30 December 2006

bring it on...

From our family to yours; wishing you a happy and healthy new year.

Thank you for stopping by, all of the nice comments, emails, advice, inspiration and understanding. We are hoping for a great new year.

We have a lot of change that could come next year. My MRI showed that I have another bulging disc in my fusion, but the fusion is not broken. The disc is just bulged again, although I have no idea why you can herniate a disc in the place that you have a fusion. So more meds for me, woohoo :( I do get to have epidural injections in mid-January, and beyond that, I am not sure if I am prepared to do anything else.

Paul has been desperately searching for good, stable jobs locally. The economy just stinks here. All of the viable offers have been out of state or out of country. He tried commuting to Chicago and that just did not work, he got extremely depressed being away from us. So, where-ever or whatever the decision is, Caden and I will follow, after the end of the school year. Paul was contacted by a company in the UK, and they will be meeting with him this next week. This would be a huge opportunity for his career. It would also be "fun" to travel and learn different cultures. At least it is an English speaking country. There have been other offers to places way way away. It is the thoughts of what are we going to do about Caden's schooling, my medical problems and what would we do with the house that swim through my head at night. We will just jump over that hurdle when and if it comes.

Paul and I had a lovely night last night. My cousin Sarah saved our day and was able to watch Caden. Paul was able to recover from his stomach virus just in time, also.

thanks for stopping by....take care and have a wonderful and safe New Year's eve/day!

29 December 2006

time to organize..

{via illustrator Sara Finelli, she is a great artist!}
cannot wait to take down the tree and clean out the house! Today Caden and I organized all of his toys. Yes, ALL of them. A new rule has been made, no more toys unless we donate some. We did a little donating before Christmas, but not as much as I wanted to. Santa was very generous this year.

Paul surprised us with a Disney Cruise. This was a huge surprise, we were not exchanging gifts for us, things are a little tight in this economy. Paul had purchased this in August, so he has been sitting on the secret for quite a while. We are so excited as we have not had a real vacation since our honeymoon. We all are going in mid-May. We will be on the boat for Caden's birthday, so Caden thinks this is his party! He keeps repeating "I cannot wait till my birthday!" We will
probably have a small party for his birthday after we get back.

Tonight, my cousin Sarah is coming here to watch Caden so Paul and I can redeem our free stay at the Amway Grand and have some together (alone) time. That is, if Paul can get better soon. He suddenly came down this morning with a bad stomach sickness. As of a couple of minutes ago he says he feels better ,but he has not budged himself off from the bed. If we go, we will be back by noon and probably put Christmas away. I love Christmas, but it is nice to be back to a more uncluttered living space.

While shopping the other day, we ran into Petco. I found the most loving, adorable Siamese mix. She wasn't shy at all, not skiddish and just wanted to be pet. We are so tempted to get her. We almost left the store with her, but we decided we better give it some good thought. I think our other cat, Zoe, wouldn't mind, we rescued her from a household full of cats. Zoe is a great cat, but she is sorta stuck up, she doesn't sit on our laps or anything like that. She just likes to be pet on her own time and she will disappear for hours, she could really care less about us it seems. So that is why I would like to get another cat, a cuddly one, and a companion for Zoe when we are gone. We will see what happens.....

for more of Sara Fanelli's artwork please visit here.

ps...Aunt Cheryl, can you please email me your address, we have some pictures and a card for you, but were unable to locate your new address. thanks :)

22 December 2006

Merry Christmas

wishing everyone a very merry Christmas from our family to yours...

I just wanted to thank each and every one of you for stopping by, all of the nice comments, all of the wonderful e-mail and especially this little community that the "blogworld" provides!

16 December 2006


...All presents have been sent and all but one card is on its way! We do not have one address of a relative, so a little research has to be done :) woo hoo

It was too soon to have a spinal injection so I was sent home with yet more pain meds and an order for a MRI. I get to go have the MRI on Sunday at 915 and another appointment with the back doctor on the 28th. I think I can get an injection on that day. Maybe the MRI will give us some more answers. I haven't had one since the fusion. After the MRI it is church and a family Christmas get-together. I am in the midst of baking my apple cake and mac and cheese. Luckily those dishes get better sitting over night.

Paul and I are not exchanging gifts, we decided to spend our gift on a baby sitter. We have a gift certificate for a nice hotel in Grand Rapids {Amway Grand} so we will be going to spend a night away, together. And Caden gets to have fun with a sitter. Luckily he loves his sitters. He doesn't get to see them very much, so I think it is still special to him.

Flickr was acting silly, so no pics :(...

thanks for stopping by!

13 December 2006

holiday hurry

{picture of the grand haven pier taken by my mom's friend the other day...}

We have been very busy running around trying to gather gifts for the upcoming holidays. We have one family Christmas celebration this Sunday, a small group celebration Tuesday, Caden's school Christmas party Wednesday, Caden's school caroling on Thursday and after that things will settle down...I have lots and lots of baking and cooking to do...For our celebration on Sunday I am preparing mac and cheese with Grandma Realini's recipe and an apple cake. Tuesday's event is "Christmas morning" theme, so I am bringing banana bread or muffins, and I need to make tons of Christmas sugar cookies for the kids to decorate at Caden's school party. Fun.

My back has been in a huge flare again, so I was lucky to be able to move up my injection to tomorrow.(hopefully-I have an appointment, but it may be too soon to have more injections) We will see what the specialist says. When I called to reschedule I found out that my doctor is no longer going to work on the lakeshore so I will be seeing yet another doctor for my next appointments in the new year. It is always a bit of a set back explaining the years of surgeries and etc to another doctor, but it also means that I will get another opinion and maybe more possibilities of relief. There isn't much you can do to fix a failed fusion though.

Caden has had a lot of troubles with his ears. He had an ear infection last month that went away with anti-biotics, but his ear still had a lot of fluid in it. He hasn't stopped complaining about his ears, so we have kept a close eye on them. They seem like they are getting worse, so we are going to the doctor today to have them checked again....Hopefully we will find a solution, poor little guy...

Well I am off to count the food at the food pantry and then to pick up Caden from school to go to the doctor..

talk to you all soon!
happy holidays to you!

05 December 2006

we *heart* snow

{for now, anyways}

"snowflakes on my tongue, yum"

the art of making a snow angel, he may have started upside down, but he got the hang of it.

pure bliss

04 December 2006


Welcome:: to my newest collection:Letterpress. Letterpress of all kind, but especially wooded letterpress. I also have several birds,shells, bicycles, etc that I use to stamp my ceramic pieces.

Introducing:: the final version of the owl ornament. I used a celadon glaze. I think that I will be making more of these, but maybe pure white with a staining of underglaze that would allow the texture to "pop" even more. But first I am making tags to lable the glazes I have. I think it is so lovely to see all of the color choices at hand, almost a piece of art in itself.

Goodbye:: to the turkey and...

Hello:: Christmas {isn't he getting so big?}

29 November 2006

happiness is..

happiness is trying to teach Caden how to blow a bubble with bubble gum. I have no idea how I learned this particularly "cool" (to a five year old) ability, but Caden sure helps me relish in the little things in life. He has not yet mastered this talent, but he has been trying and trying all afternoon.

In other news, the vin number on the wheels to our stolen car has been "pinged" in the database. Apparently they are somewhere in Detroit. I wonder if we at least get the wheels back? The car has to be gone for 30 days until the insurance pays us for it. Thank goodness for insurance. Caden's theory of the whole car thing is that they simply needed a ride because they lost their car, and they needed to "use" daddy's car. Hmm, to think so much of this world. Caden was quite heatbroken because he had his two "favorite" (everything is his favorite) trucks were in the car. Daddy is upset because his peacoat was in the car (winter is coming tomorrow, literally) and all of his computer programming programs...oh bugger. This is our third stolen car, and it just sucks. It is hard to keep starting over again, but, once again, that is why we carry good insurance. Sometimes it seems that if we didn't have bad luck, we would have no luck at all. But really, we just need to stop buying cars that everyone else likes to steal.

The first batch of owls are cooling down from the glaze firing. {I peeked, they look cute!} Looks like they will be packaged and ready to fly away on December first, right on the deadline!

28 November 2006

press on...

Well, here I am, all in a sour mood, for a couple of reasons, but mainly because Paul's car was stolen today. In broad daylight. This is the third car that we have lost to theft. This was won the record, we had it for less than it takes to make a payment. Ugh, but then in all my self pity I read this....

Life is so important, things are things, they can be replaced.

27 November 2006

wild bird

Last week we had a bird smack into out bay window. It was so stunned, it walked right onto my Dad's hand...

the bird didn't want to leave my Dad's finger, he sat on his finger for at least ten minutes...

Paul was able to coerce it onto a stick and tranfer the bird to safety to our pine tree. It sat on the tree for another thirty minutes or so until it must have regained it wits and went on with its life.

Oh, just another exciting chapter in our life......more to come, I am sure.

22 November 2006

Happy Thanksgiving...

Wishing everyone a happy and safe thanksgiving!

And a very happy anniversary to Mom and Dad in Oregon...

200th post....

Finally....I have some pictures of some ceramic art in process. I am making owl ornaments for an international ornament swap. I need to have them all fired twice and sent out by December 1st!

this is an owl in process...

I am making ten of them right now, maybe I will make more for our tree if I have time!

I decided to add a beak, which was kinda tricky...

ten little owls, drying out, waiting for sanding, then the first bisque fire, glazing and then glaze fire, packaging and out in the mail by December 1st.

Caden was inspired by Mommy's studio-palooza, and decided to make bird ornaments for his friends and teacher. He use polymer clay, which cures in the oven.

such concentration...and, may I say (as a proud and slightly biased mother, such an artist, already!)

Caden had been quite ill with an ear infection, actually missing pj day at church and laying down for the entire day. He has never, ever, done that, although he has been more ill than this, he was in a lot of pain from the pressure of fluid in the ear. It took two screaming doctor's appointments, but it finally got diagnosed and is on the mend, thankfully.

(still sucking his two fingers, in fact he has started to chew on then collars of his shirts..? I think that maybe he is getting ready to lose his first tooth? who knows, he sure is oral, in every way...his bus driver has notified us that caden's voice works better than a megaphone)

and finally...a little levity..

On a little hike in the golf course woods that are behind our house, we found a tumbleweed, and Paul, always the entertainer, well...I guess the picture speaks for itself!

15 November 2006

Quote of the day...

"The shadows prove the sunshine" Switchfoot

13 November 2006

Quote of the day...

"You cannot use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have." Maya Angelou

10 November 2006

November 10th....

image from theTiny Showcase

November tenth means one thing....HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOM!!!

In other news, I decided to get my rear in gear and participate in an ornament swap. I am designing ceramic ornaments that will be sent all over the world. There are 400 participants. You can view pictures of ornaments in the making here.
I am excited to push myself to finish and share a final product. I am so bad about sharing my art, I feel that I am inadequate. Maybe this will help me towards my goal of starting an etsy shop one of these days.

ps..I have added to Caden's Christmas Wishlist....

06 November 2006

no time to blog

Just a little note to let you know that we are ok, but busy. My dad is visiting from california for two weeks, so I may not have time to post. I still need to share pics of Caden's Halloween.....talk to you all soon!

26 October 2006

halloween prep.

This is our front bay window. The big owl like object is caden's interpretation of a bat, I think that he meant for it to be an owl because I have recently become enamoured with everything owl. Isn't it cute? He did it all by himself, he didn't want to comform to mom's idea of making bat wings from his hand print, we only got one done!

This was my idea, "no mom I want to do it...." Mr. Independant...

I used a template to print out the word "halloween" and strung it on orange yarn from the window top.

We made a whole bunch of just plain old bats and hung them all around the windows. We have pumpkins and gourds grouped all over the house. Having a child is a great excuse to make our house more festive for each holiday.

This is Caden with his prized pumpkin from the farm we visited with his school.

This picture was taken the morning of picture day, he is such a goof...

In other news...we had our first snow of the season, a light dusting..

Caden and all of us send hugs to all family and friends that are far far away!

This week Caden is KinderKing. He got to bring in baby and family pictures and his favorite costume (a huge horse that he wore last halloween) and his favorite book and toys. His favorites depend on the minute you ask him. He has numerous favorites in each category! We also got to bring in a special treat this week, I brought in cupcakes with star wars rings on top. (Caden's choice) But best of all, in Caden's words is that he gets to be the line leader. Yes, we have a born leader here...mr. trouble. he he

.....addition to santa list for Caden.....Toys r Us megafort, and HO scale train parts and pieces. He plays with his train all the time, he can put it together all by himself. I got his a catalog for trains and he circled almost every thing! I think he favors construction additions or something that actually does something like move etc.. I will try to put up his list on the sidebar, just for the fun of it.

Happy week everyone!

20 October 2006

tic toc tic toc

Can you hear it? The tic tic ticking of my biological clock? Well, it has been on overtime since Caden has started kindergarten and I turned 31 a couple of weeks ago. We really want to expand our family. Yesterday was my appointment with my spine specialist. And his answer was not what I wanted to hear. But actually not a big surprise. No, no, no. Not going to happen. He said that the fusion would be stressed and that it would cause more unrepairable damage. I am so grateful to have Caden, truly blessed. So that's that. We have thought about adoption a lot, but I think that I just need to be happy with my little family, making our way through the world.

So I got my spinal injections that I get every three months. My legs are still numb, which I quite prefer to what they usually feel like. So I think it will help out this time. The relief lasts anywhere from 2-6 weeks. It decreases my swelling by a ton, though. I am always amazed how much I really swell and I thought I was getting chubbier. I have been walking on the treadmill and doing pilates for the last couple of weeks, and I hope to keep going on that. We haven't had much sunshine, so the time has come for the treadmill.

The lack of sunshine also means that I cannot get a good picture of my latest crafting adventure. I cut up a felted sweater to make a wrap-around shrug. It is cute, but I think that I will only wear it in the house for now, because I think I may have cut it a little short. Live and learn.

Paul was able to work out his Chicago job to a contract basis, so he will not have to leave us for three weeks at a time. He may need to travel a like two days a week for the next few weeks to finish the contract, but at least we don't have to get an apartment down there and basically pay for two houses, etc. He is now working in Grand Rapids and it seems to be going good. He just hated leaving us for the week. The only bad thing is that we have one car right now, so I am stranded home. We do not have any public transportation out here. That is ok, though. It won't be too much longer until we find the right vehicle. Hopefully within two weeks I will have some new wheels, or I will have the Passat back!

I have had a few requests from family for Christmas ideas for Caden. We just bought him three pairs of shoes last weekend, he wears 13.5 but I would buy 1's. Stripey socks are always a popular thing around here. For clothing, he is a size 6. We have recently purchased a play station two, (PS2), so children's games would be loved. He has always wanted a guitar, in fact he has been saving for a nice one (wooden) for a few months, but he is still far aways from the $40.00 goal. He likes to sing and play music, a karaoke machine or radio with a microphone would be so loved by him (not so sure if we would love it so!;) Books are great. He loves legos. He spends hours putting things together and taking them apart. I hope that this helps you all out.

until next time! have a great weekend!!

11 October 2006

Michigan Farm Field Trip

Well, it is that time of year again, the trees are changing and the air is getting crisp. Time for the annual school field trip to the pumpkin farm. This time we went to an apple farm that happens to grow pumpkins and other stuff too. I am so lucky to be able to come along on the field trips. Caden was proud to have his mom there, he held my hand and introduced me to everyone. I am not looking forward to when he will inevitably get embarassed of having his mom tag along when he gets older.

I will let the pictures do the talking (well, sorta....)
We arrived and went through an eight acre corn stalk maze that was shaped like the state of Michigan. We had to locate eight different cities. After that we got to see how they press the apples to make cider. The kids also got to see the bees.

Caden is so ready to read, he is studying the letters and trying to read the sign, who cares if is is upside down :)....

Next it was time to see how they make those delicious fresh donuts that is a requisite for any visit to a farm in the fall...

Caden and our neighbor friend Aaron were struggling to get on the top rung of the ladder to get the closest view.

Snack time followed...

mmm, tummy rubbing good, fresh donuts and just smooshed apple cider.

we had to wait a while for our hay ride so it was playtime...

nothing beats a pick up game of football between kindergarteners and an imaginary ball.


but still the best of friends.

This was followed by duck, duck goose...

and some rest time...


hay ride time!

some trees are changing...

some are not quite ready.

The twist on this hay ride was that we actually got to pick some apples right off the tree tops while on the hay ride. We all got to enjoy some fresh red delicious apples picked right off the tree. The lady in the background had her pockets stuffed with like 30 apples! Caden enjoyed his "baby" apple.

A great time was had by all.

Now, if only we can all feel better, I went to the doctor today and picked up some anti-biotics to get over my month long sinus infection that turned to a migriane. fun fun.