Monday, December 31, 2007

christmas pics

making cookies on the 22nd...
food at our family Christmas Eve....we do only appetizers!
singing for Grandma Stutzman at Walnut Hills.....she's 94!

the kids anticipating their gifts on Christmas morning...
Hunter and his new gaming chair...he hasn't got off of it since he got it!

Selena crying as she realized that yes...she really did get a blue Ipod!

Belle and her Manchester United soccer jersey.....she couldn't believe it!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

All I want to do is read.....

Yeah, I'm def not 18 anymore. I stayed up last night reading "Pillars of the Earth" until the wee hours and I'm paying for it! I had to work this morning, and I knew better than to stay up, but I did because it's getting so good! All I want to do now is go home and finish it.....it's like a 1000 pages long. It's rainy, so that means a good day to stay in and read.

Yesterday we went to see a movie. We saw I Am Legend---awesome movie--go see it.

Will Smith def knows how to put on a good movie, and this one totally surprises you. It's not what you think, and those are the best kind. It was nice going out just us as a family. We ate at the mall (duh--it was the day after Christmas!), Belle spent her Pac-Sun gift card, went to the theater, played alot of arcade games, then settled in to be entertained for two hours. I always hate it when movies are over..... :( It was a good day though. We went through Starbucks and McDonald's on the way home, and just had a good time. Seems like a simple day, but it was nice.

Oh, and yes we had a very nice Christmas! The kids loved everything they got, and so did I. As I'm writing this I can smell the Baby Phat perfume, "Golden Goddess" that George got me. It smells so good. I would've been just as happy if he would've gotten me himself---which is usually what he says he's going to give me! He's told me that for years...:) LOL Anyhow, Christmas is done for another year.....now it's time to get this family in their house! I just saw a Kohl's ad for towels for $2.49......now that's something to get excited about! Time to fill that house. All the drywall was sooooo nearly finished upstairs yesterday. Just a closet and a half to finish. George is out there mudding and patching the drywall today.....YEAH! That means paint, carpet, and moving in! :) I'll keep you posted, and look maybe later today for some Christmas pics.

Sunday, December 23, 2007


Christmas is almost here! All gifts are wrapped and under the tree.....appetizer ingredients have been bought and are ready to be put together for Christmas Eve....everything is ready. But are we? Have we lost ourselves in our rush to the season? Are we only worried about ourselves and what we have to do....mired in our own daily existence, unable to see past the fog of what's wrong in our lives? I've tried to do my best. It's been so hard since we lost so much in the fire. I've tried to be positive, and keep my best side showing. I've never tried to feel sorry for myself, but project an attitude of "we can get this thing done"......... When you're young, you don't see the wrong in what you do and say, or in the people around you. When you get older, you begin to see your faults and see cracks in the facades of people you always thought were right about everything. In essence, you mature and realize people are human. It's hard though. Hard not to be in your home, and have the rhythms of your everyday life around you. Hard to keep yourself together....... This Christmas season, has been hard. I may look to you at first glance that I have it all together, but I don't. Inside I'm a mess.....just ask my husband. My husband, who has been more to me in the last four months than he's ever been. We're trying to keep it together for the kids, who are also ready just to be home. Maybe we've kept it together for so long, we need a day just to fall apart. Not just yet though....we have a few more weeks to go. I think I can make it.......

My New Years Resolutions are as follows...(these might be good for everyone!):

----learn the power of our tongues...they are a weapon.
----think before we speak....this goes along with the tongue thing!
----realize there's more people in the world than ourselves.
----step out of our comfort zone and do things that might scare us...it gives us power!
----we don't always have to state our opinion and always be right.
----our way of doing things isn't the only one in the world--other people know how to do things too....they just might be different.

That's my little rant......and don't worry----I'm okay! I'm so looking forward to Christmas Eve tomorrow night when all the family comes. It's the best time of the year. All the platters dripping with rich appetizers.......meandering around the festive table just being glad we have such a bounty. Caroling around the neighborhood and for my Grandma in the nursing home. Watching the kids open their exchange gifts, that light still in their eyes for the wonder of Christmas. Going to bed, and still hoping.....just hoping to hear reindeer hooves on the roof. May the excitement and blessing of Christmas stay with us even when it might be hard to feel it. I pray that my Dad will be home for Christmas---he's in the hospital getting fluid drained again. Help us, Oh Lord, to see the reason for the season once again. Refresh us, and renew us.

Merry Christmas to all!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


I finally took some pics of the house. George and I were out there last night until almost 9:30 painting and doing some other things. On Friday we have our family Christmas house tour. We go around to all of our houses checking out each other's decorations. Technically, I'm not decorated for the tour except for my star, but they wanted to see it anyway! Most of these pictures are of the kitchen. Rhonda, if you're trying to figure out how it's laid out, look at the second picture down. It's looking in from the living room to the kitchen. And the really hot looking guy is just someone who's been showing up to work until 10:30 pm every night. The only payment he requires is a backrub after he's done......I say that's pretty cheap labor!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Nor'Easter coming!

I love snow...you all know it. I'm the one who waits for it every year. I'm the one who dodges the glazed over stares of people who think I'm crazy.....I DON'T CARE! I am waiting deliciously for the Nor'Easter to blow in on Saturday evening (after my Christmas banquet at Uncle Primo's of course!). They're forecasting over a foot of snow. I've been to Wal-Mart, and Movie Gallery. My cupboard is stocked.....bread, milk, cereal, and movies. I'm ready for the wild winds to howl and cover my world with the soft white splendor that is snow..... Bring it on.....while you're wishing you would've gone out and bought that last gallon of milk, I'll be baking cookies and watching Pirates of the Caribbean III.

Hmmmmm.......I hope Dick Goddard isn't wrong..... cuz then I'll be the one with the all the food and nothing to show for it! hahahahaha

Thursday, December 13, 2007

big red star w/gold lights!

I love my island light! I stood there yesterday and watched it hanging from it's silver chain, gleaming silver and glass and I was happy. My bones are sore this morning though from all the trimming I did yesterday. I trimmed paint on all the windows, trim and doorways in the bedroom, kitchen, and living room. I realized, again, how much I hate painting--and how much I love that my husband is a professional painter. That doesn't stop him, however, from making me paint. I want to paint, so we can move in, but that doesn't mean I have to like it! I'd much rather be scouring junk stores for the perfect desk, bed, or architectural salvage to hang. Sigh. I had a moment of despair when I realized I would be painting this trim again, and that's not even counting the trim up the steps and into the upstairs bedrooms! Help!

Painting with George, though, is a trip. We had 94.1 on who only is playing Christmas songs right now. He walks around singing these Christmas songs in the stupidest voices, and just makes me crack up. Not to mention the lyrics he inserts instead of the right ones. I love it that after 20 years together he still can make me laugh AND go weak in the knees. It's a shady combination! :):)

I took my camera yesterday so I could post some pics, and wouldn't you know that I forgot to take pictures. I still have it in my bag, but today I'm going shopping with mom to Dover after work, so I may not have time to snap some. I really want to put some on though because the house is really taking shape. I finally put lights on my big red star outside. I thought to myself that if we can just get the star lit up, people will know that things are coming along. It's like a beacon to me too. Maybe that's what I'll do. I'll go out tonight and take a picture of the star on my house. Then I'll post that along with pics of the house. Look for that later!

Thursday, December 6, 2007


The hardwood floors in my house are in!!!!! George finished installing them last night and they look so nice! :):):) That's all I needed to say!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

snowed in!

SNOW DAY! First snow day of the season.......right now it's 6:53 am, and the snow is gently falling outside. The roads are snow-covered and my kids are still sleeping. I can hear them snoring softly, sleeping all the better because they know that school is off. There is something about sleeping in on a snow day. It just seems like you get better rest. George got up with me at 5:30 this morning to listen to the radio for the cancellations. We made coffee (Dunkin Donuts coffee!), and just sat here to enjoy the morning. He worked at the house last night until almost 10:30, and I got mad at him because I told him he's killing himself. Then I told him I was sorry because I know he just wants to finish the house. So, he's upstairs blowdrying his hair, and when he's done we're going to drink more coffee. He just needs to sit a little bit and regain himself. Not regain his strength, but regain himself. He's been really working hard to finish a big house in Farmerstown, and also keeps ours on track. I worked at the house yesterday caulking windows and filling nail holes in the new window frames. But for now, I'm content to just look out the window and watch the snow fall. Maybe we need to pull out some board games today!

Saturday, December 1, 2007


I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Granted, it includes picking out color combinations for six rooms and a hallway, but I can see it! The downstairs is nearly finished, and next week they will be working on finishing the upstairs. Our contractor Mark, said he'll be working all next week---that means everyday all day! Yes. Our heating is finally done so it's nice and toasty in there too. Thank you God for giving me patience!

I heard this morning that snow was forecast for this weekend. I always celebrate when I here there's snow coming. I know there were a few flakes flying around here earlier this week, but nothing substantial. There's something about that first snowfall. That first flake that drops gently down to nestle on the ground. I could sit and stare at snow for hours. The more it blows the happier I am! Think me crazy, but I don't care. There's something simple and beautiful in the way the flakes pile up into a soft blanket of white. It softens the landscape and hides all the imperfections.

I'll be waiting by the window.....

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Christmas… that magic blanket that wraps itself about us, that something so intangible that it is like a fragrance. It may weave a spell of nostalgia. Christmas may be a day of feasting, or of prayer, but always it will be a day of remembrance -- a day in which we think of everything we have ever loved. - Augusta E. Rundel

Fail not to call to mind, in the course of the twenty-fifth of this month, that the Divinest Heart that ever walked the earth was born on that day; and then smile and enjoy yourselves for the rest of it; for mirth is also of Heaven's making."
- Leigh Hunt .

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Odds & Ends

We had a super Thanksgiving last week---ate entirely too much! The kids have been at home since last Wednesday. They had off Wed thru Mon. I took them out to eat and see a movie last Wednesday which was fun. We haven't done a whole lot of that since the fire. It was nice to get out and about. They head back to school today, except for Selena who is down with a nasty cold. Poor thing, she couldn't even sleep last night because of her runny nose. She's been downing aspirin and echinacea, but when I get off work this morning I'm going to see what else I can give her.

I'm at work this morning, and it's definitely slowing down. I only had four rooms rented last night, with two to check out this morning. They all checked out before 7:00am! Starting in December I don't have to come in at 5:45am anymore---I can come in at 6:45! That hour will definitely be nice.

The drywall is totally done in the kitchen, and the electric is in...and I'm getting antsy to get home. 28 days to go!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Countdown to Christmas

Okay.....I'm officially counting down to Christmas and staying in my house. I'm doing this at my own expense because if we DON'T stay there for Christmas I'll be disappointed! It's okay though. They are officially putting in my windows as we speak, this very moment. My kitchen cabinets are in! My countertops are in! And my walls are done except for a few patches. I have officially chosen "Mark Twain House Gray Brick" for my kitchen walls. It's a very funky green so I'm not sure why it's called gray. I love it....and we're thinking about a black ceiling! Still deciding on that one. It all seems to be coming together. The floor joists that were burned through in Hunter's room are done, and the subfloor is going in tonight. My kitchen ceiling should be finished tonight too.
I normally don't like to put Christmas pics on until Thanksgiving is over.....but I'm in the mood since I can't decorate my house for Christmas.
I'm dreaming of a white Christmas.....

Saturday, November 10, 2007

so ready

I'm going crazy....it's time to go home to my house! I think I've just reached that point where I need to be surrounded by my own things, my own routine, my family's routine! I've discovered that my family likes to chill. We seem to gain strength from each other by just sitting around and watching movies.....rolling around on the floor.....etc. My mom likes to work in the garden and relax out there. Not me. If you've ever seen that commercial where the guy comes home with a stack of movies to watch in one hand and looks over to his neighbors driveway where the guy is just slaving away. He's shoveling snow, and just killing himself. The guy with the movies shakes his head and walks to his door, snow piled high crunching through at least a foot of the white stuff. That would be us. We'll always be the family with the leaves piled high outside, the snow blowing drifts around our door. But there will be two tracks that have made their way out to get some movies, or food. I guess we feel cozy that way, and knowing that that IS how we are has made us not care if some people think we're lazy for not blowing away the first leaf or snowflake to fall. I've discovered I love who we are. I looked at George the other day and told him......"You know, I really just love you." And he said...."Did you think I didn't know? I always know..." This has made us love each other more, pull closer together, and realize we love who we are. I'm looking forward to the day when I stand in my house and look around and know that I'm home again. Know that I can do what I want for that day. Know that all I will hear is the sound of me and my family. And if I just want to hear silence and do nothing for the whole day but read a book--I will. Period.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Trail of Terror

Well we finally were able to round up enough people at work and go to the Trail of Terror! Deanna, Tiffany, Twila, and I headed up to Zoar to eat at the Zoar Tavern, then we headed over to the trail. It was pretty good. I probably screamed the most when the guy with the chainsaw started chasing us. I guess I didn't know I could still run that fast! It was fairly creepy for one being outside in a woods, and two it was drizzling. It all added to the atmosphere. And of course, they made me go first! We had alot of fun though.

I'm so tired I can barely keep my head up here at work this morning. Rhonda and Scott arrived last night, and I was up until 12 talking to them. But it was at least 1:30 am until I heard everybody quiet down downstairs. Then when my alarm went off three hours later...I about jumped out of my skin. My eyelids felt glued to my eyes! Oh well, I guess I can take a cat nap later this afternoon........please.....!!

My windows are coming next week......the contractor is starting sometime next week.....and all the trash and things to tear off walls will be gone! Thank you Lord for the patience you're giving me. I love my hubby so much----he's what's keeping the house moving along!

Monday, October 22, 2007

party pics

Jordan and Jena
Watching the pinata break
Jana, Victoria, and Braylee...George says you're never too old to hit a pinata!
Hunter being himself....a little scary though!
Belle and Billy.....although they've broke up now....teenagers.
Dillon Callahan...him and Matt Ling hid upstairs and scared everybody silly!

Selena and Belle at the party

Thursday, October 11, 2007

39 and holding

Okay...I made it to 39 and I still feel like I'm 21. Although my sciatic nerve would have to disagree. I've heard it said that we need to start acting our age as we inch closer to 40-----well I don't want too! I want to be the age I am, but still have a young heart. Just the other day I got the urge to one of those haunted houses they have up this time of year. I love to go and get the willies scared out of me.

Guess what happened yesterday. As you probably know, today is Belle's birthday too. Yes, she was my gift 17 years ago. Anyway, we were planning a party for her and her friends here at mom's house. Mom and Dad are going back to Fern's to camp there for the weekend. Well, yesterday she comes home with a petition signed by all of her friends and her saying that they want to still have the party at our burned out house! They thought it would be so cool if they could have a huge bonfire and take tours through the house to get scared. Some of the guys even had plans to buy scary outfits and hide up in Hunter's room. Oh man.....after thinking about it George and I decided it was kind of a cool idea. So..........we gave in and now are kind of excited about it. We're trying to think of all kinds of spooky stuff we can do. Right up my alley.
I'll take some pics and post them on here. I love to set an eerie atmosphere. We were always the parents to have the Halloween party. One year we even had a Fear Factor contest. Nothing like sardines and prune juice blended together to make you puke. Now that was a fun evening.

Well, better go so I can get some reading done on this lazy day of mine. I'm reading the second book in that Twilight Series.....nothing like a good vampire book. haha.

Monday, October 8, 2007

One year from 40...

Okay...I seem to be having a tough time this week. My birthday is on Thursday, and I just don't want to turn 39. I never had a problem turning 30.....35.....but 39? No. Help.

That means in one year I'll be 40. sigh.

Short post today.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


Yesterday we finally got word from the adjuster that our estimate was done, and we'd be receiving our check later this week! You can't hear me right now, but I'm screaming for joy! It seems like it took forever just for that detail to take place. George has been out at the house ripping stuff out like crazy, so now we can really get started in earnest. I'm going to take some pics as we go along, and I'll try to post them regularly. I'm so excited. It's been going well living at mom and dad's, but there's just no place like home. They gave us a timeline that the house should be finished by. They feel that with all the damages they saw, it should be finished by the end of December. If I'm in by Christmas I'll be pumped. I guess that means we really need to get busy and get this done. George is really revved up to take care of the demo, and hire people for the construction. He's been out at the house doing everything he can to get ready. He wants to streamline everything, recycle some things, and be as cost-effective as he can. I love to watch him work when he gets in his groove. Yesterday he tore down the wall between the kitchen and bathroom-----he moves quickly!

After work today, I have to head out to Wal-Mart and buy supplies for enchiladas. Two other moms and I are on for this evening to feed the soccer team. They play up at St. Thomas Aquinas tonight, and the moms always feed them after the game. I told them I would make enchiladas, and I'm hoping I can keep them warm until the game is over. I think if I double wrap them in foil right out of the oven that would do the trick.

It's a slow morning at work so I actually typed this post in less than two hours! It actually only took me 10 minutes! Hmmmm.....that would definitely be a first. :)

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

random pix

braylee, belle, delia, & megan looking tough!
had to be number #7
selena & belle in belle's "new-to -her-car!"
selena being herself

Hunter & Sasha back at Fern's

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Hiland Homecoming

Yes, all insurance adjusters have finally made an appearance at our house. I'm so sick of it! I'm ready for work to begin on my house! Lord......help me to be patient. All is well here at mom's house, though. We are all getting along fine.

That business aside, Hiland homecoming was last night and Belle was so excited. Selena even got to be a flag in the ceremony at the soccer game. Belle got home today around 1:30 pm. She stayed overnight at the girl's house who had the after party. She said everything went awesome. They went to Fuji's in Canton, then to the dance at Hiland. Afterward to Guggisberg's for the party.....then sleeping in until 11:00! She dragged in the door, but was pumped about how it went. I'll grill her later for details when she wakes up!

Here's a few pics!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Hiland v. West Holmes....... 2-2.....sigh. We had the game in the bag and with 38 sec. left they scored a goal! AAAAHHHH! The girls were devastated, but they played such a good game that we told them not to be upset. It was a super game. A tie is definately not a loss, although it's not a win either....but they were so good last night. Oh well, it was an improvement.

Yesterday I took Lisa out to see the house. For those of you who don't know her, Lisa is my friend from Hartville. We met in VS in San Antonio, TX and she was the one who introduced me to George! We try to get together a couple of times a year. She couldn't believe what the house looked like. I'm just ready to get construction going. Then we had lunch at Farmstead, and messed around Berlin at some shops. It's nice to get my mind off of other stuff!

Well, I'm at work trying to type this and this has taken me two hours to do all of this.....it's been crazy here this morning. Gotta run.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Soccer updates

Since the fire, I've not been very good at keeping everyone informed on soccer. Belle's team is now 2-3---they've taken some pretty good drubbings.... But she's happy with her performance, especially since she's been put in as a forward. They lost Tues. night to Tri-Valley (Dresden) 7-0, but she seems to be pretty proud of the yellow card she got! She slid into another girl trying to get the ball, and they yellow-carded her.....she's nothing if not aggressive. She was upset about it at first until she realized the next day at school that everyone, including all the guys, were impressed that she got one! Go figure.....

Tonight they play New Phila at home, and they should be able to win that one. Hopefully she doesn't get a red card tonight!

Selena starts Wooster League Soccer on Saturday.....it'll be a full day. Selena in Wooster at 3:15,
then back to Berlin for Belle's game at 7:00. Then Hunter will be starting any week now with park district soccer.....AAAAHHHH! I love it.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007


Hunter's closet
downstairs bathroom where it started
girls' room

Here are a few pics of the fire. Hunter's poor room took the brunt of it. We hauled everything out of the upstairs now, and today everything else is being taken away downstairs. They need everything out of the house to start construction. We're staying at my mom and dad's house until everything is done. It's going to be a long road, and the only reason I can be okay is because my kids were not at home. You can replace things and rebuild rooms, but you can't replace your kids!
Hunter's closet door...yikes
the girls' room which suffered heat and smoke damage
Hunter's bedroom windows
the pile of charred things on the patio
going up the steps between rooms
Hunter's melted TV!
where the fire started.....