Cassie Donlen, lampworking, beads, jewelry, lampwork beads, glass, hoypoloi, glass beadle, glassbeadle




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This is the December 2010 Archive Page


December 28th: I hope everyone had a great Christmas. It was a wonderful day and spent with the ones I love most. It was such a high that I crashed hard the next day. The kids had a perfect day and were loaded with toys to entertain them for at least 24 hours. I got some nice special treats too (including a few extra pounds from the other nice treats!) I'm embarressed to admit but I slept until 11:30 a.m. the day after Christmas. I was exhausted and between being sick and running 100 mph non stop for 2 weeks straight, I just crashed hard. The boys are old enough now to not need my constant attention. I heard Randy get up and I just rolled over. I would hear the kids in the background but would just roll over. It was fantastic and I haven't done that since high school days.

So now we are enjoying the lazy week and just hanging out not doing much of anything. I guess tomorrow we will adventure out of the house. Connor wants to see the Yogi Bear movie and I've been trying to gear myself up to be able and sit through such a movie that looks like a pure waste of my time.

We are all staying up late and sleeping in. Exactly what we all needed. Hubby is taking advantage of a relaxed work week but sadly still has to work most of this week.

So do you guys remember way back in the Spring when I asked ya to hop over and vote for my bracelet for the Bead Star contest that was going on? It seems like ages ago. I want to send out a shout of thank you to all that voted. My bracelet got first place in the hearts category. That was awesome news and I had zero expectations of winning anything. I was just glad to be chosen in the top 20. I've known for a long time but Interweave wants the big reveal to be a surprise so we aren't allowed to say anything until the magazine was released this week. I won a $500 gift certificate to Fire Mountain Gems. I can spend that in about 30 seconds. I'm so excited!!! So the magazine features all of the winners and also has instructions on how to make the winning jewelry. And... I donated my bracelet to be auctioned off to raise money for the American Heart Association. You can bid on my bracelet and a few other items on Ebay starting on March 15-17th of 2011.

December 24th: I'm just sitting here waiting to make sure the kids are in a deep sleep before Santa comes to town. It has been a wonderful holiday season and I'm so thankful and blessed to have such a wonderful family. My parents are incredible and I can't express how much I admire them. They have such happy giving hearts and are people you know will do anything in the world for you. The examples they set by living such wonderful and giving lives means more than they will ever know. I am truly blessed to have them in my family's life.

This always seems to be the season where you really realize what is important. I have the most incredible husband and the most wonderful 3 boys. I am so grateful for them. It is amazing how fast the kids are growing up. They each have their own personality that makes me laugh in amazement and yes, at times want to pull my hair out. But truly watching the world from their eyes brings such joy and happiness to my eyes that my heart swells with love and contentment.

The weather forcast was correct and we woke up this morning to snow on the ground. It snowed all day. That beautiful heavy wet snow that sticks on all the trees and bushes. Bing, tonight your song will come true buddy.

I got blue jeans on all 3 kids tonight which is a feat all by itself and wanted a few pics of the boys since they were dressed better than normal. I should know better than to think that I could get a good pic with nice natural smiles, all standing together and looking dreamily at the camera. Instead a got lots of these poses. I did get some cute ones of them together but alas.. the comical ones always make for a better story of really what was going on in front of the camera between my threats and beggings to please stand still, stop falling on top of each other. No... I don't want a dog pile photo. Please Please Please... can you please stand still. No Keegan, don't hang on Connor's shoulder it is making him fall backwards. Why do you have to do this? Can't you just stand and let me take a nice photo? Well..you get the idea.

The sun was setting fast and we were getting ready to leave for Christmas Eve service but I did snap these 2 photos before we walked out the door. I wish it was better lighting but these are the kind of photos that melt my heart and make me thankful for all that I have.

And yes...even these 2 boys had to do their goofy poses but in the end...this is the photo that melts my heart.

December 22:Lots of partying action behind the scenes over here. Honestly, I'm exhausted but it hasn't helped that I started getting sick on Friday and am today feeling close to normal. Had to push through it ya know. I finally got all of the presents wrapped. Thank goodness as that is a feat in itself. I find it fun at first but then about half way though I start thinking of 1,000 other things I would rather be doing. I made sure to hunt down large boxes to put goodies inside to make the gifts look incredible. Sometimes those boxes have great things and sometimes it leads to not so exciting gifts like a pair of socks. Just as a young child growing up and watching Price is Right. Mostly because those days there were only 4 channels to choose from and that was the best of the worst shows airing at the time! But I do always remember sitting on the edge of my seat wondering what the outcome would be when the contestest would say "I'll take the box Bob."

On a late night whim I made some homemade cinnamon bread that was finally reading to eat at 10 p.m. last night. Thank goodness for rapid rise yeast. It tasted delish and made for easy breakfasts this morning.

Today is the kids "winter" party (I HATE THAT WORDING) at school today and then they are off. The forcast is calling for snow on Friday of just 1-3" but it will be enough to make a white Christmas and that is always an exciting thought.

Dudley our Christmas elf arrived a few days ago to spread his merry cheer. We are just down to Caiden believing but I don't care. Caiden is LOVING every second of it and goes to bed every night wondering what mischief Dudley is going to devise over night. I pointed my finger at Dudley last night while Caiden was holding him and told him that he had better behave and not making any messes in the night or I was going to get very upset with him. Dudley can get a bit over zealous and tends to have way too much fun. Later during bedtime, Caiden said he told Dudley a secret. I asked what it was and he didn't want to tell me. Finally he looked up at me with those big blue eyes full of mischief and a big sheepish grin and whispered "I told Dudley to make a really big mess.". Honestly, I think I had a 3rd child just so I could experiece the magic just a tad longer.

So here is a pic of Dudley sitting in the center of all the stuffed animals. See, he needs partners in crime and the stuffed animals always seem up to enjoying the challenge. Almost always that is... until last night....

Oh.... and I have no idea where Caiden got those double jointed elbows! Must be hubby's side of the family. ha!

So a few nights ago, Dudley had a underwear puzzle party. All of the animals disappeared from the bedroom (ok..if your house is like mine, only a small portion of stuffed creatures disappeared from the bedrooms). Dudley convinced them that it would be fun to wear our underwear. So, yep...they are wearing the kids underwear, Randy's underwear, and oh dear...yes...even my underwear.... I tell ya, the things you do for your kids. So they stayed up and started putting a puzzle together. He also made them a tasty breakfast that consisted of lettuce, chocolate candy, chocolate syrup, some fruit, mustard, and I'm not sure what else. (randy put it together and made a darling poem about it).

Then last night, Dudley had a Speed Stackers competition going on amoungst the stuffed animals. We had 2 sets in the house and then he brought a 3rd set and then a teeny tiny set that was just for him. They are so cute!! He is holding one on his hand in the very top photo. I found these at a garage sale over the summer. I saved them for something. Wasn't sure what until yesterday. So, Dudley always leaves a note about his adventures during the night. Apparently, he was beating everyone stacking the cups except for a Webkinz bat who happened to be able to stack the cups faster than Dudley. So from what we can gather, Dudley tied his wings behind his back so that the bat would no longer be able to beat him.

Then a brew ha ha started forming and all of the other animals started calling Dudley a "cheater cheater pumpkin eater". Oh I don't know. Something like that but whatever it was... Dubley did not take kindly to the chants and took matters into his own hands once again. He taped up the mouths of each and every creature so that they would no longer be able to call him names. So in the end, Dudley claimed triumph and claims that he is a rock star and that everyone should bow down to the champion. So... I'm just not sure if the animals are going to want to play his reindeer games tonight and have no clue what to expect. (Honestly I don't. At least not now at this exact moment. Ask me later today when my mind has had time to create a clever idea.)

But when you look at that cute little face all piled up and snuggled within the animals with a look of contentment on his face, how can you not smile and love the season. Hmmm... but now that I think about it.. he does have the iPad in his hand and has been playing that dumb smurf game with the $75 worth of smurfberries he bought. I think the big boys were giving him a time the other day about it because he was down to only having 5 stupid smurfberries left. Did I mention that free game is still in the top 5 grossing apps on iTunes? Yea... even though I got a credit back I still have really bad thoughts for the game.


December 15: All the stocking are hung, the decorations adorned, advent calendars merrily opened each and every morning, the Christmas lists keep expanding, and the Santa picture has been taken. Hmmmm.... what else is there left to do? Christmas cards need to be filled out and mailed and lots of presents need wrapping. I don't think any of those things will happen before next week. The holiday spirit is high around here amoungst sick kids, runny noses, and a dual bought of pink eye for Keegan. All I have to say is "get her done by Christmas if your gonna get sick!" Lysol and Germ X are my true friends!

I'm finishing up my last big order for the season and then I hope to start back on adding new and exciting items to my website and Etsy. but until then, it is just status quo. I'm just trying to keep myself warm. It has been miserable cold here. My bones are just hating it and I'm seriously walking around with my shoulders up to my ears in a constant tense state. I hate being cold. Although it is supposed to be a heat wave now and instead of it being 7 degrees when we woke up, it was 21. I can't tell a difference cold is cold in my book!

So Connor spent an evening last week making paper chains. We hung 3 rows of them in the front entry way from room to room in the 2 story foyer. It looks pretty cool. Except they keep falling down and I'm getting tired of hanging them back up every day!

December 10th: We are deep in the holiday spirit here. The kids are all hyped up and Caiden adds to his Christmas list everyday. Sadly, my middle child found out the secret of Santa. Honestly I was surprised he made it as long as he did as Keegan learned 3 years earlier but that is just kind of Connor's nature. I was hoping he would put it off until after Christmas for wanting to know the truth but all seems okay and now it is actually nice as he has shifted his excitement from Santa over to the birth of Jesus and his birthday.

So Connor put all the lights on the tree this year and he did a great job I might add. And little Dobby got in the Christmas spirit wearing his elf hat. I guess I don't have to add that he wasn't excited about the new fashion wear but he got loads of treats for getting all dolled up so he can't complain too loudly!

And...happily... I did end up getting a refund from iTunes over the dumb smurfberries. They were really wonderful to work with and I must say that I'm impressed. I also emailed the maker of the game and as expected...never heard a word. I find it interesting that for a "free" game, The Smurfs app a few days ago was the 4th top grossing app on iTunes and you know it is mostly from little kids unknowingly spending their parents hard earned money of $59.99 for a wheelbarrel of smurfberries. Crazy I say.

I'm just busy behind the scene kicking out custom orders, doing Christmas shopping. Which also includes many returns as the kids change their minds or I've read the reviews on certain toys that I've bought and decided no way am I wasting my money on that one. Which sadly, has been about 6 toys. The best being the Dippin Dots maker. As that was a black friday purchase of half off and the boys love Dippin Dots. But when I read all of the terrible reviews I figured that was just a headache in a box waiting for me to pull my hair out as the kids whine and complain that it isn't working and I just have a big mess to clean up. A very smart move on my part. Although, I had to chuckle to myself yesterday as I was in Target and overheard a gal talking on her cell phone about how excited she was to find the Dippin Dots maker because she couldn't find them anywhere. I glanced over and saw two of them in her cart. I only mentally sent her well wishes hoping that all of her excitement and joy over finding this toy would come true.

Dec. 4th: Happy December. It has been another crazy week here. Hubby has been traveling way too much. It is so nice to have him home now. It's like tag teaming with the kids and sharing the responsibilities of the kids sure helps take a load off. I think he came home at the right time yesterday- back to the land of chaos. Cute 6 year old Caiden asked me if he could load a "free" game of smurfs onto the iPad. It said free and had a 4 star review so I said sure. Now here is where my fault comes into play. Anytime you have to pay for an app, I always make sure I read the reviews before purchasing the app. It had been a long week and I was worn down and figured I could just delete the app if it wasn't worthy.

About 30 min later, hubby asks me if I knew that Caiden is spending real money on the Smurfs game. My reply was that he can't because you have to enter a password anytime you make a purchase and he doesn't know my password. Well....$75 later...yep...that isn't a typo...$75 later... Caiden has been busy buying stupid smurfberries without the need of entering a password!!! They are selling a wheelbarrel of berries for $59.99 and then he pressed the button three times to buy $5 worth of berries.

So now I'm in the process of trying to get the charges removed from my credit card but don't have high hopes. About 3/4 of the reviews of the game on itunes is from parents complaining about the same thing happening to them. Lesson learned a very hard way.

Yesterday morning, Connor (11 years old) and Caiden were arguing over a video game, and I told Connor that he didn't need to play the game anymore. So he walks out of the kitchen to pout. I make him come back in and sit down to finish his breakfast. Oh the drama, if you could have seen him you would have laughed right along with me. It was so funny all of his sighs and ho hums trying to get me to say something. So I finally told him that after he puts away his plate and puts the ketchep in the frige, he can get up. Connor is a litteral guy and is a total rule follower. No outside the box for him. So he starts whining about how is he supposed to do all of that if he can't get up until after he puts everything away in a very serious tone. I just start laughing and don't say anything. So he sits there for about 30 more seconds and then I see him while sitting in the chair, scooting it with the plate in his hand to put it away!! All I had to say was thank goodness it was Friday. And... I finally told him that he could get up to put everthing away and to leave the chair at the kitchen table if you were wondering how that scene played out.

So last weekend we went to go get our Christmas tree. We weren't sure if Randy would be able to come home this weekend from working out of town because there is a big project going on. So we bought the tree last weekend. All week we slowly got the house all decorated up and the tree all dolled up. Connor was great and put on all the lights this year. I love the smell of fresh pine.

And this is the beautiful sunset we witnessed when driving home from getting the tree.

As you well know.. I've gotta balance out the pics of the kids and Keegan only had one pic of himself in the photos so here is a pic of my cutie pie skateboarding right before we left to go get the tree. He is getting a new skate board for Christmas and it is killing him that he has to wait.