Friday, January 29, 2010

Mother/Daughter Look Alike Contest

Last Friday and Saturday was the Women's Expo here in Norfolk. There were over 30 booths featuring local businesses and their products. There were booths selling handbags, home decor, scrapbooking products, eyecare, jewelry, Tupperware, hair/beauty products, etc. There was one booth on photography. Reflections Portraits is a local photography studio. Reflections was sponsoring a Mother/Daughter Look Alike Contest. All you had to do was stop by their booth and get your picture taken to be entered. This contest had been publicized in the newspaper.

I told Cara that if we were going to ever win a contest this was the one for us to enter. Truth be told, Cara looks exactly like me when I was 9 years old. Ashlin also looks like me, but I decided that I could only take one daughter to the Expo and enter the contest. I chose Cara because she is the oldest and would behave the best while I browsed for awhile at the Expo.

At first Cara was embarrassed and said that there was no way that she would do it. I again stressed to her that we definitely did look alike and that we should give it a try. Saturday morning Cara was ready to go and give it a shot.

The third booth that we went to at the Expo was the photography booth for the contest. Right away the photographer was telling us how much we looked alike. She proceeded to take about four different poses of us together and then she took a few shots of Cara by herself. Then we were told that we could check out our proofs online in a few days. Cara and I then walked around the Expo and browsed, but everywhere we went ladies kept asking us if we had gotten our picture taken for the Look Alike Contest.

Yesterday I received an e-mail that Cara and I had placed 2nd in the contest and that she would be mailing our gift certificate to us. Cara was so excited and I was also. We checked out our proofs online and some of them are amazing.

So, you tell us if you think that Cara and I look alike!! You can check out the 1st place winner and Cara's and my 2nd place photo at the photographers blog Reflections Portraits under the post - Women's Expo 2010.

Take care,

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Valentine's Day Wreath

I don't have very much Valentine's Day decor, so I have been searching blogland for an easy craft project. I came across this cute and easy Valentine's Day wreath over at Living With Lindsay on her Tuesday Tutorials. She gives you step by step instructions on how to construct this cute wreath.

Since I am short on decor and the project looked fairly easy I decided to buy the supplies for two wreaths. One smaller and one larger heart-shaped wreath. Cara completed the smaller one and I completed the larger wreath. Erica and Ashlin tried to help Cara with the smaller wreath, but Ashlin thought the project was too hard and Erica lost interest.

Cara's smaller wreath. She used a calico small heart printed fabric.

I added the heart ribbon as a hanger and hung the wreath on our front door.

My completed larger heart wreath. I used a darker red fabric that had small black crinkle lines running through it. I bought all of our supplies at Hobby Lobby.

I hung my larger heart wreath above the mantel.

A closer up look at the larger wreath.
Next, I am working on another Valentine's Day project to add some more decor to the mantel for this holiday. Hopefully, this project will not take me too long and I will be able to share pictures in a few days.

Take care,

Shoot Me! Week 4 of 52

Forever In Blue Jeans

Today is Week 4 of 52 in the Shoot Me! Challenge by Carin over at Forever in Blue Jeans. Cara, our oldest daughter, took this picture of me last Saturday when we were working on a Valentine wreath craft project. It is not the best snapshot, but it is a picture of me on the other side of the camera. I still find this challenge to be exactly that for me "A Challenge". Hopefully, it will get easier for me each week.

I will have another post later today about our Valentine wreath project that Cara and I completed, and I am starting to work on another craft project for Valentine's Day.

Take care,


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Help the Children of Haiti

Yesterday Ashlin was dropped off from Preschool by the carpool. She came in the house and immediately yelled that she was home. I asked her how school was and she said that she had an important note for me to read. Ashlin got the note out of her backpack for me to read. After I finished reading the note Ashlin said, "Mom we have to help those kids." The note was from Ashlin's Preschool Teacher and what the preschool class could do to help the children of Haiti. Mrs. Nedrow contacted the Orphan Grain Train in Norfolk and asked what her preschool class could do to help the children of Haiti. It was suggested that the class help out by donating new socks and underwear for the little children of Haiti.

Ashlin's class must have learned about the poor children in Haiti at school yesterday. Ashlin knew that these children needed help. She knew that these children needed new socks and underwear. Also, she knew that the children in Haiti did not have beds to sleep on and that they slept on dirt.

Today after picking Ashlin up from preschool we went to the store and purchased new socks and underwear for Ashlin to give to the children of Haiti. Ashlin picked out "Fancy Nancy" and "High School Musical" little girl underwear and a big package of little girl socks.

Next week is Catholic Schools Week and our school is holding a clothing drive for the children of Haiti. We can bring new or gently used summer clothing to school and it will be shipped to Haiti. A few weeks ago, the second collection money at Mass also went to Haiti to help after the earthquake.

God Bless these little children of Haiti!

Take care,

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Date Night

On Saturday afternoon Keith suggested that we have a date night. Pretty short notice but if he wants to go out I am all for it. He suggested dinner and a movie. Right away I call one of the neighborhood sitters that we use to see if anyone is available. I hit the jackpot on the first phone call so we were set.

The sitter ran over at 6:00 to watch our kids and Keith and I start quizzing Keaton on what movie to go see. There was only one movie showing that we had any interest in seeing, "The Blind Side". The problem was that the movie started at 6:45. How were we going to get dinner in before the movie? The answer in our haste was to return the Red Box movie from Friday night, drive thru Burger King and grab a sandwich, stop at the bank ATM for cash and then get to the movie theater. Good thing we live in a small town where we could accomplish all of that in a short amount of time.

We loved the movie!!! We are both huge football fans so I was sure that we would enjoy it. We got out of the movie at 9:00 and we both looked at each other and said "Now what do we do?". So we headed to a local sports bar for a drink and nachos.

It is no wonder that throughout the night and the next morning that we both had stomach aches. We ate enough junk food in one night to make up for all of the junk food that we both had been depriving ourselves since we started watching what we eat and working out. If you look at what we had to eat - Burger King sandwiches, movie theater popcorn with butter, large sodas, nachos and margaritas. I'm surprised we didn't throw up on all of that junk. My body isn't used to junk food like that any more. Thank heavens we don't eat like that very often! But, it was a GREAT night out away from our kids!

Take care,

Monday, January 25, 2010

Friday Night Movies

The last two Friday nights we have had family movie night. Keith and the girls go and pick out a family movie from the Red Box for $1. Then we all snuggle up in blankets and lots of pillows in the basement. And of course, we can't forget about the popcorn and pop to add to the movie night. A week ago we rented "Marley and Me" and this Friday was "The Dog that Saved Christmas". Both of these movies were great family flicks. We had such a good time just hanging out together. We might have to make this a Friday night ritual, plus it is so much cheaper than going to the movie theater.

Take care,

Friday, January 22, 2010

Our Goofy Erica!

I'm not quite sure what to say in this post, except, this is what happens when our six-year old, Erica, decided to take the camera and then snap pictures of herself. This is soooo Erica! She thought this was so funny when I asked her about it. Only Erica would think to do something this goofy.

P.S. Erica gets this from her Dad, NOT me.

Take care,

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Shoot Me!!! Week 3 of 52

Forever In Blue Jeans

Today is Week 3 of 52 of the Shoot Me! challenge by Carin over at Forever in Blue Jeans. The challenge entails getting yourself on the other side of the camera. I just had a ton of pictures printed from Christmas and found myself not present in hardly any of them. This photo challenge to get myself in more pictures is a real challenge for me. But, my children someday will want to see what their mother looked like as they grew up.

Ashlin and I cuddled up in a blanket watching a movie. It was supposed to be rest time.We were trying to get Justin to take a nap, so, we were resting also.

Take care,


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Snowman Tradition

With all of the snow that we have had so far this winter, you would think that their would be at least one snowman in our yard. But, until this last Saturday, we did not have a snowman. Keith told the girls that since the weather was nice and the snow would be soft that Saturday afternoon would be the perfect time. After we got home from the museum, Keith and Erica headed out to the backyard to make a snowman. It turned out they made two snowmen.

Keith with the snowmen.

Keith and Erica with their two snowmen.

Another shot Keith and Erica with the finished product.

Take care,

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Make 'n Take Day

Saturday was Make 'n Take Day at the local museum. They have craft afternoons once a month and the girls love to attend. It is two hours of crafts and fun. The girls and I headed to the museum for an afternoon filled with snowmen crafts. Daddy and Justin went to the play area at the mall and then nap time while we were gone.

Usually, I spend the time helping Ashlin with her crafts that are too hard for her to complete on her own. Also, I usually take pictures of the girls working on their crafts. But, this time the museum was running short on volunteers to work a craft table, so, I stepped up to help. This left the girls on their own and I thought they did a really good job on their crafts.

The crafts that the girls made - snowman boxes, snow measuring sticks, peanut snowman pins, ice skate pins and wet mitten hangers.

Justin trying on one of the girl's stocking hats that they made.

Ashlin modeling her scarf and hat that Cara made for her.

A picture of our three girls with the fleece stocking hats and scarves that they made at craft day. Cara did most of the work for her sisters. They all agreed that these hats and scarves were so warm.

Take care,


Monday, January 18, 2010

Sunday Visitors

Ashlin coloring in a princess book.

Grandma Leader playing a card game of Golf with Cara and Erica.
Grandpa Leader is watching football in the background.

Yesterday was the perfect Sunday afternoon to invite Grandpa and Grandma Leader to our house. We had not seen Grandpa and Grandma Leader since the weekend before Christmas when we celebrated the holiday at their house. The girls had been asking about them. We had talked on the phone, but just had not seen them in weeks. They arrived mid-afternoon and Grandma played cards with the girls. Grandpa and Keith watched the football games on TV. We then all enjoyed a supper of chili, hamburgers, cinnamon rolls and Grandma's strawberry shortcake for dessert. It was the perfect way to spend a winter Sunday afternoon and evening.

On a side note, I have neglected blog land the last week. I was so consumed with getting voting codes and entering votes that some things just fell by the wayside, but I am back until the next cause consumes me. Thank you to everyone that helped me by getting voting codes and voting. Now we have to wait until the first part of February to see if our school won the $100,000. The voting ended Friday night at 11:59 p.m. and our last vote was entered at 11:58 p.m. Win or lose this year they better look out for us next year.

Take care,

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Shoot Me Week 2 of 52

Forever In Blue Jeans

Today is Week 2 of 52 for the Shoot Me challenge that Carin at Forever in Blue Jeans has started. This is a hard challenge for me because I totally space off that I need a picture of myself to post on Thursdays. Last night at 7:30 it dawned on me that I did not have a picture, so, Erica took a quick picture of me listening to Cara read. Cara has to read at least 20 minutes each evening. She gets a grade on her outside reading and she needs to meet her A/R goal for the quarter.

Take care,


Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Yesterday I blogged about getting back to our normal routine after the extended Christmas vacation time because of the weather. Well, this week everyone at our house is tired. The kids are going to bed at their usual bedtime and getting up way earlier than during vacation. The new hours are making us all tired. Following are two examples of how tired we are at our house.

Ashlin is asleep under this blanket. The time was at 7:15 p.m. last night.

Justin in his pajamas at 7:15 and ready to lay down for night night time.

Hopefully by the end of the week everything will be back to normal around here.

Take care,

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Vacation is Over

So, the girls finally went back to school yesterday from Christmas vacation. I really think that they were as excited to go back to school as I was to see them go. Justin was really excited. When everyone was getting ready to leave for school, he had his coat and shoes on and was ready to go.

Finally, we are back to a regular routine. Justin has his alone time back and also his time at the YMCA to play in the playroom while Mommy works out. I am so thankful to get back to normal.

As one of the neighbors said, "Did you do the happy dance yesterday when you dropped your kids off at school?". I love my kids a lot, but sometimes it is best if they go to school to preserve my sanity a little.

Take care,

Monday, January 11, 2010

Passion or Obsession

Do you know anyone that has a passion for something? But, where do you draw the line between passion and obsession? Some people get obsessed about a certain cause, such as, raising money for the American Cancer Society or Jump Rope for Heart. Other people show great passion for their children's sports team, but then they become obsessed about performance and team records.

I have a passion for my children's school. But, sometimes that passion turns into an obsession. As I have mentioned before, my children attend a catholic school. When it comes to fundraising for the school, I am more that willing to participate and help do whatever because I know that the school is financially poor. But then again, in this economy, what school either public or parochial is not in need of money.

This all leads up to the current obsession on my list. U.S. Cellular is giving away $1 million to ten schools in America. The ten schools with the most votes for their school win $100,000 each. Lately I have become obsessed with getting voting cards and getting friends and relatives to allow me to use their e-mail addresses to vote for our school. The last time the standings were posted, we were still in the running for the money. Another parochial school 30 miles south of Norfolk won the money last year. I cannot imagine how much this money would help our school if we are fortunate to win.

On the down side, we have found out that many families that send their children to our school have not voted. This leaves me feeling disappointed and upset. This company is giving away FREE money!!! It takes two minutes to vote and who doesn't love FREE money.

A few months ago, I became obsessed with winning the school $50,000 of more FREE money from Box Tops for Education. They had a corporate sponsor that was giving two schools $50,000 each and all you had to do was register for the giveaway once per day. I went to a Home & School (like PTA) and brought up this giveaway and became very excited while I was explaining this giveaway. Some parents looked at me like I had grown two heads, but I don't care. This was FREE money for our school! Unfortunately, we did not win that money, but at least we tried.

Okay, I am stepping down from my soapbox now. I have to go on another mission to get more voting cards.

Take care,

Friday, January 8, 2010

What's for Dinner?

How many times can four kids say in one day, "Mom, we're hungry?" or "Mom, what's for lunch?" or "Mom, what's for dinner?"? Since my kids have not gone back to school yet from Christmas vacation, I have been asked those questions quite a bit lately.

Yesterday, we were barely done with breakfast and someone was asking me what was for lunch. Then I turned the question around on them and asked them what they wanted for lunch. The reply from the girls was pizza. Unfortunately, I had to tell them that we were all out of frozen pizza and I couldn't just run to the store and buy some. The weather here is still awful. The wind chill this morning was supposed to be -40 degrees and our high for today is supposed to be -1 degree (that is without the wind chill factored in). Do I need to say that the kids and I have not left the house in days? It is so cold here that it is too cold to even go outside to play in the snow.

Anyway back to meal time. So, lunch ended up being fruit and homemade mac'n cheese. But, I did tell them that we could have homemade pizza for dinner. Then throughout the afternoon they kept asking me when I would start the pizza dough and made the pizzas. You would think that my children never get fed and are starving. They watch the clock for it to be 3:00 p.m. because that is snack time each day. The girls know that there is no food consumed from the time lunch is over until 3:00 p.m. I had to make this rule quite a while ago because otherwise my children would snack all day and not eat a decent meal.

At 4:00 I started the pizza dough in the bread machine. At 5:00 I browned the hamburger for the pizza. At 5:30, Ashlin and I rolled out the pizza crust. Ashlin was my cooking helper.

Ashlin and the rolled out pizza crusts.
The unbaked pizza ready for the oven.

The finished pizza.

The girls eating pizza and drinking Shirley Temples.

Erica enjoying her pizza.

I just have one question, "What's for dinner tonight at your house?".

Take care,

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Week 1 of 52

One of my New Year's goals was to complete this photo challenge of having myself in one picture per week. Today is my first picture. Only 51 more to go. I know that this goal will really be a challenge for me, but I am going to try. I have seen this photo challenge on more that one blog as moms are attempting to be in more pictures instead of always being the one taking the pictures.

This picture was taken on what we thought was our last day of Christmas vacation. But, Mother Nature is still not allowing my girls to go back to school. Today is Thursday and the girls were supposed to go back to school yesterday, but the snow, high winds, and very low temperatures has combined to extend our Christmas vacation by two days now. If this keeps up, we probably won't have school tomorrow. There was an article in last night's paper about how some schools are going to have to start looking at how to make these days up.

Stay warm,


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Last Day of Christmas Vacation

Today's post was supposed to be about how yesterday was the last day of Christmas vacation for the girls and also for Justin and I, but once again Mother Nature has changed our plans. The weatherman predicted that starting this morning our area would receive 4-7 inches of snow and the wind would blow gusts of up to 40 mph. School was cancelled early this morning, so the girls got to sleep in another day.

I was so looking forward to the girls going back to school today and Justin and I getting back to our regular routine. Oh well, we have to make the best of the situation because we can't change Mother Nature.

My husband was so kind this morning and made sure that I was awake before he left for work. He knows that on NO school days this mommy does not get out of bed until one of the kids wakes up. I like to sleep in too. Then my husband was kind for a second time this morning and called me a few minutes later to tell me that school had been cancelled. Do I need to say this mommy crawled back in bed? Justin woke up when Keith was on the phone, but he just crawled back into bed with Mommy for awhile until the girls woke up.

Well, these pictures are from yesterday when we thought it was the last day of Christmas vacation. The kids spent most of the day in pajamas. They colored, danced, watched movies, made pop-bead jewelry and just played. It was a day to just do whatever.

Some of the jewelry creations.
Of course, I had to try on a few jewelry items created especially for me.

Justin wearing a bracelet and ring that Erica made for him.

Ashlin watching a movie with her blanket and pajamas on.

Oh, I should also mention that I was kind to my husband this morning also. When I called him mid-morning, Keith was busy working outside in the cold and snow pulling in electrical cable. But, I made him nice and warm and happy when I told him the reason I was calling. I informed Keith that his favorite rock band (Nickelback) was going to be at the Qwest Center in Omaha in May. That news alone probably made his day!

Take care,

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Happy New Year

Usually we spend New Year's Eve at home as a family or we go to a friend's home and play cards and games. We have no desire to be out with the drunks and staying up until midnight isn't as easy to do as it used to be, plus many years Keith is on call. But, this year we decided to go out to dinner and then over to a friend's home for games and cards. One of the neighbor's boys was kind and came over to watch our four children. Keith and I headed out to a local restaurant to eat and meet friends. I thought we were a party of ten, but when we arrived our group had turned into a party of fourteen. The more the merrier! The food was good and many laughs and jokes were shared. Everyone was commenting and complaining about the awful weather that we have been experiencing in Nebraska. We all agreed that this Christmas will not be one forgotten for a long time and everyone was headed this last weekend to celebrate another Christmas that had to be postponed due to the weather.

After dinner we went to Scott and Nicole's house, which just happens to be two houses from our home. We parked in our garage and then just walked over. First we played Scene It from the '80s with the men and women each winning one game and then we moved on to cards. We rang in the New Year with toasts, cheers, and hugs. We arrived home at 1:44 a.m. to find Cara and Erica still awake. They had rung in the New Year with Hunter the sitter. When we left the house we said that they could stay up and ring in the New Year, but we never thought they could stay up so late. Erica then told us that she wasn't tired or ready for bed yet. What a character. Everyone slept late the next morning.

I'm sorry to say that I forgot my camera for the evening. I know huge party foul, but some things are better remembered in your mind than on film. We had a great evening!

I have been working on my New Year's resolutions this week, but I think I will call them goals instead.

1. I will continue on with my weight loss and hopefully reach my goal. Keith commented on New Year's Eve how both of us have lost weight and how much better we both look.

2. I want to continue to exercise every day or every other day. Exercise gives me more energy and I just feel better as a person. Exercise has become almost an addiction in the last few months. I definitely want this to continue.

3. I will continue to eat better. More fruits and vegetables and less sweets and salts. I still have my sweet tooth, but I can satisfy this in moderation, not indulgence.

4. I will drink more water and hot green tea and less diet soda and juice. Our children also need to drink more water. This we will work on together.

5. I will do more activities with my children one-on-one.

6. I will continue to blog. I have met some amazing people through blogging and I thank them for allowing me to see inside their lives and get to know them through words and pictures. I have never met them in person (except for Jodee), but I feel like I know each one of them on a personal level.

7. I will be in at least one picture per week. I have seen this challenge on more than one blog and I am going to do it this year.

8. I am going to have more patience with my family this year. This goal will be my hardest to keep because I lack greatly in the patience department.

9. I will laugh more at myself and life.

10. I will smile more.

I am sure that I left out some important goals, but for now this list will do.

Take care,

Monday, January 4, 2010

Korth Christmas

Yes, I know that Christmas is past, but because of the snow blizzard that hit, Christmas on the Korth side had to be postponed. The Korth Christmas was supposed to be on Christmas Eve, but mother nature did not cooperate so we celebrated this last Saturday. My brother and his family did not get to attend because the flu had hit their house. We had Christmas dinner at noon and the snow had started to fall and by the time we went home that evening we had received at least another inch of snow. We all enjoyed opening presents, eating more holiday food, watching college football bowl games, playing cards and games, and just talking.

My Mom makes us take a family picture every year before we get to open any presents. We used to take our family picture in front of the Christmas tree, but the family has grown so much that now we just pull the couch out from the wall and everyone sets the timer on their cameras for the family photo.

My Mom then decided that she wanted a family photo of each family.
Our family photo.

My sister Holly, her husband Ron and their baby Jack.

My parents, Robert and Glenda.

Justin opening his new wooden fence. This will come in handy for the farm animals that he received for Christmas.

Grandpa helping Ashlin hold up her new sweatshirt.

Erica with her new pair of jeans with sparkles on the pockets.

Cara opening up her present of new jeans and a new shirt.

Grandpa got a new trucking hat from Grandma.

Ron and Jack. Jack was a little overwhelmed by his Leader cousins. Jack's cousins were louder and bigger than him. I would have been scared of them too. The Leader cousins just wanted to hold, squeeze and play with Jack. Jack wanted his own space.

Grandpa, Daddy and Justin putting Justin's new golf cart together. The process involved tools so Justin was in tool heaven.

I think and I hope that this is my last Christmas post. I have been behind in posting and neglecting blog world over the holidays. I haven't even shared about New Year's Eve or my New Year's resolutions. The girls will be heading back to school on Wednesday and then hopefully Justin and Mommy can get back to a regular routine.
Take care,

Aunt Lorrie's Memory Bears

Every year for quite a few years, Keith's mom has made each of her six children's families scrapbook pages for our families of the year. This year Merina decided to let the scrapbook pages go undone and made memory bears instead. This was our 4th Christmas without Keith's sister Lorrie. Merina had saved some of Lorrie's clothes and this was the year that she could bear to make memory bears. Merina made one bear for each of Lorrie's five brothers, one bear for every member of Lorrie's family, one bear for each of Lorrie's godchildren, and one bear for each of Lorrie's parents. Each bear is outfitted in one of Lorrie's shirts, skirts, dresses, etc. and each bear has a poem attached. Each bear also has a pair of Lorrie's earrings on the vest or one of Lorrie's pins. We received two bears for our house - Keith got one and Cara got one.

This is Aunt Lorrie.

The top of our china hutch is where we keep Keith's memory bear, Lorrie's picture, Relay for Life bears that the girls have gotten, and relay candles.

Keith's memory bear. Keith's bear is made out of one of Lorrie's jumpers and a denim skirt.

Cara's memory bear.
Cara's bear is made out of Aunt Lorrie's pink flannel robe and one of her shirts.

Merina's gift this year of memory bears was totally unexpected, so tears were shed and memories were shared of remembering some of the clothes and pins. There will always be someone missing at holidays and events, but Lorrie will never be forgotten. Lorrie was the eldest of six and the only girl in the family, but she was the Leader of her five brothers. They all listened to her and sometimes sought out her advice. Lorrie was diagnosed with cancer when Cara was one month old. Lorrie was her godmother and Cara was very close to her Aunt Lorrie.

I'll never forget one time when Cara went and spent the night at Lorrie and Randy's house. Lorrie was so excited to watch Cara and that Cara was going to spend the night. Cara had so much fun.

Take care,