Sunday, December 20, 2009

Busy weekend

My goodness this has been another busy packed weekend that has taken wings and flown right past me. I guess since it is the last weekend before Christmas that is to be expected. My shopping is done except for one small item I need to pick up for the Grand daughter. Now just need to wrap it all:) My Christmas dinner is planned and have almost everything here to make it. A quick trip to the grocery store will finish that off too. Everyone will be here for Christmas and I am so happy we will have a bit of time to relax and just be together! And needless to say after Saturday's baking I have enough sweet treats to last the next 3 months!!!

Colleen arrived back in town late late last night or should I say very early this am like 3ish. I had told her I had reservations for her favorite place in the whole world for 11. I am afraid she didn't get much sleep but like the trouper she is she was here and ready to eat. Imagine Colleen's surprise when we got to TC's and there Carol W was standing outside. Colleen thought it was just a big coincidence HA I finally pulled one over on her. She was surprised by the wonderful group of ladies that joined us. It was so good to see everyone and for Colleen to catch up with all her crafting buddies. Lunch as usual was the best or should I say breakfast as I think we all had breakfast. We sat and visited for quite a long time. Lots of laughs and good old bonding of kindred hearts.

Here we all are from L>R Kim J, Colleen, Jennifer W, Maija L, Carol W, Kim H, Tina W. Tina had the waitress take a group photo so I am sure she has a much better picture of all of us.

Maija presented all of us with the cutest wrapped package with a penguin tied on it. Love me some chocolate. I am saving him for my late midnight snack :)

Inside the package was the sweetest little crown. It is already hanging on my special ornaments tree.

Tina gave each of us a beautiful tag and again it is hanging on my special tree

I made everyone a little church or a house scene. Wrapped it tulle with a little silver ribbon

Saturday morning TJ came in and we started baking for the staff cookie exchange at work. Everyone that knows TJ knows we baked, dipped and frosted a ton of cookies. Tried out two new recipes and they were yummy.

I guess that is a brief look at my weekend. Now to wrapping gifts!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Saturday Happenings

This has been one busy week at work. Still no heat on the home front by my own choosing and no heat at work not by our choosing. The administrative side has no heat and it is a bit chilly! Name of the game this week is dress warm and wrap in a blanket while working on the computer:) Hopefully next week they will have it figured out. Anyway despite the chilly temps I am managing to stay warm.
So far this has been quite the busy weekend. Jen and John have been training for 16 weeks and ran a 12K in Gilbert this am. They did it 4 minutes under their goal so they were so pleased. Jen says the next one will be 1/2 a marathon! They will start their training for that soon. While the healthy people were running TJ, Anthony, Sadera and I baked Christmas cookes. Uncle TJ is the best as he lets them eat the dough and actually let them press out the cookies. We made a double batch of spritz. This is one of my favorites and such an easy cookie to make. Despite sugar crystals and flour everywhere we had a lot of fun. Kids helped package them up to take home.
While I cleaned up the cookie mess Sadera and TJ trimmed my out of control bouganvilla. It is so vibrant and beautiful right now but it was becoming a bit too unruly.
Tuesday was Anthony's 9th birthday and to celebrate we let him pick where to eat lunch. Once our runners were showered and recovered we headed to the secret location that only Anthony and TJ knew. Anthony thought it was quite the deal that he picked where to eat and only he and TJ knew where to go. TJ played along and drove us around the mall abit before parking at the Elephant Bar. Great lunch with way too much food. Somehow we managed to consume most of it. The desserts were beyond yummy. I had a cranberry tart that was so so good.
Now it is quiet here and I already miss everyone. The house was noisy with laughter all morning and now very silent.
Tomorrow Jen and I head out to get some Christmas shopping done and then it is home to laundry cleaning and getting ready for another work week.

Jen and John recovered and so happy with their results of the 12K

Anthony with the camera snapping pics of Sadera She is pleased as you can see

Sadera with my camera taking pics of Anthony and I

John and Jen ready for their run

Sadera making those cookies she seems to love to cook and bake like her Mom and her Uncle TJ

Helping hands

TJ and Anthony

Kids and TJ

My kitchen Christmas tree. I went very simply this year and only brought out a few decorations

A few of my favorites arranged

My tree in the living room with a row of lights that are out. Still looking for the burned bulb

And the stockings are hung!!

Looking forward to shopping with Jen tomorrow laundry and cleaning not so much.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

What a weekend what a Monday

Let me just start by saying this past weekend and yesterday the start of a new week were not that stellar. In other words bluntly said it sucked!!!
This past weekend was a very cold one and add to that no heat. Yeap turned on the heat and nothing but cold air. At one point it was 52 in the house. Needless to say I had multiple layers of clothes on. Now that it is 60 to 63 in my house it seems warm:) No idea when it will be fixed.
I spent Sat afternoon running errands and doing a bit of shopping. I think Christmas will be here quicker than I will be ready.
Sunday after finishing some special projects I headed to the grocery store. Little did I know till Monday am that somewhere between the store and home my debit card came up missing. Added to no Internet again it was a wonderful weekend
So you can see my Monday started off great. Thankfully I have a new account and card and nothing was charged to my old card. Then I get home Monday from work to find the NEW roof continues to leak when it rains, the TV looks like it is dying a slow death but on a bright note I have Internet back. Go figure.
Today Tuesday is a much better day. The roofer was out at 6 am even though it was pitch black to evaluate the problem, Internet working when I left, and the TV at least turned on this AM I think it will be a good day:)

I had Kim mail my Etsy order to my folks. Every year we do a family project. This year we did Kim's wooden angels. We had a great time sitting around laughing and visiting while completing the angels
Four generations of the Struchen guys
The table

Fall Decor

So this is my first post from the Mac at work. Yeah I know I need to be working but just had to try it out. Love the Mac

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Reflections of my week in Iowa

I know again I have been a bad blogger, but blame it on my internet provider. No internet for four days leaves me very groucht to say the least. Despit the lack of courtsey to return my phone calls or emails, this evening I am on the net. So enough about my dislike of current provider.
TJ and I flew into Iowa the Friday before Thanksgiving. All was calm all was bright until we got a phone call from the car rental place. Yeap we were in violation of me not driving. After that little episode was taken care of we headed on our merry way into Iowa. It was a great week filled with good fod, meeting the newest memeber of the Struchen family, catching up with my sister and brothers and spending quality time with my folks. Here are just a few pics of our week.

The Struchen brothers and sisters

Wednesday nite before Thanksgiving. We were all tired after cooking all day

Meet the newest member of the Struchen's Kaiden

Mom Dad my sister and I

Tuesday we had lunch at Iowa's newest winery. Beautiful building

So just a few photos. I will blog more later. It seems I have tons of photos

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Happy Birthday Jennifer

Today is officially Jennifer's Birthday. Yesterday was girl time today was a lunch celebration with all of us. TJ drove down from Casa Grande and we had a late lunch at Firebird. Enjoyed visiting. It is unbelievable how quickly time flies by. I can still vividly remember Jennifer as a baby, toddler and oh yes a teenager. She has grown into a wonderful responsible young woman. She is a great Mom. So Happy Happy Birthday Jen and enjoy your 8 mile run this evening. Yuck can't imagine after all we ate to run.
The Birthday Girl

Anthony and Sadera with their beloved TJ

John and Jen

So the weekend has been officially declared a success and now it is time to get ready for another work week.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

A good Weekend So Far

It is amazing that a week ago my world was a mess with multiple problems with the house. One week later my world is calm and oh so positive. While this is a very busy weekend it has been filled to the brim so far with all good things.
Today was girls day out in celebration of Jen's BD tomorrow. Us girls Sadera, Jenn and I started our day with a pedi at Rose Nails. This is our favorite place as they do a wonderful pedi and massage while the big comfy massage chair relaxes you and the warm swirling water your feet are soaking in totally gives you peace. As usual our big decision was what nail color or design we wanted. I am a bit more adventurous than Jen and Sadera is way way more gun ho than either of us. Sadera picked her design immediately and then I had mine and oops Jen picked the same one as me. They turned out great. I also had my French manicure so was pampered with a hand and arm massage too.:) Yes Jamie I was thinking about you.
After the pampering we headed out for a bit of retail time. Checked out the new Hobby Lobby. Then to lunch at a favorite place Macaroni Grill. We had a very long leisurely lunch thanks to a very slow waitress but it was ok as we were in no hurry. It was back home so I could give Jen her gift. I gave her one of Jamie's bracelets and she loved it. It had been a very long time since the 3 of us have had a nice long day together and we all were tired but had so much fun. Tomorrow officially Jen's BD is the family lunch. The guys are included in this one :)
Our beautiful toes. Mine are the striped flip flops, Sadera was barefoot and Jen the dark ones. If you click on the pic you can see the little rhinestones on our toes and Sadera's wild dots.

Jen's bracelet designed by Jamie

So backing up a day to Friday. Colleen is back in town all be it very whirlwind in and out she is here!!!!! She looks great and I got to see baby Ella. Jan and I stole her away for a quick lunch and visit before dropping her off at Roy and Daisy's home. Next trip back will be in Dec. She is flying back to Oakland Sun am. It was so good to see her and Jan and I did our best to point out all the positives of AZ life:)

No trip or visit with Colleen is complete without a visit to Starbuck's. Just look what we found. perfect for my coffee to take to work

Wednesday nite was Stampin Up club and as usual Jan had beautiful cards for us to make. We completed 2 Christmas and one Thanksgiving card.

So far said with fingers crossed everything is running well, no leaks, electricity is on, Internet is on. Good times at my house!!!

Sunday, November 01, 2009

And the Saga Continues

So the saga continues. I woke up Saturday positive thinking everything is fixed and life is good. No Internet however and another phone call to India was nonproductive. I talked with TJ and he ran me through many trials to see if we could get it to work to no avail. So we came up with 2 options: switch Internet providers or get an air card. Neither could be accomplished till Monday. Well in the meantime my Island crops are withering, my farm is being neglected , I have no clue what is going on in Internet land.
I decided to forget the Internet and spend my time on putting the house together. Had to wash all the throw rugs, vac, and mop all the dirt and basically just clean. Did tons of laundry.
Next on the agenda was a shower and head to Anthony's BD party/Halloween party. Anthony's BD is in Dec and it is difficult to get a BD celebration in as most of the kids he invites are swamped with school, church and family gatherings. So he and Jenn cooked up the idea of an early party. Anyway I jump in the shower feeling that things are under control and life except for the Internet is all good again. WRONG WRONG WRONG!!!! I finish my shower and try to turn off the water and yeap you guessed it the faucet wouldn't shut off the water. Is this never going to end I think. Get out of the shower and throw clothes on as the phone rings and am talking to a friend and we are laughing at my ongoing traumatic adventures. Head out the door and shut off the water to the house till I can figure out what to do next. At least the new shut off valve worked! I tried everything I could think of to get that dang valve to turn nadda nope noway was it budging. Many wonderful words escaped my mouth!!! Jen stopped over to pick up a few things for the party looked at the faucet and proclaimed this is an easy fix I will help you tomorrow! Ya right nothing has been easy fix these days.
Long story short I was getting ready to head to the party when another friend calls. I am lamenting my horrible Friday to her when suddenly she is saying I can't hear you and off goes the phone. Yeap just great. I walked in my office area to grab the other phone and the Internet is on. Yeah the Internet is on my phones are out. What the heck is going on. Friend called back and phones working, Internet working no water leaks electricity is on life is 99.9% good.
I was almost afraid to get in the car to go to party but I did. Greeted by wild little boys and tons of good snacks and food. Night ended well
Now today I get reluctantly out of bed thinking ok now what. So far at 8 am it is a good day. Had to turn on the water to the house so I can get some laundry done and now it is sit and wait for Jen to come over for the easy quick fix on the faucet. We will see.
I think I am glad I will be going to work on Monday!!!

Anthony the Birthday Boy he will be 9 in Dec

The whole family

The wild ones

John and Jen

The cute cake made out of cupcakes

Sadera the jelly fish and her friend Ms ladybug

The table and all the yummy snacks

The new water pipe in the laundry room Dry wall is going to need to be replaced

And the wonderful new shut off valve to the house

So I am feeling pretty confident that I am on an uphill swing. Let's see what Sunday brings!!!