Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy 2009!

Saying good-bye to a great 2008 year!

I guess it's time to change the blog look again...

Monday, December 29, 2008

Iliopsoas tendonitis

My trainer in training, Cheryl, told me that what I thought was a hip flexor strain is iliopsoas tendonitis. I looked it up on the web and here is the definition:

Iliopsoas tendonitis is predominately caused by repetitive hip flexion or overuse of the hip area, resulting in inflammation. Athletes at risk include runners, jumpers and participants of sports that require a lot of kicking. Also at risk are those who participate in strength training and weight lifting exercises that require a lot of bending and squatting.

Pain and tenderness are common symptoms; however the onset of pain associated with iliopsoas tendonitis is gradual and tends to build up over an extended period of time.

Yep, that sounds like it. It says that a week of RICE will fix it up. I'm hoping that's true. After three days, it still hurts. I'm hoping it'll be better after New Year's. I have a half-marathon to train for...

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Another Europe Layout

My hubby was gone most of the day yesterday. First he went surfing with friends then with out with one of the friends to help him pick out a new surfboard.

I took down the Christmas tree and got all the inside decorations packed away. Since my hipflexor continues to hurt, I still can't run. So, with time on my hands, I scrapped another layout!

I used sketches from Pagemap for both of these layouts and then put them together to make a double. The sketch I used for the left side is from the Pagemaps book.

The sketch I used for the right is a sketch I found on the Pagemaps blog. These sketches were great for this layout because my daugher has so many photos of Versailles.

I used Patterned Paper from Fancy Pants and some great paper from Webster's Pages. My friend, Mary, sent me the Webster's Pages paper and I have been saving it for the Versailles layout. It gives the whole thing an old world, romantic feel.

With the left over paper, I made some invitations for my daughter's birthday party:

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Photos

I thought I'd start by sharing our Christmas Eve. We started Christmas Eve at my Aunt and Uncle's house. We had the whole family there... Lots of food:

Ham, pork, ribs, and my specialty: green bean casserole, LOL!
Wonton, hawaiian potato salad, and tofu:
Sushi and fresh vegetables:
... AND lots and lots of dessert!!!

The famous non-violent pinata is a Christmas tradition!

Then the annual Christmas performance. Chris is 15yrs... he did a little bit of eye-rolling about the whole thing, but not a word of complaint. He knows it's all in fun!

Of course Santa takes a break from his nightly rounds to drop in for a visit. Don't tell me you've never seen a Japanese Santa... LOL!

MERRY CHRISTMAS! Santa's been here! You can see Kayle checking out the stockings. She knows there is something there for her. Cheryl asked Chris to wake her up in the morning. As a result, everyone was up by 7am (even Cheryl). Gift highlights this year... I got a square platter from the kids. I have been looking for a square ceramic platter for years. They found a very nice one at Crate and Barrel. I also got a gorilla pod (flexible tripod for my camera). Jim got a new video game and a pocket-sized radio. Chris got a new cellphone (which he's been using since last month) and Cheryl gave him her old iPod nano. Cheryl got an iHome clock and a photo collage for her wall. After a morning of relaxing and playing video games, we went to spend the rest of the day with my mom and dad. Here are some nice photos at their house:

I hope everyone's Christmas was Merry!!!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from our house to yours! We took this photo at the beach on Thanksgiving. It came out so nice that I used it for our Christmas cards this year. I was going to do a fancy pop-up Christmas card, but this photo looks great just on its own...

And here is my annual Christmas ornament for my parents. I also make one for us and my brother's family. Just think, if I had started these when my daughter was a baby, I'd have a whole tree full!
We have a BIG Christmas Eve get together tonight at my aunt and uncle's house. It's about an hour drive from here, but we are expecting lots and lots of rain tonight, so it may take a lot longer.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Christmas Baking

We started with Chocolate Dipped Pretzels for the neighborhood cookie exchange. We got a big tub of pretzels and a huge bag of chocolate chips from Costco. I melted the chocolate chips with a little Crisco. Then the kids dipped the pretzels, while I followed after them with a bottle of candy sprinkles. We finished 72 pretzels in under 10 minutes. They were a hit at the cookie exchange!

Now on to some serious baking... These nondescript looking loaves have been the hit of the season... Pumpkin Cranberry Bread! It's made with Amish Friendship Bread starter. I already made some for the people at work and as a result have passed out many many bags of starter, along with this recipe. Yesterday, I made a bunch of loaves up for the neighbors.

Pumpkin Cranberry Bread
makes 2 loaves

1 C Amish Friendship Bread starter
3 eggs
½ C oil
½ C pumpkin puree
½ C milk
1 C sugar
2 Tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
½ tsp. vanilla
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
2 C flour
1 box instant vanilla pudding
1 C cranberries, coarsely chopped
1 C walnuts, chopped
Grease pans. (Can be made into loaves of muffins) Preheat oven to 325F. Add the ingredients to the starter in order. Pour into pans and bake, about one hour for loaves or 40 minutes for muffins.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Another Christmas Project

This is my newest project. I got the idea from Scrapbook Deals 4U.

The template is from I changed the birdhouse pattern to a doghouse pattern.

This will be a Christmas gift for our neighbors. I took their
Christmas card photo and cut it up... Can you see their dog inside the house? Her name is Jammer (hence the "J" above the door).

Friday, December 19, 2008

Winter Storm in Southern CA

We got our first serious winter storm this week. Here is a pre-storm photo across the lake. You can see all the black clouds rolling in over Saddleback. It was cold here this week, with lows around 40F. With a cold storm like that I'd expect Saddleback to be completely covered with snow.

Yes, it does snow in California! My friend Mary is an elementary school science teacher in Ohio. Her kids were so surprised to find out it snowed in CA! LOL! Cheryl and I went running around the lake and stopped to take some photos. It was beautiful. A lot of people were out today, taking photos, running, walking their dogs, and pushing strollers. I wonder how many people hiding out at the malls missed this...

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Christmas Surprises

I'm sure you can guess what these are, so not a big surprise there... but my co-workers will be surprised! We don't give each other presents at Christmas. I thought that since this will be the last time I'm going to see them (because of my lay-off), I'd give them something to remember me by.

I have 20 wrapped candy bars for my friends. I know they aren't very fancy, but I'm sure they'll still be appreciated. I got the idea for this quick and easy surprise from the 12 days of Christmas challenge at Scrapbook Deals 4U.

Here's the quote I'm giving out with them:

A day or two ago,
I thought I’d make a treat,
For all my special friends-

A Christmas gift to eat.
My intentions were top notch,
But my schedule would not budge,
Hence, here’s this year’s edition

Of homemade Christmas Fudge!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas Time is Here!

The tree is trimmed, the outside lights are up, the Christmas cards are addressed, the house is decorated, and... drumroll, please ... the Christmas shopping is done! YAHOO! We are ready for Christmas... 9 MORE DAYS!!!

The kids have 4 more days of school until Christmas break. This week for Cheryl is finals week. She is stressed out. Jim is also going to be off next week for two weeks. My last day of work is the 23rd. That gives Jim and the kids a couple days off by themselves before I get off.

I hope everyone is enjoying their holidays so far!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Vampire Movie Mania

It's official! The movie of the second book in the Twilight Series, New Moon, is in the works. It'g going to have a new director, so hopefully it will be better than Twilight... here's hoping anyway... It's supposed to be released on November 20, 2009. Cheryl~ I know what I want for my birthday next year!

And the first book of another favorite vampire teen series, House of Night, is being made into a movie! Vampire school is in! (or in case of House of Night, it would be called "Vampyre" School).

Monday, December 8, 2008

More Turkey Trot Photos

Here are some of the professional photos of Chris and me at the Turkey Trot. I'm surprised they got so many in the rain.

Another New Layout

I'm on a roll! I think that this makes 3 challenges I've finished in a row!

This is my newest layout created for the Sketch Challenge at Scrapbook Deals 4U. More pictures from Cheryl's Europe trip...

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

We've been Elf'd

I've been seeing these on my friends' blogs and had to try it.
It's lot of laughs! Hahaha!

Send your own ElfYourself eCards