Saturday, January 31, 2009

My Baby Girl is a Dancer!

Sarah had her dance performances today for the Show-A-Thon. She did such a good job! I am so proud of her. Here are some of my favorite pictures from today. (I couldn't figure out how to post a video. Bummer.)

Super cute pose.

It took a head full of rollers over night to get curls like that! Worth it though.

Isn't she adorable? She was very excited!

My favorite dance move of the day!

Such a cute dance class. They all did a great job!

Sarah and Alex will also be performing in our church's children's musical called "Fairly Odd Pharaoh's" in May. I'll definitely post photos and maybe some video for that one too!

Friday, January 30, 2009

1/30/2009 - Friday Favorite Five

Today I decided to list my Friday Favorite Five books. However, I have MORE THAN Five books that are my favorite. What to do, what to do? So, here is a sampling of all my favorite books. I can't say which one is my all time favorite, or even which are my top 5, but at some point in my adult life, these books have been considered a favorite.

Here we go (in no particular order):

The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley
The Other Bolynn Girl by Phillipa Gregory
Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells
The Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer
These is My Words by Nancy Turner
The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons by Lorna Landvik
The Constant Princess by Phillipa Gregory
The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks
The Time Travelers Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
The Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon
Where the Heart is by Billie Letts
The Red Tent by Anita Diamant
The Virgin Blue by Tracy Chevelier
Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan

So, I can't seem to stop here. There are other books that I have really enjoyed, but have not necessarity been my all time favorites.

Here they are, in no particular order:

Water for Elephants by Sarah Gruen
My Sisters Keeper by Jodi Picoult
The Memory Keepers Daughter by Kim Edwards
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See
Annie Freeman's Fabulous Traveling Funeral by Kris Radish
Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
Ahab's Wife by Sena Jeter Naslun
A Painted House by John Grisham
The Five People you Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom
The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown
The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
Angeles Ashes by Frank McCourt
Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel

I know there are other books that have been favorites or I've really liked, but can't remember them all. If you know I've left some out, let me know!

If you have a chance, you should join goodreads at It's a great social networking place where you can list all the books you've read and give them reviews and ratings, list the books you are currently reading, and books that you want to read. You get your friends on there too, and then you find other books that you would want to read or you might have forgotten about. It's great!

This is a super long post. I hope you enjoyed seeing some of my favorite books. I'd love to know which books are your favorite!

Happy Reading and Happy Friday!

Monday, January 19, 2009

1/23/09 -- Friday Favorite Five

1) The ecstatic look on my children's faces when I surprise them with bringing home Mcdonald's hot fudge sundaes! I WISH I would've had my camera in my hand when I walked in the door last Friday night. I had met Bob for happy hour and ordered the kids a pizza. On the way home, we stopped by McDonald's and picked up the ice cream as a thank you for letting mommy escape for 2 hours. Even Bobby's face lit up with excitement over ice cream. You'd think they never get it. It's good to be a kid, huh? It's the little things that make us happy.
2) My Zune -- I got it for my b-day last year, and have enjoyed listening to it. Alex got one for Christmas this year, and now I enjoy it even more because he and I have been having a good time sending each other songs. (Is it ok for my 9 year old to like Katie Perry? "She's hot and she's cold...")

3) Anniversaries -- Bob and I are celebrating our 21st anniversary of our first date! Bob took me to a basketball game and pizza --go figure! Perfect for our first date! I've loved this man for 21 years! Amazing!Bob and I at our Senior Prom -- 1988. Weren't we adorable! So in love...Bob's senior picture.My Senior picture.

4) Sunshine -- I miss the sun! We had it for a few days at the beginning of the week, but it's gone. Who knows when it will be back? But when it is here, I LOVE LOVE LOVE it! In this household, I am known as the "Sun Princess". All I can say is that I can't wait for my trip to CA in two weeks so that I can soak up as much sun as I can!

5) My girlfriends -- speaking of beach trip, I can't wait to see them! It's all we can talk about now -- what we're bringing, who's driving, who's picking me up from the airport (Thanks Denise!), if we'll get massages, how much scrapbooking we'll do, etc. My girlfriend's are so awesome! I think this year I won't have to bring hardly anything to the beach except my pictures, pages, and adhesive! Woo hoo! Love you gals!

I have an extra one today:

6) Employment -- I thank God my husband was spared yesterday from the layoffs!

What's your five?

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Happy Birthday Bob

Sunday was my hubby's 39th birthday! We started off his birthday celebrations with dinner at Alligator Soul which is this Cajun restaurant that apparently everyone knew about but us! The place had true New O'rleans cajun food (we had gumbo and alligator tail for an appetizer) and had live entertainment playing some good 'ol blues.

On Sunday afternoon, we went to picnic point to enjoy the sunshine.
We had a little lunch and Bob opened his presents (an Espresso machine and accessories and new photo collage coffee mug).
We had some of his birthday Lemon Tart. (we remembered to take the picture AFTER we had already sliced into it)
A very fun afternoon! Once we got home, Bob found some football on t.v. and took a nap. He LOVES naps and never gets one.
All in all, I 'd say it was a good birthday for him! Happy Birthday, honey! I love you!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Book Club Reads

I love books! And I love book clubs! I was introduced to book clubs when we lived in Utah. We read some FANTASTIC books. I wish I still had the list....I'm looking for them and will post that list too!

When we moved to Washington in 2005, I started a book club with some friends and neighbors. We are now on our 3rd year! Yay! And, we have an "official" book club name: "The Breakaway Book Club". Thanks go to our creative member, Pam, for coming up with such a great title! Everyone in our book club is a mommy, and Lord knows mommy's need a "break away" from things....laundry, dirty dishes, crying babies, etc.....

Here are the books we've read and are reading since 2005 (I've * my personal favorites):

2008/2009 list

2007/2008 list

2006/2007 list

That's it for the Washington book club. I'd love to hear what some of your favorite books are or if you have any recommendtions for 2009/2010!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Friday Favorite Five

Time, once again, for FFF!!!

1) Table Topics: My GF, Natalie, brought the book club dicussion version to book club on Monday. It's a cube of cards that ask questions that get conversations going. It really helped keep our book discussion moving. I can't wait to use it again next month. Thanks Natalie!

PS: for my Feb. scrapbook GF's, I bought a "girls night out" version for us!

2) Birthdays -- I LOVE Birthdays! Having just one whole day that is totally all about you is so great! Sunday is Bob's birthday and we already have all the presents on the table waiting for him. Happy Birthday, Honey!!

3) Safeway Club Card: -- I just saved 20 cents/gallon on gas because I used my Safeway Club Card! Yay! I could've went to the other guys and got a car wash (which is definitely needed), but I would've spent $2.18/gal. But at Safeway, gas was $1.99/gal and with my 20 cent savings reward, I filled up for $1.79/gal. Prices aren't as low as they were a few months ago, but it's still better than over $3.40/gal!

4) My new clock! Bob got my an heirloom wall clock for Christmas that chimes! It reminds of the big old clocks on churches. Unfortunately, some of my children complain that it keeps them up at night (Alex, my sleepwalker). I told him to just shut his door! Is that horrible of me? Bob gets a kick out of winding it once a week. I just love hearing the ticking while I sit here typing and anticipating the chimes in 13 more minutes! (Sorry the picture is crooked -- I angled it to try and avoid the flash.)

5) 3 Day weekends! Even with my kids being out of school so much due to weather and natural disasters, I'm glad we have a 3 day weekend. It's been a crazy, busy week for the Baker household. I'm looking forward to relaxing this weekend with the family and sleeping in on Monday!

Well, what's your FFF??

Friday, January 9, 2009

Las Vegas!

On January 2nd, Bob and I flew to Las Vegas to meet some friends there for a quick weekend visit. We stayed at the beautiful Palaazo Hotel, Resort, Casino and had dinner at Cut -- which is Wolfgang Puck’s critically acclaimed steak house. Bob and Dan had an appetizer called "Bone Marrow Flan, Mushroom Marmalade". It was served in a bone! They said it didn't taste bad, and I even tried it. It was.....well....I couldn't get past the name or the presentation. In one word: gross.

Friday night we went and saw "O" Cirque du Soleil at the Bellagio. It was FANTASTIC! Words can't even describe it. I've never seen a show like it and would totally go again. It was a show that had "world-class acrobats, synchronized swimmers, divers and characters perform in, on, and above water to create a breathtaking experience in a magnificent theatre reminiscent of a European opera house". I couldn't have said it better myself. We had a great time!

As an added bonus, we met another set of friends who just happened to be in Vegas at the same time. We all watched our Indianapolis Colts loose to the Chargers in an NFL play off game. We were very sad to see the Colts loose, but had a great time with our friends watching the game.

Overall, we had a great weekend. It's always good to get away for a few days, just the two of us. Thank you to my mother-in-law for watching the kiddos for us!

It's Flooding

Yes, it's flooding here in the PNW. No wonder with all of the snow we got during Christmas!! After the snow, was rain, rain, rain. I heard it said on the news that Seattle got 10% of their total yearly rain fall in 2 days. Crazy!!

Today the kids and I went "flooding" with the neighbors. Gotta have those scrapbook pics, right?

This is where the blueberry fields are where we go pick Blueberries every August.

A picture to remember the flood - and a good one for the scrapbook!

The main road is covered in water. No school buses getting through there!

Our new lake front property.

Just incredible how fast the water flooded the valley.

People say this doesn't happen too often around here. But we've lived here for 4 winters and for 2 of them, it's flooded the valley.

Friday Favorite Five

It's Time for my Friday Favorite 5!

1) My reading chair -- we moved our furniture around in the living room after we took down our Christmas decorations. I NEVER move my furniture around! Now I have my nice leather chair and footstool in a great spot with a lamp right behind me. It's become a great reading chair and a spot where I check email and update my blog. It so comfy!
2) Rock Band -- my family loves this and it's so much fun to play! I love hearing my kids sing "oldies but goodies" from my teenage years!
3) My new quilted vest from REI -- Christmas present from hubby. It's a great layer piece -- we're all about layers here in the PNW!
4) Microsoft Word -- after much emailing back and forth with my GF's for our annual beach scrapbook trip, I finally combined our supply and meal list in a nice, pretty table for all of us to keep track of what's being brought and what's needed. Next year -- a table in Exel (as soon as I learn how).
5) Being 200 feet above the river -- yes, we're flooded out here. I'll post some great flood pictures in my next post. But, I AM THANKFUL we found a house up on the ridge instead of down in the valley!!!

This is such a great exercise to do each week! It was really hard for me to come up with 5 today. But with thinking over the little things in my life this week (and my hubby's help) I did come up with 5 things to be thankful for. Thank you, Eve, for continuing this each week! And thank you, Natalie, for continuing this on FB!!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

Instead of Friday's Favorite Five, I thought I would do my Favorites for 2008.

1) Going to Germany and Paris in early February -- Bob and I had so much fun seeing Paris for the first time!

2) My annual Scrapbook Weekend with my girlies.
3) My baby boy, Bobby, getting baptised at church on Easter Sunday.

4) Driving to California in July to see my good friend, Kate, get married. (couldn't find a picture of me and bride, so here's one of Bobby and Bob with Kate.)

5) And, we got to bring Scott and Jessica (the bride's children) back home with us to visit for a few days.

6) Getting to see my good friends, Eve and Debby, again. AND all of our children getting to play together for the first time in several years!

7) Going camping on the Oregon Coast with my good friend, Denise and her family.
8) Heading back to the Midwest to see both sides of our family.

9) Celebrating birthday's with my children -- Alex getting to throw out the first pitch at a minor league baseball game, Sarah getting her ears pierced, and Bobby turning 17.

10) And finally, just spending lots of time with my friends and family. 2008 was a great year and I hope 2009 will be too. It's good to know that we have a fresh start this year -- new president, new resolutions, new experiences -- a new year to live life to its fullest.
Best wishes for 2009!