Tuesday, December 25, 2007

I'm Dreaming of a . . . . .

Yes, of a white Christmas. And for me, it is just like the ones I used to know. But today I was made aware of the fact that my 34 year old husband couldn't remember it ever snowing on Christmas here in Washington. Of course, this was something that we were talking about around 10:00 am or so. After watching the nightly news, we were given actual statistics saying that this was the third Christmas it had snowed since 1948 or something like that. But earlier in the day I couldn't help but feeling a little sad for my kids that they (most likely) would never experience the thrill of waking up on Christmas morning with inches of snow already on the ground while the white fluffy flakes continue to fall gently from the sky. I'm so thankful for the years we spent in climates that allowed those childhood fantasies to be fulfilled.
As I was talking with a friend, she mentioned that one of her boys had declared, after hearing that Christmas was just days away, that then it would snow. She had to gently let him down to the fact that most likely there would be no snow. That even though so many of the Christmas movies and stories show Christmas and snow arriving at the same time, that isn't always the case. I have also had a couple of different conversations recently about different Christmas traditions. This got me to thinking about the different things that signify, to me, that Christmas time is here.
So here goes round #3 for a "list" post. Please take the time, if you can, to leave comments regarding your own family traditions or things that signify Christmas to you!

1. First and foremost is the Christmas music that we pull out very early on in the season that helps bring the Christmas spirit and joy in on the right foot! Some of my favorite Christmas CDs are; Amy Grant's - A Christmas Album, 4Him's - Season of Love, Carpenters' - Christmas Portrait, The Chipmunks' - Christmas with the Chipmunks, Michael W. Smith's - christmastime. These are just a few but definitely get the most "air" time!
2. Christmas lights - we don't ever put any up on the outside of our house but I love seeing the houses all decorated. And to be quite honest, I really don't mind the big blow-up yard decorations.
3. Though we missed both this year, for the past couple of years our old small group from Bethany has went to the mountains for a playing-in-the-snow/cutting-down-a-tree trip and the ladies have a cookie exchange/craft night. It is such a joy and a blessing to be able to gather with friends who share our belief in a holy baby born of a virgin who would later be our risen Saviour. The ultimate Christmas gift! What an amazing gift that was and continues to be!
4. Christmas programs at church and school.
5. The buying of the girls' Christmas dresses and then the bringing them home and having them try them on for Daddy. I love to see them get all "foo-fooed" up and then watch them spin and twirl. I can still remember the feel of it myself and how much like a princess that certain dress can make you feel.
6. Taking a day to bake and make Christmas candy with my mom and sisters. Some years are more extravagant than others but we always have a lot of fun and of course enjoy the "fruits of our labor".
7. I was very lucky to marry into a family who celebrates on Christmas Eve. Because we've never moved away, we have never had to choose for ourselves how our immediate family would go about opening our gifts. Traditionally, we spend Christmas Eve at Keith's parents house. We have dinner together, open gifts and if we are lucky get to sneak in a game or two before its off to church for the Christmas Eve service.
8. After last night, I would have to say that my favorite tradition would be attending our churches Christmas Eve service. It is beautiful and wonderful and is the perfect way to bring all your thoughts right back around to the true and real meaning of Christmas.
9. I suppose this goes along with #7 but MY family has always celebrated on Christmas Day. On the off years that we actually aren't living with my parents we usually head out to Mom and Dad's after the Candlelight Christmas Eve service, where we all crash in empty rooms to be ready for getting up bright and early. My sisters make homemade bagels and cinnamon rolls and we sit around the tree and the Christmas story is read. Then we open gifts. I love the family time spent together.

Well, these are a big part of the list, though I'm sure I'm missing some things. As I finish up this post, the rain is coming down in icy sheets and I can't help but wish that we might wake to a wonderland of white!

Merry, Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 24, 2007

We Wish You A Merry Christmas!

We wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Love and Hugs from the McCoy Gang

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Deck the Halls (or walls) . . . with lots of color

Yes it's true! Paint, we've got paint! I'd actually say we are about 95% done with painting the inside of the house. Of course, that doesn't include doors, door jams or trim. Besides, doors are highly overrated. Kidding . . . we like doors. We're just trying to keep an upbeat attitude about having to pee in a bathroom w/o a door. But at least we now get to go in a toilet and not a bucket in the garage. WOW! How did I get so off track with my original thought? Must be the lack of sleep and completely overworked mind and body.
So getting back to what I was saying. Our halls and walls have been decked out with color. And not just a little color or a light color. We are talking in your face color! Now some of these color combo's were not my idea and some didn't exactly have the effect I was originally going for but overall I'm thrilled, absolutely thrilled with the paint. I'd love to show you pictures but they just don't do the colors and rooms justice. Really, they need to be seen in person. Which means, ya'all will just have to come over when we are moved in to see what sort of crazy combo's I came up with.

Now about the halls and walls of my trip to NYC/DC. Lets touch on a few things about my (our) trip. This was my first trip back east. It was definitely an eye opener in a wonderful way. I loved both cities and would go back in an instant. On our first full day in NYC, we rode the subway in to Manhattan. (We are not wealthy people and were gone for 11 days so to be able to afford this trip had to stay out in Queens. Jamaica-Queens to be exact.) When we came up out of the subway station, got our bearings and started walking up (up isn't actually accurate since we were heading east) 42nd St towards Broadway, it was a bit overwhelming. Buildings so high with all sorts of advertisements and billboards and TV screens right on them. The streets and sidewalks were so crowded. The hustle and bustle was phenomenal. We definitely looked and acted the part of the average tourist. Cameras out and clicking away. Maps out trying to find exactly where we were headed, all while our heads are cocked back at these insane angles trying to take everything in. You could definitely say we "absorbed" as much of the city as possible.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Time goes by so fast . . . .

I can't believe it's been so long since I last posted. I have to be honest. Trying to stick with only titling my posts with names or phrases from songs has kinda been a hindrance. Also I feel like I have so much to share about my trip that I don't' even know where to start. Plus I really wanted to post pictures along with my stories but that proves a little more difficult. So I just haven't blogged at all, which is bad and not good and a tad bit sad. Lets see. What are some things that happened since my last post? My very, very good friend in Oregon gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, my niece in Kansas turned 2, we got our house sheet rocked, textured and Keith primed the whole thing last night after work and I went to NY and DC! We also had our first snowfall and then horrendous flooding in the area, though we weren't affected by it. God is good. Our garage had started leaking through the roof but then during the worst part of the rain it stopped. We have all of our flooring, all our kitchen cabinets and all of our doors in the garage besides for all of Keith's tools and such. It could have been pretty bad but God protected our stuff and we are so grateful. Today we start painting the house and that will probably take us a couple of days. I will be posting pictures of the trip and house soon and also filling you in on all the glorious details of my amazing trip!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

It's been a hard days night . . .

Well, I feel the need to clarify and then apologize. Clearly I had no idea how bad things could get when I ranted about sawdust over a month ago, but now I know. And honey, it ain't a pretty picture!!! Sawdust don't got nothing on insulation! I do believe that stuff is of the devil, sent straight from the HOT PLACE!
We've kicked the "remodel" project into high gear and have been at the house as much as possible including weekends. My body truly aches in places that are completely unimaginable. But with the aches and pains comes a sense of pride and accomplishment. It is getting done and WE are the ones doing it. Plumbing and electrical have been completed and today the last of the insulation was reinstalled. Let me tell you that stuff is nasty. After taking an extra long shower, I still feel as though I have tiny shards of glass stuck in my face, hands, arms and neck. It's even oozing out from my eyeballs, which are still burning 9 hours later. The sheet rock should be going up the middle of next week. I'm hoping to get some sort of painting done before us 4 girls take off for the "big city", even if it is just primer. We'll see though.
Well, I'm off - I should be sleeping like a log (or was that dog?).

Friday, November 2, 2007

I'm in heaven, I get carried away . . .

It's back!!! And I'm a happy, happy woman!
If any of you ever watched Ally McBeal - picture with me the episode where they go thru all the steps to truly enjoy a latte'. First, hold the hot cup in your hands and let the warmth permeate into your fingers. Next, bring the cup up to your face and before taking your first sip briefly smell the delightful scents wafting from the opening. Then slowly, very slowly, take your first swallow. Enjoying the taste of the coffee and the spiciness of the gingerbread and the bite of the nutmeg sprinkled on top of the fluffy, light whipped cream.
It is glorious, it is heaven, IT is a Gingerbread Latte'!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

.... and then I don't feel so bad!

21. Volleyball. Watching it on TV is great, actually playing is better. I even played on my jr. high school team as well as our high school team while I lived in Montana. I was the setter!
22. Playing games. Unlike my dear friend, JA, I thoroughly enjoy trivia games. I'm really not that good at them but I still love to play them. Of course they have so many different trivia type games that I usually go for the ones I'm more familiar with. Like the Pop Culture edition of Trivial Pursuit or the Scene It games - Disney, Movies, Friends, TV and Squabble editions. (Notice no Harry Potter or ESPN Sports.)
23. Listening to my kids play together. I love to pretend to be engrossed in something when they are playing and have them not realize I'm listening in. They still have such an innocence about them and yet they are maturing and it brings back memories of my first "loves" and friendships from when I was a young girl.
24. Christmas music. I know y'all are thinking - not music again. But music is such a HUGE part of my life and Christmas music deserves it's very own spot on "the list". Today is the first time I've listened to Christmas music this year. When I was younger we started listening to it not long after we went back to school. After getting married, Keith restricted me to Oct - Dec. I've actually tried to hold off until November but usually don't make it. But Oct 27th isn't that bad, if I do say so myself.
25. Shopping.
26. But even more than shopping - I love getting a bargain. Matter fact, I'm so much of a bargain shopper that I won't even shop at the thrift stores until they have 50% off sales. The clearance racks are the first ones I head to in any given store and lots of the time I won't even check out the other racks.
27. Candles. My favorite scents are food type scents. Like brownies and coffee and caramel. My favorite is Belgian Waffle from Partylite.
28. Fires in the wood stove. I love the smell, feel and sound of it.
29. Camping. While growing up, my family tried the whole camping thing a number of times. No lie, every single time we went it rained! I'm not joking or exaggerating. When I met Keith he was an avid camper and hiker. I decided to give it another try which is kinda ironic because we live in the Pacific NW, really how often are you going to go camping and it not rain? Keith must have prayed a lot because now I love it! (Though I do admit that we have a tent trailer now so camping in the rain is a bit easier. Also, we plan on getting a regular trailer hopefully by next summer which means it won't matter at all how much it rains. We cheat!)
30. Road trips. If I had the option of driving or flying, hands down I'd choose driving 95% of the time.
31. Autumn - my favorite season of the year.
32. Watching TV on DVD. Once again - I cheat, but being able to watch a 60 min program in 44 minutes is not only a time saver but if you have to pause it you can and you don't have to wait a whole week to watch the next episode!
33. The beach - not the shore - but the warm, sandy beaches of Southern Callie. I guess once a So Cal girl always a So Cal girl.
34. In n' Out Burger. (Speaking of So Cal.)
35. Log Cabins. We lived in one in Montana. I loved that little house. If I was going to build my dream home it would be a log home.
36. I love smiling. Smiling's my favorite! (ha, ha!)
37. Laughing and making other people laugh.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

I simply remember my favorite . . .

Okay, so I'm going to try and do a "list" of some of the things that I love. These are in no specific order and are completely random thoughts. We will see if I can do this without trying to write an explanation on every single thing. Hopefully, this will be a sort of getting to know you kinda post. Please feel free to leave comments on your favorite things as well!!!

1. My knew CD that was given to me for my birthday - Coco by Colbie Caillat. You should definitely check this one out!
2. Driving fast - I would love to be in a long distance race like in the old Herbie the Love Bug movies from Disney.
3. Chocolate - anything
4. Coffee - iced or hot, anytime of day - caffeinated. I prefer Starbucks espresso but can't stand their coffee, weird huh?
5. Being a stay-at-home Mom. I can't imagine there being anything more desirable.
6. Snow - the more the better. I'm not afraid to drive in it but other peoples tendencies to be a bit stupid in the snow keep me home for the most part when it's snowing. While living in Montana it snowed on Halloween and from then on we had snow until after Easter!!!
7. My favorite time of year is Christmas. I love the extra time spent with family doing "holiday" things like playing games, watching Christmas movies, making candy and baking. Even the occasional craft night is thoroughly enjoyed during Christmas time.
8. Reading. When I was a kid my parents used to punish me by taking away my books. Sheer torture, I tell ya!!! I have been devouring the Christian fiction from our local library lately. Mystery with a bit of romance is the best! My favorite book of all time is The Hawk and the Jewel by Lori Wick, the first in her Kensington Chronicles series.
9. Music - in a wide variety of genre's. For the most part I like it if it can be sung to/with. (I'm thinking of titling my posts from now on, names of songs or lines from songs. Think it can be done?)
10. Singing. You might say that this is the same as #9 but I feel it's completely separate. Many people like music but don't enjoy singing. Not me and not my family. We sing, we sing everything. You say something, we respond with a song. I wish that I was a better singer but I enjoy it enough that it doesn't bother me, I guess.
11. Harmony. Yes this does go along with #10 but it is so important that I feel it deserves a spot on the list all by itself. I love hearing it and I love singing in harmony with others. Singing with my mom, dad, sisters, daughters, sisters-in-law, brother-in-law and friends from Ecola is amazing!
12. My husbands fajitas! One of the few meals he cooks but when he does - watch out, you're in for a treat!
13. Scrapbooking - The best gift I was ever given was everything I needed to get started in scrapbooking. It was a gift from my husband and was a complete surprise. Also, my dad got me a scrapbooking table that is right up there with my scrapbooking supplies because my dad never gets gifts for people, that's kinda my moms job. He used to get us girls chap stick every year for Christmas but stopped because we teased him so much about it. Now we really miss getting a new brand/flavor every year.
14. My favorite "religious" holiday is Easter. I LOVE the message of Palm Sunday and cry every year when I'm reminded of the ultimate gift and sacrifice my Savior made for ALL who would believe, but would have given solely for me! What an awesome God we serve!
15. Babies - love 'em! Screaming, crying, smiley, giggly, poopy or freshly changed. You need a baby held, I'm your gal. At one point in my life, I wanted to have eight kids!!!
16. Disneyland - it is absolutely the Happiest Place on Earth!!!!
17. Churros from Disneyland. While there on our honeymoon, Keith and I went crazy over the churro's. We would walk past a vendor and purchase a couple and then keep walking thru the park. If we came across another churro vendor we would buy a couple more even if our first ones weren't gone!!! I've yet to find a churro that compares.
18. Flip-flops or as my mom would call them - thongs!! Hee, hee!
19. Pedicures - I had my first pedicure in June of 2002 for my baby sister's wedding. I can count on both hands the times I've had a pedicure since then but it is unquestionably one of the most decadent things you can pay to have done to yourself (that's legal!). But you have to go with a friend, that makes all the difference in the world!
20. Receiving emails from friends and family.

Okay, well this doesn't even come close to covering ALL OF MY FAVORITE THINGS, but it's a good start!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


Just wanted to briefly "update" a couple of older posts:

After Fall coming unseasonably early to the Pacific NW, yesterday was a delightful treat. It was 73*F degrees. A t-shirt w/o jacket or sweatshirt, flip-flops and an iced Carmel Macchiato helped make the day perfect (weather-wise)! I'm really looking forward to a couple more sunshiny days towards the end of this week. We might even try to throw in a visit to the pumpkin patch.

As far as the NY/DC trip is concerned, my sister has our itinerary basically done (Thanks Janeen!), and boy is it FULL! We have so much planned that I don't even know where to start. Hopefully we will be eating at one of Bobby Flay's restaurants, ice skating at the Wollman Rink on Thanksgiving (after the Macy's parade, of course), seeing a play on Broadway starring Jennifer Garner (my all time favorite actress), getting dessert at Serendipity 3 (from the movie Serendipity), going on numerous tours and seeing numerous memorials, watching the tree lighting ceremony at Rockefellar Center; just to name a few. We are still very excited!

Work on the house is still progressing, Praise the Lord. We now have a front porch and covered deck along with gutters! Plumbing is almost completely finished and about a days worth of electrical left to do. Then we are ready for sheet rockers! After that we should be painting and then flooring goes in or kitchen (not sure which one we will do first). Hopefully I'll be posting pictures soon!

Friday, October 12, 2007

What do you see?

I still get the "word of the day" everyday. I still feel that it's a waste of my time and inbox space but every once in a while the word does create some intellectual thinking on my part (or at least thinking). A couple of days ago the word was physiognomy (see definition below). I have been mulling over this word since it appeared in my morning "mail" and here are some of the thoughts it has provoked:

physiognomy \fiz-ee-OG-nuh-mee; -ON-uh-mee\, noun:
1. The art of discovering temperament and other characteristic qualities of the mind from the outward appearance, especially by the features of the face.2. The face or facial features, especially when regarded as indicating character.3. The general appearance or aspect of a thing.

What do you see when you look into someones face? What does my face reflect? Do I look deep enough to see what is behind the physical appearance of any given person?

I would have to agree that the face can reflect so much of what is going on inside. Have you been hurt deeply? Do your eyes hold a sense of sadness? Are you insecure or shy? Do you have fine lines appearing around your mouth because of your constant smiles and laughter? What makes you smile and laugh? Do you have dark circles or puffiness under your eyes? Is this from lack of sleep or from an illness? When you walk do you have a spring in your step or do your shoulders droop from an unbearable weight? But more importantly, when I see you do I really see you? Do I take the time to look beyond the initial to try and see who you really are? Do I offer encouragement when needed or a shoulder to help share the load? Do I laugh with you and accept you for who you are? Do I share in your joys and your sorrows? Or do I take my preconceived notions and judge you unfairly?

What do people see when they look at me? Do they see my insecurities? Do they notice when I'm frustrated or upset? When I'm happy or excited? Do they see Jesus in me? In the way I treat others? In the way I treat my family?

My hope and prayer is that I will take the time to look a little deeper, be perceptive in what I see, be an encouragement to others in ALL situations and let Jesus light shine through me always!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Bringing about the actions you desire

So this is a bit of an update from my last post:
I've figured out how to get the attention that I need (and deserve, I might add) from my girls while driving in the car.
First of all, you have to kick one of the girls out of the vehicle. Right away this gives you an advantage. Less distraction for their little minds when there is only one other person in the car with you.
Secondly, no longer allow them to bring books to read in the car. Even less distraction for them.
Now all you have to do is turn the music up, aim the rear view mirror so that those in the back seat realize you are trying to connect with them and sing. If you still need to get there attention - SING LOUDER!!!
My girls aren't dumb - they figure it out and start singing along.
Now if I can get them to play the air guitar, I'll be REAL happy!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

What's wrong with this picture?!?

So driving home from school today this is the scene you would have been privy to if you'd been a fly in our little car:

MOM - being the "cool" mom she is, is listening to her daughters Jonas Brothers CD while driving with her "shades" on even though it's pouring down raining because it's also brilliantly sunny. Song #13 comes on - she turns the volume way, way up because all three of us girls LOVE THIS SONG, she starts singing loudly and looks in her rear view mirror to see her two daughters in the back seat, who should be singing just as loudly along with her. What she sees:

DAUGHTERS - sitting in the back seat both reading their books, quietly. Daughter #1 looks up at mom in the rear view mirror and raises her one eyebrow, looking rather bored and then continues to read. Daughter #2 doesn't even lift her head to acknowledge that mom is going for a moment here!

Apparently Mom isn't as "cool" as she once thought!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Why not add a little fiber to your diet?

Namely in the form of SAWDUST! And if inhaling it for six hours in a day isn't enough, you can add in the amount consumed in the coffee mug. And if that still isn't enough "fiber", you can always starting digging out the stuff that has lodged itself up your nose or in the corners of your eyes. Or the stuff that managed to makes it way past a zipped up coat, zipped up sweatshirt and t-shirt into your bra and underwear!!! I do believe you can actually have too much "fiber"!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

I want to be a part of it . . .

I'm so excited that I'm almost bursting! I'm going on an adventure, I'm going on a trip!
Yeah, that's right. My dear, amazing husband has graciously agreed to send me to New York with my Mom and two sisters for 10 whole days!! We've the confirmation emails to prove it! We will be spending Thanksgiving Day watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade from the street! And we are hoping to be able to see the lighting of the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center! We are planning on staying a couple of days in Washington DC as well. This will be a "Tanner" first. Us four girls have never taken a trip together by ourselves! This is particularly exciting and nerve racking for me because 1) I've never been east of Colorado and 2) I get very air sick flying (as opposed to air sick while driving or being on a boat). Watch for updates on how the planning is coming. Of course, I'm sure I'll have a ton of pictures to post from our trip also. If you have any great spots or things we should visit and see please pass the info along.
FYI - I have never been on a plane that was not flying into or out of California. Interesting, no?

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The winds of change are blowing and man is it COLD!

Last week, it happened over night. One morning on the way to drop off the girls at school the trees were covered in green leaves. The next morning they were turning color and not just a couple of them. I swear half the leaves on half the trees are showing off rich hues of red, orange and yellow. It's gorgeous.
Today, I've been in warm-up pants, sweatshirt and my warm fuzzy slippers while freezing - inside my house.
But the ultimate reason I know that summer is racing full speed into fall is that I've already started ordering my coffee drinks hot!!! That usually doesn't happen until Starbucks starts serving their Gingerbread Lattes! Venti, non-fat, extra-caramel, light-whip Caramel Macchiato - Here I Come!!!

Sunday, September 16, 2007


Just a brief little post to share a few thoughts that have been floating in my head for a couple of weeks now.
I am truly blessed by the friends that God has placed in my life. I know that many people say that friends are the family that you get to choose. And I suppose that is true especially for people who don't have any extended family or have poor relationships with family or their family just isn't close by. But I'm lucky to have a very close-knit family that gets along very well together. So my friends are bonus family! Here's a couple little stories highlighting some "true friendship moments":
1. Before heading down to Albany, OR to visit the Owen family, Jane Anne sends me an email saying that there was a possibility we might be going to a water park so pack my swimsuit. I emailed her back and said that I'd packed the girls' and I would see about finding mine but that was a very SCARY thought. In true friendship fashion, her response was not - no pressure, if you don't feel comfortable in a swimsuit don't worry about it. No she told me - if I couldn't handle it to pack a baggy t-shirt to wear over my swimsuit! And contrary to what some people might be thinking right now, I was not offended in the slightest. Matter of fact, I smiled. My friend was not about to let me "get-away" with missing out on great fun over my stupid pride! THAT IS A TRUE FRIEND!
2. While in Oregon, I made a very last minute phone call to my friend, Kristi, asking if we could come over and see them and even possibly stay the night. Without hesitation (or anger over the short notice) she told me to come as soon as possible and we could stay as long as we wanted. THAT IS A TRUE FRIEND!
3. In a bit of "It's a small world", my roommate from Ecola who lived in and around the Portland area all her life, happened to move to Graham, WA about 2 1/2 years ago. Sadly, even though we live about 15 minutes from each other now, we still rarely see each other. We are on a bunco team together though, and so usually spend the second Thursday of every month chatting and catching up. This last Thursday was one of those days. As we were getting our dinner, Megan mentioned that the pizza we were both getting had mushrooms. I told her I LOVE mushrooms. We continued on with our conversation and w/o asking me or saying anything she pulled all of the mushrooms off her piece of pizza and put them on mine. I didn't think twice about it. After we had sat down, I noticed that she wasn't eating the mushrooms that had been on her salad. Still talking about other things I ate them off her plate. She didn't blink an eye. THAT IS A TRUE FRIEND!
4. My friend Heather is into bicycling. She is extremely dedicated and loves it. I help facilitate a scrapbooking/craft night at our church once a month. And have also been very busy trying to help out with our remodel project. (Stay tuned for future posts, proving this fact!) Because of this, we've not been able to spend as much time together as we used too. I realized the other day how much I miss spending time with her. THAT IS A TRUE FRIEND!
I have so many other stories I could share about other friends but I don't have the time or space to write them all down. I am so THANKFUL for all the people who have blessed my life with their friendship!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

And the first day of school is finally here!

The girls ended up starting school on Wednesday, September 5th. This was actually three (school) days late. Their original start date was Thursday, August 30th. But the teachers in Bethel School District went on strike and so school started late. They were excited to get back to school and to see their friends again and find out which ones they had in class with them this year!
Each year I let the girls pick out their clothes for the first day of school. It's always a little interesting to see what they will pick to wear and then to hear their reasoning for it. Last year Samantha was ALL ABOUT the jeans. This year she wanted to wear a dress. I was also told that I needed to buy her more dresses. I'm sitting here wondering why, when ALL she wanted in the 2nd grade was to keep Levi Strauss in business. I guess 3rd grade is a new grade after all! --- Interesting bit of info - Underneath Samantha's polka-dotted dress are some very suspicious looking red marks that bare a striking resemblance to chicken pox! So after missing the first half of her first day of 3rd grade getting the doctors okay to go back to school (chicken pox they are not!), she's ready and waiting!

They are getting to that age where I don't even have to tell them to pose like this, they just automatically do it. It's kind of funny to watch. Of course, after every click of the camera before I say, "smile" again, they are snarking at each other and getting all upset. And then in a blink of an eye, they are once again all smiles for Mom and the camera!

My baby is in 2nd grade! I can hardly believe it. She is excited because she has Samantha's teacher from last year. It's been an unusual experience for Savanah. This is actually the first time she has been at the same school for 2 years in a row. It's a completely different feel to walk through the halls and know where you're going and to pass friends and teachers that you are familiar with. We are happy to be at Graham Elementary!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

*** More Firsts ***

So while the girls and I were experiencing a couple of firsts, so was Keith. He painted our house for the first time!!! As scary as the above picture is, it looks GREAT compared to the "original" before pics. Maybe when it's all said and done we can get an actual "before" and a completely done "after" picture posted.

Our brother-in-law, Martin came and helped Keith paint. In another "first", Martin went home without breaking one thing. Though I hear that he tried!

This might look like magenta paint but I promise that it's not. The main color is Spanish Sands; accent color is Seattle Red and the trim is Swiss Coffee. (I think that we might have a thing for S's. We surround ourselves with "S" names! Don't we, Sweetie? Hee, hee!)

And there she is! We've yet to get any trim up and the door is also going to be red. I can't wait til it is completely finished. I am so thankful for Keith and Martin giving up part of their weekend to paint the house. Truthfully, I so appreciate all the work that Keith, my dad, Martin and Seth have put into our home.

*** A Weekend of Firsts ***

This past weekend our family had the pleasure of visiting close friends who just moved to Oregon recently. This was our first trip down to see them. And we had so much fun! We were planning on all driving down after Keith got off work on Friday night but thru a series of events the girls and I ended up taking the train down on Thursday afternoon!

This was the first time we had ever been on a train before and it went amazingly well. It was a great experience and we will definitely do it again. It's quite a different way to travel. Instead of being stressed and anxious you can just relax and enjoy the ride. Plus, we were able to bring tons more luggage than we would if we were going on a plane. And that's always a bonus where us girls are concerned.

The girls brought Barbies, My Little Ponies and Strawberry Shortcake dolls and had a blast spreading out and "playing". (I'm chuckling to myself right now because I know that those three toys are as foreign to Jane Anne as her boys' Legos, Playmobil characters and other action figures are to me!)

Jane Anne picked us up at the train station in Albany which is about 15 minutes from their new home in Lebanon. We had a great weekend just hanging out, shopping, drinking coffee, getting pedicures and celebrating David's 4th birthday.

Before heading home on Monday, the girls and Keith and I drove over to Toledo, which is just outside of Newport, to visit my closest friend from Ecola. Kristi and I have been friends for 15 years. She was my maid-of-honor at my wedding. She was with me when I met Keith. Now between the two of us, we have six kids. Of course, she bears the brunt of that "weight", since I only have two. This was the first time we saw their newest home and also the first time we were able to meet their daughter Annabelle. She is almost two years old and they adopted her from Korea. She is the sweetest little thing. (I'm so bummed that I didn't think to get out my camera and snap a few pictures.) It was great to see their family even if it was for a short little visit.

We had a great weekend with lots of "firsts"!

Saturday, August 25, 2007


Our friends, Seth and Jane Anne Owen got Keith and I started on this whole blogging thing. And I'm not sure about Keith but I've really enjoyed it. I love opening up my email and seeing that someone has taken the time to read my blog and leave a comment. I also love checking out other peoples blogs because in this crazy life sometimes we just don't have the time to stay in touch with friends and family the way we would like too. So peoples blogs give you a brief glimpse into their lives.
The other day as we sat talking about our blogs, Seth asked me what "Hazy Views", the title of my blog, meant. Before I explain my blog title, lets get some background information. Both Seth and Jane Anne's blogs have interesting titles but they have "definitions". Jane Anne's blog Gravity of Motion means; the weight of constant activity. Seth's blog Popping Smoke means; the act of activating & throwing a smoke grenade, often to cover your movement out of an area. The idea of naming my blog gave me pause for a couple of days. I kept trying to figure out what I could name it, thinking I needed to have some great definition to explain my blog. But I finally realized that my blog would never get started if I waited for the perfect name to come to me. So I reflected a bit on what I would be blogging about. I would have to say that I'm a gal with a number of ideas and opinions but I'm too lazy (and busy, but mostly lazy) to "look up" supporting facts for my opinions. Case in point - I'm sure that on my post about driving, I could have looked up information on the Internet that would have given me some exact, factual figures on the number of traffic accidents that actually occur everyday. I also could have found out the exact weight of our Durango and the motor size without saying it was heavy and had a big motor. But that's just not who I am. I wish I were. But since I'm not, I knew that my posts would contain thoughts and opinions that didn't necessarily have facts to back them up, which would in turn make them very HAZY VIEWS.

Thursday, August 23, 2007


What time is it? Summertime!


When I hear my favorite song, I know that we belong . . .

We've got to work, work, to work this out

Hey batter batter, hey batter batter, swing

These are just a few of the lines in just a few of the songs in the new High School Musical 2. And at any given moment of the last 6 days you could probably hear one of my daughters or even myself singing snippets from one or more of these songs. We've gone HSM crazy. We LOVED the first one with sweet, shy Gabriella and cute boy named Troy. All the singing and dancing won us over completely, along with the G rating. We were SO excited for HSM2 to come out, so we had a HSM party weekend planned. We've now seen High School Musical 2 three times. And it hasn't even come out on DVD yet. And the kids already want to know when HSM3 will be in the movie theaters. WE CAN HARDLY WAIT!
What team? Wildcats! What team? Wildcats! Wildcats, GETCHA HEAD IN THE GAME! Right, Janeen?

The sincerest form of flattery.

As I was driving home the other day with my oldest daughter and niece, I was thinking about the actual act of driving. After having had my license for 18 years (and no, I'm not 34), driving just seems to come second nature. You kinda of do it without even thinking. I do admit when I get in my husbands SUV after not driving it for awhile I will try to push in the clutch and get nothing but air. And then I'll reach for the stick in between the seats and realize that I'm not driving a stick-shift. But beyond all that, driving is second nature. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't be paying close attention while you are driving. Hundreds of accidents occur on the roads everyday. Some of them minor and some extremely serious. Most of those accidents are most likely caused by someone not paying attention or driving recklessly.
A couple of weeks ago I had to borrow my husbands vehicle because it fits more kids than mine does. I ended up having it four days. Now it is big and heavy with a larger motor, so you can look down at the speedometer and realize that you are going 70mph in a 55mph zone rather easily and not even feel like you are going that fast. But you get in my little Honda and as you are shifting through the gears you feel as though you are just racing down the road. So, anyway, the girls and I were going somewhere and Anah says from the back seat. "Momma, are we late?" I told her no. She said, "Well, you are scaring me." I asked her why and she said because I was going too fast. I looked down and I wasn't going quite 60mph in a 55mph. I told her that we weren't really going that fast, just a couple miles over the speed limit. She wanted me to slow down. I told her that I needed to be going the speed limit or the cars behind me would be very upset with me. I also told her that there was no need to be scared. I was in control of the car and wasn't driving recklessly and I would never purposely do something that would put her or her sister in any danger. Out of everything that God has given to me, they are the most precious "things" in my care.
So back to my car ride with my niece. As I pulled away from my sister-in-laws house, I reflected on that conversation with Anah. I know that most parents feel the same way I do about my children. They may drive you completely insane at times but when it comes right down to it they mean more than anything to you. So when someone else lets me take their kids in my car, or to my house or places their children in my care for any amount of time, they are placing a tremendous amount of trust in me. They are trusting me to care for their child(ren) as much as they do. And that has got to be one of the sincerest forms of flattery!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Ya just can't make me happy!

So after carting my girls back and forth to school all last year, by the end of the year I was tired. Tired of getting up five days a week and driving 18 minutes to take the girls to school. Tired of wanting to be in my house and not being. Just tired. I was excited for summer break and having the girls home.
Tonight I am tired. Tired of the girls' constant arguing, fighting and whining. I can't wait for school to start and I'll gladly get up five days a week and drive 18 minutes to get them to school so that I can have a couple of hours of peace and quiet.
HOW PATHETIC IS THAT!!! Now we will just have to wait and see how long it takes for me to once again be tired of driving the girls to school! Ha, Ha!

Thursday, August 9, 2007


As I mentioned in my last post, I love music. Love it. It's a huge part of my life. We constantly have music playing, whether we are in our home or in our car. I have downloaded (legally) bunches of music to our computer. We have an IPod that goes with me many places. I LOVE MUSIC! I'm also a child of the '80's. So I have "mixed tapes (CD's) all over the place. I love them! I love getting them! I'm weird, I know. Anyway, because I am constantly listening to music I have many songs that I relate to situations in my life. Right now, my absolutely favorite song is by Michael Buble'. The song is called Everything. Even though it is written and sung by a man it says just what I feel for my husband. The best part is the second half of the second verse. When it gets to that part I turn the volume way up and just picture him (and of course, sing along). It makes me hope that he feels the same way for me. Here are the words:

You're a falling star
You're the getaway car
You're the line in the sand when I go too far
You're the swimming pool on an August day
You're the perfect thing to say
And you play it coy
But it's kind of cute
When you smile at me, you know exactly what you do
Baby, don't pretend that you don't know it's true
'Cause you can see it when I look at you
(chorus) And in this crazy life
And through these crazy times
It's you, it's you
Ya make me sing
Your every line
Your every word
You're everything
You're a carousel
You're a wishing well
And you light me up when you ring my bell
You're a mystery
You're from outerspace
You're every minute of my every day
And I can't believe that I'm your [wo]man
And I get to kiss you baby just because I can
Whatever comes our way
We'll see it through
'Cause you know that's what our love can do
(a bunch of la, la, la's)
Your every song
And I sing along
'Cause you're my everything
(more la, la, la's)

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

I'm one of those people!

It's true! I admit it! I am one of those people. One of those crazy, scary people. The ones you drive by (or should I say drive by you) that are the only person in the car and look like they are going into some sort of screaming rage. But they aren't. No, they are just singing at the top of their lungs with blind ambition. The funny thing is, though, I do it with my kids in the car. And they are learning to do it too! And I'm as proud as I can be!!!
I LOVE MUSIC!!! In all sorts of genre's. On any given day you could find Def Leppard, New Kids on the Block, Michael Buble', Steven Curtis Chapman, Phil Vassar, The Beach Boys and Hannah Montana all in my CD changer. My girls love music also. Even when they were brand new babies they loved music. When we were driving in the car they used to scream at the top of their lungs if the music wasn't turned up loud enough. And I would always indulge them. I mean really, who would rather hear a baby screaming than their favorite music cranked? As the girls grew up, they continued to listen to my music. I was a "mean" mom and didn't really listen to kiddie music. When Samantha was about 3 1/2, her favorite song was 'She thinks my tractors sexy' by Kenny Chesney. She called it HER SONG. But now that the girls are older I have to admit, I listen to their music. We have a couple Hannah Montana cds, a few Disney Mania cds, and our favorite High School Musical. I'm regressing!!!!!!

Friday, August 3, 2007

*****IT'S A GIRL!!!!*****

I became an aunt again today. My sister gave birth this afternoon to a beautiful, healthy baby girl named Rylee Jaydon. She weighed in at 7lbs 6oz and is 18 1/2 inches long. Samantha and Savanah are SO EXCITED to have a baby girl cousin. They would hardly leave her alone.

HAPPY BIRTH-DAY RYLEE! Welcome to our family!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Baby steps

After my post about letting my children go and start to grow up, Keith commented that the easiest way to do this is by "baby steps". (I think he might have been quoting Bob. No, not the talking red tomato - the Bob of What About Bob?, fame.) So last night, we took our first "baby step". The girls got to have their very first sleep-out in the tent trailer all by themselves, chaperoned only by their "ferocious protector", Lacey, who is our yellow lab. Sam did great. After making sure they were all settled and tucked in and prayed with, I left them figuring I would see them both very shortly. Sam didn't come in once. Anah on the other hand just couldn't seem to keep herself in her sleeping bag. She was in and out at least 4 times. Then came in to say that Sam was asleep and she had to come in and sleep in her own bed. Me, being the meany that I am, informed her that they had been begging me for days to let them do this and she need to go get back in the trailer and go to sleep. Figuring this really wouldn't work and I would at some point in the middle of the night need to bring them back in and get them settled back in the house. BUT THEY DID IT!!!! We didn't see their happy, smiling little faces until after 8 am this morning! They were so proud of themselves for staying out all night and not being afraid. I guess Keith was right - baby steps! BABY STEPS!!!!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

I didn't do it!!!

My husband decided to take the girls for a short little hike this morning before lunch. It was a bit misty but still on the warm side so I suggested that they wear their water sandals (Teva's or Keen's) just in case they ended up walking thru some water. Keith said, "Oh no, we won't be walking close to the water. We won't be getting wet." I decided to let him do as he wished since he was the one taking them. Of course the first thing I heard the minute the girls walked in the door was, "Anah fell in twice". And sure enough the wet tennis shoes, socks and pants on the laundry room floor prove it. I can't say I was too surprised by this. But I was a little shocked when my husband walked in and said, "I hit a rock that put a huge gouge down the side of the Durango and then had to put it in 4-Low to get it unstuck." WOW!!! Wasn't expecting that, but boy am I glad I wasn't the first one to "injure" the Rang, Rang!!!

Friday, July 20, 2007

It's hard letting go!

We took a short little "mini-vacation" this week. For the past two years, Savanah has asked to go to the beach for her birthday. Since her birthday falls right smack dab in the middle of July (the 18th to be exact), it isn't that hard of a request to grant. I mean, it is summer time after all. But her birthday hasn't been on the weekend for awhile and won't be for at least two more years. So this year, Keith decided to take the day off. Now, Savanah has the privilege of sharing her birthday with her Aunt Janeen (my sister), who has always had a "thing" for birthdays. She pays close attention to them, hers even more so. She commented to Anah this week that she should keep track of the number of birthdays she celebrates where it is raining on her birthday. Odd comment, you might be thinking. But the last time it rained on my sisters birthday (besides for this past Wednesday) was 11 years ago. We spent the evening watching Point of Grace perform at the King County Fair in the pouring down rain. It was horrible and wonderful all at the same time. But mostly it was memorable! So memorable in fact, that even though July 18th is not my birthday I reminded my mom of the fact that that was the last time it rained on Janeen's birthday, before Janeen herself commented on it. Now I'm sure by now you all are wondering, what does this have to do with letting go? Not a gosh darn thing. I just wanted to get my point across about how disappointing it was to have rain on our "mini-vacation", when the chances were so unlikely that it would happen. So on with my story . . .

For our "mini-vacation", we decided to go crabbing. This was something that Keith did many times as a kid and teenager but I myself had never done. He was so excited to take the girls and I was so excited to take pictures of the girls and him. Because of the handy weather channel we were as prepared as possible for the rain. And the girls were troopers. They toughed it out for 2 1/2 hours in the pouring down rain. They had a blast. They helped Keith put the bait in the bait cage and throw the crab pots into the water and then pull them back up again. They had no fear when it came to picking up the crabs with their snapping little claws and throwing them back into the water or holding them for pictures or to be measured to see if they were keepers. But they also had no fear of the water. And this scared me TO DEATH.

We were crabbing off a dock, which meant they could walk right off the dock and fall straight into the cold, deep, black water. I'm not a good judge of distance and measurements but I know that dock couldn't have been over five feet wide. And I'm telling you, five feet is not a whole lot of space when you've got crab nets and buckets and a dad with two little girls with ants in their pants who want to see every thing and be a part of every thing. Seriously, they would walk right up to the edge of dock and lean as far over it as possible to try and see the crab pot that was sitting on the bottom of the ocean, who knows how far down. The water was black. They couldn't see anything past 12 inches from the surface. Or they would be helping with something and would turn their backs to the water and the edge of the dock and then take steps backward without every looking to see how far they could go without falling in. After about 45 minutes of continuously telling them to stop running, get away from the edge and quit doing that, I had to leave. I couldn't handle it anymore. I knew without a shadow of a doubt one of them was going to go over the edge. So I left to get more bait and air! When I got back, I remembered that we had their life vests with us and that I could have them put them on underneath their rain jackets. The minute they were on, it was like a huge boulder had been lifted off my lungs and I was finally able to breath again and relax. The whole time before putting on their vests, Keith kept telling me, "baby, you gotta let them go", "they are gonna be okay", "I did this all the time as a kid". But I couldn't let them go. To me it was dangerous and honestly I didn't want to have to go in the water after them.

Now that it is all said and done, and we had no mishaps and no one went "overboard", I still have a hard time "letting go". They are my babies. How do I let go?

Friday, July 13, 2007


I subscribe to the "word of the day". Why? Not quite sure. Thought I might learn something new. Increase my vocabulary. So far, I haven't been that impressed. Either the words are already IN my vocabulary or they are so weird I would never in a million years use them. But today the word is triskaidekaphobia, which is a morbid fear of the number 13 or the date Friday the 13th. I'm sorry but I think that this has got to be the silliest "phobia". I can't imagine anyone actually being afraid of a number or a date. It seems ridiculous. I realize that phobia in and of itself is, or can be, an irrational fear. It just boggles my mind though that anyone could have A MORBID FEAR of the number 13. So help me out, what other silly phobias do you know about? I'd love to find one that tops triskaidekaphobia!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


We just want to take the opportunity to tell all those who left comments on our last post, how much we appreciate their care and concern. I don't have email addresses for many of you or blogspots to be able to send you a personal thank you. So for now this will have to do. THANK YOU! Your prayers and words of encouragement have been a blessing to our family. We are doing okay. I will selfishly ask if you think of us to keep praying so we will continue to praise God through all of this.
In His care,
The McCoy gang

Monday, July 9, 2007

We don't always know the reasons why.

We don't always know the reasons why God allows certain things to happen but I'm so happy to say that at this point I am trusting His will and decision for our family. This weekend, we "lost" our baby. It was so hard after waiting for over three years for this little one. But as of today, I can say how thankful I am that my first two pregnancies were so easy and trauma free and that we have two beautiful girls. I'm trusting that this won't be my last pregnancy and praying that the next one will also be "easy and trauma free". Until then, we rejoice that our future lies with the One who can see the "whole picture" and one day we will meet our baby in heaven.

Monday, July 2, 2007

#1 Pet Peeve

Anyone who knows me will tell you that I'm late. Always. I AM ALWAYS LATE. Now of course over the past couple of years, I've really tried to work on that. I know that it is a very unbecoming trait. Rude of me, annoying for everyone else. But I can honestly say that as I've been working on it, I've actually gotten better. Matter of fact, I would say that I'm more on time now than late. But this morning on my way to our first doctors appointment to "see" the new baby, we were late. Which brings me to my #1, numero uno, most infuriating pet peeve. Slow drivers. They drive me insane!!!! How hard is it to drive the speed limit, I want to know? Seriously, if you can't go out there and drive the speed limit you DO NOT NEED TO BE DRIVING. I'd love to drive a vehicle that had this huge extenda-arm and giant claw that could just reach out in front of me and pick the slow poke up and move them out of the way so that I could move on at the speed limit. So to all those out there who like to drive along at a leisurely pace not thinking about the speed your driving or what the speed limit is, next time think about the car behind you. They would like to make it thru the light also.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Once and Again

I am the mother of two adorable little girls, ages 8 and almost 7. So, I was pregnant not that long ago. I've also had many friends and relatives who've went thru pregnancy in the past couple of years. But the minute the nurse told me the pregnancy test was positive, everything I have learned about being pregnant in the past 9 years completely flew out of my head. How is this possible, I ask myself? When my sister got pregnant three years ago, I had the answer for everything. She might claim that is because I am a bossy know-it-all. But everything that I had learned while being pregnant just came back to me and I passed my wealth of information on to her. She is pregnant once again and due in 5 weeks. Again I've had a plethora of information to share with her. But all of a sudden, now that I, myself am pregnant, I can't remember anything. What is okay for me to eat? What should I be doing to ensure a safe and healthy pregnancy? I DON'T KNOW!!!!! One thing I can tell you, is that ice cream has got to be good for the baby and it definitely helps with any problem that might arise!