Nov 28, 2009

Gingerbread Village

At my mom and step father's hotel, there is a gingerbread house contest going on this weekend. While we are sad, it was still really neat to see all the creations. They vary in age ranges and experience. There are four categories: Adult Professional, Adult Amateur, Student 13 to 18 years and Student 12 and under. The rules state that all parts of the house must be edible except for the lights and the base. Here are most of the entries. Honestly, my nephew Lucas made me take all these photos, plus some. LOL

Look at this one Aunt Jessie!

Swimming with the sharks, maybe?

Log Cabin

Bird House

Meet the Flintstones (and the Rubbles to the right).

Sweet Houses

I loved the marshmallow snowman.

Patriotic House. This was really awesome considering the circumstances we were even there.

My Fave: Adult Amateur. Check out all the fine details. Remember, except for the lights and base these are 100% edible.

My Fave: Adult Professional. I love how the snow was all glittery. Also there was a light inside so all the stained (candy) glass windows were lit up. The camera lens didn't pick it up though. You will just have to take my word for it.

I haven't decided on what my favorites are in the other categories. I will let you know which ones win. Voting starts later today.


Nov 26, 2009


Today I would like to wish my US readers a blessed Thanksgiving. Today I am thankful for

My Husband. He is the love of my life, my rock and my comfort. Without him I would not be whole. He has my love and devotion for all eternity.

My Children. They give meaning to my life. They are the source of happiness, joy and laughter in my heart. They are often my creative inspiration. I love my little heathens.

My Family. I am thankful for my mother, father, step mother, step father, grandparents, brothers, sisters, aunts, nieces, nephews, uncles and cousins. I may have had some of them for only a short period of time but all have touched my life. We are still close and supporting each other. We can make it together through any trial. I love them all.

My Friends. They may be crazy but that is why I love them and they me. We have had some good times and bad. We have had some angelic moments and some devilish. We have had beautiful stories and wild night life stories of our friendships. I treasure them all for they have given our special relationships character.

My Faith. My faith keeps my soul fresh and enlightened. Even in my darkest hours I feel the embrace of God & Goddess. I know they are with me and will keep me strong. They tell me everything is part of a plan and though I may not understand it they will help me find acceptance.

Our Armed Forces. I am thankful for the men and women who put their lives on hold and in jeopardy to willingly serve our country in times of peace and conflict. I am really thankful for the families who have to stay behind and support their service.

Lastly, I am very thankful for the turkey and ham that graced our table today. Without them Thanksgiving would certainly be less tasty. *Grin*


Nov 25, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - Dark Sunset

For more wordless photos go to Wordless Wednesday:

I am breaking the "wordless" rule, but I want to share the lyrics to one of my favorite songs. Shadow of the Day by Linkin Park has taken on a new meaning for me. It is still a beautiful, sad song but it feels more personal now.


I close both locks below the window
I close both blinds and turn away
Sometimes solutions aren't so simple
Sometimes goodbye's the only way

And the sun will set for you
The sun will set for you
And the shadow of the day
Will embrace the world in grey
And the sun will set for you

Pink cards and flowers on your window
Your friends all plead for you to stay
Sometimes beginnings aren't so simple
Sometimes goodbye's the only way

And the sun will set for you
The sun will set for you
And the shadow of the day
Will embrace the world in grey
And the sun will set for you

And the shadow of the day
Will embrace the world in grey
And the sun will set for you

And the shadow of the day
Will embrace the world in grey
And the sun will set for you.


Nov 24, 2009


Back in November of 2007 my brother was in Afghanistan for the first time. We stayed connected via MySpace. During this time frame one of the bulletins circulated asking you to make a haiku for your top three friends or something like that. Today I was scrolling through my brother's contacts and comments, I found the Haiku's I had posted on his page. At the time they were just me being silly but they have so much meaning now. Here they are.



Jessica Marquardt
Nov 6 2007 1:11 PM

First my "nice" one:

Serving our country
Sworn to protect our freedom
Keeping us safe now.

Now my personal one LOL:

My little brother,
always teasing and picking
Video games rule.

Love ya,



That was my brother in a nutshell. He was a hero but he was my little brother too. I know I am normally a happy blogger but right now I am getting some stuff out. In a week or so I promise I will post some beautiful photos and cute duck stories. I just need some time to get back in that place.

Daniel & my oldest son, Jeremy, about three years ago.


Nov 22, 2009

In Memory of My Brother

For those of you who don't know, my little brother was killed in Afghanistan while serving in the US Army Thursday morning. I won't go into details but it has been a very trying time for me, my family and Dan's wife. They had only been married since March but he loved her so much and she him. I have been going through pictures and I felt a strong urge to share my brother with you. He is more than just one more casualty in an insane war. He was a son, brother, husband, friend and a man with thoughts, feelings, fears and joys. I will miss him so much.

If you would like to see the collage in a larger size, click it and it will open in another window. From there if you click a second time it will enlarge.


Nov 20, 2009

Dealing with a Loss

I will be absent for the next few days or so. We had a loss in the family that I will blog about later. Please say prayers for my family as we go through this difficult time. We need the strength.


Nov 12, 2009

Garden Discoveries

A few days ago, I posted some photos of the new place. Part of the new house is the little garden discoveries. Some one at some point either gardened themselves or had it landscaped but it has been a while since it has been really maintained. I am really excited about the challenge. I should have gone to school to be a landscaper as I love designing and rehashing existing designs. Today I was at Lowe's and had to resist buying bulbs. For all I know there could be tulips and daffodils already planted here. So bulbs will wait until after we see what blooms in the spring. So far, this is what we have discovered.

Weigelia Bush

Hydrangea Bush


Daylilies that are done for the season. They will be beautiful next summer.



Unknown plant. I am sure I will figure it out in the spring.

Weeping Cherry Tree




Hostas that are done for the year. It will be interesting to see what varieties we have in the spring.

Also there is an old stone edge around the back garden. It needs some sprucing up. Also hidden in this edging was a couple of conch shells.

Hidden stone

And what post of mine would be complete without poultry? When I looked up from taking macros of the conch shells, there was Goldie and Amber investigating what I was doing with my camera inches from the ground.


Nov 10, 2009

Chilly Autumn Morning

These are some older photos that I never got posted with the busy October we had. October 1st we had our first frost. This is what the morning drive to take the kids to school looked like.

Windshield of my Explorer.

Hood of my Explorer.

Scenic morning drive featured sunrise, frost and fog on the fields. I love living in the country.


Nov 9, 2009


As some of you have figured out, we have been in the process of moving. I would say we are about halfway done. With me working full time at the Halloween store we have only had time to move the necessities like some clothes, furniture, bathroom things, etc. I still have to move all my crafting, stamping & scrapping stuff. We also still have all of our cds, books and other fun goodies to move. So much fun and so little time. The kids are loving the new house. They also got new bunk beds from Grandma R and Grandpa M. I am going to keep this short and sweet, so here are a bunch of photos of our new home and it's flowers that came with it.

Our beautiful fireplace, which we have used several times already.

The boys' new bunk beds. Pardon the mess, but they are 8 & 11 years old. Mess goes with them even if half their toys are still at the old house.

The boys in the front room playing video games. They love the new couch.

Our benches on our new front porch.

The ladies exploring their new fenced in yard.

The duckies exploring.

Shasta daisies are still blooming even with the chilly nights.

All of the rose bushes looked pretty much done for the season when out of the blue, one bloomed. I think it is a sign of good times to come. What do you think?