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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Letters to Santa

The picture above is the letter I wrote to Santa when I was 5*. I think I got out a toy catalog and just copied down every toy that looked good to me. I'm thankful that my kids made their lists a little less complicated.

Eva asked for the Toy Story 3 toys. She's been a very good girl and her dad was very brave this year on Black Friday. I think her Christmas wish will come true.

Caleb asked for Mario Kart. Santa has known about this wish for a while so when I bought the Wii (on Craigslist) earlier this year, I found one that came with that game and set it aside for Santa to use this year. He's very grateful and promised me that I'd get exactly what I want this year.

That's a Snoopy Sno-Cone Machine. I don't know if I got this the year that I wrote that letter to Santa, but it was one of my favorite toys when I was little and I know that it's going to be under the tree for me this year! Thanks, Santa!

*In case you thought I misspelled my name. I didn't legally add the 'h' until I was 10 years old.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The One Where I'm "Cool" and a "Genius"

I've been blogging for six years now. Wow. You know one reason why I started? Melessa. She was doing it. So, I thought I'd join in.

Melessa has a great talent for reminiscing and writing about it in a way that is interesting and entertaining*--whether you were there or not. I love reading about her high school adventures, her Rainbow girl antics, and college days. This week she's remembering...ME! If you care to read about some of my good old days, hop on over to her blog.

*Melessa-I hope your screenplay takes advantage of this special talent...because you really are good at it!

Monday, October 04, 2010

School Daze

Sure, it's October. The kids have been in school for several weeks now.'s been a resounding success!

Caleb is in 2nd grade. He loves his teachers and his classmates. This year was his best transition yet from summer to school. I think it may have a little to do with Academy of Rock and the consistency and daily routine that came along with that. We didn't get to do as many fun family outings (no Oklahoma trip--but we're going during fall break) but I think it was worth it for all of us. In fact, most of our family came to visit us! That was a nice treat.

Eva is in Kindergarten and comes home every day with a new adventure to share. She is learning so much. She can write her full name and the names of all of our family members. Just last night she gave us all individualized popsicle sticks when she caught us being good. I'm glad I was well behaved! We just had parent teacher conferences and her teacher told me she is well-liked and friendly. Eva is also improving her letter and number recognition. She loves books and is excited to be learning her letters and how to read.

Now that the kids are in school all day, I have time to get more done around the house. Surprisingly, I am still a master at avoiding housework. The good news: the kids are better at picking up their own messes now (thanks, Wii). The bad news: my messes are getting bigger because I'm at home all day by myself crafting and computing. My social life is improving, though! I go on "outings" at least 3 days a week. Tuesdays are for friends, Wednesdays are for Toolulu, and Thursdays are for Carl.

Speaking of Carl, he's the 2nd Counselor in the Bishopric now. Basically, that means he's really busy at church. It's not much different than when he was Scoutmaster. That was a big time commitment, as well. It's just we don't get to sit by each other at church anymore. People have been coming out of the woodwork asking to help me with my kids during the service. *yes, they are sometimes that bad.

There you have it. You've been updated.

Want more? I update more regularly at the following places:

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Kindergarten Kamp

Eva is starting school this year and for a week in the summer, they have Kindergarten Kamp. She got to spend a few hours a day learning the ropes. Good thing she's getting her counting down...

Well, we're working on it.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

This Little Gem

I'm coming out of retirement to post this sweet little gem from Eva.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Guilt Ridden

I can't keep up with this blog anymore. It pains me to say it...especially because I blog for a living. But, because of that I need to let go of this one. I will still keep it published. I will probably still post from time to time. I just need to give myself permission to let it go.

Permission granted.

I'm certainly not falling off the face of the Internet.

My personal pictures and day to day goings on can be found on Facebook.
You can find me on Twitter, too.
I will always be posting on Here is the Facebook Fan Page.
My business website is Toolulu.

I hope you'll follow me over to one of the other sites.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Turning 5

Eva's 5 now so I thought I'd share a few things about my favorite girl.

1. She lost her first tooth just days before her 5th birthday.

2. She gets in trouble at school sometimes because she's very protective of her "boyfriend". She told me today that it makes her so sad that other people like him because she liked him first! Is this starting already?

3. Her favorite TV show is The Super Hero Squad Show and she likes Hulk and Iron Man the best.

4. She is very sweet and cuddly. She often just wants to sit in my lap and tell me how much she loves me.

5. Eva is finally getting better about letting me fix her hair and she's starting to take more of an interest in wearing clothes that match and are clean.

6. Her favorite movie right now is This Is It. She asks to watch it daily and her favorites are the monsters (Thriller), Beat It, and are you walking (Smooth Criminal).

7. Eva's favorite color is pink.

8. Eva doesn't like cake or cookies. She blew out her candle in ice cream.

9. She has no fear. This girl is our little daredevil. She also likes to hike and camp--which makes her dad very, very happy.

10. She has some imaginary friends. They all have weird, made up names like Sheemy, and Keyloo. She likes to dress them up, too. Sometimes they are guitars. Sometimes they are the rail posts on the stairway.

Our little Eva is so wonderful and we are truly blessed to have her as a part of our family!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Mini Me

It's possible that my daughter has seen me on more than a fair share of Skype calls lately. That's what happens when you have 3 business partners that live far away. She also kept throwing up her hands and shaking her head a lot. I wonder where she got that from?

Thursday, March 11, 2010


Eva lost her first tooth today. We did a mini photo shoot but didn't do it until it was dark and all Eva wanted to do was show off the tooth...not the cute hole in her smile. Caleb wanted in on the action, too. When I showed them this picture I told Caleb that he looked serious. Eva chimed in and said, "And I look AWESOME!".

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Promotion and Tenure

I think I need to learn the Nebraska fight song.

Some members of Carl's department at the University asked him to go up for tenure a year early. It doesn't hurt to try. So, for the past several months, he's been going through all the stuff that entails. Paperwork, reviews, more paperwork, waiting, etc....

It's been a little stressful.

Carl told me this morning that it's a done deal. He got it (effective August 16th). I can't help but feel super blessed at a time when so many others struggle with job security. He found out on the same day that UNL announced $3.6 million in cuts. I asked Carl if this could ever happen to him. He said the only way he could lose his job is if he royally screws up or they get rid of his whole department (which, for Mechanical Engineering is very unlikely).

Good thing I love it here.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

My Kid is Awesome

Yes, those are guitars playing dress up. Rock on, Eva. Rock on.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Better U Big Reveal

Go Red Better U Makeover Participants

Last night was our big Go Red for Women event where they paraded us on stage and showed a video of all of us that made us cry. Let me tell you...this group of women? Amazing. We all had our own personal struggles and many had stories that would just melt your heart. But you know what? We stuck with something for 12 weeks. We ALL got healthier. We made friends. And you know what? We all got 3 more months of membership at Lifepointe! We can't wait to see how much more we can improve.

Go Red Better U Makeover Participants

I had a heck of a time finding a red dress to wear to the event. So, after an afternoon of shopping with Kelly...we bought some fabric. We made the dress the morning of the event. As in, yesterday. Kelly rocked it big time. THANKS!

My stats after 12 weeks:
Blood pressure went from high (148/96) to perfectly normal (118/78).
I lowered my cholesterol 15 points.
I lost over 9 inches.
I lost 7 lbs.
I gained over 4 inches of flexibility.
I went from 12 pushups to 30.
I have no gallbladder (who needs it, anyway?).

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Caleb Turns SEVEN!

I can't believe Caleb is already seven years old. His birthday weekend was a lot of fun. We spread it out over the course of a few days because Carl had to be gone on Caleb's actual birthday for a scout trip. Anyway, Caleb didn't mind.

We had a little "surprise" party for him on the actual day. I got him off the bus at Mary's (our babysitter) house and all the kids were there to celebrate!

She even got him a present. He got his very own gumball machine.

I can't tell you how excited he was about that.

Here are seven interesting things about Caleb:

1. He loves to "Google". He especially like searching for Mario Kart.

2. Caleb is really growing. He wears size 10/12 clothes and a men's size 5 shoe.

3. His favorite song at the moment is Primrose Lane (thanks to Lawrence Welk).

4. He is an expert speller and reader. We're still working on his comprehension but he can read just about anything you put in front of him.

5. Caleb will eat pizza, ice cream and granola bars (sunbelt chocolate chip) all day and all night if we let him. I'm contemplating a refrigerator with a padlock.

6. He loves to draw pictures of people. Some of his favorite subjects are The Fresh Beat Band and his family.

7. He's got a smile that will make you melt.

We love you, Caleb!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


This may have been the longest I've ever gone without posting on this blog. I just feel like I've never been so busy in all my life. I don't have time to keep up with this site as much anymore. It's a shame, really. It will never completely go away. I'll still update it now and again. I wouldn't want to leave Gayla* without anything to do all day besides chew tobacco and sit on her porch with her gun. So, I'll leave it at that.

If you want to know what I've been up to...I'll need you to check out It involves cake, lost of crafts, and Mark Montano.

Friday, January 15, 2010

One of a Kind

I'm pretty sure my son is the only little kid in the whole world that has ever uttered this phrase:

Mom, I just want to look like Ava Barber!*

They sure like their Lawrence Welk. Here you can catch a glimpse of the kids watching an episode when we were getting our new TV ready to put on the wall.

*He wanted his yarn "hair" to look like her.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Going Back to 2002

I consider myself pretty geeky. I love the internet, blogging and all of my social media stuff. One thing I don't do is text. Not my thing. It's only in the past year or two that I've actually started using my cellphone more than my home phone. Texting just seemed silly when I hardly used my phone and I was always near a computer for email. But now I'm not at home as much. I'm too cheap to pay for a data plan on my cell so I can't check my email on the go. I do have an iPod Touch so I can check it if I have wi-fi. HOWEVER....I'm heading to a trade show at the end of the month with 3 of my business partners. I have a feeling that texting is going to be the best way for me to keep in contact with them during the show as we work. We won't be together most of the time so I think it is time to bite the bullet and get a messaging plan.

Here's my question: will 200 texts a month be enough or do I "splurge" and pay $20 for unlimited?

Monday, January 04, 2010

Snowed In

We spent most of the holiday at home. Like most everyone else living in the middle of the country, we got a fair amount of snow. The kids loved it! By the 26th of December, we had just over 24 inches of snow. I couldn't believe it when it started to cover the bottoms of the swings.

Eva and one of our neighbor girls tried it out. They could sit on them but not swing because the snow was so packed underneath. Fun times.

It was nice spending the holiday at home with nowhere that we really needed to go.

The other thing that happened over the holiday? I got my gallbladder out. I spent New Year's Eve in the hospital. I thought I would be a bit further along in my recovery by now but I'm still pretty much stuck in my room most of the day. I'm in a lot of pain but I'm catching up on a lot of tv. Did you know that All My Children is celebrating its 40th anniversary this week? Noah Wylie also suggests that we spend $16 a month to save the polar bears. I'm not buying it. I thought I might have to get the InStyler and SkinID but then I saw Hoarders and realized...I'm good.