Wednesday, December 31, 2008
It's either feast or famine.
The famine has begun....in more ways than one.
We're contemplating joining J on her next ship assignment, so I need to fit into a bathing suit. How can you spend 7 days in the Caribbean, with a cabin that has a balcony and not sunbathe at least a little? So, in that regard, the fasting begins!
It's very quiet here on New Year's Eve Day. So, the famine of sound is occurring in our home today!
We're going to have the traditional pork roast dinner with all the trimmings on New Year's Day. Dad's coming over and we'll just kick back and enjoy the day. I have to work Friday, so the quieter the better I suppose. I've preposted these past few posts so that I could catch up....so, I'll be back in a few days.
Happy New Year to all my family. I love you more than you know, really.
And to my friends; old and new......thanks for being in my life. You provide me happiness and balance; love and companionship. And for that, I am truly thankful.
For the holiday season, I read "The Gift" by Richard Paul Evans and I also read "The Handmaid and the Carpenter" by Elizabeth Berg. I enjoyed that one very much.
I read "Girl With a Pearl Earring" by Tracy Chevalier in High School and I recently re-read it. We're doing it at book discussion next month and I think that I'll take the movie also for them to see - they might like that.
If you like Top Chef the reality show on Bravo, you'll love the "Top Chef Cookbook". Not only does it have the recipes (that you'll never make because they have about a thousand ingredients in each recipe) but it has all the stats and bios for the chefs for all but this last season. It's interesting.
I put a couple of the titles I've recently read on the shelf.
This was last spring on a beach somewhere in the Bahamas !
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
The Choir on Christmas Eve.
L's brother, Nick came to town to celebrate some December birthdays and we got together for dinner. kClare was coming home from school that day and met us at the Red Lobster on a Sunday afternoon before Christmas. I was really hoping to get the family together for Christmas Eve, but everyone is so busy and they have their own families to celebrate with. So, we get together when we can. Happy Birthday C & M.........
Christmas Eve came quickly after that.....all the preparations and cooking provided a meal that is very anticipated and well worth all the time. Getting the pyrohy for our Christmas Eve feast gets more and more challenging each year. We try to talk ourselves in to making our own, but quickly relent to the "studda-bubba's" who diligently mold the pyrohy at the Ukrainian Youth Home. They are like the little Santa elves at the North Pole (I do believe, I do believe, I do believe) - you arrive at the place and there are dozens of older Grandma type ladies, in their hairnets making pyrohies for the many Yankees coming to pick them up.
J's boyfriend stopped by on Christmas Eve......
McKeely shares a story with kClare and Cam shows his newest Nascar addition
Dad came for breakfast on Christmas Day. I made a french toast casserole which turned out great and the girls finally got up around 9:30. We opened our gifts and then I took Dad out to the cemetery while L prepared the clover rolls for dinner. We had a wonderful dinner at Marty and Cindy's - the whole family was there. This is a picture of the girls with their cousin's dog. And, NO, I am not giving into the whole dog thing again.....I did that once and it's over. Boo-Hoo, get over it.
This past Saturday was the annual Mangan family Christmas Party. It's our 12th year, I think, and our family continues to grow. Not everyone attends, but most do and the group photo is the younger ones of the family and then my own family with Dad. And, that about does it for now. kClare returns to school tomorrow. One of the cast from J's NCL Jade show is passing through town tomorrow on her way to Chicago and will stop for the night. She and J will be in Chicago for New Year's Eve - how fun is that?
Friday, December 26, 2008
Hence, I started on facebook. I actually started on facebook incognito - the kids laugh at me for that....until I realized I couldn't see any pictures that way. I didn't really think I belonged on facebook and I didn't want to be there for any other reason than to see these pictures the girls were always talking about. So, I had to come clean - stop hiding out - show my face on facebook. I always felt out of place on facebook anyway...I'm not making any business connections and other than a few family members, I don't know anyone else on facebook.
But, it was especially beneficial having the facebook account when Clare went to school and I could see her costume designs and accomplishments on facebook. And, with J on the boat I got to see some of the most beautiful countryside in the world through her facebook.
However, I began to neglect my blog, which I love playing with and people say they miss. I wondered why I wasn't finding the time to blog. I haven't posted since the beginning of December and everyday that went by, it bothered me a little. Then I figured out it was a combination of holiday AND facebook. So, I'm giving up facebook (obviously, I'm not giving up the presents and the whole holiday thing!). I've removed my face from facebook, or it will be down shortly because I really only have time for the blog.
I've directed people on facebook to my blog, so if you are a new visitor, welcome - come back often - tell me that you've been here and leave a comment.
Bloggers live for the comments!
I have a lot to catch up on, but right now, it's time for bed.........
Monday, December 8, 2008
Sunday, December 7, 2008
kClare will be home at the end of the week which is good because jJoy is getting terribly bored without towel animals and room service! Also, her boyfriend is in California on business, so she's doubly bored!
I know that kClare will be happy to have this semester behind her. She's in the "drama" department, afterall.
We've begun the ceremonial baking of the cookies....the ones we say we're "just not going to bake or eat" EVERY SINGLE year. But, it's time, and it doesn't feel right if we don't make them.
And, there's just enough snow to make it pretty. So......carry on, as we watch and wait for the glorious coming.
Most of what she's been doing with Second City on the ship was improv comedy and some singing. But, this was a chance to highlight her singing. Here is one of the "YouTube" videos from that show. There are several more, so if you're interested, you can navigate around on YouTube, and you'll find them.
We're a pretty musical family....the girls are always singing or playing music....they always have. And, when jJoy was a freshman her music teacher sorta "discovered" her voice, describing her as her "first student to ever have such perfect pitch". J had a solo in the final program of that year and L was out of town at the time, but I was there, with our trusty 500 lb VHS video camera! to capture it. I had to come home and call L at his hotel and play it for him.....neither of us had any idea. This was a voice that we'd not heard before then.
This is that song she sang that night of her freshman year.........she's come a long way.
It's wonderful getting to hear her sing once again - it's been awhile and I've missed it.
I hope you enjoy it.
Saturday, December 6, 2008
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
jJoy's friend from High School, Holly came over with her son, Jacob for a visit.
Sunday, November 30, 2008
kClare is safely back at ISU after her 8 hour drive.........yikes. It was so fun having her here for the week even though she worked on school projects.
we are right now, "tracking" jJoy's flight from London.....she arrives here around midnight.........(I wonder what time her BODY will think it is?) We haven't seen her since March 17th!
we're just about finished with the holiday decorating......
and, once again, we have so much to be thankful for.
Back in February, I found this video on YouTube and posted it just because it was fun.....now it's very seasonal. It's a group called "Straight, No Chaser", a male a capella group out of Indiana University....they're delightful and fun......enjoy.
Today, is the first Sunday in Advent and tomorrow is December 1st, so, let the merriment commence.
Friday, November 28, 2008
Later in the day, we "i-chatted" with J aboard her ship. I think she said she had nachos for dinner......that is so not right on Thanksgiving. But it was fun and she got to see Papa who she misses. She's SO ready to come home....she showed us her packed suitcases on the bed. Everyone gathered around the computer to "chat" with jJoy:
While we were waiting for more family to arrive, L brought out really old slides (ancient, according to my nephew Owen....just wait, Owen, you'll see!).
We enjoyed desserts and coffee before everyone headed home.
It was a relatively early night and we did the last of the clean up quickly and then kClare and I sat down and started going through the "Black Friday" ads and on the computer when all of a sudden, the power went out. Not to the whole house, but just to the zone where the kitchen, the loft and the master bathroom are. Very odd. So, down they went to reset circuit breakers without luck. We finally ended up calling our electric buddie, Joe and he gave us a few options and if those failed we should call the electric company. I guess there are two lines coming into the house and one could be damaged.
We appreciated that the electric company was at the house within an hour and after some serious banging around, the electric was back on.
Although we were able to run a long extension cord from the refrigerator to another outlet, it was worrisome that there might be something more serious wrong.
We got out and did some shopping this morning and now we're all supposed to be taking a nap before we begin the task of putting the tree up. I'll be happy if the tree is "standing" by nightfall.
We are enjoying having kClare home and although she has a paper to write, she's enjoying being home and being taken care of.
Here's kClare perusing the ads and getting up a plan for Friday:
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Friday, November 21, 2008
Monday, November 17, 2008
In less than a week, our K will be home from school for a week. Neither of my kids has had such an extended Thanksgiving break from school before - so it's great. She's feeling that "end of the semester" pressure and crunch. So the week home will do her good. She hasn't been home since August and she hasn't seen her sister since July.
And, in less than two weeks, our J will be home from her tour of duty on the Jade. We haven't seen J since St Patrick's Day! and it will be great to see her. She's going to stay with us for about two and a half months until she takes her next ship assignment on the Norwegian Dawn.
That's right.......the POPE.
Man, she's living right!
YEP, that's the Papal Papa in the window.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Thankful for my wonderful L.....Lanky, Leggy, Liberal, Loving, Lawfully wedded L....
Thankful that my brother M's surgery went well and that he'll soon be home and recovering with his family all around him.....
Thankful that I will see my J & K this month
Chefs Martin & Katie
Family......a bit blurry, but family all the same (I'm blaming it on the Guinness rather than the fact that I turned the flash off)
Younger generation of Diva Cousins.....
So, let the Thankful, Turkey month continue.........................
Friday, October 31, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
So, but it gets me to my next point.....PJ came into town because he & J bought Dad's car and he came up to drive it back home. We had a fun but short weekend together.
Beautiful color everywhere:
Old Man's Cave:
But, we're home now, relaxed and with the energy to see us through the holiday season. And, it's time to replace the Halloween candy we ate for the little goblins on Friday. And, it's time to prepare the garden and the yard for winter.
My roses are blooming like crazy.....sort of screaming out "hey, don't forget me!"
As if !