Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Music is in our blood

So last night I was privileged to attend a concert at the CW Post Great Hall and see Angela (Robert's girlfriend) perform with her string ensemble. I just had to share this video that I was able to capture...we were in a mansion in the 'great room' sort of and there was a 2nd level loft and Alex went up there to watch from above and I caught him doing this...what a hoot!! Think he's got a future in conducting?

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Ahhh, got some scrappin' done last night

Yay!! I feel like I have less time lately with work and everything else piling up on me but I managed to grab a little time last night and did these 2 pages. Looking at some of these older photos really makes me realize how fast time passes us by...Jesse is 23 now and Robert is 20 and in these pictures they are so small...now they both tower over me.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Thanksgiving and another round of packages on the way...

I enjoyed doing this 2 page layout at my friend Laurie's house recently and I was happy to be able to have a nice picture of Jim and I together that was taken on Thanksgiving Day and of course some silly pictures of Jesse and Alex. We missed having Robert with us but we prayed for him before we shared our meal as a family. Isn't my paper pieced turkey so cute? :)
This week I had to get my christmas packages ready and in the mail for my Marines , I had finished all of my cookies and treats and everything was in the freezer ready to be packaged and mailed out. I printed some labels to put on each of the cookie tins with a little note letting them know who the cookies are from and that we are praying for them. I added some candy canes in each tin to make them colorful and pretty. Each box got a tin of cookies and then I had to fill in the extra space so of course I had to put a book in each of the boxes...because well I hope that they have some time to read a book once in a while...Robert says that he told them all that his mom is a librarian so they better all read. hahaha!! He's too funny! So after I got all of the packages filled in with books and some ramen noodles I taped everything shut and added my shipping labels to the boxes...right about now I was really wishing that I had my helper but since he was in school I had to manage all of these boxes by myself!! Yikes!!
To my surprise when I got to the post office they told me that I could come around the back and put all the packages in a wheeled container on the loading dock so that I didn't have to carry them all in by myself, that was awesome!! I left them my check and went back later in the afternoon to pick up my receipt and the copies of my customs forms...how cool was that? My post office clerks are the best there is, that's for sure. So now all of my goodies are on their way and I feel great that I sent some holiday joy to my boys.

I've been working so many shifts lately but I am surely looking forward to some vacation time over the Christmas break especially since we're going to Florida and Disneyworld.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

A very worthy cause for the holidays...support our men and women in uniform!!

I got an email tonight and I just had to blog and post it so that anyone who happens to read my blog from time to time can get the information on how to support our military. From a personal standpoint this organization flew our son home for Christmas last year and I can't even begin to describe how grateful I was for that gift, not to mention hearing the joy in Robert's voice when I called and told him "You've been ticketed!" the morning after he applied for a ticket through LBEH.ORG

It was so wonderful to us as a family to be together for the holidays and I cherish that even more this year because Robert is deployed and won't be home with us this Christmas...but I have the memories of last year thanks in part to the work that LBEH does. If you have it in your heart to donate even just $5 to help them bring a soldier or Marine home this Christmas, please do it...you'll have my gratitude but more than that you will feel so wonderful when you go to the site and you see the tickets that have been issued to those deserving men and women. Take it from one who knows first hand...our son was home with us last year because of the generosity of total strangers who simply donated a few dollars or some airlines miles.

Here is Ernie's Email to me:

Howdy all.

I just wanted to take a minute out and post an update on how LBEH
2007 is going. Right at the giddy'up, a Marine over in Okinawa, Japan
applied for (and received!) a ticket home for Christmas. She was
delighted! So delighted in fact, that I think she told everyone else
in Okinawa about the program, and before we knew it, we had over 30
tickets requests for international flights.

So I dunno if you've ever flown international before, but it ain't
cheap. Tickets are averaging $1,200. Some of you quick at math might
have done that in your head - 30 * 1200 = $36,000 in tickets. And
that's only the international requests - we've got another 100+
domestic ones, too.

To date, we've received $26,000 in donations. it's gotten to the
point where we've been forced to stop taking ticket requests from
some of the international people. I hope now you can see the bind we're in.

You've donated in the couple years past, and we really need your help
this year. There are 4,000 people on this mailing list. If you each
donate $10, we'll be in business and can take care of each of these
soldiers. As a reminder, LBEH is a bonifide 5013(c) non-profit,
meaning your donation, however LARGE or small, is tax deductible!

Please, please, please, please. -- if you haven't already -- please
toss a few dollars our way, we REALLY need your help.

The main site: http://www.lbeh.org

The (paypal) donation link:

The (other) donation link: http://www.lbeh.org/?help

Thank you for your continued support with this!


Monday, November 26, 2007

Monday, another week begins...

...and today was a busy and full day of work for me. I learned something new and that was fun for me to learn...I made a poster!! We have a machine at the library that is the coolest thing I've seen in a long time! You put a regular 8X11 sheet of paper in the scanner and POOF! out comes a huge poster!! Now that was fun!!

It's going to be a busy week between working 3 days, a scrapbook class on wednesday night, Alex's winter concert on thursday and a meeting at work on friday night but each week brings us closer to Robert coming home so I welcome the craziness of being BUSY!! Hard to believe it but just 3 weeks from friday we will be on mom's doorstep getting ready to enjoy the holiday season with her. I am sure glad I did our stockings while I was down there for Halloween!! Didn't they come out great? I'm so crafty...hehehe!!


I forgot to mention one thing about our trip into Toys R Us in Times Square yesterday...my favorite area is the Lego displays upstairs and there is usually something new each year and this year was no different. This picture is for a couple of my friends...you girls know who you are. :)

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Cookies, scrapbooking and a trip into NYC

It's been pretty busy around here lately and I sometimes wonder where I find the time for it all but I manage...work seems to be cutting into my free time...what's up with that?

I mailed Robert a package with the next 4 episodes of their favorite show, "The Unit" on DVD...5 copies so that he'll have plenty to pass around to the whole squad/platoon.

I've been busy getting the cookies done so that I can get the packages out to my Marines in time for the holidays which are fast approaching...hard to believe it but just 26 more sleeps until we arrive on mom's doorstep to celebrate Christmas with her!! So far I have finished up 3 batches of tree and snowman cookies, 9 batches of chocolate chips cookies and 2 batches of rum balls. I still have to make the maple yule log cookies and then I am planning to make some fudge to add to the cookie tins...maybe just a few pieces in each.

Today was a super day in the city for Jim, Alex and I...the weather was glorious and we had a terrific time enjoying the show at MSG's theatre, we went to see Cirque Du Soleil's Wintuk and we really enjoyed it! After the show we enjoyed some delicious pizza at my favorite place in Penn Station and then we made our way up to Times Square to Alex's favorite spot in the world...the Toys R Us...three floors of pure bliss for any kid!!! Alex was very cute in the store and he kept telling me stuff that was so funny I had to keep from laughing out loud...he said that he had to keep breathing because he was so excited he didn't know if he could take it...especially when we hit the Bionicle area. I think we walked around several times before he finally made his choice of what he was going to buy with his money, it was all pretty funny.

After that we walked up a few more blocks and I took Alex into the M&M's store while Jim scooted on over to the Sam Ash music store down the street. The M&M's store is 3 floors and we just walked around and took some pictures and looked at everything in there...so much fun. All in all...a super family day!!!

Monday, November 19, 2007

The start of Thanksgiving week

So what are you THANKFUL for this year? I find myself thinking about it a lot and I really do have so many wonderful gifts in my life and it's hard to narrow it down to just a few things but I will try. So many people reply to my telling them that my son is deployed right now with, "Oh I'm so sorry..." and I always cut them off with, "Please don't do that...people don't feel sorry for me because I am proud of my son and I am grateful for his service because he is doing what he wants to be doing and he's doing a great job over there of protecting us!"

So first on my list of what I am THANKFUL for this year is Robert's bravery and willingness to serve his country. We are more than halfway done with this deployment and at the end of this tunnel is another chapter in his life and I know he is looking forward to that.

I am thankful for my home and having a safe haven to lie my head down each night surrounded by people who love me.

I am thankful for the friendships that I have with some wonderful people and it doesn't matter if I see them every day or every couple of months or years or even if I have never met them in person.

I am thankful that my brother has found love and is now settled in with Michelle in their new apartment and that they are only just 5 minutes from mom's house in case they need her or she needs them.

I am thankful that mom has some new friends and that she is always keeping herself busy and active but most of all I am thankful for the gift of her recovery from lung cancer and being free of it for over 2 years now.

I am thankful that we will be seeing Nancy and Paul at mom's for Christmas and that I won't have to walk around our home and feel the fact that Robert isn't home for Christmas this year.

I am thankful that we are going to be sharing our Thanksgiving dinner with Sylvie and Tom and the boys.

I could go on but those are the highlights....so what are you thankful for?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

New Video from Rick Springfield

I love this song that Rick Springfield wrote to honor all our fallen soldiers and this morning I got an email that the video was available to view and add to your website so I had to add it to my blog. With the holidays just around the corner I am sad that Robert is on deployment and won't be home in time to celebrate with us but I am very mindful of those that have lost a loved one as a result of their service to our country. Thanks for a great song, Rick...and a wonderful holiday cd that I know I will enjoy for many years to come.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Another crop under my belt

I went to another crop this past saturday and I completed 18 layouts...I am nearly to my goal of the amount of pages I wanted to complete for 2007 so I'm really happy about that. This is just a few of my favorites. I love the one of Daisy because I did the background paper myself with stamps and ink.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Packages are POSTAL!!

Finally it's done...took me most of the morning to seal up the boxes and put the shipping labels on and of course I had to put the cookies in thanksgiving themed goodie bags. :) I decided to take Alex to the post office with me because well...let's face it....17 packages, I needed the help and I was sure glad that Alex was in a helping mood when he got off the school bus today.

We have HOW many boxes mom?? Wow....that's a lot. When we started to bring them in the post office and we each had 2 in our hands I told the clerk that I still had 13 more in the car and he looked at me and Alex said, "What do you expect...it's a mother's love when you have a Marine for a son." I couldn't believe he said that, I was floored!

My friendly post office clerk, Marc behind the mountain of boxes when he was about 1/2 done with my packages.
Alex enjoying his lollipop from Marc while waiting for me to be finished up...gee...think he was tired from carrying boxes in for me?

Bon Jovi at the ROCK

So I went to see Bon Jovi at the brand new Prudential Center in Newark on saturday and it was a 2 1/2 hour full out rock and roll show and I had a great time. The venue is the new home of the NJ Devils hockey team so the theme all around is skating and hockey...down to the ice lounge complete with tables that are silver on top to look like ice skating rinks...very cool place and the staff was amazing and so friendly. What cracked me up was that at the end of the concert as we were all exciting the venue all of the ushers were down in the lobby and applauding and cheering us as we were leaving and giving people high fives on the way out...too funny!!

There was a kiosk where you could have your picture taken for free and they printed it on the Lost Highway cover, how cool is that?? So Paula and I did it and I think it turned out great and it's going to be a nice memory of my night out to scrapbook for my "Book of Me".

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Time for another round!

Well it's about time for me to mail out another round of packages to our sons...aka Robert and his squad...all 16 of them. Robert, Cailen, Riley, Derek, Thomas, Detric, Jacob, Ronald, Ruben, Andrew, Luke, Justin, Salvatore, John, Matthew and Nicholas--your Thanksgiving boxes will be mailed out on monday (hopefully!). I just have to address all of the labels and fill out all of the customs forms which is a bit time consuming but I'll get it done tomorrow and have all of the boxes in the car ready to go. It's so nice to have a picture of the 'family' to look at and to inspire me to do more for them...keeps me going until I see them all back safely at KBay in a few months.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Back from Florida and back to busy life

Alex and I had a lovely time visiting in Florida and spending Halloween with grandma. Our Jack O Lantern turned out pretty good, I think....Alex scooped out most of the guts and then he gave up and I had to finish it. I think it was pretty damn good, don't you? ;)
Alex was a storm trooper this year and he went out Trick Or Treating with his friends Nicholas and Drake and he had a blast and got an insane amount of candy! In Florida there is a lot of candy to be had because the kids are everywhere so the houses are stock full of stuff. Mom got 2 huge bags of candy and we ran out of stuff by 8pm. We had about 100 kids come around to get treats! The funny thing is that down there it is warm out so most everyone just hangs out in front of their house, outside in the driveway or in their garage with the door open and waits for the kids to come around. Robert set up all of his animated Halloween houses and stuff in the garage on tables and it was fun to see the kids enjoy looking at all of them in awe. Boy did I have a blast hanging out with mom in the garage...that is until the mosquitoes found me!! Ugh!! HAHAHAHA!!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Almost time for Halloween in the sunshine state

Yay!! Alex is getting so excited, we can't wait to spend Halloween with grandma and uncle Robert and Michelle and Pookie, too. :) I'm bringing lots of scrapping goodies to give to Robert's group for their scrapbooking projects and of course pages to add to mom's book that I started for her. I also have a special surprise that I can't wait to work on while I'm there.

Aside from the Halloween festivities I'm looking forward to working on some packages to send out to my Marine sons as mom has been collecting supplies and donations from the people in her community. With any luck we'll be doing a nice big mass mailing to our boys while I'm vacationing. With Veteran's Day just a couple of weeks away I want to be sure that none of these boys are forgotten by any of us back home, we are free to enjoy our lives because of the Brave...those who make sacrifices every day for us. This is one of my favorite pictures of Robert from his last deployment and I knew that I wanted to have it on it's own page. Yes, that's a beautiful rainbow in the background.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

12 hour crop was so much fun!!

Wow, I had a great day at the 12 hour crop yesterday. It was a fundraiser for Island Harvest and all of the raffle ticket sales went towards the charity. I bought $30 worth of raffle tickets and I couldn't believe that I kept hearing my name being called while I was getting a 10 minute massage and they were doing the prizes. When I came out and went back to my table my friend told me I'd won a basket, a free 1 hour massage and a free night in the hotel where this same group is going to be doing a weekend crop in January!! HOLY COW!!! In total my raffles winning are worth over $250!! Yay me!

I completed 16 pages yesterday and did 4 "Make and Takes" which was awesome!! They were all done by my friend Laurie who is a Close to My Heart consultant and I love her stuff so much, I've taken some of her classes before and I'm going to one this coming week and can't wait for it! Laurie had a bonus little make and take area to make a little treat bag for $1 and the money went to the charity so I made one for Alex, it turned out so cute! I love this stamp set with the cat/trick or treat/pumpkin. I have to say I really fell in love with the CTMH stamps yesterday and that could be a bad thing!! HAHAHA!!

Here is another Make and Take I did at her table, 4 tags...one for each season. Now these were all plain tags when we started and everyone of them is done with stamps. We colored them in with pencils/markers/chalks...it was really creative and fun to see these come together!

More to follow....

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Cookies, work....music

So today I was home all day and decided it was a good day to bake cookies to send to my favorite Marines...I just love the smell of fresh baked cookies on a dreary and rainy day, don't you? I think I made 12 dozen chocolate chip cookies and I bagged them with my Seal A Meal so that each of my Marine sons will be receiving 5 big yummy cookies in their next round of packages. I put them all in the freezer until I'm ready to ship them out.

I'm changing jobs at the library and I've decided to leave the video room for now and head out to the floor and work with the books and other material for a change of pace...I think I'm going to like it once I get the hang of it. I've gone in 2 nights this week to train with one of the page captains and I've learned quite a bit but a lot of it will just be stuff that I need to learn as I go along. :) I'm still working some shifts in the video room so I've been putting in extra hours and my scrapping time has really suffered as a result of that but I did manage to get a challenge finished up today thank goodness because the deadline for it was today!

I'm really enjoying the new Chris Botti cd and I find that it has helped me relax so much this past week just listening to his music and I especially love the track with Andrea Bocelli on it...his voice is so soothing, the man has an incredible gift from God.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Is it really October???

Last friday I prepared some Halloween goodies to send to my Marine sons over in Iraq. I made 2 batches of rice krispies treats and cut them into pumpkin shapes after spraying them with orange food coloring mist. I made faces with black icing, the best I could...hahahaha...some of them look pretty sad but what can ya do? I made goodie bags for all with the pumpkins and some other candies. I also sent Robert some peeps and some halloween pencils to give out to the Iraqi children.

I took Alex to the farm yesterday and we got some pumpkins and spent some time in the corn maze and went on the hay ride. Man, was I sweating!! I can't remember a time when I went pumpkin picking in shorts and sandals. It was 88 degrees when we got back in the car. Alex's face was so red and he was overheated, it was insane!!

Monday, October 01, 2007

Weekends were made for Croppin'

It sure is good to be back home in my own bed after being away for 2 nights for a scrap weekend. It was fun but I didn't get as much done as I had hoped, I packed too much and I guess I had ambitions of doing more but it didn't happen. I've decided that I am more the "day cropper" and will stick with that for a while. I do have my eye on a weekend next summer, though...so we'll see if that pans out. We stayed at a nice hotel in New Jersey and the staff was so friendly and helpful to us, everyone said hello and had a smile on their face when I passed them in the hall. I love the look of the building from the outside, it looked like a castle. I got there a little earlier than Sandi so I took a walk around the grounds in the back and it was very beautiful and the weather was glorious this past weekend, almost a shame to be cooped up inside the whole time, though. I think there should be a rule that it rains while you're cropping and then it stops only when you need to pack up and load your car at the end of the crops.

This was one of the layouts that I knew I had to complete because it was for a challenge on the scrap message board I belong to. These pictures are from 1984...I was about 2 weeks away from giving birth to Jesse and boy was I huge, not to mention I was so swollen.

More to come..........