Friday, November 27, 2009


Making popcorn. Yummy!

Ben won first place in the Thanksgiving coloring contest at school.

Having fun playing Barbies with Grandpa.

Ben and Grandma working on Thanksgiving puzzles.

Ray chillin' after cooking all day.
Ali showing off the table decorations she made.

Tired but happy at the end of a wonderful day spent with my family.

Sew What

I have been visiting a lot of great blogs lately of women who are incredibly talented. I love to see all of the awesome things they create! I have been interested for some time now in learning to sew and these ladies really inspire me!

My Mom is a great sew-er. When I was little, she made all of mine and my sisters' clothes. There is one particular ensemble I like to call "Pirate Paradise," that will forever go down in my childhood fashionista history. Let's just say it included a striped shawl, skirt and matching bandanna pirate thingy.

At 8 years old, I was totally fashion forward.

Sew on Thanksgiving (get it?), my Mom brought over her trusty Montgomery Ward's sewing machine and attempted to give me my first lesson. It's been a few years since my Mom has dusted off her sewing machine but I figure it's like riding a bike.

Not so much.

It took us an hour to figure out how to thread the machine.

After we stopped laughing, we got down to the business of doing us some sewing.

Now I'm not saying my Mom is a strict teacher but at one point in the lesson she said, "If you break the needle, you're outta luck!"

Thanks for the vote of confidence, Mom.

I did manage to sew together two old wash clothes and was pretty proud of my first walk on the wild side of sewing.

With my first lesson under my belt and feeling pretty confident at all things sew-able, I decided to actually make something recognizable.

Sort of.

I found this great blog called Make It and Love It. Ashley, the owner, is really creative and talented. She does a lot of "re-purpose projects," making new things using material from old things. She made an adorable owl from a scarf. If you are interested, you can see her tutorial on how to make it here.

I attempted to make my version of her owl and this is what I ended up with:

When I showed Ray, he thought it was a cat.

Ben thought it was an alien.

Ali knew it was an owl.

That's my girl!

Thanks, Mom, for helping me get started with my new hobby! I can't wait for my next lesson.

Can you say obsessed?

What? Like that's a bad thing?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Things That Are Good

......a family vacation to the Blue Ridge Mountains in Georgia.
......a husband who provides. ......a daughter who loves to clean.......a car to drive my son to his first day of 2nd grade. .....a Dad who is always there for me.
......a beautiful Mom and sister to share flowers with on Mother's Day.
......a magic show put on by the cutest magician and his adorable assistant. ......a home for shelter.
What is good in your life?

Monday, November 23, 2009

I Am A Great Aunt (Again)

My niece Shannon gave birth to her second baby on Saturday. Charles Lucas weighed 9 lbs. 4 oz.! WHOA BABY!! He is adorable and we can't wait to meet him. Congratulations Mommy Shannon, Daddy Charlie and Big Sister MacKenzie on the newest addition to your family.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Top Secret Give-A-Way

Erica at Scottsville and her friends at Five Moms & A Blog are having a give-a-way!! They aren't revealing what they are actually giving away but I bet it's something awesome! For a chance to win this top secret gift, click on the present below!

Good luck!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

Our very own lion king.
This is our sweet little Sherman 17 years ago. He has followed me around as my little shadow from the first day we brought him home.
This was taken almost 8 years ago, right before Ben was born. I was totally rocking the Tweety Bird maternity shorty-short nightgown, don't ya think? The black ankle socks really topped off this stylish ensemble.
And here's our Kick-A-Poo now. At age 17, he can sleep whenever and where ever he wants......even if it's right under the kitchen table.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Bring It, Mr. Owl

Remember the Tootsie Roll Pop commercial from the 70's and 80's that is now making a comeback? You know, the one with the wise old owl......
Boy: "Mr. Owl, how many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll Pop?"
Mr. Owl: "Let's find out." (Mr. Owl proceeds to lick boy's Tootsie Roll Pop)
Mr. Owl: "A one, a two, a three....." (Mr. Owl bites into boy's Tootsie Roll Pop)
Announcer: "The world may never know."
Mainly because it takes me back to my childhood.
But also because Mr. Owl rocks.
But I digress.
Over the weekend, we took on the mission of discovering just how many licks it does take to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll Pop. And with Halloween candy still miraculously laying around, we we're ready to get this show on the road.
Because we are all kinds of wild and crazy.
Ben was the official licker. I was the official counter and picture taker. Ray and Ali we're the cheerleaders. And by cheerleaders, I mean Ray watched tv and Ali played with her Barbies pretty much oblivious to what we were doing.
Here is the play by play:

This is towards the beginning of the challenge, at approximately 200 licks. I think Ben is feeling pretty confident.

Pacing himself.

The pressure seems to be setting in at this point......come on, Ben, you can do this!

The finish line is within sight......

1,517 licks later, Ben finally got to the center of his Tootsie Roll Pop.

Challenged completed but looped up on sugar......sweet victory!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

And So It Begins......

Somebody lost her first tooth yesterday morning.

Baggie containing the tooth, which she carried around all day.
She couldn't wait to show Daddy and Ben!

And yes, the Tooth Fairy visited Ali last night and left her $3 (but only after going to bed first and then suddenly remembering that she was on duty.)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Future American Idol......

Ali is working on the letter "F" this week. Today we learned a song about fishies and frogs and she loves it! She keeps singing it.


And over.

And over.

I'm already prepared to have a hard time falling asleep tonight because of this catchy little tune spinning around in my head.


And over.

And over.

So, without any further ado, I give you your next......AAAAMERICAN IDOLLLL!

I heart saying "ado." Even though I'm not really sure what it means.

(Oh, and I tried to make "American" sound all exciting and dramatic like when Ryan Seacreast says it because that's how I roll.)

I heart this girl......

Wordless Wednesday

Counting my, two, three.

Monday, November 9, 2009

For Noah

On Saturday, Ben and Ali made cards for 5 year old Noah Biorkman. As I mentioned in a recent post, Noah has been battling cancer for a couple years but doctors are now saying that this little guy may only live two more weeks. Noah's wish was to celebrate Christmas with his family this past weekend (November 6-8) and to receive lots of Christmas cards.

If you or your children wish to send a Christmas card to Noah, you can mail it to:

Noah Biorkman
1141 Fountain View Circle
South Lyon, Michigan 48178

Be sure to pray for Noah and his parents and family, who I'm sure are praying for a miracle. Click here to read a little bit more about this brave little boy and to view a short video of Noah.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

It's Official......Teenagers Are From Another Planet

Apparently, this teenager's mother (God bless her) cancelled his "World of Warcraft" video game account.....whatever that is.

The following madness ensued:

Really? Seriously? This is what is awaiting me in 7-10 years??

And just for the record, would someone please inform me as to what is going on at 1 minute and 11 seconds of his tantrum?

That dude is jank.

Yeah, I know words......I learned "jank" from a very memorable episode of iCarly, in which Carly's teacher is mad at the world because her boyfriend broke up with her and angrily tells her students that "life is jank!" Then proceeds to stalk Carly's older but much less mature brother Spencer......

Did I just do a synopsis of a Nickelodeon show? I probably shouldn't know an episode of a children's show so thoroughly, should I?

Sorry, my bad.

BTW, I learned "my bad" from That's So Raven on the Disney channel.

I should probably stop typing now......

Peace out.

(I don't know where I learned "peace out" but I'm 99.9% positive it was NOT from a children's show. However, I do believe the phrase "I know words" comes from Nickelodeon's Drake and Josh.)

I am Val. I need to grow up.


(Yes, that's from an episode of Hannah Montana.)

Help me.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Christmas For Noah

This breaks my heart, I don't even know what to say. Noah Biorkman is an adorable 5 year old little boy who lives in Michigan. He has been battling cancer for a couple of years and his doctors now say he may only have a couple weeks to live. His family has asked him what he would like to do this weekend (November 6th-8th) and Noah said he wants to celebrate Christmas.

And the thing Noah wants more than anything in the world is to get lots of Christmas cards. Such a small thing that would mean the world to this brave little guy. And I'm sure to his parents and family, too.

Tomorrow, the kids and I are going to send cards. I think I might ask the kids if they would like to make cards for little Noah.

If you feel led and want to help make a beautiful child's dream come true, will you please send Noah a Christmas card? All it will cost is the price of a card (unless you make one) and a stamp.

Please go here if you would like to read a little more about Noah.

If you wish to send a card, Noah's address is:

Noah Biorkman - 1141 Fountain View Circle, South Lyon, Michigan, 48178

Please keep Noah and his family in your thoughts and prayers this weekend and over the next few weeks. What a heart-wrenching time this must be for this family. Wishing you a very Merry Christmas, Noah!

It's Fun Being Sick

For the past two weeks, like so many other families, we have been sick. Currently, I'm the one who is down for the count. Besides driving Ben to and from school, I've mostly been home doing mostly nothing. I think I'm coming down with cabin fever, along with this hacking cough and chest congestion. Yes, I definitely have cabin fever.

Or the plague.

Anyway, since I haven't been out of the house much and haven't felt like doing much, my 29 Day Giving Challenge has taken a backseat to all the fun we're having being sick. That's right, fun. Yes, being sick can be fun with the right attitude.

The sick-fun possibilities are endless!

Here are just a few of the perks that await you: you get to stay in your pajamas ALL day (and not just until 3:00 pm like on healthy days); you get to eat whatever you have a taste for, which may or may not include large quantities of Halloween candy and caramel apples; you get to watch the Real Housewives of Atlanta marathon in anticipation of the season premiere of the Real Housewives of Orange County, which everyone knows is by far the superior of the Housewives series; you get to take a hot bath AS MANY TIMES AS YOU WANT because it eases your aches and pains AND you can stay in the tub in the bathroom with the door locked for AS LONG AS YOU WANT and nobody can complain because, after all, you are sick; you get to put your domestic responsibilities temporarily on hold because when you have the plague, a messy house and dirty dishes are the least of your worries; you get to nap, nap, nap your day away; and finally, when you're sick, you get to do......nothing!

I know, I know. As Moms, we don't ever really get to do "nothing." But when we're sick, it's as close to "doing nothing" as motherhood will allow.

Don't get me wrong, I don't prefer being sick. But it's pretty much inevitable, so I like to approach my unhealthyness (it could be a word) with a positive attitude and as much gratitude as my immune system will allow.

I'm a "the glass in half full" kind of girl. I'm upbeat like that. But you already knew that about me right?

Back to my giving challenge. I'm continuing to walk that road but in the comfort of my home wearing my pj's and with a big bowl of Kit Kats in front of me. Sitting on the couch playing Barbies with Ali and reading a book to Ben counts as giving, right?

This is obviously not me reading to Ben but it is Ben reading. Doesn't he look all serious in his 3-D reading glasses?

And now, back to my sick-fun!

I think I'll take a nap......or a bath......or both.