Saturday, February 28, 2009

An Un'Frog'gettable Birthday Cake

Well over a month ago, I was asked by a friend if I would consider doing her sons 1st birthday cake. She has seen some of my cakes and liked what she'd seen. I was honored to make a cake for such a special occassion as a first birthday!

The cakes were for Aiden, and his party theme was Frogs! Joy did an amazing job at the party. Everything was themed and color coordinated just like I do for our parties. I for one appreciated all the hard work and thought that went into it all.

These are the cakes. The little one for Aiden to dig into and enjoy all on his own, and the other, to feed the party guests.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Grocery Day!

It's the end of the month and today was payday, which in turn means a MAJOR grocery shopping trip is needed. For the last couple of days, we've been skimping by on breakfast foods. We were out of just about everything and everyone was waiting for this day to come, when the house would once again be stocked with food.

I've been making a menu, and then in turn making a list of things we needed to make those meals. It's SOOO much easier to shop for groceries when I plan ahead and make a menu and then a list off the menu. I don't always stick to what's slated for the night, but I always have the ingredients to make all the meals I've planned for.

I have all these groceries and 'nothing good to eat'. I bought no chips, no crackers, no cookies, no ice cream (it would have melted, we weren't coming straight home). Ever feel like that after getting groceries???

Anyways, off to put tonight's dinner together...

Breakfast Sandwhiches...for Dinner!

Ever have one of those afternoons where you've not planned out ahead of time what you're having and you're at a loss for what to make?? One of the most easiest things to make are breakfast sandwiches!These sandwiches are made with Grands biscuits, egg, cheese, and bacon. I've made them with Thomas English Muffins (toasted) and sausage before. These are so easy, and yet oh so yummy. On our last camping trip, I baked the biscuits at home ahead of time, and made these one morning for breakfast and boy, was everyone impressed!

Sometimes I make these on the weekends when are mornings aren't so rushed to get out the door, after all,breakfast sandwiches aren't only good for dinner, but are good for breakfast too!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

God's Great Love

"When a child behaves badly, the child's mother loves him just the same. She may be grieved, disappointed, and hurt, but nothing the child can do will ever destroy her love.

If that is true of the imperfect human love, how much more so God's love! It is God's nature to love us. Nothing we can do or fail to do can stop the shining of that great love."

"The Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting"
Psalm 100:5

I received this short devotion from a dear friend just minutes after having dealt with Rachel's second sitting on the naughty chair this morning. Twice!!! Before it was even 7:30am!! Mornings like these makes are so hectic, scrambling for her to get dressed, have her hair done, shoes, etc, etc. I love her, but man, it sure gets my day off to the wrong start. LOL.

And then I received this encouraging word and was blessed to be reminded that there is nothing we can do to stop God's Great Love for us, no matter how many times "we're put on the naughty chair".

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Jack's Broken Head

What a great campaign Jack in the Box has going on right now.

They have this entire web site set as a result of Jack getting hit by a bus. He is currently in the hospital, in a coma, suffering from a broken head. Apparently they've been running commercials, but since we have TiVo, we don't watch commercials. You can see all the coverage of Jack's accident on this site Hang in There Jack. At the top of the website you can click on the "See this blog from first post" and it takes you to the very beginning of the story.

But today, and today only, Jack in The Box is giving away two free tacos when you bring this coupon in to a participating Jack in The Box. It's their way of saying Thanks for supporting Jack and his broken head.

On our way home from school, we stopped and got our free tacos. I had my coupon and Hannah had hers. If I knew it was going to be that easy, I'd have given Rachel a coupon as well!

There's still time, print out your coupon and get your free tacos!

Monday, February 23, 2009

I'm No Ace of Cakes, but...

About six years ago I took a cake decorating class at Micheal's Craft Stores. I did it primarily for when my children (then it was only Hannah) had birthdays as well as any family cakes, etc. However, over the years, I've done a few cakes for friends kids' parties, preschool events, etc.

Last Thursday, when I was at Walmart entering the cake decorating aisle, I ran into a dear friend from church. She was purchasing things she needed for her daughters Sweet 16 cake for the big upcoming party over the weekend. I stood there giving her ideas as to how she could decorated the cake, and then I finally just told her that I decorated cakes and I was more than happy help her if she needed my help. You could tell she was relieved at my offer.

I was blessed to be able to spend about four hours on Saturday morning putting together and decorating such a special occasion cake with a friend I love to spend time with. We had some good chuckles and some good fellowship. It was a wonderful Saturday morning...and the cake turned out great too!

This was my biggest cake thus far. The cake itself was six cakes, but we pieced it all together to be a three tier cake. I piped a star border with a tinge of yellow around each layer and we put black edible candies in the center of every other star.The party theme was that of a red carpet event with all the glitz and glam and stars. So each tier had those red ropes that keep people off the red carpet. And then of course a red carpet down the side of the cake. This is as far as we took the cake before it needed to be transferred to the party location. And this is the lovely girl who it was all for.This is the cake at the party location. All the stars and and shimmering things were added after transporting the cake. I think the cake turned out awesome! And the birthday girl loved it!I actually have another cake to do this weekend!! It's for a special little boy who's turning one and his party them is FROGS!!!

Thursday, February 19, 2009


Hannah's school is a public school that places emphasis on visual and performing arts. One of the yearly requirements is for each class to put on a performance of some sort. Some performances are short and some performances are long. Some performances are simple, and some are big, elaborate, planned out, and well, to be totally honest...a major pain in the butt.

Let me explain.

Hannah's class is combining with ten, yes ten, other classes this year for their performance. They have been working extremely hard on it for the last month and a half. Their big performance will be three days in the first week of March.

The performance I know will be amazing. One of the teachers has actually directed musicals and plays at one of the local theaters. She's worked with professionals and likes things to look professional. All qualities that add to a good performance.

But I have to be totally honest and say, that I CANNOT wait until this performance is done, over with, and behind us!

Within the first couple of weeks of deciding what to do, etc, etc. A note came home asking for $10 for a shirt that everyone, all twenty kids in all eleven classes will wear. Okay, no problem. Then a note came home saying all kids had to wear black pants, black socks, and black shoes. Um, okay. I had to go out and buy new black pants for Hannah because she'd gone through a growth spurt and the ones she had no longer were fit to wear out in public other than if camping when who cares what you look like. I also had to buy black socks, because she had none. And while she did own two pairs of black shoes up until recently, the boots finally bit the dust and broke at school (LOL....remind me to post about THAT phone call from the school nurse!), and the other pair comes off when she kicks, runs, skips and will be a problem considering in this performance she is kicking, dancing about, rolling on the floor, etc. Therefore, the hunt is on for a new pair of black shoes.

One of the other things that preparing for this performance required was to find a costume of a professional person that the student wanted to portray. My first thought was Hannah could be a nurse. Let her wear one of my old scrub tops, give her my stethoscope the day of the performance, even let her wear my nurses cap.

Nope. Too many nurses and doctors already.

Okay, back to square one.

How about a veterinarian, I had a cute scrub top with animals and paw prints and it was something Hannah REALLY wanted to do. Something she'd like to do when she grows up.

Nope. Too many kids already wearing scrubs as doctors, nurses, veterinarians.

How about a Karate instructor...NOPE.

How about a chef/cook? We food her apron and chef hat and she was really excited about this possibility. NOPE. Too many cooks/chefs.

They (the teacher in charge of this madness) kept the apron and decided if they folded it in half, she would be a waitress! Yea, cause that's professional. @@ <~~~ me rolling my eyes. So Hannah came home excited about that. And then on Tuesday, we were at school for a PTA meeting and we ran into Hannah's teacher in the hallway. She had just come from meeting with the teacher who is 'in charge'. She had this black top with a white lace collar and she told me that Hannah was now going to be a maid!! And that she was working on finding her a colorful feather duster. The first thought that came to my mind was the Halloween parade of 2007 when girls were dressed as French Maids, see my post and pictures about that one! And then I started thinking about what other parents will think if they think my daughter chose to be a maid?!?!? Truth be told, she didn't get to be anything she picked!!! Somewhere along the line, along all the frustration, we told Hannah to just roll with the punches and be cooperative. Yea, look where it got my daughter, she's a maid!

Today, when she got in the car, she told me the teacher told her she needed to wear black stretchy pants because it'll work better with the skirt she has to quickly slip on. HUH??? 1) I already bought new black pants specifically for this performance and 2) way back at the start of this, a friend asked if black leggings were okay to wear and we were told 'No'!

I am so frustrated over all this. And really, really can't wait for the first week of March to be over with. LOL.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

CPR Class

It's been at least twelve years since I've taken a CPR class.

When I was working as a nurse, I had to take refresher courses every 2 years when my certificate expired. Once I stopped working as a nurse, I didn't keep up on CPR. But in the last year, I felt like I really needed to take a refresher course.

We have a family friend who works for the local ambulance company and was teaching a CPR class last night. It was very spare of the moment, but I went. The class was three hours long, but wasn't as boring as past classes I've been in, I'm sure it was because of the humor and easy goings-of the instructor.

In addition to practicing on both the adult and the infant 'dummies', we learned how to use the AED, Automated External Defibrillators, which are now becoming more and more common to find in public places. I know in recent months, we've seen several popping up at Disneyland. Learning how to use the machine was cool.

I am amazed at some of the things that have changed in recent years. The ratio of compressions to ventilations has changed, the American Heart Association says mouth to mouth is no longer necessary in this day and age of infectious diseases, etc. I'm really glad I took the class and got brushed up on all the latest. I feel like now if put in a situation at the either of the schools, at church, or even out in public, I feel like I could step in and help out.

Monday, February 16, 2009

My Hair

I have long hair.

Very long hair.

Not many people know that because I very rarely wear it down. I wear my hair up to get it up off my neck. It's simply too thick and it makes me hot to have it down. It does however come in handy on cold days. LOL. I always wear my hair up like this:In the last year, I know or know of women who've been diagnosed with cancer, their treatment plans resulting in the loss of their own hair, and needing wigs. And it's for those very women, that I decided a few months ago, to let my hair grow long enough to the point where I could donate my hair to Locks of Love.

The minimum length for donation is 10 inches.

Last weekend, when a friend dropped her daughter off and I had my hair down. She was amazed at how long it was, and just how thick it is. When I told her of my goal of growing it out to donate for wigs, she said I'd have enough hair to make three wigs! LOL. I have enough now to donate, but if I had it cut now, then my hair would be extremely short, and I don't want that. So I am continuing to let my hair grow long enough until it gets to the point where when I cut it, my own hair will still be just below my shoulders. Still long. My mom thinks that perhaps by summer or maybe even the end of summer, I will meet my goal, and when I do, you'll know!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Our Valentine's Day

Years ago, before having children, it was fun to get dressed up and go out for dinner and wait for 2 hours to be seated for dinner on Valentine's Day. Steven was my first ever Valentine, so it was fun to be part of the hoopla of the 'day of love'. But in recent years, with two children added to the mix, with growing older thus less patient, I've tried to make Valentine's Day special at home.

The last couple of years, I've done a really nice dinner with the table all decked out and pretty goblets and treats at everyone's place setting, etc. But this year, we weren't going to be home for dinner, as we were going to the Couple's Dinner at church. So I made a nice breakfast and set the breakfast table pretty complete with Valentine's for each of my Valentine's and a little treat.
The rest of the day was devoted to getting ready for the big Valentine's Couple's Dinner at the church. Steven and I have recently become part of the couple's ministry planning committee and I was completely in charge of decorations for this event. We arrived mid morning to the Fellowship Office and went to town setting up and decorating and getting things ready. We returned again an hour before the event to do last minute things - light candles, set up the food, get pitchers of water and tea on the tables, fill coffee carafes, etc. The room looked beautiful. The evening was filled with good fellowship, food, laughs, and a great message on Love Languages. With this event now behind me, I move on to the next big thing I have to work on - planning out and preparing to teach fifteen girls next Friday how to decorate cakes! I'm one busy person lately, and this coming week will be no different!
Me and My Valentine, Valentine's Day 2008

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Avon Breast Cancer Awareness Walk

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It's during that month that many events take place to raise awareness and funds.

While my immediate family has been blessed with no breast cancer, other families are not so lucky.

I'd like to tell you about Veronica. She's a friend from church, and unfortunately, her family wasn't so lucky, her mother has Breast Cancer.

She is training and building up endurance and plans to walk in the Avon Breast Cancer Awareness Walk in September. To raise funds for research, for a cure, for Breast Cancer.

Please take the time to read Veronica's story about her mother and if you'd like to help Veronica make her fundraising goal, you can make a pledge through Veronia's page.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Dental Appointment

About a year ago, my old dentist told me I would probably have to start having old fillings replaced as the Xrays showed they were starting to decay. In the last six months, I've had this terrible, terrible taste from time to time coming from my upper teeth on the left. When I had my dental cleaning about three weeks ago, I asked the hygienist if old fillings could go back and need to replaced and she said they could and in fact was having pieces of my old fillings chip away as she was cleaning. After having the dentist check it out, it was determined I needed four fillings replaced on that side.

Therefore, I had a dental appointment this morning to replace the 15+ year old fillings.

I was feeling pretty good about my appointment. Very little anxiety about going. I was kinda glad to be getting it done and have that taste be gone and know things were 'good' in that area.

Upon going to the chair, the dental assistant asked if I'd like an iPod to listen to while they worked on me! That was so totally cool to me, especially because I meant to bring mine, but ran out of the house and forgot it. Much to my surprise, there was even music on it that I liked! I put one ear bud in, and left the other ear to listen and be available to answer Dr Stilson's questions, etc.

Overall the appointment went really, really well. That was the longest I've had work done at one time. There was a point, when all the drilling had been done, and two fillings were already replaced, that anxiety set in...

My neck was sore, there were no arm rests, therefore my arms were tired, and there was simply too much in my space - the iPod ear bug, the protective glasses, all the instruments in my mouth, etc.

The very moment they were taking an instrument out of my mouth, I asked to sit up for just a few minutes. It went downhill from there, I gagged and started throwing up. Too much information, I know. But praise the Lord, I was able to pull it all together and only by His grace was I able to lay back down in the chair and finish what had been started. I had no further problems.

It's taken several hours for the novocaine to finally wear off and I've stopped feeling like a stroke patient would with a drooping mouth and slurred speech. I'm glad to have today behind me. And I'm also really glad for the new dental office I've found!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Know Your Medications

Some of the pharmacies now a days promote their pharmacy by saying they will make sure your medications don't interact or counter act with one another. That they will be extra cautious when it comes to your medications, yadda, yadda, yadda.

My research shows that this is not true.

Several times over the past 14 years, I have been prescribed a certain medication, and NEVER ONCE have I been told by a pharmacy technician or pharmacist that the medication I had been prescribed can cause my other medication I take regularly to be less effective. And yes, I use the same pharmacy over and over again, so the medications are on file.

I learned that this certain medication can counter act with my regular medication, almost 13 years ago, on my wedding day.

We'd said our vows, we'd had our pictures taken, we'd mingled, we chatted, and we had changed out of our wedding attire into more comfortable clothes. The time had come to say our goodbyes to our parents, and the last of the remaining loved ones who were left to see us off. My new sister-in-law had gotten into my make up bag for Advil or Tylenol, had seen my prescription for Penicillin, as well as my package of birth control pills. And while she was hugging me goodbye, she whispered into my ear that antibiotics could possibly cause my pill to not work effectively. Not exactly the news you wanna hear as you're embarking on your honeymoon.

After my sister-in-law, I went to say goodbye to my Mama. The hug lasted about as long as it did with my sister-in-law, as I was telling my mother what I had just learned. The expression on her face, priceless. The whole scenario, all caught on video tape. I laugh every time I watch it.

But you know, it's really not funny. LOL. The fact that a medication can cause another to not be fully effective, thus increasing your possibility of becoming pregnant is a pretty important thing that pharmacists should point out to you. A lot of the time, people don't read the little slips of paper that come with a medication warning them about the 'possible' side effects, drug interactions, etc, etc. Therefore I think pharmacists should be more informative.

Needless to say, over the last 13 years, I've made it my 'job' to inform friends when I know they've been given antibiotics whether or not I know they are on The Pill, or not. Pharmacists aren't doing their jobs, and a lot of women don't know this about antibiotics, I sure didn't!

Are there any medications that you take on a regular basis that you should check for interactions?? You might be surprised!

Monday, February 9, 2009

A Special Lunch for Friends

Years ago, when Hannah was little, I used to put on an occassional tea party or lunch for my friends, and then she got a little older...and then I had Rachel...and then life just got busy. But having friends over for lunch and making things pretty and special is something I really enjoy doing, and I've missed doing it.

About two weeks ago, I came up with the idea to have friends over for lunch on this particular date because there was no school, and as Mom's we wouldn't have to hurry or worry about getting back to the school to pick up our kids, etc, etc. I was rather spontaneous with this one. I didn't even ask friends until last week.

My plan was to invite just a couple of friends, simply because children would be accompanying them since school was out. I knew one friend couldn't make it from the start, however, in the course of the last 48 hours, I had another friend contact me and say she and her kids wouldn't be coming. So yesterday at church, I invited a few more friends. When you put a lot of work into planning and preparing, you want to bless as many as you can, so when I had two seats open, I wanted to try and fill them. I'm glad I was able to, because another friend called last night and was in bed with a temperature of 104 and said she wouldn't be coming. So as it was, I had three friends, and seven kids here for lunch today and we had a great time!!

Our dinning room table was the "Mommy Table", all decked out for Valentine's Day. I used my pretty clear goblets from The Madonna Inn, which are always a hit. And had candy hearts and love tokens spread about the table. Little party favors at each place setting and candles lit. For food, I made chicken salad sandwiches on croissants, a raspberry jello salad, and a tossed broccoli salad. For dessert I had decorated homemade brownies, meringue toppers, and cream puffs.The kids table was in the family room. Hannah and Rachel helped set the table and were very excited to help out. Each place setting also had a little party favor and a heart shaped sucker. Their lunch consisted of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches cut into heart shapes, cheese puffs, BBQ flavored chips, orange slices, and for dessert little chocolate heart cakes and sugar cookies. They also go pink lemonade to drink. Us girls sat around the table for just over three hours, chatting, talking, sharing what's been going in each others' lives. The kids played in the girls' rooms. At one point there were so many toys out in Rachel's room that you couldn't even see the carpet. LOL. Years ago, this would have caused me to be so on edge. I now figure as long as no one is crying, and nothings getting broke, and I'm being left to socialize, then it's all good. I've come along way in recent years.

I enjoyed the time spent with the friends the Lord allowed to be here today, and I look forward to having friends over for lunch some other time...sooner, rather than later.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Chocolate Dipping Party

I have a book study group that I'm part of every other Wednesday. Every time we meet, we bring 'snacks', whether it be a breakfast casserole, sweet breads, fruit, etc. Since we aren't meeting next week, the week of Valentine's Day, we decided it'd be fun to have a chocolate dipping party in place our normal snacks.

The table was beautiful. We had so much yummy stuff to dip in the chocolate fountains - marshmallows, brownie pieces, rice krispie treats, bananas, squares of pound cake, Oreos, and of course strawberries!! It was so yummy and so much fun!

First Time Parents

A young couple in our church were blessed with a daughter last Wednesday. It was their first child. And some of the women in our church are providing meals for them for a week, and they were blessed beyond measure to learn of that. I was blessed to be able to take them dinner on Sunday and visit with them for a spell.

Ah, the newness of being first time parents. It's exciting. It's scary. It's exhausting. LOL. It's been a long time since I've been able to provide a meal to parents who'd had a baby. I think the last time was almost 5 years ago when my sister-in-law and brother had their second child, Haylee. But I can't remember the last time we knew someone to become first time parents.

They have such an exciting journey ahead of them. Anytime a baby is born it's an exciting time, but when it's your first, everything is new, you are fresh, and you are younger....

It's hard to believe that our first born will be 9 years old in just two months!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Go Red For Women

This Friday, February 6th, is "Wear Red Day" to support the fight against heart disease in women.

The 'Go Red for Women' movement is raising awareness that heart disease is no longer a disease concern for 'older women' and change the perception that heart disease is a "man's disease."

Take a moment to check out their website, and remember...Wear Red on Friday!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

25 Random Things

There's this survey going around on Facebook. I've been tagged half a dozen times and thought I'd better particpate. So I did and now I'm sharing it here as well. So for those of you who are my Facebook friends, please pardon the repeat of knowledge.

1. I have never lived more than 20 miles from the home in which I grew up in. And I've only lived in three parents home until I married. Steven's condo when we got married, and then our current home.

2. I have never been out of the country.

3. I broke my collar bone when I was in preschool. I broke the same collar bone rollar skating when I was in Junior High. It's the only bone I've ever broken.

4. I was born in the exact same hospital I had my first child in.

5. After High School, I went on to become a nurse. I am a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN). And despite the fact that I haven't worked as a nurse in 9 1/2 years, I keep my license current and active. I worked waaaaay toooo hard to let that go to the wayside. It's also a great job if I ever had to go back to work.

6. I took fertility drugs to get pregnant with Hannah. Expected I would have to for another, but nope, my pregnancy with Rachel was completely a surprise and a total blessing.

7. I met my husband at The Singles Ministry of our old church. The Singles Ministry Pastor married us.

8. I went to Hawaii when I was 18 with the high school ministry at Harvest and stayed at YWAM. We street witnessed at night on the main drag of Honalulu. Was the the first time I had ever seen prostitutes working the street. LOL. Someday I want to go back to Hawaii, but stay in much better digs than YWAM. LOL.

9. Most people think my parents just had me and my brother. When in fact, my parents had three children. I had a sister born almost exactly a year before me that died the day after she was born. I think it'll be awesome to meet my sister in heaven someday!

10. Someday I want to take an Alaskan cruise, hopefully when Disney has a West Coast Cruise Line and one of their cruises is an Alaskan cruise. Now THAT would be extra magical.

11. I've never smoked, nor have I been offered or done street drugs in my entire life. I am, however, a big fan of epidurals! :)

12. I have been the Room Mom for Hannah's class every year for the last four years. I have also been Rachel's Room Mom the last two years. It gets crazy for me around holiday party times, but I LOVE it!

13. I was raised in a Christian Home. I don't know anything different than living a Christian life. I was blessed that way.

14. I went to Elementary School in the very school that our church meets in. It's pretty weird sometimes having a church service where I ate lunch everyday of my school life for 6 years!

15. I like hosting the holidays. This past Christmas was one of the best - we had people coming and going all day and staying til almost midnight!

16. I am close to my Mom. Talk to her just about every day. Even at my age, I am so blessed my Mama is still a stay at home Mom!

17. I LOVE chocolate - Dove chocolate, See's - Nuts and Chews, Hershey's Bliss. None of that fancy, smancy stuff.

18. I love tent camping. Tent camping allows us to still get away, and yet, still allows us to have hotel vacations too!

19. I grew up not having a lot of friends. Which I believe is one of the reasons I don't require a lot of close friends now, as an adult.

20. I HATE cleaning the shower and mopping the floors. All the other household chores, I don't mind.

21. I am so thankful that my husband's job provides and allows for me to stay home and be a part of my children's school days when I am needed, and home for them after school. Despite how crazy it is between 2:30 and 5 with homework, dinner, etc.

22. Thanks to my husband, I have become a bit of an addict for the internet. I love to read blogs, write on my blogs, surf about. I have met many amazing and wonderful friends via the internet over the past 10 years. And have the privilege of meeting them in person.

23. I love Disneyland. There's a shocker, huh? Someday, when the girls are just a bit older, I would LOVE to go to WDW and visit the East Coast Mouse.

24. For years and years, I swore I didn't like cheesecake or cream cheese. Now...cheesecake is one of my most favorite desserts!

25. It's taken me about a week to come up with this Random List. I'm not one to just sit and talk about random stuff about me!

Monday, February 2, 2009

A New Way to Cut Brownies

If you've been to Micheal's or Joann Craft Stores lately, then you've probably seen the newest line of Wilton stuff for presenting brownies! Amongst the colorful dusting powders, and pretty boxes, and even some silicon shapes, there are two cutters for cutting your brownies for pretty presentation. I bought one this week and had the opportunity to use it on some brownies I was making to go with a meal for a family who had their first baby this week.

I absolutely LOVE it! It cut the brownies so uniform and perfect. I used a piping bag and some milk chocolate frosting to put a squiggle of frosting down the middle and topped them off with some pastel nonpareils. They turned out so cute and I can't wait to use my brownie cutter again!


Hello. Is there anybody out there?? I've neglected my blogs for so long, I'm sure I'm just talking to myself. Which is fine. T...