Sunday, December 28, 2008

My Favorite Matriarch

My Grandma Sousley is one of the most important women in my life. She was the one constant person (besides my parents and 4 brothers) that I had growing up. Having grown up in the military and moving every couple of years, one thing remained the grandmother on 48th Ave. I loved going to Gma's house. There was always something magical about her home. It wasn't big or full of expensive things. It was full of fun and love. That's how I want my house to be...filled with love and fun. I want people to feel welcome always! Now, I have the pleasure of living just a few miles from my grandmother. She is my card playing partner, we enjoy doing puzzles together, and I love to just sit across the table from her and chat. Gma is the most involved grandmother and great grandmother I have EVER known. She was at the birth of a couple of my babies and even cut Caden's cord when he was born. I love you, Gma!

Friday, December 26, 2008


Our kids got Rock Band for Christmas and my brothers and I are having a blast with it!!! The first song I did was Bon Jovi's Wanted Dead or Alive. Mike is sporting the guitar, Bob is playing the drums, and I am on vocals. We all scored above 90% the first time!!! Watch for a venue near you!

Saturday, December 20, 2008


We went to Granny's buffet for dinner tonight...our kids FAVORITE spot and I DO like a good salad bar! Christian saw me in line and said very seriously, "Mom, they serve whale here!" He was just amazed that they would serve whale. I asked what he was talking about and he showed me the tag for the entre which read "FRIED OKRA." He thought it was FRIED ORCA!

Friday, December 19, 2008


I'm driving home from school yesterday after picking up the kids from school and Caden starts singing "Jingle bells, Batman smells, Robin laid an egg...." We all know that song because we all used to sing it as youngsters. Well, Christian started singing a different version that he has learned at school. This one wasn't about Batman and Robin but about an Iraqi suicide bomber. I was briefly stunned....I hadn't heard it and I didn't like it! I told Christian I would rather him sing about Batman smelling! Isn't it interesting how things in this world change things for our kids?

Sunday, December 14, 2008


My boys will play soccer EVEN in the snow!

It's snowing! We received our first snow of the season and it felt very appropriate last night as we were having our company Dermacare Christmas party at our house. However, it turned our hill into a sheet of ice. By this morning, it was worse. So, we are "stranded" at home while Ken has our 4wheel drive vehicle to get to work. The kids think it's great. No church....just playtime in the snow. Here's some shots from a few moments ago.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


My mom, Aunt Judy, Rosy, and I spent the ENTIRE day baking cookies....80 dozen cookies. You heard right! 80 dozen. We made snickerdoodles, chocolate crinkles, inside out oreos, sugar cookies frosted and sprinkled, and chocolate chip. YUM! The kids had fun helping decorate the sugar cookies when they came home from school.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


This story is about my hilarious little nephew (he's 6). This is taken from his Mom's blog so it's in Nina's words.

My cute little Nikolas ~

I made a cake today for my work party, I call it "Better than Christmas" cake ;) This is Nikola's favorite cake, he can tell you all the ingredients that go in it! I made this cake a few weeks ago for a dinner party we had, Nikolas couldn't resist and took a big chunk out of it, needless to say I wasn't very happy. So, I told him today; this cake is for my work please, please don't touch it, I promised you I will bring you back a piece just for you! He promised me he will be good and will stay away from it. Vanessa and Kyler were upstairs with me and I got a little nervous that Nikolas was in the kitchen alone, so I go downstairs quietly and I hear him talking, he is saying; "no I promised mommy I wouldn't touch the cake, I can't eat it!! it's for her work and she will be very sad, she said if I was good and didn't touch the cake, she would bring me back a piece, I can't I promised... so, by now I'm wondering who he is talking to... I got a little concern! does he have an imaginary friend?? I came into the kitchen and I asked him quietly, so Nik who are you talking to? and he says "My stomach", as he rubs it, my stomach wants me to eat your cake mommy, but I told him "NO"... I just couldn't stop laughing!! I promised him I will make him a whole cake for being so good. I just had to share it, it was just too cute!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


Leslie H is on the far right: THis is at Leslie I's birthday dinner. Also picture is Kristie, Theresa, and Leslie I.
,Leslie H is second to the right. This was taken at Theresa's bday in Spokane. Also in picture is Tami, Dana, Theresa, and Kristie.

My dear friend Leslie Hickman is having a birthday today! Leslie is in Ohio visiting her new grandbaby so I wanted to give her a loud shout saying "Happy Birthday, Les, and I love you!" Leslie is exactly the kind of person everyone should have as a friend. She is compassionate, kind, has great advice, can find the good in any situation, and just plain fun to be around. Our family is even lucky to have her as our neighbor. She's my walking, hiking, biking partner and the kind of woman I want to be! Happy Birthday!

Saturday, December 6, 2008


We're on the way home from Target today and Caden asks: "Mom, how far up does space go?"
I don't really know the answer to that so I say:"Forever. To infiniti and beyond!" (Yes, I did borrow that from somewhere). Christian gets all philosphical and says; "Yeah, Caden, forever like God can live forever and never die." Madison decides to pipe in at this point and says; "Or like Edward!" If you don't know Twilight, you won't get it.

Friday, December 5, 2008


The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.
Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
Transforming the yard to a winter delight.

The sparkling lights in the tree I believe,
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.
My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.
In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,
So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.

The sound wasn't loud, and it wasn't too near,
But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear.
Perhaps just a cough, I didn't quite know, Then the
sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.
My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
And I crept to the door just to see who was near.

Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.
A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,
Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.

"What are you doing?" I asked without fear,
"Come in this moment, it's freezing out here!
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!"
For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts..

To the window that danced with a warm fire's light
Then he sighed and he said "Its really all right,
I'm out here by choice I'm here every night."
"It's my duty to stand at the front of the line,
That separates you from the darkest of times.

No one had to ask or beg or implore me,
I'm proud to stand here like my fathers before me.
My Gramps died at 'Pearl on a day in December,"
Then he sighed, "That's a Christmas 'Gram always remembers."
My dad stood his watch in the jungles of 'Nam',
And now it is my turn and so, here I am.

I've not seen my own son in more than a while,
But my wife sends me pictures, he's sure got her smile.
Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,
The red, white, and blue... an American flag.
I can live through the cold and the being alone,
Away from my family, my house and my home.

I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat.
I can carry the weight of killing another,
Or lay down my life with my sister and brother..
Who stand at the front against any and all,
To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall."

" So go back inside," he said, "harbor no fright,
Your family is waiting and I'll be all right."
"But isn't there something I can do, at the least,
"Give you money," I asked, "or prepare you a feast?
It seems all too little for all that you've done,
For being away from your wife and your son."

Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,
"Just tell us you love us, and never forget.
To fight for our rights back at home while we're gone,
To stand your own watch, no matter how long.
For when we come home, either standing or dead,
To know you remember we fought and we bled.
Is payment enough, and with that we will trust,
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us."

PLEASE, would you do me the kind favor of sending this to as many
people as you can? Christmas will be coming soon and some credit is due to our
U.S service men and women for our being able to celebrate these
festivities. Let's try in this small way to pay a tiny bit of what we owe. Make people
stop and think of our heroes, living and dead, who sacrificed themselves for us.

LCDR Jeff Giles, SC, USN
30th Naval Constru ction Regiment
OIC, Logistics Cell One
Al Taqqadum, Iraq

Thursday, December 4, 2008


It's one of the things I look forward to most every year.....decorating for Christmas. Last year, we hardly decorated and had a borrowed tiny tree while we were living in an apartment during our house building. This year we've had so much fun decorating! One of our family traditions is that each child gets a new ornament every year when we decorate the tree. When they get married, they take their ornaments with them (except the boys if I don't think they're wife will appreciate them!). The kids each have their own box and are in charge of hanging their own and I love hearing all the "I remember when I got this" or " I remember when I made this!" Caden's was the best this year though. He took out a photo ornament he made when he was in preschool. He asked, "Mom, can you take my picture and I make an ornament so everyone knows I'm 8?" I loved it! Seasons Greetings everyone!