Image by Laura Ketteman

Image by Laura Ketteman

Monday, January 31, 2011


This topic has been on my heart a lot lately.  I've been discussing with my son, the choice we have in how our attitude will be in life.  I've literally filled a glass half full with water, to demonstrate to him the "glass half empty/glass half full" concept.  I pointed to each half, and we talked about how the glass and the water never change... but our perspective CAN. 

We're studying the book of Esther with our bible study group on Sunday mornings, and the topic has been brought to mind in another light.  A friend shared this quote with me, and I really liked it.  My favorite is the last part.  I just thought I'd share.  :)

“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failure, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness, or skill. It will make or break a company... a church... a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past... we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.  And so it is with you... we are in charge of our Attitudes.”

- Charles R. Swindoll

Day 364. Happy Anniversary.

I started my blog a year ago today.  I'm not sure how I'm not on Day 365, but whatever.

So... now what???  I still haven't decided.  I think I'll close today out with the following pics, the beginnings of the ice/snow storm that's about to hit our area.  This is JUST the beginning!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Day 363. Milk.

It doesn't really look like much is missing from the gallon, does it?  Well, when that much has spilled into the back of your van, and soaked into the carpet... it certainly seems like MORE than one might think.  :/

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Day 362. For my Mommy. :)

I'm such a sucker for a cute hat on clearance.  This was quite the find, because it was not only the hat, but matching scarf and gloves... and they are so soft and warm!!!  Yay!  ... and the reason I say "for my mommy," is because she LOVES black and white.  :)  So, she'll enjoy this pic.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Day 361. More Creations.

It's amazing what a chid can use to be creative, isn't it?  Toothpicks and marshmallows.  Awesome craft.  My kids can sit and build with these for quite some time.  :)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Day 360. Snacks.

This is a new favorite snack.  I eat it right out of the jar.  Yep, I DO!  A couple of teaspoons, with just a drop or two of honey on top to add to the sweetness.  It's a GREAT little treat, seriously!   :)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Day 359. Sorting.

What does a stay-at-home-mom do when all of her kids go to school?  She goes with them!  :)  HA!  I've written about my volunteer days before, but working with these kiddos never ceases to amaze me.  I am simply fascinated by watching how differently their little minds process. 

When I was in school, math was taught ONE way.  You did it the way they taught you, or you didn't get the right answer.  That's not the case anymore.  Sure, you still need to get the right answer, but what I love is that there is recognition now that everyone may not come up with the right answer the SAME way... It all depends on how their brain processes the problem.  And it's encouraged to figure that out!  I love that!

We should appreciate one another for our differences, shouldn't we?  Of course we should!  What a boring place the world would be, if we were all the same!

Here's what I got to do with my son's little KG class today... We worked on sorting:  by color and by size.  I had my handy, dandy cell phone with me, so I took a couple of snapshots of some of the solutions to the size sorting.  Interesting, isn't it?  :)  Well, I thought it was, anyway.

This little one was way more interested in forming his bear-friends into ring-around-the-rosie rather than worrying about their size.  :)

This would be the work of my little KS3.  :)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Day 358. Errands.

I feel like I live here sometimes.  I probably have to make a WalMart run at least twice a week... some weeks, more.  It's a necessary evil.  This particular trip was extra wonderful, because I got in line with one of those cashiers/checkers/what-do-YOU-call-them?, who insisted on using one bag, per one item.  May I just ask HOW and WHY that makes sense to anyone?  I just don't know.

1 jar of Nutella, in one bag.
1 bag of Baked Cheetos, in ONE bag.
Oh wait... TWO packages of lunch meat, in one bag.  Now, we're getting somewhere.

And, now I'm reminded of a song...

Monday, January 24, 2011

Day 357. 100th Day of School.

Another change since I was a kid... celebrating the "100th day of school!"  Usually, the teachers will do something cute and fun for this celebration.  This year, KS3 was to bring a trail mix ingredient of his choice.  Each child brings 100 pieces of their trail mix ingredient, and they'll combine them all and make a special snack to share.  Too cute, if you ask me.  :)

After we counted our 100 marshmallows, KS3 wasn't quite finished with his marshmallow-art... so, here we have one more pic:

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Day 356. Idina Menzel Concert.

I've quoted my friend before... who, I think, quoted something she read somewhere... Regardless, the quote goes like this:

"The best camera to have... is the one you have with you."

In other words, having ANY way to capture a memory is better than NO way at all, right? Well, it's a GOOD thing!

On Christmas morning, my husband surprised me with a spectacular gift (as he often has a way), tickets to see Idina Menzel with the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, at Powell Symphony Hall... I was elated!

I have yet to see the ever-so-popular Broadway musical, Wicked. (Get it? "Popular"? ... if you don't know the show, you have no idea what I'm talking about. If you do, you said, "Oh, Jeez, Laura..." Wicked has been to St. Louis a couple of times in recent years, but it just hasn't worked out for us to go, for one reason or another. Anyway, to see it now would be wonderful, don't get me wrong; but to see it without its original actresses, being Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth, couldn't even be comparable.

But my husband got me tickets to SEE the original "Elphaba," in concert... "excitement" is an understatement.

Let me give you a little hint, as to why (not the BEST recording, but you get the idea.):

Our tickets were for January 23rd, Sunday afternoon... for all five of us, kiddos included.  Oh my goodness, SO exciting!

Unfortunately, there's always a downside, right? 

Well, let's get those out of the way.  Sunday mornings are always crazy around here... We still had church that morning, but planned to grab some lunch after, and head straight to the concert.  I wanted to dress the boys up semi-nicely, which needed to happen BEFORE we went to church.  When I was a kid, it was practically a staple for us to all have dress clothes and dress shoes, able to prepare at a moment's notice.  Things just aren't really that way anymore.  Little did I realize, KS1 had outgrown any dress pants I had for him.  Oh well. 

Downside:  KS1 wore jeans. 
Upside:  It didn't really matter.  KS2 and KS3 did wear dress pants, and they all still looked wonderfully handsome, with their dress shirts and sweaters. 

Downside: I forgot my phone, my iTouch, AND my camera... even the point 'n shoot. 
Upside:  Jason still had his iPhone.  Yay!  And he didn't even get (too) annoyed when I kept asking him if I could use it!

Downside:  They were calling for 3 to 5 *MORE* inches of snow (on top of the 8 to 10 we'd already received a couple of days before).  When we headed toward downtown St. Louis, the snow was POURING. 

Upside: Safe travels there.  Made it on time.  And the snow had already finished falling by the time we drove home.  The weather-people were wrong.  Go figure.  But sometimes, that works in our favor... this was one of those times!

Upside.  Upside.  UPSIDE:  THE CONCERT!  :)  I loved it.  Everything about it.  I thought she was charming, funny, and I left with an even HIGHER opinion of her talent than I had before I saw her in concert. The orchestra was just beautiful.  My boys sat like little angels for the entire hour and a half, and I they even enjoyed (parts of) it.  :) 

Idina plays a character on the series, Glee, and we have all of the soundtracks, so the boys are very familiar with the music from that show (I do NOT, however, allow them to view the actual show, if I may just mention).  When Ms. Menzel began to sing her (Glee's) version of "Poker Face," I thought KS3 was going to hop right out of his seat!  They all recognized and enjoyed "Defying Gravity" as well.

Another weird YouTube video, but it was the one I found with the best sound.  Granted, the lyrics to this song are questionable, at best.  In fact, it was hilarious to hear Idina's side of the story, that she even sang this in the first place.  You had to be there... :)  Anyway, the harmonies are what I find to be so much fun.

It was truly a memory to cherish, indeed.  The pics don't do the experience justice.  Photographs aren't even allowed to be taken inside the auditorium.  So, I set a good example for my children, and I obeyed the rules.  :(  Hmph.

Here are just a few (very poor quality) photos I have of our afternoon.  Just remember, they still reflect a great afternoon, and I have them ... and that's what counts.

Outside the windshield, on our way downtown.

This was the first time the boys noticed that the Eagle flaps its wings.  :)  They thought that was pretty cool.

The ceiling outside the auditorium.

Powell Symphony Hall, the side of it (from the lot where we parked).  It's hard to believe what it looks like inside, compared to its outside, isn't it?  At the bottom of those steps, folks were all crowded at an exit, hoping to see Idina "leave the building."  :)

My souveniers.

And a quick snapshot from inside the van, on our way home.  I actually like this picture.  :)

And one more video, just because I love it.  This is a scene from Glee:

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Day 355. MORE Snow Days.

KS2 went outside today and built this little guy all on his own.  :)  He was very proud of himself, as well he should be!  :)

Friday, January 21, 2011

Day 354. Cindy Lou Who.

I'm finished with my "winter must-haves."  I'm bored with it, so we're moving on.  :)

This is a pic of our friend's daughter.  I find her to be one of the most adorable things EVER.  Her daddy always fixes her hair in these adorable, little pigtails.  (Pardon the lack of quality of the pic... this is what I get when I don't bring my good camera to events!)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Day 353. Winter Must-Haves, Day 12.

SNOW DAYS?!?!!!!

Yeah, this is not one of MY must-haves, to be honest.  I am not a fan of the snow.  But I DO enjoy a cozy day at home, with the my boys all in their jammies.  Snow days kind force a family to just slow down.  And I like that.  :)  See?  Glass half full.  :)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Day 352. My Winter Must-Haves, Day 11.


This winter, I have fallen in love with the layering trend.  Cute?  Sure.  But more importantly, it's functional and practical.  Vests.  Sweaters.  Scarfs.  Tank tops.  You name it.  I layer it.  It's a great way to warm up, or cool down, especially during these unpredictable days of weather.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Day 351. My Winter Must-Haves. Day 10.


Cute, aren't they?  They're called Pixo.  Picked them up at Target.  Our sweet babysitter put them together with the boys, which is why there's also a girl.  She had to girl it up a bit for them.  :)  This kind of stuff is perfect for snow days, or on a weekend when you have no plans... gives the kiddos something to do, and be creative on top of it.  Good stuff!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Day 350. My Winter Must-Haves. Day 9.

Technically, I must have coffee all year round.  I get the addiction from my father.  It's not my fault.  It's in my genes.  I picked up this blend early in the season, and my hubby doesn't care for it.  So, every once in awhile, I'll treat myself to a single cup of it, just for ME!  :)  I find it to be relaxing and yummy!  :)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Day 349. My Winter Must-Haves, Day 8.


Yes, even when it's cold outside, we need to get the heart pumping!  :)  It's a great way to decrease the winter blahs, AND get rid of a few of the extra pounds we picked up over the holidays...

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Day 348. Winter Must-Haves, Day 7.


Of course, there was no way I could do a series of "winter faves," and leave out my ultimate fave, BOOTS.  I wasn't sure how I might incorporate them, since I talk about boots too much as it is!  BUT....

Then, my husband and I went out with some friends of ours, and I discovered the PERFECT boots to post.  Thanks to my friend, Jayme, for obliging me.  These were one of her Christmas presents, and I'm just GREEN with envy.  I absolutely LOVE these boots.  And she wore them quite well!... so cute with her little, corduroy skirt and textured tights.  :)  It's just so much fun, being a girl!  :)

Day 347. Winter Must-Haves, Day 6.

Comfort food!  Yeah, you could do this kind of gooey-ness any time of year, for certain.  But there's something really wonderful about a delicious baked dessert, along with a hot cup of coffee, on a cold, winter day.  So sweet!  These were an Aunt Holly creation.  KS2 helped along in the kitchen when we were visiting last night, and we came home with the leftovers:  Brownies with Reese's chips.  Oh, so yummy!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Day 346. Winter Must-Haves, Day 5.

Flannel Sheets.  MUST have them.  :)  This is one of my husband's favorite things about this time of year... He's a very happy guy when he crawls into bed, to discover I've brought out the flannel sheets.  :)  All warm and soft and snuggly!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Day 345. Winter Must-Haves, Day 4.

Once again, I will emphasize the need for MOISTURIZING!!!  It is a necessity this time of year!  My poor, little guys get the worst chapped lips.  We have found this to be a good, soothing solution through the day.  However, at night after their baths, I use something heavier, especially on their cheeks and chin.  Maybe I'll post about that, too.  :)  Not today, though.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Day 346. Winter Must-Haves, Day 3.

Technically, I burn candles all year round.  I'm obsessed with pretty fragrances.  However, I find it essential in the winter time.  Something that smells like cookies baking, or of any fall-fragrance (apples, cider, pumpkins, mulberry, etc.) will lift my spirits on any chilly day.  Love it.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Day 345. Winter Must-Haves, Day 2.

Good body lotions!!!  I LOVE a pretty-smelling, thick and creamy, lotion to lather everywhere after a hot shower.  Let me just tell you, it saves this girl from some yucky, dry, itchy skin, and it's worth the extra 30 seconds it takes to apply it.  I've learned this the hard way!  :)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Day 345. Winter Must-Haves, Day 1.

I've decided to compile a few favorites of mine, during this cold, chilly season. :) I don't know how many I'll do, but here's the first:

My husband laughed when I told him I wanted a new coat... for practical reasons.  He was surprised when I explained that I needed something WARM, as opposed to a certain color, style, or fashion.  His comment was, "My, my.... how things have changed."  Whatever.  I got my cozy warmth, and I don't think it's too terribly ugly to look at in the meantime.  :)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Day 343. Happy Birthday!

Today is her OFFICIAL birthday.  :)  Happy birthday, little Sis!  :)  LOVE YA!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Day 342. Little Boys.

I don't really think there's much explanation needed, other than... welcome to my life with little boys.  :)

Friday, January 7, 2011

Day 341. Cupcakes.

We spent this evening with my family, celebrating my sister's 32nd birthday.  I made cupcakes.  :)  Side Note:  I've finally found an item from Trader Joe's that I do NOT prefer... If you are ever so inclined to purchase the box of yellow cake mix, but are NOT in the mood for something that tastes more like sweet cornbread than cake... don't bother.  Yes, you read it correctly... they tasted more like frosted cornbread cupcakes than yellow cake.  Not horrible.  Just terribly weird.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Day 340. What is it???

This is courtesy of our sweet puppy.  It USED to be one of the boys' plastic baseballs.  She brought it up to the porch, all proud of herself.  Lovely.  Ick.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Day 339. Not Much.

Today was fairly uneventful.  I have no pictures to prove it.  I went back to the gym for the first time in a few weeks... since the kids are back in school.  It feels good to get back into a schedule.  I must have routine forced upon me.  It's a good thing.

However, I feel a slight case of those after-Christmas-blues.  I'm not really down, just kind of tired... uninspired... uncreative.  I spent today washing and folding laundry, looking through school papers, cleaning dishes.  Sometimes, those kinds of chores just don't inspire the imagination.  Then, other days, they do!  As for now, all I can think about is that I shouldn't have eaten the chocolate that I just did... and that I need to get my kids cleaned up and ready for bed.  Maybe I'll think of something to take a picture of by then.  :)


Well, this is what ya get for today.  I remembered that my dear mother-in-law asked me to take a picture of the corner of the basement where we "cough"... reorganized.  My camera was still on the "monochrome" setting from the other day, and I didn't bother to change it.  So, here you are.  (My mom will appreciate this, too. :)

This is it... my little nook of the house where all of my imagination is let out... my creativity unfolds... my outlet.... (I'm talking about my photography, in case you couldn't guess.)  Doesn't look like much, does it?  I have some plans to pretty it up a bit.  But it's MY area.  My sweet babies are not allowed on my computer.  And for the most part, everything in this little corner belongs to ME.  :)  HOWEVER, I have no intention of actually USING that microwave.  Other than the fact that it still works, I don't even know why we have it.  :P  Oh well.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Day 338. Monster Hoodies.

These are an adorable find.  Love the Children's Place.  Monster hoodies... for two of my little monsters.  :)

Monday, January 3, 2011

Day 337. I Love Hats.

Last day of Christmas break.  We met some of my family at the mall, had lunch, and did some window shopping... which is how I found these great, little hats for the boys.  I love hats almost as much as I love boots... maybe AS much.  I don't know.  Anyway, here they are!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Day 336. Lazy Days.

Well, the two younger boys got sick at the beginning of Christmas break.  And then at the end, my oldest son got the bug.  :(  I hate it when my babies are sick.  Not to mention, it makes for a very tired mommy.  I stayed home and cared for my little ones all day... We sat.  We slept.  We were lazy.  And I polished my toenails.... Why not?

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ilLaurastrations Photography began in Spring of 2009.

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