November 30, 2008

The Holidays Have Arrived


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Originally uploaded by Krheiser

Yep, that's right. We've already put up our Christmas tree. It's a bit earlier than normal for us, but the alternative was to wait until mid-December. Weekends will be a rare commodity until after the first of the New Year. We've got Christmas parties and family gatherings galore.

And I know you're laughing at my poor abused puppy. He's in clothes! I bought him a holiday outfit. I should be ashamed but I find it all quite hilarious, thank you very much.

I'm about 85% done with the shopping, too.

Life is good!

November 26, 2008

Giving Thanks - Day 7


Family Photo
Originally uploaded by Krheiser

This is going to be a short one!

I am thankful I finally managed to graduate with my Bachelor's degree in the Spring!

November 25, 2008

Giving Thanks - Day 6


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Originally uploaded by Krheiser

I know. I missed a few days. Sorry about that.

This morning we woke up to a two-hour school delay. This meant by the time the bus came, the sun was up and I could take pictures! I'm so excited by this. I had been hoping for a pretty snowfall where the trees were blanketed in white. I had the shirts picked out, so all I needed to do this morning was dig the Santa hats out of the attic. Then I ushered my boys outside into the cold, wintery morning and took a half-dozen pictures.

I am thankful for the snow.

I am thankful for the shirts the daycare surprised us with last week.

I am thankful for good smiles and cooperation.

These are totally going to be put onto a Christmas card this year!

November 22, 2008

Giving Thanks - Day 5


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Originally uploaded by Krheiser

Yesterday this little boy didn't get on the school bus like he was supposed to. The daycare called as soon as they discovered his absence and we started making phone calls. Calls to the school. Calls to his best friend's house, the little boy who lives less than a block from the school. Calls to the bus garage. Eventually, we got through to his best friend's dad and found out he had showed up there after school.

So, I am thankful we found him safe and sound at a friend's house last night.

I imagine he is not thankful for the grounding or the manual labor he will be performing all weekend to make up for his lapse of judgement.

But I'm thankful nothing bad had happened, that nothing more than little boy foolishness prevented him from riding the bus to the daycare.

November 21, 2008

Giving Thanks: Day 4


At the Kingdom Gates
Originally uploaded by Krheiser

See that little red car right there? The one closest to you? That's us! My sister-in-law, Kellie, took this picture while we were entering the Magic Kingdom parking lot.

Now, you may be thinking this post is going to be about how much I love Disney. And I do! But that's not what this post is really about. It's about the vacation and the family we spent the week with while in Florida.

It's not often we take big family vacations with my brothers or sisters. In fact, I don't think I can recall a single big vacation where all of us were able to get the time off and the money saved. And, as far, as I can recall this was the first big trip the hubby and I had taken with any of my siblings. So, this trip really did seem like one of a lifetime to me. It was a chance to spend time together with my brother and his family.

I am thankful for the opportunity.

I am thankful for my teeny, tiny niece was the world's best baby and didn't seem to be too bothered by the 90-100 degree weather.

I am thankful we had a stroller to carry our stuff around in.

I am thankful for the nights at the hotel pool.

I am thankful they didn't back out even though a newborn would have made that perfectly acceptable.

I am thankful for my nephews who were such little troopers, even when the heat was making all us a little grumpy.

I am thankful for pictures we combined and shared.

I am thankful we went before the economy took a nose dive because the likelihood of doing anything this expensive in the near future is pretty slim.

I am thankful for the wonderful memories.

November 20, 2008

Giving Thanks: Day 3


The Five of Us
Originally uploaded by Krheiser

This picture was taken a few weeks ago at a friend's wedding. It's one of those rare pictures with all five of us in the frame. We had to wait to take it until my brother BJ and his family showed up - they were at their son's football game, so they didn't get to the reception until quite late. Luckily, the rest of us were having a good time and no one had left prior to his arrival.

These are my brothers and sisters. These are the people I shared one bathroom with in a house of seven. These are the people I played tag with in the yard, ice skated with on the pond, fished with in the gravel pits, and pretty much tormented whenever the mood struck. Not that they didn't do their fair share of tormenting, too!

I am so thankful I was not an only child. Having brothers and sisters means life is never dull. It means there's always someone you can lean on, depend on, and raz on. After all, "those who tease you, love you." (I have no idea who that quote belongs to, but I love it!)

November 19, 2008

Giving Thanks - Day 2


Ken
Originally uploaded by Krheiser

How could I not be thankful for my husband? He's many things to many people, but to me he's the world. He's the one I turn to in times of happiness and sorrow. He's the one I laugh and cry with. There are so many things this man means to me and there are so many reasons I give thanks that he choose me when he could have chosen another.

I am thankful for the times he's listened me rant when I really should have just shut up.

I am thankful for the times when I'm sick and he's taken care of everything so I can rest.

I am thankful for the thoughtful little presents he brings home from the grocery store (chocolate, mainly).

I am thankful for the flowers he surprises me with "just because".

I am thankful for the nights when he cooks dinner. Eventually the kids would tire of cereal, pizza, and frozen dinners..

I am thankful he knows how to run a dishwasher and a washing machine.

I am thankful he's the type of dad who makes pancakes every weekend for his boys.

I am thankful he lets me watch my strange and bizarre sci-fi shows.

I am thankful he's in my corner.

I am thankful he's got hobbies of his own, which makes him very tolerant and accepting of mine.

I am thankful he supports my dreams.

I am thankful he loves me.

November 18, 2008

Giving Thanks - Part 1


So Handsome
Originally uploaded by Krheiser

One of the blogs I follow is celebrating Thanksgiving by highlighting people, places, or things the author is thankful for. Of course, I think this is a brilliant idea! It may also help me post here a little more frequently. That being said, I was supposed to post this yesterday but I got side-tracked.

So....perhaps two posts today!

I am so thankful for those two little boys right there. They may drive me crazy and make me want to scream in frustration sometimes, but I can't imagine my life without them. They melt my heart. They make me smile. They are my boys and I love them.

I am thankful for snuggles on the couch.

I am thankful for artwork with "To Mom" scrawled across the top (or bottom) of the page.

I am thankful for hugs and kisses in the morning.

I am thankful for their imaginations and the stories they tell.

I am thankful they still want to be tucked in every night.

I am thankful they can play so well together...most of the time.

I am thankful for their laughter.

I am thankful for having them in my life and in my heart.

November 14, 2008

Busy Weekend Ahead

Tonight my writing group meets. It's a small, intimate group with a surprising variety of writers. Our WIPs cover everything from poetry, to children's fiction, to SF&F. Tonight I'm planning on reading from the first few pages of my paranormal romance novel so I can get some feedback on where I started and whether or not I have exposition in there to satisfy the reader. I was tempted to read from my NaNo project, but it's too new, too raw and I know I'd be too easily discouraged to continue if the feedback was bad.

Tomorrow I have a candle party in the early afternoon. Afterwards, I'm spending the night at my sister-in-law's house and scrapbooking until my eyes (or creative drive) gives out. I would like to make a sizeable dent in the stack of Maine vacation pictures, but I'm taking a bit of variety with me this time. Sometimes the muse needs something a little different in order to keep working.

Sunday is homework until I drop day. I had started what I'm going to call an urban fantasy for class, but after some consideration I decided to go with something else. The story I'm working on now was inspired by a woman who works with the FBI in busting Internet predators. I've got perhaps a page and half so far and I need 7 full pages by Monday night.

Yeah, yeah. And then there's NaNo. If I get the 7 pages done and a bit more of my paranormal romance edited, I'll return to the NaNo project. Priorities are needed here and, once again, NaNo falls near the lower end of the spectrum. I would feel bad if I wasn't working on so many other writing projects.

November 13, 2008

Took a Night Off

I was so lazy last night! The most productive thing I did after work yesterday was a couple loads of laundry after helping the kids with homework. Otherwise, my sorry little self sat on the couch. I'm blaming this lack of productivity on the new television hanging on my wall. HD television is pretty amazing. And the sound surround, as my youngest son so cutely calls it, isn't half bad either.

So, I watched the Country Music Awards show last night. I think Kid Rock's performance was by the far the best. Although, Carrie Underwood's choice of song made me tear up a bit. Didn't help that she had a war widow speak right before she took the stage.

So...really nothing much to report here. Other than I am LAZY and DREADFULLY BEHIND SCHEDULE! Considering my weekend plans, this could be very problematic. See why NaNo never works out for me. I can't just give up my life in order to dedicate myself to the story. I always get sidetracked by something or would rather just veg out after a long day at work.

There. You found me out. I am not the most dedicated writer. I'm more of a dabbler.

November 11, 2008

Nano

I don't have a lot of progress to report. I ended up sick late last week and then had weekend plans that interfered. However, I did manage to get 8 scrapbook pages done on our family vacation. Never mind it was the family vacation we took in 2006. Never mind that I've not even started this year's or last year's vacations, all of which have several hundred pictures each that I'm going to be sifting through trying to figure out which ones to include or exclude from the book.

I plan on working on my revisions at lunch today (from the very old project that should have been done ages ago). Then, tonight, after I get home and get things like homework, dinner, and (hopefully) excerise out of the way, I'm going to work on my NaNo project. I'm not feeling completely left behind yet, so trying to play catch up still seems a sane course of action.

Wish me luck!

We'll Take It

The boy did well! First marking period grades were better than expected. He got an A, two Bs, and two Cs. There's a non-credit art class in there, too. This report card earned him $20. Now I know there may be those of you who think rewarding Cs is simply insane. Well, all I can say to you is that you don't know my kid, his struggles, or how huge this accomplishment is.

Also...hoping it will motivate him to do as well or better next semester. It's possible even though he's starting out shaky (failing to turn in his science folder and homework the first week did not help).

Still waiting on the little guy's report card. Will update on that later!

November 5, 2008

Not to Jinx It...

...but the oldest brought home two printouts of what should appear on his report card. Drum roll, please. He's getting a C+ and a B- in two of his subjects! What two subjects, he couldn't remember and it wasn't printed on the teensy little computer printout his teachers handed him. But...they're passing grades!

I know. I know. There's more than two subjects to worry over here. Things could still go dramatically wrong when that darn envelope arrives.

But...he's passing! Despite his inability to stay organized, to turn things in, or even write legibly half the time, he's passing! (Knock on wood, cross your fingers, say a little prayer, and wish upon a star.)

November 3, 2008

NaNo Update

Total Word Count: 3345.

Opening Paragraph:

Ashyss Forasya, an unwanted tenth daughter of a sixth son in the House Forasya, couldn’t remember the last time the Grand Dame had summoned her to a private audience. When the missive had first arrived Ashyss had considered ignoring it, but against her better judgment she had washed off the sweat and dirt of the training labyrinth and dressed in her finest soft armor. She had briefly considered wearing the heavy armored chest plate and arm guards, but if her great-grandmother, the formidable Grand Dame, planned to murder her, Ashyss would have gotten a dagger in her ribs instead of a terse command to appear at the Forasya House at her earliest convenience.

November 2, 2008

Nano

So far so good.

Yesterday's word count: 1763

I've decided on a working title for the book. Until something else makes more sense, I'm calling it House Foraysa. My main character is a mercenary who happens to be the unwanted tenth daughter of a sixth son in the House Foraysa. Her little "quest", if you will, involves a family matter that will send her into peril. Of course, since I'm writing without a net here, I have absolutely no idea what the family emergency is or what kind of peril she's going to end up facing. Since I tend to write organically, I trust these things will just magically make themselves known as I write in the scenes.

I have been using a few pictures I've stumbled across online for inspiration.

This is Ashyss Foraysa of the House Foraysa.

This is a fellow mercenary and Ashyss's lover, Legas.

This is Ashyss's distant cousin who she will have to work with in order to pull off her "quest". Her name is Seiene.

I have no idea who (or possibly what) the antagonist looks like. I don't even have a name for him (or her) yet. I also have no idea what they have or want that is going to interfere with Ashyss's needs. But I'm confident I'll think of something.

And on that note, I'm off to write another 1700.