This is our front room...BEFORE window treatments. Keep in mind, we've lived in this house since 1999, with NO CURTAINS!!!! We had blinds, but no curtains.
And after a headache, some cursing, a phone call for sanity, and a cup of coffee...here is the end result....
Closeup of the finials....
I LOVE the end result!! what do you think? I can't believe that something as simple as curtains make the room feel so homey!!!
the next step....some pillows. some VERY colorful pillows. The room needs color, but I have plans for that. I hope it doesn't take me another 9 years to make the pillows!!!! :)

Supporting my Habit...

This is my little guy...holding Peppermint Mocha Coffeemate Creamer. I just opened the bottle, and he asked to smell it. It obviously smells like chocolate milk...so he asked if he could add a little bit to his milk, just like I add some to my coffee....
Yup...I'm starting him young...

Yes, we are crazy!! But, it's for my mom. :)

This is my best friend and I, standing in front of Kohl's at 3AM on Black Friday. I arrived around 2, to get our place in line. You see the doors behind us? We were no. 6&7 in line. Oh yeah. You know you're jealous!!!
I got a GREAT set of flatware at Kohl's for over 75% savings. Then we went to JCPenney's and got some curtains and curtain rods - again...GREAT deals! 55% off!! Then we went to ToysRUs. That place was crazy...but Barb and I had a system...she waited in line, while I searched for the specials, and got the toys that Santa would be bringing to Little Joe. I made out like a BANDIT!!!! Then, last stop...we went to Michael's and I got 2 frames that I've been wanting to get for a few months now, but never got around to it. They had frames 50%, and I had an ADDITIONAL 25% coupon on the whole order. I also got a wreath for our front door...very festive!!

We were done shopping by 7:15 AM, then we went to Barb's sister's house, then picked her up and went out for breakfast. GREAT day!

My mom and I used to do the Black Friday thing, so I always get a little sentimental on this day. It's kind of my thing. I think about all of the good thoughts, and the crazy days my mom and I had while standing in line, freezing our asses off. (remember, it's Michigan, in late November. it's like 20 degrees or colder at 3AM). But, above all, I feel like my mom is with me there, standing in line, singing some silly christmas song, wearing her fuzzy Santa hat (which I FORGOT this year!!) This is my day to remember her. And I'm thankful for my best friend Barb, who has stood by me for the past 3 years, supporting my habit, and remembering my mom with me.

Turkey Day Fun

We went to my MIL's house for Turkey Day...we were there, my BIL, his daughters, and that was it. Good family dinner. Mmm...

Here is my niece, Mya. She'll be three in a month, and this girl eats more than Joseph!!!

Me and Ashlyn. I can't believe she's getting so big!!

My boys. I absolutely LOVE this picture of them!
Ash took this picture of me...
This is after dinner...Joseph had gotten in trouble for not sharing with Mya. About 45 minutes AFTER Dad yelled at him, we found him hiding under the dinner table, crying.

Making Olga Bread

Yes - Little Joe was helping me make the bread...
Uh...the recipe said it was supposed to be sticky...I couldn't get all of the flour to incorporate...uh...
OK, I let it rise for a hour. It did rise (which is surprising, because I SUCK at making yeast breads)
And the finished product on the griddle...
So...how did it turn out. blah. Not as good as the stuff in the restaurant. I'm thinking I am going to try this one more time...giving myself the benefit of the doubt, as the yeast had expired, and I didn't EXACTLY follow the directions on the recipe. We'll see....

Meeting Santa at the Henry Ford

The handsome guy...(he wanted to wear the tie and vest...so he looked nice for Santa).

We met my friend Karen, and her family there. This is her little boy, Joshua. See where he gets the red hair?

The boys...
Ironically, Santa arrived in a Model T, or some old car thing. (Did you know that Henry Ford was the one who taught Santa about the assembly line? There is a children's book about it...so cute.)
The big meeting....


Wow. What a way to keep your memories...

This is gorgeous. And emotional. And a piece of art. and a keepsake.

Why didn't I do this? (probably because I'm still working on a quilt I started 6 years ago...and have yet to finish...but I am CLOSE!!)

And the fact that the clothes are mostly being put to use by many others. Some of whom are friends that I hold dear, and some of whom are strangers, but they needed a little bit of help. I did save a few things. Maybe I will do something with those old clothes. I don't need a ton. I could do coordinating fabrics. Hmm..I think I found my next hobby.


Weekend Surprise!

So...I haven't had a chance to make the Olga Bread from the last post...as I JUST GOT HOME. I got home from work on Friday, and Big Joe said "OK, Let's Go!". I was a bit surprised...BUT...he had secretly planned a weekend getaway at Weber's Inn in Ann Arbor! So, imagine my surprise!! He had won this package at a golf outing this past summer, but I had completely forgotten about it...

Here are some pics of the pool, and then us being goofy in the hotel room. Yes - Joseph still wears a lifevest. (UGH!) But, he did jump in all by himself, without us catching him!! (YEAH!!)


This Must Be My Lucky Day!!!

for those of you who know my food interests...you know that I. Love. Olga's. And guess what someone sent to me....

Olga Bread
1 cup milk
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup margarine (or use butter)
1 teaspoon salt
1 package active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1 teaspoon sugar
4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1 egg

Scald milk, remove to large bowl. Add honey, margarine and salt to milk; stir until margarine is melted. Set aside to cool until lukewarm.
Combine yeast, warm water and sugar; stir until sugar is dissolved. Set aside.Add 1 1/2 cups of the flour to lukewarm milk mixture and beat well. Mix in egg and yeast mixture. Add remaining flour, a little at a time, until sticky dough is formed.
Turn out on a floured surface; knead about two minutes. Dough will be sticky, but don’t add more flour. Place dough in oiled bowl, turning once to oil whole surface of dough. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand in warm place until doubled in bulk.
Punch down dough; divide into 16 equal pieces. Roll each piece to a thin rough circle about 1/8 inch thick and 8-10 inches in diameter.Heat a large dry skillet over medium-high heat; do not use any oil. Bake 15 seconds, flip and bake about 10 seconds on other side, until mottled brown spots appear. Do not over cook. Cool and store in a plastic bag, use them at once or refrigerate or freeze. Makes 16.

Oh. My. Goodness. you know what I'll be doing this weekend...!!!!!!


Scenes from a Tuesday night.

This is us...on a Tuesday.
Livin' Large...Just Hangin'. Oh Yeah.

Crazy Cousins

We spent some time last weekend at the cousin's house...these pictures are GREAT!!

I'm working on it....

So....a few weeks (ahem...months...) ago, I told you that I was making a list of 101 things that I want to do in my life. It is still a work-in-progress. I'm stuck on 86. The ideas come in spurts. So, be patient with me. I PROMISE that I will share my list with you.

BUT...remember..I challenged you do make a list too!! If you did...or you can...share with me. I'd love to know what your goals and aspirations are!!

My Little Cursing Sailor

On Friday, I picked up Joseph from latchkey, with the high hopes of having an awesome evening. We were having Aunt Sarah over for dinner, and Little Joe was really excited to see Sarah, as was I. So, we get home, and I open his folder…and see…a yellow light and a note from his teacher.


They have a card system at his school:
Green: you are doing great today!
Yellow: you have been given 3 warnings, and now you are in trouble.
Red: you have been given even more warnings, and you are now REALLY in trouble.
Double red: your father is going to beat your butt, and your mother will ground you until eternity, that is, after having to come and get you from the principal’s office!

You ask what the note said?....

“Joseph said “what the Hell”, and told a friend that he was going to flip his friend’s card to double red, and that his mom was going to come up to the school to “kick his butt”. “

Ugh. Can parenting get any worse? I realize that yes, I have my kids back…but I am NOT, (and never will) going to beat up one of my child’s friends.

So, Friday night, I did the whole soap in the mouth, grounded for the night, stay in your room while Aunt Sarah and I have fun hanging out.

Then this morning, I had a conference call, with Joseph’s teacher, and little Joe on the speaker phone. She wanted to talk to me about it, and she had Joe there for the phone call too. However, once he heard my voice on the speakerphone, he started crying. Sigh. I don’t think he was doing it maliciously, I think he thought he was playing around…(because what he said is something that we say at home, not thinking about little ears…)



Stormwater Management at it's Best! (A glimpse of my job...)

These are some pictures from an awesome project that the City of Southfield did.

This is a paver system to allow for infiltration of stormwater:
This is a curb cut to allow the stormwater to enter the bioswale in the parking lot.
Here is a picture of their bioswale, adjacent to the City Hall Parking Lot:

In action: Porous asphalt, with the hydrant on full, check out the water just soaking into the asphalt!

And the awesome group of Rouge people...at Carpenter Lake:

Just a glimpse into my career and passion...stormwater! Whoo-hoo!!

I'm Home Today...

I'm staying home today. Little Joe decided to yak all over the kitchen floor this morning starting around 6AM. Not because he is sick though...

This is because he is stubborn.

He didn't eat dinner last night. So there was no food in his tummy this morning. If there is no food in there, then the stomach acid has nothing to react with...which means he had an upset tummy. He gets so worked up when he doesn't feel good - crying, moaning, etc. Which makes him even sicker...and he REFUSED to eat. Not even saltine crackers. So...puke happened.


I gave him a bath after the 3rd big puke (around 7AM)...and he still hasn't gotten dressed. My son is lying on the wood floor, by the dining room table, naked. no blanket. no underwear. no pillow. Stark naked. He's also been sleeping on and off...waking up to puke.

I really hope he tries to eat SOMETHING soon.

This is what I get for planning a baby in April...He's a Taurus. I'm a Taurus. I should have known better.

deep breath...calming away stress

This picture calms me. It reminds me of simplicity. sigh...


Thank You

In Flanders Fields
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the cross, row on row,
That mark our place: and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing fly
Scare hear amid the guns below
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
-- John McCrae, 1872-1918

Flanders is a geographical region located in parts of present day Belgium, France, and the Netherlands. Over the course of history, the geographical territory that was called "Flanders" has varied.

Here is a map of where Flanders is...

Flanders (and Belgium as a whole) saw some of the greatest loss of life on the Western Front of the First World War, in particular from the three battles of Ypres. Due to the hundreds of thousands of casualties at Ypres, the poppies that sprang up from the battlefield afterwards, later immortalized in the Canadian poem "In Flanders Fields", written by John McCrae, have become a symbol for lives lost in war.

Today is Veterans Day. I'm pretty sure that you know a veteran, are related to a veteran, or maybe you are a veteran. Say Thank You to that person. They have given up themselves for the betterment of our country. Have you do done that?

Ask them to tell you about their experiences. One of my favorite memories is of my Grandpa, telling us a story of how his company was on the Moselle River, and he almost was shot, but he could remember the names of those men that were there with him, and he told us the greatest story...he drew pictures and diagrams of the river, and the bridges, and the stone walls that they were hiding behind. I sit in awe when I think of all he has been through. Absolute awe.

Now, get up and go Thank a Veteran. Give them a hug, shake their hand and tell them Thank You.


How to Vote like a 5 year old...

Little Joe came home from school on Tuesday, and told me that they had an election at his school. Apparently, they learned about each of the candidates, and their names, etc. And then they had a mock election, and the kids voted for one of the presidential nominees. I asked Joseph who he voted for…

“John McCain”

“Why did you vote for John McCain?”

“Because he has a J in his name, and my favorite letter is J”.


“Who won the election in your class then?”

“Barack Obama” (pronounced “Bare-Aack Obama”)

If only elections could be chosen by your favorite letter….


You were expecting to see Halloween pictures, weren’t you?

Well, Halloween didn’t happen in the Lawson household. You see, someone (about 5 ½ years old) got in trouble at school on Friday. He SMEARED SHAVING CREAM ALL OVER ANOTHER KID!!!!! (You ask, how did he have his hands on shaving cream? They were doing a writing exercise with tactile senses). Whatever. Joseph was told by the teachers numerous times to keep his hands to himself. So, when they were cleaning up, he felt that the rule didn’t apply anymore…so, he got in trouble. Sigh.

Not only did we NOT go to Grandma’s for trick-or-treating, the costume also went into the garbage, and we sat in the basement. Yes, the basement. You see, because we had intended on going to Grandma’s house, I didn’t have any candy to pass out. So, we turned off all of the lights, brought the dog downstairs so she wouldn’t bark, and sat in the basement, with just the light from the TV. Was I mad? No. I was FURIOUS!!! And to be quite honest, Little Joe doesn’t like candy, so this didn’t really affect him at all. I think that not going to Grandma’s was more of an issue for him.

AND, I have no candy for me to snack on. Which is probably a good thing…but c’mon!!!