Monday, December 31, 2012

Wrapping Up Booking It 2012

I thought I give you a wrap up of my booking it 2012.  I read an amazing number of books - 51 to be exact. 

My top 5 reads (so difficult to choose)

1. The Night Road by K Hannah
2. Girl in Translation by J Kwok (somehow I didn't review this but a great first book for this author)
3. Kingdom of Strangers by Zoe Ferraris (love the whole series)
4. Heft by Liz Moore
5. The Story of Beautiful Girl by Rachel Simon

Here is the round of up of the monthly posts and the books that I have reviewed

Jan -  Reversal by Micheal Connelly, The Great Fitness Experiment by C Hilton Andersen, and One Bite at a Time by Trish Oxenreider

Feb -No One You Know by M Richmond and In the Presence of the Enemy by Elizabeth George.

March - Hunger Games Trilogy and Cutting for Stone by A Vergese

April - The Cactus Eaters by Dan White, The Night Road by K Hannah, A Blistered Kind of Love by A & G Ballard, Barnheart by J Woginrich

May - Hope's Boy by Andrew Bridge, The Kitchen House by K Grissom, and Hey American Your Roots are Showing by M Smolenyak

June - Mindblind by J Roy, The Unquenchable Thrist by M Johnson, and Wild by Cheryl Strayed

July - Becoming Odyssa by J Davis, Russian Winter by D Kalotay, Local Treasures: Geocaching Across America by M Kelley, The Voluntourist by K Budd, Hiking Through by Paul Stutzman

September -Borderlands- Riding the Edge of America by Derek Lundy

October -Kisses for Katie by Katie Davis and The Quarter Acre Farm by S Warren

November - My Abandonment by Peter Rock, American Heiress by D Goodwin, Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn, War Horse by Micheal Morpurgo, The Story of Beautiful Girl by Rachel Simon, Await Your Reply by D Chaon, and Ed King by D Guterson.

Dec - Heft by Liz Moore, Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, and The Racketeer by J Grisham

Sunday, December 30, 2012

December Daily - days 24,25

I am joining Ali Edwards December Daily.  Oh look,  we are in the home stretch! My goal is to complete this by the New Year. Below are the pictures and the little stories I hope to include as I finish up this album.
Christmas Eve Photo
The 24th found us packing up and hitting the road. We took a final Christmas picture with Nonna and Pappy. The dogs weren't overly cooperative.
White Christmas after all!

The 25th we were blessed with a little bit of snow.  It was a "White Christmas" after all. I hope to add the actually pages on this post when they are completed.

Mt Vernon Cache Machine

Near the Over the Rainbow Cache
in La Conner, WA
On Saturday, we got to participate in our first ever cache machine(geocaching event)  A cache machine is a group of people who cache together along a suggested route.  At end of day of caching, they meet up for dinner.
Graffiti with our initials
La Conner, WA
We found 50 caches . So our total caches found for this year is 425. We ran into quite a few cachers who averaged in the 70 and 80 caches for the day. The route included a 100 caches. The area we were in we had found quite a few of them already.  We skipped most of those. We also decided to stop for lunch to warm up and re-group. I will say the majority just kept caching.  We are not the hard core!We found our 400th cache in the same are as our 300th cache.

artistic rendering of our 400th cache
complete with mushrooms as the zeros
This was our best day ever for geocaching. I think an alternate title for this could be is we cache in all kind of weather.  It was really quite wet and rather nasty out all day and high number of caches were hikes.  It was a lot of fun meeting a bunch of different cachers and knowing we weren't the only one's stumped sometimes out there.  I have to say cachers are some the nicest people.

****For more information about GEOCACHING check out

Thursday, December 27, 2012

One Little Word for 2013

Ali Edwards has been doing 1 little word for the last couple of years instead of a resolution.   I have been joining in for the past couple of years. My word for 2012 was Maverick.  In a lot of ways this word played out as some parts of my life required creative solutions and unconventional approaches. I decided to pick a different kind of word this year. This year, I chose the word endeavor, which means attempt or try.

There are a lot of areas I could try harder.  There are lots of places in my life where I am holding back or not attempting to conquer my fears or anxiety.  I can do better.  I can try harder.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

December Daily- Day 21,22,23

I am linking up to Ali Edwards December Daily. I am trying to get caught up on my December Daily. I am almost there.

We drove down to the Tacoma to Visit Nonna and Pappy on the 21st.  Kevin bought us tickets to Cirque del Sol World 3d for Christmas.  It was the first real 3D for most of us. We all enjoyed it even 92 year old Pappy.

December 22nd found us at Nonna's house.  My husband had to attend a funeral.  So it was Nonna, Me, and the boys.  We visited McCord Airbase to look at the airplanes.  It just was by chance that we ended up with these fun reflection pictures in a C-141 "Tacoma Starlifter" nose cone.

December 23rd
We celebrated Christmas with a feast at Nonna's and Pappy's.  We had a maple cheesecake for dessert and opened some gifts.  I haven't decided what exactly I am going to scrap for the 23rd.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

From my Honeypot to yours

I don't know but I am really hooked on the Piano Guys.  I thought I would share one.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

December Daily - Day 18

I am joining Ali Edwards December Daily. Check out what everyone else is doing for their December Daily.

We had snow yesterday.  Well, as my son said,"We had a crumb of snow."  It was all gone by the afternoon. We just had to get out in it.  You know try out the boots and gloves and get really really wet.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Christmas Tour 2012

I am linking up with Nester's Christmas Tour 2012.  I really like checking out how everyone else decorates. I have been sharing a lot on my blog various new Holiday décor.  New this year is these large popsicle snowflakes in my front window and on my front door. More details on Popsicle Snowflakes can be found here.

I also changed some of the décor in my downstairs bathroom.  This fishbowl snowman is a new addition.  More details here.
Lastly, I changed the way I displayed my Shiny Brites.  Some are on this cupcake stand.

I once again did a display on top of my Curio Cabinet.

There are a few on my shelves near the fireplace
Lastly, I want to show my Elf garland. One of our favorite movies is ELF and we usually make a homemade snowflake garland like the one based in the movie. This year's garland included packing peanuts strung together.

Previous Tours

December Daily- Day 16

I am linking up with Ali Edwards December Daily.  Make sure to check out what everyone else is doing for their December Daily

I think the title of this could of been.  It was a dark and stormy night but we persevered on to see some holiday lights. We went to a nearby town to see an amazing light display.  You could even tune your radio to hear the music that was synced up to the lights.  It was really cool even in the rain/sleet.

Monday, December 17, 2012

December Daily Day 14 and Day 15

I am linking up to Ali Edwards December Daily. Please check out what everyone is posting for their December Daily.

Day 14
One of our dogs has been stealing ornaments off the tree.  His name is Tigger and he is dedicated to a life of crime. It is a good thing we only have soft or plastic ornaments on our tree. Exhausted at last, he rested under the tree.

Day 15
We spent part of the day geocaching in the rain.  This rat cache was probably one of the most unique finds of the day. The cache container was inside the rat. This was very un-Christmas like. We found about 7 different caches today including a couple caches that have eluded us in the past. The family that caches together STAYS together.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Fishbowl Snowman

I thought I would link up with Funky Junk Interior's Christmas Junk Décor Party.

Pinterest might be the death of me.  There is SO much inspiration.  I was inspired by this fishbowl snowman. 

In order to complete my snowman, I went to my local Goodwill and purchased the two bottom fishbowls.  The top bowl was purchased at  Walmart.  This whole bowl set up was about $15.  I like under $10 projects so I decided that whatever I placed in the bowls would have to come from my home collection.  The snow in the bowls is sea glass from my collection.  The rest of the items are from my Christmas stash- Santa, snowman, squirrel.  I think it still needs some tweaking. The hat is from our winter clothes box.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

December Daily Day 12 - Or 12-12-12 MADNESS

I am linking up with Ali Edwards December Daily. Please check out what everyone is doing for their December Daily.

We had to take partake in the 12-12-12 madness. We attended 2 geocache events. The first one was in Canada that Kevin and I attended.  We fueled ourselves with Tim Bits and Coffee from Tim Horton's .  We arrived at the park just in time to log in at 12:12 pm and 12 seconds along with about 60 other geocachers. . Then we went on to find a couple caches.  Later we went to a local event in Bellingham at Mi Mexico.  It was a great day to be a geocacher. Yes, we are that crazy geocaching family.

For more information about geocaching check out

I have fiddled and fiddled with this layout.  I think there is another page to go with this.  I just didn't have it in me.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

December Booking It or How," Not Your Mother's Make Ahead & Freeze Cookbook" saved my BACON

I am linking up with Life as Mom for Booking it December edition.

The very first day I received "Not Your Mother's Make Ahead &  Freeze Cookbook" by Jessica Fisher it was put to use. My Husband, Giant Man Child, called and let me know that the next day he was responsible for bringing bacon for a breakfast meeting.  Lo and behold in the book, there was a suggestion to bake your bacon and how to reheat.  So that evening we were baking bacon.  It worked like a charm and they reheated in the microwave for the morning breakfast meeting.  By the way my  house smelled AMAZING while the bacon was baking!

I can't wait to explore this cookbook a lot more. I also made the zucchini bread recipe. Yummy! Jessica blogs at Life as Mom.  Click on over there and get a chance to win your own copy.

In addition, I got to read a lot on my little Arizona vacation. Here is a sampling of the books read

Heft by Liz Moore

Arthur Opp weighs 550 pounds and hasn’t left his rambling Brooklyn home in a decade. Twenty miles away, in Yonkers, seventeen-year-old Kel Keller navigates life as the poor kid in a rich school and pins his hopes on what seems like a promising baseball career—if he can untangle himself from his difficult family life. The link between this unlikely pair is Kel’s mother, Charlene, a former student of Arthur’s. After nearly two decades of silence, it is Charlene’s unexpected phone call to Arthur—a plea for help—that shatters their isolation. Told with warmth and intelligence through Arthur and Kel’s own quirky and lovable voices, Heft is the story of two improbable heroes whose connection transforms both their lives. It is a memorable, heartbreaking, and ultimately redemptive novel about finding sustenance and friendship in the most surprising places. -From Amazon

This was one of my favorite reads.  It keeps you twisting and turning.

The Racketeer by John Grisham

Who is the Racketeer? And what does he have to do with the judge’s untimely demise? His name, for the moment, is Malcolm Bannister. Job status? Former attorney. Current residence? The Federal Prison Camp near Frostburg, Maryland.

On paper, Malcolm’s situation isn’t looking too good these days, but he’s got an ace up his sleeve. He knows who killed Judge Fawcett, and he knows why. The judge’s body was found in his remote lakeside cabin. There was no forced entry, no struggle, just two dead bodies: Judge Fawcett and his young secretary. And one large, state-of-the-art, extremely secure safe, opened and emptied. -from Amazon

This was also a great read and will have you guessing until the end.  I can so see this as a movie.  This is Grisham at his finest.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Marriage can be a real killer. ...
      On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy's diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?
   As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn’t do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet? - from amazon.

I don't what it is but I have been drawn to books that are darker.  This fits that category.  I have to say I liked Gillian Flynn's Sharp Objects a little better.  This book might not be everyone's cup of tea.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

December Daily Day 10

I am joining Ali Edwards December Daily.  Make sure to check out what everyone else is doing for their December Daily.

Last night, I got the baking bug.  I don't usually get it late at night.  I saw this great recipe for Angel Faced Cookies on the Money Saving Mom Blog.  So I took the baking plunge and made them.  They really turned out delicious.  I kept my layout simple and rather non holiday. Sorry the scan isn't the best.

Monday, December 10, 2012

December Daily Day 9

I am linking up with Ali Edwards December Daily.  Check out what everyone else is doing for their December Daily.

I have one line song disease.  I had another saying for it but it wasn't exactly politically correct.  One line song disease is where one line, usually the chorus, plays over and over in your head.  You only know that one part of the song.  I usually sing it aloud and usually at inappropriate times according to some. One of my favorite Christmas Songs has been running over and over in my mind. The song is, " Mary do You Know?" So I broke out my All Star Gospel Hits Christmas and listened to Natalie Cole sing it this Sunday.  In my mind, I hear it in a woman's voice.

I decided to use a picture of my nativity scene for my December Daily.  The wooden kids nativity  has seen better days.  I loved that my kids played with it and the kids I watched did too.  Not loving that the dog put some teeth marks into a sheep in the background.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

December Daily Day 8

I am linking up with Ali Edwards December Daily.  Check out what everyone else is doing for their December Daily.

We had an incredibly busy day yesterday. We went out for breakfast.  We went to the Holiday Port Festival to see the Gingerbread Houses.  We geocached.  We had to take our youngest son's picture as the GRINCH as he keeps say, " All I want to be for Christmas is the Grinch."  I don't know what is up with that.

It was quite hard to narrow down what pictures to include.  This is what I ended up for Day 8.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Holiday Port Festival

We have a tradition of going to look at the gingerbread houses made for the Holiday Port Festival in Bellingham, WA.  We always say we are going to make one but never have.  The neat thing about this competition is you can bid for your favorite house and the donations benefit the Red Cross. The gingerbread houses or scenes this year were once again amazing across all the age groups.  Below are some of our favorites:

Who knew you could make a gingerbread koi fish.  It was quite large too.
Pooh's House

The last one is one of my favorite's because it is made by a kid and it is a drive thru coffee shop.  Don't you know your in the Pacific Northwest.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Popsicle Snowflakes

Popsicle Snowflakes in Front Window

I am linking up with Nester's Crafty Goodness Linky Party. I was inspired by The Diary of  Daves Wife Snowflake Popsicle wreath.  The original idea came from a pin from Crafty Nest. The Crafty Nest gives some great directions. After the fact, I also came across some great Popsicle snowflakes on Mom Spark Blog.

I decided I needed some snowflakes for my large front windows. So, I armed myself with Popsicle sticks, glue gun, and compass. I made the snowflakes with dollar store Popsicle sticks and also with jumbo craft sticks from Joann's.  Both the smaller snowflakes and jumbo turned out awesome.  You really need a large space to display the jumbo craft stick one - front door or large front window. These things are big and graphic

Once we had the snowflakes glued together.  My Hubby spray painted them.  These ended up taking a lot more paint than expected.  We used 2 spray bottles of the true blue and 1 of the silver. My outdoor lighting scheme is blue and white.  I also have a white door.  I wanted the snowflake to stand out from the door. So this a barely under $20 project with the spray paint costs. Though I have to say they look really awesome. The snowflakes in the window I hung with string from a tension rod.

I couldn't resist putting one of these flakes on my door. This snowflake is one of the smaller flakes.

December Daily - Day 6

We are onto day 6 for December Daily.  I am joining in Ali Edwards December Daily.  Check out what everyone else is posting for their December Daily.
I must bow down to my Hubby.  He is the King of Breakfast.  We have been enjoying some really great breakfast foods the past couple of months.  His schedule has been different.  He goes in later so he has been pitching in at breakfast. This morning it was bacon, potatoes, and egg scramble.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

December Daily - Day 5

I am joining Ali Edwards December Daily.  Be sure to check out what everyone else is doing for their December Daily.

The quote is from Elf the movie - " The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear!"  Elf is one of my favorite Christmas movies.  I have an elf garland I put up every year.  Chuckles helped me hang the garland.  It has snowflakes, tinsel garland, beaded snowflakes, paper snowflakes made with coffee filters, and lights.  New this year is the packing peanut garland.  Previous Elf garlands 2010 and 2011. We ended the evening by watching ELF.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

December Daily - Day 4

I am joining Ali Edwards December Daily. Make sure to check out what everyone else is doing for their December Daily.  You will be inspired!

This is the photo I plan on including with our Christmas newsletter this year.  It was taken with a self timer at Artist Point this past fall. Artist Point is only accessible during the summer months and last year they decided due to snow not to open it at all.  The photo turned out so well we decided to use it as our Christmas photo. The frame is digital and is from Topsy Turvy via their Facebook page.  I love the chalkboard look.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

December Daily - Day 3

I am joining in Ali Edwards December Daily Project.  Check out what everyone else is doing for their December Daily.

My oldest son has a Teddy Bear that goes a lot of places with him.  He has had this Teddy since almost birth.  It is a pretty big teddy bear, too.  The teddy bear's name is Stitch as in Stitch from the movie," Lilo and Stitch."  This is the first time that Stitch has been documented doing any mischief. He is more the strong silent immobile type.

*** edited to show actual layout in album

Monday, December 3, 2012

December Daily - Day 2

I am linking up with Ali Edwards December Daily.  Please check out what everyone else is posting for their December Daily.

We worked on getting our tree up yesterday.  My oldest was chomping at the bit to get it up.  This is something I do with my sons. We usually do this while my husband is gone. He really doesn't enjoy the getting decorated stuff. I try to let go of my tree perfection when I have them put the ornaments on.  I think I am getting a lot better at that.  I really think consciously about the memory I want to create with them. We even had Christmas music playing. I was really tested yesterday as my sick cat decided it was a good idea to pee in one of the boxes. Luckily most of the stuff was boxed so we just ended up throwing some boxes out. I just took a deep breath and told myself crisis adverted.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

December Daily- Day 1

I am linking up with Ali Edwards December Daily.  Check out what everyone else is doing for their December Daily.

After much debate with myself, I decided to give this a go again. Especially since, I really enjoyed re- reading many of the stories I captured last year.  I didn't do it every day last year but I did do it for a significant portion of the 25 days. Last year, I made 5x7 digital layouts but never printed them out.  I had planned to use a 8 x 8  album. I really like that size.  So I am working in that size again.
***edited to add
More details about snowflakes can be found here.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

At Home with the Sickos

I think I been at home with the sickos for a little TOO long.  My hubby has bronchitis, my oldest has a snotty nose, and my one cat has some kind of bladder thing going on.  I am ready for people and animals to be well.  Anyhow, while I was sitting at the vet today this silly song from Big Bang TV series was going through my head. I was cracking myself up. 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Survival/Paracord Bracelet

Single Color Paracord Bracelet
2 Color Paracord Bracelet
I have been experimenting with making survival bracelets/550 paracord bracelets.  These seem to be kinda of the rage with the under 12 crowd. I finally took the plunge and learned how to make these. Mrs Epi and I had some difficulty finding the bracelet buckle/clips.  We finally found a kit at Walmart that included the paracord and buckle clips for the best price though the color selection was a little limited. Micheals also sells the kits, paracord and clips when they have them in stock.  Our local sporting goods store Yeagers also sells the paracord as well. I made both the single color and double color versions of the cobra weave. I was also able to teach my youngest with this video below from YouTube to make a two color paracord bracelet.  I actually thought the two color was easier to make than the single color.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Seasonal Color

Last week, we went and picked up a couple of poinsettias we had purchased for a fundraiser.  The nursery was a sea of red, pink, and white. It reminded me of San Diego when it was not uncommon to see wild poinsettias growing in people's yard. I love the splash of color they provide.

Marble Poinsettia
Jingle Poinsettia
I love the type of houseplants they sell at this time of year - Christmas Cactus and Poinsettias.  I have a few Christmas Cactus -6.  Well, maybe i have more than a few.  I was really introduced to them by the Giant Man Child's Nanna.  She grew them out on her porch and they were huge.
Nanna's Christmas Cactus - Castroville, CA

I love watching them bloom.
This cactus started blooming a week before Thanksgiving
White Christmas Cactus that just started to bloom

I have some that bloom at  Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter. This is a plant that my cats don't seem to bother, too. Poinsettias, I believe are poisonous to children and animals. These are pretty forgiving as houseplants go, too.