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




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This is the January 2011 Archive Page


Jan 31st: The calm before the storm.

Inserted note...my computer has been making funny clicking noises the past few days. I'm getting it all backed up and if I seem to have disappeared from this page, that just means my computer is in the shop and I won't have access to update my website. Business will be normal behind the scenes but just not with my trusted lap top. The storm is coming so I won't be able to get it dropped off I'm guessing for a few days. But wanted to post a head's up while I have the opportunity just in case it decides to crash on me.

It is coming. Soon so they say. It has been raining off and on all day and there is ice on the deck, mail box, and cars but the roads are still pretty decent. I was betting that school would let out early but I don't think that is going to happen. So our snowy January is going out with a bang and taken the start of February with it. They are saying 1/2" -1" of ice and then tomorrow will be 6-10" of snow in our area. I just hope we don't lose power. The ice storm from a few years ago knocked power out for over a week in areas all around us.

I thought I was all set as I joined the masses yesterday at the grocery store. You would think that is was holiday shopping time as it was packed. The meat department was half cleaned out. I thought for sure there would be no milk but all was well there but everyone did go for bread as the long isle was dotted with loads of empty spaces.

So this morning I realized that we only had a few days food left of bird food for the parakeets and that we have no ice melt, so I had to go out on a shopping mission.

So a post can't be completed without sharing the details of Connor and Caiden's Pinewood Derby results. Do you remember my worries about Caiden not getting a trophy and coming home empty handed while Connor had one?

Well that didn't happen but we did end up with the same end result scenerio that we were trying to avoid. That is just the way of the world though isn't? One of those defining days that I'm sure to be seared into Connor's memory of being outdone by his 6 year old brother.

It started out with such a great morning. Caiden's race started with just the 1st grade tigers competing amoungst themselves. It was a grand morning and Caiden was all business. He was so serious and was so careful holding his car between each race. There are 4 lanes on the track and to balance out any lane advantages, they have each car race in all 4 lanes and then they average out the times to see who wins and advances. With lots of jumping up and down and pure glee, Caiden's car was FAST. He set a new track record and ended up getting first place for speed. So that landed him with a nice big trophy. And he also ended up landing a trophy for something like "quality built". So within a small time frame he was sitting pretty with 2 trophies. Life was great and we could call it a day so we thought. We were told that if Caiden's posted time is fast enough, then he could race again in the finals.

So we went home for a few hours and then went back up for Connor's big race. Now, by this time....Connor is sweating it out big time. Caiden has already placed and done great and where will that leave him. Plus, Caiden's first section was only against maybe 20-25 kids. Now they are competing against 50+ kids so the odds aren't with him.

We arrive at the school and were shocked to find out that Caiden still had the track record. No way we thought. That is just crazy. So the anticipation builds as it is his turn to race. First race Connor did good and placed first. Then the other 3 races he placed 2nd each time. This was not good and we all knew it! Poor Connor is just sinking into his chair. His car ended up placing 4th place and the top 16 cars went onto finals. Now this sounds really really good doesn't it? And normally it would be. Except for the fact from Connor's perspective, the world is all wrong because his snotty younger brother is in front of him in first place. But, during the final time trials, Caiden did get his track recorded out done by the legendary scout that wins every year. It is just one of those, we know they are going to win so the best we can do is second place.

So onto the final race that determines the last batch of trophies...dum dum dum... here comes Caiden's car. It did good and was racing along fine. Then on his 2nd, 3rd, and 4th race...his car kept getting faster and faster and he broke a new track record each and every time. Which is wild in itself because usually the cars get slower as the graphite powder wears off. We were in disbelief. And Caiden knew what was going on but we don't think he knew the scope of it.

In the mean time, Randy and I are shaking our ends and our hearts breaking in angst for poor Connor. Connor was devasted and inconsolable. He knew that Caiden had won the over all grand champion ship title. Thus, Caiden ended up with the 2 largest possible trophies of the day and was not floating but flying on cloud 9 while all at the same time, Connor's head is buried while he is gently tearing up at this unjustified defeat. Connor did end up placing 6th in the finals and got a trophy but he wasn't excited in the least. Oh the pain to be outdone by your younger brother. I guess it wouldn't have been that bad but he has always gotten outshined by his older brother in the previous years and now on his final year to participate, he got out done by his younger brother. The middle child syndrome in it's purest form.

But Connor has moved on and is doing much better. As if 3 trophies were not enough, Caiden tried to buy Connor's from him for $3!!!

Here is a pic of Caiden with two of his trophies.

This is Caiden's car.

This is Connor's car. Check out his fangs.

Caiden was so lovey after winning. I got lots of hugs and love you mom's. Here is a pic of Caiden and I. and...I know... I know... Connor is in serious need of a major hair cut.

Connor wanted to eat at Qdoba's for comfort food and Caiden brought his grand champion trophy into the restaurant!

In the mean time, Jan. 28th:I have no lungs. So it feels like that. I've coughed them up and out. I should have 6 pack abs from all the work out they've been getting lately. I don't feel terrible but just tired because I don't sleep well. Which means that I'm not really making anything new and exciting. Just working on orders. I do have a few simple things to list on Etsy. One of these is the pink heart but it is a reject because you can see how the pink likes to go 2 tone on me and the back side of the heart has a lot of the 2 tone. But..it is still cute and I'm sure that someone would love to welcome a cute sweet pretty heart into their lives. A heart is a heart and needs to be loved no matter what.

So pinewood derby is this weekend. Wish the boys luck. This is Caiden's first year and there are trophies involved. And if you knew Caiden and heard what I just said, you would totally be shaking your head up and down right now and saying "oh yea, I know what you are saying. Keeping my fingers crossed and extra special luck headed his way." For the kid loves trophies and medals. Covets them you might say. And then this is Connor's last year so we want him to do well too. Now, as you can imagine, what will happen if one kids gets a trophy and one kid doesn't? I guess I won't need to spell that one out. It happened last year and it is no fun driving home with a kid that is on cloud nine with a nice big trophy sitting on his lap and another kid all sullen and devasted that his lap is not adorned with something so special and memorable. Makes a mother's job difficult being excited and consoling at the same time.

Jan. 24th: So winter has been going full and strong for the month of January. We had 2 snow days last week and lots of virus's and strep throat hitting all of the family. I'm sitting here coughing up a storm as I type and it is driving me crazy. When will it all end? So the kids have had a ball playing in the snow with snow forts being built, sledding paths designed and fabricated, and even Caiden insisting on being covered in snow. And in between all of this, school projects for Connor were being made and lots of hot cocoa and cookies, and soup have been eaten.

So that about sums up what I've been doing since I last posted. I know that I've been super duper busy but when I try to figure out what else was involved, I certainly can't tell ya.

Although tomorrow we are finally making the step to chuck our Charter Cable company. Good ridence and don't let the door hit you on the way out. Their customer service is the worst. We are gonna change over to Uverse TV and will finally be getting a DVR. I always feel like the lone girl out when my friends are all talking about DVRing certain shows and I just sit there with no comment because we don't have one. Which also means that I rarely watch any specific TV shows since I can't seem to tune in at the alloted time.


Jan 14th: I chuckled today as I told Keegan that today is a day that I am one step closer to having a foot in the grave. Yep...today is my birthday! It has been a very nice day though. I've been celebrating since yesterday with lunch out with a friend and dinner out with my cousin. Tonight is dinner out with my parents, and tomorrow is a date night out with hubby. Hmmmmm... and I wonder why I can't lose the weight that I gained over the holidays. After this weekend...all the excuses are done!

Today the kids also had a half day of school. Keegan went over to a buddy's house and Caiden and Connor had friends over. It has involved an afternoon of the little ones making shrinky dinks, brownies, and I totally scored as Despicable Me came from Netflix yesterday and they are watching a movie right now. Caiden is missing a front tooth and the other one is loose. He looks so cute without it.


I totally think that Dobby should be smoking a stogie in the pic. He sometimes sucks his lower lip in and it looks so funny.



Jan. 11th It's a snow day. Know what that means? All 3 kids get to stay home from school. They are thrilled to death. Connor and Caiden just got invites to go over to a friend's house to play in the snow. Keegan started getting sick last night so he is spending his snow day feeling a bit crummy. His agenda included sleeping in until 10:30 a.m. and now comforting himself playing the PS3 on-line with some friends over the internet connection. It is really quite intriquing as they can hook up a head set and talk to each other while playing on-line.

Me? What am I doing? Well...I'm still waiting to tackle a long 2 page list of things I want to get done today. What have I crossed off so far at this noon hour? NOTHING... I slept in until around 8 and then tackled my big bucket of paying bills and balancing my check book. It has been staring at me for a few days now and with all of the Christmas shopping and using the bank debit card has me thinking that I really need to make sure I'm on top of it. So that is what I'm doing. And I'm happily anticipating the house starting to smell delish in about 30 min as I just put a brisket in the oven to slow roast and am looking forward to some good comfort food for this cold blustery day.

A quick few snow ball tosses or should I say snow fluffs as this is not the packing kind of snow before the boys hopped into the car to head over to their friends.



Connor wasn't out of the car 30 seconds before he and his buddy started tossing the snow. Isn't it cute? They have the same coat.


As I finish posting these pics, the house is just now starting to get that "mmmm...something smells good. What is cooking?" aroma. Yea.. I'm not a fast poster and it has been almost 30 min since I posted. That is why this page doesn't get updated as often as I would like it to but this is just one of those really good procrastination days.

Jan. 7th: A repeat of yesterday morning! But I feel a tad more productive today. I've been to the gym (I hate running on the treadmill btw. It is sooo boring). Volunteered for an hour in Caiden's class, ran to the grocery store, had an early lunch, and just got done listing a new bracelet kit on both the supply section under "kits" on my website and also over at my Etsy store.

And all in the mean time of writing this, I got a call from the school nurse that Caiden had an accident and had wet pants and was crying and didn't want to change clothes. So I grab dry clothes, drive up there and find out that his pants are barely wet and that he had slipped on the slide at recess and his pants got damp from the slide. So there was a misunderstanding that he "wet his pants" because the nurse got a not saying "wet pants" for the reason Caiden was visiting the nurse. ha! It made for a good laugh. And it was snowing today which doesn't bring the idea of lazy river any closer to the forefront.

Here is the pic of the bracelet kit titled "Golden Haze". The kit costs $72 and includes everything needed to make the bracelet just like the photo.





Jan. 6th: Please someone...anyone... come kick me off of this computer. It is just sucking me in and I've wasted my morning on who knows what. It is so cold outside that I find myself not wanting to do anything but indulge. As I sat here surfing, happily slurping down the last bowl of chicken noodle soup (with a Coke of course that I keep promising myself that I won't have everyday) and then I'm still cold and unmotivated so I grab the box of animal crackers and go on a safari hunt eating more than my fair share of elephants, tigers, and rinos. I feel feisty now. No, actually I just feel full and bloated and sit here wondering why I just mindlessly ate that junk. So I finally talked myself into at least standing up and taking off the old pine tree garland that still dwells over over the fireplace for potential kindling. I chuck it outside and turn on the fireplace. I'm cold darn it. Now at least the house will start to warm up, but then I sadly realize that I need to go downstairs and make beads and it is cold down there too. How many more days until the pool is open?

We got the coolest present from my parents at Christmas. It was a set of 6 exclusive Mickey Mouse glasses and a straw holder. They were designed for the 40th celebration of Disney Land and were originally available only to members of the Disney Fan Club 23. I love these glasses. They make me happy. They feel so perfect in your hand. Like they belong there. So much.... I had to call the Art of Disney Store in Downtown Disney World and order another set of 6 so that we would have 12 of them.

And wouldn't you know it. I just got a call from my parents inviting me out to lunch. I had to regretfully turn them down because I had a party with soup and animal crackers and the thought of adding anything else to the mixure just doesn't sound like a smart idea. Party on or be a party pooper. Guess I will be the pooper in this case and go make some beads. I might even finish the last half of the original Tron movie I borrowed from Ilyse. I love my job. At least the bead part. I don't love my job of doing laundry. If it was a paying job and I had a boss to report too, I would be fired, booted out the door, and screamed at to never come back. (it wouldn't hurt my feelings in the least though.)

Awe... I'm still procratinating and was getting ready to shut down the pics folder from my news page. It contains all of the photos I've ever posted here. I just happened to glance at this Mickey picture from Disney World. I guess it is about 3-4 years old. I have very short hair then and fewer wrinkles. But Caiden is so cute and little. I miss that age. I'm really leaving the computer now. Backing away slowly. closing the lid and running away.

Jan. 5th: Zu Wee Mama... do I have some work to do!!! My body is feeling the effects of way too much holiday partying. And I big chunk of December was spent not working out. I gave up the time to work on orders and other time zappers. I'm paying the piper now but it was worth it and a great holiday it was. So once again I will join the masses and try to live up to a New Years resolution of getting back into shape and to start running again. I'm just counting down the days to have the leaves grow on the trees. If I think of lazy river...that seems way too far in the future and is just depressing. This time last year we were doing the count down to a Disney cruise in Feb. We don't have anything like that in the works but I did text hubby this morning and told him for my birthday that I want to move to somewhere tropical like right this instant. A girl can dream right?

So yesterday was hubby's big birthday. I hope it was a special day. I think we get ripped off with January birthdays. Especially his being so close to the holidays. By the time Jan. comes around, you are so tired of eating and overindulging and doing parties. We didn't even feel like going out to eat. I wanted him to have some good food but something that wasn't fattening and made you feel even worse after eating it. So I made some homemade chicken noodle soup. I haven't made it yet this season and I must say it totally hit the spot. So we all honkered down to some great soup and watched a movie. It was one of those It was a nice family evening and exactly what we all needed and craved. A great evening of leisure. Something I rarely do of just sitting on the couch doing nothing and enjoying cuddling while watching a movie. Oh, we did slip in some homemade orange julious drinks for dessert. Delish and there is enough to make another round tonight. Won't the kids love that?

Typical me with my 30 second memory. I took a pic of the noodles after they were done drying. You break them up into smaller pieces when putting them in the broth. And I snapped a pic of the chicken boiling and then...that was it. I had moved onto other things and totally forgot to take a pic of the finished product. There are left overs (had some this morning as a matter of fact!) but I'm too lazy to pull it out and take the final photo. I had to chuckle as I realized that the chicken is shy and used a bay leaf to cover his privates.