December 30, 2003
Friday Five and Update

1. What was your biggest accomplishment this year?
I'd have to say moving my family across the country to Virginia and starting a new job was my biggest accomplishment! Many changes!

2. What was your biggest disappointment?
Honestly, it's been such a whirlwind, I can't say that I've had any big disappointment. Didn't win the 100 million dollar lottery, but other then that!

3. What do you hope the new year brings?
Continued happiness for my family. John and I getting into some fitness/health routine. Sebastian excelling and adjusting to his new school. Some more financial stability would be nice, too!

4. Will you be making any New Year's resolutions? If yes, what will they be?
Same as last year.....lose weight, work on getting out of debt, not swearing so much.

5. What are your plans for New Year's Eve?
We've actually been invited to our first get together in Virginia for New Year's. I don't think we will be going, but just honored to get an invitation! We usually spend a nice quiet evening, trying to keep the kids up until midnight to watch the ball drop at Times Square. This will be the first year when we will actually be watching it LIVE, as we are now on the same time zone. And we can call everyone earlier (Note to Sean: Please do not call when it turns midnight in California! We will call you at 9!)

Okay, thought I would do a brief update....

Christmas in Virginia went very well. You would have thought that we were a mailing drop off station with all of the packages that arrived on a daily basis, beginning the Friday before Christmas. All of the grandparents were very generous, as usual, this year. The kids got everything they asked for (well Maddie still insists she need the Barbie Talking Townhouse!) plus more.

Christmas morning began bright and early at 7:00 AM (the "approved" parental waking up time). Santa left a new CD Boom box and Yu Gi Oh cards for Sebastian, Sonic DX game and SSX action figures for Keegan, and the Swan Lake Barbie with unicorn-drawn carriage and Hello Kitty figures for Madeline. After the initial shock of the morning wore off, it was time to rip into the gifts that had been taunting them for a week now. Boy, did they go to town! By the time it was done, we had 6 new video games, 2 pair of snow boots, new shoes, a Barbie wardrobe to rival even Halle Berry, 3 new Barbies, Leapfrog gear by the truckload, Legos, a new babydoll (ugh! more diapers!), DVDs, CDs, 2 new watches, 2 Italian Charm bracelets, and a partridge in a pear tree! You should have seen all the boxes, everywhere! We almost had to take 2 loads to the dump.

Needless to say, the kids were very happy with everything. The parents and the grandma were very happy, too! We had a great day, spending time together and playing games, Barbies, Leapfrog gear, and Legos. Dinner consisted of a spiral ham, holiday mashed potatoes and green beans. Most yummy! I had a 4 day weekend, which, after the last couple of months of Saturdays and 10 hour workdays, was fantastic! Another 4-day coming up this week, which I am looking forward to. January will be another busy month at work, but then hopefully in February I will have some breathing time.

John and I will be going to Virginia Beach this weekend for my company's holiday party. I'm so looking forward to it, as we haven't really had a night away from the kids since February. The party should be a good time, although I will be in "hostess-mode" which is always hard on John, as he won't really know anyone. We will still have time for fun, though!

Well, I think that's it from here! School starts up next Monday and Sebastian will start his new school. I'm a little nervous about that, but know that he will adjust well. I will post again and update everyone! Later!

Posted by Brie at 10:59 AM
December 19, 2003
Friday Five

1. List your five favorite beverages.
Ice Tea, diet vanilla coke, water, diet dr. pepper, and starbuck's.

2. List your five favorite websites.
Silveria Family, Petfinder.org, Pilot Online, E Online, Barnes and Noble

3. List your five favorite snack foods.
Sunflower seeds, chips and dip, granny smith apples and peanut butter, cereal, and popcorn.

4. List your five favorite board and/or card games.
Monopoly, Scrabble, Trivial Pursuit, Aggravation (marble game), and gin rummy.

5. List your five favorite computer and/or game system games.
SSX3 (Gamecube), SSX Tricky (Gamecube), The Sims (PC), Tetris (any platform), and most games that that boys, John and I can play at the same time (i.e. Mario Kart Double Dash).

Posted by Brie at 10:09 AM
December 12, 2003
Friday Five

1. Do you enjoy the cold weather and snow for the holidays? As this is our first winter in Virginia, I couldn't tell you what I think of snow and cold weather. So far, it's been pretty nice. No snow, yet (no white Christmas!). The coldest it's getting is down in the low 30's at night, which isn't too bad. Everything looks so pretty in the morning, covered in frost.

2. What is your ideal holiday celebration? How, where, with whom would you celebrate to make things perfect? My ideal holiday celebration happens every year. I have John and the kids right by my side. Santa makes his visit on Christmas Eve and the morning is full of excitement and energy. It's great!

3. Do you do have any holiday traditions? We decorate the tree as a family, playing Christmas music. We always open one gift up on Christmas Eve. The kids set out snacks for Santa and his reindeer. I try to read "The Night Before Christmas" to them, but usually can't get them wound down enough to do so.

4. Do you do anything to help the needy? We don't do as much as we should. We will usually get a few toys for Toys for Tots and donate those. We also will buy extra cans of food to donate to the drive. I usually will give my loose change to the Salvation Army person.

5. What one gift would you like for yourself? World peace. Seriously, I had quite a list this year, which was unusual. But if I had only one gift, and money was no object, I'd like a new car. If it were limited to just something I could afford, then I'd have to say either the Italian Charm bracelet or the Windsor Pilates DVD set. How boring!

Posted by Brie at 10:00 AM
December 05, 2003
Friday Five from 11/28

Well, since there is not a new F5 this week, I'll post last weeks....

1. Do you like to shop? Why or why not? I love to shop. I don't have to buy, but I just like the whole experience of looking at new things, price shopping, etc. I especially enjoy going to a bookstore and looking at the books (even reading a chapter or two). I could spend all day in a bookstore. Shopping with the kids really gets to me, as it is too much work. If I have the kids, I like to get in, get what I need and get out. Otherwise it just drags out the "i-wants."

2. What was the last thing you purchased? I guess eggs and milk at the store the other night. I can't remember the last "non-food" item I purchased; maybe it was our new monitor. Sad thing is, I even enjoy grocery shopping, especially when I'm saving money!

3. Do you prefer shopping online or at an actual store? Why? I do like shopping online, you can do a lot of price research to make sure you are getting a good deal. I also enjoy eBay shopping. That's very exciting for me! However, I don't think shopping online will ever completely take the place of going to a mall or Barnes and Noble, though!

4. Did you get an allowance as a child? How much was it? I think I got allowance, I just don't remember how much it was. Most of my spending money was from babysitting.

5. What was the last thing you regret purchasing? I can't think of one. I always regret purchasing something and then realizing that I could have gotten it cheaper. John is not as good a price shopping, as I am, and every once in awhile he will purchase something that I know I could have gotten cheaper somewhere else. It's never the item I regret purchasing, but the price I had to spend to get it.

Posted by Brie at 08:34 AM