Thursday, January 22, 2009

Happy 8th Birthday, Mads!

Yep, this is Madeline. Mads, I like to call her. She is 8 today.

As usual, this is my "birthday" blog, so I'll let you know how Mads has grown this past year.

She loves her webkinz. "Nonnie" got her 3 for her birthday. Well, there was a buy-two-get-one-free special on at the Hallmark store and how can you pass that up? She picked the hedghog (cute as a button) the bulldog (the free one) and one other that I can't remember but it's pretty cute, too. If you don't know what webkinz are, they are stuffed animals that come with codes and you can put the codes in at "" and play with them online and you get points for doing things like jobs, etc. They can also play with their friends who might be online, too. She loves it and if she's on the computer, it's usually playing webkinz.

She also likes to read my blog. I think she is fulfilling my ideals of her. I see her reading the blogs about her and I notice her being more and more like the previous "birthday" blogs I've written about her.

The way she dresses is still "avant garde". The unusual is what she likes. Lots of colors, stripes, the wilder the better.

She's still a pleaser. Last night when we went to store I think she could sense I didn't really want to cook cupcakes for her to take to school today. Maybe my saying "I really don't want to cook cupcakes tonight" gave her a clue. She picked brownie bites instead. I love her for that. Yeah, I may be denying her real wants but, hey, let's face it, I'll have to make a cake this weekend so she'll get what she wants, eventually. She loves those brownie bites, anyway. I hope.

She's always coming up with funny things to say, too. One day we were leaving school and she told Sadie something that wasn't necessarily a lie but not really the truth and Sadie said "why did you say that?" Madeline says "look, I'm stressed out, OK?" We (Jackie and I) laughed at her even the next day about that one.

Jackie has fallen in love with Madeline. She keeps telling her she's going to be her momma because sometimes I'm not in the office when Madeline gets up there and Jackie tells her she's going to take her home and be her momma. At first, Madeline was a little taken aback, but now she's warmed up to it and loves Jackie, too. For Mads' birthday, Jackie made her a bag (well, bought the bag and embroidered on it) that says "Princess in training" and put her "M" on the other side. It's very cute.

She's still a snuggler. If she's had a bad day or isn't feeling 100% she wants to crawl up with me and snuggle. I don't think I'll ever get tired of that. Madeline snuggling is the best. She'll snuggle with her Nonnie when she's here, too.

My Madeline is growing up. I don't know where the time has gone. I can remember the day I had her like it was yesterday (or the few days ago when it was frigid cold out). It was a very cold day and she came fast. Maybe 2 hours from start to finish? She knew what to do when she got out, too. Literally crawled right up my tummy and found the food (if you know what I mean, and I think you do).

I can't wait to see what this year holds. I know she will take first communion this year so her spiritual growth is already taking place. She had her first "penance" or "confession". Didn't take her long, as she said "I only had two". Hmmmm, not to judge or anything but a little more examination of that conscience might be in order. But, that's between her and God.

All in all, she is still a great kid. Funny, bright, beautiful - inside and out - and special in many ways. Madeline, I look forward to this next year with you. I love you!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


My bloggy friend and keeper of my precious child, Elaine, has given me a letter and I am supposed to tell my 10 favorite things that start with this letter. My letter is "P".

Hmmmm, "P". Letter "P", how do I love thee, let me count the ways...

Top 10 things that start with "P" that I like/love/enjoy...

1. My sister Pamela. She is the smartest person I know about alot of things. I am so proud of her. She's a great sister, a great Aunt (as in a wonderful one, not as in my children have children, therefore she is a great Aunt) a terrific daughter (at least that's what I hear) and a great friend. I love spending time with her and hope that we can take more trips together like we did this summer. If I could go on the Amazing Race and couldn't take Conrad, she'd be my next choice, hands down.
2. My "pistol-packing" Mumsey (I hope adjectives count!) What a woman! Now, I have to say that in this little tiny picture, I just glanced at it and she looks just like my Nonnie in it. I'm sure if you open it up big, she looks like her but I'm really OK with her looking like my Nonnie. My children love her like I loved my Nonnie and I know that is only one of the ways that she would measure success but even if it were the only one, she excels, with no question. She's got a Doctorate (I have a copy of her dissertation if you'd like some enlightening reading), two great daughters, two great sons-in-law, 5 wonderful grand-children, numerous grand cats and dogs and even a great-grand-dog. She is the kindest, most giving, non-cooking, loving, musically "p"roficient mother and I count myself lucky to have her.

And this picture would include my next entry...

3. Parties. I love going to them, throwing them making food for them. I get that from my Auntie "B", I'm sure. She's a party-puttin' on woman. She and I share a love of corn-dip, sauce piquante (I hope I spelled that right) and spinach dip among other yummy party foods. She and Pamela were the brains behind my Mumsey's birthday party and they did a fantabulous job.

4. People...namely my family. I've got the greatest husband, two fantastic sons and 3 beautiful girls. Who could ask for more (besides that lady with the 18 thank you!)?

5. Pretty pictures. One of the reasons I started this blog was to keep family and friends up-to-date with life in the Wangler family, complete with pictures. I really like this one, even though I didn't take it.

6. Plays. As in Broadway. Loved "Wicked". Would love to see it again on the real "Broadway". Along with "Mama Mia". Cats is closed so no Broadway on that one but I'd pretty much go see anything on Broadway. I love plays/musicals.

7. Pussycats. Especially Puss-in-Boots and Rosie. Rosie sleeps in the crook of my knees and I am most soundly sleeping when he is. Love my kitties.

8. Pillsbury products. Especially the cookie doughs and carmel rolls. However, the carmel rolls are becoming harder to find. I hope that's not a "p"ortent of things to come.

9. Pens. Yeah, I am somewhat of a pen-a-holic. Love to try new pens and these are two of my all-time favs. Both are made by "p"apermate (for real). The first are called "Liquid Expresso" medium point (of course). They're kind of expensive (OK, really expensive if you consider the pen world) so I don't actually have any right now. Haven't for a while but my sister (Pamela) has some and I covet them - yeah, I'm a sinner-I admit it, let's get on with life.

And then, of course, the traditional "p"apermate felt-tip (or "p"orous-tipped as they are called these days) pens - in all colors. The wilder the color the better, as far as I'm concerned. And, again, you have to do medium point. I find I'm a medium point person as opposed to a fine point. Gives me the heebie geebies, those fine-points do.

10. Puzzles. My favorites are sudoku and you know those Dell puzzle books you get at the grocery or drug store? I love those. I have several sudoku puzzles on my Iphone as well as other puzzles to do on there.
Which brings me to a bonus "p". My "p"hone. As in my Iphone. I have my calendar on there, my games, my phone numbers, my pictures, my music, everything. I would be very sad, indeed, if something were to happen to it.
So, my friends, those are my 10 (plus a bonus) favorite things that start with "P". I hope you enjoyed it.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Today, Conrad came to me and asked if I wanted to go see his Mom in a little while because George and Barbara (his brother and sister-in-law) were at the airport picking up Bud. Conrad has an Uncle Bud and I was excited because I thought I was going to finally meet Uncle Bud.

Meet Bud:
To get the full effect of Bud, you have to watch the video.

Yes, that's Bud snorting. How funny is this dog? He's just a big ol' bundle of slober, tongue and wrinkles.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The tree...

On Thursday, Conrad came home and told me that Ismael would be following him home on Friday to take a look at the tree. Ismael works with Conrad. He said that Ismael had been a tree cutter in Mexico a few years ago. Yeah, I'll admit, I was nervous and apprehensive. After all, don't we all have enough holes in our roofs?

Ismael and Jacob (another co-worker of Conrad's) came and looked at the tree and seemed to not have a problem with it and said they'd be here bright and early Saturday morning. I couldn't wait to see if they showed up with beer. That would tell me right there what kind of day it would be.

Well, show up they did, along with Donato and Marco. Ishmael hoisted himself up the tree on a pulley system and went to work. I knew it must be going better when Conrad didn't stay outside to watch every move. I went out when they first got out there and took a picture of what was left of the tree.

They chopped and roped that tree one branch at a time and not one limb hit Ricky's house or ours. I cannot tell you how impressed I was at their know-how. At one point they were bringing down a part and they tied off to the tree in the front yard and I didn't see how it could possibly not hit our house and Conrad tried to explain and this is what it sounded like to me "this rope that way one rope over another blah, blah, blah...). I decided I would just watch. Had I had my camera with me, I would have taken video because it was amazing. That limb fell and stopped about 3 ft. above the house. I applauded their efforts. They would chop until they could push the limb over then assess the situation then proceed with caution. It was beautiful.

This video is from today, when they came back with a bigger saw for the part closer to the ground. This is one of the pieces coming down. Creative use of a ladder, don't you think?

This is from left to right; Jacob, Marco, Ismael, and Donato. (I don't think there should be a comma before the "and" - what do you think? Any grammer gurus out there?) This is right before the last piece came down. I thought there should be a picture, after all, it's a major event, right?

This is the last piece coming down.

Where once a tree stood.
Man bests tree...

...with an axe...????

We have enough wood to feed fireplaces for awhile. The big ol' trunk, we'll probably fashion a table and chairs out of it. Yeah, right.

Thus ends the saga of the tree...hopefully.

The music is "Oak Tree Dance" by Carl Wilson. While this wasn't an Oak, it still conveys our joy at having it down with no one injured.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

The tree

The last post, I talked about the house might not be standing the next time I wrote. Well, we're lucky things worked out the way they did. We "hired" Richard and a friend to come take down a tree that stands between our house and our neighbor Ricky's house. Here is said tree...

...pretty tall tree, huh? Well, here's Richard up in the tree...

...and to give you a little perspective of how high he was in that tree. I will say that Richard is a hard worker. Not afraid of anything, like heights or steeply pitched roofs, which he dealt with today.
They got about 2/5 of the tree down. Only 2 holes in two different roofs (ours and Ricky's) and one broken-some-more window, two men hanging on for dear life and a wife/sister-in-law having a hard time breathing for fear that someone was going to hurt themselves by falling off a roof/tree later and we're over it. We're going to hire someone to get the rest of the tree down.
The first couple of limbs came down fine. Then a limb took off some facia (sp?) board off a dormer of Ricky's house (already repaired) and poked a hole through the roof and down into the sheetrock in a bedroom. Yeah, that needs to be fixed. Then a couple more successes then a HUGE limb (think trunk) came down and lifted both Conrad and the companion of Richard right up into the air. Had I known all that was going to happen, I would have SO taken video. It was a bit humorous but at the same time I was praying that Conrad would hold on and not fall. That big limb put a hole in our roof over the garage. Then a few more and one that broke the already broken window on Ricky's upstairs (that same tree did the damage in a windstorm). Ricky hasn't been home yet. Everytime a car comes down the street, my tummy tightens. I hope that makes it tone up a bit. If so, I'll be looking good tomorrow.
Anyway, no one is hurt (too badly - Conrad's very sore, or will be tomorrow) and we have lots of wood if anyone needs any.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Happy New Year, 2009!

New Year's Eve we spent in our usual way. Sitting in Lisa and Phil's driveway, with the chiminea, enjoying each other's company and having some adult beverages while the children ride scooters and, in general, keep us up since all we want to do is go to sleep.

This year, we roasted marshmallows and here's Anna roasting hers. It's pretty much the only good shot, I'm guessing adult beverages and picture taking don't mix. OK, it wasn't the adult beverages, I just wasn't thinking about taking pictures so when I did it was just general shots and nothing to write home (or blog) about.

But, we had a great time and rang in the new year with all the hoopla and revelry we could muster, which was pretty good considering how only 3 or 4 hours before we all wanted to go in and go to bed. Then we ended upstaying up past 1 getting everything in and saying our good-byes. I love our neighborhood traditions.

So now, because of my staying up late and having adult beverages, I went to bed extremely early and woke up at 1:30 and can't go back to sleep so I'm doing laundry, updating the blog and having a bowl of Frosted Flakes. Yummy.

Tomorrow should be an exciting day around here, but I will put it in pictures here for you tomorrow, assuming the house is still standing. You'll understand what I mean when you see what goes on.