". . . our stories are what make the difference, and if we can tell them honestly we can hope to help each other. In the end, we have nothing to offer each other but our stories." ~ Emma Lou Thayne

Friday, December 31, 2010

Have a HAPPY and SAFE New Year's EVE!!

Hope you are all ready to ring in the 
New Year!
It's coming, READY or NOT!

A thought that always crosses my mind (and others)
on this night EVERY YEAR...
This is such a senseless waste of human life!!
I remember being terrified of my teens going ANYWHERE for fear that a drunk driver may take them from me. To have so many that do not have enough common sense to stay OFF the roads when they have been drinking. Of course they all think they:
  • aren't drunk... 
  • only had a few... 
  • it's only a short drive home...
  • it'll be alright...
  • what are the chances something will happen?
Well I wish they would all PULL their head out of wherever they have it buried and make a decision before they take even THE FIRST DRINK!! I have the PERFECT solution for ALL of you!!! NO EXCUSES!! Spread the WORD!!

Don't drink and drive and don't ride with anybody who does. Tipsy Tow offered by AAA: You Don't have to be a AAA member, from 6pm-6am on new years eve/day they will take your drunk self and your car home for FREE!  
Save this number: 

AAA Tow Truck

Don't Drive Drunk - Get a Free Ride Home.

As part of our dedication to making the roads as safe as possible for all motorists, AAA is proud to offer its Tipsy Tow program. On ten different holiday and special events in 2010, we offer a free five-mile tow home for drinking drivers and their vehicles.
The Tipsy Tow program is open to everyone. You do not need to be an AAA Member to take advantage of this service to the community.
AAA typically offers the service to drinking drivers from 6 p.m. on the holiday to 6 a.m. the following day in Northern California, Nevada and Utah. For specific dates and times, see the list below.
During the period Tipsy Tow is available, drivers, potential passengers, party hosts, bartenders, and restaurant managers can call 800-222-4357 (AAA-HELP) for a free tow home of up to five miles. Just tell the AAA operator, "I need a Tipsy Tow," and a truck will be on its way.
The service will provide a one-way ride for the driver and vehicle to the driver's home. If there are additional passengers who need a ride, they will be taken to the driver's home as long is there is sufficient room for them to be transported safely in the tow truck. You cannot make a reservation.
AAA provides its Tipsy Tow service for the following holidays in 2010:
  • Super Bowl: February 7, 6 p.m. to February 8, 6 a.m.
  • St. Patrick's Day: March 17, 6 p.m. to March 18, 6 a.m.
  • Cinco de Mayo: May 5, 6 p.m. to May 6, 6 a.m. 
  • Memorial Day: May 31, 6 p.m. to June 1, 6 a.m.
  • Independence Day: July 4, 6 p.m. to July 5, 6 a.m.
  • Labor Day: September 6, 6 p.m. to September 7, 6 a.m.
  • Halloween: October 31, 6 p.m. to November 1, 6 a.m. 
  • Thanksgiving: November 25, 6 p.m. to November 26, 6 a.m.
  • Christmas Eve: December 24, 6 p.m. to December 25, 6 a.m.
  • New Year’s Eve: December 31, 6 p.m. to January 1, 6 a.m.
During 2006, 17,602 people in the U.S. died in alcohol-related motor vehicle crashes, representing 41 percent of all traffic-related deaths, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Drunk-driving crashes also account for about 60 percent of highway deaths of young people age 16 to 24 each year. It takes only one or two drinks to impair vision, steering, braking, judgment, and reaction time.
AAA estimates that a first time DUI conviction can cost up to $12,000 in fines, penalties, restitution, legal fees, and added insurance expenses. You can't put a price tag on a crash that causes an injury or death.
If you've been celebrating by drinking alcohol, don't get behind the wheel. Give AAA a call and we'll make sure you get home safely.

berries leaves greenish christmas pictures, backgrounds and images

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Saturday, December 25, 2010

MERRY CHRISTMAS!! The GIFT of LOVE! - Mary Did You Know - Twas the Night Before Chrstmas

The most important gift we can impart... LOVE!! If all would go forth with love in their hearts, peace and joy wound abound! Today of ALL days, try to be a little more patient, a little more understanding, a little more helpful, a little more humble... It ALL boils down to LOVE! 
NOW you can see OUR 
Christmas wish for YOU!  ;D 
It always seems a little funny... Kids move away and branch off into their own family units. The 2 boys are all we have left at home. It's always FUN trying to coordinate everybody's schedules with in-laws and such so we can all get together on holidays! Such is life and we enjoy the time we have! But with college boy being away, but not yet started his own family unit... yet he's INDEPENDENT... *sigh*  LOL!!
One of my most favorite Christmas songs. I've always loved both of these singers and the sound so good together and it's such a beautiful song... I hope you like it, too!
I wanted to share this photo with you. It is one I took a couple years ago of our daughter ("Artsy") and her then baby boy... (Can't keep up with him NOW! LOL!) I was going for the idea of Mary and baby Jesus here...  I aimed my flood from above on one side in an effort to make it look like a star shining down on them. It needed a little "Old World" style to it, I thought... so when I was said and done, This is the final image. One of my most favorite images. It hangs above our stairwell and when I look at it, I feel like I did something GOOD!  ;D Having this be family makes it even more special! 
Twas the Night Before Christmas
sung by the University of Utah Combined Choirs.
(This is the university "College Boy" goes to.)
This was one of my favorite songs we performed when I was in choir in high school.  When my kids were little, they were amazed that I MEMORIZED the WHOLE STORY... It's easy when it's put to MUSIC!!  ;D
And I HAD to share this because 
it ALWAYS makes me LAUGH!! 
We used to have Santa  (a friend of the family) come to our family gathering every year. We would get the individual family pictures done with him. Then we wanted one of him by himself. Jake kep running in and posing!! He CRACKS ME UP!! I LOVE that little DOG!! LOL!! I could do a WHOLE POST on this!!
These are my adorable pups!
berries leaves greenish christmas pictures, backgrounds and images

Friday, December 24, 2010

11th Day of Christmas: The Gift of Entertainment or CHOICE

Gifts of 
WHAT ideas does that conjure up in YOUR mind?
The first things that pop into my mind 
is a person's favorite Music CDs
Image by Will Koffel of FountainPhoto.com
Or favorite DVD
Do they travel long distances with children?
How AWESOME would a 2-screen portable DVD player that straps to the back of the front seats be?? SWEET!!

I know IPODS are all the RAGE with kids these days, but to be honest, that tiny little shuffle thing is a WASTE!! $49 for 2G??? Come ON!! It's SO TINY they'll lose it in no time, too!
You jump all the way to $149 for the Nano 8G and $179 for the 16G
Do we REALLY have to give them the NAME BRAND? We do NOT have to give into these marketers pushing the big brands... At least WE didn't... 
We got The Eclipse 180 with 8G of storage for less than those little Shuffles and Nanos... AND it has a screen where they can actually SEE and select easily what they want to listen to. Unlike the 2G Nano and over $100 LESS $$$ than the same 8G Nano. This one has 4 star reviews that I read and all were pleased with their purchase. Give me the Generic DRUGS and the off brand merchandise that compares, any day...

8G = $229
32G = $299
64G = $399
You've GOT to be KIDDING me!!
All because it has a TOUCH SCREEN?
Who NEEDS the touch screen? REALLY? Give me the STORAGE SPACE, Baby!! 
The only IPOD that's worth the BIG $$$ BUCKS for me is the latest CLASSIC.
160G = $249
You can get it on sale at Sam's Club for less!  ;D
Of course kids are in to the newest and most outragously priced game systems. It took us a few years to give in to getting the Wii. We have decided that we will NOT buy any more game systems. We may buy them new games on occasions for what we HAVE, but what we have is certainly good enough and we don't need them glazed over in front of the "BOOB TUBE" any longer than they already do. (Yes, we DO call it that... or the "Idiot Box"... which applies to any screen they are in front of too long.
Let's look at  WORTHY entertainment again!!
  • Concert tickets

What a variety to choose from there!!

My most recent favorites would be 
Tickets to a play

I LOVE going to plays and musicals!!

We saw A Christmas Carol at Hale Center Theater in West Valley City a few weeks ago and they were AWESOME!! The next I want to go to is URINETOWN at the Terrace Plaza Playhouse in Washington Terrace. If you haven't seen this, it's a RIOT!! My son was in this in High School!
  • Tickets to a GAME

I am NOT a big sports fan... bur our daughter's husband had extra tickets for a BEE's game and invited us! You know, in person it's really FUN!!  ;D

  • BOOKS!!!

Ever heard of the Fablehaven Series by Brandon Mull?

My boys and I read these together. It was kind of a tradition even though I got to thinking they were a bit BIG for that... LOL!! We all throughly enjoyed them! Of course there are so MANY GREAT BOOKS!!

You have a PLETHORA (I love using that word... BAHAHA!!) of choices here!! For you AND the receiver! YOU are DOWN TO THE WIRE... WHAT can you DO??? HELLOOOO... GIFT CARD to the RESCUE!! DUN-DUN-DUN!! You can get a gift card for just about ANYTHING anymore! The grocery store just around the corner from us has an entire KIOSK FULL of gift cards from all kinds of places, too! You don't EVEN have to GO to the place to GET the gift card! How EASY is THAT? The BEST thing about a gift card, is that you KNOW they will get what THEY WANT with it! If you want to make it even MORE flexible, you can get a GIFT VISA card which works like regular gift cards, except it can be used anywhere that takes a VISA!! 
  • Restaurants
  • Department Stores
  • Grocery Stores
  • Book Stores
  • Specialty Shops
  • Movie Theaters
  • Online stores
  • Video Stores
  • Music Stores
  • ITunes
  • Toy Stores
  • Furniture Stores
  • Home Party Dealers

and yes... the use ANYWHERE 

Saved the BEST for LAST!
Image found through Google images 
belonging to Kathleen Melton
Neighborhood Caroling and Sing-Ins!!

Merry Christmas EVE!!
Have a beautiful Holiday 
with your families and friends!!

berries leaves greenish christmas pictures, backgrounds and images
Don't forget to enter the 
Drawings held: 
Wednesday Night's Winner:
Katherine Corrigan
Thursday Night Winners:
Jessica Davis  & JULES

will be drawn!
Low entries! 
Don't MISS out!! ***
Click the pic HERE or in the sidebar!

If you are in a hurry, 
or don't win and want this 
AWESOME service...
Code: Diamond-Potential
will get you 25% OFF your fee!
Smart and Trendy Moms

Thursday, December 23, 2010

10th Day of Christmas: Gift Baskets

Time is drawing near and preparation time is almost gone. So I have found some cute ideas which are great for gift giving for any occasion. It's all in how you WRAP IT UP, BABY!  ;D
*Disclaimer: These are not my images. Clicking on the image will take you to where I got the image from through Google images. Clicking on the links/pictures can take you to many MORE ideas and recipes!  ;D
What ISN'T there to LOVE about a basket 
(or bowl, bucket, bag, mug, box... you get the idea) 
filled with with items to delight YOU??
Here are a few themes:
  • Fruit
  • Spaghetti Dinner
  • Movie Night
  • Home Spa
  • Survival Snacks
The other day we talked a bit about Gift Jars 
and how much fun those can be!
 Don't forget Gift MUGS!
This clip has some great ideas: 

And since I have a poor struggling college boy, 
I've come up with the perfect basket for him!!
His favorite TV show is The Office; so the last season on DVD is IN IT!! He buys groceries, but he can't afford the extras that he truly ENJOYS... SO, this will also include microwave popcorn, pretzels, FLIPZ, candy, various cookies and crackers... ALL his FAVES, of course!! I will be putting these in a a reusable BIG shopping bag (Because WHERE is HE going to put a big BASKET that he won't use... in his tiny shared apartment?) and add a gift card to the grocery store.  See how it can be personalized? I think he's going to LOVE it!! 

There are a LOT of sites out there for ideas!  Homemade Gift Baskets is my favorite on to gather ideas for ANY occasion. TRUST ME! Something will spark in someones's direction and you will grab the reigns and RUN with it with your own ideas tailored to that person. Thoughtful, useful, appreciated! YES!!

Don't forget to enter the 
Drawings held: 

  • Wednesday Night's Winner = 
  • Katherine Corrigan
  • 2 tomorrow 
  • and 2 Christmas EVE!! 
Click the pic HERE or in the sidebar!

Confession Wednesday Button
As a confession, I dedicated myself to these 12 days before December and some of the ideas I had in the works and just had to put the finishing touches on. It's the holidays and who wants to read a downer? EH?  OH HELP!! My blog is MUCH more prepared than I AM... Honestly, I've been having a rough go of it this year and I just couldn't figure out WHAT MY PROBLEM IS... I will do a post on this more after the holiday. For now I will just say that I broke down and went to the Dr. My appointment was for the 28th... but situations made it more crucial and they got me in yesterday. We have some answers and it's a VERY GOOD THING I didn't wait... which WAS my original plan. WHEW!!

ANYWAY, things aren't nearly as prepared and festive as they've been in years past. What has been accomplished is mostly because I have a sweet, patient and understanding husband. (Although those limits may have been pushed as of late...) I am grateful to him and pray that the rest of family coming to celebrate with us are understanding and forgiving in what I lack... I'm praying that I have enough in me to at least get the bare necessities done!!  In the meantime... "Fake it till ya' make it..." and "just keep swimming swimming swimming..."   (((HUGS))) 
Merry Christmas!
berries leaves greenish christmas pictures, backgrounds and images

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

9th Day of Christmas-Awareness Wednesday: Adopt a Pet - Videos

You can't help but LOVE THESE CLIPS!!!  ;D

These are my rescue pups!! 
Jazzi & Jake Christmas 2007
I got Jake through Zara's List in Riverside, CA just before Christmas in 2005; and Jazzi through Silky Rescue a month before Christmas in 2006... LOL!! We drove to Denver to pick her up with the whole family and Jake in tow to verify the FIT! They are wonderful companions! Jake won't be with us much longer due to age and health... but I'm going to cherish every bit of time we have left with him.  ;D  They are a blessing in my life!

12 Days of Christmas:
Part 2

Wouldn't adopting a wonderful pet be a wonderful gift this year? Check out the sites for your favorite breed rescues in your area and you can always find wonderful options through PetFinder.com  My only plea is that if you DO,  commit to your adopted friend and give it a "Forever Home".  (((HUGS)))
This is a funny clip we put together of Jake and Jazzi a couple years ago. LOL!! Some of you that have followed a while may have seen this before.  ;D  Hope you like it!
Don't forget to enter the 
Drawings held: 

  • 1 tonight 
  • 2 tomorrow 
  • and 2 Christmas EVE!! 

Click the pic HERE or in the sidebar!
Please continue to 
VOTE for CABF throughout this month!! 
We are dropping and NEED your VOTES!!
Awareness Wednesday Button
This linky is ALWAYS available on the Awareness page
If you link up, please take the Award there to show in your post and share with others that have great causes and feel free to link it up under the Award Linky.
We can't financially support every great cause, but we CAN become more educated and be a voice to help spread awareness!! Hope you'll participate and grab your award from the AWARENESS page!  ;D
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