Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

I hope that everyone who stops by to check my blog has had a wonderful Christmas! It was been a good celebration in our house! We all got a little something of what we wanted and we got to spend it together! Tomorrow we will celebrate on the slopes! Here is a few of the handmade cards that I sent out to a few of my crafting friends! Enjoy!

Monday, December 20, 2010

It was a "Pow-Pow" Day!

We had an awesome weekend playing in the “pow-pow” at both Beaver Creek on Saturday and Breckenridge on Sunday! We spent all morning yesterday on Peak 7 floating through the soft stuff! So far, we’ve been fortunate enough this year to have 3 out of 8 days in powder! Sunday was by far the best and as you can see, Dan really enjoyed “bathing” in the pretty white stuff!

I missed the fall, but Melanie said it was fantastic and he was laughing when I got there! The snow was just about up to his hips, so you know they’ve been blessed with a lot! He had a fun time trying to get his skis back on after he had to take them off just to get up!

The snow is suppose to keep falling through Wednesday and they’re expecting up to 3 additional feet! It was really hard not to rent another room for the night and play one more day in the powder! I’m sure we’ll get back up there soon!
Dan has some video of me skiing at Beaver Creek on Saturday that he plans to post on Facebook, so check that out too!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Marlene's Gift

Every year I rack my brain to come up with a gift for my childhood buddy, Marlene that is better than the last! I think I did a great job this year when I came up with the "countdown" boxes!

I used the Karen Foster advent calendar box, and decorated in some colorful paper from Cosmo Cricket. Then I filled each little drawer with a small scrapping gift (and yes, they're small) that would give her some inspiration to create! I even bought some of the trinkets whenI was in Chicago in August, shopping with her standing next to me! Ha, she didn't even know!

And since I know Marlene, she LOVED IT! On her actual birthday, which was Tuesday, she receive ed a coordinating card, with a gift card to buy more stuff! Hey, we all "need" more stuff - don't we?? Big (((HUGS))) and lots of great scrapping days ahead Marles!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

As promised

From my 101 Things list...

#88 - Send 101 handmade cards to the troops each year

And so the first year of the wish is done; I've sent 101 (actually 102) cards to Operation Write Home so that they can distribute them to our hero's around the world. They included 20+ valentine cards I whipped out in the past week. A simple design I've used before and it worked really well, especially because it used lots of scraps and items I've had laying around!

Next project...

Monday, November 29, 2010

Ski Season has begun!

Just got back from skiing over the Thanksgiving holiday and boy was it great! This was the best early season snow we've ever seen in the 9 years we've been going up there! It was a wee bit cold, but not enough to stop us from skiing hard! This picture is from the restaurant at Vail where we stopped for an afternoon breather! In the morning it was -5 (yes negative) up at Horseshoe Bowl! Friday, Saturday and Sunday were all warmer! Unfortunately no new snow fell while we were there though. A few inches last night after we left... go figure! I'm hoping we can sneak away next weekend for a few more turns up in God's Country!

Our Thanksgiving dinner with the family was celebrated the weekend before whenI cooked the big feast! It was really good and there are still a few meals of turkey now frozen to enjoy later! On the actual turkey day, we feasted on a frozen pizza! OK, not what we had hoped for, but the fresh ones were all gone and no one in Chicago sent us a pizza. Hint, hint!!

The great news we got from Chicago was that my niece Sarah got a new job! We're so proud of her! Dan helped her with the resume and she thinks it really helped! We wish her luck - and don't spend all that extra money at once!

I'm finishing up the final cards for Operation Write Home. I challenged myself to make 100 cards to send and I'm almost there! I have 12 more to make and I'm working on some Valentine's cards for them! Yes,that is the next holiday they're collecting for! I think it's a really great way to give away the cards I'm not using, plus a way to use up supplies and give someone who is really appreciative a homemade card to send back home! If you haven't checked out their blog, go for it! Maybe you'll be inspired!

And did I mention I haven't started on any projects for Christmas yet? It's not December yet! I don't have too many in mind... well I do only have 3 weeks left! A few really simple cards and gifts and I'll be happy!
Off to keep shopping... it is cyber Monday!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Aruba Recap

We had our first snow on Tuesday... a far cry from the beautiful weather we had in Aruba! Boy, I do wish I was back there! (I love the snow for skiing, but they can keep it up in the mountains!)

Our overall impression of Aruba was fantastic and we would recommend it in a heartbeat to anyone looking for a Caribbean getaway! The natives were very friendly and they were not at all pushy like we experienced in Mexico. Only one person approached us to visit their timeshare and they simply took no for an answer and moved on! The hotel and the food were nothing to remember, but when you got the awesome deal we did, you can't really complain! The room was clean, the showers were hot and the food was edible! We weren't there for that stuff anyway!

On our first afternoon in Aruba, we jumped into our swimsuits, strapped on our snorkel gear and walked into the the water for our first swim with the fish! The water was warm and there were lots of little fish right there! Because of the boat traffic close by, it wasn't the best place to snorkel but we made the best of it that day and several more!

On Monday we took a full day tour to De Palm Island, a private island that is set up for water adventure! We arrived to a decent buffet breakfast and then took a dive into the waters where we found a great reef and lots of bigger and prettier fish! I had a blast following a puffer fish around for what seemed like hours! It was so pretty! I wish I could have taken it home! They also had a water park equipped with slides and water spurting everywhere! It was fun to act like a kid! We also road a "banana" boat, which was a big tube pulled by a speed boat! You straddle it while kneeling and they cruise around trying hard to dump you off the side! I fell off twice! It was really fun, although hard on the knees! The kids played volleyball and I relaxed with fancy drinks from the bar! It was a really great day and we were thrilled the island wasn't very crowded.

On Tuesday we decided to take a ride into town and see what treasures we could find! We each came home with something we wanted that represented Aruba. I got a sweatshirt, which seemed very inappropriate since it was 90+ degrees and humid! And of course, we found a great little ornament to remember our trip! It was really the only day we ate out and the food was good.

On Wednesday we decided to take an afternoon jeep tour of the island. What we weren't informed was that we'd have to do the driving. Well, make that Dan, along with some of the other passengers. Since he has such great experience at it, it wasn't difficult, but I'm sure he would have rather let someone else do it for what we paid for the trip! It was my favorite adventure of the week because we got to see a lot of the island many people don't go to. It was a shame they hurried us through there though. The last reward of the trip was a dip in the pools where we got to snorkel around and Dan spotted an eel! They beat the vehicles to death as we 4-wheeled up some pretty tough terrain! Thankfully everyone made it out without too many bumps!

On our final day there we decided to snorkel off the beach to a shipwreck. There are a few different wrecks, but we opted for the one that was closest to shore. The wreck has been there for about 18 years and it was great to see all the schools of fish living around it! And some very cool starfish! The waters were choppy that day as a storm approached, so our fun ended sooner than we wanted. It was good we choose the closer in one though!

The rest of our time throughout the week was spent poolside or beach side - whatever floated our boat! We drank lots of fancy drinks and tried our hardest just to relax! The weather was very cooperative despite the unwelcome humidity!

When it was time to go home, we were relaxed and ready. Thankfully we still had 2 additional days at home before we had to go back to work! Was it the trip of a lifetime - no, however it was exactly what we wanted, expected and enjoyed at this point! There are plenty of more days to come when we can take the trip of a lifetime!! Like China in May??????

Sunday, October 24, 2010

So relaxed

What a wonderful week we had relaxing on the beach in Aruba! We got back very late on Friday night (actually Saturday) and spent the rest of our weekend doing those necessary errands and trying not to think about Monday! I woke up on Saturday with a sore throat and don't feel much better tonight... thankfully if I had to get sick it's after the vacation and not during! Maybe I need a few more days off?
I don't feel much like uploading pictures tonight, so just thought I'd share a few. Wasn't this a beautiful sunset? We watched this as we dined on our final night on the island! It went so fast - both the sunset and the week - but we sure did have an awesome time! We'd recommend Aruba over Mexico any day of the week! It was wonderful! I'll share more of the adventure later this week. (I promise!)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Aruba Baby!

Doesn't this look wonderful? In just a few weeks, we will be laying on that beach soaking in the sun and snorkeling in those beautiful blue waters! Oh Baby, ARUBA!!!!!! I am most excited about swimming with the fishes and just relaxing! After the big projects I've had to work on lately at work, I can't wait to relax!! Jealous??!!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Bridal Veil Falls

On Sunday we took a drive up to Rocky Mountain National Park to explore a new hike on a beautiful fall day! Yes, there are actually still plenty of hikes we have not experienced up there yet! It is amazing! This part of the park is not very popular so it really feels like you are lost in nature! We went a total of 6.5 miles roundtrip and relaxed next to a beautiful waterfall! The only downside to the hike - it was HOT! I know, HOT is September? Yep, it was 85 in Estes Park and we weren't very high up, so it was rather unusual for this time of year! But it was an awesome hike!Because it has been so warm and dry here this fall, the colors are just beginning to change up in the high country! The trees are only barely changing down here, but up there we were able to see some beautiful yellow and red! It's not like the Midwest though... colors are quite scarce here!
Before we left the park we did go searching for the elk. There were several herds, however with the unusual heat, they were all bedded down waiting for the temps to drop. There was a little bit of bugling, but nothing like we've witnessed in the past! This little baby was really cute and we were only a stone's throw from them!

Sunday, September 19, 2010


Melanie had her first date to Homecoming this year - his name was Briar. He was very nice and they had a good time. She's not telling if anything further will come out of this relationship, but we're not pushing either! She looked very pretty in her dress that we found in Chicago! My little girl is not so little anymore, but we can always wish! (See her baby picture above her head!!)

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Slow down time...

I can't believe it's been a week already since we returned from our weekend trip to Chicago! Time just keeps flying... can someone just slow it down a bit??

Melanie and I had a BLAST in Chicago! We arrived very late Thursday night (or Friday morning) and were greeted by my Dad! It was great to see him - he looks fantastic! We got to sleep in a bit on Friday, but then gathered up cousin Cindy and went homecoming dress shopping at the mall! I think Melanie enjoyed having Cindy with... they could be sisters - they liked the same things! Melanie found the "perfect" dress, even with a few sparkles on it! It's purple!! We had a wonderful lunch and even a few minutes at the nail salon treating ourselves before we headed back to Grandpa's! Then the three of us and Grandpa had a quick bite before heading off to see a local play! It was in a cool playhouse and was awesome! I can't remember the name, but it was fun!

On Saturday my "great" friend and fellow card maker, Marlene picked us up for yet another long day of shopping - but this time it was all about the scrapbook stores! I got some great supplies, despite not spending too much money! We had a nice lunch on the patio in Glenview and a wonderful dinner at her house eating one of my favorites - gyros! You just can't get a good one here! It was fun as always to spend time with Marlene (and Paul)!
On Sunday we took Cindy and Phil with us to the Shedd Aquarium! I hadn't been there in over 15 years! It was just as cool as I remember it - maybe even better! I wasn't impressed with their dolphin show, but then again after you've had an opportunity to swim with them yourself, it's never as good just to watch! We did have fun watching the fish, penguins, dolphins and turtles and can't wait to see them in person in Aruba really son! It was also great to spend more time with Cindy and Phil! That evening we had dinner with the family and I got to see everyone but Katie and Matt (but I did get to see him on Monday)!

On Monday, Dad, Melanie and I ventured down to the Museum of Science and Industry. The exhibit on weather was really, really cool! They had a great hurricane to watch and we were mesmerized by it! Melanie got to see her Fairy Castle and couldn't stop staring at it! I love to watch the train move around the country - it's always been one of my favorite things! We wandered around for hours and had a great time at a Chicago favorite! Later that evening we were able to share dinner with Ed and Dad and enjoy the last few hours together before heading home on Tuesday morning!

I will always miss my family, but I seriously do not miss the weather there. it was humid 1/2 the time (I guess that's better than all the time)! I don't miss the traffic and pace, but I do miss the really good food, friends and family!

The day after we got back Dad had a pain in his chest and spent a night in the hospital, thankfully just as a precaution. The test came out just fine and he was diagnosed with a spasm! I'm glad he was OK. After talking to him tonight, he's back in therapy and doing wonderfully!

So, I'm still waiting for someone to slow time down... you can start about 3 p.m. on Friday and make my holiday weekend coming up longer!!! Enjoy everyone!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Hidden Treasure

After we returned from North Dakota, we hitched up the camper and set off for a new camping spot in Colorado - Spruce Grove campground in the Terryall Wilderness. It's an area we have driven through but have never explored and it's only about 2 hours from home! What a hidden gem this turned out to be! We LOVED this campground!

On Saturday morning we set off for a leisurely hike up to lizard rock. It was about 2 miles of constant incline, but nothing major! We really enjoyed the views from the top and the conversation we had with another hiker from Parker! There are several trails in the area and we are anxious to come back another day and check them out as well. You don't always find trails within a campground, so that was very nice!
The campground was surrounded by some great rock formations and there was one that loomed right above our campsite! It looked like it would be hard to climb, but was actually easy - anyone could do it! The views from here were also amazing!
The Terryall River runs right through the campground and people would jump in at one end of the campground and float to the other on inner tubes! It looked like so much fun on a really HOT day! We know now to come back with tubes in the middle of summer!
On the 4th of July we took a roadtrip to nearby Florescent Fossil Beds, a National Monument that we had never seen. Millions of years ago, there was a redwood forest there and after a volcano erupted and then the area flooded, it caused all of that to fossilize! The specimens were cool! Something to see if you like geology! It was a nice way to spend the 4th since we would not get fireworks this year!
So later tonight Melanie and I are headed to Chicago to visit with family and friends! Looking forward to a few good meals as well! Catch you soon!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

15 years ago...

my Melanie finally joined the world! This past weekend we celebrated her birthday with family and will continue that celebration when we join the rest of the family in Chicago later this week!

She is very excited to be 15 - she is going today to get her driver's permit! Watch out Castle Rock, stay off the street! I'm sure sh'ee be a good driver, it just takes lots of practice - right?? She has to have her permit for 365 days and then when she's 16 she can get her license! Then she can be my charuffer!! Can't wait!!

Monday, August 16, 2010

60 Years!!!

Back at the end of June, we took a roadtrip to North Dakota to attend Dan's Aunt Kazia and Uncle Bob's 60th wedding anniversary! It was the first real roadtrip that Melanie could remember and I'm not sure it convinced her by any means to do this often!! It was fairly uneventful, hot, humid, but lots and lots of fun to visit with the family! Many of them we hadn't seen since our wedding, so it was fun to see how everyone has aged!

We arrived in Grand Forks on Thursday night around dinner, got situated, and had a good night sleep. On Friday we checked out town, got a pedicure and did a little shopping to keep us entertained! Then on Friday night we went to a gathering at Randy's house. Bob and Kazia were surprised when we walked through the garage into the backyard as they had no idea we were coming! Randy had an awesome yard for a party and the kids and dogs had fun running all around! Eventually Mom and Dad showed up, along with Susan, Bill and Betsy! Bob and Kazia were thrilled to see all of us!
I finally got to meet his cousin Ken, who lives in Oregon. Dan hasn't seen him since he was a kid, and of course I've never met him! Ken and his wife Nancy actually rode their bicycles from Oregon - it took 22 days and a whole lot of determination in my mind! What an achievement for them!

On Saturday we headed to Mayville for the actual party! Kazia treated all of her guests to her famous pancakes and Polish sausage! It was delicious!! I could have eaten them all day if she would have just kept cooking!! Kazia has always been known for putting on "big" meals - well she did have 6 kids, 17 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren! (And still counting!)

During the afternoon we wandered down to the picnic area by the lake and enjoyed watching the kids play and talking with all the cousins while trying to stay cool in the shade! We loved talking with Ray and Shirley, their daughter Sarah, cousin Randy and her son Jared, among all the others! There were a lot of "old" childhood stories as well as stores about what we're doing today! Then we headed back to the senior center where they catered in a great dinner for everyone!
All of Dan's Zurowski cousins also made the journey from Wisconsin and Minnesota! What fun it was to hang out and talk with them as well! This was the first time in well over 20 years since they had all been together! We made sure that we got a picture of that!
After a really long day, we headed back to Grand Forks, hung out in the pool with the girls and relaxed! On Sunday we hit the road and headed home! After 15 hours in the car, we finally pulled into our garage and sighed with relief that we were finally back home in our "heaven"! It was a fun weekend, but next time - let's FLY!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

CJ Challenge - August

It's been a few weeks (or more than a few) since I last posted. It's been a busy summer, so I'll try to recap it over the next few days so not to bore you all at once!!! :) /div>

This great LO was completed for Debbie as her challenge! She recently went to NYC and Chicago and asked us to take some of those photos and make a great LO. I kinda wish I got Chicago, since I can relate to that much easier, but I got NYC instead! I've never been there, so it was interesting to scrap something I was unfamiliar with! In the end, it came together well and I actually LOVE it! The colors that she picked are great and I think I used them well! I love all the little pieces that make it seem warm and friendly! I hope she will enjoy it as much as I do! And that it will fit well with the other pages she gets back as well!

Monday, June 21, 2010

CJ Challenge - July

Yep, I said July... you see my challenge is June and well, I didn't play yet. :) Why? Because I was too busy playing with the July challenge! Patty sent us 10 random envelopes and a pile of scrap paper and then asked us to make 3 birthday, 3 thank you, and 4 blank cards for her personal stash. It was fun using other peoples paper and coming up with different size cards from the typical 4 1/4 x 5 1/2! Unfortunately when I started to take pictures tonight, my camera died, then Melanie's camera died, so all I got was 2 pictures of cards I used my own paper on! Oh well, I suppose you get the idea!
We're taking off on Wednesday for ND to visit with Dan's family. It's Aunt Kazia and Uncle Bob's 60th wedding anniversary and all the family is getting together to help celebrate! They had 6 children, who knows how many grandchildren, even more great-grandchildren and countless nieces, nephews, grand-nieces, grand-nephews, ....well you get the picture right? There's going to be lots of us! Kazia is making her famous pancakes and polish sausage for breakfast and we will do nothing but eat, eat, eat all weekend! Unfortunately we'll spend more time in the car (1,000 miles each way) then we will in ND, but it's all for a good cause!