Tuesday, December 30, 2008

My system crashed

Okay I have always been stuck in 10Th gear and wished all year long to be lazy. Lord knows I have tried and failed. Nothing stops me dead in my tracks like when I am sick. I was diagnosed with Pharyngitis which is a fancy word for a sore throat. I was given Amoxycillin and that did not help a whole lot. This throbbing head ache and swollen head will not go away. I have even attempted pinching my scalp and pulling my hair but it won't stop hurting. Pill after pill and more pills I called the doctor again this morning and now I have a double sinus infection and have new drugs. Somehow my head still hurts. The pill literally knocked me out and I had to nap on the couch while the kids played. I am now stuck in hunched over slow motion and first gear. Not how I planned to slow down but it is my body's way of saying enough is enough. This congestion is stubborn and if it does not go away then I need to go back in on Friday and then get a scan done on my head. What a way to end the year and ring in the new one. I hope I feel better soon. Will not be posting until I feel better. I want to wish you and you family a HAPPY NEW YEAR !!!!! Free Spirit !

Thursday, December 25, 2008

This damn packages frustrate me

This is me feeling frustrated and mad at all the packaging. My golly they add so many twisty ties and plastic and rubber bands so they can have a perfect display. I wonder how much time is spent doing this and not to mention all the money and waste and now we have to pollute poor mother earth with all this garbage. It makes me mad. Also as I try to pry these toys off I feel as though my kids are being vultures impatiently waiting to snatch the damn doll or rip the transformer right out of my fingers leaving me with plastic cuts. I can hardly blame them as they can barley contain their excitement. There should be a better way to take toys apart.So here's to all the mom's and dad's out there ripping and putting toy parts together on the most joyous day of the year or is it ????? Merry Christmas to you.

Thanks for stopping by.

Free Spirit !!!!

White Christmas in Reno

This is the first white Christmas that Reno has seen in twenty years and it is so pretty. Well I was up first today as I wanted to capture the kids on camera as they ran in to see Santa's presents. I am feeling much better today and hopeful that my pictures from my fried hard drive will be recovered Christmas is truly magical and watching the joy on the kids faces made all my troubles, anger and disappointment take a vacation for now. I look at all these pictures and I feel so happy that we have made new memories. My resolution is to back up all my pictures to dvd's. I may even pay the store to back up all 70 000 + pics I have. Well this has been an overwhelming day so I will just share some shots and wish you a Very Merry Christmas.
Thanks for stopping by. Free Spirit !

Christmas letter for you

Dear Friends and Family: We hope that 2008 has continued to keep you in high spirits and good health! This has been a very busy year. Pravan is now 6 years old and has started first grade. He enjoys riding the school bus, loves going to school and has a great teacher “Mrs. Ferguson”. Pravan’s independence has grown right along with him as he has joined the Cub Scouts and recently learned to ride his bicycle without training wheels. He is a pro at math and can do math problems on a third grade level and has taken the best speller award in his class. He has exceptional handwriting and we are proud of his achievements. He also has a larger Transformer & Bakugan collection than Toys-R-Us. Priyasha is now 2 years and 9 months old. She will tell you that she is two going on twenty. She is completely independent and does everything by her”t”elf. She can even have a political conversation with you and tell you more about Barack Obama than some grown ups such as what his daughters’ names are and what number president he will be. She is fascinated by the presidents and can recite the first 15 in order and working on more. She can also spell most of her colors and can read simple words. She has moved on from Dora to Strawberry Shortcake and even is getting into Bratz Girls and Hannah Montana. She is growing up too fast if you ask us. We kicked off the New Year with a major snow storm and a sad goodbye to my mother. My mother returned to South Africa after a 6 month visit and I was lucky enough to escort her to New York City and bid farewell to her. She is doing okay now, but recently experienced hypothermia, pneumonia and a heart attack. We are glad she is tough and is still alive. In April, Grandma and Grandpa braved the skies and came from Vermont to Reno to visit with us. We had a wonderful time and went to the Sacramento Zoo and to Lake Tahoe with them. The kids certainly enjoyed them at our house. Reno was shook by a series of earthquakes in May, including a 4.9 magnitude quake. There was no significant damage to the house, but we had several frames fall of the wall and some of them had their glass broken. Over the July 4th Holiday we went to
San Francisco as Pravan wanted to walk on the Golden Gate Bridge and mommy wanted to go to Chinatown. The kids loved that trip although we didn’t have time for a cable car ride…next time. In late July we went on a volcanic themed trip to Oregon via Crater Lake which was breathtaking! Along the way we explored Lava Beds National Monument, Mount Shasta, and Lassen Volcanic Park. We also spent a day shopping and exploring in beautiful Ashland, Oregon. This fall we visited pumpkin farms and did all the usual fall traditions. On Thanksgiving we drove to Anaheim to visit Disneyland. We all had a magical time. Priyasha was in absolute awe when she saw the princesses, the Disney characters and especially Tinkerbell. Pravan was so brave and he went on many scary rides including Space Mountain. Mommy was the biggest kid of all since it was my first time too…if only I could get a job there. I continue to enjoy staying home with the kids and volunteering at Pravan’s school. I baby sit a couple days a week and hope to someday nurture my love of photography into a fulltime job. I have created my own family website so please check it out. Todd has now been at the Town of Truckee for over 5 years as a civil engineer managing capital improvement projects. We are also awaiting the arrival of another niece from Todd’s sister and the kids are thrilled about having another cousin. We can’t wait to see what the New Year has in store!
We hope you have a Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year! Love,
The Landry Family

Merry Christmas

Today I am up early and will be pretty busy opening up kids toys. I over did it this year and bought way more than I should have.The way they package up the kids toys drives me insane and I will be ripping them apart and watching the joy on the kids faces. Todd and I are not exchanging gifts so we were able to get the kids more stuff. Todd you are a wonderful husband and I appreciate and love you more than you will ever know. Well hope you all are having a great day and spending time with your family. I will be back to post more pics. Merry Christmas !!! Free Spirit !

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The night before Christmas

Oh boy oh boy The big day is almost here. I still have a ton of things to do. Today we are making a gingerbread house, ginger bread men and getting ready for Jolly old Nick. The presents are almost wrapped. The jammies are all sewn and under the tree waiting for tonight. I have to make the reindeer food and we have to hang the magic Santa key so S Clause can get in. Priyasha has been a good girl and has stayed in her bed for the last two nights. Usually she will crawl into bed with us and we are just too exhausted to get up and take her back. I have been telling her to stay in her bed as Santa peeks in to make sure he know where she lives and if she is not in her bed then he will not bring her any presents. It is finally working Yeah !!!! Todd was a good sport and he took some family shots in our new jammies. I just love that man to death. He is so sweet and always wanting the best for us all. I have some how managed do everything today and I am exhausted.For me this is the worst Xmas ever as my hard drive died on me. That is my external hard drive.I had never realized or even imagined that the external HD would die on me. A huge part of me died today and I am partially dead. I had 60 000 pics on there. Well I took it to geek squad and they are sending it to a white lab somewhere off site. I will not know for two weeks if they can recover my pics. I am seriously considering therapy at this point. My tummy is in knots and I cannot hold the tears back. The hardest part of it all was that I had to come home and be happy for the kids and make the cookies, hang the key etc. That to me is the hardest part of being a mom. Being tough and sucking it up for the little ones. I am going to pray and hope they can fix it but then I am stressed about what it would cost. Damn it LIFE SUCKS !!!!! I just want to feel whole and happy again. I would trade my new camera which I do not have to have my pics back. They are the most important memories ever.Okay I have vented. Thanks for reading and please say a prayer for me and hope they can get my pics back.Speaking of pics I added a few hand selected from the hundreds I took today and made a slide show.
The festive season is exhausting.I hope you all have a very Merry Xmas and a happy New Year ! Free Spirit !

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

candy cane cookies

Well I am home bound this week. Hubby will be taking the car to work as I have the better car for the snow and he has to drive over the mountain to California. I do not mind as I have so much to do. I also want to do some fun stuff with the kids. I decided to bake some candy cane cookies. The kids loved it. They helped me measure the ingredients. They were disappointed that I had to leave in the refrigerator for an hour.They continues to play as I cleaned up and when it was time to make the cookies they were excited. Priyasha thought it was ready to eat so I had to keep her from eating the dough and teach her to roll it. We rolled out the dough and colored one half and then twisted them and shaped them. Pravan was very good at it and I was impressed.They mostly enjoyed eating the cookies and I loved taking their pictures. Here is the recipe for you Candy Cane Cookies III Prep Time: 25 Minutes Cook Time: 9 Minutes Ready In: 45 Minutes Yields: 48 servings "Red and white cookies shaped like candy canes. These are sprinkled with a mixture of sugar and crushed candy cane when they are hot out of the oven. " INGREDIENTS: 1 cup margarine 1/2 cup white sugar 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar 1 egg 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon red food coloring 1/2 cup peppermint candy canes, crushed 1/2 cup white sugar for decoration DIRECTIONS: 1. In a large bowl, cream together the margarine, white sugar and confectioners' sugar. Beat in the egg, vanilla and peppermint extracts. Combine the flour and salt; stir into the creamed mixture until well blended. Cover or wrap dough and chill for at least one hour. 2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets. Divide dough into halves. Color one half red by mixing in the food color. Roll a small amount of each dough into a 2 inch long worm. Roll them together in a twisted rope and curve the end like a cane. Place onto prepared cookie sheets. 3. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. In a small bowl, mix together the crushed candy cane and remaining white sugar. Roll hot cookies in the sugar mixture. You can find the recipe here:
It was delicious. Thanks for stopping by. Free Spirit !

Monday, December 22, 2008

Riding in style

This was at Santa Land at Pravan's school a couple of weeks ago. They host this every year and the parents are not allowed to go in. We have to sit outside and drink coffee and eat cookies. Sounds like a blast right. Well I just had to break the rules. I just cannot help myself. Pravan knew I was around so he waited for me to leave so he could shop. The PTO buys stuff all year long and they sell them at Santa Land. Everything is in between $1- $4. Pravan usually has a list of people like grandma, grandpa, great grandma, aunt, uncle, mom, dad and sister to buy for. They have some amazing things here. Well as a treat half way through Santa showed up on his Harley. That was so cool. Pravan was shocked to see Santa ride a motorbike. At this even Pravan cried as he did not have enough money to buy everything he wanted. I gave him $50. That was a lot I thought. Well he picked about six beautiful ornaments for me and they were $4 a piece and I was called back in when he was short on paying. I asked him to put the ornaments back and he started to cry. He said that he really wanted to buy then for em as I deserved it. The teacher told him to pick out his favorite and he did but was clearly crushed. We had to skip the gift wrapping as I did not have any more money on me. We then went to the dollar store to but gift wrap and he asked me how I had money to buy that gift wrap. I told him that I was going to charge it. " Oh you should have charged all the gifts I wanted to buy you " he snapped After a while the tension and silence was weird so I said " I am sad " "why are you sad mommy ? " he asked I am sad because I hurt your feelings and you were being so thoughtful " " I just think you should have given me more money as you and daddy take care of me all year long and now I want to take care of you guys and you should have let me buy all those ornaments " I then had to explain to him the value of money and how to spend it wisely. He still argued with me that I deserved to be spoiled. He is the sweetest kid ever if I should say so myself. I love him dearly and I hope he will always be this way.
Thanks for reading and remember that Christmas is about giving. Free Spirit !

christmas mice

I have been very busy lately. We have been baking cookies, sewing jammies and cleaning, wrapping and shopping. Pravan had a xmas party in school on Friday and I made all the kids in his class as well as all the cub scout kids one of these. It is a funny story about how I got the pattern to re-create these. Several months ago I was in line at Jo-ann's fabric store. The lady in front of me was buying a lot of the green and red felt in squares. I asked her what she was making and she was more than happy to talk about it. I also asked her where you got the pattern from and she said from an old magazine. She was sweet and asked me for my address and promised to mail it to me. Well weeks went by and then out of the blue it showed up in my mail box. she also sent me one so I could see it made. I would thank her but all I have is her first name and cannot find her. Well I doubt she will ever find my blog but here's a big thanks to Kathy. You were so sweet to share with me and now we have made more kids happy together. So fo those that are reading here are some pics of the mice.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

mom's christmas letter

Here are my thoughts to Santa. I found this years ago and I changed things around and made it more to fit my lifestyle.
Dear Santa,
I've been a good mom all year. I've fed, cleaned and cuddled my children on demand, visited the doctor's office more than my doctor and made over forty Christmas mice and added not just eyes but a candy cane for a tail.I have done more community service this year to set a good example to my little cub scout. I was hoping you could spread my list out over several Christmases, since I had to write this letter with my son's red crayon, on the back of a receipt in the laundry room between cycles, and who knows when I'll find anymore free time in the next 18 years.
Here are my Christmas wishes: * I'd like a pair of legs that don't ache (in any color, except purple, which I already have)
*arms that don't hurt or flap in the breeze, but are strong enough to pull my screaming child out of the candy aisle in the grocery store. *I'd also like a waist, since I lost mine somewhere in the seventh month of my last pregnancy.
If you're hauling big ticket items this year I'd like :
* a fingerprint resistant windows
* a radio that only plays adult music
* a television that doesn't broadcast any programs containing talking animals
*a refrigerator with a secret compartment behind the crisper where I can hide to talk on the phone.
* I almost forgot my D300 so I can continue to be click happy.
On the practical side, I could use a talking doll that says, "Yes, Mommy" oh wait with technology now Priyasha already has a doll that says that and much more too.On the other hand Pravan does not , can you program him with a chip that says " Yes, mommy " to anything I say instead of debating and negotiating with his dad and I on everything. It drives us nuts but it might be a positive trait in the business world later on in life.
Also do not forget a boost of confidence to my parental skills or should I say the answers to some stuff I may pull out of my a**, along with that two kids who don't fight and three pairs of jeans that will zip all the way up without the use of power tools.
I could also use a recording of Alvin and the chipmunks chanting "Don't eat in the living room" and "Take your hands off your brother,give that back to your sister" because my voice seems to be just out of my children's hearing range and can only be heard by the cat who also ignores my screams now.
If it's too late to find any of these products, I'd settle for enough time to brush my teeth and comb my hair in the same morning, or the luxury of eating food warmer than room temperature without it being served on one of the kids used plates in the hopes of doing less dishes.
If you don't mind, I could also use a few Christmas miracles to brighten the holiday season. Would it be too much trouble to declare ketchup a vegetable? It will clear my conscience immensely for the days that I am running out the door to boy scouts and have no time.It would be helpful if you could coerce my children to help around the house without demanding payment or a treat as if they were the bosses of an organized crime family.
Well, Santa, the buzzer on the dryer is calling and my son saw my feet under the laundry room door. I think he wants his crayon back.Have a safe trip and remember to leave your wet boots by the door and come in and dry off so you don't catch cold.
Help yourself to cookies on the table but don't eat too many or leave crumbs on the carpet.
Yours Always, MOM...
P.S. One more can cancel all my requests if you can keep my children young enough to believe in Santa.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Cool sky on the local news

I sent this pic to John Potter the weather man at channel 2 news and he showed it on TV and mentioned my name and said I wrote bbbrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!!!!! This was taken from the patio door to my backyard. i was still standing in the kitchen when I snapped this shot. You can see the black clouds approaching.It has been freezing lately.
That was so cool to see my pic on the local news. Todd suggested I take it and send it in and all this happened in just 20 min. 20 min from the time I took it to the time it was on the television screen. The beauty of technology!!!! I just love it. My heads is big can you tell. I sure could do this for a living.
Free Spirit !

Monday, December 15, 2008

winter wonderland

This morning Reno was covered in a white blanket. Pravan was scheduled to go to the Willy Wonka and the chocolate factory play at the Grand Sierra Resort and Casino. It was a field trip and we were not even sure if there was school. After watching the news we learned that there was no delayed start. I was surprised as there was a lot of snow. Well it is supposed to snow all week and we are in a winter storm watch.
I dropped Priyasha off with a friend and wanted to go on the field trip but it was cancelled. I was happy about that as the roads were not great for the kids to be on a school bus on the congested highway with poor visibility. Tonight we got an automated call saying that the field trip is
re-scheduled for tomorrow.It is going to snow all night and the chances of the kids going is pretty slim. Here are a few horrible pictures I took before I drove Pravan to school. I knew the buses would be delayed and I needed him to be safe as well.
I have so much to post and tell you all about but I am spinning my wheels this week. So much to do, so little time. I may have to share some stuff next year. I hope you all are striking off things to do on your list and preparing for the the festive season.Stay safe.
As you can tell it was snowing when I took these pictures. I will try to get better ones this week. Thanks for reading.
Free Spirit !

It is better to give than to receive

The best things in life are free….. Trying to tell a child that it is better to give than to receive is an extremely difficult thing to explain. I think that it was a job well done when these cub scouts got to go and sing Xmas carols to old folks at a nursing home. The kids were so happy to find someone to hand out their special ornament that they made and to hand out a decorated candy cane. That was special and they were happy to see that their kind gesture even though small brough a smile to a sad face. Xmas lights : $10 Xmas tree :$25 Toys : $100 Joy to someone else : PRICELESS That is exactly what all these adorable cub scouts did today. They spent their Sunday afternoon visiting a senior nursing home. There were so many sad lonely faces and once they saw the troops march in you could see their faces light up. Each and everyone of them has a story behind their wrinkled skin that marks their age. There seemed to be more woman than men but they are somebody’s daughter or son. They were somebody’s mother, father, sister or brother. They were somebody’s husband or wife. Somebody’s mother, father. Grandmother, grandfather and even maybe a great grandmother or great grand father. Whatever their story is and wherever their days have taken them they all seem to seek the comfort in each other that were strangers no too long ago. Pravan never knew what a nursing home was but now he knows. This was an amazing experience to us both. I find living in America and raising my kids such a joy and an eye opener through a child's eyes as I have never experienced so many things like this and I am blessed to experience it all with my wonderful kids mostly through their eyes for the first time right along with them and that is truly magical. The cubs sang their carols and then handed out ornaments they made and also candy canes to the seniors. Some of them were so happy to see us. They seemed hopeful and yet so lonely. When we talked with them they said they wished they would have family visit with them on Xmas. It brought tears to my eyes to see such loneliness in their eyes. I am glad the cubs got to do a good deed and their little sweet voices brought so much joy to these folks. I am so glad Pravan takes the cub scouts seriously and really enjoys it as well.

Thanks for stopping by.

Free Spirit !

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Naked mail

Whhooooooohooo !!!! Did that get your attention !
I have been busy making these for a swap on splitcoaststampers. There was a dollar limit and we have to mail these on Dec 15 to a name that we received. It is sort of a secret sister swap. We have a lot of ladies playing and this was totally my idea. I am sure the post office workers are going to go crazy. The idea was to mail all kinds of scrap booking goodies in any sort of a container and it cannot be placed in a box or wrapped. I chose a one gallon water bottle. I made three of these so I have had to drink a lot of water. Three gallons in three days. Yes I spent a lot of time tinkling at the white house.
If you are from the swap on SCS then this is what you may or may not receive. Only two of you will get this. Leave me a comment if yo uthink it is you and if you guess right I will send you a little something extra seperately for being so naught as to peek. LOL !!!!
This was so cute and Pravan suggested we make one for his cousin Addison who is so adorable and only 18 months old. He and Priyasha bought her some stuffed animals and we packed them in the bottle as well. Hope you like them and you should give it a try. All you do is empty out a bottle, cut a rectangular opening in it and stuff. Seal shut with clear tape and conceal opening with address label. Then mail to a friend and see if they can figure out how to get into it. Have any questions, post me a comment and I will try to help you out.
Thanks for looking.
For my neice. Filled with stuffed animals.
Partly wrapped with gift wrap. Sort of looks like a coke wrapper.
Thanks for looking.
Free Spirit !

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Xmas shoot with kids

This year we decided not to do a family picture for our Xmas card. I did use a family picture we took in August for Pravan's birthday shoot. I however just had to take the kids in to JC Penny and got these pictures taken. They did a great job and all of these pictures were forwarded via e-mail. I just had to share. Thanks for looking ! Warning !!!! There is a lot of pictures.
Free Spirit !