Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Day

Christmas Day dawned bright and crisp. The sun actually shone! We had no snow on the ground so travel was easy. Unfortunately I felt horrible when I woke up. I went home sick from work yesterday and felt even worse today. I almost cancelled the family get together, not wishing to make anyone sick. But as the morning went on I felt better and promised not to hold any babies,very hard to do, or hug or kiss anyone. We had a nice dinner and then opened gifts. The kids were really good even tho they were a bit tired from all the excitement. Everyone liked their gifts and I only have 2 to return. Thanks for all the wonderful gifts. It was nice to talk to my Mom and Midge and learn that Midge's daughter Katie is expecting a baby in August. Congrats to all there. Craig and Amy are having a nice time with their new little one and it's so nice that Amy's parents came all the way from Spokane, Wash. to spend the holidays with them and help out. Here's a little Christmas angel: Addy's first Christmas and she handled it very well! Cameron seemed to enjoy this box better than the gifts! I'll title this one :I've been framed!
Anthony is haming it up for YaYa with this pose with his Dad.

Now here is a little Princess for sure! Looking good Alexis...

Driana was very excited to receive a new guitar. It's one that Phil bought long ago and he had it refurbished for her. It turned out really nice. It's a great guitar.

Here's Addy and Daddy just chillin' out...

Phil showed Driana that the guitar really can sound nice and demonstrated a few cords for her. He hasn't lost his touch with music and I think he's very talented. He promised to give her lessons. She can sing, so maybe a girl band is in the future! Merry Christmas to all and now it's time to turn in...

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Man we're a loud group!

Here are two videos from Sat. at Greg's. One is of Mom opening her white elephant gift...a lovely gargoyle, something everyone wishes they would receive! The other is good 'ol St. Nick making his annual appearance...George did a good job and we always have a laugh at his antics! The kiddos loved him tho! I just had to marvel at our!

Monday, December 22, 2008

An Arends kind of Christmas!

When the decree to assemble for the annual Arends Christmas party comes, the members gather from all corners of the midwest to attend. The rules are simple: eat, drink, eat, be very loud, eat, bring a white elephant gift, eat, smile for the camera, eat, watch out for scary Santa ( he was actually sober this year!), eat, play the fun games Amy makes up, eat, laugh, hug, kiss, and always be soooooo thankful for what a blessing it is that we have this awesome family. Thanks to our host and hostess Greg and Deidra and following are a cast of characters: Here is Katie modeling her white elephant gift: you never know what lies beneath those pretty wrappings!
I not only recieved one, but two of these! I almost peed my pants I was so happy...Don't worry, they will reappear next year, just as they did this year.

We had many more little girls this year anxiously awaiting scary Santa...(George did a great job this year as Santa...Thanks!)

The only boy cousin this year was Andrew, Bill and Laura's new addition. He's a cutie!

Here's Mom with Vicky and George (not the Santa George) and Megan

Amy and Eric the little love birds...could Santa be bringing a ring this year? Just a suggestion Eric!

My baby brother Rick and his lovely wife Jan who traversed the snow all the way from the northern reaches of Wisconsin, then drove home Sunday in a blizzard! Thankfully all arrived safely.

My big brother Phil with little Mommo. She's looking stylin' as always!

I do have some video that will show the loud part of the rules but I'll post that tomorrow. Don't want too much of a good thing. After watching them I can't believe we really heard anything anyone said to us. No wonder we all kept smiling all night. Oh, did I mention the word eat? Starting Jan. 1st we're having something called "the Arends biggest loser" contest. It will be a seperate blog with instructions, rules, (of course) and best of all pics as we all get healthy for 2009!

Sunday, December 21, 2008


Ok, another blog with no pics...for those go to Craig and Amy's blog. They had their beautiful baby girl on Thurs. Dec 18th...her name is Sophia May. They decided after looking at her that she looked more like a Sophia than a Jillian, and I have to agree! Ames got her wish of a baby with tons of dark hair!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas shopping adventure

I think this is the first blog without pics. I went Christmas shopping tonight, and I could have taken the camera, but I think people would look at me funny if I stood around pointing and shooting with my pointing and shooting camera don't you think? I wasn't really worried that my shopping wasn't even hardly started (I did have Craig and Amy done after all). That is until everyone at work looked so darn shocked when I mentioned I really should start sometime...and then I realized next week is the big day...and I realized we're leaving for Chicago on Friday...and I realized I'm working all day Thursday...and I realized that's tomorrow...and I need to pack, clean house, make some more candy...oh never mind. Anyhow, I headed out around 5pm and power shopped until 11pm. Whew! I really hate shopping for people unless I have a nice list to follow. Summer and Anthony were the only ones to give me some ideas so everyone else will get the YaYa surprise. Usually Jack will come along and help me out. He's really good at remembering little things that people want, or the kids would like, or what he would like if he were a kid. But he's sick with what we in surgery lovingly call "monkey pocks". (a bad cold to all of you) So I was on my own. I guess what I'm getting at is I will apologize tonight for any weird stuff you might get. I'm still not done but I can shop in Chi-town. From what I remember they have a few good stores. Hey, my Mommo lives right across the 6lane highway from the most awesome outdoor shopping mall, mega extravaganza ever!!!!OakBrook Shopping Center. It's calling my name. So is Giorodono much yelling!! But I year I'm seriously thinking of having a gift card Christmas. Then all of you can power shop the day after Christmas while I sleep in! Hmmm....thanks for listening! P.S. Tomorrow is the big day for Craig and Amy and little Sophia to make her arrival! Here's my wish for a healthy, happy, sweet, sleep thru the night baby. This will be the best Christmas present ever.

Silly Dog Tricks

Eddy is now 5mo. old and Jord has done a pretty good job of training him. He's housebroke and hasn't had an accident in a long time. He can be trusted to sleep out of his kennel at night. He still chases poor squeak however and hopefully that will improve with time. (she's not exactly the friendliest cat around tho) Because my life is so boring and I don't have any cute little kiddos at my disposal, I've turned to Eddy for some are some tricks he learned...that dog will do anything for a scooby snack!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

We're getting there

Everywhere you go people are always asking, "are you ready for Christmas?" My answer has been "we're getting there". No, the shopping's not done, the cards aren't done, the outside lights didn't get put up (Jack did put up the outside swags on the windows! My hero!). We did have the Church social last night but the tree still wasn't up. We were undecided about doing a real one or fake...fake won. Nobody was really interested in watering so I finally dug out the fake one I don't care for... but I think it turned out pretty good. Sort of like Charlie Brown, once the lights and decorations are all on, it looks like a nice tree! I'm not putting any presents under it (since I don't have many of them bought anyhow)because something tells me Eddy the fun loving boxer would just love to investigate to see what's inside...and eat it. I just hope he doesn't decide to chase Squeak around the tree and have a Craig and Amy moment! So my question for all of you is "Are you ready yet?" Please don't ask me....

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Santa Claus and Whiney dog

While decorating for Christmas, I thought I would put out these special little Mrs and Mr Claus. I haven't unpacked them in over 10yrs...Midge made them for Jack and I when we were first married and I really love them. I was worried they wouldn't hold up so I packed them away to help keep them nice. Now that is really silly. How can you enjoy something if it's packed away?..even if it would last until eternity it isn't worth much if no one sees it. Well, anywho, I think they are dang stinkin' cute! What's really sad is Jack and I were in our 20's when Midge gave them to us and now we are looking very much like them...(I'm so glad God invented Miss Clairol or else I really would look like this Mrs. Claus!) I think this Santa has such a real looking face. I got him last year and he's pretty cool...I promise I won't show all my Santas like I did my witches! Not nearly enough room in any blog for all that!

Now if you have a very soft spot for pathetic animals, don't watch this next's just tooooo saaaaadddd...whine...whine...whine. Sorry Eddy, no chocolate for you...I shouldn't have any either, but don't tell him!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Over already?

Well, the table was all set with my Grandma's dishes,
The star of the day is always the turkey...or in our case, two Jack isn't the second turkey, stop it all of you....he loves smoked turkey (Mormon turkeys are permitted to smoke) so we always do two and here's my sweetie doing the honors of carving said "smoked turkey"

What follows next are some of the cast of characters that helped make this day special and they are always what I'm truly grateful for all We missed all those who couldn't come out this year and hope they all had a great day! Here's our Anthony with his plate full...

Cameron looks like he's enjoying his food...I got that 3 compartment dish when I had his Dad 33yrs ago! It's held up well...

What can I say about Jord? I made his green bean casserole that is always his request, so he had no complaints!

This is the first year we had the meal buffet style...if we had to lift all those dishes full of food, our arms would have fallen off and I would be stuck with tons of left overs!!!!

Add Video

Prayers said, thanks given, plates loaded up...Yummo!

Addy didn't have any turkey, dressing, sweet potato casserole, or pumpkin chiffon pie, but we still got a smile out of her...she'll be 2 months old on Monday...what a cutie. Happy Thanksgiving everyone...

Turkey day pumpkin shoot

Turkey day pumpkin shoot wasn't as good as usual. I did hit one dead center, but of course it wasn't on'll just have to take my word for it! But here is me, Summer, and Jack. He actually hit one dead center and it was caught on film...Good one Jackie!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Happy Birthday Jackie!!

33yrs ago today my first born came into the world 8wks early. Only weighing in at 2#10oz, he was a peanut but a fighter. To survive as a preemie that long ago without any problems is a miracle. I thought he was the cutest thing in the world, while everyone else just looked at him and thought he was too little to make it. But make it he did. He was a wonderful baby and a very sweet and quiet little boy. He was our first so he had to be the experiment and put up with us as new parents. Happy birthday Jack (I'm the ony one who still calls him Jackie)...Hope your day is great and thanks for being such a good son! Follows are some early pics to embarrass him! Here's his very first one. Looks sorta like a little bird!
He was a cute 2yr old in his sailor suit! We call this pic: "Jack with the goobie eyes" ...can you guess why?

Awww...his first glasses...he hated them and lost them at every opportunity

His birthday is always during Thanksgiving week and sometimes it falls on Thanksgiving day, as this birthday cake suggests...He was actually born on the Tuesday of Thanksgiving week, so today is a "real" birthday!

Love ya kiddo! Hard to believe you have 4 kiddos of your own!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Dad, this is for you

On November 18th, 1976 my Dad passed away. Not a day goes by that I don't think of him. It's hard to believe so much time has passed and he's missed so many great things. I have the hope however that he actually has been able to see our families and smile down on us and maybe even say a prayer or two for us! What I loved about Dad: His optimism, his great smile! How he could fix anything, his poems, his wonderful sense of humor, his love for his kids and his belief that we could acomplish anything in this world...He loved poetry, his guitar, singing, Christmas,fishing,photography,any new technology, hunting,books,his kids and I think most of all: My Mom...
Love ya Dad and miss you always...

I'm dreaming of a white november

Can't you almost feel the flakes? Don't you almost (if you're living somewhere warm) wish you were here? Ok, so maybe I'm pushing it a bit...

After the snowfall:

Yes, this is why it's called Whispering Pines...can't you hear them? They're saying " I'm freezing my needles off!"

So it's indoors for a cozy fire in the kitchen hearth followed by:

Yummy homemade veggie soup and a new Christmas magazine that just arrived today in the mail! (I'm addicted to mags, Hi I'm Kathy, I'm a magaholic)

Well, this night just begs for a roasted (ie burned, the best way to eat them) sinful...

So good nite all as the sun sets on the Pines...hope your first snowfall is as wonderful

Sunday, November 16, 2008


Hmmmm....I think winter has arrived!

Sunday snow

There was more than frost on the pumpkins today...We had some snow a few weeks ago but I was working when it fell and it had melted by the time I left work. I enjoy the snowy scene this morning as I drove to my Stake assignment. I popped in a Christmas CD and enjoyed the ride. The Missionaries came for lunch and after they left I decided Eddy would enjoy a quick jaunt to the Creepy Woods. It was very chilly and the house felt nice and warm when we returned. Nice relaxing Sunday!

Monday, November 10, 2008

I was trying to think of something to blog about because I was tired of seeing the creepy halloween clown on this site! So thankfully, I chose to think of all the things I'm thankful for: Family, church, friends, work, play, books, music, nature and the change of seasons...But I needed some pics, so after ol' Tom the Turkey here, all I had available is Eddy the Boxer. He's doing very well with getting house broke and he's getting bigger everyday. He likes Jack because he sneaks him snacks..Squeak still hates him. He sleeps in her bed sometimes and she drinks out of his water bowl. He wants to play, she wants to scratch him. He's learned to give her some space!
Here's Eddy with his friend and snack sneaker!

Ok, I have to admit, he is sort of cute!

You know how they say dogs and their owners resemble each other? Hmmm....He likes to stretch out in front of the TV with Gord and I swear they do look alot alike!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Ok, this is my last, I promise, Halloween blog for this year...Driana, her friend Danielle, and I went to the Fireman's haunted woods tonite...Too fun for words,so we just screamed our way through! I wanted to get more pics but it was too dark. These were the only ones I got and I think they tell it all...It was held at the fireman's cabin...Craig, you know the place where the boyscouts always have their Feb. camp in. It was done up great and the proceeds will go to our hospital's relay for life team. Afterwards we headed back to the Pines for some hotdogs over an open campfire, some star gazing because the sky was crystal clear, some scary moments looking at the creepy woods thinking this clown was on his way down to get us! So now it's time to watch Ghost Hunter's Live Halloween show until 2am...then on to bed because tomorrow is the Kiwanis pancake breakfast! Great way to start November...Happy Halloween everyone!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Trick or Treat!

Ok, I couldn't stand leaving any witch out! Here's the one that sits so nicely on the kitchen fireplace mantel...a great lead into Ashland's trick or treat nite. Don't ask me why, but it's never held on Halloween, it's always the Thursday here's a little sneak peak into the fun. First we went to Jack and Steph's in good 'ol Polk....everyone gets into the act! But first Steph put out a Halloween feast that was very yummy! Thanks Steph!
I had to include my favorite "witches fingers" of course...Took alot of witches to get that many fingers I'll tell 'ya.

Then I had to throw in my awesomely good bat icecream sandwiches...easy to make and fun to eat!

Then it was off to get some candy, candy, candy. Anthony was all ready with his fireman's outfit and a bag for the loot.

Summer and some of her friends were decked out in some pretty (not sure what she was) costumes and they had a riot running around Polk gathering the goodies.

Hmmm, this guy looks like he had one too many...yucky!!

I decided to follow along with the kids to capture some really scary people. Here's the first one I came upon...oops, sorry Jack! He was the official candy hander-outer..

Now this guy was a scary fellow! He had a partner in crime with him. They gathered quite the crowd but he did make a few kiddos step back and refuse his candy...good idea

Here's his buddy...what a scream.

Unfortunately, Cameron wasn't very impressed with all the nights activities, but he did like the cheetoos the fire department handed out! We walked up and down his road then headed for the warmth of his house. It was a bit chilly out! But the night was clear and everyone had fun. The kids came back with bags full of candy and fun tales of another Halloween! Boooooo!!!!!!