Wednesday, April 30, 2008

I am Not a Robot and Neither are my Friends!

Dear Computer,

I am writing this to inform you that I am not a robot.  Not only am I not a robot, but neither are my friends.  I can vouch for them, you have my robots in the bunch.  I am sick of your new word verification that is EVERYWHERE from blogs, to store websites, to who knows what else.  It is getting out of hand.  

Now the letters (and in some cases numbers) are all in some funky, slanted, smushed together font.  Don't you know that I don't like wearing my contacts? It is hard enough to figure out if that is the letter o or a zero, when it's on it's own, forget about it when it's sandwiched in between other that a b or an o and a l????? I've been on some websites where there are 2 words (if you can call them that) needing to be entered to pass your test!  I don't have that kind of time.

Also, while I'm venting, I'd like to let you know that I don't like the way in such a few short years, we've all become so dependent on you. I must get 50 emails EVERY day and I don't even have a job!  These are just team emails regarding my kids' sports, room parent info, team Mom stuff,  school updates etc.  Then there are the few emails from stores....I've eliminated most of them, even if it's a store I like because I just can't stand so many emails.  In addition there are always a couple of know the kind....forward this to 10 friends to win a million dollars from Bill Gates.... and then, lastly, the treasured REAL email from a friend or family member.

I'd like to add that your internet scares me.  Thanks a lot Al Gore, for inventing it. :) Sure it is wonderful, but now that my kids are older, who knows what they may inadvertantly stumble upon???  Of course there are filtering devices, but they aren't perfect, stuff always gets by. There are crazy people out there who WANT their garbage to get by my filter!

I also can't stand the fact that just when I'm feeling okay about you, you get some scary virus!  I never know how to make you better.   I am always afraid that you will die and be gone for good. Thankfully, we always have a friend or two that can cure you.  Why do you scare me like that?


Now there are laptops and blackberries so my hubby can have his email with him at all times. Oh, that is sooooo convienient.  I enjoy that he can check his email 75 times between the time he gets home from work and the time that we go to bed.  All right, it's not really 75 times, but even once is too much.....that is MY time.

We didn't know how simple our lives were.  Oh, if we could only go back.   I dream of throwing you away.  In fact, one of my happiest moments was watching our first computer getting crushed into a million pieces by the trash truck.  But if you were gone, I wouldn't have my blog, and I wouldn't have my digital camera and my 10,000 pictures loaded on you that "one day" I will print out and put into albums, and I wouldn't be able to stay in touch instantly with all of my far away friends and family.

So, in the meantime, dear computer, we coexist.  However, I have done my bloggin' friends a favor and disabled your crazy word verification on my blog.

Yours truly,

Your Non Robot Friend,

Monday, April 28, 2008

Ta Da!!!!

Well, what do you think???  

This was my exciting project in the works.   I LOVE it!!!!  My friend Darcy over at "Graphically Designing", designed it for me.  She is a stay at home Mom who loves graphic design.  She designs blogs for those of us "Mommy Bloggers" who are clueless when it comes to this. Her goal is to make the blogosphere blog at a time. I think she's off to a GREAT start. She doesn't have a set rate that she charges. Instead, she works for donations.  She says she thinks an appropriate amount is an amount that you feel comfortable with, that your husband wouldn't question.  How awesome is she??

Check out her work on her blog.   Click on her link, or go to:


Just a quick funny....

My sis said Desmond's middle name should be:

Desmond (From 'Lost'???) Llanes.

She said that's what everyone says when they hear it.  No, he's not named after Desmond from 'Lost'.

They just liked the name Desmond, because it's cool, unique, easy to say and easy to spell, and also sounds great with their names.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

He has a name!

Please welcome baby Desmond Alberto Llanes!

He was born April 25 at 4:41AM and weighed 8lbs, 5oz and is 21 and 1/2 inches long.

His middle name, Alberto, is in honor of both Gpas. Enrique's father's middle name was Alberto. He passed away several years ago. My Dad's (also Krissy's Dad) name is Albert.

They are all doing great. He is so incredibly cute!

Friday, April 25, 2008

It's Baby Day!!!!

I got a phone call this morning at 1:30AM from my little sister telling me that her water had broken and she was on the way to the hospital to deliver her first baby!!!!  We are all thrilled for her & her husband.  I told her I'd come down to the hospital as soon as I put my kiddos on their busses this morning...thinking she'd probably be in labor for 10-12 hours.  At 5AM my Mom called to tell me the baby had been born!!!

It's a boy!  Mommy & baby are both doing well.

So far, he doesn't have a name.  I'm headed to the hospital as soon as the last bus leaves.
I'll post some pictures later today.

I can't wait to see that little guy!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Take Your Child to Work Day

Today is "Take Your Child to Work Day" and I just have time to share a quick funny with you. Two days ago, Veruka came up to me after dinner and said,

Veruka:  Mom, did you know Thursday is "Take Your Child to Work Day?"

Me:  Is it really?  I didn't know when it was.

Veruka:  Yep, well I was thinking....I've gone to work with Dad the past couple of years and this year I want to come to work with you.

Me:  But, I'm not subbing on Thursday.

Veruka:  Oh, I didn't mean that.

Me:  What did you mean then?

Veruka:  I wanted to come to your job as a Stay at Home Mom!

She's funny isn't she?  Needless to say, she went to school today.

Have a great day!  :)

PS.  Stay tuned.....exciting things are coming!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Little Buddy's weekend as an ONLY CHILD

Last weekend, both of the Big Kids were away on a church youth group retreat. This meant our Little Buddy got to be an ONLY CHILD for an entire weekend! We had a lot of fun hanging out with him.

The weekend kicked off with him bringing home his Spring school picture. Check it out...."Mr. GQ" he adorable or what??

Friday night, the three of us went to Movie Night at his Elementary School. The school has this event almost every month, but it is always on a Friday night which is when we usually meet with our church community group. This was only our second time going this year, so he was thrilled. We saw "Meet the Robinsons." I have learned that apparently I am able to sleep through a movie, in public, at the school I teach at, in the midst of a crowded cafeteria! The beginning and the end of the movie were great.....I couldn't tell you a thing about the middle! :)

Afterwords, we brought one of his good friends home with us to have a sleepover. The boys were up bright and early Saturday morning, so after breakfast, Brian returned the friend to his home and he and Little Buddy went fishing together.

After fishing, the two of them headed over to get their baseball pictures taken. Little Buddy went home with a friend. His friend's Dad took them to the DUMP to throw away some old cool is that????  They also went to McDonald's for lunch.....where I was informed that my little buddy tried to order a 20 piece chicken nugget happy meal.  Thankfully, Mr. Jon didn't fall for that....he settled for a 6 piece meal.

Next on the agenda was his baseball game. Bri coaches the team and the kids have a blast. (What a treat for us to only have ONE game to attend the entire weekend!)

Here are some pics:

Warming up with Dad, before the game.

Is that a smile like his Dad's or what?

Our team of fine young men and coaches!

Catching, just like his Daddy used to.


and hitting!

After his game, we stopped at home to quickly change and then surprised him by taking him to the Orioles vs. Yankees game.....which the O's won 6-0!

The next morning we got up and went to church, where we collected our tired Big Kids. What a great weekend!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Fireplace Makeover!

Last week I spent a day painting the accent panels on my fireplace...(they used to be white.)  I Love the result! It has changed the look of it and made it really stand out in our family room. (The pictures don't do it justice, the difference in the shades is more pronounced in real life...but this will give you an idea.)

Here is the funny thing. I had the idea of trying one shade darker than our wall color...(which FYI is Duron paint...Plantation Beige.) As I've shared with you in previous posts, I'm totally hooked on Nester's blog. A few weeks ago, she was raving about a Duron paint color, Tobacco Road. I decided that while I was in the Duron store I'd pick up a quart of it too....just to try. Well guess what? The paint color that is one shade darker than Plantation Beige is Tobacco Road! Can you believe it???? I'm telling was meant to be!

I added my $8 birdcage and voilla.....what do you think???

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Quick & Easy Spring Cake

For those of you who know me well, this post will come as a shock. I am posting about food! I do NOT like cooking, so this may very well be my one and only post about food.

This cake turned out so cute, that I just had to share it with you.

My girl, Veruka,  baked it Friday for my Mom's Bday. My Mom was spending her Birthday night here, so that she could take Veruka to her Baton Competition bright and early the next morning. The cake is a lemon cake with lemon frosting. I thought it be nice and light and refreshing for Spring. We frosted the cake Friday and I had every intention of piping around the edges and decorating it Sat, but we ended up getting home way to late to do any of that. I had some fresh flowers here, so I clipped off a couple and put them all over the cake. The end result was really pretty! It only took me about 2 minutes to put the flowers on it. That's my kind of cake decorating!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Signs of Spring

Spring has finally come to the East Coast!

Beautiful flowers......

Trees in bloom.......

Son cutting the grass.....

I love Springtime!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Answers to your Questions

1.  Is that your kids in the picture on top of your blog?


2.  How old are they?  When was it taken?
It was taken 7 years ago this month.  
They were 7, 5, & 1.

3.  Is that where you live?
No.  If you know me, you'd know that I am definitely not a 'dirt road' kind of girl.

4.  Where was it taken?
The picture is from when we lived in Seattle, WA.
This was a place about an hour north of Seattle called the Skagit Valley.  They have whole farms of tulips there and actually have a Tulip Festival each April.  It was beautiful.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

My Girl

Lately I've been doing a lot of thinking.  Last week was tough.  How do you walk your 14 year old daughter through the death of a friend?  Thinking, praying, talking & crying....and doing it all again.   I think we are all drained.  Sitting there at that funeral, my heart ached for that family.  My heart still aches for my friend Suzie & her kids.   I just want to scoop up my kids and run away somewhere safe, where it's just the 5 of us.  Of course, that isn't possible.  As I move through the days, I am cherishing the time spent with my family. These sudden losses have changed my perspective on life. I realize that their are no guarantees. I am making the most of each day.  I was looking back through my blog and realized that there aren't a lot of posts about My Girl. So, this is for her.

First, let me say she is an AWESOME daughter. I couldn't ask for anyone better. She is sweet, kind, loving, honest, loyal, and friendly. She has a beautiful smile and soulful eyes. She has so many good qualities, it is hard to list them all. She has a huge heart and will stand by her friends until the end. She LOVES little kids. She loves to babysit and has served every week in our Church's PreSchool Sunday School program for the past 5 years. She is involved with our Church's youth group. She loves to read.  She loves sushi!!  She loves fishing with her Dad.  She LOVES all kinds of animals....except snakes! (She especially loves our dog, and lets her sleep with her every night.) She loves to cook. (I don't know where she gets that from...definitely not me!)  Messy bedrooms don't scare her.  :)    She is very determined when it comes to achieving her goals. Once she sets her mind on something, she WILL accomplish it. She is not afraid of failure. She is not afraid to put herself out there.

She loves twirling baton. She's been doing it for 6 years. She and I just spend the last 2 weekends at competitions. (Yesterday we left at 6:30AM and got home at 10PM!) It was fun to hang out with her. Today I spend the day with my son at his travel baseball game while she and Grandma went back for Day 2 of the competition. She placed well both weekends...last weekend she came in 1st in her division!! This weekend she came in 2nd. She told me that the reason she likes to twirl is because it makes her unique. There aren't a lot of people who twirl.

She's been involved in both her Middle School and High School's SGA.  Last year she ran for and was elected, President of her SGA.  Her proudest accomplishment was getting the school to allow gum chewing for 8th graders only.

This year she is in 9th grade and in High School.   She tried out for and made the JV Cheerleading squads for both Football and Basketball. She was named Co-Captain for the JV Cheerleading squad for Basketball. In the Spring she decided to try out for the school's Softball team, even though she hadn't played Softball since 4th grade and she made the JV team.

She has balanced all of her extra curricular activities with her school work and has managed to keep her grades up all year. She's had all A's and a couple of B's. We LOVE her VERY MUCH, and are VERY PROUD of her!

This is a meal that she cooked for all of us! Just for fun....can you imagine?

Here she is with her trophies from last weekend's baton competition!

Thanks for being my daughter. I love you very much! Love, Mom

Monday, April 7, 2008

Please Pray

Please pray for the families of Emily Burke and Rudolfo Calderon.  They were local teens who were both killed Saturday night in a car accident. Emily's older brother, a 12th grader, was driving and he and another passenger, Alyson Hird...Emily's best friend,  were taken to Shock Trauma. The older brother's name is Paul Burke. Please pray for him.  What a terrible burden to have to carry through the rest of his life.

'My Girl' played softball with Emily at LHS.  She is very sad and is struggling with this.  She's had to deal with a lot of death this year.  Please say a quick prayer for her too.

Thank you guys.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

April Fools Day and Decorating Projects

Happy Belated April Fools Day!!! Did any of you pull a prank on your hubby or kids?? We always try to pull a prank on the kids. We've done it all over the years......short sheeted their beds, toilet papered their rooms, etc. My all time favorite April Fools Day prank was a couple of years ago. We'd had an unusually cold Winter. So, in the morning of April 1, when I went to wake up the kids, I told them the "Good News" ----- that it had frosted (is that a word?) overnight and because the roads were still icy in some parts, they had a one hour delayed opening. They all bought it, each one of them had a smile on their face as they snuggled back under their covers, only to hear, "April Fools!"

This year, I knew I was going to do something with their food. They are getting so old and wise though, that I had to set them up first. My Hubby has been away this week, so the set up was this, "Hey, Dad called and guess what? He said he's coming home today instead of Friday." Of course, they all were like, "Yea, sure ---ha ha, April Fools." (In a sarcastic tone of voice.) I pulled the set up as they were all sitting down to eat dinner----one of their favorites when Dad is away, Velveeta Shell Mac-N-Cheese. We said a quick prayer, and they were still commenting about how lame my April Fools Joke was, as they ate their first bite. Little did they know, but I had "seasoned" their Mac-N-Cheese with dill pickle juice, horse radish sauce, and a little bit of Tabasco sauce. I "got" all 3 kids! Mission Accomplished. (I also had made a "good" batch of Mac-N-Cheese and had that ready to go, stashed away in the oven. That way they didn't have to wait to eat.) I already have my prank in mind for next year, but I can't share it here because my people read this. You'll have to wait until then, to find out what it is.

So, I told you that I'm totally addicted to the whole blog thing right? Well, my friend Nester has some really great decorating ideas on her blog using things that you already have, or things that don't cost an arm and a leg, if you know what I mean. I love to make things, but I just can never think of the ideas. I am a total copy cat. These past few days, I've been on a little roll here. (See what happens when the Hubby is away?)

First, Nester had posted over at Blissfully Domestic, about using your candles. She had an awesome display that she changed out for each season. That got me thinking. I have a really nice candle, potpourri display that I use at Christmas time. I use it as my centerpiece on my Dining Room table. Usually, after Christmas I pack it away, and put my dried flower arrangement back on the table. Well, I've also been watching Oprah when Nate is on, and he has told me that fake plants and flowers are a big NO NO. (We'll save that discussion for a future post.) So this year, I haven't put my fake flower arrangement back, but wasn't sure what I should do.

Look at what I came up with. (Of course Nester was totally my inspiration.)

Here is my Christmas centerpiece:

Here is how I changed it up for Spring:

The beauty of it all is that I ALREADY had most of this stuff. The only things I bought were the cute little birdy and a couple of the candles. I had everything else!

Looking at Nester's post, I can easily see how I can change it up for Summer and Fall too. I'll remove the river rocks and bird and add starfish and shells (that I ALREADY have) for Summer. In the Fall, I'll maybe add some rust colored candles, some leaves, and some small gourds. (Again, I ALREADY have all of that stuff, except the gourds!)

I just have to tell you about today. I went down to the Mission store to drop off some things to donate. I decided to park and go in. I NEVER do this. I guess in the past I've always had a little toddler or kid with me, and it definitely isn't a good place for small kids.....too many things to touch and break, if you know what I mean. So, I went inside and the place is packed with all kinds of things. They had tons of dishes. Nester had done a post on her own blog about decorating with plates. We've been looking for something new for our dining room wall. I got 8 plates and platters, most of which are china made in England and Italy, for $48!!!! I also got this adorable bird house for another $8! I am so excited about my score! Keep checking back, and I'll show you what I am going to do with them.

Just a little note, all of those types of stores are not filled with bargains. Be warned! Earlier in the week, I stopped in an Antique store and everything was so expensive, I might as well have been at Pottery Barn. I didn't buy anything at that store.

The real find of the day happened after I had paid and was walking out the door. I happened to glance down and noticed behind the door was a stash of old washboards! I got the perfect one for my laundry room. It is real too! (Did you know that on real wash boards, the rough part was actually made of glass? I didn't! On the back of this one, you can see dried soap from the original owner!) Thank God for washers and dryers...I can't imagine having to do laundry on one of those. Check out where I hung it.