read our blog, for not being very good at keeping this up-to-date. It has been a busy summer, as I said before in my last entry with weddings and making wedding gifts. It has been a good season for our family-full of weddings and engagements-lots of happy times. I'm still working on wedding gifts-I have fallen behind on completing them and getting them out. Today, was Chad and Kylie's wedding in the Salt Lake Temple. I had hoped to go but with others things going on, I just couldn't make it. We have one more wedding in December, but not only do I have that wedding gift to do, but I have four others to do. I thin I've fallen behind because I've gotten a little burned out with all the gift making, but I'm back up and working to get them done.

Once I get the last five wedding gifts completed, I have Christmas to get going on and I need to get busy. I have been burning a slide show to DVD for my family from my Grandpa's funeral last year. I know-it has taken me a long time to get them burned and ready to go out. I've also been working on a family calendar and address book. With all the weddings and new family additions, it is time to get everyone updated. I have 27 to make and mail by the year's end. I'm plan to make our Christmas card this year, too, and I plan for it to be a stitched card. Finally, I have to decide what to do for Christmas gifts this year. I have ideas, but I haven't sat and drawn everything out and made a plan.

As if I don't have enough I'm trying to get done, but I'm still looking for a job. I spend a couple hours each day looking and applying for jobs. I don't know if I'm applying for jobs I'm overqualified for or if I'm under qualified or if employers are weary because I haven't worked for two years. I know the market is still tight, but I haven't even received a call, just emails that my resume/application has been received. I've also picked up my studying for the CBEST too. Teaching is my dream and I need to just go for it. I won't ever be really happy working if I don't do what I love and teaching is what I love.

That is about it, other than hanging out with the neighbors on the weekends out front while the kids play in the cul-de-sac. Now, stay tuned for pictures from some of summer's biggest events for our family.

Alomost 5 Months!

By Trisha
I can't believe it had been almost five months since I last posted anything. My, time flies when you are staying busy.

We have be staying busy with family activities and the next two months are filled with weddings and traveling to attend them. In between then, we have family visiting us too. First, my Uncle Derek and Aunt Michelle with be here with Blake, Madison, Emily and Porter for the Track & Field Championships that are in Sacramento this year at Sac City College. Emily is the only one this year to make it to the Championships and I'm a very proud cousin-of all of them of course, since this is for the Junior Olympics. Blake was injured or he'd be running too; such a bummer. This trip for them is also a family vacation so we plan to have dinner one night and I'll watch Em run, but I don't plan to take up all their family time. Aunt Teresa and Uncle Paylor will hopefully still come down, too and we will probably do a breakfast on Sunday before everyone heads home.

Just three days after that is all over, Jarom's parents will be flying in for a week long visit. No plans, but then we don't usually have any. We fly by the seat of our pants. They will leave on a Wednesday and I will turn around on Friday and drive with Aunt Teresa and Coley to Utah for my cousin, Kylie's wedding. I'm very excited! I had planned to fly but Aunt texted last week and said her and Coley were going and so now it's a Girls Road Trip!

At the end of August, the High Tech's new building is being dedicated and we will be in attendance to that. Oh, next weekend we are camping at Meadow Lake with friends. Labor day weekend we will be in Prineville, OR for my brother-in-law's wedding. The following week, we are supposed to be in Vegas fro a friends' wedding, but unfortunately, I just don't think with all the travelling and activities going on that we can reasonably afford it. I'd so love to be there with all our friends to celebrate. But let's face it, they all live near their families and don't have to travel out of state much-not like us and so money isn't as much of an issue for them as us, unfortunately.

June was pretty quiet. July 2 my cousins were here for an overnight visit on their way back home from Southern California. Well, my cousin, John, his fiance, Katie and her son, Josh were here. They are planning on getting married next summer sometime, I think. They've only been engaged a short time so they haven't really thought about a date. It was awesome to have them stop since we are just of I-5 and that was the highway they were travelling. Katie and I are a lot alike and we got along famously. We could talk for hours and we did just that. John and Jarom are the same. Josh and I had fun. He played the Wii Fit and then Mario Bros. We had steak, potatoes, rolls, green salad and fruit for dinner and dessert was my Strawberry Shortcake cookies* and/or Chocolate Silk Pie. Josh and I made him a foam bulletin board and then we colored some canvas fabric puppets I had on hand. I felt bad, because it was almost midnight when we went to bed. I knew they wanted to leave early, so I didn't plan to keep them up late. We all just talked so much we lost track of time. I made us breakfast of french toast, brown sugar bacon and fruit in the morning. I was up at 4am so they could get on the road by 5, but I don't think they got out of her until 6am. Oops. :o) Jarom and I left around noon to head down to Watsonville for the 4th holiday. We had a lot of fun-Aunt Teresa had a fairly large party and all the family here was together for fireworks and dessert. (*I created a cookie recipe-that is my Strawberry Shortcake Cookie-I have yet to share the actual recipe with anyone but a few select individuals in my family, but I will soon. I may enter a contest with it-it is my neighbor's new favorite cookie and I have other ideas for cookies, with different ingredients.)

Last weekend, the neighbors had a birthday pool party for Madysen and Trenton. Trenton turned 2 on the 4th and Madysen 5 on the 7th. It was a lot of fun-started at 11am and went until about 6 or 7pm. I even put on a suit and got in the pool. I had a lot of fun with all the kids. I had Trenton a lot. He wanted to be in the pool with all the kids but not just on the step, so he would bounce with me then he wanted to jump in to me. He'd jump in and bounce up and down a bit and then want me to lift him up onto the edge so he could jump back in to me. At one point he was with one of the other girls and got a hold of a water missile, filled it with water and pointed it right at me with a big grim and released the water. What could I do but laugh. I got quite a sunburn though. I sued my sunscreen and kept putting it on but I think I need to move up the SPF from 30 to 100. ;o) I was trying to be so careful. I am now peeling and it itches, but at least I have some color other than my pasty white.

During the week, I'm applying for jobs and finishing projects. I have a wedding quilt to finish and other wedding gifts started that need finishing before wedding in the couple months. A lot are embroidery projects. I'm teaching the YW how to cook some authentic Guamanian dishes on the 28th.

I've decided I'm ready to go back to work. I've been off my antidepressant for a year now and I'm doing really good. My sleeping habits would get better if I had a job again. It doesn't have to be full-time but if it is the right job, I wouldn't mind it. I'm ready to get out of the house and meet new people. I don't much leave the house. It would be nice to have a little more disposable income again, too. It would allow us to do a bit more, although we are doing well on the one income. All around it would be good for me to work again, I don't' have much reason to stay home without children. I'm really excited about a couple I applied for last week, but we will see what happens. There isn't much out there and a lot people applying for the same positions so it is very competitive. This is our one weekend we have nothing going on-a breather before all the activity starts up again-more for me than Jarom, but he has to work all week.

I guess I'll go have some cereal and start working on a wedding project that needs worked on and get it done, so I can work on the next one and the quilt later today.

Happy Summer, everyone!!

Unpacking Boxes

By Trisha
Yes, I still have unpacked boxes...even after almost two years. The last couple weekends, Jarom and I have been trying to finally finish unpacking what boxes we have left in the garage and deciding to put things away in the house or donate the items to charity. About a month ago, i cleaned out my closet and dresser drawers and eliminated about half of the clothing I had-we donated that and some other household things (kitchen items, etc.) to the VA. They were coming around the following week to do a pick-up, so it worked out great!

Jarom has found my stash of candles amongst other things. This weekend we brought in the big box full of all my Barbie Collector Dolls. I brought Madysen over this afternoon and showed them all to her. She just kept saying, "Ooh. Aah." I ended up giving her the 10th Anniversary Holiday Barbie Collector Doll and a Tea Party Barbie Collector doll. It was a tough conversation and lesson for her to learn that they have to stay in the box and not to play with them because they are "special" dolls. She wanted to have a tea party with them. To solve that dilemma, I invited her over next weekend to have a tea party with me, suing the tea set my Grandma painted for me when I was about Madysen's age. I will substitute tea with apple juice and we will have Snickerdoodle cookies or chocolate chip cookies-whichever I make while Jarom's parents are here this weekend, too.

In addition to all my Barbies, Jarom found a huge box with all the missing sheets and blankets. We have been wondering we donated them accidentally at some point last summer, but he found them. They've all been washed, folded and put away too. He is so great!

I have been missing most of my craft books and asked if he had come across it, yet. he told me no, so we went out before watching our movie to see if we could find the box. It was the first one Jarom looked in. This box was huge too! We had to transfer its contents to a Rubbermaid tote and bring it in in two loads. I've sorted through it all and it is all compacted into on Rubbermaid load. I have a pile for donation, a pile to shred and a pile to recycle. One day this week, I am devoting to my craft room to reorganize and put all my craft books away, along with a box of stamp pads that I've been wondering if I accidentally donated too. I'm so excited!

Jarom and I watched "Law Abiding Citizen" this afternoon. It wasn't too bad. I was with Madysen during part of it so I missed about half of it. What I did see wasn't bad.....interesting. Tonight, we are going to watch "Couple's Retreat" when Jarom gets home from work.

For dinner this evening, I made a roast pork loin seasoned with garlic, paprika, Lawry's season salt and black pepper. I baked it for about an hour at 350 degrees and it was juicy and oh so yummy. We had baked potatoes with it since I didn't give it any thought as to sides until Jarom asked what we were going to have with it. I made Cocoa Rice Krispies treats for dessert.

I sat down and worked out exactly what I've cooking for meals while Jarom's parents are here. They arrive Thursday and leave next Tuesday, so I needed to plan breakfasts, lunches, dinners and desserts, as well as snacks. I have pot roast planned one night with veggies and fresh made bread; pork dumplings, stir fry veggies and rice; turkey & jack chimichangas and salad; chicken fettuccine and salad; stuffed skirt steaks, baked potatoes and fresh baked bread for dinners. Lunches are going to be very simple-sandwiches with chips, soups and/or leftovers. For breakfasts: waffles; cereal/toast; bacon, eggs, hashbrown potatoes; trail mix muffins; cinnamon orange sweet rolls. As far as snacks go, I have chips and salsa, snack mix, pistachios, and some fruit. For desserts: cookies-various kinds; cookies & creme freezer cake; rice krispy treats; grilled vanilla peaches and ice cream or frozen yogurt. They are meat and potatoes type of people so some of my meal plans are a bit bold, but they should be used to that by now. If they don't like it they will find something else to eat.

I did all this sorting and planning while watching "Law Abiding Citizen" and recorded movies on the DVR from this weekend that were on ABC Family: "My Fake Fiance", "The Wedding Date", "The Karate Kid" and "The Karate Kid II". The dogs have kept me company. I just copied "The Potty Dance" to a DVD-R disc for the neighbor from Pull-Ups. Mr. Trenton is talking about going potty and he goes into the bathroom, but after he has already gone in his diaper. He will soon be learning to go on the toilet and this fun song and dance will hopefully help and continue to encourage him. I've known about the song and dance for about a year. I saw it featured on a show last year while flipping one day when it was really hot outside. The last few weeks, I've seen it in a couple of my magazines, well pictures of the steps to the song and it reminded me of it. I told Leanne about it and I've given her the page out of the magazine and a copy of the video that I downloaded from the site. You can find the video at:

It's been busy but productive weekend and I suppose now I should get to bed so that I can get up at a decent hour and not sleep the day away.

Birthday Celebration

By Trisha
Finally, this weekend we celebrated with my family, out birthdays. It was low-key and I really dropped the ball as far as my meal and activity planning. It was very relaxed. I just did sandwiched, chips and salsa and carrots for lunch; spaghetti, salad and garlic bread for dinner. I made lemon bars and cheesecake for dessert and we had champagne, apple-pomegranate sparkling cider and Merlot.

After all, we weren't just celebrating our birthdays. We were celebrating Coley and Victor's engagement. Coley's ring is gorgeous and they are so happy and excited. I did a toast to them last night at dinner and then Coley did a toast to Jarom and I for our birthdays.

We made a quick trip to Target to get a specific game everyone wanted to play. The Investigation Discovery channel was on all day until just before dinner when it was changed to the Olympics. We all got to visit and laugh and just be together and celebrate all of the little and BIG moments in life.

Aunt Tracy and Uncle Dustin gave me a fun appetizer cookbook. I can't wait have something to try some of the recipe out on and they gave Jarom a grilling cookbook. I'm always looking for new recipes for the grill, too.

Aunt Tracy and Uncle Dustin had to leave in the evening to get back home to Duke, but it was great of them to come out just for the day. I was so happy they came, because it is kind of a drive for just a day trip.

This morning, us girls went to JoAnn's and returned home just in time for lunch. After I got everyone situated for lunch, I started cookies. I told Victor I'd make him some fresh Snickerdoodles and then Jarom wanted his Oatmeal Cranberry cookies, so I spent the next couple hours in the kitchen making cookies while the rest of them played Phase 10 and watched the Olympics.

The dogs loved all the attention and treats they got, too. After everyone left, Jarom, the dogs and I took a nap, did laundry (which I'm still doing) and I'm updating my blogs. It was a laid back weekend. Nothing spectacular but I think everyone enjoyed themselves. I have a lot planned to do and work on this week.

Today, I feel better than I have in 4 weeks. The phlegm and congestion seems to be all gone. No coughing and my voice sounds more normal again--and all just overnight. Just Saturday I was still having cough fits when I laughed. It's great! I feel great! Jarom bought me "Just Dance" for the Wii and I'm so excited to start dancing with it and getting this weight off, with the Wii, "Just Dance" and "Wii Fit". I haven't worked out at all this year because of this cold and now it's gone and I can get busy!!

Valentine's Day

By Trisha
Well, it wasn't my idea of a great Valentine's Day but it was okay. It wasn't horrible and I spent time with the munchkins next door for a few hours. I told Leanne and Wallace to take advantage of the fact that Jarom was out of town to have a Valentine's date without the kids. They took me up on that offer and went to lunch together and a winery.

I spent Friday night and Saturday working on Valentine's Day projects making gifts and cards for the kids. I had fun learning projects for them to color and learn with and made fun foam message boards for each of them; in addition to a few other little things-a wooden plane for Trenton that I painted and put together myself. Madysen colored a flower pot and I gave her some seeds to plant in it, too. I made some fun little cards with the cricut, glitter glue, and stickers. I had a lot of fun doing it all and putting it all together. When they returned from their date, they brought me some beautiful flowers-pink and white carnations, heirloom roses, lilies, etc. Beautiful!

Madysen and Trenton and I had fun on our own, too. We colored and played games and had our tickle wars like we do every time we are together.

I gave Leanne her belated birthday gift too. I made a few pairs of earrings for her and gave a devotional book and some hand lotion.

My sweetheart made it home before midnight from Oregon. He had to leave suddenly to take care of some things at his parent's home and it took him away for the last half of the week. When he came in he had a dozen red roses, bottle of champagne and two of my favorite magazines. All I gave him was some chocolate, which I owe him some more because I had a HUGE craving and dug into his. Thankfully, Monday was a holiday for Jarom and I had the whole day together, but we spent it mostly in bed. He was exhausted and I was still fighting this crap. the cold part was gone but I was still battling this horrible cough and congestion and phlegm. I couldn't even laugh without having a coughing fit, but at least I got to spend that extra day with him before he went back to work.

Our Birthdays

By Trisha
My sister and brother-in-law were sick at Christmas and my mom and dad got it. Jarom got it shortly after he got home. I was surprised that I didn't get it but the week of my birthday I got sick. I started to feel better for a few days and then it seemed to hit me again, harder the second time around. We had a birthday celebration planned for my birthday weekend with family for both Jarom and me but I had to cancel. I couldn't let family and friends come over if I was feeling yucky and put them at risk to get sick.

And then, there is Mr. Victor. I would feel absolutely awful if he came over and got sick and it caused more complication for him. Especially four months after his kidney transplant. We rescheduled for this past weekend and the details about all that is coming up.

Jarom and I did go to Safeway and picked up the perfect slice of chocolate cake that was really like four normal size pieces of cake. We also stopped by Baskin & Robbins for a little ice cream cake. My Jarom doesn't like cake so I have to do pie or ice cream for him, so I got to enjoy the best of both worlds.

He bought me my Cricut Expression for my birthday. I'm so excited! I've convinced him to let me get the Yudu, too, but he wants to be sure we have the full amount to buy it and pay for it all on the website, rather than do the payment plan, so we are taking a few months to save the money and not put a crunch on our finances.

I didn't buy him anything but that is because with his bonus I agreed to him buying a new 47" flat-panel LCD HDTV and blu-ray player. He's so happy. We have both enjoyed it quite a bit and he loves it! The following weekend, was the UFC fight with Couture and some other guy and the Super Bowl so we invited our guests to stay have a little celebration with us on Sunday after the game for our birthdays.

Watching the Munchkins

By Trisha
I have been watching the munchkins next door more. I watched them shortly after returning from home for the holidays and we had a blast. We read, colored, had tickle wars, played with toys and games, watched cartoons and had a snack. It was fun.

I went over a few days later and Madysen always comes up to give me a hug but this time Trenton came up and gave me a hug, too. It was so sweet. He was finally getting comfortable with me.

Since then, I've watched them half a dozen times or so. Both Leanne and Wallace go to school on Tuesday night and if her brother can't watch the kids for some reason then I get the great pleasure of doing it and we have quite a bit of fun. I've watched them a few times on the weekends so Leanne and Wallace can have time together too.

Madysen is just so smart. Sometimes she really amazes me, but Trenton is no dummy. He is getting to the point where you can see it in his eyes that he is learning something new and he's starting to talk and learn words. I can't believe he will be two in 5 months.

2009 Holidays at Home

By Trisha
Wow! I can't believe I'm two months behind on this blog, so I'm going to sit here while I wait for all the laundry to get done and update them. I just finished updating my food blog and now I need to do out family blog. The laundry seems to be taking forever to dry, so I should have plenty of time to get this baby updated.

We went home for Christmas and spent the holiday with my parents, sister and brother-in-law. It was so awesome to finally have a Christmas with my parents after 9 years. We've been home for the holidays but we always seems to spend Christmas Day alone or with Jarom's family so I was so excited to have this year with my parents.

It was nice and calm and stress-free. Our drive was a bit long because we didn't really sleep well the night before leaving and I drove about 3/5's of the way. I had to insist at one point because I caught Jarom's eyes drifting a couple times. It was dry on the CA side. Once we got to Mount Ashland, I was driving and it was a little slick with some thin ice and freezing fog, but we got through it safely and the rest of the way was just kind of drizzly.

We got gift cards for our favorite stores, games, and other fun little things. The dogs had fun, but then they always do when they get a lot of attention. Mom and I made lots of homemade dog treats for them and they loved Dad for sharing little bites of his meals too.

While we visited, Steve and Tiff were in my old bedroom (the guest room now). Mom didn't park in the garage while we were there, instead Dad moved his vette and he turned the vette's little garage into our little chateau. It was like having out own hotel room, the only downfall was no bathroom so we would have to get all dressed and bundled up to go inside and use the bathroom if we needed it in the middle of the night. Dad set it up all cozy for us. It is already carpeted in there but he went out and bought a couple really nice area rugs and set up the Aero bed on top. He put in a heater that kept it nice a toasty and even insulated the garage door more so that the wind wouldn't whistle and get drafty. I put both dog beds in front of the heater but Miss decided she wanted to sleep next to me. Her bed ended being next to me and Gus next to Jarom in front of the heater.

Jarom had to head home the Sunday after Christmas, so he drove home with the dogs but I stayed behind until the 3rd and flew home. I moved into the guest room or my old bedroom after my Sister had to get back on the road on the 29th and cleaned up my chateau room so Dad could tuck his vette back in when he returned from Utah.

My Dad had to go to Utah just after Christmas because his step-dad passed away and he went for the funeral. He was going to drive but the weather caused him to change his mind and fly or I was really thinking about going with him for the three days but we couldn't afford a plane ticket at the last minute for me to go with him but it was just fine because my Mom and I had some time together. My Aunt Steph came out one day and the three of us went shopping. My Aunt Val took me to Newberg one day to see my cousins Sherry, Dennis, Carmel and Devante. It was a great visit and I was able to see Sherry's cute home. My Uncle Pat came out one afternoon with his wife and my two little cousins. I love Billie, I just have a hard time calling her Aunt Billie. Billie is the same age and Jarom and I and it is just kind of awkward for me, but hopefully she doesn't take it personally. Jaxson and Gabriel are just too cute.

Dad's birthday is on New Year's Eve and we had family over for cake and ice cream. Mom stayed up with me until midnight and then we headed to bed...after I texted Jarom "Happy New Year".

The rest of my visit was just relaxing, reading, and what-not until my flight home Sunday morning on the 3rd. Jarom was right there when I arrived, but it was lunch time when I arrived so we stopped by In-&-Out for lunch. It was so good. We haven't had that for a long while so it was nice.