Saturday, July 12, 2008

Ramblings of a Game Playing Mom

I feel so blessed that our adult son and his family like to hang out at our house Sundays after church! We enjoy a big family meal and play games - usually phase10 or monopoly.

Now our daughter is back from Florida but hoping to move there permanently before long, and our son is being transfered by HP to Houston, where our oldest daughter and her 2 children live. I know we have to make the most of the time that we have with them because once they are gone, the chance of getting the whole family together will get even slimmer than it has been with just one living in a different state. Not only that, but our third daughter is going to be Junior this year and isn't even looking at any local colleges. And our second son is starting high school this year. We've got a way to go before we are empty nesters, since our third and youngest son is just starting 1st grade this year - but I am already feeling the saddness of family being too far away to visit regularly.

So, while most are still here, we have to make the most of game night. Oh, and the oldest and her two little (or not so little, anymore) ones are visiting for a week at the end of the month while hubby/daddy is being a camp councelor. I will miss seeing the son-in-law, since we only get to see them once every 2-3 years or longer, but am very excited to visit with the rest of the family.

With summer here, I would love to find games we can enjoy on the deck, especially on evenings that there is a breeze blowing. So, when "An Island Life" blog mentioned this great game that uses magnetic hematite as the playing pieces, Jishaku, I knew I needed to get it. Hope it doesn't take too long to get here ;).

Check out her review of the game on her blog An Island Life and you will have a chance to win one of your own.

Want to know more about the game? Visit the Jishaku site.

Happy playing, whatever you choose to play!!

Ramblings of a Rocker

I love most kinds of music and will happily go to just about any live concert (though I do draw the line at heavy metal and hard core rap), but I'm definitely a rocker at heart. So when a friend mentioned that Journey was coming to Fiddlers Green in Denver with Heart and Cheap Trick opening - I was SO in!

Just one thing we were curious about, being children on the 80's - with Steve Perry not singing for Journey anymore, who was? Then I saw an interview with Journey on Good Morning America - they said that they were watching videos on youtube of band covering their songs and discovered Arnel Pineda from the Philippines - and when they played clips of him singing, I was completely amazed! All you have to do is close your eyes - he sounds so much like Steve Perry! I bought their latest album "Revelation" - a two disc album with a bonus DVD. Disc one was all new songs (I noticed that more than half the audience just sat down when they played the new songs because they were unfamiliar) and disc 2 was a 'greatest hits' of sorts, but re-recorded with Arnel on vocals. The DVD is a concert, which I still haven't watched.

Anyway, the concert was last Wednesday, the first stop on their American tour. Heart sounds as amazing as they always have. Journey was equally amazing - though it would be good if the lead singer would remember what band he is singing for, LOL! (He stumbled a bit over "Journey") Cheap Trick has only ever had a couple of songs that I liked, but they banged those out as good as ever. I am always amazed at the range of people who attend concerts. I saw children as young as 4 (which, IMHO, is ridiculous - way too young for a concert, I am hesitant to take my 15 year old son and 16 year old daughter to concerts) and rockers in their 60's!

I was hoping this video that someone posted to youtube would work, but I can't get it to embed, so here's the link

Monday, June 30, 2008

Ramblings of a Road Trip Mama

Our family has always chosen the comfort of road trips over flying for our vacations. When the children were younger, we didn't have to worry about how noisy they were, if they were bugging the other's on the plane, we have the travel trailer so we can rest assured that nobody has left anything gross in the hotel bed, we can stop at multiple places along the trip and really see some of the great nuances of our country. Oh, and our SUV has a dvd player, so the kids can watch movies or plug in the playstation to stay busy while my hubby and I get hours of wonderful conversation time.

This year the gas prices are going to really cause vacation cut backs, not just for us, but for just about everyone. We are excited to see some of the wonderful spots around Colorado that we've missed in our 18 years here, though. And, I'm researching ways to help us save money and gas on our short stateside trips.

I found a link to some gas saving tips (along with some other helpful info and checklists for road trips) from prestone

Click here to view the gas saving tips

An Island Life is hosting a series of summer giveaways, and you can enter to win a road trip prize pack

Click here to read An Island Life and enter the giveaway

Good luck and Happy Road Tripping!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Ramblings of a jewelry making fool!

So, I started this fabulous new business earlier this year .... Gems to Jewels!! It combines my love of crafting with my love of beautiful jewelry.

I have been making handmade jewelry since 2005, and shortly after starting I had several people ask if I could teach them. Well, I did several little classes for friends and fellow mom's clubbers, but really wanted to turn it into a viable business. I began searching for a good vendor or two where I could get everything that I wanted I began to feel like the industry falls hugely short. I don't want a huge beading store, and it seemed like I would need to purchase large minimum orders from several manufacturers in order to have the variety that I need.

Well, I thought, maybe a direct sales company so I can benefit from their larger purchasing power and advertising. Off on that search I went - I found about 5 companies that offer in-home jewelry making parties/classes/workshops, and contacted each. Within just a few hours Gems to Jewels had called me back (BTW - this was in January and I'm still waiting to hear from all but one of the others)

I did my research on the internet, since the other companies really weren't interested enough in having any more consultants to send information, and found that one of the 5 is really a boutique type business that offers a few of their products in kits that you can put it together yourself. The other 3 are pre-made make 'n take type.

Gems to Jewels really stands out - they offer real gemstones and sterling silver components, all sold by the component. This means that you can attend a workshop and create a meaningful piece or set that reflects your personality using gemstones that are special to you, at a price that suits your budget. You can design and complete or the consultant can finish for you. And in the end, you get a one of a kind piece that is heirloom quality!

Anyway, I obviously chose Gems To Jewels, and am loving it!!

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Ramblings of a wife who knows men can be idiots

Well, It's been an eventful week and a half since my last post. Sunday after my last post the family all headed off to church. We arrived, got Chris off to sunday school and gathered in the espresso cafe to enjoy lattes and donuts. We enjoyed the service and headed back home, with Bri driving and Louis playing the roll of the responsible license holder. We got out of the parking lot and headed home, and Louis started coughing and sneezing. By the time we got home, his eyes were starting to swell. Of course, you know, he is a man, so here's how the conversation went.

Me, "Get back in the car, I have to take you to the ER."
Him, "No, I'll just wash my eyes and wait it out."
Me, "Are you out of your stinkin' mind - get your butt in the car!"

By the time we got to the ER (which, BTW, is in our neighborhood and takes about 2 minutes to get to from our house) his eyes were swollen shut and he was having a hard time breathing. I pulled up to the front door and sent him in while I parked. I run into the building and they already have him in back processing him - there are people in the waiting room bleeding, but for this severe allergic reaction, he came first. At this point he can no longer see, is struggling to breath, and can hardly talk. They shot him up with epinephrine, plus benadryl into an IV they've stuck in his arm, and admitted him to the hospital. When they get him settled in his room he's looking a bit like Mr. Magoo and I tell him how much better he looks (he can now actually open his eyes and see) and he looks in the mirror and finally realizes how serioius this all was - "this is better!?"

Anyway, they release him the next afternoon (Memorial Day monday) after keeping him overnight for observation and give him instructions to follow up with his primary care physician. Friday I'm looking in the calendar while he's off playing golf and don't see that follow up appointment, so I make one for him, and stronglly reprimand him when he gets home.

Oh, and by the way, they don't know what caused the reaction.

The 25th was our granddaughter Laila's 5th birthday, and we had planned a trip to chuck e cheese with her, her 3 year old brother, her 21 month old brother, our son's 4 year old daughter and 18 month old daughter, and our 6 year old Chris. Of course, that was overruled by the trip to the ER, so they all celebrated at home while Louis and I were at the hospital.

What else has kept us busy? Let's see ....
~ our daughter and her 3 kiddo's arrived back from Florida/Texas and have been staying with us
~ school is out so our three minor children are home most of the time
~ I worked for D11 through the school year, so now there are numerous studio and jewelry related tasks that I need to catch up on
~ summer is almost here and there are so many yard/houshold chores that need to be done so that we can enjoy the season

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Ramblings of a wife shopping for Father's Day

If you are anything like me (or, rather, your hubby is anything like mine) it's incredibly hard to shop for Father's day (or his birthday, or Christmas). My hubby tends to get the things he needs as he needs them and isn't typically interested in 'fluff' (ie. stuff that he doesn't need). In my search for the perfect gift, I came across Amanda & Kristin's Father's Day Gift Guide ....

check it out!!