Tuesday, November 30, 2010

November 30...NaPoBloMo Ends

The end is near, the month is done...yet soon we begin another one.
I gave it my all, the NaPoBloMo fun
Hard to keep up, for the craziness won
But your comments rained and kept me sane
Throughout the month of November...and for that, I'll always remember!

Well, today is the last day of November - a day to look back and gleen all that I have accomplished and received. It has been a crazy month for me and my family as we "officially" became owners of *The Business* on November 1. The first 2 weeks of November, DH was out of town for training and the rest of the month he has been working open to close at the store; so I have had the feeling of a "single mother" trying to get everything accomplished for everyone - driving the boys to where they need to go, making sure everyone's clothing is cleaned & dried, organizing life so everything runs as smoothly as possible, making sure that Robert had what he needed before he left on his first hockey tournament solo (without DH or I), etc. I am not looking for sympathy nor am I asking to be put on a pedestal. While there are definitely days that I want to pull my hair out and scream "what about me?" or "why me?", I look at the choices I make and what I do have!

During the month of November:
  1. I was able to get everyone to where they needed to be...by the time they needed to be there
  2. I was able overcome my anxiety of sending Robert to a tournament without DH and I present
  3. I traveled with Matthew to his hockey tournament and shared time together that we haven't had in a long time
  4. I was able to send out Angela's Ornament for the Ornament Swap early in November and she received it before her Christmas Tree was set up and decorated
  5. I was able to bake 4 batches of chocolate chip cookies and share them with our employees at Edible Arrangements, my co-workers at Hexcel, Matthew's teammates at a hockey practice
  6. I was able to work in *The Business* with our wonderful employees and crank out over 80 arrangements
  7. I was able to work in our store with DH and my sons on Thanksgiving day, when customers came and picked up their arrangements for their family gatherings; and beamed with pride when my boys walked the arrangements out to the customer's car.
  8. I was able to share the evening with Matthew when he received his 4.0 acknowledgement at his 1st of many Honors Evening. I witnessed his proud smile that stretched from ear to ear!
  9. I was able to sneak in some morning and evening time to stitch on my Family Sampler and an ornament; as well as time to spin on the stationary bike to maintain my health and sanity
  10. I was able to share priceless moments and have wondeful conversation with my boys as I drove them to and from the hockey rink 4-5 times a week.
  11. I have enjoyed and received support from the wonderful comments of blogging friends from all over the world
  12. I shared a wonderful Thanksgiving meal with my family; who, for the first time in many months, all sat down at the table together to enjoy all the same foods...and had no where to go after the meal was complete. That in itself is priceless.
So no matter how crazy life seems around my household...and no matter how many times I do want to yell or feel resentment building...I do try to "stop" and take a look at what I have and put a postive spin on the situation. My crazy November was full of love, family team work, and friendship. My heart swells with gratitude that I can share this all with you. I pray that your November was as fullfilling as mine was and here is hope that December will be too!

Take care my blogging friends - thank you for visiting and all your comments you take time to write. Until next time, remember....
Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch often!
Lisa

Monday, November 29, 2010

November 28...29

November is coming to an end...and so is NaBloPoMo, something which I have failed to blog every day during the month of November. I had every intention of doing it, for I was definitely busy and there were things to write about...but it is because I was busy that I truly wasn't able to blog every single day during the month of November. I tried, hopefully I can get some brownie points for that.

Anyway, Sunday DH went to work at *The Business* (we are open from 9-2 on Sundays). There were just a few fruit bouquets to make and a couple to deliver...it seems to be the "quiet before the next storm." After some research regarding last December's business, the week before Christmas is going to be crazy! DH emailed last year's order/delivery report to me, which the boys and I tallied up all the orders/deliveries per day. This information will definitely help when creating the schedules for this month. Tallying up all the information took over 3 hours to do...that is where some of my blogging and stitching time went yesterday...oh, well, there are priorities in life, I guess.

However, once that report was handed over to DH to play around with, and after the boys had their dinner, I did find sometime to get in a little stitching. I have put aside Family Sampler for just a little bit to stitch an ornament for a stitching friend (which, for obvious reasons I cannot show you it). It will be a quick stitch and finish and then I can get back to stitching Family Sampler.

Today it is back to the normal-routine (whatever that truly is)...I go back to my job and the boys go back to school; there are evening hockey practices and after school wrestling; I get up early in the morning in order to try and get in a good spin on the bike and to bed as early as possible in order to get some rest before starting the next day. However, on Thursday Matthew and I leave for Denver, CO for he has another hockey tournament already. I have family and friends who I am making plans with, which always adds something special to these hockey travels.

Well that is it from my household. I hope that you and yours are all doing well. Take care and remember...

Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch often!
Lisa

Saturday, November 27, 2010

November 27

Well, I wasn't sure what I would post today as we really didn't do much today. DH went and worked at the store, the boys worked on their homework in preparation to go back to school on Monday, and I...well, I am not sure what I did today. However, I just heard from Angela P who is the last one to receive ornaments from our Ornament Swap Group and she received the one I sent her.

I made a two sided ornament...
Side 1 - "Snowmen"  Designed by Valerie Danish of Val's Stuff
Just CrossStitch Ornament Issue Preview (October 2006)
Side 2 - "Be Merry" Designed by Valerie Danish of Val's Stuff
Just CrossStitch 2006 Special Christmas Ornament Issue
Angela loves snowmen and it sounds like she has a lot...but, thank goodness, she didn't have these :) I really enjoyed stitching these and was excited about the way the finish came out....almost kept it for my self.

Oh, my I just noticed that today is my 2nd blog-o-versary...I have been so busy with things that I haven't put any thought into celebrating it. Mmmm...I will have to put some thought into it.

It seems that my brain is in salt over load...just got back from dinner at a mexican restaurant. So, I will end this with hope that your evening is going well.

Take care and remember...live, love, laugh and stitch often! Lisa

Friday, November 26, 2010

November 26...the day after Thanksgiving

It was nice to have a day at home! I did a little catching up...laundry (now that my dryer is fixed), exercise (a couple of hours or so of spinning and walking the dog), stitching and napping!

Our Thanksgiving ho liday was very nice. After a sleepless night, the whole family (DH, Robert, Matthew and I) went and worked at *The Business*. Most of the customers were just coming in to the store to pick up their fruit arrangments that were pre-ordered and ready for them. However, we were able to sell 2 of the 4 extra arrangments that were in the cooler especially for walk-in business (the remaining 2 we took to two local firestations for the firemen to enjoy with their Thanksgiving meal).

The boys had fun working at the store. Before any customers showed up, they helped DH check in and put away boxes of supplies that came in on Wednesday afternoon. When the pick-ups started to arrive, Matthew enjoyed doing the customer service. He would find out the name of the customer, go to the walk-in refrigerator to pull their arrangement and then carry it out to their car for them. Several of the women thought that "he was just the cutest thing."

Around 12:30pm, all the orders were picked up and we closed up the store (we technically were scheduled to close at noon but needed to wait until the very last order was picked up). Once home, DH and I decided that a nap would come first before getting Thanksgiving dinner around. Boy, did that nap feel good!!!!

We finally sat down for dinner around 5pm, went around the table to say what each of us was thankful for,and then ate...turkey, potatos, Stove Top Stuffing, home made rolls, noodles, etc. It was so wonderful to have everyone home together and sit down as a family to enjoy the meal together. It has been along time since we have been able to eat together. What a blessing!

Thank you for visiting today - hope all is well with you!
Take care and remember...
Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch often!
Lisa

Thursday, November 25, 2010

November 25...Happy Thanksgiving!

Good morning - today is the Thanksgiving holiday for us in the US. Yesterday I made my pumpkin pies (a request from DH...his mother's recipe of course) and made the dough for "Grandma's rolls" (a request from Robert...another recipe of my mother-in-laws...and one that I have never been able to master. Mine never come out as good as hers, be every Thanksgiving DH & Robert request them to be made).

This morning...around 1am, I was wide awake and decided that it might be more productive if I got out of bed - instead of laying there looking at the dark ceiling - and finish prepping the rolls which had risen for 6 hours. I rolled the dough out, coated it with butter, cut out triangles, rolled them up like crescents and set them out to rise some more before they are put in the oven later today. Maybe this year they will taste "as good as Mother's" :) I also decided to prep the turkey - coating that with a butter, onion, carrot, orange rind and spice mixture (I just made it up as I went). Once Tom was back in the refrigerator and the kitchen was sanitized (don't want anyone to come down with food poisoning over the holidays), I went back to bed.

Back in bed, I found DH was also up and thinking about our business. Yesterday after all of Wednesday's fruit bouquet orders were produced and delivered, the staff and I started prepping and producing all the bouquets which were pre-ordered for pick up for Thanksgiving (we are open 8-12 today for pick up only...no employees are coming in...it will just be me, DH, Robert and Matthew working in the store). Once all the fruit bouquets were created, wrapped and tagged for pick up, we came up with a large amount of extra dipped fruit - apples, cinnimon apples, strawberries and bananas. It was bothersome that there was so many extras as they will not be good after today.  So, the more we talked, we decided that we would pick out the best of the best and box them up in the dipped fruit boxes and sell to walk in customers.The rest that aren't pretty enough to sell, we would create a sample tray for customers to try while they are waiting for us to bring out their arrangement.

Well, now...with all these ideas churing in our head, do you think that we could really go to sleep? If you said: "No" you are correct. So, what does a business-owner do when they have a good idea? They act upon it. Quickly we jumped out of bed, threw on some clothes and ran to our store (btw...it was 3:30am). Once there, we created about 8 boxes of dipped fruit and loaded up the sample tray so that we were ready for the first pick ups, which are at 8am...only 2.5 hours from now.

And what am I doing "now" you ask...well, getting in my Thanksgiving exercise of course. DH and I got home around 4:45am...he went back to bed and I got on the stationary bike, which I am doing as I post this post on my blog.

I know...I am a little crazy...I will find time to get some rest later today.

In the meantime...here are thoughts to keep in mind on Thankgiving Day as well as everyday of the year!

Have a great day - Thank you for visiting! Lisa

Deciding to be grateful for our situation, our experiences, our unique perspective, quickly changes our outlook on everything that did happen, on everything that is happening now, and on everyone we meet. Accepting that we are in charge of whatever kind of day we will have forces us to accept responsibility for our joy, which can always be ours, or our unhappiness. And being grateful feels so good. Gratitude is an attitude, and I can feel it whenever I want.~Unattributed


The art of thanksgiving is thanksliving. It is gratitude in action. It is applying Albert Schweitzer's philosophy: "In gratitude for your own good fortune you must render in return some sacrifice of your life for other life." It is thanking God for the gift of life by living it triumphantly. It is thanking God for your talents and abilities by accepting them as obligations to be invested for the common good. It is thanking God for happiness by striving to make others happy. It is thanking God for beauty by helping to make the world more beautiful. It is thanking God for inspiration by trying to be an inspiration for others. It is thanking God for health and strength by the care and reverence you show your body. It is thanking God for each new day by living it to the fullest. It is adding to your prayers of thanksgiving, acts of thanksliving. ~Wilfred A Peterson

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow ~ Melody Beatti

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

November 23

Hi all...so here is a status photo of Family Sampler. It is coming along, but haven't had much of a chance to put any stitches in it since Sunday while sitting on the plane. Yesterday and today I spent time in our store getting comfortable doing fruit prep and creating the fruit bouquets...and it has been busy! Lots of fruit centerpieces for the Thanksgiving holiday...Yahoo!

Speaking of Thanksgiving, I did my grocery shopping this morning at 6:30am - trying to beat the last minute rush to the store for Thanksgiving holiday foods. My 13 pound turkey has been sitting in the refrigerator since Monday morning trying to thaw out (no, it is not one of our neighbor hood "free range/wild" turkeys - but it was a free turkey the grocery was giving away when you made $100 purchase). Tomorrow morning, while I wait for the Sears Repair man to visit, I will try to get most of the baking out of the way...pumpkin pie for DH, special "grandma" rolls for Robert.

Yea, the Sears Repair Man is scheduled to visit as my clothes dryer doesn't get hot and, therefore, doesn't dry clothes...no matter how many times you turn it on - cold air doesn't dry clothing. Hopefully it will be a quick fix! I have a lot of clothing from our weekend trips waiting to be cleaned.

Well that is about all from my home. Hope all is well in your household.

Take care and remember...
Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch often,
Lisa

Monday, November 22, 2010

November 22 (missed 21 and 20th - but definitely lived it) - Lots of hockey

Well, didn't get a chance...or should I say make a chance...to sit down and blog everyday while I was in Arizona with Matthew (younger son) for his hockey tournament. It was quite a crazy schedule.

Friday...
After getting to the airport - using public transportation - we found out that our plane was delayed about 30 minutes; which wasn't too bad and definitely wasn't anything to complain about as several of the other team families were delayed much longer. Several didn't get to the hotel until well after curfew (of 8pm). Matthew and I did finally arrive in Phoenix, got our luggage and took the hotel's airport shuttle to the hotel...where we checked in, got settled and headed up to the restaurant. We had a nice dinner - Matthew enjoying his protein (shrimp cocktail) and pasta (speg noodles w/o any sauce or butter) - and of course the chocolate milk shake. We did get a fruit plate with yogurt to take back to the room with us, something to round out the breakfast food we brought from home. This was pre-planning for the next day because his first game was at 7am and the hotel "free" breakfast buffet didn't open until 7am.

Saturday...
The alarm rang at 4:45am: "up and at'em!" This gave Matthew a 45min to eat, dress in his shirt/tie/dress pants, and pack his hockey bag so we could meet our ride at 5:30am. The coaches ask the players to all be at the rink 1 hour and 15 minutes before every game. This gives them time to get settled in the locker room, change into their warm up attire, go outside and do warmups, come back in to change into their hockey gear and be ready to listen to the coach's last minute pep-talk. However, there are many times that we believe that 75 minutes is a little too long and too early to be at the rink; for there always seems to be sometime for craziness that leads to someone or someone(s) getting into mischief!

Saturday, there were 3 games in total that Matthew's team played: 7am, 10:55am and 7:30pm. The first 2 games, the team played horrible. Either you were a player who was "sat" for a portion of the game...or got a "talking to" by the coach during/after the game...or you were one of the lucky ones who experienced both. Either way, after the second game, all the kids looked a little upset. Matthew did have a little breakdown as soon as we got back to the room after the second game. After giving him sometime to "let it all out", we had a good talk about some of the issues that the coach talked to him specifically about. He is the captain, and with wearing the "C" on his jersey comes a lot of responsibility and expectations from the coach. Some of these expectations are things that he needs to do on ice, and some are things that he needs to perform off ice - like trying to maintain a disciplined locker room. Not an easy task for an 11 year old. But we talked about many different options that he could try the next time that the locker room situation gets out of hand. After talking, I could tell that he felt better.

Between that second game and the evening game, Matthew and I ate lunch in the room, watched Avatar and napped. While he was sound asleep, I took that opportunity to sneak in an hour on the treadmill - something that I definitely needed. Early morning games and hotel exercise rooms that are not 24hours are not good things for me :)

The evening game...well the team played much, much better. They still lost - but they played as a team, faster and more skilled looking...and Matthew scored the first goal of the game and assisted the second. The Matthew I knew was back!

Sunday...
Again we had an early morning game - 8:40am, a little more reasonable. And a second game at 12:45pm. Again, the team did play better than they did the previous morning - they still lost, but they did play much better. After the last game, we had a nice quick lunch with the family we were sharing a car with and then headed to the airport...only to find out that our plane going home was delayed by 15 minutes. With a lot of time to kill, Matthew enjoyed some chocolate ice cream while I got an opportunity to cruise the airport shops. Fun stuff...but nothing that I had to have. After boarding the plane late, it was amazing that we landed right on time...how much time do those airlines pad their flight times?

Robert's team in Medicine Hat...
While in Phoenix with Matthew, Robert and his hockey team were at the Medicine Hat Hockey Hounds tournament (Alberta Canada). It was a challenging weekend for him. Not only being there without mom & dad...which he survived very, very well...but the team lost every single game. Unlike Matthew's team, who played better and played as a team even though they lost all their games - Robert's team just didn't try to play well; especially as a team. After the first few losses, Robert's coach tried to mix up the lines hoping for something to "click" with the boys...unfortunately Robert got with some of his teammates that are a little slower, play too individualistic and/or are afraid to play agressively. So, nevertheless, the tournament was a big upset and the team a disappointment. In the grand scheme of life, Robert got a lot out of the weekend -
  1. Traveling with out DH or I
  2. Making choices for ones self
  3. Prioritizing how to spend one's money; budgeting what you have to last the entire trip
  4. Dealing with losses
  5. Dealing with disppointment of team's outcome and teammates who don't seem to care
  6. Figuring out what is important to you - what you can control and what you can't
All good life lessons! So while the team didn't come away from the weekend with a trophy or a medal, my son came home with new knowledge, new life skills which he can choose to apply to his life.

On the Stitching Side of life...
I did get in some quality stitching time to work on the Family Sampler- at the airports, on the airplanes and in the lobby of the hockey rinks while we waited for the game to start. I didn't get a chance to snap a photo of the progress yet - but will make sure to post one tomorrow.

So, until then my friends. Thank you for visiting and I am sorry that I haven't been able to fullfill the blogging everyday during NaBloMo...but I am sure that you will understand.

Take care and remember...
Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch often!
Lisa

Friday, November 19, 2010

November 19...It is Friday! It is Friday! Yahoo!

It is Friday...that means that the weekend is here!
It is Friday, Nov. 19...that means that I am getting ready to fly to Arizona with Matthew!
It is Friday, Nov. 19...that means Thanksgiving break begins (no school, time off of my job, 10 days to spend with the family).

It is nice that MY Thanksgiving break starts with a little weekend in Arizona...in a hotel where the housekeepers make the beds, straighten up the bathroom, take away the dirty towels and bring clean ones. It will be a short mental vacation, where I only have to make sure that Matthew eats well and gets to the rink on time (and since I am sharing a car with another family I don't even need to worry about driving); where I can show up at the rink and watch Matthew play (for I am not the team manager and therefore do not have any team responsiblities) and where I can pull out my stitching or a book because it is the weekend of my mental vacation :)

Honors Evening at Middle School...Congrats to Matthew!
Last night, was honors evening at Matthew's middle school. That is the night where the school honors the 3.0's and above. This year, with the new principal at the school, it was done much differently - more of a "free-for-all". For a comparison...when Robert (older son) was in middle school, The kids would line up in alphabetical order in 3 sections: (1) those with a 3.0-3.49, (2) those with a 3.5-3.99, and (3) those with a 4.0 had the honor of sitting on the stage. Each group was acknowledged by their achievement when handed their certificate.

THIS year, there was no stage...all the kids sat together on either side of a podium...in fact the 6th graders sat in such a way that girls were on one side of the podium and boys were on the other. When it came time to hand out the certificates, they were handed out in the order that the kids came through the door and checked in at the front desk...the school was so worried about having a child present when they called out the name, that the missed an opportunity to acknowledge the academic achievement of the kids. Well, I guess they did "half-a$$" explain that "if Academic Excellence is read before we announce the child's name, then they were a 4.0 student for 1st quarter".  Ok, so the first 50 kids that came up and received their certificate, there might have been some 4.0s in that group and the parents weren't aware of it.

I know...on an evening where my child was excited about his accomplishment of earning a 4.0, I shouldn't let the way the event was handled bum me out...but it is hard to; especially when so many teachers are upset about the way kids are handling homework - either turning it in late, not completed or not at all. So when you have kids that are conscientious about getting their homework complete and turned in (even if that means staying up late because they have hockey practice and don't get home until late). Make an example of those kids who are acomplishing the "basics" of school work; honor those kids who are taking school & their education seriously...maybe those who aren't will see these role models, know that it is achieveable and try for the goal of "Academic Excellence" next time. Oh, well, enough said...now for the official bragging photo:

Matthew receiving his certificate of Academic Excellence - a 4.0 1st quarter of 6th grade
 Mailperson left something in my mailbox...
February 15, 2009...the day 18 women from the US, Canada and The Netherlands, stitched the first heart and sent their sampler to the next person on the list...is basically over as far as this Round Robin is concerned. Yesterday, my Friendship Sampler came home for a brief visit (more on that in a moment).
My Friendship Sampler...94% complete
It is so exciting to have this here that I didn't even bother ironing it before I took the photo to show you all this lovely piece. Now, it is here only for a moment...the last woman to stitch her hear has a summer and a winter residence; and since I know that it would be ready to be mailed while she was in transition between the two places, I thought it best if it would come here and then I would send it out to her when she got settled in her winter place.  Pretty exciting to have it in my hands!

News from Robert and the Medicine Hat Hockey Hounds Tournament...
Robert and his team arrived safely on Wednesday evening in to Calgary. They were picked up by the Hilton Garden Inn airport shuttle service - the whole group at one time - and were greeted by a warm pizza buffet upon checking in. On Thursday morning, after enjoying the free breakfast, they all packed up and boarded the bus at 10:30am to start their 3 hour journey to Medicine Hat. Before checking into their hotel in MedHat, they stopped at Tim Hortons (where else would you stop when you go to Canada, eh?). Known for their doughnuts and coffee - Robert txt'd that he did enjoy a chocolate doughnut with his BLT and hot soup.

They got checked into the hotel and took time to get settled into their rooms (thank you Medicine Hat Lodge for arranging early check in) before they had to switch into their game day dress clothes (shirt, tie, dress pants, dress shoes) and head to the rink for their first game of the tournament...it was not a pretty one. They played a team called Nortre Dame, which I believe is a hockey team from a Canadian boarding school of the same name. The final score was 16-0...the San Jose Jr. Sharks were on the loosing end of the score. During a call to home, Robert said that the whole team didn't play well in the 1st...maybe it was due to being travel worn? But he also said that the whole team just didn't compete well with the team from Canada...for they were faster, strongers and took advantage of every mistake that the Jr. Sharks made (which was a lot).

Their next game is this morning and they are playing a team from Kamloops Canada. Good luck Sharks! Play hard!

Until next time...from Arizona...have a good Friday and remember -
Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch often!
Lisa

Thursday, November 18, 2010

November 17...November 18...I am loosing track

Boy, blogging everyday is hard - expecially trying to remember to do it. There are days that I think that I sat down and typed out a post, but when I check my blog the post was done for the day before. Oh, well...let's just say that I am trying and leave it at that.

Yesterday my oldest son left for Canada - the first time that he is travelling without DH or I for the whole hockey weekend. It feels a little strange to "let him go". I know that he is capable of handling a weekend without either of us...and I know the 6 parent chaperones going on the trip and the 2 coaches...so he is in good hands. As my mother pointed out, this will be a good experience for him as well as a great exercise for me to "let him go" and "let him grow up"; for he will be 15 in January and probably the only one on his hockey team who hasn't had the experience of being away from mom and dad a whole weekend.  He did call last night when the plane landed in Calgary; and while I haven't heard from him today, one of the parent chaperones emailed me that everything is going just fine. I am not sure that this was with regards to Robert, or to let me know that the hotel accomodations I arranged for last night for the whole team, but I appreciated the email this morning.

Tonight will be my turn to prepare for travel. Matthew and I leave tomorrow afternoon for Phoenix for his hockey tournament. It has been a long time since he and I travelled together for one of these weekend. I am definitely looking forward to it!

Aside from all of that, I was able to get in a few stitches last night on Family Sampler at the rink while Matthew was on the ice...but not enough for a status photo. I am sure that with a 2 hour plane ride tomorrow, I will be able to get more done!

In light of Thanksgiving being a week away (in the US), I came across some readings and thought that I would share with you all. Have a good day my friends in blogland and remember...
Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch often - Lisa


Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.
It turns what we have into enough, and more.
It turns denial into acceptance, choas to order, confusion to clarity.
It can turn a meal into a feast - a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.
Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.
~Melody Beattie

Gratitude helps you grow and expand;
gratitude brings joy and lughter into your life and into the lives of those around you.
~ Eileen Caddy

These are the gifts I ask
Of Thee, Spirit serene:
Strength for the daily task,
Courage to face the road,
Good cheer to help me bear the traveler's load,
And, for the hours of rest that come between,
An inward joy of all things heard and seen.
~Henry Van Dyke

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

November 16...25lbs of chocolate chips

So, when you own your own business, there is always a lot of work...but there are typically some perks. Yesterday I went down to *The Business* between leaving my work office and going to pick up the boys from school so that I could meet the corporate trainer who has been working with DH this week. Before I left, I was given a 25 pound box of chocolate chips and a flat of strawberries. The chocolate was left from the previous owner and was a brand that is not high quality used when dipping strawberries and other fruit for the fruit bouquets. And the flat of strawberries that came home with me...were too small to put in the arrangements as well. We have high standards when it comes to the quality of the products and produce we put in the fruit bouquets - we don't want to be selling and delivery poor products to the customers.

Strawberries, we can eat at home or put in fruit smoothies (yum) - so they will not take too long to consume. The 25 lbs of chocolate chips? Well, that is another thing.

When I walked out of the store, the trainer joked with DH and I...he expected to see some chocolate chip cookies the next day. So, last night, DH brought home stick butter and flour from Costco (now, in addition to the 25 pounds of chocolate chips, I have a 25 pound bag of white flour and 4 pounds of butter); and when I got home from hockey practice, I got out the Toll House Chocolate Chip cookie recipe and made 2 batches of chocolate chip cookies. At 10pm last night I had made 80 cookies.


Two batches of cookies didn't make much of a dent in the chocolate chips...guess I will have to come up with some other treats to make...nice that the holidays are coming up, for I am sure that I can make some wonderful holiday treats and share them with others!

Hope your Tuesday was nice and sweet too! Take care and remember...
Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch often!
Lisa

Monday, November 15, 2010

November 15

It is Monday. The start of a new week; one that is going to be a crazy - busy one...but what weeks aren't? DH is home now, all the training for *The Business* is complete, except for the in-store trainer visit which starts today. A corporate trainer, who is in town from Atlanta, will be in the store all week to make sure that DH understands how to run the business. He actually got in town yesterday and came by the store to meet DH. DH's impression...he will be nothing to worry about. Which is good, because we found out on Saturday when the previous owner came into the store, our 2nd driver quit. Down to one driver going into the holiday season isn't ideal - we can make it work, taking on the extra deliveries ourselves, but DH & I really need to start focusing on the behind the scenes tasks: budgeting the money, ordering supplies, prepping staff and supplies for the holidays, working on the marketing and promotions...and hopefully going out and talking with some different businesses to create corporate accounts. We will get things done and organized, but we are transistioning into this new life - so all the tasks, when incorporated into our personal daily life seems very overwhelming.

DH already left for work, so I will continue with what has become my daily routine - of getting the boys up for school and then taking each of them to their respective school before the school bell rings...then getting myself into my job, too.

I spent most of yesterday afternoon prepping for Robert's trip to Medicine Hat Canada for the 38th annual Medicine Hat Hockey Hounds Bantam (U14) tournament. They leave on Wednesday night and return on Sunday evening. This will be the first trip Robert will be going without DH or I...DH has to stay back here with *The Business* and I will be going to Phoenix with Matthew for his hockey tournament over this coming weekend. As team manager of Robert's team, I have been making sure that I have all the information needed in the travel binder, which I will give to one of the other parents going on the trip. The Medicine Hat stuff is just about completely organized, just need to figure out the group check in process for the flight on Wednesday...then all my responsibilities for that trip will be pretty much concluded; until they come back :)

Well, I will not bore you all any more...time to sign off for the day. I hope your Monday is rich with love and laughter! Lisa

Sunday, November 14, 2010

November 13...and 14th (oops)

Ugh, trying to blog everyday is difficult! Yesterday I was up at 4:30, got only 1 hour of exercising in before I decided I rather sit and stitch. I am at the point where the Family Sampler calls my name - and the call of stitching seems to be much louder than spinning on the bike. So between the hour of early morning stitching and an hour at the rink in the evening, here is where my Family Sampler is now:
The tree has leaves and the flowers have their yellow center
It is coming a long slowly, but surely. I will finish the floral on the right-hand side of the house before planting the tree and flowers on the left-side. Soon my house will be surrounded by the beauty of nature - grass where the boys can play and trees they can climb or sit in the shade to read. Flowers to be enjoyed and picked for quick Mother's Day presents or for a centerpiece for a nice family meal. Now that I have my next stitching steps mapped out, I will make some time today to sit-n-stitch.

However, that probably will not be until a little later this afternoon. Just like yesterday, DH and I will go into *The Business* and help prep the fruit for Sunday fruit bouquet deliveries. There is one employee who comes in on Sunday, as it typically isn't busy - but DH & I want to continue our learning process of *The Business* so that when those very, very busy holidays come up (Valentines and Mother's Day) we can step in where needed. Yesterday, DH and I stood side by side prepping the melon wedges - cut the melon, scoop out the seeds, cut in wedges, peel off the skin and then skewer them for the arrangements. It was fun working side by side with DH, while talking with the 3 women working and getting to know them. We are at that point where we want to establish ourselves as "the boss" but not in an aggressive, threatening way. So we have just "jumped" right in to the "production", as it is called, which also includes cleaning and sanitizing all the utensils & trays. It was a lot of fun...I even got an opportunity to insert some of the cantaloupe and honeydew in several arrangements that were going out that day.

Once the majority of the production was done - which is close to 10am - DH took me home because I needed to get the boys around and head to the rink. Robert's team had a "controlled" scrimmage against a 19U girls team ("controlled" means that they cannot hit - which is always a bummer according to Robert - and it also means that the coaches are playing referees. They will stop the action so that they can create situations that each team is working on). After the 75 minute ice time, Robert had an hour of off-ice conditioning with the fitness coach. During all of this...Matthew and I sat in the restaurant that overlooks the rinks. Here, he worked on his home work packets he received to do over the weekend while eating lunch I fixed him at home (I know, strange to be taking in a homemade lunch into a restaurant...but since we have to watch our nickles & dimes right now this is one of the best ways...and probably the most nutritious). This is when I took out my stitching, which is always a good way to make the time pass at the rink.

Anyway...Sunday is here now...I am up, a little later than I would have liked, but on the bike non-the-less to get in a little workout. DH and I will go in again to *The Business* and continue getting comfortable with all the different tasks to be done. He is the one who will be doing the majority of the running it (payroll, ordering, taxes, hiring, firing, etc) and I will step in where needed when I can. Today is the last day that the previous owner will have a key to the store and today is also when the corporate training will arrive for the week of in-store training. It is going to be a crazy week!

Well, my friend, I will end this post with this thought on positive thinking:

Although many of us probably didn't get a thorough education in
the value of a positive attitude,
we can teach ourselves. Simply by making a decision to look for
the good, happy and beautiful in all things
and all people, you will have completed the first and most imporant step in learning
to accentuate the positive.
~Sue Patton Thoele

Accenturate the positive today; while remembering to also:
Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch often!
Lisa

Friday, November 12, 2010

November 12...It is Friday! Thank goodness!!

We have made it to Friday and the week's journey to this day was much better than it was last week. Things seems to go much smoother, maybe because I just felt better about handling the "craziness" here then I did last week. Anyway, off to an early start to the day - which is a positive way to begin as I am getting my morning biking out of the way before anything else starts...I need to get in a good sweat!

As promised, here is a photo post of the status of Family Sampler:
With the roof complete (but still, not all the white shutters on the house...I will get to that soon), I started to plant the garden on the right handside of my house...the grass, some flowers and the tree. Did you know that it takes a tree about 3 years to firmly establish its roots? And it is around that third year that it has one of its largest growth spirts...at least that is what my grandmother always told me; I haven't googled it to find out if she was correct...not sure if I really want to, for there is something about "grandma advice" that should be assumed corrected and left at that. Anyway, I think since we have entered our 7th year here in California, still living in the house we purchased in 2003 (which is the longest that DH and I have lived at the same residence since we met - over 25 years ago)...and now purchased *The Business*, I feel that our roots are burrowing deeper into the California soil; that we have really started to grow into the community that we've established here. It is like, I have given myself permission, after 7 years of living here, to call it "home" and to feel like we can "settle down". It is a good feeling.

Tonight DH comes back from the East Coast, where he has been training for *The Business* at the franchisor corporate office. While I know that he is ready to be home...done with training and ready to get into the store and make it our own, it sounded like there were some good things that came out of the corporate training. Most of the information was Business 101 lessons, which he & I have experienced while working in the party goods industry and other retail businesses. But it is always good to have some refresher courses as well as learn the expectations of the franchisor! Which will prove useful, because after 2 weeks of training outside the store, next week a trainer comes into the store to work side-by-side with DH - so he will have to follow some of the procedures as set by the franchisor. I am sure that he will do fine, but will probably look forward to him being gone and, again, just making *The Business* ours.

Well, my friends, I leave you with this thought and question:

"To affect the quality of the day--that is the highest of the arts." ~ Henry David Thoreau
We are the sculptors of our day. We can mold it creatively into a wonderful masterpiece. We control the amount of moisture we mix into our clay. We pound it, shape it, stroke it, love it. Others can offer suggestions, and we gain new perspectives from their advice, but it is finally our own creation. our knife may occasionally slip, or our mixture of earth may be too dry. Any great artist suffers temporary setbacks. Besides, imperfections in art make it all the more interesting!
How creative can you be in your life today?
(from the book Today's Gift by Anonymous. copyright 1985, 1991)

Knowing most of you - I am sure that you will be very creative in your life today!
Take care my friends and remember:
Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch Often!
Lisa

Thursday, November 11, 2010

November 11 - Veterans Day

My Grandfather, who was stationed in Africa during WWII
During WWII my grandfather (my mother's father) was stationed in Africa during WWII. This is one of her favorite photos of him, looking out into the Ocean.

On this day, we remember and honor all those who have served and who are serving and say "thank you".

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

November 9...and 10

Well, I kind of missed a day - but if I blog about yesterday and today does it count as blogging both? :)

I am playing "single" mom again this week as DH is on the East Coast for the corporate training for *The Business* this week. This is the last week of official training, at least out of town...I think that someone from corporate comes in to work with us, but not totally sure. Anyway, it has been busy as Robert (older son) has added wrestling to his sporting activities - something to do after school when he doesn't have hockey. Just hoping that the wrestling coach understands that he will not be able to make every practice and/or every wrestling match if Robert has a hockey practice or activity. We shall see.

Yesterday, at Matthew's school (younger son) they had their monthly assembly where they discuss the character trait of the month, as well as announce the students of the month and acknowledge the student who exemplifies the designated character trait - the Integrity in Action Award. Each teacher in the school nominates one student from their class(es) for the student of the month...thus, there were 50 kids who were called up to receive the October Student of the Month certificate as well as a Student of the Month pencil...Matthew was nominated by his Science Teacher.

In addition to being 1 of the 50 Students of the Month, Matthew was chosen as the student who exemplifies the October character trait: Responsible. Again, nominated by his science teacher, it was pointed out that: "Matthew was a responsible student who turned in all his homework on time, was never late to class, and when traveling for his hockey tournaments made sure to approach each teacher ahead of time to inquire what he would be missing so that he would be able to keep up with his classes."  For this acknowledgment, Matthew received a special t-shirt and a certificate.

I guess Matthew had a feeling that he was going to be nominated as a Student of the Month, but didn't' know that he was going to be the one receiving the Integrity in Action award too. It was very exciting! Congratulations Matthew...mom & dad are very proud of you!

Yesterday, when I needed to leave and pick up Robert from school I couldn't get out of my driveway:

our neighborhood turkey herd was walking down our street and hanging out on my driveway. Don't they understand that Thanksgiving is around the corner? You have to admit - it is a little strange to have these birds just walking around and living nearby. We found several places on the main street where they cross, for there are little turkey prints on the concrete....I wonder if we need to contact the city to put up some "Turkey Crossing" signs around the neighborhood?

This morning I woke up a little later than I like, but instead of getting on the stationary bike I sat down and did a little early morning cross-stitching on Family Sampler...not enough for a photo posting, but hopefully soon. Tonight is a night without hockey obligations, so I am hoping to sit and stitch tonight so that I have something to show you soon. I know that many of you visit for the stitching, so I apologize that I haven't done much show and tell...I will soon.

Well, I will not bore you anymore. I will sign off with a few snippets of fall for you...and then bid you good-bye until tomorrow. Take care and remember....
Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch often!
Lisa










Monday, November 8, 2010

November 8...for another hour and a half

Just got home from hockey practice - it is now 10:30pm - and I realized that I didn't post a post yet. Since I committed to posting every day during November I decided to log in while the boys were getting ready for bed. There really isn't much to write about - same routine, different day.

DH called from Connecticut to report that the corporate training was going pretty well, that it was cold back east and there were big snow flakes falling from the sky. It was cool here today, but still had on our short-sleeve t-shirts and shorts.

The boys received their 1st quarter reports cards and I am very, very proud to report that both of them earned all A's. They worked hard and it shows.

Well, it looks like everyone is in their pjs and teeth are brushed, lights are out and all are tucked into bed. So I bid you good night as well! Take care! Lisa

Sunday, November 7, 2010

November 7

It has been a rainy Sunday, but that is a California Winter day. Did you all enjoy the extra hour of sleep? I actually went ahead and got up at 3:30am (which use to be 4:30am) and got my 2 hours of exercise out of the way before I had to get Robert up for breakfast. He had an early morning exhibition game against another local hockey team down in San Jose. The team came out strong in the 1st period, but couldn't keep up the energy during the 2nd or 3rd period and the game ended up in a 1-5 loss. During games like this, I typical would have brought out something to stitch on in the 2nd period, but couldn't because I was texting DH. He was staying home with Matthew (who took the opportunity to sleep in) until it was time to leave for the airport, so I needed to give him the blow-by-blow of the game.

Once home from the rink, I ran to the grocery store to get my weekly shopping out of the way so I could veg out at home the rest of the afternoon. It looked like the grocery store was gearing up for Thanksgiving which is just a couple of weeks away. I know that they are having some sort of Thankgiving turkey promotion...one being a free turkey with some sort of purchase...which might be something I look into for our holiday meal; however, why get one from a store when we have fresh ones across the street?

Just kidding, don't think it is legal to shoot a wild turkey in the residental area...maybe if it was road kill :)


Well, blogging friends nothing else to report right now. Just looking forward to continued vegging out tonight and getting in some stitching. Maybe I will have something to show you tomorrw.
Take care and remember...
Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch Often!
Lisa

Saturday, November 6, 2010

November 6

It is Saturday and today I feel a little more "normal". DH got home last night and it is nice for him to be back, even if it is for a day and a half (he leaves tomorrow morning for the East Coast). This morning he and I got up and went over to *The Business* and helped to prep the fruit. I worked with a couple of the employees and learned how to dip strawberries in chocolate, bananas in white & dark chocolate and apples in chocolate. The I helped to create a bouquet. It was fun to finally to do some hands-on work in *The Business*.

I got back home around 10am to get Robert around for off-ice conditioning, which he got a ride to the rink and I was able to stay at home with Matthew, who has been under the weather. Poor kid was up last night coughing and sniffling. Seems that he has caught one of those colds going around. While at home I found a little time to take a nap (that was sweet!).

That is about all for Saturday activities...just nice not to have a lot of things to do. Maybe I will take some time at get my stitching out while watching the NHL Sharks game this evening.

Hope your Saturday is going well. Until tomorrow, remember...

Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch often,
Lisa

Friday, November 5, 2010

November 5

Hello all, thank you for the wonderful comments - they bring much warmth, support and strength for me and I appreciate them all.

It is Friday...thank goodness! It has been a long week - lots of driving the kids to and from school/hockey, dealing with life and missing having DH home. He comes home tonight from Southern California where he has been training all week to get "hands on" experience in *The Business*. It will be nice to have him home, even for the short time...for he leaves again on Sunday, heading out to the East Coast for the "corporate training" of *The Business* - he will be gone the whole week again, getting home on Friday, Nov. 12. He is anxious to get into "our" store and really start working...and I am anxious to work in there as well, when I can.

Last night was a late night at the rink...Robert's team had off-ice conditioning in the fitness room at the rink for an hour and then we had to go to another rink (the HP Pavilion, where the NHL Sharks play) where they had practice until 10pm. The older the boys get, the later their team practices are...boy, it is times like these that I miss them being "mite" age (that is about 6-7 years old). The long night at practice wasn't ideal, but we made it work for us. Matthew (younger son) had to go with me because I wasn't going to leave him home alone from the time we left the house until we got back...so he brought his homework, a bag dinner I fixed him, and sat in the restaurant to work - while I was in the fitness room working out at the same time Robert & his team were in there. Then we all went over to HP to watch the on-ice practice. However, we all were ready to get into bed when we got home!

I don't know if it is just because I am tired and feeling a little worn out after this week w/o DH, or stressed out some...but I am also feeling a little melancholy. Buying the business, the end of DH's severance pay...is a creating a little worry and anxiety. I know that we will be ok, but it will take time. I also am worried about my younger sister who is going through a tough time...it is situations like this that I remember times back when I was a teenager and going through that emotional roller coaster that all teenagers go through; my mother would sit on my bed and hold me saying, "it is hard growing up." Yes, it is!!

Now, I can dwell on this melancholy feeling or I can look at my life and note the wonderful things that I do have and be thankful!
  1. I have 2 wonderful, healthy, thriving, smart, caring, loving sons!
  2. I have a wonderful, smart, caring, loving husband!
  3. I/we have our health!
  4. I have my extended family (mom & dad, mother & father in law, sisters, brother-in-laws, sister-in-laws, nieces/nephews/cousins, grandmother)!
  5. I have friends - near and far!
  6. I have a job to go to and the support of wonderful employers!
  7. We have a house; a roof over our heads!
  8. We have food in the pantry, in the refrigerator!
  9. We have clothing!
Thank you for reading and being here for me too! Well, before I ramble to much more, I will end this post for the day! Have a great Friday and remember...

Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch often!
Lisa

Thursday, November 4, 2010

November 4

OMG...15 comments and birthday well wishes from you, my blog friends. I was totally overwhelmed when I saw that. Thank you so much! It means a lot to me. My day was just ok, aside from a funny "Happy Birthday" surprise from my boys, it was just a typical day for me. What did the boys do? I will tell you...

My day typically starts at 4:30am, when I get up to ride the stationary bike while catching up with my emails, facebook and blogs. I get off the bike around 6:30am to wake up Robert (older son) who comes down for breakfast and gets around for school (Matthew's gets up at 7am as his school starts 1/2 later). Well, I walked down into the kitchen and noticed that the placemats that I keep on the counter were laying near the sink...thing just looked out of place. But then I noticed it...a handwritten sign and card:
Birthday sign, handwritten card and bday hat from my boys
Before the wonder of how they pulled this off without me knowing, I picked up the card and read:

Happy Birthday Poem - by Robert
43 is just like,
any other birthday - Sike!
You are 1 year older now,
1 more year of experience under your bow.
But that is not bad,
think of all  the fun you've had.
This is a good bday indeed,
with digits addint to 7...this year you'll succeed!

Birthday Quotes
"Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter" ~ Mark Twain
"Old isn't so bad when you consider the alternative" ~ Maurice Chevalier
"Don't regret getting older. It is a priviledge denied by many."
"40 is the old age of youth, so is the youth of old age."
"Your only as old as you feel."

Notes from the kids
"Have the happiest of happy birthdays!"
Love, Robert

"Mom, I am sorry for all the bad things I have done to upset you. I wish I could take them back. You do alot for Robert and I. I hope your birthday is peaceful and we will try not to upset you."
Love, Matthew

"Don't worry; 43 is no big deal. Not as bad as 50, which is rapidly approaching me. Have a wonderful birthday!"
Love, Bruno (that is the dog)

It was very sweet and fun to receive first thing in the morning...but I couldn't figure out how they accomplished this without me knowing, so I asked Robert when he came down for breakfast...

Me: "Robert, thank you so much for this birthday greeting. I love the card!"

Robert: "Did you read the poem and the quotes? The quotes were fun to find."

Me: "Yes, I read them all. I love it! But when did you and Matthew do this? Was it while I was riding the bike this morning?"

Robert: "No....you don't want to know." (he says with a smirk of guilt on his face)

Me: "Well, it couldn't have been in the evening, because we all went to bed at 9:30pm and Matthew was asleep. He was so tired from practice because of all the skating they did..."

Robert: "Well...we got up around 10pm...we both went down stairs and wrote the card. Matthew started to get worried that you would wake up, he went back upstairs and we started to chat to each other...using our iTouches and the Facebook chat. He would tell me if you were moving or if he thought you were getting up."

Me: "You mean that you and Matthew got up last night and did all of this and I didn't hear you? Wow, I must have been tired. This was a wonderful surpise. Thank you."

So...facebook chat on the iTouch comes in handy...allows for my boys to sneak around the house at night :) And in this case, it was a wonderful thing :)

Other than that surprise, my day was just a typical one...drop the boys off at school...go into work...pick up Matthew from school...pick up Robert from school and then drop him back off in the evening to try school wrestling (and then pick him up again).

Well, off to get this day going...take care my blog friends and thank you again for your well wishes! Take care and remember...

Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch often,
Lisa


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

November 3

Me with my mom & dad when I came home from the hospital
Once upon a time...well, 43 years to be exact, I was born. And every year I celebrate...but never alone, for I share this special day with my father - whose birthday is today too. 
Dad and my birthday celebration - I was 2 years old

And not only did Dad and I celebrate any  birthday together, but because I was born on his 25th birthday - every milestone birthday for him is one for me.
A Milestone Celebration 18 years ago - Dad's 50th and my 25th

Unfortunately my parents live in Minnesota and I in California - so dad and I will not be able to blow out our candles together, but I wish him a very happy birthday and many, many more! Love you Dad!

-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.

Well, the birthday celebration is probably going to be minimal this year, with DH out of town...the boys have school...I have work...but, there is no hockey tonight so I will be able to veg out with my boys at home; and since evenings at home seem to be a rarity during school and the hockey season, I look at it as a gift :)

And...the temperatures are back up in the 80s today and the sun is forcasted to shine! Another gift that I am looking forward to enjoying :)

And in the mailbox yesterday, there was a card...from Valerie (fogcitydweller):
It was definitely an unexpected surprise...OMG! look at the wonderful Limited Edition colors of thread...thank you so much Valerie! I have a feeling that I will be using one of those colors in my MW when I bring her out to work on soon. :)

Well, I had to jump off the stationary bike to finish my post for the day on the old "big" computer...typically I do a lot of my blogging, facebooking and emailing in the morning on a laptop that I put in the book holder on my stationary bike, but we have some laptop issues (one doesn't seem to want to turn on and the other got a virus again and was acting strange).

So for now, I wish you a happy Wednesday and remember...
Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch often!
Lisa

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

November 2

Thank you for the comments and the well wishes left yesterday. One post-Halloween memory I want to share with you, which surfaced as I read Natasha's comment about walking around the neighborhood looking at Halloween decor...before we lived in California, we lived in Minnesota. DH and I worked for my family's company, which was a competitor of Party City. My position was Public Relations/Marketing/Advertising...and I was the Party Planner Expert who would be interviewed on the local tv talk shows explaining and showing how to throw a party with a budget. One of the things that I would have fun doing is decorating my house up for Halloween...complete with the gravestones in the front yard, the skeltons dancing around a caldron, ghosts in the trees and the fog machine going. Several times one of the local tv crews would come to my house a week before halloween and we would do several segment from there (yes, I did that remote reporting from my house with the ear piece in my ear, answering questions from the reporters who were back at the studio). It was definitely a fun chapter of my life...doesn't life seem to have chapters like that? Anyway...thank you Natasha, for allowing that memory escape from the depths of my mind! :)

Yesterday morning, before the boys even got up, I went over to *The Business*. It was fun to use the key and let myself in, for now it is feeling a little more like it is really ours. I didn't stay very long, for with the boys off of school there were things that I wanted to do with them, but I did stay long enough to meet the remaining employees (the ones who weren't there on Saturday when DH and I went over to introduce ourselves). The previous owner took me through some of his daily routines, basically prepping for when the 1st shift came in to do the prepping and creating of the fruit bouquets. When the staff came in, watching them prep the fruit was like watching a well choregraphed dance. Within an hour fruit was cut, fruit was dipped, and baskets were ready to be assembled. I was able to see the magic of how one was created before I had to leave to take Robert to his ortho appointment. We are very fortunate to be taking over a very well run business!

The ortho was quick, so as we made our way home we got a few mundane errands ran - gas for the car and groceries for the house (boy do we go through milk in this house hold...I just purchased 4 gallons on Friday and we were down to our last one on Sunday evening-maybe we should have bought a dairy farm). For the rest of the day, I just hung with the boys at home until it was time to drive down to the rink.

Both boys had practice tonight down in San Jose...but due to the timing of their practices it was a late night. Robert's practice started at 5:30/ended at 6:45 and was at the HP Pavilion, which is where the NHL Sharks place. Since our club has an affiliation with the organization, each of the Jr. Shark teams get some ice time there to practice on during the season with the BIG Sharks are traveling.
Robert (the orange jersey in the middle) leading stretching exercises
While Robert was on the ice, Matthew and I sat in the stands to watch. Matthew ate his dinner, which we packed up from home, while I got in some cross stitching. It was just enough time to get the roof finished on the house of Family Sampler...
From a far, the roof looks good...but if you were to look close up, not all of the X's are laying straight, especially the lighter brownish color of the roof. On one hand it give the roof a texture look, but then there is a part of me that feels disappointed. I was too lazy to get out my laying tool, but tried a few techniques to keep it smooth...but I guess it just doesn't look "perfect". I know, I know, perfect is in the eye of the beholder and I should just let it go and move on...which is what I will be doing.

Anyway...after Robert got off the ice, Matthew & I packed up our stuff - we left HP Pavilion as soon as Robert came out of the dressing room and headed down to the SharksIce facility where the boys normally practice - and where Matthew had his team practice from 7:45-9pm. While he was on the ice, Robert and I worked out in the fitness room that overlooks the particular rink that Matthew's team was practicing on. You couldn't ask for a better set up...doing a 60 minute walk/jog on the treadmill while watching your kid's hockey practice! It made the rest of the evening go pretty fast and before you knew it we were pulling into our garage around 10pm...and after a quick unpaking of the hockey bags and showering the boys and I were in bed by 10:45pm.

It was a good day - and DH sounded like he had a good day down in SoCal at his in-store training...but I think that he might have been jealous that I was the first one in "our" store and not him. But as soon as he returns from training, with all of his skills and knowledge of *The Business*, he will be in that store a lot!

Today...the agenda says: "Back to school for the boys and back to work for me, with hockey practice in the evening for Matthew only". So, until tomorrow...

Take care and remember...
Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch Often!
Lisa