Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!!!

Wishing all my family and friends a Happy New Year.
TJ, Jennifer, John and Mr A (Ms S was at a sleepover) came over to celebrate with me. This was the first time in ages we have all been together on New Years Eve. What a fun evening and we all made it till the midnight hour.
So it is off to bed for me and will post pics of our evening tomorrow when I am more awake.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Sunday pm

It is hard to believe that Christmas has come and gone so rapidly. I had a wonderful Christmas with my family and am looking forward to spending New Years Eve with them. I can't remember the last time we as a family celebrated the New Year arrival. I am usually in bed:) fast asleep before that midnight hour.

Yesterday I was out and about a bit as I have been staying pretty close to home. Colleen was in Cali with that new beautiful Granddaughter of hers so it was just Kim and I to hook up at Mystic Paper so we could check out the sale. Lots of goodies on sale and lots seem to find their way into my bag. Not quite sure how that happened. We were able to catch up with Kim and Rick, Jennifer is out of town for the holidays and Ellen. Oh ya Congrats Ellen beautiful ring!!!!!!
We had planned lunch a Sweetcakes but they were closed (go figure on a Sat no less) so we ate at Mangos. Yummy yummy yummy Mexican food. After lunch I headed back home to put those new papers I had purchased to good use

I have been playing all weekend with my new lens so here are a few pics of my practicing. They say practice makes perfect and boy do I have a lot of practice to do. Unfortunately I waited too long to take pics of my album I put together last night. So the lighting is pretty bad but you get a general idea. It is a replica of the Christmas album we did at Kim's house for Joyeux Affaire the first weekend of Dec.I used mainly Cosmo Cricket papers for this album which is much more me.
All of these pics are with the new lens and ya I know I need practice but I am having fun. It is a snap deleting the bad photos off the camera :)
My wreath on my back door

My Church Dad made me many years ago with the antique glass knob

One of the birds I have on my tree. Here it is Jo

Cover of my newest album

Inside pages

more pages

and more pages

One of the best things I have learned this year is how to use my bind-it-all I am loving it!
So tomorrow it is back to work and then another long weekend. Looking forward to that

Friday, December 26, 2008

Belated Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to all of my family and friends. Unfortunately the rain this week did a number on my home phone and Internet. Today is the first day since Monday I have had them back. To say I was lost without the Internet is an understatement.
We had a wonderful Christmas with tons of food and lots of friendly??? game playing. We are a very competitive family especially the guys!!!
I didn't get alot of pics as mainly I was just enjoying the day.
TJ came down from Casa Grande Wed nite and helped me prepare most of the food. As he says he was the prep expert. Couldn't have done it without him. Everything turned out really good so we were stuffed and miserable. Anthony said he hadn't seen such little chickens!! We had Cornish hens.
Everyone loved their gifts and I was certainly spoiled with cashmere PJ's from Jenn and a new lens for my camera and CD player from TJ.
Even the bird was able to celebrate Christmas with a little taste of freedom. The only time he gets out of the cage is when TJ is here due to the fact I can't get him back in his cage. He loved walking about and exploring but his favorite was the Trader Joe bag.

Our meal, ham, cornish hens, au gratin potatoes, squash, green bean casserole and all the fixings. Yum it was so good

My table setting very simple this year

Mr A playing one of the new games

Uncle TJ and kids

John, TJ and kids playing a game while Jenn and I did the dreaded clean up

Kids had asked for a list of what I wanted and TJ found on line a million dollar bill which was on my list. So here it is one million dollars

A complete shocker a new camera lens from TJ loving it

And a new CD player now I have music again when the bird allows it as he trys to out sing the music so it tends to ruin my CD's

Keep your fingers crossed that the rain is gone and my internet stays on.
I hope all of you had a wonderful Christmas. Colleen is in her car heading to Cali to see her new granddaughter. That was the best Christmas present she could have gotten.

Saturday, December 20, 2008


Today was all about celebrating Anthony's 8th birthday. He was born on the 8th of Dec. We had to postpone dinner till today due to many commitments and scheduling difficulties. Pretty much Anthony has had a celebration every week since his birthday. Not bad.
We all met up at Carrabba's for lunch. It had been awhile since we had all gotten together. Lots of stories, catching up and tons of laughter. As usual Uncle TJ had come up with the best gift a remote controlled tarantula. You could just see the thoughts spinning in Anthony's eyes of who or what would be the victim of the creeping spider. I have a feeling Sadera mite be the recipient of a creepy crawly on her when she is asleep and I just know the cats are going to be chased around too.

The excitement of wondering what was in the package

Mr spaghetti face thrilled with his gift

Daddy John and Sadera...... Jennifer was camera happy

Grandma and Anthony


Being silly for mom's camera

TJ refused to pose as Jenn wanted but Sadera complied


pics of the resturant

After our meal I was able to finish up a bit more shopping. I am down to just one more person shall we say the most difficult one TJ!!!!!!!
Hopefully I will be able to get done tomorrow. Looking forward to the family being here on Christmas Day

Friday, December 12, 2008


I usually have my house all decorated and my tree up at Thanksgiving. But this year I was in Iowa so nothing was done. I got home from work a bit earlier today so I plunged in and got the tree unpacked. I decided to go very simply this year. The tree and a few other decorations. It feels good to have accomplished this much today.
My tree

Glass block Jan gave me. I am loving it

My old pink Christmas balls in a jar

Just a few things on my tea cart

I have a few more things I want to find but that is pretty much going to be my decorating for this year
Meeting Colleen tomorrow to pick up my stamps and a few other goodies at Mystic and then to Costco for a few things. It is supposed to rain this weekend Yuck

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Wednesday already

My gosh it is Wednesday already. I am still trying to get unpacked and things put away from last weekend. I put the finishing touches on my Amy Tangerine class and added the tag to my Christmas album from Debby S class. Need to finish up my ATC holder.
Amy taught us reverse applique and I had so much fun learning this technique and putting my collage together

My album from Debby S. Love this little album and as a bonus I learned how to use my bind it all great fun

When we were back in Iowa for Thanksgiving Mom and Dad gave me a little folding chair from the Presbyterian Church I attended. I sat on a chair like this every Sunday for Sunday School when I was very small. Dad packaged it up and mailed it to me and it arrived Tuesday. I love my little chair. I'm thinking I need to "borrow" one of Colleen's dolls to sit on the chair.
This has been one busy week so far and I am looking forward to the weekend. I need to get my tree up and get my shopping done. Looks like it will be a busy weekend

Monday, December 08, 2008

What a wonderful weekend

What a wonderful weekend. I can't quit smiling as I think of all those special moments. I was so lucky to attend my second Kim C event "Joyeux Affaire" this past weekend. Kim's events are like Christmas. The build up and the anticipation and then the day arrives and you open the greatest gift ever. Kim oversees each and every detail. Everything from food, decor, gifts and instructors is fine tuned. She assures that each of us have a great day and we are spoiled beyond belief.
So Friday morning Kim H, Colleen and I packed Kim's SUV to the max and headed to Cali. What a fun road trip. We had so much catching up to do and Colleen was quite the expert at signing with her white gloves. Kim and I cracked up as she waved and signed her displeasure with some of the drivers. Needless to say we got some strange looks.
One of the fun cars that we passed was the Oscar Meyer weinermobile. I tried to get some pics as we drove by

Saturday was the much anticipated day. We were in awe when we walked in to a Christmas wonderland. The tables were beautiful and the goodie bags, were unbelievable.

Kim's beautiful dress form

My table mates

Our vendors set up. All of them had beautiful displays to help entice us to shop and we all did

Lunch boxes all lined up

Swapping our ornaments

All the ornaments from the swap I joined on my little tree. They were all beautiful

I have so many pics but will upload them to my flickr in the next few days.
We left Sun early afternoon and somehow we seemed to have more bags coming back hmmm not sure how that happened:) The trip home was as entertaining as going. I think we are now familiar with where the cheapest gas is, where the best eats are and where the most horrible rest stop restrooms are. Believe me we saw them!!
I will post more later off to bed. Somehow sleep was not a priority and we well Kim and I seemed to chat quite late while Ms Colleen slept!

Friday, December 05, 2008

Road trip

Heading out to California today for Joyeux Affaire at Kim C beautiful home. Check her blog for the beautiful photos she has posted. My traveling companions Kim H and Colleen J are as excited as I am. Looking forward to great classes, fabulous decor, wonderful food and tons of laughter. See ya when I get back. A special thanks to the boss for letting me take this trip at this time

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Back from Iowa

What a week. As I wrote in my last post TJ and I flew home to Iowa for Thanksgiving. We had a fabulous week with good home cooked foods, family and clear cold weather. We packed so much into our visit that it is hard to pick out one favorite memory as they were all so special. Everyday was an event of the best of meals. I can't pick a favorite. TJ got to try pheasant for the first time and really enjoyed that.
Thanksgiving Day, just where do I start. Other than getting up early and getting the bird in the oven it was a spectacular day. Mom and Dad had worked so hard and had many surprises for us.
We had the traditional Struchen food of turkey, ham, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy and my favorite green bean casserole, squash and sweet corn as well as a ton of salads and desserts. All the vegatables had come from their garden and were yummy.
During the meal a cowbell was rung and you had to take a turkey joke out of the container and read it. Now Kate and Jo totally got into this and had all of us groaning over the jokes. After totally stuffing ourselves Mom had prepared a program. Yeap I lost it and there were many tears as well as some laughter. In no particular order here are a few of the 1000 pics taken throughout our week. No not all of them are mine we combined 4 cameras to total that number.

Mini albums for photos of our week. We assembled throughout the week albums for photos of our days. I have to say Dad, TJ and Scott really got into creating their albums. Scott thinks the cricut is the neatest thing ever
Left to right Jo's, Dad's, Sheryl & Scott's, mine and TJ's

Table with all the decorations Mom had made

Kate getting into reading the jokes

TJ receiving his wooden toys (long story as to why Dad had them and TJ didn't)

Steve and Kate getting the clock Steve had made back. Thanks Dad for rescuing it from the community center

Kolby modeling Dad's basketball letter sweater that was auctioned off which by the way TJ was high bidder on

After the program we went upstairs and started taking family pics. What a riot that was to get all of us to smile and look in the same direction. So here we all are the "Struchens" 2008

Then from one big family picture we broke it down into single families. TJ and I as Jennifer, John and Sadera and Anthony were back in AZ

Next comes my sister Jo and her son Gabe. her other son Zach and his new wife are in New York

Next in birth order is my brother Steve and his family
L-R Kate their son Matt, Steve, their oldest Brady and his new wife Lindsey

And finally baby brother Scott and his family
L-R Kolby, my brother Scott, his wife Sheryl and their oldest son Keegan

My sister trying to get a night shot of TJ and I next to the light pole

The lighted wreath on the house

Dad, Jo and grandsons hanging the lights on the house

Dad and Jo decorating the lightpole

Mom teaching Jo and I how to make the traditional Christmas bread wreath

TJ working on his mini album

Dad working on his mini album

Daughters and daughter-in-laws at Scott's house

Baby brother Scott with his oldest sister me

Of course this had to be long with tons of pics. It was so hard to try and pick out just a few. I am anxious to get my pictures printed and get scrapping
Monday it is back to work and then Friday I leave for Cali with Kim H, and Colleen for another wonderful event at Kim C's. Looking forward to that so much. After Kim's event I will be home with no further planned travel plans scrambling to get ready for Christmas
Hope all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving