Monday, December 22, 2008

Christian got blogged!

Two weeks ago we had some old friends we knew in Germany come for a visit. It was a lot of fun to get reacquainted with them and make some new memories. One of the new memories involved taking them to our ward Christmas party. It was about as memorable an event as can be expected of your typical Christmas dinner with the ward family, but there was at least one thing that gave it a little something more. Gotta love it!!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Santa, PLEASE give them a lump of coal!!!

Yesterday was the longest day and unfortunately it's only going to get worse on the Santa set. My asst. manager tried to commit suicide on Saturday night and her daughter knew nothing about it until she was at work and understandably had a huge meltdown on the set. Austin and I left church early to take over. Now, for those of you unfamiliar with what the line for Santa is like, let me enlighten you. People start lining up about 30 minutes before we open and the line is usually about 1 1/2 to 2 hours longs. We only have one Santa that works all day with a couple of hour long breaks. How do we take care of Santa? We close the line early once we judge how long it takes from a certain point. If a customer is in line prior to us closing it, they get seen. If not, we have to turn them away or tell them to line up for the next session. That makes for ANGRY customers who seem to not care whether Santa ever gets a break. He's an old man, not a magical elf!! So, yesterday, we had the grandmother from *&*&%$ bring her grandson at 5:45pm. We still had a 25 minute line to get through prior to Santa getting a break before we began Pet Night @ 7pm. She created a HUGE scene. I called security for back up. Security was a woos (sp) and after talking to her for about 10 minutes, gave in instead of backing me. I might have gotten past that but the grandmother from *&^%$$ proceeded to tell everyone else that came up to the rope that they should insist as well. Security gave in second time. I told security that I didn't need their help anymore. No one else got past! We tried really hard to take a bad picture for the grandmother from %$*@*^, but unfortunately, her grandson was really cute and took a great picture on the 1st try.....dang it! Pet night started on time with a million dogs and two cats. It lasted past the 9pm close. I'm beat. Santa's beat. I'd like to know if a customer put my asst. manager over the edge...maybe I can blame her attempted suicide on the grandmother from #$%^@!!! Sorry for the rant.....

Friday, December 5, 2008

Texting & Driving do NOT Mix!!!

Teenagers (and some adults) really need to get a clue... texting while driving is beyond stupid. Don't worry, Ashley and I are okay, but as you can see by the pictures our car didn't fare so well. According to the insurance adjuster, it's a total loss. Any advice on what kind of car to purchase next???
I imagine the teenage boy driving the truck that plowed into us won't be driving for a while. Poor kid just got his license to drive and BAM....his truck didn't look too good either. As for the lady that I was pushed into...minor bumper damage to her explorer.
Things to be grateful for: that no one was seriously injured, insurance, friendly police officers, apologetic fathers (the kid's dad was sooo nice), awesome EQ pres who stopped to help and took Ashley and me home, cell phones (not to text while driving, but to call 911 in an emergency!), undamaged Christmas presents that were in the trunk, awesome neighbors who checked on the kids.....this is the short list in addition to the many, many things I'm always grateful for!!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Cub Scout Beginnings!

Christian is officially a Bobcat and on his way to earning his Bear in cubscouts. This was taken at Pack meeting a couple of weeks ago. I got to paint his face with different colors that represented different qualities that a cubscout has. He only got to put a little line of white down my nose. I don't remember what it signified, just that he thought it was great to put paint on my face!!

Friday, November 28, 2008


Ashley and I are traitors of the worst kind. As you all know, we work with Santa taking pictures of terrified toddlers, but tonight we couldn't resist visiting with a famous Santa from a competing mall. He was very jolly and even gave us our picture as a Christmas gift from from him. Ho Ho Ho!!! Merry Christmas! But please, shhh....don't tell anyone!

You may be wondering how it is that Ashley and I could sneak away to see Santa without Christian. Well it's really no surprise...Christian is at the ripe old age of eight and has no interest in seeing Santa - not that he doesn't believe or anything, he's just too cool now to be seen on Santa's knee! Besides, Bruce, Christian and Austin are camping with the Hopewell sons and grandkids...can you say "BBBRRRR"? That leaves me and my girls with a weekend free to shop, shop, shop!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Sister Ashley Nicole Tyler, you have been called to serve.....

in the


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Missionary papers are in!!!

Ashley's papers have been submitted to the bishop! All that's left are the interviews. My guess is that we'll know in about 3 weeks where the Lord will have her serve.

I Belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints!

Christian was baptized and confirmed on Saturday, October 11, 2008 by his dad! I am so thankful that Bruce honors his priesthood and has been worthy to baptized each of our five children. In the past, I sometimes wondered if children at the age of 8 can really make a decision of such magnitude, but I have a testimony that they understand enough and that they feel the spirit. They really do make a is not just a "right of passage." It has been really special to talk with Christian about the decision he made. He knows that it was right...not just because of what we said, but because he felt it.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Oh Yeah....I'm it!!

I am: a daughter, sister, mother, wife, friend, confidante
I think: deep thoughts (lol)
I have: great kids and a wonderful husband
I dislike: housework
I miss: army life
I fear: lack of job security
I feel: content
I hear: Sarah wait...Tina, Tina
I smell: Homemade oatmeal raisin cookies...yum
I crave: craving satisfied with the above answer!
I cry: easily....I've even been known to tear up at a commercial
I usually: get up early
I search: the internet way too much
I wonder: when Craig and Katie will make me a grandma
I regret: using my credit cards when I shouldn't have
I wish: I was a size 8 again!
I love: chocolate (that's where the size 8 went!)
I care: about other people feelings
I always: procrastinate
I worry: about my kids all the time
I am not: very creative
I remember: every detail of all my children's births except Craigs...they put me out for that one!
I believe: Jesus Christ is my Savior
I sing: silly songs that I make up when I'm in the shower
I don't always: make dinner...we have a lot of "fend for yourself" nights
I write: in my journal.....yearly at least!
I win: some
I lose: a lot
I listen: to country music and talk radio
I don't understand: how television works!!
I can usually be found: at the computer
I need: hugs from my children
I forget: why I went upstairs!
I am happy: when my family is together
I tag: Jessica, Jeni, Elisa, Diane & Chrissy

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

It's Great to be 8!

Christian has reached the ripe old age of 8 years. We had a very small yet very LOUD party for him yesterday after school. Who knew five boys could make so much noise. I was thrilled when they all went home!

For those of you who didn't already know this, Christian has been in a band since summer....he plays guitar. He is the best guitarist EVER according to the other band members. So, can you guess what he wanted for his birthday? A Gee Tar! Now I've got to find someone to teach him how to really play and not just pretend. He is awfully cute when he's strummin' away! Man, I wish we'd kept your guitar, Jake!!!

Also, everyone please mark your calendars. Christian's baptism is on Saturday, October 11 @ 4pm @ the stake center. We'd love to see you all there to share this special day with us.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Editing wedding photos is hard work!!

This is a picture of Sylvia & Lee after they were sealed a few days ago. Since the Angel Moroni had been cut off the picture, we tried our hand at painting him in. We had so much fun, we added a few touches to the picture!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

I've been tagged!

What are you listening to right now? Morning quiet before everyone's awake.
Guilty Pleasure: Ben & Jerry's Phish Food
Favorite Food: Anything Tex-Mex
Habit I want to break: Just broke soda/caffeine for 10 days straight!!
Habit I want to keep: It's kinda silly, but I've gotten hooked on Little House reruns every morning - so much so that I even record them if I'm going to be gone!!
Married or Single? Happily Married for almost 23 years
Are you Happy? Very much so!
Biggest Pet Peeve: Not being able to get through to a "Live Person" on the phone without pressing 1, then 3, then 2, then 9, then all of a sudden the automated system says "good-bye" and I have to start all over again!!! UGH!
Chocolate, Vanilla, or neither: Definately chocolate!
Dream Vacation: There's castle in Germany called Dornröschenschloss Sababurg that offers a 2 night stay. The guidebook says: The castle is said to be the setting of the Sleeping Beauty legend. You'll almost start to believe the tale when you see the Italianate turrets of the castle. The park is said to be the oldest zoological garden in the world. The wilderness of ancient oak and beech trees, along with the tall ferns, adds to the fairy-tale atmosphere of the area. In the castle courtyard, where sweet-smelling briar roses still bloom, you half expect to see the prince coming to awaken Sleeping Beauty. You have a candlelit 5 course dinner in the castle, go on a private tour of the castle and gardens, sleep in a beautiful suite, have breakfast in is my fantasy "short" vacation for me and Bruce!!
Worst Vacation Idea: 5000 mile road trip with the kids and no husband (last summer!!)
Favorite Book: Too hard to choose....DaVinci Code, Harry Potter Series, anything by John Grisham...
Favorite Music: Country
Person You Admire That’s Not a Relative: Juliette Holdaway. If you're interested in why, just ask!
People you tag: Chrissy, Roxi, Jeni, Jessie, Elisa, Diane

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Caffeine withdrawl migraines...ugh!

Okay. I'm addicted to Dr. Pepper. Well, actually I'm addicted to the caffeine in Dr. Pepper. Dr. Pepper is just my fix of choice. There should be a 10 step program for caffeine addicts...Cafanon would be a good name. So, why did I decide to quit? Good question. Saturday night I was over at Ira's and I happened to get on the scale in their bathroom and discovered that I had gained 8 lbs since Craig and Katie's wedding. 8 pounds Monday morning I was watching the Today show and there was a woman on who weighed over 500 lbs. That's past tense because she doesn't weigh that much today. Anyway, she decided to just eliminate one thing each month to help her lose weight. The first to go was soda. She lost 40 lbs in one month. Pretty impressive. Since it was still early morning and I hadn't had a chance to go to my favorite watering hole for a Route 44, I decided that there was no time like the present. So no Dr. Pepper. I did great. DP, DP, Tuesday.....frickin' migraine that wouldn't go away!! Wednesday....the worst migraine I've ever experienced. Finally Bruce made me take some Excedrin Migraine (it has caffeine in it..ugh). Then Craig and Bruce gave me a blessing. Anyway, I'm so angry that I've let this happen to my body that I don't have ANY desire for the best drink on Planet Earth. Okay, maybe just a little!! But I am committed. I gave up DP to lose weight, but the upside is that I'm detoxing from the overload of caffeine in my body. So here's a challenge for all you DP addicts that read this blog....and you know who you about joining with me and we'll create our own little CAFANON and maybe lose a few pounds in the process. By the way, today's been a good headache so far! DAY 5! WAHOO!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Woman vs The Public Restroom

I just had to share this email with all of you! But since I no longer have anyone's email address due to a Windows Live Mail malfunction, I decided to post it on the blog!

When you have to visit a public bathroom, you usually find a line of women, so you smile politely and take your place. Once it's your turn, you check for feet under the stall doors. Every stall is occupied. Finally, a door opens and you dash in, nearly knocking down the woman leaving the stall. You get in to find the door won't latch. It doesn'tmatter, the wait has been so long you are about to wet your pants! The dispenser for the modern "seat covers" (invented by someone's Mom, no doubt) is handy, but empty. You would hang your purse on the door hook, if there was one, but there isn't - so you carefully, but quickly drape it around your neck, (Mom would turn over in her grave if you put it onthe FLOOR! ), yank down your pants, and assume " The Stance."In this position your aging, toneless thigh muscles begin to shake. You'd love to sit down, but you certainly hadn't taken time to wipe the seat or lay toilet paper on it, so you hold "The Stance."To take your mind off your trembling thighs, you reach for what you discover to be the empty toilet paper dispenser. In your mind, you can hear your mother's voice saying, "Honey, if you had tried to clean the seat, you would have KNOWN there was no toilet paper!" Your thighs shake more. You remember the tiny tissue that you blew your nose on yesterday - the one that's still in your purse. (Oh yeah, the purse around your neck, that now, you have to hold up trying not to strangle yourself at the same time). That would have to do. You crumple it in the puffiest way possible. It's still smaller than your thumbnail. Someone pushes your door open because the latch doesn't work. The door hits your purse, which is hanging around your neck in front of your chest, and you and your purse topple backward against the tank of the toilet. "Occupied!" you scream, as you reach for the door, dropping your precious, tiny, crumpled tissue in a puddle on the floor, lose your footing altogether, and slide down directly onto the TOILET SEAT .. It is wet of course. You bolt up, knowing all too well that it's too late. Your bare bottom has made contact with every imaginable germ and life form on the uncovered seat because YOU never laid down toilet paper - not that there was any, even if you had taken time to try. You know that your mother would be utterly appalled if she knew, because, you're certain her bare bottom never touched a public toilet seat because, frankly, dear, "You just don't KNOW what kind of diseases you could get."By this time, the automatic sensor on the back of the toilet is so confused that it flushes, propelling a stream of water like a fire hose against the inside of the bowl that sprays a fine mist of water that covers your butt and runs down your legs and into your shoes. The flush somehow sucks everything down with such force that you grab onto the empty toilet paper dispenser for fear of being dragged in too. At this point, you give up. You're soaked by the spewing water and the wet toilet seat. You're exhausted. You try to wipe with a gum wrapper you found in your pocket and then slink out inconspicuously to the sinks. You can't figure out how to operate the faucets with the automatic sensors, so you wipe your hands with spit and a dry papertowel and walk past the line of women still waiting. You are no longer able to smile politely to them. A kind soul at the very end of the line points out a piece of toilet paper trailing from your shoe. (Where was that when you NEEDED it??) You yank the paper from your shoe, plunk it in the woman's hand and tell her warmly, "Here, you just might need this." As you exit, you spot your hubby, who has long since entered, used, and left the men's restroom. Annoyed, he asks, "What took you so long, and why is your purse hanging around your neck?" This is dedicated to women everywhere who deal with public restrooms (rest??? you've GOT to be kidding!!). It finally explains to the men what really does take us so long. It also answers their other commonly asked questions about why women go to the restroom in pairs. It's so the other gal can hold the door, hang onto your purse and hand you Kleenex under the door! This HAD to be written by a woman! No one else could describe it so accurately!

Happy 4 th of July

Monday, June 16, 2008

A few pics from Allen High School's Class of 2008!

They made it! (Man, Jordan's tall!)

Christian at his happiest moment!

Now we can all take a break until Sarah's graduation in 2013!!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Wish her luck!!

Sarah is really excited to audition for an upcoming kids show. As most of you know, she's pretty much an extrovert and is always happiest in the limelight! She heard about the auditions and immediately grabbed the phone, dialed the number and handed it over begging me to sign her up. I did. Tomorrow we'll drive into Dallas for a 2:30 audition. If things go well, she'll be invited back for a 2nd one. If not....we'll chalk it up to a neat experience. Jeni took these pics of Sarah for us to take. Isn't she pretty?!
Oh, I didn't forget to blog about Austin graduating....I'm just waiting on the pics to post! Thanks to all of you who suffered through the 2 1/2 hour graduation ceremony especially since the majority of you could have left after "H"!!! We love you. Congratulations, Austin and Jordan! Pics coming soon.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

No Matter Where He Is.....

Austin had his senior pics taken a few days ago by Jeni :) and this was one that I thought spoke to all parents of teenagers! I think I may have to follow him around with a camera and catch some other random times/places that he texts. I'm thinking that maybe if I texted him I'd learn a lot more about him than what I know now! Jeni took a lot of great pics of we just have to choose which one to put in the graduation announcements! How about a vote? I'll put a few of my favorites on the blog and you let me know which one you like the best.

Picture #1Picture #2
Picture #3

Friday, April 25, 2008

Birthdays, birthdays, & more birthdays!

April seems to be the happenin' month for our family (and the Hopewell's and the Bjorn's!). Austin turned the big 18 on the 20th, Bruce turns a bigger number tomorrow and Craig will be 22 on Monday! Wow...I have three adult children...isn't that wild?! So let's see....three birthdays in my family and a wedding anniversary; a birthday for L. Bruce on Tuesday; a birthday and an anniversary for Jessica & Svend. HAPPY BIRTHDAY/ANNIVERSARY TO ALL OF YOU!

Exciting news for the calendar: Austin will graduate on June 3 @ 7pm @ the University of North Texas in Denton Super Pit Coliseum. WOW!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Thursday, April 10, 2008

My heart is full!

Craig took out his own endowment today. Just saying the words brings me to tears of gratitude and joy. When he finally entered the Celestial room, I couldn't keep the tears at bay. They just flowed! I am grateful to the Lord for answering our prayers.

He especially answered them today as we seemed to literally be in a fight with the adversary to get to the temple. Here's a list of a few of the things he threw in our path: no power due to Tornados during the night, Craig's clothes were in the washer (again a no power situation); we went over to Grandma's to get ready and Craig brought the wrong shirt - it was Austin's that required cuff links!) remember how I remedied that at Austin's homecoming...well paper brads work wonders!; an accident on 635 caused us to have to reroute to get around it; Darlene (Katie's mom) forgot her temple recommend IN JAPAN!; Roxi & Grandma got there at 5 minutes to session time....believe it or not we all kept a smile on our faces and got through it. Then, as soon as we got out of the temple, we got a frantic phone message from Ashley that her delayed plane in Idaho caused her to miss her connection to Dallas in Salt Lake. The closest they could get her to Dallas today was to fly her into Austin. She's still not here. My friend, Sylvia, went to pick her up and they'll be pulling back into town around 2am! She missed the Horlacher/Tyler dinner tonight, but at least she'll be here before the wedding.

In spite of that, I find myself in awe at how much we've been blessed. I know that Heavenly Father hears our prayers and answers them. I know he doesn't always let things work out the way we think they should and yet He knows what we can handle and what will help us grow spiritually. I think we have to take a step back sometimes and recognize the hand of the Lord in our lives and also recognize the influence that Satan can have on us if we let our guard down. I'm so grateful to have been in the temple with my son today. I'm thrilled that tomorrow he's going to be sealed to Katie. It's all so overwhelming and wonderful!!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Senior Prom 2008 - An Evening in Paris (they wish!)

So, last night was Austin's senior prom. His date is a friend of Katie's that came into town a couple of days ago for the wedding. She didn't have a dress, so we went on a quest for the most modest and inexpensive formal we could find just 5 hours before prom. Meanwhile, Austin was washing the car, and anxiously waiting to find out what color the dress would be so that he could get a corsage for Kayleen. Well, we found a dress at would do and the price was right. We rushed home so that Kayleen could get ready. It was already after 5pm and dinner reservations were for 7. Austin, of course, could be ready in 15 minutes. Girls, however, take A LOT longer!! I'm sure Austin thought it was worth the wait, though, because Kayleen looked gorgeous!

They went to Macaroni Grill for dinner and apparently got to color while they waited for their meal!! Can you tell which work of art is Austin's?

These were taken after "after-prom" at about 3:45am. They were supposed to stay until 5am and then go to breakfast, but they didn't have enough energy! I hear Jordan made it until 8am before he crashed!

Bridal Shower Fun!

My future daughter-in-law
Thanks to Roxi & Jeni we had a wonderful bridal shower for Katie. Even though we were few in number, it was a lot of fun and Katie was thrilled with all the great stuff she received for her pantry!! There were a few things I would've liked to add to my own (like all the cookie and brownie mixes)! My V.T. took a ton of pictures at the shower, but the one above is my favorite....doesn't Katie have GREAT fashion sense?!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Happy Easter!!

Everyone but Ashley! :(

I'm so excited that tomorrow is Easter. "Why," you ask? Because that means that the Easter Bunny is making his rounds and not sitting on the bench having his picture taken at Willowbend! It was a blessing to have the job, but I am thrilled that it's over!!!

Only 19 days until Craig and Katie are married! It really is exciting. Everything is falling into place....bridesmaids dresses and shoes have arrived, Katie and I are going to pick up her wedding dress from the seamstress Tuesday night, Bridal shower is on Thursday @ Roxi's, and Nancy's been working on the centerpieces for the reception. What's the groom up to? Craig's sitting back watching March Madness - typical male!!!

Fun stuff!

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Put it in pen....but make it an erasable one!!

April 11, 2008 @ 11 am in the Dallas, Texas Temple. Reception @ 6pm @ The Surrey House in McKinney.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Never write on your calendar in pen!

Okay, so the date isn't April 12. We think it'll be March 14. Use a pencil and write it in lightly! I'll keep you all posted.:)

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Mark your calendars!!

A more formal announcement will arrive by mail, but the date has been set.....April 12, 2008, Craig and Katie will be sealed in the Dallas, Texas temple. April is a busy month, huh?! Let's see: birthdays for Bruce, Jr., Bruce Tyler, Craig, Austin and I think an anniversary for Jessie & Svend....did I leave anyone out?

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Craig & Katie sittin' in a tree....

Well, it's official....Craig and Katie are engaged! We are so excited to welcome Miss Katie Horlacher into our family and are subjecting her to as much Tyler, Lewis (she's living with Grandma!), Hopewell weirdness as possible so that there are no surprises down the road!! She hasn't tried to hop a plane back to Japan yet, so there's hope!!

My job managing the Santa set has finally ended....woohoo! I was soooo happy to drive home last night knowing that I don't have to set foot in Willowbend mall again until March (that's when the Easter bunny comes!!)

Bruce is officially retired as of TODAY!!!! I know, it seems like he's been retired since he's been here! His new job/career begins tomorrow. We are both anxious to see whether Racetrac will be a good fit for him. He'll be enrolling in classes as well, so he'll be one busy man!