Goodbye 2011..

Today is the last day of 2011.  Hard to believe how quickly the year flew by.  So much happened to family and friends (and us) this year!  Marriages, births, miracles, new beginnings with school for some of us, meeting new people, learning a new language.....wait....let's rephrase that....learning to conjugate French verbs is more accurate.  Have I mentioned how the E-N-T-I-R-E semester was spent conjugating verbs. That's it. Hardly anything else. Nada. Nil. Ne rien. Can I just tell you how utterly boring that class was?!  Thank God it is OVER.
If my fairy godmother magically had me wake up in France tomorrow and I wanted, say, bacon and eggs and toast with jelly for breakfast, I don't know if I could accurately ask for what I, actually name the items.  I'd probably have to point to pictures in a menu or something crazy like that......if I'm lucky enough to find a menu with pictures, because I'd totally be up a creek without a paddle if I had to (eek!) ask for a menu with pictures!!
But I'm damned sure I could conjugate the verb vouloir, which means, of course, want.    I could literally conjugate want to the waiter or waitress and let him/her know that I, he, she, it,  AND they want.  But that's it.  I seriously doubt I could relay to them "what" everyone wants.
Yup.  I'm sure glad I'm not like (heaven forbid) majoring or minoring in French.  Can you imagine? (!)
It's too bad I had that experience with this class, because I LOVE the language,  it's beautiful and I could never get tired of listening to it, but could never in a million years subject myself to the torture of another semester of conjugating verbs.  GA!
Ok, nuff said.

2011 definitely had it's very good memories for me, but sadly, it also was the year we lost our beloved aunt Connie.  May she rest in peace.

I have a lot to be thankful for this year, my health and the health of my family and friends.  My beautiful kids.  The fact that I sleep in a warm bed every night.
God is good.

I'm definitely welcoming in the new year with open arms and looking forward to what 2012 brings.  I read somewhere online that 2012 is going to be a fabulous year for Taurus people.
Fingers crossed!

Wishing everyone a ridiculously happy and SAFE New Year's Eve!!  Please do not drink and drive.

Oh, and I'll tell you tomorrow about those crazy resolutions I've got in mind (: 


Letters from Santa!

I hate to admit it, but I got so behind on my normal Christmas activities this year with school and all.  I's a lame excuse, but it's the best excuse I have.
So, immediately after finals, I got busy and did some sewing.  I've done some awesome projects that I'm really proud of and I'll be posting them soon, but my absolute favorite so far is this one:

I figured, since Santa didn't receive the memo to send my kiddos a letter this year, I would just make them one.  And this is, in my opinion, so much better than actually receiving an actual letter because the kids can use this awsome pillow to watch TV or perhaps they can use it on car trips!  They wouldn't be able to do that with a standard-sized envelope...right? (:

If anyone wants the tutorial, I'll be happy to oblige.  It really is simple but since I had no idea how it would turn out, I didn't want to try to make a tutorial...  I'll know better next time an idea pops into my head!

God bless!

Just call me Toucan Rosi (:

Those of you that know me personally would automatically know that I am very sensitive to smells.  And I don't mean a little either.  No siree!  I could probably bet money that you have never dealt with anyone as annoyed pissed off as moi when I get a whiff of some disgusting odor.And I am not talking about smells such as toilets, dog poo, a sick child's vomit or anything yucky like that.  Nope, I'm talking about supposed "good" smells, such as lotions, some cleaning supplies, laundry soaps, etc.  I promise I am telling you the truth when I say that I would never work in the laundry soap aisle of the grocery store.
Not even if they paid me one billion, gajillion, fafillion, shabadubaludshakilamazookdfkdijfidu-illion dollars. (What movie is that from?) HA!
Not kidding.  I dislike can't stand HATE it that much.  The only smell I can tolerate in things such as PineSol is the lemon one.  That is my ONE must have for cleaning the house.  It cleans everything from toilets, sinks, floors, I mean everything.
My kids and I have exzema, so for years, I've used these:

Yep, our laundry soap AND Downey are free of perfumes and dyes.  Our skin has never been happier!  Or my nose!  Another plus to using these laundry necessities has to be that when you do put lotion or perfume on, guess what?! You only smell the perfume! It's awesome.

My intolerance to those smells the other laundry soaps have is so bad that I have actually ran back inside the house (many times!) if say, I go outside and one of our neighbors is doing laundry and that God-awful smell impregnates the air outside!
 I also cannot stand to have to walk by someone at a store who smells like they washed with Suave (like every. single. scent. available!), then put on some clean clothes washed in a combination of all of these:
Then proceeds to apply some Musky scented lotion,  and tops it off with Dollar Store perfume.  And I don't mean, you know, just a little squirt from the perfume bottle, I'm talking about the ones that literally douse themselves with it!  GA!
(I am almost ready to throw up now just thinking about it!)
Ok, I had to say all of that to get to the point of this post.  Recently, the Stryker Institute (where I received my awesome scholarship, in case you've forgotten or did not know) hosted a Christmas party for all of the Stryker ladies. It was almost Standing Room Only! Everyone took spouses and kids and we all had a good time.  There was tons of food,  in fact, we gave Golden Corral a run for their money!
I got to see all of the Stryker ladies and it was a lot of fun.  Oh, and we also had a gift exchange. (:  I know the easy choice for most would be to buy a scented candle.  Well, any candle I would gift would literally have ZERO smell, that wouldn't work, so I decided to DIY for the gift I was taking.  And since I've always loved pillows. Big, small, round, square--I don't care, I love 'em all.  So I didn't struggle with "What to take."  Everyone like pillows, right?!   Especially the ones you DIY because those, in my opinion, are the best!
Well, I was on Pinterest a few weeks back and fell head-over-heels in lOvE with this pillow made by Donna from Funky Junk Interiors:

I found her blog by chance, and let me just tell you that you will need something to catch the drool when you see all the beautiful creations this talented lady has!  She is incredible.

Anyway, I wanted that pillow.  Bad.  So I followed her example and used the hand saw to make the buttons.  I already had the twine and the fabric, so the only thing I had to buy was the stuffing-stuff. (:
I made two pillows and here they are:

What do you think?  I am very happy with the results (; The "envelope" pillow is by far, my favorite.  And they were so fun to make!
And since I gifted them at gift exchange, I must now make another set for myself.  And my mom also wants a set for her home.  She said "Only if you have time."
Well, Wednesday is my last final at school before I have a whole month off, so yes, I will have time. Wow, I'm excited!
Today was my final in French (that most definitely deserves it's own post.  This is the professor that HATES me ever since she fell, remember?)

Technically, I set this time aside to study for tomorrow's final, so I will write more later in the week.

God bless! 

Happy Thanksgiving!

I have so much to be thankful for this year and I want to post it now before I get crazy busy.

First and foremost, I am thankful for the blessings and love God gives me every single day.
I am so thankful for my children who are my greatest love, happiness, pride and joy, my mom, who I love dearly, my brother Danny who is always willing to help me with anything,  the rest of my family, the opportunity to go to school, my family's and my health, and for allowing me to meet and spend time with my sweet cousin Debbie last week.  (I will write more on that soon because it deserves it's own post.)
Something else I am so thankful for? That this semester is almost over.  Thank you God!

Happy Thanksgiving!  And may God bless you today and always. 

Aunt Connie

A week ago today, my mom spoke to my Aunt Connie by telephone and my mom grew very concerned for her because my aunt sounded very ill.  My mom instructed my aunt's granddaughter to get her to the hospital immediately.  My beloved aunt was admitted to the hospital and unfortunately, died the next morning.  Just like that, she was gone.  No one was more shocked than I at the horrible turn of events.
I have so many memories of my sweet aunt and I will sure miss her.  Aunt Connie was my  mom's sister.
Everyone I'm related to that went to Texas for any reason, always stopped by Aunt Connie's.

My mom, my kids and I left Wednesday to attend her funeral and I was flooded with memories of her beautiful smile, her laugh and her hugs.  A slideshow played at her service and literally 95% of the photos of her were taken in her kitchen and she always had a huge smile on her face.  It made sense to see all those pictures of her in her kitchen because everyone that ever came to her door was invited in to eat.  Always.

I saw all of my family except for maybe a handful.  She had so many people that love her so very much.

I ask that if anyone reads this, please pray for my mom and all of her siblings.  Pray that God heal their broken hearts and that they find comfort in the memories they have of their beautiful sister.  Pray for her daughter, Diana, her son Sammy and her 7 beautiful grandchildren.  Pray they always remember the love she had for every single one of them.
And pray for eternal rest for my aunt.

I love you Aunt Connie.  Rest in Peace.



Time Capsule!

This semester has been, somewhat stressful.  Ok, let's be honest.  It's been brutal.
Everything was ok until my French professor fell while I was handing in my homework...yeah.  Complete wipe-out!
Well, she's HATED me ever since.  I think she blames me and I'm not too optimistic about passing the class, unfortunately.
Oh well...
So with less than a month left until this semester is over, (Thank God!) I can't tell you how happy I am.  Although I will surely miss the rest of my classes.  I love the others.
Well, tonight, the hubs and I hung out in his man-cave.....(the garage.)
And we put Pandora on.  And I'm lovin' it!!  I set it to Paul Davis.  And it's nothing short of Wonderawesometastic!  (Yes, that IS a word!..just in case you were wondering.) (:
Here's Paul Davis' classic, Sweet Life:

What a beautiful song.  Thank you Paul for bringing me such sweet memories with your beautiful voice.  Rest In Peace...
We may or may not have spiked my Sonic Strawberry Limeaide.  I'll never tell....cause it's a school night and all...
I seriously feel as though I've been placed, very carefully, mind you, in a time capsule and shot straight back to the late 70s and early 80s.  Ahhhh.
We've listened to this:

Yvonne Elliman.  She's awesome.
Here's Randy VanWarmer's hit:

Just When I Needed You Most.  Classic.
 We also heard this:

Samantha Sang.  I tell ya...there's nothing quite like 80s music.  Nosireeeee. (:
Pandora knows what I lOvE and was so wonderful in placing this in the queue:

We heard some Hall & Oates (of course), The Eagles, Dan Fogelberg, Toto, Billy Joel, Journey, Foreigner, Stephen Bishop,Chicago and of course, REO Speedwagon:

Take It On The Run.  Makes you remember EVERYTHING from your youth...
How about Chicago's Love Me Tomorrow:

Love Me Tomorrow by Chicago.  Wow.
This takes me right back to my early teens.  Best music ever.  I seriously am blessed to have spent my teen years listening to the best music ever made.  Not kidding!

If you were lucky enough to have grown up with such great music, who can forget this classic by Styx?:

Of course, I couldn't post my favorite songs without mentioning this beautiful song by the one and only,Meatloaf:

We also heard The Bee Gees.  I wasn't able to post their videos because for some crazy reason, they are blocked.  Boooo.
Thank you Pandora!  I love you for that trip down memory lane.  Takes me back to that magical era I called middle school, hanging out with my bestest friend Eleanor.

Gotta school tomorrow and it's past my bedtime (:
See?  I told you.

Have a wonderful Tuesday!


Bonafide Addict!!

I've posted a time or two of the fact that I do not watch television.  Never.  Ok, well, the word "never" is maybe a little about 99.99% of the time?  Better?  I think yes.

Well, a couple weeks ago, during our move... (yes, I know I have not posted of that either, but I can explain :()
In another post.

Back to my original story:  for a couple days, my washer & dryer were not connected.  In fact, they were not even in the house.  So what did I do?  I went to do laundry at my moms.
Yes, I was too cheap to go to the laundromat.  And my mom was at work anyway.

Now, I don't remember if I have ever told you, but my mom's TV is on all of the time.  So as I did laundry,  I couldn't help but watch TV.  The TV was set to whatever channel this is on:
 I know it's TLC, but I do not know which channel it is. My mom has that show to record automatically whenever it is on.  (Again, since I watch television maybe 1 hour a month, I don't know the technical word for that, but I know there is one.)   I also can't tell you what channel TLC is to save my life, but I was intrigued.  Very much.   How intrigued?  I actually sat through FIVE episodes!  Yes, 5!  And I was instantly addicted.  So much so, that I got right up, looked for my mom's Sunday newspaper and clipped every single coupon from the inserts.  I did!
I wasn't sure what to do with them to save money, other than saving their face value, but I was on a mission to learn.  I've actually learned some things already, although my knowledge isn't even in the same universe as those expert housewives on the show that end up with a grocery total of $1,300.00 and only pay something crazy like $3.52, but give me time (:

Yes, I admit:  I am now officially a coupon fanatic.

Tita decorated a binder for me: 

She titled it "Honey's Coupon Binder" (:
And because I'm very visual, an accordion file just will not work for me to keep my gazillion coupons, so I went to Office Depot and got some clear card holders for under $5, for a pack of 10 and it works for me. (Each sheet has 4 -3x5 pockets.)
So now, my binder looks like this:

and, this coupon junkie actually invested in this:

Yes, I'm THAT serious!  I am now the proud owner of a paper cutter! Yay!
The binder is for the manufacturer's coupons and the accordian file is for the coupons from Target, Walgreens, Safeway and King Soopers.  Pretty neat, huh?

My hubs, Tita, my mom and my brother and I spent 3 hours yesterday completely gutting 17 newspapers of coupons! We bought 8 newspapers and my mom bought 9.

After all that work, you're probably wondering if we've used the binder already to save lots of money...right?

Uh....yeah!  This is what we did.  And please remember, we were couponing virgins who really didn't have a CLUE what we were doing, but we were willing to give it a shot.  I figured, what do we have to lose?  Absolutely nothing.  We needed those groceries anyway, and we never use coupons, so it didn't make a bit of difference.
Our budget was $200 because with midterms, sick kids, snow days, etc., our cupboards were almost bare!
On the way to the grocery store, I told the hubs that my goal was to save $20.00.  (Big goals, huh!?)  I told him I would be happy if we saved 20 big ones, and he agreed.
So this is what we did.  I know I have TONS to learn still, but again, this was my first attempt:

1.  This last weekend, if you spent $75 at Safeway, they were giving a $10 coupon that you could use on your next purchase.  So I told the hubs that I would go buy groceries, separate it into 2 transactions, so we would get TWO $10 coupons.

2.  About 3 weeks ago, my mom gave me a $10 coupon she received in her mail for Safeway because she never shops there.  I remember I took it, but was sure it would expire before I remembered to use it.

3.  I took my binder full of both manufacturer's AND Safeway coupons.   We got to the store at almost 11 pm because a)  I was frickin' nervous, b) I didn't want to hold up the checkout line with tons of people behind me in line, and c) I would have died of embarrassment if I didn't do it right and had irate people behind me.

Well, it wasn't as hard as I thought.  My total was $ $220.87.  (Gulp!)  Over our budget by $20.87.
I scanned our Safeway card and I felt the rush you feel when you're at a casino and the slot machine stops on the three 7s.
Then, I nervously handed the cashier my coupons and voila!  The same rush!  Instant high.
 Thank God my addiction is to save money, rather than something like gambling!!

It was very exciting to see this:

My total before was      $220.87
My total after coupons: $128.64
Total Savings:               $  92.23
That's right!  I saved 41% of my total by using coupons and my Safeway card! (Ok, this is where the hubs and I did the happy dance!)

Oh, and the register spit out TWO $10 coupons for next time!  All I have to do is 2 transactions (one for $50 and the other requires me to spend anything over $10, so I spend $11 and I pay $1.  How's that for awesome? 

I am very happy with my purchase and in my opinion- successful. (have I mentioned that already?!)
The only thing I did not like? My kitchen counter looked like this:

Not any more though.  I got those babies filed away now!
Oh, and wanna see our new family picture?

I will post once a month to tell you how much dinero we've saved!
Something else I'm excited about is that with some of the money I saved, I bought an old, ugly table and 2 even uglier chairs at Habitat for Humanity and we've already done some work on.  I'll post those this week!

Have a happy Tuesday!!

Déjà vu!

You probably know that Colorado was blasted with another snow storm last night...right?  Well, we were.
And you probably remember my post from last week's snow storm...right?  If not, you can read all about it right here.

Last week it started snowing pretty heavily on Tuesday evening, and continued snowing

A-L-L      N-I-G-H-T         L-O-N-G.

We got so much snow, in fact, that it caused lots of schools (and a few universities!)  to declare a SNOW DAY on Wednesday.....which, of course, resulted in lots of kids, and some (cough, cough) adults (cough) pure happiness because we had the luxury of sleeping in (:

Well, here we are one week later, and the snow started up again last night.  Which was Tuesday!  So the kids' school closed again today!  The kids' school closed because of a power outage, and they figured the kids probably wouldn't learn the dark.  And with no heat.
So even though school is out today because of the power outage, technically today is STILL a snow day because we have tons of snow outside again (which caused the outage) and the kids are home yet again. And it's Wednesday...  Hence, the blog title.

Oh, and the university didn't declare today a snow day; however, they announced to stay home if you "feared your safety"....Uh....HECK YEAH!!!

It was a bummer that even with all of the snow, the hubs still had to work today....boooo.

Oh, well.  I have some homework to do before Monday that I could work on right now.  Naaaaaaaah!.........................I think I'll pop some popcorn and climb back into bed with the kiddos and have a "Back To The Future" marathon! HA!

Have a great day!!


Halloween 2011

Today is a) the last day of the month, so that means that it is also b) Halloween.  But more importantly, Laura is tWeNtY-oNe today!!  I wrote her a birthday letter earlier today...remember? (:
Well, those of you that read this blog (thank you) know that Laura's birthday also marks the final event in our family's very eventful Octobers.  So eventful, in fact, we have renamed the month.  It's officially called Broketober in our household (: 

A recap of our "normal" Octobers:
Oct. 1: The hubs' and my anniversary;
Oct. 2: Ivan's birthday
Oct. 27: Marko's birthday
Oct. 31: Laura's birthday AND Halloween.  This, of course, means I have to make the kids' costumes....Yeah.  I'm one of THOSE moms (:

I haven't written of the fact that we just moved.  We did.  (And that will certainly have a post soon.)  And let me tell you what a HUGE job that was.  Wow.
And since our life is crazy, (Have I told you how it was very easy to come up with the blog name?).... not only did we move, but.....Can you guess which month we chose to move??  Can you?
Yep....Of course, only we would choose to uproot our family In OCTOBER!  That's Life Silva style...I'm tellin' ya! 

Well, this year's October was somewhat easier, as in less sTrEsSfUlL.  And that would be because now that Marko and Tita are both in middle school, this is the first year in many, many years that I didn't have 2 Halloween parties to buy or bake for and attend and make costumes for(!)  I remember spending the first half of the school party in one classroom with about 40 sugar-induced kids (!) (I'm counting the classroom + smaller siblings of said classroom!) and then immediately going down the hall to my other child's classroom party for the second half and do it all over again.  I used to leave so frazzled.  I wonder why....
(With the kids growing up, can I admit that I actually miss those days?? ) (sigh..)

As I mentioned above, today is Laura's in, she's all grown up now.  But that's not all:
I was excited that the hubs was getting out of work early today so he could join the kids and I in trick-or-treating.  But sadly, Marko and Tita are also growing up.  Marko refused to wear a costume this year and we gave him permission to go with a couple friends here:

Yep, a corn maze.  I just talked to him on the phone and he said he had a BLAST!

Tita also was not home tonight.  She left right after school with her BFF Claire to trick-or-treat.

 So that left us old people at home with John Wayne, aka Peditos:

It makes me sad that Marko decided that since he's 13 now, he was not going to wear a costume.  Since I make the kids their costumes each year, it means a lot to me.  These are just a few of the costumes I've made the kids:
(There are more, but after the month we've had, I'm just too tired to search my computer for them.)

Tita as Dorothy (3rd grade):
 Marko as Indiana Jones (4th grade):
 Tita as Cleopatra (5th grade):
Tita as the flapper girl from the 20s (this year):
I love making their costumes.  I'm cheap when it comes to spending on stuff like costumes, so I never spend more than $10 on fabric or some cheap accessory.  I'm too cheap to even spend on the pattern, so these were made completely pattern-free. (:  And the kids always love the results.

 I remember some years back, it was the day before Halloween and Marko had just turned 4.  He was sitting in his car seat in the backseat.  He was telling someone I was giving a ride to how excited he was to go trick-or-treating the next day.  She asked him what his costume was-- and he told her she had to guess.  He told her he would give her one clue: the first letter of what his costume was, but she had to figure it out.  So the guessing game began and it went something like this:

Marko: "My costume starts with a B."
Woman: "Are you going to be Batman?
Marko: "No." (and he giggles so sweetly..)

Woman: "Are you going to be a Bronco football player?"
Marko: "No." (more giggles.)

Woman: "Are you going to be a Bumblebee?"
Marko: "No."  (He couldn't contain his laughter by now.)

Woman: "Are you going to be a Buffalo?"
Marko: "No." (giggle some more.)

Woman: "I give up, Marko!...I can't figure it out!  I've guessed all the B words I can think of!"
Marko: "Ok, ok.....I'll tell you now.....
I'm going to be a BAMPIRE!" (vampire!)

I laughed so hard!!  That was the cutest thing in the whole world!  I love my boy (:

So there you have my recap of our whirlwind of a month.'s enough to make your head spin, right?!

Guess what??!! I just realized that when I wake up tomorrow morning, it'll be NOVEMBER!!!! That means the hubs and I can take a breather before we do it all again for Christmas! (:

So, are you cheap like me and do you make your costumes?  If so, what costumes did you make?  Oh, and do you have an absolutely crazy month like we do? Or is that just life, Silva style?

Happy Halloween!!

Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy birthday Deeear Lauraaaa..

Disclaimer:  I need it known that I am NOT some craZy lady that sits at her computer every day writing birthday letters!! HA!

October 31, 2011

Dear Laura,

Today is a HUGE day for you!  Yes, it is your birthday, but not just any ‘ol birthday…it is your 21st
Yesterday was your final day as a teenager.  And you made me realize last night that now with this birthday, your driver’s license will forever be horizontal and not the minor version where it's vertical!
That is c-r-a-z-y to me!
 It boggles my mind to think of you as a 21-year-old.  I’m sorry, but I remember clearly when I met you and you looked like this:

 And I will probably always see you as a little girl, rather than a grown woman.  Whoa...that is weird writing woman while writing about you.  You were supposed to stay little! 

Let’s take a little trip down memory lane, shall we ?
You are such an awesome sister..

Sorry about letting everyone on the world-wide web know that yes, at one time, you actually asked for a Britney Spears CD for Christmas....and I have proof! HA!

Love this pic!

And this one..

This one too!

I have had the privilege of watching you become a mama..

And a great one, at that!

Ok, you may have noticed that these pics are in no particular order...

I want to wish you a very, very happy birthday.  May God bless you today and always...
I am very proud of you.  I need you to know that and also that you are an awesome daughter, step-daughter, friend, sister and mommy and I really can’t think of anyone else so deserving of a great day today.
Love ya!

Oh, and As you know, you are now able to do lots of things if you so choose
….and I trust you will make your decisions wisely. (:
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