December 29, 2006
How Hard?
Could it possibly be to find a new shower curtain? We have had the old one ... well... forever!

Anyone know of any good online places ? Been to most stores in KC Metro area. Nothing. We {I} am wanting to go with these colors ... chocolate, a tan, and a robin's egg type blue.

We don't want green ... kitchen is that! Bedroom is that ... LOL~

Off to do weekly chores ... forecast is rain for the entire weekend. We need it.

P.S. Bathroom tile is all done. Yeah!


December 27, 2006
Blog change ...
What do you think? Drop me a comment and let me know if I should change it again! LOL!

Back to work today for me and Sarai. I didn't brave the stores yesterday except to get the essentials. I have a few things I need to return.

The bathroom is coming along nicely ... we can't agree on a shower curtain. I want to go with a robin's egg blue, and chocolate brown type of color scheme, but he does not.
Still need to finish the grout on the floor and then paint the walls the colors we eventually "agree" on.

I am listing a lot of Quickutz dies on ebay tonight. It will include the Marisa Classic Size Font, both upper case and lower case, plus a few miscellaneous dies; the blue binder and sheets. I picked up a couple of Cuttlebug alphabets and well ... these need to go! My user ID is rowdyboy1. (after my horse!)

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December 25, 2006
Happy Birthday from the Hundred Acre Wood!
Hello Michelle!
It's your birthday all day long -- a day for celebration.
We wish you lots of joy and fun and friendly salutations.
It's a special kind of day for you -- a day of treats and parties.
We wish you all the birthday best from the bottoms of our hearties.
Happy birthday from your buddies in the Hundred Acre Wood.


Merry Christmas!
Our prayer is that you have a wonderful Christmas and a New Year filled with an abundance of blessings!!

It was a good day here ... the "boys" are finishing up a game of Monopoly Here and Now ... I went bankrupt and Ri quit! But they are still at it.

Been thinking about so many things and am motivated to get some projects accomplished!


December 24, 2006
Merry Christmas Eve!!
Its become somewhat of a tradtion to eat Chinese Food on Christmas Eve.
While growing up we always had fish and an italian spaghetti dish (which I won't even begin to spell!) -- basically it had garlic, anchovies and water that made up the sauce -- (don't worry the anchovies disenegrated!) but as my mom got older -- we made our own. She enjoyed this just as well. She isn't with us any more -- but my kids say this is a must thing to do.

So we are headed out shortly to eat.

Cookies done -- I tried a new sugar cookie today made by a sister in our church and it is a keeper! Need to get the recipe and make a bunch! Yummy stuff!!

I'll post photos of our Christmas Play -- the teen boys did great on their skit performances! I'm pretty proud of all of them. We are blessed to know them!

I'm excited about Christmas {finally} and my birthday tomorrow ... even if I am a year older!


December 23, 2006
A Sneak Peek
My husband has been putting in some llooonnngg days! We are usually up by 0430 and he has been working on the bathroom until midnight most nights.

For him it is also a gift for me ... a true labor of love. Thanks babe.

Here's a peek. (its still not painted and no water comes out of the faucet but ... it has a mirror and LOTS of light!!


December 21, 2006
3 days til Christmas?
{sigh} Where did the time go?

I am off work tomorrow which is a very good thing!

I have much to do!

Just when I think I am ahead, I feel I am just beginning ...

Cookies are on my agenda for this afternoon & evening. (and play and skit practice!)
What kind are you making? Here's my list ...

Winkler's Cookies
Chocolate Covered Cherry {for the dh!}
Toffee Crackers
White Chocolate Macadamia

Already made ...

Chocolate Chip
Ranger Cookies
Sugar Cookies

P.S. If you are reading and live in my city ... leave a comment and I'll bring you a treat!
I have been searching high and low for my mom's sugar cookie recipe and I think I found it!!


The Best Cup ...
A group of alumni, highly established in their careers, got together to visit their old university professor. Conversation soon turned into complaints about stress in work and life. Offering his guests coffee, the professor went to the kitchen and returned with a large pot of coffee and an assortment of cups - porcelain, plastic, glass, crystal, some plain looking, some expensive, some exquisite - telling them to help themselves to the coffee.

When all the students had a cup of coffee in hand, the professor said: "If you noticed, all the nice looking expensive cups were taken up, leaving behind the plain and cheap ones. While it is normal for you to want only the best for yourselves, that is the source of your problems and stress.

Be assured that the cup itself adds no quality to the coffee.

In most cases it is just more expensive and in some cases even hides what we drink.

What all of you really wanted was coffee, not the cup, but you consciously went for the best cups...

And then you began eyeing each other's cups.

Now consider this: Life is the coffee; the jobs, money and position in society are the cups.

They are just tools to hold and contain Life, and the type of cup we have does not define, nor change the quality of Life we live.

Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the coffee provided for us.

"The happiest people don't have the best of everything. They just make the best of everything."

Live simply.

Love generously.

Care deeply.

Speak kindly.

Leave the rest to your chosen faith.


December 19, 2006
Band Photos
I had to take these from the top row of the bleachers -- and have not edited this photo -- but I think the look and expression on his face is perfect!
This one shows how wore out he was.
Again an action shot from the top row and they were all moving!


He seems to be sagging a bit ... but quite honestly this winter has NOT been cold.
So he's entitled to melt. *Ü*
Sadly, we did not win the door contest. {even though many people have said that we should have!}


Bathroom Progress

Its been another world wind last few days ... but we now have tile on the floor ... but it has only been grouted in a few places.
Still need to finish that, and paint and well ... all the rest! {sigh}
I need to be patient ... I just wish there was a mirror in there to use to do my hair!


December 15, 2006
9 Days til' Christmas!
Are you ready? I have a few more gifts to buy and complete, and still need to mail Christmas cards. I made my own this year and they are done, but not addressed!

It has been a seriously busy and full week.

Monday evening (after a full day of work) Roy and I went to Kansas City to get some things needed for the bathroom and a Sam's stop.

Stephen had his
Liberty Bowl show at the school at 7:30pm -- so we rushed straight there after the stores. The band did such a super job! Stephen is directly in the front and is solo. {will post some photos, as soon as I get them off the camera!} His band teacher also asked him last month to be on the Jazz Team so he gets to do extra stuff in Memphis.

Tuesday -- aside from work -- lots of things to catch up with at the house. I made 4 pans of Baked Ziti. One for the Christmas Dinner on Saturday evening and the rest for the freezer. I still have a huge pot of sauce in the fridge and hope to make up more freeze ahead meals with that. Roy still working on the bathroom until the late hours ... (not done!)

-- we have Bible Study. Home about 1030.

Thursday -- The students' Badge Ceremony was in the morning. After work, I went home to clean up a bit and get dinner for the family. At 530pm, I went to the church and helped with the Peanut Brittle making. We ended up with 120 bags ... 240 pans of candy. Made it home about 1130pm and then had to make my dessert for the Hall Party at the college today. Went to bed sometime Friday am! {ugh}

**On a side note -- I decided to wait until I got home to use the restroom, because face it, it was already 11pm, I was tired and still had a 25 minute drive home! I just wanted to get there. Drove up to the house and low and behold and on the deck ... there were 2 (yes TWO!) toilets! That meant that the new one was not in its proper place ... walked in and my first words did not go over well. Uh, dear I didn't use the restroom at the church. Him; You should have! and he slammed the door. Things did not look promising. Apparently he and Josh had been struggling the entire evening and making trips back into town to get the right parts to get the toilet seated correctly. I guess its not a standard size. {sigh}

Today! -- I am beyond tired today! Graduation for the students and the Hall Christmas Party and Door Decoration judging! We made a 3-D snowman. I'll post a photo of him tonight. He came out super. After work, Saturday jobs -- (meaning major weekly cleaning!) then on to church for Prayer and Christmas Play practice after ... hoping to be asleep before midnight! I have to prep my potatoes and bake a cake for tomorrow's dinner. I am hoping to get to Kansas City to return some items and pick up a few things.
If my car cooperates ... but that's a whole other story!!

Bathroom progress...
Sheetrock done -- check

Mudding -- check

Shower complete -- not! (but we can take one!)

Toilet seated permanently with the tank {so you can actually flush and not use a bucket of water} -- not!

Not started yet ...

New tile --

Paint --

Vanity --

Mirror --

Put everything back ... minus one cabinet.

major clean up of house and tools all put up and carpet shampooed.

And 9 days til' Christmas? {sigh}


December 10, 2006
Gotta love my dh! Since starting this new position, which he thought would give him more time off ... (has been seriously NOT the case!!)
He took vacation for a 6 days this past week and has been re-doing the bathroom. He also had to travel to get hay for the horses ... and then the trailer got a flat! Brand new tires! {sigh}

He has collected items over the last year ... a shower for $10.00; a vanity and mirror set for next to nothing; toilet etc. And he started this Wednesday.

Keep in mind, our house only has 1 {yup, one!} bathroom ... its been interesting.

I was thankful for a real shower this morning. {sigh of pleasure}

Josh has been helping him and there have been some late, late nights ... mornings? Its coming along ... slowly. He goes back to work Tuesday morning and I have decided I will just wait and see what is done Monday night before I start stressing! LOL!

This week promises to be busy ... out processing at work for our International Students; badge ceremony rehearsal and the ceremony for them; and then graduation on Friday and the Christmas Hall Party at the college, and trying to cook for these get togethers -- ? ? Saturday is our church's annual Christmas dinner. In between all this is 40 hours of work, 10 hours of commuting, church Weds night, peanut brittle making Thursday night; play and skit practice Friday ... shopping and to write out the cards and newsletter and finish up some projects ... and make a Kansas City run prove interesting.

Did I mention the white dust covering most of the downstairs? {sigh}

We may just have a white Christmas at the Crook house this year!!

Its all good, right?

Will post the finished results ... hopefully in 2006!

Here's the shell.


The Shell ....

Above is Josh -- most likely with a sledge hammer. Glad I was at work!

There is actually new sheet rock up and a shower thingy...but since the house is old and things have settled -- its proven a project to make it look nice!


December 8, 2006
16 Days 'til Christmas. Are you ready?
I have been doing surprisingly well. 98% of my gifts are already purchased, created AND wrapped. I have a few more projects to complete and have a goal for 15 Dec 06! Then I'll go on to baking and cooking.

Received this story in an email today ... its a good lesson to apply to our lives and the true reason for Christmas.

This morning I heard a story on the radio of a woman who was out Christmas shopping with her two children; after many hours of looking at row after row of toys and everything else imaginable, and after hours of hearing both her children asking for everything they saw on those many shelves, she finally made it to the elevator with her two kids.

She was feeling what so many of us feel during the holiday season time of the year---overwhelming pressure to go to every party, every housewarming, taste all the holiday food and treats, get that perfect gift for every single person on our shopping list, make sure we don't forget anyone on our card list, and the pressure of making sure we respond to everyone who sent us a card.

Finally the elevator doors opened and there was already a crowd in the car. She pushed her way into the car and dragged her two kids in with her and all the bags of stuff. When the doors closed she couldn't take it anymore and stated, "Whoever started this whole Christmas thing should be found, strung up and shot."

From the back of the car everyone heard a quiet, calm voice respond, "Don't worry. He's already been crucified."

For the rest of the trip down the elevator it was so quiet you could have heard a pin drop.

Don't forget this year to keep the One who started this whole Christmas thing in your every thought, deed, purchase, and word.

If we all did it, just think of how different this whole world would be.

Don't Forget The Reason For The Season!


December 3, 2006
Horses ... Rowdy and Mysti


I have definitely been a blog slacker ... lots going on in life lately!

Roy was selected as the Supervisor of the Rosedale Station in KC -- and what we "thought" would be a 8-4 day with 2 days off a week ... well needless to say that has NOT been the case.

I was selected to be a Program Assistant with the International Military Student Division at the college on post ... no more 700am-330 days there either ... but evening stuff is usually fun stuff. We have @ 90 officers representing about 75 countries. I "HATED" it the first 2 weeks and regretted moving there, but now I'm glad I did. I've been learning alot ... Although I am still looking for a promotion ...

Sarai is working and going to college full time ... she's doing great and has more energy than me!

Josh is a Junior this year ... driving ... {ugh} and trying to figure a way to get to Australia in June ... anyone know of any corporate sponsors?

Stephen is a Freshman this year ... doing well in school ... still in Band ... was asked to be in the Jazz Band by the band teacher and is headed to Memphis, Tenn this month to play at the Liberty Bowl. He's pretty excited they will be stopping by Graceland so he can get something for his dad.

Hay ... our local supplier is OUT. We have always gotten hay through them the entire winter! People from the south have been coming north and buying it up ... {sigh} I've been praying for some ... this is a NEED. Will you help me pray? Our horses and goats will thank you!!

Lots to do this month ... but I am actually ahead of the game this year ... presents pretty much done. I have a few homemade gifts I am working on and should have those done this week. I wasn't in the mood last year because it was the first Christmas and Birthday without my mom. I think in all my 39 years with her, we may have been apart 2 ... and that was because of the military ... it may even be just one. {if that} My dh and kids made my birthday last year extra special and I am so thankful for them! I am blessed. {even though I forget that in the struggles of living with 3 teenagers!} I miss the big family get togethers I had as a kid growing up in New York.

Its cold out there this morning, and I need to get in gear ... and make a list of all I need to do!!

One goal for 2007 -- get better organized!!

Have a great Sunday ... hope you spend some of it with the Lord!!


December 1, 2006
Has finally arrived in Kansas.
One day it was 70 degress and the next 19 degrees with sidewalks as ice rinks!

We are alive and well ...


I use to eat a lot of natural foods until I learned that most people die of natural causes.

Gardening Rule: When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it's a valuable plant.

The easiest way to find something lost around the house is to buy a replacement.

Never take life seriously. Nobody gets out alive anyway.

There are two kinds of pedestrians: The quick and the dead.

Life is sexually transmitted.

Health is merely the slowest possible rate at which one can die.

The only difference between a rut and a grave is the depth.

Health nuts are going to feel stupid someday, lying in hospitals, dying of nothing.

Have you noticed since everyone has a camcorder these days, no one talks about seeing UFOs like they used to?

Whenever I feel blue, I start breathing again.

All of us could take a lesson from the weather. It pays no attention to criticism.

In the 60's, people took acid to make their world weird. Now the world is weird and people take prozac to make it normal.

How is it one careless match can start a forest fire, but it takes a whole box to start a campfire?

Who was the first person to look at a cow and say, "I think I'll squeeze these dangly things here, and drink whatever comes out?"

Why is there a light in the fridge and not in the freezer?

If Jimmy cracks corn and no one cares, why is there a song about him?

If quizzes are quizzical, what are the tests?

Do illiterate people get the full effect of Alphabet Soup?

Did you ever notice that when you blow in a dog's face, he gets mad at you, but when you take him on a car ride, he sticks his head out the window?

Why doesn't glue stick to the inside of the bottle?

Do you ever wonder why you gave me your email address?