I'm still here!

I know, it's simply ridiculous that I have been absent from blogland for so long!
I have a billion excuses, like: Holiday craziness, the whole family cycling through at least 3 different viruses, daydreaming, multiple family trips, house guests, thinking really hard about starting an exercise program, playing with friends, eating way too much chocolate fondue...wait, there is no such thing as too much chocolate anything, playing with my little monsters...sometimes angels, but today they were monsters, writing run-on sentences, and getting ready for my display at our little local gallery.

This is my display at out local library's gallery. The librarians were so nice and helpful, and one of them mentioned that they have never had a display quite like this one. I hope that is a good thing! I have more creations to put on display, but I've been procrastinating. You see, I just took my Christmas tree down today. I just couldn't take it down when Isaac's eyes would light up each morning, and with a big grin he would say "Miss-miss tree lights on!". Then he would race down the stairs to turn them on, climb into my lap with his blankie "loodlelady", and thumb, and stare at the sparkling tree, and I would stare at the sparkles in his eyes. But during the past week or so, all ornaments on the lower half of the tree had been lovingly removed by Isabelle, and I think Isaac lost enthusiasm when he realized Santa wasn't coming again anytime soon. So, goodbye tree! We will see you in about 10 months. (AAck)
I love giving and getting unique and personalized gifts for the holidays. I painted this picture of my Oma and Opa to give to Oma for Christmas. Opa always wore dark glasses, but I saw a picture of the two of them before they were married, as they were joyfully playing in the sunshine. He didn't have his glasses on in that picture, and I wanted to capture them at that time in their lives. I hope Oma liked it. I loved going through all the wonderful pictures and stories in the book she had made for each of us! With the help of my dad and cousin, she made a beautiful hardbound book with the story of her life, complete with photos and letters. I will treasure it always!

Fun in Phoenix!

We had a lovely warm visit with my dad in Phoenix. I had always dreamed of riding a camel, and now that dream has been fulfilled! I don't think Isaac had ever dreamed of riding a camel, but now he can aim a bit higher in his dreaming than his silly mom. Now all I have to do is swim with dolphins, hug a koala, and ride an elephant, then my life will be complete. Well, at least when it comes to animal encounters. The Phoenix Zoo is fabulous, and I sure didn't mind that it was about 75 degrees! It sure beats negative 7!

This is the "Endangered Animal" carousel at the zoo. I am so bummed that rainbow dragons are endangered! We need to do all we can to prevent them from becoming extinct! Maybe a captive breeding program would do the trick! Sophia wants to work at the zoo when she grows up, in addition to the pet store, Disneyland, the fabric store, ans sea world. She is so much like me as a kid, it's frightening!

Isabelle wasn't so sure about the carousel. I tried to pick the least scary animal for her to ride, but I guess that didn't help the fact that she was surrounded by scarier animals.

We went on a walk through a nature conservatory near my dad's house, it was a lovely place.

What a good dad, watching closely so our little lad doesn't go kersplash. We loved Arizona, and on our way to the airport when we were going home I had to stop in Mesa
at the Blissful Living Studio.
It was a visual feast! I wish they had something like that here. I told them they should set up online classes or something.

Back to the snow and ice. We have a ice rink at our local park, and Isaac really did have fun, I think he was just being a stinker for the picture. He spent most of this day sliding around on his belly like a walrus. He has definitely improved since then. Don't you love his pink skates?
Thrift stores rock!

The little family - professionally taken by timer/tripod.
Getting a family picture is like conducting a symphony made up of goats. If you can even get them to sit in their seat, then they start eating their instruments!

I'm back, and I hope I can get myself back into the habit of blogging!